Sadly Insignificant Claims to Fame

It’s well known that you’re not worth anything in this world unless famous people pay attention to you. As such, here are my own claims to some kind of greater significance…

Mark Genge of Radio RTR read out the greeting card I sent wishing him a “Merry Metaphysician’s Day and an Existential Evening” during his I’ve Seen Elvis segment.

I sent a list of wacky laws to the Martin Molloy radio show, some of which were read out (Mick Molloy’s reaction to my nom-de-plume of Denys the Purple Wyrm was a heartfelt groan of “Oh God!”).

I sent an adventure suggestion in audio form to the Dragon’s Landing podcast, which was both played and highly praised by the hosts.

Cory Doctorow himself slapped me down (nicely) for using Creative Commons incorrectly on my Flickr stream.

My suggestion for adding Buffalo to Minecraft was read out and caused much hilarity on the Shaft podcast – even if they forgot to actually credit it to me.

The Oatmeal recently commented on this very blog (see if you can spot where!).

That’s it. Tell me we both matter, don’t we?

PS: Warren Ellis once called me “daft” and Dan Abnett “a very fine human being indeed”. How could I forget them?


Finally got around to reading Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E. over the weekend. My opinion? One of the funniest things I’ve read in ages.

For those unfamiliar, Nextwave is Warren Ellis’s deconstruction of modern super hero comics. He describes it himself thusly…

“It’s an absolute distillation of the superhero genre. No plot lines, characters, emotions, nothing whatsoever. It’s people posing in the street for no good reason. It is people getting kicked, and then exploding. It is a pure comic book, and I will fight anyone who says otherwise. And afterwards, they will explode.”

He forgets to add that it’s freaking hilarious.

Having read something freaking hilarious it’s very tempting to expound on the bits that were particularly freaking hilarious.  I’m not going to do that, since not encountering them in context would spoil the jokes. But I will mention the following things…

Purple underpants
Rocket Submarines
The French
Tabby’s Mindlessness
Letters that don’t stand for things
The big bad’s intestinal problems
The entire existence of the Captain

Track it down and read it people. You won’t be disappointed.

PS: The book managed to inflict a bit of a crush on Tabby on me. There’s something about an insanely stupid woman that makes me go all masculine and protective – which is ridiculous because I’d most likely want to throttle myself after spending ten minutes with one 🙂

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 😉

The Octopus!

Medical Cephalopods. What?!

Once again there’s a remake/remodel thread over at Whitechapel, which I’d take part in if…

a) I wasn’t an anti-social weirdo with an aversion to message boards
b) I could draw

As neither of these conditions apply I shall instead dabble in the black arts of pen-portraiture to inflict my idea upon the world.

The brief from Warren, such as it is, is as follows… (as it is is as?)

One of the more outré of the pulp characters—and given the genre, that’s quite saying something, believe me—the Octopus was actually the villain of the piece in his single issue, The Octopus v1 #4, 1939, written by…well, it’s not exactly clear. It might be Norvel Page, or it might be Ejler and Edith Jacobsen. A rather over-the-top mad scientist, the Octopus worked from a big city hospital and plotted world conquest. His appearance might explain his desire to dominate the world; he’s sea-green, with four “suction-cupped weaving tentacles” set above “hideously malformed” legs. He wears a small mask, and behind it can be seen two enormous, luminous, purple eyes. He was the leader of the Purple Eyes, a cult bent on world domination and mass destruction. The Octopus’ chosen method was an “ultra-violet ray” which devolved men and women and turned them into deformed, life-hating monsters hungry for human flesh and glowing with “ultraviolet purple.” Against the Octopus was set Jeffrey Fairchild, a young millionaire philanthropist (he eventually stopped the Octopus, of course). He had three identities. The first was Jeffrey Fairchild, hospital administrator. The second was was kindly Dr. Skull, the old man who made a practice of helping the poor in the slums. (His good works didn’t help him when everyone thought that he was the Octopus, however) In his other identity he was the “Skull Killer,” who fought crime and left a skull-imprint, ala the Spider, on his enemies. Fairchild was assisted by Carol Endicott, Dr. Skull’s nurse.

My idea is to turn this all on its head…

Observe if you will St Brendan’s Hospital, a run down and poorly funded medical facility on the waterfront close to where the river rolls it’s tribute of chemicals, fertilisers, PET bottles and dead dogs into the open sea. Twenty-five years ago a young octopus polyp was inadvertently sucked into the hospital’s cooling system. Against the odds it survived, feeding on biological waste, cafeteria remnants and bathing in the drug-residue soaked waters of the hospital drains – a lifestyle that caused it to change, developing super-human intelligence and a photographic memory…

Today the Octopus lurks in the hospital’s walls, pipes and air conditioning system. After a quarter century of observation (not to mention late night study in the medical library) it is a better diagnostician and surgeon than most of the hospital’s poorly paid staff. In the early hours it sneaks unseen from it’s bolt holes and performs life saving procedures on misdiagnosed patients, earning the hospital an increasing reputation for ‘miracle’ cures.

Posed against the Octopus is the dastardly Chief of Medicine, Doctor Jeffrey Fairchild. More than happy to pose for the press with the latest miracle recovery, he desperately searches the Hospital for the phantom that cures the patients he would rather let die. For Doctor Fairchild is embezzling the Hospital’s funding into his own personal accounts and every cure draws more attention, endangering his nefarious schemes…

So yeah, that’s my crazy idea. A medical octopus and an embezzling doctor. Surely that’d sell comics! 😀

A Poor Attempt at Mimicry

An attempt at channelling the style and spirit of Warren Ellis

In reference to this monstrosity

Fabes: I am surprised they could afford the materials for this project, after getting ripped off $15/month for playing WoW to begin with….

Me: Well it looks like they’re university students so their government is probably paying them all sorts of grants to get up late, play Warcraft into the early hours of the morning then occasionally stumble into class where their lecturer asks “What are you doing for your big design project?” and they mutter out “… uh.. design… project… raid… caverns of num-yabisc… Warcraft….” and they then have no choice but to build some crappy hut with $12.50 worth of plywood claiming that the shitty design and finishing is so it resembles structures in the game and isn’t because they had zero time to work on it between carrying out mass raids and shovelling microwaved mac and cheese into their drooping maws while ogling at 3D models of elf maidens in armour so skimpy that it wouldn’t stop a mosquito let alone the axe of an orc on wolfback who probably carries mosquitoes with him anyway as a consequence of bad hygiene and all the blood he wears as war paint the bastard.

(This is an attempt at sounding like Warren Ellis. If he ever finds out about it he may well hunt me down and kill me 🙂

(Oh, and the guys who built the thing obviously put a great deal of thought and effort into it – I’m just being evil for humourous effect)

The Ghost Who Lurks

Wheelchair bound freaks!

I am by nature a lurker. Rather than being involved with things I prefer to stand on the fringes looking in. If I won the lottery (not likely since I never buy a ticket) and decided to hire a nightclub to throw a big party for all my friends (well what would you do if you won the lottery then?), I’d spend most of it sitting in the office keeping half an eye on things through the security cameras. Like I said, a lurker.

The reason I mention this is because it explains my attitude to forums. I keep an eye on quite a few forums, but I am not a member of any of them. I just drop in and check the threads, often on a daily basis. And 90% of the time that’s fine. I feel no social impulse to jump in and take part and feel in no way deprived, isolated or left out.

Occasionally however I come across a thread where I’d actually have something to contribute. An idea, or a comment, or some experience relevant to the subject being discussed. It’s times like this that I wish I was a member of the board – not enough to actually sign up – but enough to be mildly irritated at my inability to contribute.

So, what better to do than ‘contribute’ through my blog? Sure, the people on the boards may never see it, and probably wouldn’t care if they did (apart from wondering who this anti-social weirdo is) but at least it gets the ideas out of my head.

So that’s what I’m going to do here.

The board in question is Whitechapel, one of the domains of Warren Ellis (King of the Internet), and the thread is the latest “Remake/Remodel” challenge. Rather than go to the trouble of explaining what this is, I’ll be lazy and let Warren explain it…

So, every week or two, I set all the artists at my message board a challenge called REMAKE/REMODEL. I pick a character — usually some ancient pulp character from the claggy depths of the public domain — and tell the artists to reinterpret said character from a modern perspective.

This week he selected a certain Ivan Brodsky (Note: At least one of the remodels is seriously not safe for work, or anyone of a sensitive disposition. You have been warned).

Now, I’m no artist. I can – if I try very hard – draw something that probably wouldn’t be laughed out of town, but it certainly wouldn’t be applauded either. But I have a very good idea of what I’d try to draw if I could draw, and if I was a member of Whitechapel, and will describe it here in a ‘pen portrait’.

(Yes, I realise Warren specifically outlaws pen portraits and hence would be likely to set his eels on me if I tried this kind of crap in his thread. But this isn’t his thread, it’s a blog post aimed in the general direction of his thread, so I think I can claim a certain amount of immunity. I hope. Get the iron trousers Marion! 🙂

So imagine if you will, a wizened figure in an electric wheelchair. His withered body is strapped in and his oversize head is held up with braces. The left side of his body and face are scarred and burnt, and his left arm hangs limply. His right arm grasps the joystick that drives his mechanical conveyance. Hung around his neck are the sacred insignia of a multiple faiths. A crucifix, a hand of Fatima, a seal of David, a Khanda and a dozen others.

Various metal rods and wires stick out of the left side of his bald head which is heavily scarred. His left eye is clearly artificial, a bulging, oversize globe painted with a spiraling, hypnotic pattern. His remaining eye has a piercing, penetrating quality with more than a suggestion of madness…

Dr Ivan Brodsky was a brilliant, if amoral brain surgeon who was the only survivor of an operating theatre explosion. Flying surgical instruments severed his spine and were driven deep into his brain, altering his neural pathways to let him perceive things men were not meant to see! His patented hypno-eye(tm) was a later innovation to enhance his hypnotic abilities.

Eat your heart out Stan Lee! 😀

So yeah. The pine nut curse has dissipated (for now), I’m busy cataloging and sorting the photos of my UK trip back in 2004 and uploading them to Flickr and I saw Watchmen yesterday which I quite enjoyed despite leaving my glasses at home and hence having to watch the entire film through my sunglasses. Apart from that it’s business as usual at the Wyrmcave. Boring, awful normal ;D

That is all.

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!)

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