Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Pasties, caravans and Political sickness.

Today the government performed a climb down on the pasty and static caravan tax. It's now to be modified so that it doesn't piss people off as much. Great, well done, what the fuck ever.

Looking at the law you can see some of the botched ideas, ideas like trying to make supermarkets pay V.A.T on the cheap ready prepared meals so that they aren't hammering the chippies, but lets face it it could have been the best law in the world or the worst cluster-fuck and it wouldn't have changed how it was responded to or reported. People I'd like to brake some news to you and the wider world, step closer because this shit is so secret you are gonna freak out! Ready? Okay, here goes...negativity breeds negativity.

Mind blown yet? No. Didn't think so. It's so simple and yet they don't seem to get it so I'm am going to lay it out for you and them, I know you already know but lets try to keep them thinking that we are all clueless shall we? Cool (winks). Lets begin.

This U-Turn on the law was reported as government weakness, the labour M.P's spun it as weakness and  an indication of a complete lack of competency, the government approached it as a sign that they were 'listening to the people and had responded in kind.' All of them are wrong! Wrong, wrong, wrong! This was an important day but not because it showed the world the current coalition can listen or that they were and are incompetent, it didn't show how technology like the Internet has allowed people a voice that touches higher than it ever has been able to before through social networks and the like. Nope.

It showed that the media loves a negative story because people that are bitching are finding more reasons to bitch through their T.V's. It showed that the government doesn't listen because if it did it would be attacking the tax band problems, halting its assault on benefit claimers and would be searching for the real 'Out' of this economic shit creak; industry reinvention and responsible investment and lastly it didn't show the labour M.P's to be concerned for their people, exposing the government and their unfair taxes. No. No It didn't.

What it showed was that the government is completely unaware or uninterested in the views of those that are at the bottom of the food chain (so to speak). It doesn't give a rats arse what the people of twitter, facebook and any other chat room think, if they did then they'd be giving this Pasty tax shit a miss and dealing with the problem faced by over two and a half million British people; the fact that there are not enough jobs.

The media feeds on misery, misinformation and misdirection, we all know this. The papers, the press, the news channels? All filthy bastards pushing one idea or another. Never giving the truth because knowing that most people are complicated and conflicted makes things messy. Twats.

Finally lets look at what the 'opposition' always does shall we. Do they praise the idea of U-Turns and claim victory for the people or do they push the government to go further? Look at other bills? Highlight the unemployed youth? Stop attacking the Disabled? Nope. They go for the negative view of making the other guy look bad rather than pushing them to work harder, be better, listen to the people more. They don't leap on this as a chance to make it clear that this is something we need to see more of; rethinking of destructive policies. No. They are a negative party with one goal, one driving vision, one tired ideal; re-election.

If they missed the point then that's sad because today could have been a day of triumph, a day to push these dangerous and destructive policy makers to the wall and force them to think outside of their battered old box. To ask them to stop picking on those that are already facing the harder side of life; the disabled, the unemployed, the sick and the terminally ill. They missed the opportunity and they missed it because they didn't want and still don't want to make this country better, fairer and safer, they just want to be paid more and to be in power. That's it.

How can a group of people who sailed this great ship into such turbulent financial times wash their hands of the blame like they have? These are not reasonable, responsible or respectful people, they are con men looking to trick us as many times as they think they can. The same as the other men and women standing in power right now.

In the end this is a cycle of hate perpetuated by the rich and powerful with no real regard for us, for you...for me. In the end each day of opportunity is wasted. Each possible turn around of fortunes is botched, each chance s wasted, on all sides, by all comers. It's just sad and I firmly believe it's the reason why so many appear to be turning away from politics or even worse turning to more extreme groups like the B.N.P to actuate their wishes.

We, the people, have seen you for what you are; negative, small minded and self obsessed. You care nothing for us and so we in turn care nothing for you.

I wish for a time when being a polatition is about representing the people that elected you, not representing the best interests of your own bank account, paymasters, union power brokers that put you in position (Ed) or the oil barons that want to keep you there. I long for that time and sadly I know that none of the bitter little people that stand and represent us will deliver that day. 

Monday, 28 May 2012


Last year we saw a comic Icon step onto the big screen for the second time (lets not mention the first one shall we, we know it happened... lets leave it at that) and it was an excellent outing. Filled with action and adventure, set in the second world war, packed with snippets of cool stuff for the big fans like a shot of the original Human Torch in a display tube or the sign on the taxi door, little gems there for the geeks and Nerds yet its main objective was to win over the audience taking their first step into Cap's world...and it worked. The script was tight, the visuals were excellent, the plot a sound blend of comic folk lore and re imagined Ultimates that delivered on every level. I loved it.

One of things that made it stand the test of the screen was the decision to base the costume on the ultimates version, functional, armoured, bulky, and cool. This made him look cool, dulled the flag and took the sticky out wings off his head, all of which were very good moves, but we have a debate now. A quandary. A niggle that has arisen since The Avengers movie came out. The costume modernisation meant he didn't look as cool.I'd like to address this if I may.

Captain America is an Icon of the comic world, one of the big boys, no doubt, hell he is an Avenger through and through. He's a man that works on a set of rules that transcend the flag he carries and he has always been that man. When the government has put pressure on Steve Rogers in the past we have watched him walk away from the costume and the shield. He stands for a fair playing field, every person judged on what they do and say not the colour of their skin or their country of origin. For me, he is the greatest Avenger. But that's not all he is, he's also a man lost in time.

Captain America 'died' in world war two, he was lost to the world. A legend reborn when he was found encased in ice and rescued. He comes from a world where the Nazi's are still the greatest threat to the world, a world without the Internet, super sonic flight, no man had set foot on the moon and America was an emerging world power rather than the force that they have become by the twenty first century. His world is very different to ours and his costume in world war two reflects the soldier, the warrior, the man who fights and kills on the front line for freedom. That costume represents a time when he needed the hooks for his parachute, the armour to stop bullets, the gun to kill Nazis.

In the Avengers Nick Fury recruits Rogers to be part of his strike force but he doesn't bring him in just because he's a great soldier, not just because he was augmented by the Super Soldier Serum. He wants him in because Captain America is a symbol, not just of American might but of what a person can achieve. Therefore it seems obvious to me that the world war two costume would be a step backwards. Its a symbol of war and firmly lodged in the past. He needed to have something modern, more optimistic, something that looked heroic, not functional.

The new costume isn't as cool as the old one, its not as logical, its not as functional...but it is more iconic. It was needed, it was well thought out, it was a winner.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

I Have Issues

I had reason to look into bringing out my comic collection. It was a simple matter of finding some bits and pieces and closing up the boxes and yet...well, things are never that simple are they?

So I'm three boxes in, most of its eighties and very early nineties stuff and limited runs on lots of titles. They were loved and by loved I mean scragged around, read in the bedrooms, over breakfast, fought over, kept in boxes, moved eight times, never put in protective plastic and read by probably over thirty different people in their life times. They are not in mint condition.

I looked through just these first three boxes and I wondered what they would be 'worth' if they were in bags, read once, never mistreated or left unloved on a coffee table for months.Well, they would be worth something, not 'a lot' but certainly something. But then how do I judge what something is worth? Is it on how much money its worth?! Never.

Each one of these issues took a hammering. Each one of these issues had all of its secrets ripped from it, the words pawed over hungrily, the images devoured. The story lines became folk tales, the characters friends. When Jean Grey died on the moon a grown man was reduced to tears and he felt so deeply about these stories that he shared them with me and my brothers when we lived in London. I watched over a decade later as the Marauders attacked and massacred the Morlocks in the tunnels under New York City and was gripped in horror when these same villains crucified the X-Man Angel against a wall. I saw the fall of the Avengers Mansion when the Masters Of Evil gutted it and that team. I watched as the mutants fell and Thor became a brittle boned weakling, cursed by Hela.

I saw, I read, I loved and I spend every damn penny I earned on those comics. They are my Bible.

Now they sit downstairs and I am doing something else with them. My kids are reading them. I'm not being precious. They are not being careful, but between us that love for the story is still playing out.I put some aside. Ones that I believe really are worth something due to their good condition and rarity. I will have to sell them. That's cool. I'm cool with that. But for the most part its business as usual, with a twist.

I have some addresses. I have some people that I know can make good use of these awesome stories. They are going to be sent some and I hope they love them, because these issues of mine? The ones that I hoarded and boxed? They were NEVER meant to be hidden! These issues were meant to be read and re-read!

If you have comics then get them out., READ them! They were never meant to fill boxes, they were meant to fill your heart.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

An Insult To Men

There are plenty of times when Men are assaulted verbally, blamed for all that is bad in the world and have  bad examples of the sex presented as the norm by Women. We are accused of being insensitive, criminally irresponsible and unable to make decisions without major input from our genitals. These crimes are laid at our feet and we just have to grin and bare it...and it pisses me off. Why do the few have to bring down the many? Fucking bollocks right?! You know what's worse? When we nobble ourselves.

Type in 'Pregnancy for fathers' on goggle and you get some depressing hits, almost certainly there's the standard bullshit about how women's hormones leap about, about how we, 'The Man', are going to have to do some 'extra stuff' around the house for 'a while' and how we 'just have to put up with it', well I'd like to tell the arseholes who write this shit to do one simple thing....FUCK OFF!

The fact is I firmly believe that a relationship is a partnership, a union, and pregnancy is a time when you step up and help out but you should already be doing your part. After the pregnancy, you know, when you have a kid, you're not meant to drop off and do fuck all again. No, the deal is that Pregnancy, kids, relationships and Marriages are hard work and if you're not putting the effort in because you're a 'bloke' then you're not a 'bloke' you're an ARSEHOLE!

Now I have been following someone on Twitter, I've found out they have written something truly offensive and so I am unfollowing them, right now! The thing he wrote was about just this subject, it was just the kind of bullshit that you would expect about the subject and I have to say I was pissed off beyond belief to see what someone had bothered to take the time to write.

Maybe I have to see this piece of shit as a joke, a jape, a misjudged piece of comedy. I'm not going to name it, I can't see my way past this guy needing the money, perhaps so desperately that he wrote this. I don't like the idea that me saying something would hurt his takings. Is that wrong? Is it wrong to not want the conflict? Is it wrong to look and be sickened and yet refuse to name the book? Maybe? But that's what I'm doing. I'm going to tell you to do something that seems so fucking obvious it should be simple, so blindingly clear that it should never have needed really saying; TREAT YOUR PARTNER WITH RESPECT!



Oh, and if you are one of the many pricks that drag the rest of us down I can guarantee you are not going to like this blog, so thanks for popping in this once. But as you leave, dragging your knuckles over the threshold of this hallowed ground, I'd ask you to go look in the mirror. If you see someone that is more concerned with the shape of your partners tits after breastfeeding than the nourishment of you're child, if you're someone that is sickened by their partners pregnant body or if you feel that you have to do all the 'real thinking' while you're 'lesser half' is recovering from a magical process that has 'fucked her body up' then I suggest you go and either sort your pathetic life out or fuck off into the woods and never come back for you are everything that is negative about our great gender and YOU are the problem, the one that makes us take the heat in the media; the one that perpetuates the lazy view of men as selfish arseholes one and all.

On behalf of everyone on planet I'm asking you to fucking grow up, or fuck off. There is no in between.


Thursday, 17 May 2012


I'm making a decision, I'm changing my attitude...god damn it I'm making a list! This list is going to be tat least twenty things long and its one that I will want to complete in the next four years. Its a forty list because if anyone ever needed incentive to do something it was me.

What's going on the list? I'm going to be published in some way, even if it means just my picture in the local paper, being dragged away to the local nut house...its gonna happen!

I'm going to get fitter, no, not super fit, but fitter. I've done it before, I can do it again!

I'm going to do something risky that I've always wanted to do like skydiving or Bungee jumping, that's a must.

I'm going to learn to drive...I know, just don't say anything about it, I know!

Its..I will come back with quite the list and you will say; 'Yes, that sounds do able, I was expecting something slightly more challenging,' but then, if you take my 'meness' into account you'll see the challenges for what they are. Milestones.

In honesty though these things will happen if I write them here because once down on screen I can pursue them. As for the really big things in my life I'm not planning on any great changes, you see I have an awesome marriage, incredible kids and a lovely family, so realistically I don't have much to moan about.

The list is for me and the family, hopefully it will make our lives better in some cases and me easier to live with in others.

List to follow shortly.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

The Female hero Template Revisited

Some things change and some things almost certainly stay the same, from Wonder Woman’s origins as a strong woman being constantly restrained and whipped to modern day heroines with their spray on costumes, voluptuous figures and sexualised poses I think we can all recognise the need for an alternative to the norm. An alternative that has female characters that are strong willed and attractive without contorting painfully so that their rear gets the best light it can, female characters that are strong without the need to go and kill things to prove it, female characters that in short, are worth reading about.
Looking at the comic industry you can see the sexualisation of the typical female stance but I would argue that the male model often suffers from the same over posed, muscular form that is likely to objectify that sex too, not to the same degree as with the female characters, but certainly it is worth stating. So taking as fact that ‘hero’ comics must have action, adventure, drama and sexy characters how do we change the dynamic beyond making the girl hit harder and the guy a stereotypical scientist (another overused archetype)?
Imagine if you will a new model, not one based in the alternative worlds where independent stories are often violent, sexually explicit or have explicit language and themes (though certainly this is not the case for all alternative comic books), but in the mainstream. Co-existing with the Avengers and The X-Men could a female character stand alone and not have a bra size that would destroy the back of even the strongest woman? Could she be attractive and active, competent and compelling in that universe or in their rivals without thrusting out her behind or having conversations while changing costume, her perfect form hidden by just whisps of smoke or steam? Could she even have a form that wasn’t quite perfect?!
Looking at that last point it seems even more unlikely. Remembering the only plus size heroine I can think of; Big Bertha, the Great Lakes Avenger, she was a female version of the blob when active with the team and then shrunk down to a supermodel size when not fighting crime and get this; she was an actual supermodel! Oh and obviously people thought she looked amazing as Bertha and nasty as Big Bertha. Bad! Not only that but The Great Lakes Avengers were a comedy outfit too. They took the piss out of Reed Richards with Flat Man, had a Dinosaur Pterodactyl girl and sunk even lower when they recruited ‘Squirrel girl.’
It seems that the idea of a woman who’s athletic but not perfect isn’t going to fit in into the mould and yet why not? Well, I think if we are looking for a new model then we look to incorporate a compromise here! Our heroine is going to have a slight tummy. There, did the world end? Did the universe implode?! No. Okay, it’s done! She’s going to be athletic and pretty and she works out a bit and is active but she is not perfect. Cool.
Looking at the next obstacle we need to make a few key decisions. We want her to be modern and we need her to look cool but we don’t want to see her in a corset, holding a whip, shoving her arse out. We need a cape. A cape can cover the bottom and so we get drifting dramatic cloak action instead of gratuitous bottom action. It can give us a visual dynamic and it can give us a strong look. The cape is the first piece in the puzzle that is her costume. Next we need to attack the chest thrusting thing. How to combat that? Simple, we give our girl a suit of armour, not one that’s moulded around her breasts perfectly, no, we want something sturdy looking that still gives our character movement, look, functionality and we can have it so it doesn’t completely remove the female form but conceals it slightly. We want to blur the lines so our artist can concentrate on making her look good, strong, heroic, and not just sexy.
She has a cloak, no stupid shoulder pads (being retro eighties isn’t big or clever), a bullet proof costume, a utility belt and good solid boots (no heels). We have a new argument now to land on; colour. Looking at purple brings us towards the Huntress and so we must go away from that so I think we say our heroine is not just a vigilante, she has to be like the big heroes, like Captain America and Thor. She needs to be respected, adored and trusted by the public. We want someone that can stand up and have her own title, have her own villains, her own stand alone stories and supporting cast. We want a proper character.
Red costume, a mask that conceals the identity though not her sex, armour to keep her safe, a cloak to dissuade  the obvious gratuitous butt shot and a heroic direction and emphasis.  Great! Now we have dealt with some of the obviously annoying stuff, the daft poses, the ridiculously revealing costumes we must move on to the more important things, the actual core of a strong, modern, female character.
Let’s look for someone that can pass the Bechdel test shall we? It’s a scary test to apply to the media you consume as once you start looking for the flaws in the drama you watch you will find that most of it doesn’t comply to the law. The law (please look it up) means we need to have at least two female characters having a conversation that does not revolve around men or a singular man. We can do this but we also need to look away from the ‘Birds Of Prey’ nearly all female cast. Oh no, I want female and male interaction, but I want this to be more equal, so let’s have a list here  yeah?
We need a cast:
Main character is a strong female character, as we have already designed.
Support cast consists of at least one male and one female character that aids the main character effectively.
One support character should be a male character drawn and written as a stereotypical female character but this character must not be the main characters love interest.
A love interest that has a real role to play in the story other than to just be someone to go home to and it matters not what sex they are though let’s make them male so we can keep true to the course of constructing a comic that is both mould breaking and yet set in one of the main universes.
A main villain that will provide a physical, emotional and intellectual battle that will test our heroine.

Now we have that under our belt I’d like to do what is really important; I want to look at the actual character of our heroine. I want to go somewhere that may not be too many people’s liking, I want to build someone who walks and talks.
Firstly I think we rule out the dead parent’s thing, it’s been done. Let’s make this quick and say she has a respect for life, a love of order and yet a thirst for adventure. Let’s make her dad a good man; an ambulance driver and Paramedic. Her mother was a doctor. They worked at the same hospital and met and fell in love and she had a happy childhood. Let’s say her parents are still around, perhaps divorced? She splits her time between them in her youth and she grew up well adjusted but had some rebellious acts.  Nothing that took her to the police station but perhaps some independent nights when she didn’t come home on time? A boyfriend that got her into motorbikes and a love of football that saw her travel with a fan base that could be as rough as it was loyal? That’s her.
What brought her to the point where she decided she needed to take a stand? Not something too horrific, this is a hero not a vigilante. Let’s say a friend was killed, no, a boyfriend, killed by a drunk driver. Okay. This brings her into the idea that perhaps life wasn’t fair and that someone should do something about some of the injustice? Yes.
Remembering that she is surrounded by a universe full of heroes and heroines she knows it can be done and so being clever, a scientist in her own right, she knocks up a serum that gives her an edge, uses money she has earned selling other inventions and builds her costume.
She stands for right, has a fighting style based on Aikido, redirecting force rather than being the owner of a stupidly exposing flying kick and is as brave as any other Avenger. She rights wrongs, goes by the book and can beat her foe with a twist of the wrist or by tricking them into defeat. She isn’t a smasher because that invites a whole load of chest high, bum out action. She fights in a closed stance and can twist and turn her way out of danger...and maybe even fly.
We have a heroine that at the moment doesn’t walk and talk but is built to walk and talk in a slightly different way to the norm. She can be pushed into the lime light and be upright and stand for good. She can be all those things and more though what we really want is someone that can be what isn’t the norm, a female character that doesn’t coast on TnA.
Finally let’s look at one last thing, not motive, not combat moves, not costume and colour and stance but actual character. Let’s have her not as a raging feminist but as someone that is written like Captain America (when he’s written well). She sees people, not sexes or races. She sees criminals but she also sees causes and isn’t unsympathetic to the enemy. She knows that hard choices are too hard for some people and that they need help to realise their potential and she realises that some people are beyond help but that she isn’t Judge, Jury and executioner.
She needs a complicated, brave writer and artist to bring her to life. She needs to breathe and live and think and be written not as a ‘girl’ or ‘woman’ but as a character in her own right. She needs love and faith and she needs to come to the fore because standard Marvel and D.C characters simply don’t cut the mustard.
Oracle is great but still it’s too much T n A, Maria Hill gives good character but is still relegated to bit part action and is in awe of ‘real heroes’ like Stark and others fall for the pit falls of sticking out their lady parts to get noticed. Let’s have someone like ‘Spitfire’ from Marvel’s New Universe, only let’s make her better shall we?
(You can pick at this, take some of the things too far and argue she can be sexy while being effective and I agree. What this is is perhaps a slate to build thoughts and debates. A base for you to maybe push a character forward that will challenge slightly more, a rough mission statement, typed by a bearded chimp that would really like to take on the challenge and work in comics and not just write a ‘new genesis’ for an old character...but bring a new character into the limelight.
No, I don’t think I can do it better than everyone else, can’t say I’d revolutionise the medium or comics as a whole or that I will ever get the chance too. Please take this as an idea, a thought, and maybe do something a whole lot better than I can with it.

Thursday, 10 May 2012


Toby Maguire was a great Spiderman, don't get me wrong, he was, but it's time for a change. Marvel have got the rights to most of their characters back, started up their own studio, really put effort into making it work, got bought out by Disney and all that has happened post Spiderman three. Lets look at the  hows and whys shall we?

Spiderman is a great character, Iconic in the comic market and more, a true media legend. He's captured more than a few crooks and imaginations along the way to becoming one of the true powers of Marvel and he's been written and drawn by legends so when Sam Rami (a Hollywood legend) was given the task of bringing 'webhead' to the screen we all felt good. Months of waiting, hoping it wouldn't suck, that the movie industry wouldn't balls it all up followed and then came the release. It was great!

Move over Spiderman because here comes Spiderman Two, a movie so good it had to get a restraining order to stop me watching it while it undressed! Yes, Maguire was great again but lets face it Alfred Molina was perfect! The intellectual struggle between the villain and Parker were great, the quips were there, the Train scene?! Oh god it was good! For me it was the best Superhero movie ever made up until that point. It still stands in the top ten for sure, perhaps even the top five depending on your level of Spidey love. Bring on Spiderman three we screamed! We must have it! Keep this cast and crew together and we are in business! They did and we looked for a classic. We didn't get one.

Spiderman three was a messy disaster. As good as the Sandman was (he was just brilliant) he couldn't detract from Rami's dislike of the Venom character, something the studio decided needed to happen. Third film means three villains right? Wrong! It was a botched blockbuster because the studio was smelling money and they had forgotten that it was Spiderman's excellence that had brought the money to them, not just the mask and a cool villain. Lets face it, they got all Batman & Robin.

I feel for Rami and Maguire, it can't feel good to know you went out on a whimper. Yeah, it made money but it wasn't very good and if I was either of them I'd be gutted especially following what they'd achieved in Spiderman Two. Saying all this we look towards the new film and ask whats the point? Why bother going back to the beginning? Universe continuity is the answer.

Marvel studios fought to make great films about their great characters; they succeeded. They also had a vision, one that was recently realised in the immensely brilliant Avengers Assemble. They wanted to make lots of films, make lots of money and have characters that existed in the same universe as each other giving them the ability to 'cross-over', to enrich each others movies. They have done this but there are some corners of the universe that are still all Han Solo namely anything pre The Incredible Hulk.

Spiderman is a big part of the Marvel Universe and most of the material for the Marvel movies comes from a range of comics they released called The Ultimates. In this side universe everything's a bit harsher, more realistic, harder edged and some of the origins were altered to make the transition to a darker future. Spidey was one that fell under the re-write and it did the job.

The Ultimates were excellent and made it viable to make these movies without asking that painful question; when do we start all these characters from? They've been going for at least forty years? So the Spiderman reboot is a great thing! It means they can give us a Spiderman that's in the same playground as The Avengers and it looks like they've done a really good job! Garfield looks great in the costume, The lizard is the villain and Rhys Ifans is perfect for the Ultimates incarnation of that character. Can I also point out that The Lizard was kicking Spidey's ass for years before Venom was even a Wink in the Beyonder's eye, so fuck Venom, he should have been well down the list anyway.

Spidey is coming in from the cold...and I can't fucking wait!

Tuesday, 8 May 2012


I wrote something I really liked in November. It probably isn't the best thing I'll ever write, I hope however that it is a start, but what kind of start? One that takes me to the heights of fame and fortune? Very unlikely. So where do I actually go from here?

How about an experiment? What if I accept that what I have written isn't ready for the market yet? Its not polished enough, that I have to grow as a writer? I have to evolve? That's sounding pretty likely but how do you kick start your own evolution? I was pondering this when I thought seriously about taking the money part out of the equation. What did I have left after wanting people to buy it so I could make this my job? Obviously, I want people to read it.

Will it be read sitting on my shelf, lurking in my Computer, hiding on my data stick? No. What to do then? Stick it on Amazon and hope someone buys a few every now and then? Possible but I feel slightly odd about it. So I think I'm going to stick it on here for free.

If you have suggestions as to how I can do that then let me know. If you think I should put a donation button on the blog and have an idea as to how I can do that let me know. If you want me to email you a copy so you can see just how far away from being publishable I really am then let me know.

I know I have a way to go. Maybe though I can hitch a lift and you'll tell me something that will make me better at what I want to do?

In the end all you really have to do is let me know.  


Now before you accuse me of sensationalism all of those things did feature in my night out in Brighton. It's strange, believe me I agree, but its true!

Following the filming this week I got a chance to see Professor Elemental on stage and so I took it. It meant I had to miss much of the F.A. Cup final (which was tough as I'm a Chelsea fan) but still we set out from Base camp to the train; myself, my older brother and his lovely daughter (L) (who appeared in the Chronicles Of Professor Elemental with Mamacrow) all heading for adventure.

On the way we discussed my hatred for audience participation, how I want to watch and not get involved. We agreed I was perhaps a stuck in the mud-killjoy-assclown but that my redeeming feature was my self awareness of such a disposition. Upon arrival we had to wait outside for the station for little brother and his lovely girlfriend to pick us up and walk us down to the club. Oh, but well was he worth the wait.

When his taxi pulled up he stepped out decked in sharp grey smart trousers, shirt and waist coat. He would have looked fantastic if not for the huge brown fake fur coat he was wearing over the top of it. I stared and I know him, other people were less kind.To say this was a situation I found mortifying would be fairly accurate. We walked across Brighton with him drawing many a 'IT'S A PIMP' comments from our fellow human beings. For a guy that likes to blend in generally it wasn't a lot of fun for me.

We landed at the Marlbourgh Bar (I think that's what it was called) and were told we needed to come back in a hour or so as the upstairs theatre was busy with the event before the Professors and the bar was full. Off we headed and landed in the Mash Tun, located a mere five minutes away. 

The Mash Tunn has a celebrity death board, as I understand it you pay a fee, put a name of a celebrity you think is going to die and if they do indeed snuff it you get the takings from the board. This may not be very politically correct, polite or nice but it did make me laugh.

The drinks flowed (not for me, I don't drink, I had coke) for the others. It came time to return to the scheduled event and so we took a short walk back, some looking more worse for wear than others.We got in, pitched tent in the corner and got some more to drink. Game on...for everyone else.

Finally the time came to head up to the small theatre and when we got up the stairs most of the back rows of seats were taken. Big bro & L took a good look around and sat down in the front row. 'Oh no! No! I'm gonna get asked to join in in some way', thought I as I sat down against the wall and attempted to blend in again.

The gig started and Professor Elemental introduced his warm up act for the night 'Sanity Valve' a comedic hip hop duo. They started up and to be fair I saw two blatantly southern guys in silly bobble hats rather than what I was about to be introduced to, two guys that could throw some seriously funny lines out! 

'Gish and Chips' and his mate (no I cant remember his partners name) were really very funny. They rapped about shopping in ASDA and what they do to people that dont like them. It was decidedly English and with the small theatre setting it was pretty damn impressive. I can imagine how brave these guys are to leap up on the stage with such a tough act to sell and win a crowd over and I personally think they probably have that Royal Marine Commando mind set. 

Not only did they make me laugh, but they impressed the hell out of me, were thoroughly charming and a perfect warm up to an act like Professor Elemental's. They even had a battle rap (this didnt go quite as well as the main act as Gish's mate forgot his second round put downs and so dried up a fair bit) and to be fair Gish was robbed! I was shouting for him to win, yeah, even I joined in.

With Gish and his pal done on came the main event and it was great. Really enjoyed the opening introduction and into Cup of Joy we went! Huge reaction from the seventy or so people in the room and through the set he flew. He looked knackered and yet he hit every phrase, rhyme and never lost energy on the stage, a place he owned unquestionably.

It was great and come the end he did a improvised rap using words the front row had written down. The only problem was that L and I had decided to try and be clever. She chose an animal; A Bintarong, sort of a small cat bear crossed creature. She explained what it was and he charged off, sadly I picked the word Defenestrate, which is the act of throwing someone out of window. Without time to explain my obscure word he flew into his improved rap and hit all the words, even mine. It was a fabulous torrent of rhyme's and I was extremely impressed. 

Come the end of the gig we filled out and down the stairs. I'd chatted with him earlier and he'd explained he'd have to head off straight after the gig and so I went out the door, we all agreed to head back to little bro's and got a taxi. The night didn't end there but the rest was all T drinking and smoking fags really. Nothing to report bar that I took the floor as a bed but was very comfy due to lots of cushions n covers. 

It wasn't what I would classify as a standard night for me and that's what made it great.It was different! Not only was it different though, it was also a conscious effort to go somewhere and see something I normally wouldn't. I feel good and Now I look for the next challenge. The next thing to do. The next 'un-Edd' thing to do.

Perhaps its coming soon...            

Friday, 4 May 2012


Opportunity knocked and I said 'Yes' and so I found myself being dragged out of bed at 5 o clock (in the morning of course, I'm not a alchoholic or a lethario dontcha know) to make the journey off to the 'Undiscoved Country', the wonder of a completely new experience, to The Chronicles of Professor Elemental!

The kids were organised for babysitting (obviously) but we decided that Dot (not fond of a lot of people outside of the family being, only 2) would come with us and so we got her up, dressed and fed and even though we set off slightly late the day was on! Oh the excitement (my guts started playing up), the adventure (no, not a good feeling for someone that still struggles with car sickness sometimes), the sheer newness of it all (we had to pull over, I had five minutes walking around a car park, popped back in and on we continued), oh my Mr Frodo, Oh Horray!!

Arrival at Petworth House brought a level of calm and we entered the production base to meet the cast, crew and I have to say it was lovely, everyone was friendly, cheerful and I felt right at home (I was however still quite nervous). Benjamin Field; the writer and director, was exactly as he was on Twitter and in the conversation I'd had with him on Skype, an excellent chap all round. Professor Elemental was in the room and it again felt like I'd known him for ages (we have chatted on twitter but its not quite the same as meeting people and seeing them laugh, pull faces and generally stand beside you).

Strapped into a chair (I sat, I wasn't strapped, but I feel it works better for the visual, okay?) and make up was applied. The foundation, the brush, the internal monolog from me wondering if I was blinding the poor girl from the light reflecting off my 'eight head' as it was called on site. It was alien, but very pleasant! Next I dressed and after a short wait we headed to 'location one'.

I'm going to clarify something here, I'm not telling you guys all that happened, what was said and where we filmed, I didn't take a lot of pictures as I didn't want to have the temptation to put things on twitter I shouldn't, I'm not doing any....(Frizzy haired thinking man's totty Alex Kingston leaps out from the side of your screen) 'spoilers'. Sorry if that means its a shorter post (everyone breathes a sigh of relief) but that's the way it has to be...now on with the show business!

We filmed, it felt good, I'm not Brando, everything went as well as I had hoped, that's awesome! The place we were filming was stunning by the way, it was statues and pictures and art and awesome. It was beautiful and so in an odd way it made it easier to be silly. I danced behind the statue that was my 'mark', I spoke in a squeeky voice for amusement in places, I enjoyed myself immensely! Come time to leave the location and there were some snags which mean we had to shoot later too. A lot later.

For the day I sat, as is the way on sets so I gather, waiting for my turn to pick up the batten again and run. We chilled, Dot was kind of bored but was so good and the wonderful Mamacrow sat and played with her and waited for me. I really am lucky to have someone who is willing to back me in these weird things, these flights of fancy!

Come half three and the time was right for us to get it on. We had had a run through earlier in the new location and all was good. We gathered and the actors and me stood, watching the technical guys work their magic, get their angles and check their lights. Make up was topped up and hair tidied and we were ready and...I went blank. It took a take or two to get it back and have those words I've been repeating for hours and hours back and we shot. Different angles, repeating what we had to, sometimes we got it right and sometimes we got it wrong, but we did get it! (I did warn you it was gonna reveal bugger all)

We packed all the stuff, bumped it out the door, shock hands and hugged (I have very high personal space and even with that I felt quite happy hugging the guys) and headed off. I changed in the car park, standing in my Spiderman nut coverers, T-shirt and socks as I tried to make sure I hadn't left anything behind. Back in my jeans and Punisher Jumper and off we set, Mamacrow driving as always, Dot and me in the back (I had to sit in the back on the way up as she climbs out of the straps in her chair which is dangerous and naughty...naughty Dot), flying back to normalcy!

It was done. All over. I was an actor for a day, or rather should I say I attempted to be an actor for A day, and though it is over I'm bloody glad I did it. Of course I'm hoping I didn't stink too bad, other peoples hopes are riding on the project and I'd hate to be the prick that gave everyone a sore thumb, but I don't know as I was that bad. I tried. That's probably as best as I can put it. So, what to say now?

I can tell you that I'd love to do it again in some way, I'd love to have the atmosphere, creative vibe and that mixture of accents and attitudes swallow me once more, certainly more than once I would have thought, thought I'm not mad enough to think that this is the beginning of my asccention into fame and fortune. It was a wild, wacky and absorbing day out, but I can't say it will turn out to be anything other than a pub claim to fame.'I was in the Chronicles of Professor Elemental.' 'Oh, which series? I love that show!' I puff up my chest and look proud, 'I was in the pilot that got them the contract for the full series!' 'Really, wow, you an actor than?' I try not to look crestfallen, 'No,' I relpy, 'I was just in that one thing.' The table holds its breath for a beat and then someone chips in, 'Yeah, but you have done something cool like that, I would love to do something like that!'

Yes, yes you would, because it was unique and eye opening and for a day I had the world at my feet. The world at my feet.

(I'd like to thank all those that were there but my memory for names is terrible so check this and know I mean you if you were there and you are now reading this (Oh god shut the fuck up Edd and just do the list!)...So thanks to Grace and Alex and Moog and lovely make up girls times two and camera guy that looked like someone I know but I can't think who and script man who was awesome and Helen and Paul with beard and sound hat girl and Rachel and Divine Mr pearce and finally to Paul who let me come in on this ride and Ben who offered me the gig in the first place and expanded the invitation to Mamacrow and the Roo. Thanks guys and god I hope you get what you deserve; riches, biscuits, Battenberg and a full series to the take the world by storm with!)