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Saturday, 30 December 2006

Dissecting James Blunt

"Dan, what are you thinking?", I can imagine you mouthing at the screen, as I begin a dissection of the lyrics to arguably 2006's most annoying song, 'You're Beautiful'. "Haven't you got better things to do with your time? Haven't I got better things to do than read it?"

The answer to those questions are "Yes" and "Possibly", respectively. Still, consider this: You undoubtedly WILL hear that song again. You can choose to endure it in the same way you have countless times before, or you can listen to it with fresh ears, with a new perspective on the song lyrics, which I am shortly going to attempt to explain.

The first startling revelation I am proposing, is that this song involves 5 characters. You've probably not noticed till now, but the perspective changes. Soon into the song, Blunt speaks of a girl he saw on the subway, with another man, for whom he is confident he has a plan to be with. However, the chorus repeatedly claims 'I will never be with you'. The only logical conclusion to draw from that, is that the subway girl is NOT the thrice-beautiful girl he sings the chorus to! The 5 characters are Blunt himself, his girlfriend, 2 angels, and another man.

The story therefore, with reference to the lyrics below, must be as follows:

James Blunts life is brilliant(1), and his love is pure(2), because he has a plan(3) to hook up with an Angel(4), that he saw on the subway(5) with another man(6), presumably God or Jesus. Faced with their celestial awesomeness, he is struck blind(7,8), but he does not feel this to be a hindrance. For these reasons, he must break up(9) with his beautiful(10) girlfriend, that he'd met in a crowd(11) who he's only with because another angel though it would be a laugh(12).

I think you'll agree, this interpretation makes for a much more interesting song. Here are the lyrics (which I'm sure you'll be familiar with) with numbers indicating the above annotations:
My life is brilliant.(1)
My life is brilliant.(1)
My love is pure.(2)
I saw an angel.(4)
Of that I'm sure.
She smiled at me on the subway.(5)
She was with another man.(6)
But I won't lose no sleep on that,
'Cause I've got a plan.(3)

You're beautiful(10). You're beautiful(10).
You're beautiful(10), it's true.
I saw your face in a crowded place(11),
And I don't know what to do,
'Cause I'll never be with you.(9)

Yeah, she caught my eye,(7)
As we walked on by.
She could see from my face that I was,
Flying high, [ - video/radio edited version]
Fucking high, [ - CD version]
And I don't think that I'll see her again,(8)
But we shared a moment that will last till the end.

You're beautiful(10). You're beautiful(10).
You're beautiful(10), it's true.
I saw your face in a crowded place(11),
And I don't know what to do,
'Cause I'll never be with you.(9)

You're beautiful(10). You're beautiful(10).
You're beautiful(10), it's true.
There must be an angel with a smile on her face,
When she thought up that I should be with you.(12)
But it's time to face the truth,
I will never be with you.(9)


If you disagree, or have another interpretation, I'd love to hear it, just leave a comment or drop me an email. Have a great 2007!

Thursday, 21 December 2006

Boozy Bird

Based on a concept by Amanda Wilding, this is new super-heroine uses the power of booze to save the worlds problems, and fight crime wherever she can focus on it! Click on the picture to read the full size version:

Sunday, 17 December 2006

REMIX for CAPTION


My REMIX themed page for the CAPTION booklet can now be read online here:

click here to view the full image

I rather cleverly and smugly remixed the theme, choosing a song sung by REM*, and showing it in a 9 (IX) panel grid format.

*(yes, I know the song wasn't written by REM. Shut up.)

Saturday, 16 December 2006

24 hour comic - 4321


My 24 hour comic '4321' is now available to buy - It comes in two covers, red or blue (just like Superman!), and can be yours for either a swap or just £1. Or you can download it here.

Fame at last!

I got a mention on the Newsarama Blog, confirming my long held belief that I am a celebrity genius of note in society. I expect my invitation to the Playboy mansion is in the post or something.

Thursday, 14 December 2006

Amazon Gift Vouchers

In case anyone's still struggling over what to buy for Christmas, Amazon have gift vouchers!

Wednesday, 29 November 2006

How to wrap Christmas presents

It'll soon be Christmas again, so here's the formula for wrapping presents properly.

Handy tip: when wrapping, if you think the piece of paper you have is too short, try rotating the present by 45 degrees, so when wrapped, the corners of the paper meet. You'll be amazed at what you can fit this way.

If you want to practise, check out my Chrstmas list, buy stuff for me, and wrap it, that way your technique will be perfected when you start on your own family's gifts. I am so thoughtful.

Thursday, 23 November 2006

Musical Jamboree

It's time again for another Fish1000 Minicomic - This one is "Dan Fish's Musical Jamboree Comic". There's an online version you can read below, or printed versions in 'Fish1000OScope' format can be obtained from me, or at a comic event near you (starting with Dublin this weekend).

Print Version:


Read Online:



Sunday, 19 November 2006

Down The Tubes

UK Comics website Down The Tubes, which covers the breadth of UK comics including the 'small press', American reprints, 2000AD and everything in between, has a new look. Well worth a regular visit.

Friday, 10 November 2006

Alan Moore to appear on Simpsons



Wow, who could have guessed this one would happen?
NORTHAMPTON writer Alan Moore is to feature in a forthcoming episode of The Simpsons.

Moore, aged 53, recorded his lines at The Lodge studios in Abington Square last month for an episode which will be called Husbands and Knives.
The Simpsons' production team are long-time fans of Moore's, whose reputation in the world of graphic novels is legendary.
A chance meeting with his fiancée Melinda Gebbie got the project rolling.


Update: Moore talks a little about it at around 52:40 minutes into Fanboy Radio 349. Could Dan Clowes and Art Spiegelman also be appearing?

Monday, 6 November 2006

Lost Girls



My copy of Lost Girls arrived this morning from Amazon.com (it won't be officially released in the UK until January 1st 2008), so if you want to grab a copy sooner, this method seems to work!

It cost me $56 with postage, which at todays exchange rate is about £29.50. Bargain.

Wednesday, 25 October 2006

Pop Art Inspired by Lichtenstein

This Online Tutorial by Melissa Clifton shows how to create Pop Art Inspired by Lichtenstein. I'm going to try it using GIMP instead of Photoshop. Should be useful for integrating photoreference into comic strips.

Tuesday, 24 October 2006

Will Eisner's New York

The late Will Eisner was a master of the comic form, but it can be difficult to know where to start reading such a body of work. Thankfully, the decision is made easier with the repackaging of some of his best works. Following on from the previous Contract with God Trilogy, this handsome new volume continues to reprint some of his finest books. A perfect stocking filler!

Sunday, 22 October 2006

Misty Comic.co.uk's Hallowe'en Special


Just in time for Halloween (though delayed a year due to legal wranglings), the Misty Comic.co.uk Halloween Special is finally available to purchase! Buy it through the website, for just £5.99. For that price, you get 3 pages that I drew, plus a whole bunch of other stuff, 64pages, Colour and Black&White. Full of spooky fun!

Tuesday, 3 October 2006

Gorillaz: Rise of the Ogre

Aren't The Gorillaz great? Not content with releasing catchy tunes, they also put out nice big sexy hardback books like this one:

Monday, 25 September 2006

Power Girl

I've added two epilogues missing from the Power Girl Trade to the Lost and Found page. These lead into the Infinite Crisis DC Crossover.

Friday, 22 September 2006

Look and Learn

It was before my time, but I know a lot of older comic fans will be excited to know that this classic comic from the 60's and 70's is making a comeback!

Look and Learn was a favourite with parents, because of its educational content - but younger reader often skipped the articles and went straight to Don Lawrence's 'The Rise and Fall of the Trigan Empire' comic strip!

'Trigan Empire', 'Ben Hur', and a host of other strips and features will appear in 'Best of Look & Learn', a 48 issue run available soon.

Monday, 11 September 2006

Warheads

Back in the 1990's, Marvel UK had a line of comics, one of which featured a wormhole-jumping team of mercenary's known as the Warheads. Warheads was one of the better ideas to come out of the Marvel UK stable, the first two issues, featuring Gary Erskine on art, are well worth tracking down.

Towards the end of the Marvel UK heyday, a spin-off, Loose Cannons was commissioned, with gorgeous painted art by Mark Harrison. Unfortunately, due to the implosion, the issues were never published, despite being 7/8ths complete.

Now, the whole thing can be read HERE, with the final pages in sketched but lettered form. Guest starring Deaths Head II!

Friday, 1 September 2006

Osgood Peabody


Grant Morrison wrote a three-page text story in the UK Superman Annual 1986, entitled 'Osgood Peabody's Big Green Dream Machine'. Barry Kitson and Jeff Anderson provided illustrations. Read it HERE!

Tuesday, 1 August 2006

Moore Sounds

Alan Moore’s work from Sounds is his largest body of work that remains uncollected or reprinted at this point. From 1979 to 1983 Alan Moore (as Curt Vile) penciled and wrote/co-wrote with Steve Moore (No relation, as Pedro Henry) a 1 page strip for the UK music paper Sounds. The chances of this ever being collected are slim to none, but until then the internet is the only way it’s going to happen.

If you have any missing strips, the guys at 4ColorHeroes would love to hear from you.

Trade Paperback List

You may not be aware of this site, the Trade Paperback list, which I often find useful. It lists thousands of published and forthcoming comic collections and original graphic novels, browsable by character, creator, or future release date. It was created and is maintained by Rob Helmerichs, who does a sterling job keeping track of it all.

Monday, 31 July 2006

Batman and Something


Sometimes, me and my nephew draw together. Here's one we did recently - I drew Batman and Robin, which Logan (age 4) improved with much-needed facial hair and joined up ears (apparently, I'm told, so that Batman could have an injection). He also drew the fearsome-looking thing on the left, which he assures me 'Looks like a baddie but is actually a goodie'. He didn't tell me if it had a name.

Captain Granbretan

Grant Morrison wrote a text story for Captain Britain #13 (January 1986, MarvelUK), with illustrations by John Stokes.

Here it is!

Grant Morrison Interviews

Added some more interviews to the archive, from:

- X-Static 1
- Comic World 18
- Riot 0
PLUS **update**
- Speakeasy 93
- Amazing Heroes 176
- Vampirella Preview

Go there now!

Friday, 28 July 2006

The Stalking


Grant Morrison's wrote a text story for the 1986 UK Batman annual, with accompanying art by Garry 'Miracleman' Leach. Here it is!

Forbidden Planet Blog

Comics chain Forbidden Planet have a great new(ish) blog, with lots of interviews focusing on the small press and independent comic scenes.

There are features on Paul Gravett, Bryan Talbot, British Comics Journalistic coverage and much more.

Wednesday, 26 July 2006

Phonogram

If you don't buy Gillen & McKelvie's PHONOGRAM (Image Comics, 1st issue due 2nd Aug), Gillen will PUNCH this DOG.
Well, he probably already punched it to be honest. But you should still buy the comic. Tomorrow, it might be YOUR dog he goes for.

Tuesday, 25 July 2006

BUGPOWDER is great

Have you visited Bugpowder recently? It's got all the latest UK comic scene news, including early mentions of the new Comic Show in Birmingham in December. Go there now. Seeya!

Sunday, 2 July 2006

Bring out the GIMP

There's a great tutorial for making Comic-style Speech Bubbles at Wikipedia, using the free photoshop-equivalent GIMP software.

Tuesday, 20 June 2006

Ninth Art

The excellent comics dissection website Ninth Art had its final update on Monday, after over 5 years of serving the Internet. The site will remain up, with an archive of all features.

Monday, 19 June 2006

Become a Comic Star

The winning bidder of this Ebay auction gets to have their name (or that of a loved one) used as the lead character in the upcoming Mark "Civil War" Millar / John "Eternals" Romita Jr comic. Should the comic be made into a film or computer game, even greater stardom is assured.

All proceeds go to research into Crohn's disease (Not to be confused with Clones disease).

Sunday, 4 June 2006

New Captain Britain and Death's Head

Good news for collectors of British Marvel comics!

It looks like Panini Publishing is bringing out trade collections of the original Captain Britain strip (featuring the fist appearance of Psylocke, plus team ups with Captain America and Spider-Man). With any luck, a volume 2 will follow, which will hopefully include the magnificent John Stokes artwork on the Black Knight strip that reintroduced Captain Britain just before Alan Moore got his hands on the character.



Also, Death's Head gets a new collection!

Sunday, 7 May 2006

Da Vinci


The secrets of Those Da Vinci Coders vs Transformas !
What is the hidden link between the alien race of robotic warriors and the Messiah, and how is this secret encoded in the works of Leo Da Vinci? Find out in this exciting thriller, in no way endorsed or approved by the people behind the recent bestselling book/film or the leading soon-to-be-a-movie toy brand. It is a parody of sorts.

Now available to download!

**UPDATE** 15th May
Wow, this has had a great reaction from people. I am so totally chuffed to hear it was liked.

Here's a printable version:



The inevitable clash between giant robots and millenia-old secrets - Because it HAD to happen:

Debuting at the Bristol Comic Expo: The conspiracy of the century!

This free promo was available from me (or wherever I left them lying about) at the Bristol Comic Expo. Or I'll include one free with any purchase. Or I'll send one if you cover postage.

Read ONLINE:








Tuesday, 2 May 2006

Just One Page Football Cover

This cover just looks fantastic - This is one of the magazines available at the Bristol Comic Expo on 13/14th May. A host of fantastic artists have contributed, plus me!

Wednesday, 26 April 2006

The Eagle Awards


Vote! You have until Midnight on 7th May.


INTRODUCED in 1976, the Eagles are the comics industry's longest established awards. Acknowledged as the pre-eminent international prizes, they have been featured on the covers of leading US and UK titles across the last 30 years. Unique in that they reflect the people's choice, the Eagle Awards comprise of two distinct stages.

This year professionals from around the world have been asked to nominate their personal favourites, with the top-scoring three in each category making it onto this voting form. The results will be announced at the Comic Expo, Ramada Plaza Hotel, Bristol on Saturday, May 13th, 2006.

Tuesday, 18 April 2006

Building Stories

Chris Ware's 30 part "Building Stories" comic wraps up at the New York Times Magazine website.

EDIT:
The New York Times has taken them down (in favour of Jaime Hernandez' new strip), but they're available for a while HERE.

Tuesday, 28 March 2006

Alias Omnibus

Ooh, the Alias Omnibus is out soon. Consider this highly recommended by myself.

This is Bendis at his best, skirting the Super-hero world with character-led drama, as the lead character, the alliteratively-appellationed Jessica Jones attempts to sort her life out, by coming to terms with her failed super-hero past. She reminds me a little of Maura Tierney's character in ER.

Most of the art was by the fantastic Michael Gaydos (with selected flashbacks from Mark Bagley, but don't let that put you off). This collects all 28 issues of the series, plus a one-off issue showing a hypothetical alternate route her life might have taken.

Jessica’s story continued in Marvel Comics ‘The Pulse’, which with any luck will get similar treatment, though if not, trade paperback versions are available at the usual places. (Here's Volume One, and Volume Two)

Amazon has it for £30.35 at time of writing, which is dead cheap for a 592 page hardcover.

(The many fans of the character 'Speedball' will also want to look out for his guest appearances within this volume)

Such a thing as Free Lunch

This website offers you a free lunch (now with added dessert and drink, and within the best-before date!). Also they are a car hire firm, so if that's what you want to do, they're maybe worth considering. If noodles aren't your thing, there's always the free cash offer instead!

Sunday, 12 March 2006

Play Misty for me...

There are previews of the (delayed, but hopefully still forthcoming) Misty special which I have contributed to. I did the art for 'Silence in the Sand', which can be seen on that page. Pretty much everything you need to know about that comic is on the website.

Read Online:


Tuesday, 28 February 2006

Grant Morrison Interviewed

I've added a zip file full of interviews to the Lost and Found (and done a quick shuffle round of the items while I was there). Thanks to Jenny Constantine at Barbelith for providing the compilation!

The reason behind this is the good folks at Barbelith are compiling a comprehensive list of interviews. Morrison's interviews are always entertaining, so if you want to kill a few hours, you could do worse than digging in there.

Friday, 10 February 2006

DC Universe: Alan Moore

The new Alan Moore collection from DC Comics apparently has some missing bits - I've added these to the Lost and Found page.

There's the frontispiece/endpiece to The Killing Joke by Brian Bolland (the original book opens and closes with the same page), plus the opening text from the Superman story 'Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow'. The original comic had this on the front page. A later collection moved it to an introductory page, which was presumably how it got lost from the new edition. The text is as follows:

This is an imaginary story (which may never happen, but then again may) about a perfect man who came from the sky and did only good. It tells of his twilight, when the great battles were over and the great miracles long since performed; of how his enemies conspired against him and of that final war in the snowblind wastes beneath the Northern Lights; of the two women he loved and of the choice he made between them; and how finally all the things he had were taken from him save one. It ends with a wink. It begins in a quiet midwestern town, one summer afternoon in the quiet midwestern future. Away in the big city, people still sometimes glance up hopefully from the sidewalks, glimpsing a distant speck in the sky... but no: it's only a bird, only a plane. Superman died ten years ago. This is an imaginary story...

Aren't they all?

Thursday, 9 February 2006

Football Madness

With the World Cup approaching, this years Just One Page will feature a football theme - Ade Brown is looking for contributors NOW, so if you can pick up a pencil, why not contribute a page (just one!)?

I'm doing Japan!

Wednesday, 1 February 2006

World Cup Tie-In Comic


This was done as an auction piece for the 2006 World Cup 'Just One Page' magazine. Click for larger size:

World Cup Tie-In Comic


This was done as an auction piece for the 2006 World Cup 'Just One Page' magazine. Click for larger size:

Tuesday, 31 January 2006

The V: Highly Condensed Comics

Guidelines:

Use MS Paint.
Use no more than four panels.
Use only the crudest of artwork.

There's one by me in there, but lots more that are funnier, and more crudely drawn.

HERE

Tuesday, 17 January 2006

Dans Magic Pencil

Created for and originally hosted at the 'UK Web and Mini-Comix Thing' website, this little strip appeared on rotation with a bunch of others:








The Web & Mini Comix thing is a great event, giving you the opportunity to meet some really talented cartoonists. These guys and gals create with no restrictions, which means there are some interesting experimental storytelling ideas.

If you're interested in creating comics (or similar art), its very useful to see whats being done in the field. Even if you're not inspired to create something, the event is still a fascinating opportunity to try something different. And of course, most everyone goes out for a drink afterwards!


Thursday, 5 January 2006