You are currently browsing the monthly archive for March 2008.

One of my favourite things in the world is the 1960s TV series Dark Shadows. I just love it. This is the story of my relationship with the show and my ongoing quest to watch all 1,225 episodes. 

This is a clip of the pivotal episode where scumbag Willie Loomis accidentally releases the vampire Barnabas Collins from his captivity. The spooky sixties vibe of the show in all it’s glory!

I watched the 40 episodes of that first DVD boxset three times. I just fell in love with this mental horror soap opera, and made the decision that, however long it took and how difficult it would be, I was going to watch every single episode. Which is where the problems started. Well not exactly problems…

The DVDs are only available in America, though the discs themselves are region-free. Twice now I’ve been stung by the ‘extra tenner and no-one gets hurt’ tax those gangsters at Customs add. They were bloody expensive enough to begin with!

Dark Shadows is almost unknown in Britain, at the recent Inverness Comics Expo a grand total of one person recognized my Dark Shadows T-shirt. ( it was The Beano’s Kev F Sutherland, fact fans!).

I kept going on and on about this 40 year old TV show that no-one had ever heard of. The whole world was full of wrong except me! My first attempt to join the massive online Dark Shadows fandom was disastrous. Five minutes of surfing and I accidentally saw spoilers for episodes I hadn’t seen yet. And soaps thrive on shock endings, so I had to keep away. I don’t even look at the Dark Shadows wikipedia entry these days!

Salvation was at hand though. I lent the first DVD to my friend Paul Scott, and he was as enthusiastic about it as I was. He watches every DVD after me now, and it’s great to have someone to discuss it with. Even now after a couple of years of this we’re barely a third of the way through the marathon, at Episode 457. It’s been quite a ride so far, but the show’s golden years still await us…

Episode 2 of Walter Wilson is up now at the Rok Comics website! It features Walter’s rumble with the evil Death Nuns, and a shocking revelation!

http://www.rokcomics.com/full_player.php?comicid=620823926

If you’re wondering where the promised new Mothman story is, fear not I haven’t forgotten about him! I’ve joined Rok Comics, Drunk Duck and Comicspace in the last two weeks, and my webcomic horizons have suddenly expanded massively. I still haven’t decided what to do next, but I have some big plans. You’ll be the first to know, dear sexy reader.

As for Mothy, don’t worry, The Philadelphia Experiment is coming. Someone has stolen Mothman’s collection of Dallas memorabilia, and he is really upset.

Thing 

This year’s Thing takes place this saturday the 22nd, at the Queen Mary University in London. I wish I was going but I can’t make it. Have fun if you’re going you lucky blighters! And be sure to seek out my friend Aaron Smurf Murphy, he’s at table 54!

Mysterious World 

The great science fiction writer Arthur C Clarke has died aged 90. His novel A Fall of Moondust was one of my favourite books as a kid, and his television series Arthur C Clarke’s Mysterious World was legendary among children of the seventies and eighties. It was without doubt the catalyst for my lifelong interest in Fortean weirdness, and without it I would never have done my Mothman or Nessie comics, for a start.

90 is a decent innings alright, but I still feel pretty down after hearing this sad news.

R.I.P.

Benson, Arizona

This is a painting I did as my entry in the monthly art competition on the 2000AD message board, the theme was ‘Set the controls for the heart of the sun!’

It’s inspired by the great John Carpenter film Dark Star.

I don’t expect to win 🙂

Another new comic strip on the ROK Comics website! Meet Walter Wilson, the violentest old man in the world.

http://www.rokcomics.com/full_player.php?comicid=620724617

This is my first comic strip on the ROK Comics website, I hope you like it!

I did it with the comic creator tool on the website, it’s great fun and really easy to use. If you can work the Mii Creator on a Nintendo Wii I reckon you could easily manage to make your own comic strip, why not have a go?!

http://www.rokcomics.com/full_player.php?comicid=620698829

Major Crimes Unit 

The last ever episode of The Wire is on TV in America this weekend. It brings to an end five seasons of some of the boldest, most exciting and thoughtful television I have ever seen. Many people think it’s the greatest TV show of all time, I would find that difficult to argue with. When it’s finished I honestly believe that The Wire should be the first TV series to win a Nobel Prize.

It’s far more than merely a crime drama. It’s the most compelling portrait of modern American society in any medium. And while it highlights all of the social problems Baltimore faces, it does so with such a sympathetic ear you can’t help but love these people, from both sides of the legal divide. You get a sense of the community of this city and it’s people that would make Ken Loach feel like an amateur. Of all the places in America I’ve yet to visit, Baltimore is top of the list.

My Man Bubbles 

One of the most memorable characters is drug addict Bubbles, played by Andre Royo. It’s simply one of the greatest screen performances of all time. Bubs’ chaotic, self destructive life is about as glamorous as Amy Winehouse on a bad day. But you just can’t help being on his side. I’m trying to be spoiler free, but he has a scene near the end of Season 4 that just broke my heart. I’m emotional just thinking about it.

Bubs is just one of dozens of unforgettable characters though. I could easily go on all day about Lester, Prez, Kima, Stringer Bell, Omar, Snoop, Prop Joe, or many others. I also hope I haven’t made the show sound grim and depressing, because it’s not. It’s inspiring, and thought provoking, and laugh out loud hilarious too.

Farewell to The Wire. Thank you to everyone involved, from the bottom of my heart. We can only hope to see something as good again one day. But I kind of doubt it.

All in The Game…

 Mothman 5

This is the last episode of Mothman About The House I did. In a few days I’ll put up part one of the all new Mothman story The Philadelphia Experiment. After that you’ll have to wait and see! But there’ll probably be monsters and punch-ups involved whatever it is.