The Firelight Isle

A graphic novel without compromises

Paul Duffield's Firelight IsleI’m about to head off on my mystical* journey to the East, but thought I’d drop in a quick plug for Paul Duffield’s Firelight Isle.

(No, not that one, that one!)

Paul, late of FreakAngels, has taken the really bold step of starting work on an entirely creator-owned graphic novel. Because he unfortunately has to eat and such, he can only afford to spend one day a week on it, but the work he’s done so far looks fascinating.

If you’re of a mind to help a talented artist – and get a few goodies along the way – please consider dropping a few bucks into the IndieGoGo campaign. If that’s not your kind of thing, there are also a number of other ways you can contribute.

OK, I’m off to pack my bags. Sydney, Sydney here I come!

(Sydney, Sydney, yum yum yum…)

* Not at all mystical, in any definition of the word

All Good Things

The end of the story of what happened next.

Well, FreakAngels is finished. A good, sensible ending where people take responsibility for their actions and things finally start to get better. Bravo Mr Ellis, Bravo!

On the other hand, what am I going to do with my Fridays now?

At the same time Warren is taking his leave of Whitechapel. The new landlord has moved in and is making himself at home, but it remains to be seen how things are going to go. He seems a reasonable sort, but nonetheless, things are going to change.

But hey, that’s a concern for the future. Let’s all just raise a glass to an amazing achievement – three and a half years of a high quality, FREE webcomic, and the building of a unique online community. Here’s to Warren, Paul, Ariana, the often forgotten about colourists and Avatar Press. Well done guys – even if you didn’t feature Miki anywhere near enough πŸ˜‰

Wokka Wokka

Halloween, Cruises and Golf

It was Halloween last week wasn’t it? I didn’t do anything, or at least didn’t do anything Halloweeny. I actually went up to the Maze in Bullsbrook with Fabes and Paula and (among other things) played mini-golf (I came last :)). There are photos up on my Flickr stream if anyone’s interested (not of the golf though).

We actually did a fair bit of other stuff as well.Β  We had lunch at an excellent kebab place, looked at a whole lot of Fabe’s photos from his trip to Switzerland, and had dinner at the newly opened Kingsway Tavern. I had the garlic prawns which were astonishingly good. Outstandingly good in fact. I think I could live on that sauce.

Then I got stuck at Stirling railway station on the way home, having got off the train with the expectation that the circle route buses would still be running – which they weren’t, meaning I had to wait half an hour for the next train. While waiting I did help out a couple of Danish tourists though, who borrowed my phone to call a taxi. They wanted to pay me, but I refused, so instead they made me promise to visit the Roskilde festival.

Did I mention that I’m going on a cruise? I’ve booked for a 14 night (I think it’s 14 night… I’ll have to check) cruise to New Zealand early in 2012, on the basis that I should at least try and have some fun before the world ends *grin*. I’ll be travelling steerage in the bowels of the Diamond Princess from Sydney to Auckland, taking in Melbourne, Hobart, the South Island and points in between. Should be a laugh. I’ll book in some time to do some sight seeing at both ends.

Finally, I’ve made another update to the FreakAngels Google Earth map. Enjoy!

Anyone who tries to hug me will be shot dead…

Some general updates

Every week I like Miki more and more. Mind you, she’s been my favourite FreakAngel ever since her first appearance, it’s just that the more we see of her the more my initial opinion is confirmed.

Of course Kait is growing on me too.

I do have to ask though – in the last frame is that a tentacle?!

OK, enough FreakAngels (except to say that the Google Earth file has been updated).

I’ve finally bitten the bullet and put Abandoned in Perth out of its misery. It’s been sitting in a state of abandonment (how ironic!) for almost five years, and I while I’ve been taking photos of plenty of derelict sites I just haven’t had the time to process them all and get them up.

I haven’t abandoned the concept however, as almost all the photos from the site (and a whole lot more) are now up on my Flickr account. Flickr makes everything so much easier, so expect the Abandoned in Perth collection to grow and grow! (Assuming that is that I can find more places to photograph).

OK, that’s all for now.

(Ah! It’s art!)

Updates and Dragons


Spent a good deal of time today coding in data for a company who somehow think they’re going to corner the UK real estate market from here in Perth. I have no idea how this is supposed to work, but I now know more about the English County system than any sane human should (did you know there was a short lived Avon County? No? Did you need to know there was a short lived Avon County? No?).

I also discovered the Dragons page has been missing from the site for a while. Happily I have a backup, so it’s been restored. I have no idea what happened to it – maybe Games Workshop hacked into the server and deleted it? πŸ™‚

Finally the FreakAngels Google Earth file has (again) been updated.

Cartographic Madness

Hey, I’ve never claimed to be normal…

You know, as far back as I can remember, I’ve always loved maps. I don’t know exactly when or where my love affair with cartography began, but I rather suspect it had something to do with Arthur Ransome and his Swallows and Amazons books. Each one had a map right at the start, showing all the locations in the story. It’s been years since I read any of them, but I reckon I could still draw a pretty good map of the lake just from memory.

More than just loving maps, I’ve always loved making maps. Again I think Arthur Ransome is the culprit, Secret Water was all about map making (and mastadons, and eels, and almost drowning when the tide comes in). As a kid the walls of my room were plastered with hand drawn maps of locations from just about every book I read, and even now I’ll occasionally just grab a piece of paper and whip up a map of some kind, just for the heck of it.

All this may explain why I’ve spent a good four or five hours over the last few days doing my damn well best to figure out where Connor lives in Warren Ellis’s FreakAngels.

Careful examination of the scenes outside Connor’s place in episode two reveal a number of distinctive features…

  • It’s a narrow, two lane street
  • There’s a traffic light and a zebra crossing
  • There are tall, detached buildings on both sides
  • One building has two distinctive, urn-like details on top
  • Across the road from the urn building is one with a truncated mansard roof
  • There’s a t-junction close by (seen when KK lands her ‘bike’)

Now, all of this means nothing because surely it’s just a comic right? Well, possibly not. Paul Duffield has apparently made a few trips to Whitechapel to take reference images, and plenty of real places (the Ten Bells Pub, Christ Church, the Spitalfields Market) turn up. So there’s a reasonable chance that Connor’s street is a real one.

So, I’ve been driving myself to distraction examining Whitechapel street by street in Google Earth, and then looking at hundreds of images tagged ‘whitechapel’ on Flickr for clues.

No dice. I am rapidly reaching the conclusion that the scenes in episode 2 are at best heavily modified, and at worst a portmanteau of several different places (suggested perhaps by the fact that the torn, red awning switches building between frames, and the idea that a small, narrow street would have a zebra crossing ). So I guess I’ll just have to take a punt on where to put Connor’s place on the next version of the Google Earth file.

At least until someone makes a map of all the zebra crossings in Whitechapel πŸ™‚

Kolfinnia Kokokoho?

Finland! Finland! On the Baltic Sea! Finland! Finland! Also known as Suomi!

Ah, busy week, busy week.

Not only have I been co-ordinating our efforts to go to the Supanova convention tomorrow (I have four tickets in my hot little hands right now which mean we’ll be able to go straight in rather than queuing) but we’ve got a new employee at work. His name is Lasse and there are a number of interesting things to note about him…

  • He’s from Finland
  • His birthday is February 29th, making him only 6 years old
  • Ummm…

Well he’s only been with us for a week so there are no doubt plenty of other interesting things that shall be revealed in time.

(Oh, and I know he’s not really 6 years old, but it’s such a common joke about people born on the 29th that it shouldn’t really require any explanation).

We asked him about the Estonian message from last week. It turns out that as similar as Estonian and Finnish may appear to us Indo-Europeans they’re actually mutually incomprehensible – although there are a few well known similarities such as the Estonian for “milk” meaning “sour milk” in Finnish, and the Estonian for “Wedding Day” meaning “Trouble Day”. This is no doubt a great source of amusement among Finns, probably of much the same calibre as the Australian/Kiwi “Fush and Chups” πŸ™‚

I was tempted to ask him about the famous “Kokoo kokoon koko kokko” but figured it’s probably as annoying to Finns as “You chop a tree down then you chop it up!” is to English speakers, so I let it be.

I also caught up with Katie over dinner on Thursday night. We wandered around Subiaco looking for somewhere to eat, but everywhere was either stupidly expensive, closing or Indian (I have nothing against India, but I just can’t abide Indian food). We ended up at Cafe Ecco where we had a potato and rosemary pizza – which is a lot more delicious than it sounds. We then adjourned to Gelare for ice cream. A good night overall.

Today I headed over to the Galleria for groceries and a haircut. I figured I could do with a haircut before tomorrow as while the odds of Jewel Staite spotting me in the audience, falling madly in love with me and us living happily ever after in a flying castle are ’round about fifty billion to one, they’re bound to be slightly better (say forty billion nine hundred and ninety nine million nine hundred and ninety nine thousand nine hundred and ninety nine to one) if I’ve got a decent haircut. Or at least any kind of haircut at all as opposed to the rather unorganised mess that was sitting on top of my head. So I got one. Any kind of haircut that is. I don’t know if it makes me look any less geeky, but at least it looks a bit neater.

Continuing with preparations for tomorrow I’ve spent the last hour or so fashioning a Pringles can into an insulated Red Bull can holder. You know, if I feel the need for a quick caffeine hit. The only problem (apart from my apartment now being littered with styrofoam scraps) is that it looks a bit like a pipe bomb, so I’ll need to be careful with it. Hope there won’t be any bag searches πŸ™‚

Finally a FreakAngels Google Earth update. After the interlude last week the story is back in full swing, with Jack seemingly about to get into serious trouble. The GE file has been fully updated – including the exact location of “Camping Etc.”, which I managed to track down by dint of a lot of zooming around studying intersections (I could tell you where it is, but you’ll just have to download the file and see).

That’s it, early night before tomorrow’s festivities πŸ™‚

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