Friday 25 September 2009

I once

wrote a comics script.

Actually, that's not strictly true.

Once upon a time, in my callow youth, I both wrote and drew a number of comics, few of which I ever finished. They ranged from 'zany' comedy comics with titles like Invasion of the Killer Lampposts to supposedly more realistic stories about, er, alien invasions and Monty Python-style weights falling from the upper atmosphere onto my family's terraced suburban home (don't ask). A couple of them even saw print, after a fashion: the first part of a series called Invasion (I think) appeared in a friend of mine's horror fanzine when I was maybe sixteen; and for a time at college in Manchester I had a regular strip called Nothing Man running in the polytechnic magazine, Pulp. It was, I believe, universally loathed. Christ knows why they continued to run it. Presumably they couldn't think of anything else to fill the space with.

And then I stopped making comics. I carried on writing, but as a music journalist, not a writer of fiction. Later I moved into editorial, and that's where I've been ever since, editing genre magazines, and then books. A few years ago, however, my friend Martin was looking for contributors for an anthology issue of his superhero soap opera The O Men, and foolishly agreed to let me write a short strip for it. As it turned out the anthology never saw print, but I've just noticed Mart has put the script online.

And here it is.

Incidentally, little of my writing about music or genre stuff can be found online; I was freelancing before the internet became what it is today. There is one feature I wrote for Mixmag that's lurking online though, and it's also one of my better ones, on a subject that sent me off on a thrilling tangent in my life and which changed the way I thought about all sorts of things. Here it is.

Thursday 24 September 2009

I've got a brand new combine harvester,

and I'll give you the key.

I don't know why The Wurzels were in my head just then, but they were, fleetingly, and they made me think of Chas & Dave for some reason. Who, shockingly, have split up. So now they're just Chas and Dave. No ampersand. Just two entirely separate blokes, one called Chas, one called Dave.


In other news, a number of Marvel comics didn't get distributed in the UK this week, including New Avengers and Uncanny X-Men, which I've been collecting up to this point. Time was this would be cause for much concern, even consternation, on my part, but in fact I barely raised an eyebrow when I read about it, and it's given me an excuse to not buy Uncanny whenever it eventually makes an appearance (I'll still get New Avengers, mind). So thank you, Diamond Comic Distributors. You've saved me a bit of money there.


So, as this week nears its end, two things to look forward to next week. On Monday FlashForward starts on Five (formerly Channel 5). Looks kind of interesting. And of course we have the Labour Party conference. Will there be another attempt on Gordon Brown's leadership? Exciting stuff.

Wednesday 23 September 2009


the Marvel and DC solicits are up. The Marvel listings talk about a big Hulk event for next year. The DC listings talk about a big Superman event for next year. I'm starting to doubt whether I'll even be reading comics next year.