Thursday, 31 December 2009

Review of the Year: Fairy Tail

THANK GOODNESS! This is the last part of my review of things I've enjoyed in 2009...and it's a Manga series! Yeah! In your face!

Fairy Tail is a weekly series about a guild of mgaicians that have big hearts...but they always seem to blow stuff up. Oh dear. The characters are all interesting and a lot of the power sets are inspired. I especially like Ezra and her ability to CHANGE OUTFITS REALLY QUICKLY!!! Also, it deserves high praise for finding inventive ways for the female characters to be sexy.

It's a pretty fun read and the artwork is impressive. I don't really know how it gets turned around so quickly. How depressing. Also - I totally used the JLS colour scheme for the picture. I hope JLS won't mind.

EDIT: I should write a thing abour Rose Elinor Dougall and her song 'Another Version of Pop Song.' I drew a picture of her because the song is amazing...but my picture wasn't. In fact, it's so bad I can't even post it here. Still - an amazing song. Good job Rose!

Review of the Year: Lady Gaga

I think this is my penultimate portion of the Review of the Year. Hooray! Double hooray because it's about the creepy-cat-lady-gone-cool - Lady Gaga.

I appreciaite that some people love her and her some people hate her. I started off on the latter side...but then she released a seven minute long video where the c-word gets subtitled. Great! As if that wasn't enough, she then gets pushed off a balcony and returns doing a dance in a wheelchair and then on crutches. AND THEN she kills her boyfriend whilst dressed as Minnie Mouse.

Obviously the song (Paparazzi) is amazing too and since then, my powerful dislike of Lady Gaga disappeared - to be replaced by a sense of "goodness me - that Lady Gaga is quite something!"

A few months ago, she released The Fame Monster as a bonus disk with her debut album...and it was pretty much incredible. I was expecting a bunch of crappy remixes but it's pretty much just full of potential singles.

I have no idea how Lady Gaga will evolve in the future but I'm excited to see what she makes of herself. Anyone that can wear a polar bear cape / exploding bra / metal gyroscope thing and not look stupid is clearly someone to keep an eye on.

EDIT: I forgot to say that the attached comic is obviously about the rumours that Lady Gaga has man-parts. I don't know whether she does or not - but I have complete confidence that she could make it work.

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Review of the Year: Toronto

Quick! The year is almost over and I've still got stuff to put into the Review of the Year.

In May, I went to Toronto! This was a big deal for so many reasons - the chief one being that I hadn't left the country since my trip to California...whichw as about five years previous!

I spent about ten days (I think) adventuring around the city and it was pretty incredible. I mean, it wasn't the freind-fest I thought it would be - no one stopped me on the street and demanded we become BFF (which is how I thought things in Canada would work) but I was there with someone brilliant and we did pretty much everything I wanted to.

This included all the touristy stuff - the CN Tower, Niagara Falls, Casa Loma etc... but we also did some unexpected stuff. Toronto Islands on a sunner afternoon was pretty much magical. Fran's Diner has set the standard of pancakes so high that little else will do. I got to visit a bunch of Scott Pilgrim places too - Honest Ed's, Sneaky Dee's, the Toronto Reference Library. They are real and they exist and you can visit them.

I guess I should probably go on other holidays. It might not be as amazing as Toronto - but that's ok.

EDIT: I'm pretty sure I would have had a much less awesome time in Toronto if my friend wasn't there - so I'm thankful for his company. I don't think I can say thanks to him enough - so I'm sure saying it again won't hurt. Thanks! Thank you! Thanks!

Review of the Year: Piney Gir and The Yearling

I got my days muddled up so I might have to post a lot more if I want to get my Review of the Year up before 2010 comes along. Urnk.

I don't think I've made much of a secret about how awesome I think Ms. Piney Gir is. Not only is she one of the nicest (and well-dressed) people I've ever met but the music she makes is pretty much brilliant. Scrap that - it is brilliant.

2009 in particular is good proof of this as Piney released her third album 'The Yearling.' It's not the electronic popfest of her first album and it's a far cry from the country stomp of her second...but its organic-sounding electronics and spot on lyrics helped make it one of the best albums I've listened to all year. If you haven't already heard it then buy it. Like, now.

Have you bought it yet?

Piney has a website and a Myspace too!

EDIT: A long time ago, I made a comic about Piney Gir going to housesit a spooky house and finding some ghosts. I will find the files and get some small ones printed. That would be nice.

Review of the Year: True Blood (and Jedward)

 Back in my school days, I spent a lot of time in the library reading books. Not just any books though - oh no - I'm talking about those types of books that you read during your early teenage years that stay with you forever. In my case, these books were mostly written by David Eddings or Diana Wynne Jones.

That's right - I was a sucker for magical fantasy books about young teenagers overcoming all sorts of odds with the help of their newly discovered magical abilities. That alone tells you how much of a loser I am.

Yeah. I still love those books and I really miss being so invested in a group of characters that I have to read every book as soon as I possibly can - whether that's two epic tales (five books each!) about Garion and his gang or the loosely-connected goings on at Chrestomanci Castle. What really fuelled my passion for these books was that I already had a large back catalogue to work through - I don't think I have the patience to wait around for books to be released / held back because the publisher wants a 'Summer release' or something.

Anyways! So for some unknown reason (it might have been on sale?) I picked up the first book in the Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris. I refer to the books as True Blood since that's the name of the television show - and also because it makes the whole thing sound sassy. I wasn't impressed with Twilight so I didn't start reading Ms. Harris' work because of the vampire-angle. I just bought it. Get over it. Not only did I read it - but I actually really enjoyed it. So much so that I made two further trips to the same shop and got the rest of the books. I think there's about eight or nine at the moment? I read them all quickly - aided by the fact that they require little / no actual thought and because they are jolly good fun.

Seriously. Stop looking at me like that. They are really really fun. It doesn't take itself too seriously. People keep dropping like flies - to be replaced by other characters that rarely last long. There is character development, sort of. Sure, it gets a bit Mills and Boon when things get steamy - but that just makes me love it more.

The television show is the complete opposite. I really wanted to like it...but just couldn't. I don't know why and it makes me sad. Boo hoo. Whatever, don't watch it. Just read the books. There will be a new one out soon.

EDIT: I forgot to say why Jedward and Peaches Geldof are there. Jedward loomed large across the tail-end of 2009. They were all sorts of wrong but were perfect for fitting the bill of 'people who wouldn't bother a telepath with their thoughts.' Peaches Geldof happened to be on the television as I was drawing and she came across so badly that I wanted to include her too. Her and Jedward would make a cute couple.

And by 'cute,' I mean 'utterly vile.'

Monday, 28 December 2009

Review of the Year: iPhone

I've always been a bit of a mobile phone cynic. I was always on Pay As You Go and my phone was always brilliantly out of date. This all changed in April, when I decided that I needed a 'grown up phone' if I was ever going to get things done.

Enter: the iPhone

Before you jump to any conclusions about me being a massive twat, I should point out that I did all sorts of research into Fancy Phones. I spoke to people. I read reviews. I made cost projection graphs! In the end it was Mister iPhone that came out on top and I can confidently say that it was pretty much changed my life - although not always in a good way.

  • I can check my email on the go. No more having to turn on the computer and wait for it to load whenever I have the urge to look at my empty inbox
  • The maps function has proven to be a life saver on multiple occassions
  • The Apps Store is amazing. I can access all sorts of nonsense whenever I want - first aid advice, Twitter, an ocarina! It's all there...
  • My monthly spend hasn't gone up hideously from my PAYG days

  • I'm pretty much *always* checking my email now - which would be great if I actually had lots of emails to read...but I don't
  • The camera is rubbish
  • The battery life is even worse
  • I'm terribly paranoid about losing it
  • It hasn't made my eyesight any better.

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Review of the Year: The Good Natured

So... 2009 is pretty much over and I've decided to write about some of the noteworthy things I've really liked about the last twelve months.

Today, it's The Good Natured - a depressingly young lady who makes music which is sort of electronic pop that got into a fight with a mild-mannered strop...or something.

'Rose,' in particular is on constant rotation on my playlists. Annoyingly, I can't find it on YouTube or Spotify or Myspace  so you'll just have to take my word for it. It's a lot less electronic than her current stuff but no less the worse for it.

You can keep up to date with The Good Natured on Myspace and you can buy her two EPs from all the usual places.

I really need to dust of my old Casiotone and get back into music making...except I won't suck this time!

OH! Here is a YouTube clip of another song which I like. Shame it isn't a proper video or anything but still - good work!

Friday, 25 December 2009

Merry Christmas 2009!

Merry Christmas (GMT)!

I haven't felt festive at all - even with all the snow and the carols and the wrapping. I decided that making a Christmas thingy might help but it didn't really.

The original plan was a creepy comic about Toby trying to ask out Santa...but it got a bit gross so I went in the opposite direction in the end. Look! Toby eats a cake and doesn't cry! Surely this is ground-breaking for me?

Well - they do say that Christmas is a time for miracles...

So yeah - here's hoping that you have a great day and a brilliant 2010.


Sunday, 20 December 2009

Bad Date #4

So - I left my job and instead of going on adventures and being super productive, I have become a bit of a slob. I had this epiphany this morning when I got out of bed at 13:00 and ate two slices of Chocolate Orange for breakfast. Bear in mind that I normally got out of bed at 6:00 and eat healthy porridge.


On the plus side, I'm pretty sure I've won the yearly game of Christmas Shopping. My work friends got good stuff. My non-work friends got good stuff. My family will get good stuff. I even wrapped things nicely - all brown postal paper and stickers. So, I am pretty much free to spend the next few weeks working my arse off on People I Know #10.

I started work on the grid layouts a few days ago. It's the most compact comic I've made so far - there are more panels-per-page and everything. On the downside, if I want to get it done in time for March, I'll probably be blogging a lot less... Don't cry! Don't cry! We'll still have Murder, She Wrote!

IN OTHER NEWS: I ate pancakes today! I'm officially declaring it the first ever Pancake Club! Once a month, from here on, I'll eat pancakes somewhere with friends and it will be awesome. Maybe I'll make us membership cards or something?

Also, I need to start dressing like a grown up.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

So Long! Farewell!

Hahahahahahaha! This is a pretty weird update, eh? So, for the last two and a half years, I've been working somewhere. I've never liked writing about work on the blog but today was my last day before taking time out to work on some comics and things - so it seems appropriate to mark the occassion with a comic. I even sent this one round to people as part of my goodbye email.

This has been the first real job I've had and it's been full of all sorts of ups and downs - possibly too many to list. BUT! The best thing about my time here is meeting some of the nicest people ever. Seriously - there are people here who I am incredibly excited about knowing and I can't wait to see lots of them outside of a working context.

So yeah. Despite my best attempts, they got a card signed and got me cakes and decorated a room with my pictures and I got a little teary. I also sweated a lot and am a bit stinky. Oh dear. I hope this distracted from the teary eyes.

So, if I could write two letters right now they would read as follows:


Dear People Who Have Been Nice

I've really enjoyed spending time with you. Thanks for looking after me and I officially hope we can still be friends even if I'm in a different office.


Dear The Future
You scare me but I can't wait to meet you. Be nice to me, yeah?

Thanks for everything Nice People!

NOTE: I updated this from my desk at work. This was done as a mark of respect.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Generic Princess!


I'll do a proper, heartfelt update later in the week. Here is a picture of Generic Princess. She's what I imagine princesses would be like in fairytales - totally self-absorbed and with massive expectations. Here, for example, she only loves a nice man after he's gone out of his way to chop some dangerous monster to pieces. What a bitch...

Still, if I was a princess then I would probably expect people to cut up monsters for me.

As it is, I'm impressed if someone can remember my name.


Thursday, 10 December 2009


I have had a brilliant day! Instead of waking up at 6AM, I didn't get out of bed until 7:30AM!!! Then I went to the gym and started work on the script for the new comic. It's a tricky bitch to write - but I don't want to say why. Fingers crossed it turns out well... Then I wrote a poem for another mini comic. I didn't get to see a friend for lunch which was sad but I did get to see another friend and do some Christmas shopping. THEN WE ATE BURGERS!!! Now I'm at home and listening to songs from my teenage years. This includes, but isn't limited to:

  • Shackles (Praise You) by Mary Mary
  • Little Bit of Lovin' by Kele Le Roc
  • Misfit by Amy Studt
  • Are You Jimmy Ray? - Jimmy Ray

I am totally cool.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Christmas Cards 2009: UPDATE

LOOK! The Christmas Cards turned out pretty cute! They were officially my first attempt at Gocco Printing and I will totally try it again! It's a little confusing if you've never done anything like it before but I'm happy with the end result...

Trying to clean the screens afterwards is a bitch though.

Now I just need to work out who to send them too.

The Jonas Brothers!

Next up in my attempt to draw real people that look like real people - The Jonas Brothers! I don't know their names but I remember hearing their version of Poor Unfortunate Souls and feeling ill.

They're a big deal with lots of people and I'm pretty sure they all wear Promise Rings and what not. Whenever I hear people talking about rings, I pretty much always start thinking of Lord of the Rings - hence this picture.

I don't really know what else to say about the Jonas Brothers (JoBro?) except I hope they are nice to all their fans...

Susan Boyle!

Hello! I tried drawing real people that look like real people...mainly to celebrate posting my 150th blog post but also because I fancied it.

Here is Susan Boyle. I don't really like it as a drawing except for the composition which is a bit nice.

I don't really know what to make of SuBo. Her first album sold all sorts of massive numbers but you can't help but worry about her...

UPDATE: The drawing can't be very good because my Dad didn't know who it was meant to be. He didn't even comment on the lovely composition. Sadface.

Christmas Cards 2009

Check. It. Out. I'm totally going to try and screen print my Christmas cards this year! I've had a Gocco for a while now but I've been too scared/busy to give it a go. BUT NO MORE! I am going to try really hard to master it...and I will do this tomorrow. Here is the design I'll be trying it out on. I think it's pretty cute - although I need to work out a better colour scheme.

Christmas starts tomorrow, eh?

BONUS THOUGHT: If it gets a decent reaction then maybe I'll start selling it as a print or something?

Saturday, 5 December 2009


I made this for Howard's Christmas Advent Calender! You can't hate it too much since the first attempt at drawing a badger was so bad my eyes ate themselves...

EDIT: This is totally my 150th post on this blog! IN YOUR FACE!!!!

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Pukey puke puke!

I AM SO SLEEPY! I am totally going to bed. Right now. Nothing much happened today anyways...I'm going to another Panto tomorrow and today's social event was going to a quiz and talking to people about work. I tried hard but it was a little awkward. I bumped into some friends though so that was nice. Except one of them kept teasing me about the size of my bum...which was a bit upsetting. Ho hum.


Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Bad Date #3

My week of being social has been going well and weirdly. Went to Panto on Monday and watched an amazing rendition of Single Ladies. Tuesday was burger/milkshake with someone I used to work with who is great. Tonight was meant to be a night off before a gig tomorrow but I GOT IT WRONG and the gig was tonight and I missed it.

However! Thanks to YouTube, we can still pretend we went to the gig:

In other news - a pervert stole a pair of my underpants. I spent the afternoon walking aroud town to sort out my head. I went to the National Portrait Gallery and the National Gallery. I saw a super grim cast of a head made from blood. It made my stomach feel sick but my brain was trying to work out the logistics behind making something like that...

ANYWAYS! Here is another comic from the Bad Date series.