Archive for July, 2009

Double take

Friday, July 31st, 2009

What is it with all these (well all two) album covers getting swapped just before the release date?

Frankmusik’s LP has been postponed again and again until he had a hit single to promote it (but who buys singles these days? It’s a great album) and is finally due next week but the original cover, which fits the style of the singles’ artwork, has been ditched in favour of what looks like an A Level graphics project:
V V Brown was originally marketed as a little bit wacky, a little bit nothing like the Monster Mash honest and a little bit brightly coloured until the record label released the song that sounds nothing like the other ones, got it playlisted on Radio 2 and lo and behold: new sophisticated (and glowy) artwork!

More of the same Part 2 (but no Torchwood spoilers)

Monday, July 27th, 2009

Item! Bleeding obvious from the picture but this is Miles Fisher:
My friend Ben Baker (comedy and pop pimp extraordinaire) pointed him out to me and I must say oh yes rather good etc etc even if the song I like best from his free to donwnload from his website EP is a cover. It has a very good video too.

With boobs.

Item! The Angel comic may well be redeemed with the news that one of my favourite comics people aka Bill ‘Fables’ Willingham is taking over the writing.
“The last thing we’ve found out is that Angel is now known in LA as a vampire and he’s famous. So we’ll see what happens when you’re a hero who’s suddenly so famous that, wherever he goes a crowd develops because he’s famous, but then they start getting panicky because, doesn’t he fight demons wherever he goes?”
That Drusilla Vampiric Look is out soon too, as part of the ongoing series. Co-written by the woman also known as Juliet Landau.

Item! Variety article makes me go “ooh”: Watchmen producer Lloyd Levin has acquired screen rights to Echo, a comicbook series by Terry Moore. Deal was six figures. Echo tells the story of a photographer who is preoccupied with her personal problems until she gets doused by liquid metal from a military experiment gone awry. She discovers she can now harness the power of a nuclear bomb, and soon the military wants its walking weapon.

Terry Moore is bloody great and also created this…
…which should really have been an HBO series by now.

Item! I love a bit of literary culture, what with working in publishing and shit:
Phwoar. I do love a nice natural pretty well-mannered lady writer…

… I believe this is far more accurate.

Item! Codshit ‘Journalism’ Award of the week goes to the Daily Mail again:
Harry Potter boy in exclusive “revealing of big secret” to gaymosexual mag? What could it be? Surely not…?

Nah. It’s this shocker: “I rather like Nick Clegg. At the next election I will almost certainly vote Lib Dem. If all the people who liked them voted for them you could change politics overnight and we could have a proper three party system.”


More of the same (with Torchwood spoilers for slow folks)

Saturday, July 25th, 2009

It’s time for mega Nerd Nonsense Comicon-related uber-geeky excitement round-up time!

This blog is sponsored by Jan Hankl’s Patented Flank Pat System:

Item! The Prisoner remake is ready and looks good to these eyes. It’s not spooky swirly 60s marvellous nonsense in Wales but for what it is it is good.

Item! The trailer for Dexter series 4? Oh yes!

New book on its way soon too, in that whole Earth 2 Dexterverse way.

Item! Russell T Davies has been talking about the (over) reaction to certain things what did happen in that Torchwood thing off the telly. No, not the whole giving the 10% least academic children to a freaky three-headed projectile-vomiting alien but the fourth killing off of a member of the team from the first episode:

It’s not particularly a backlash. What’s actually happening is, well, nothing really to be honest. It’s a few people posting online and getting fans upset. Which is marvelous. It just goes to prove how much they love the character and the actor. People often say, ‘Fans have got their knives out!’ They haven’t got any knives. I haven’t been stabbed. Nothing’s happened. It’s simply a few people typing. I’m glad they’re typing because they’re that involved. But if you can’t handle drama you shouldn’t watch it. Find something else. Go look at poetry. Poetry’s wonderful.

On accustations of homophobia (yeah, really):

I think you can forget about people picking up gay rights as an issue. It’s rather like children picking up nursery blocks and waving them in the air but having no idea what it entails. We’re talking about issues in my entire life here, not just one small television program. If they did research they’d go and look at the history of gay and lesbian characters that I have put on screen. They should simply grow up, do some research, and stop riding on a bandwagon that they actually don’t know anything about.

That told ‘em, Uncle Russ!
I prefer tea
Oh… stop it.

Item! How will the delicate little Torchwood fans (do they have a group name?) cope with Caprica? Probably not well. Big Cheese Jane Espenson (remember her?) let some cats out of bags about the forthcoming Battlestar Galactica prequel:
Caprica is set in the colonies 58 years before the events that launch the BSG series (the Cylon attack). It’s the story of the events leading to the creation of the first Cylon (not the first skinjob), and the events that follow. It’s not like BSG in that it’s not a war story. It’s more serialized, with stories based in the lives of characters living in a culture that driving itself toward its own destruction.
We’ve got organized crime and religious conflict and terrorism and show business and corporate misdeeds and robots. The tone is not unlike Mad Men or Rome or Sopranos — lots of events, often dark events, but with a light enough touch to allow all the irony and denial of real life. We concentrate on two families: The Graystones and the Adamas, and the people around them.

Hmm… I do believe I might well be watching that. More nerdy shit tomorrow as my limp wrists cannot take any more typing today.

Mr Bean in his time machine?

Monday, July 20th, 2009

Old news now but thought I should make a point of going on about the big Doctor Who visual news (minus the bloody big spoiler of you-might-not-want-to-know-who) …

It’s a bit like the black and white era outfits: Bow tie and braces is better than question mark lapels, garish coat, cricketing oufit, cat badge, question mark tank top, spats, question mark umbrella (eh?) …

“The windows are all wrong.” Any time now…

Amy Pond
Introducing Miss Amy Pond!

Here is the (BBC) News!

No gay spartans to see here

Sunday, July 19th, 2009

It’s comic waffle day!

The Angel comic (set after the TV series and with bits of plotting imput from That Man Whedon) is never quite as good as the comics version of the show which spawned it but after recent issues being quite frankly poor the old creative team is back to move the characters on to the next phase so it deserves a mention:
Angel 23
Almost as good as the Buffy Season 8 comic:
Buffy 26 Buffy 26
Still loving every issue of this. May it never end… please?

The rather excellent Batwoman series debuted in Detective Comics with top notch writing and beautiful art and the world didn’t end due to Kate Kane liking ladies…
It’s a wiiiig!
Damnit. Can nobody have a successful lovelife if they also wear a cape?

Also in the Batty world we have part 2 of Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely’s Batman and Robin comic with the new dynamic duo being a bit different to their predecessors:
Batman and Robin 2
Bloody weird comic full of fighty circus freaks. So just what you’d expect.

The first part of James ‘Starman’ Robinson’s Justice League series finally arrived and it features one of my favourite Starmen but they waste no time in giving him a massive trauma of the relationship kind as his motivation. It’s like Torchwood all over again!
Justice LEague

It’s been a gay old month in The Comics what with X-Factor having the return of Shatterstar and a resolution of the long hinted at matter of his relationship with that Rictor bloke, as seen in the scene where some brainwashing gets undone and this happens as oon as he is himself:
X-Factor 45
Shocking! And not just because he is dressed sensibly and the ridiculous plaits and enormous phallic swords are no more (he still has a normal sword though).

1990′s inexplicable uber-famous ‘artist’ and Shatterstar creator Rob Liefeld took time out from not drawing feet, indulging his gritted teeth fetish, illustrating women as gigantic-bazooked creatures with ankles so thin that the weight of their cleavage alone would make them topple over (kind of like a less orange but super-powered Katie “Don’t call me Jordan… oh alright then” Price) to say “I have nothing against gays, I have gay family, nuthin’ but love here. Ditto gay characters if that’s what their true origins are. As the guy that created, designed and wrote his first dozen appearances, Shatterstar is not gay. Sorry. Can’t wait to someday undo this. Seems totally contrived… Shatterstar is akin to Maximus in Gladiator. He’s a warrior, a Spartan, and not a gay one.”

Hmm… let’s no go into the whole Gay Spartans territory right now. Liefeld could have also had issues with the developments in the other characters he created for Marvel as they too were just shouty fighty teeth-gritting cliches when he was in charge of them. Maybe he did but that wasn’t big news like a Oh-My-God-Super-Dudes-Kissing!

X-Factor has been the most consistently well written of all the Marvel mutant titles (and most other titles come to think of it) and is soon to reach its 50th issue. Writer Peter David put his opinion on the ‘shocking’ developments when asked:

“As for their relationship, I really had three options: 1) I could continue to play coy. 2) I could contradict it. 3) Or I could build on it. In light of such anti-gay activities as Prop 8, option 1 seemed kind of insulting and out-of-touch. Option 2 seemed gutless (what, was I so weirded out by the notion that I would feel the need to toss out what previous writers had done?). On that basis alone, option 3 seemed the way to go.”

“Rictor is still the moody former mutant who believes he’s useless and yet keeps happening to save the day; Shatterstar is still a badass warrior. If we don’t spend every issue dwelling on the sex life of the straight characters, I’m not sure why anyone thinks we’d feel the need to do so with characters that are gay or, for that matter, bi.”

So there. Nothing to see here, move on, get a girlfriend, etc. Or a boyfriend.

The blog that says Boo to Mad Mel’s Hooray

Monday, July 13th, 2009

Over a week since my last blog? Really? Oh well. So what’s been going on?

We went to Bath and Bristol where we proved Jamie’s point that children are little morons (in the nicest possible way, no offence meant to any children not reading this) but say excellently inappropriate things, I had the world’s largest brie and cranberry sandwich, experienced a dry-up in conversation skills when placed among ‘normal’ people and had the usual hotel bad sleep. Bristol had been modernised but this consisted of demolishing a chunk of the old high street and building an uber-posh zone full of designer clothes shops. Perfect for the current financial climate I am sure. But seriously, I am reminded of my limitations when I have a non-geek environment to socialise in. Schools? No. Children? No. IT? No. Running? No. Chickens? No. I managed to score points by explaining Twitter (as usual) to housewives and the subject of plants that are good for non-planty people to own.

Talking of cacti…
Saturday’s episode of Transmission Impossible was just wonderful. The most consistently funny thing on tv right now, with yer actual Laugh Out Louds.

Other highlights this week include an ‘on a brief errand’ stupid woman parking her enormous 4×4 right on the junction that we had to pull out of so she got the usual beeping. Cue said woman rushing towards my window to shout “I’VE GOT CHILDREN IN IT!” which confused me further. Does having children mean that they can only be transported in an oversized off-roader and are allowed special parking privileges? And don’t get me started on those reserved spaces in multi-story car parks for people with children. They’re small humans not cripples.

Christmas list idea:
Dex toy
A Dextor doll? Hmmm…

While a bit pissed and channel-hopping I had the misfortune to see a bit of Alan Carr: Chattyman. Is it just my mind working overtime (like Diana Ross in the late 80′s ) or is this title a ‘hilarious’ play on words with that popular phrase ‘Battyman’? If so, someone deserves to lose their job.

Great new album: VV Brown’s Travelling Like The Light.
Might be great new album but not come in the post yet: Dan Black’s album.

My comedy writer hero Paul Feig wrote a good piece about comedy scriptwriting in The Guardian:
“For me, the worst sort of comedies are the ones where the writers or the actors seem to be looking down on the characters. There are so many comedies that portray people living in the suburbs as living ridiculous or hypocritical lives. But I grew up in the suburbs of Michigan in midwest America and tend to think that everyone is just trying to get through life as best they can. You don’t have to sneer or poke fun at them to get a laugh. Most laughter comes from people seeming real and giving the audience recognition. Freaks And Geeks was a reflection of what it was really like growing up in a suburban environment. It was partly a response to all of those 80s teen movies where the characters didn’t really talk or act like real teenagers.”

I think the Torchwood!Panic! is over now. Nobody burned Russell T Davies’ house down, the world didn’t end, lots of silly people set up silly groups on Facebook, made badges, probably wore black armbands and wrote a whole load of crap on Twitter, sometimes to the lovely James Moran who was one of the writers. His blog about this is pretty good.

Rather than focusing on perceved homophobia from the likes of Russell T Davies the screaming fangirls could have done worse than get all uppity about Melanie Phillips and her continued move from the Silly Old Bag into Evil Nutjob category:
Well that headline sure didn’t pull any punches did it? So far so charmless shrew…

The problem, however, is that (Cameron’s) intention to repair the family is undermined by his support for gay rights.

Gays and families? Like oil and water!

The far more serious point, however, is that the gay rights agenda undermines marriage.

So oil and water has gays and family and marriage now? Nice. And my almost-the-same-as-marriage undermines our heterosexual friends’ marriage because…?

The Tories insist that this is not so and that the two sit happily together. Promoting gay rights, they say, is merely about ending intolerance. It is irrelevant to family breakdown, which is a heterosexual problem.

Which is true, if you believe that sort of thing.

Undoubtedly, the overwhelming reason is the collapse of constraints on heterosexual behaviour. But it is surely wrong to deny any connection.

It is? Do tell!

The key point is the difference between homosexuals as individuals and the ‘gay rights’ lobby.
A liberal society should be tolerant of gay people. It is good that social attitudes are now far more relaxed. People’s sexuality should be an entirely private matter and should not be the cause of prejudice or, worse still, aggression towards homosexuals.

Gee, thanks.

But is the gay rights agenda really about tolerance, or is it about trying to stop heterosexuality being the behavioural norm?

I think it’s about equality but I’ve got a bad feeling about this…

Because it entails treating gay relationships as identical to heterosexual ones in every respect, any differences – over marriage or adoption, for example – are damned as discrimination and bigotry. As a result, what started as a decent intention to eradicate intolerance has turned into intolerance as morality has been stood on its head. Thus opposing gay adoption on the grounds that children need a replica mother and father is denounced as ‘homophobic’.

Uh-oh. I bet she brings up the mythical “lifestyle choice” soon…

Gay rights activists claim that ‘lifestyle choice’ means gay relationships should be treated identically to heterosexual ones. But the core reason for family breakdown is precisely the view that marriage is merely a ‘ relationship’ for people to choose or not from a menu of alternative lifestyles. However, marriage is not a ‘relationship’ but a unique institution for safeguarding the upbringing of children.

It is? Well I am sure my childless married friends will be pleased to hear that.

I had to comment. I know I shouldn’t but sometimes I am too incensed not to:
mel shite
86 thumbs up? I think we might have had a breakthrough.

I am not Heather Small

Saturday, July 4th, 2009

To celebrate Gay Considering It Merely One Facet Of My Personality day in London I present a round-up of The Gay Problem courtesy of the last week of Daily Mail news. They’re the reason you nearly got knocked down by an angry man dressed in a Wonder Woman costume on roller skates and dontchoo go forgettin’ it…

Exhibit A:
Yes folks, that grotty child-snatcher and her befuddled lipsynching babysitter could make your middle class daughters go lezzy. But only if they are middle class because that’s the setting on the lesbian kiss ray they use. Phew. Middle class middle class middle middle middle class, er…

Olivia and Lara had their first kiss at their friend Clara’s 15th birthday party. That is, they first kissed each other then. They’d both kissed boys before, and they will do so again, because neither girl considers herself a lesbian. But after a couple of drinks, they thought it would be fun to see how it felt to kiss each other. Both girls come from smart homes with professional parents, are well-spoken and attend a well-respected Inner London day school.


So while there is a generation of young female celebrities trying to shock us (or garner media attention) by sending a message that girls can like girls, and then boys, and then girls again, what’s really disturbing is that this trend is being emulated by many of today’s teenagers… *sniiip!*

Exhibit B:
David Cameron has issued an extraordinary apology on behalf of the Conservative Party for legislation banning the promotion of homosexuality in schools. He said the party had ‘got it wrong’ when it introduced Section 28 in the late 1980s.

Bloody hell, opposition party in Wanting Votes shocker! I wonder how this will do down with the Maily Wailers?

The Conservatives just lost my vote. Pandering to any special interest group is no way to lead a country.
- John, St Albans, 2/7/2009 1:26 Rating 439

Just for that? How very …er… fucking pathetic.

Sorry Mr Cameron you are wrong, Gay or homosexuality should not be promoted in schools.
- hjarta, falkirk stirlingshire, 2/7/2009 1:09 Rating 983

Neither Gay or homosexuality? What about basic poovery?

School children whilst growing do not require the burden of further ‘gender alignment’ by gay rights groups. By all means spread your ‘word’, but certainly not in the classroom, in this predominant heterosexual and Christian Society.
- shergars ghost, London UK, 2/7/2009 0:24 Rating 363

Cue the stock images folder being raided again when searching for a photo to illustrate civil partnerships:
That looks just like the one I had!

Exhibit C:
Mand’s got her kickers in a twist again and her usual format of ‘Attack, “I’m nice, me” , “I got poofy mates” , Illogical conclusion’ is becoming extremely tiresome:

Attack: Judging by the behaviour of Gordon Brown and David Cameron this week, I wonder if the pair of them believe that Sacha Baron Cohen’s gloriously camp new comedy ‘Bruno’ is a serious factual documentary. How else to explain their unedifying efforts to outdo each other in courting the pink vote?
First it was Cameron, hosting a high-profile reception for gay and lesbian Tory candidates on Tuesday night, at which he formally – and gratuitously – apologised for Section 28 – the legislation introduced by Margaret Thatcher’s regime to ban the promotion of homosexuality in schools. Not to be outdone, Gordon Brown was soon signalling his support for the Gay Pride march by telling campaigners that ‘you can’t legislate love’ and boasting about the Labour Party’s gayfriendly policies. His wife is even expected to join the Gay Pride parade today

“I’m nice, me”: Now let me be unequivocal I believe in a fair and tolerant society in which everyone – regardless of their sexuality – is treated with dignity and equality.

“I got poofy mates”: I have always supported acceptance of different lifestyles and, as regular readers may recall, I am fortunate enough to count among my closest friends a good number of gay men whom I love almost as brothers.

Illogical conclusion: Besides, what does it say about our leaders’ priorities when they’re so desperate to flaunt their gay credentials, yet have so little to say to the 16.5million hard-working middle-England families worst hit by this Government’s criminal mismanagement of the economy.

Meh. She also had this other little piece in the same column:

Dawn’s porky pies
I’m a huge fan of Dawn French, but have often wondered how she can live with herself being so obese. Yesterday, she gave us an answer. She says she has ‘body blindness’, a condition that stops her from seeing herself as she truly is. Nothing to do with eating armfuls of Terry’s Chocolate Orange, then.


I think my sarcasm about Dawn’s size confused the commenters who vehemently disagreed with the previous commenter about gay people being members of families. I of course was made in a laboratory like all of the gaylord species. Also of note: the moderators edited my comment… comment is not free on some newspaper sites.

Happy Pride if that’s your kind of thing. My Pride is to get on with my life as honestly as possible and bore the homophobes into submission with our happy gay married life(style) and “I’m as normal as anyone” flippancy.

Box of delights…

Friday, July 3rd, 2009

Good stuff on the telly Torrents:
Nurse Jackie
I caught up with Nurse Jackie (a telly show in America, not my mum) recently and it’s not bad. Another show from Showtime which is home to those other things that are not on HBO so you know what to expect: A bit Dark, a bit Moral Grey Areas, a bit Odd Lead Character and probably a gay somewhere. It’s ER on too many drugs, if you want a lazy phrase. I shall be watching more of it, along with the return of Weeds, which it is the cousin of in wanky TV terms.

Virtuality was rather good but Fox decided not to grant it a series so they stuck the pilot on as a Kind Of Movie But Not event with an unresolved cliffhanger, the tools. From some of the boffins behind “Best Thing On TV Ever” Battlestar Galactica, it was weird and wonderful and not just because the baddie was a McPoyle. Like that film Sunshine but with a really advanced personal Holodeck programme, a big mystery, a Big Stakes Mission, some English actors, a gay couple in a sci-fi thing shocker and that chick from Carnivale and Heroes… I would have liked to see more. Oh well.

Not such good stuff on the real telly soon (via The Custard website):

Fearne And… ITV2 – Four-part series in which Fearne Cotton spends two weeks with celebrities including Paris Hilton, Alesha Dixon and Peaches Geldof.

David Hasselhoff in Britain LivingTV – Six-part series in which the US actor stays with Radio 1 DJ Scott Mills and experiences life in the UK.

Restaurant In Your Home BBC2 – Series in which professional home-restaurateurs Mike and Tina Pemberton train other couples up to launch restaurants in their own homes.

Anonymous ITV1 – Comedy show presented by Stephen Mulhern in which celebrities wear prosthetic disguises to carry out pranks on members of the public.

Dancing On Wheels BBC3 – Six-parts series in which celebrities Kevin Sacre, Martin Offiah, Caroline Flack, Heather Small, Mark Foster and Michelle Gayle dance with wheelchair users.

Blind Justice FX – Drama series starring Ron Eldard as blind Detective Jim Dunbar. With Marisol Nichols, Rena Sofer, Reno Wilson and Frank Grillo

Banged To Wrights Sky1 – Six-part series in which former footballer Ian Wright coaches young offenders.

*Dan smashes up the telly*