I've got a post that corrects a few of the terrible assumptions people have been making about my leaving letter that I want to write, but that can wait, along with the hundred or so e-mails I've got to reply to in my in-tray on the same subject. And while I've been kicking around introductions galore to this post, I've decided to dump them too. I have Lasgne to eat and high-quality gibberish to write for the lad Rossignol. I must priotise, as I only have forty-three years to live.
(Go have a look at his new Webdesign and give him feedback while you're in a time-wasting, mouse-clicking mood)
So no talk about how I've been walking around singing The Payback's "Black Girl" at passing strangers, with the none-too-subtle link to the stories of the quasi-sexual misadventures that occured to a journalist friend of ours when Detroits growliest hit Bath. No discussion of the joys of having a house-mate with a bookshelf of stuff you haven't read yet, specifically I Am Legend. This means the ambling thoughts about Homoparticulate and Hypoparticulate Vampires won't appear here either - but don't feel too bad. It's likely I'd have just deleted them before posting, as there's only a few novel ideas involving the tiresome bloodsuckers left and I may have use for it. Not even the disenchantment with my review of The Hidden Camera's "The Smell of Our Own" over at Bleed, which fails to really grasp how wondrous the album it is.
You'll learn to live without their presence in your life, somehow. I know you will. I believe in you.
I wanted to talk a little about who I spent Saturday night in the Hatchett's (Bristol Model) with. Alistair Pulling and his friend Anna Rubins, whom we spent a delightful evenining talking about Stuff. Or, more specifically, Stuff and Nonsense.
Ali is a comics writer, probably best known for his Oddcases over at Opi8 and at small-press events nationwide. Alistair knows far too much about Pagan malarkies and is vaguely inspiring - he's one of my models as a comics writer. I'd like to be where Alistair is in a years time (The other main model - in terms of peers - is the good lad Antony Johnston, who I'd like to be in a similar place in four). Oddcases is a curious thing, tying together a fair selection of what seems to be Alistair's interests in a manner I wouldn't have predicted(Ridiculously loud RAWK music, admitedly, has yet to show its face). Its notable for its deliberately patriochal englishness which ties the supernatural very much to the natural with a cosmopolitan, optimistic, humanistic, warm outlook. If I wrote Oddcases, you can guarantee that its stars - two middle-aged women who put the "practical" into "practical magic" - would be torn assunder by the bottom of the second page, after betraying everything that they held dear in a flurry of viscera. In his hands, they've barely brewed their first cuppa. This is why Alistair's writing it and not me. He seems to think in terms of equilibria and journeys rather than my own platonic stasis and destinations.
I hadn't met Anna before the night, but by its close we were doing interpretive dances to the Pixies. Anna is the writer for a comic called "Dark", which I haven't seen but will pick up at Bristol. It's about a world where the fourth dimension has moved into the other three. Every place on the world remains at the specific time - if a town is in morning, it'll be breakfast forever. The characters move between the zones when they feel they've had enough of the moment. Want to party? Stay in the night-town. Want to sunbathe? The lazy-afternoon can be as lazy as you want. How she describes it makes me think of Alice in Wonderland with Ketamine laced with E rather than the original Victorian opium pipes.
Chatting to them made me finalise some plans I had started to chart in greater detail last time I hung around with comics creators. That was Grant Morrison event at the ICA, which I had an entire Blog post worked out inside my tiny little mind but decided it wasn't worth the effort. It all boiled down to "Morrison thinks comics are alive" and "Kieron dances to Last Train to Trancentral badly".
I lie slightly. Comics are alive, bad dancing and meeting Daniel "Merlin" Goodbrey.
Merlin does Webcomics. Not in the way that Alistair and myself do webcomics. We put comics on the web, holding preciously onto the sancity of the page. Merlin says Fuck You to such things and experiments with the form. Not only that - Merlin does Hypercomics, which are so clever that I can't really understand them. Electric-Internet trickiness beyond my poor imagination.
I'm lying slightly again, by the way. When I said "Merlin says Fuck You" to such things, I was speaking in my own idiom. From what I got from our relatively brief meeting - rambling conversations once Wheeler had wandered off to bed, mainly - he wouldn't even notice if there's someone who needs saying "Fuck you" too. Merlin does it because Merlin wants to, Merlin finds it rewarding and so Merlin bloody well will. In terms of playing with the form - and sheer joy of actually doing it - no-one I've made the aquaintence of since starting to think about the Picture Stories comes close.
I'd think of tying these three random introductions to sort-of comic peers into a rant I'm working on, which is currently being stored under the title "Apocalypse Comics" in the appropriate part of my brain, but it'll just feel like cheapening the acquaintences.
Three people, creating comics, who I've only met because I'm doing likewise.
Say hello. Shake hands. Nod them the wink if you pass them in the street.
Kieron Gillen's Workblog, foo'.