Sunday, March 29, 2009


So the Webcomic Thing was top fun for young and old. Personal highlight: meeting John Allison, who seemed far too young for a man who has been doing webcomics for ten years, and buying two books off him which he promptly signed with a little doodle in each (Shelley in one, Des in the other). And he then let me have a badge for free because I didn't have 50p in change. What a nice man.

Also Smithy gave me a jelly baby.

I would, however, like to question the wisdom of placing Sir John A. and Kate Beaton right near each other which resulted in considerable gridlock pretty much all day and prevented me from buying her book (I used the "I'll go later when there's less of a queue" reasoning then discovered she'd sold out).

Ah well. A very fine day anyway. Might have to go next year, hmm, yes, hmm.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Today has been an excellent day

  1. We finally got round to getting a new CD drive for the family PC (the last one went crazy about a month ago). The new one is powerful enough for me to surf the Interwubs and burn a CD to iTunes at the same time (our computer is very old, such a thing was previously beyond it without it running about five times slower).
  2. I picked up Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks second-hand for PS2. It cost me four squids because I traded in God of War. MK:SM has proved to be the game that I wanted GoW to be - over-the-top, stupid and very, very fun.
  3. 2-disc version of The Dark Knight for £6.99 from Sainsbury's. "I'm 'avin' some of that," I said. And I did!
  4. Passing by MSN, I saw the headline "Jeremy Clarkson locked in loo". Leave him there! Go on.
So yes, an excellent day. And tomorrow I meet Smithy face-to-face and proclaim my love to him. By which I mean have an upstanding and entirely heterosexual pleasant chat. Yes.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Why you should go to the UK Web & Mini Comix Thing 2009

That's right, the UK Web & Mini Comix Thing 2009. The reasons you should go are many!

Reason #1: it's good, probably. I dunno, I haven't been before.
Reason #2: John Allison will be there. So will many other excellent people, admittedly, but John Allison.
Reason #3, a.k.a. The Main Reason: I have combined powers with the much-more-talented-than-me Matthew Smith to unleash The Royal Society for the Preservation of Sub-Literature Presents: A Series of Fragments from Lost Novels upon an unsuspecting planet, and copies of same will be available for your perusal at table 27.

To quote the peerless wisdom of Sanjay Nahasapeemapetilon, "You will be there or kindly be square."

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Oh, Capcom

This is now old news because it took place this morning but some crossed wires at Absolute Gadget prevented it being uploaded 'til now.

Hilariously ill-advised body parts scavenger hunt

Bless you, Capcom, you wacky funsters.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Music, maestro

As you may have noticed, I like video games. By extension, one of the things I like about video games is the music contained within. By extension, one of the things I like about the music contained within is both the increasing complexity of the music, now often supplied by full orchestras, and the fact that the early tunes made a virtue of the simplistic technology they could utilise, and thus sound really good when done with proper instruments and that. By extension, I enjoy finding stuff related to videogame music on YouTube. By extension, here are some of my favourites.

(Please ignore the fact that the videos are both linked and embedded. Blogger is leading me a merry dance tonight, I dunno what the heck's going on.)

Probably the best tune from a series with no end of good tunes, done all classy like. You don't get more smooth.

OutRun medley performed by Richard Jacques and an orchestra

Not the best quality video, but we will forgive it on the grounds that Richard Jacques is awesome and OutRun music is awesome, so Richard Jacques performing some OutRun music is super-awesome. Darn but I must get to Video Games Live this year.

The Legend of Zelda theme performed on theremin by ooo6

Theremin. Theremin. There, min. The remin. Mmm.

Nintendo medley performed by an a cappella choir

Bonus points for acting.

And finally, my favourite, good enough for me to have a copy on my iPod:

"Wind Waker Unplugged", by FreddeGredde

Possibly, dare I say it, better than the original game's music. And damn if I don't love The Wind Waker's music.

Avon will eat itself

...and presumably all of us too

Did they seriously not notice this? Is it an elaborate post-modern prank? Are they actually planning to turn us all into zombies?


Saturday, March 07, 2009

Who watched the Watchmen?

I did, and now I have a slight headache and "The Times They Are A-Changin'" going round and round in my brain.

So did I enjoy Yakkety Zack's filmeriffic version of that book by Dave Gibbons and [name removed at request of lawyers]? Yes, yes I did.

I felt it was a little over-faithful to the book, which was understandable, but still you kind of wished for it to stretch its wings a bit more. The credit sequence (40 or so years of backstory crammed together to the tune of the aforementioned Dylan song) was actually my favourite part of the movie. The David Bowie and Andy Warhol cameos were inspired.

It looked astonishing. The slow-mo in the fights was largely unecessary, but other than that the cinematography was sumptuous. Interesting to note that Gibbons actually comes across better from the enterprise than Moore - any attempts to mirror Gibbons' tracking shots or camera angles, as it were, always looked great, whereas some of Moore's directly transposed dialogue came across as a little portentous. Anyway, full marks to the costume and set design people. Although I can't decide if the ridiculous Richard Nixon makeup was a deliberate caricature or some makeup person getting over-enthusiastic.

Acting was good, going for little-known cast members (as well as quite startling lookalikes, I was surprised how closely nearly everyone matched their drawn versions) paid off in terms of immersion without going, "Ooh, it's George Clooney!" Top marks for Billy Crudup, who made excellent results of possibly one of the hardest-to-portray characters ever written. "Right, Billy, your motivation is that you percieve time in a non-linear fashion. Action!"

Other points: great soundtrack, Malin Akerman is so beautiful it's seriously not even funny, blimey it was violent.

Overall, enjoyable but not great. It reminded me slightly of how you watch a Harry Potter film and think that it's not bad in pouring a book straight on to screen, but you want it to stand as a movie in its own right and it never quite manages it.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

The world just got a little bit more awesome

Man makes working replica of the glider from NausicaƤ of the Valley of the Wind

"People always ask me if I'm an inventor, but I'm not. Inventions have a practical component to them; none of my pieces have that."

I love you, crazy Japanese man.

(Thanks to Smithy for the heads-up.)

Think thou on this

If you subscribe to the infinite worlds theory (i.e. if the universe is essentially infinite, that means there are worlds out there almost identical to our own with slight changes) then somewhere there is a planet where 50 Cent hails from Yorkshire.