Monday, 7 December 2009

Unpublished works of the great writers in history Part 2

Sherlock Holmes and the shortest case ever.
by Conan Doylie

Holmes lay prostrate over the newspaper his body racked with after convulsions he was suffering due to his bout of excessive vomiting.
“My God Holmes why do you do this to yourself man?” I begged No reply was henceforth.
“You are one of the greatest minds of the age your body and soul do not need this torture”
Slowly Holmes raised his head and his dark watery eyes fixed upon me. He breathed in deeply and with some noise then began:
“You know very well Watson. Isn’t it you who feeds me these narcotics? You fool no one Watson.
What sort of Doctor would willingly give an addict opium to their hearts content unless they had an ulterior motive?”
“But Holmes I’m only here to help..” I said fairly hurt.
Holmes drew another deep breath.
“And that ulterior motive Watson is to get into my trousers. Isn’t it?”
“But..” I attempted
“Don’t think I worked it from day one poor Watson. I know your marriage is a sham, why else would that lovely creature be at home on a Saturday night alone without her husband? Don’t panic I won’t tell a soul, your loyalty has been more worth than your supply of dangerous opiates. Though…”
He drew and deep breath almost a gasp. “ Even though homosexuality is illegal in these enlightened times, if you were charged and placed in a work house you would probably get more man love inside than on the streets and houses of pleasant society”
With this he plopped his face into a pile of vomit.
I stood silent feeling both shocked and embarrassed and slightly aroused.
“Damn it Watson help me up” Holmes suddenly called waving his arms wildly seeking purchase. “I just remembered I must speak to the Queen about her grandson Albert”
“Holmes you know you can never have audience with her Majesty ever again on fear of her reintroducing transportation again and sending you to Australia” I reminded him.
“What the f..”
Obviously Holmes needed more memory jogging as I cut him off.
“Remember last time Her Majesty gave you the pleasure of her company you told her how difficult it was being so brilliant and it was hard always being within five feet of a fuck wit”
“So?” he said his eyes glassy
“So! You were alone in her chamber at the time. You insulted your Queen”
“Oh…well that’s one problem they’ll have to fix themselves then”
Holmes sat back down and collapsed again on the table.
Holmes squished around a bit more at the table trying to separate the newspaper, his fingers and the contents of his stomach, when in his characteristic style he jumped to his feet in a spastic sort of animation. “ We must go. Now Watson’” he cried.
“What is it Holmes, what did you find in the paper?”
“A hat sale Watson, I need a new one I just vomited all over my other one, let’s make haste”

Monday, 30 November 2009

Unpublished works of the great writers in history Part 1

As the title suggests, lost classics from those you'd never expect it from
The enchanted wood.

E. Ned Blyton-Society

“Dash it and a blow it” huffed Jane “That silly book has fallen again”
The big book of Fairies that Jane was reading had slipped from the carrying basket and plopped itself between her and Johns seats.
"Now I’m going to get my knees dirty."
Jane crouched down and rescued her book from under the seat.
John noticed the man opposite bend forward paying Jane’s activity a bit too much attention. Ever since they entered this compartment he had had his hands in his trouser pockets and shaking something in them.
“Um.. Jane get up please. I think our stop is next” he said. “Got it,” Jane exclaimed.
A look of disappointment overcame the man’s features and he went back to playing in his pockets.
It was their first trip alone to Aunt May’s house. Usually, Mother and Daddy came as well but Daddy hadn’t been home for some time now and Mother didn’t wake up until lunchtime these days and never really changed out of her dressing gown.
Though Aunt May was fun and let them do things Mother and Daddy wouldn’t, their favourite reason for their summer holidays was to return to the enchanted wood.

When they arrived at Puffington Station, Aunt May had arranged for a cab to collect them. The cab driver was a scruffy but happy man who asked John to sit in the front seat with him and was kind enough to ask John what he thought of his magazines that he kept in the glove box. There were just picture books of big muscled men. ”How do like those apples son?” the cabby asked.
“Very firm and ripe” John answered not really knowing what the man was talking about. When the children arrived at Aunt Mays the driver said to John if he wanted he could show him a way to save Aunt May the cab fare. John was too excited to be at their destination that he smiled and ran inside.
There to meet them were cousins Dick and Joan. “Oh it is so good to be back again”
But instead of happy talk and hugs, Dick and Joan both wore long faces.
“Oh, Jane and John it so terrible what they have done. We’re so glad you have come”
Said Joan. “What’s wrong? What’s happened?” asked John and Jane together.
“The enchanted wood” began Dick “It’s all gone”
“No” exclaimed both John and Jane. “How?”
“The council has bulldozed the wood and the little people are lost” cried Joan.
“We must go investigate,” said John.

The children ran through the field that ran along the back of Aunt Mays house and jumped the brook. There in front of them where the lush trees and heavy ferns of the enchanted wood once stood was a construction crew building a stadium and huge car park. Together the four of them approached a large man with a hard hat on.
“What have you done to our wood and what of the fairy people” yelled Jane
Two questions were obviously too much for this man because he replied “What?”
“Why is this happening?” cried John.
“Oh, I see” began the large man “The wood and the insects”
“Fairies” Joan corrected.
“Right, well what can I say kids. It takes a lot of money to build a stadium like this and on week ends a lot of mum’s and dad’s wanna see their kids play, so that means a lot of cars. Car parks can’t make themselves not like trees they pop everywhere, did you know I’m growing one in my lounge room?”
“What about our friends the Fairy people?” sobbed Jane
“Oh, yeah. Them. Well, they put up a good fight, with their itchy spells and fart bombs, but when the guys realized that when you squash them they were made of raspberry jam, the battle was over. They took off somewhere else”
“You horrid horrid man” said Dick “Where did they go?”
“Couldn’t give a toss, now piss off, this is a building site and I got a monster turd poking it’s head out and your in the way of a good read on the porta-loo”
The children had no idea what the large man was talking about as he turned and walked away leaving them sad and confused.

As the children walked slowly back to Aunt Mays a voice whispered. ”Pssst Hey!”
The children stopped. “Over here” the voice called. “It’s me”
“Ding” cried the children altogether. A small man with pointy ears, a green vest and a large hat stepped out from behind a shrub.
“You’re alright,” said Joan as she went to hug the fairy.
“But we lost so many.” Ding said as he hung his head and sobbed “Poor poor thing” comforted Jane.

The children and Ding sat in the long grass warming themselves in the summer sun, they waited for Ding to compose himself.
“It was so horrid.” Ding said eventually “But we were badly beaten, but we have regrouped and have made a decision” But the children just looked back at him with blank expressions, he continued anyway. “We will bring forth the bad majik, we have gathered the witches and asked for and paid dearly for their services. We will regain what is ours at any cost” By now Ding was hopping up and down , while Jane and Joan were making daisy chains and Dick was taking a nap. Ding continued
“Beware, my little friends, remove yourselves from the zone only fire, brimstone and gnashing of teeth await those who stay” and with that, he twirled three times quickly and disappeared in a puff of smoke. “I’m hungry.” said Dick “Me too.” said the others and they went back home for dinner.

That night an explosion of devastating ferocity blew half the town of Puffington apart including the new stadium and its surrounds. At first, it was thought to be the work of Al Quida operatives working out of the south of England but this was discounted when no signs of detonation were found and large amounts of Raspberry jam were discovered all over the blast site.

The children spent the rest of their summer holidaying at Brighton.

Monday, 23 November 2009

World War Zombie - A few links for the curious


I‘ve been a bit slow presenting this series as I’ve been a fan for sometime and I thought I’d better do something on it now that the film looks like going into production and a third installment of stories has gone into production.
I’m talking of course of Max Brook’s World War Zombie or WWZ as it has been commonly referred too.
This whole series started with the 2003s Zombie Survival Guide a serious look at how to survive the current Zombie infestation.
Like many of the mocumentaries popular in the late 90s & 2000s, Brooks – Son of comedy legend Mal Brooks – has created a book that doesn’t dumb down or over explain it’s subject matter and tells how to survive a world over run with zombies.
It has been painstakingly researched and is quite a lot of fun to read. The more anxious reader may be taken back a bit but Brooks knows his audience.
Three years later he released the book WWZ
Which tells the aftermath of the zombie wars and gives more insight to the events leading up to, during and after the zombie plague happens.
It has been optioned as a film and looks like going into production in 2010.
The latest installment is "The Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks" which tells in graphic novel form historical events of zombie attacks and how it wasn’t an isolated occurrences in the 21st century.
Brooks has explored many types of media to tell his tales and through this keeps what could become very stale in lesser hands , very fresh indeed.
A great series for those of a love of the macabre and well researched and gripping story telling.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Cartoon bands that were fleeting

Bands from cartoon shows have always incorporated "pop bands" into story lines.
One notable thing that stands out in these episodes , especialy those from the 60s Hanna-Barbera series is how far removed they were from current music trends of the time these bands tended to be.
In some instances it's as if the writers refused to accept music developed beyond 1962.
Here is a sample of such treats from classic shows as the FLINSTONES and JETSONS



Fred & Barney realise their kids are pop stars (a prophetic vision)

THE BEDROCK ROCKERS from the Flintstones offshoot the Pebbles & Bam Bam based show.


Monday, 2 November 2009

Mathew Reillly's New Book and some Great Freebies


Mathew Reilly is an acquired taste but that hasn't stopped him from being one of Australia's most popular authors.
His new release 5 Great Warriors is the 3 rd installment of the Jack West Junior series and is a must read for fans and since the books been out for nearly 2 weeks most of them have read it twice already.
Here is a link for for great Mathew Reilly freebies.
Several short stories great for reading on the bus, tram, train to work or school.
All written in the Reilly trademark style.
Fast and Furious.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Comix Collection Part 2

This is part two of my "underground" comix" collection.
The first part can be found here.

As i said earlier I hope to catalogue them one day.
I'm doing this series because there is a a shortage of good information on the net at the moment regarding 70s underground comix so maybe someone will get these in a google search and get the information they are looking for.
For some more history and/or visuals check these links.





SNOID Zap 9 Zap 11
Zap 3 A side ap 3 B side Zap 5
Weirdo #3 Fantagoro Cootchy Cooty Comix
Leather Nun Dutch Treat American Flyer Funnies
Sleazy Scandals ThunderDogs MOD
Barn Of Fear Ditko WHA. Forbidden Knowledge
Mondo Snarfo Red Raider Spirit 3D

Monday, 19 October 2009

Record covers, CD’s and failing eyesight.

I miss the old album covers, I don’t miss the vinyl records they contained, I just miss the single and old double gate 12 inch by 12 inch cardboard covers - sometimes with an inner sleeve - with their wondrous artwork and readable linear notes.

I’ve always been a keen music fan and I don’t expect the passion to wane in my old age. I’m also not adverse to technological change but I do know what I like.

Many people these days romanticize the music on vinyl saying it’s a warmer sound.
I say “Rubbish”
Give me a CD anytime. Compact, wonderful sound, no pops or scratches (and even when it sticks it sounds cool) and anyone with a record player and children know the two are not compatible.

If you want proof of how fast vinyl has become redundant just ask any teenager to pick up one of your precious albums and put it on and see how the handle it. Or better still see how fast you jump out of your chair to take it off them.

CD’s are great. Portable and cheaper than ever before and with old catalogues being released and the ability to use disc burning on your home computer you can any music you want. Mp3 players annoy me for the same reason that Discman and Walkman before them annoyed me. I don’t like walking around with earphones isolating me from the wider world. Not to mention the amount of kids on bikes who have never heard me come up behind them in my car and the have nearly swerved in front of me.

Mp3 have also created a more current phenomenon that I don’t really relate to. The mix tape or just the current top hits and the even crazier one of putting your entire album collection on a little stick or card that can be destroyed by forgetting to take it out of your trousers next time you do the washing.

I usually listen to music in my car these days and then it has to be a complete album. It’s great, the sound is clear, I can skip songs easily and I can fit 12 discs in the car glove box.
But it’s when I want to listen to music at home when I realize how much I miss those old vinyl album covers. One thing that a CD can never replicate and this was a problem cassettes had as well was to produce good-sized artwork and lyrics and linear notes you could read without the use of an industrial strength magnifying glass.

I believe that is why kids just burn and download music onto their Mp3 players these days because they never had the pleasure of scanning over the packaging of the music their listening too and looking for hidden messages or pre Photoshop artwork.

I know this sounds like an old man “why do things have to change” whine but I recall when I was pre teen and hanging around my mates big brother’s bungalow and finding all these records with the strangest pictures on them and one had naked boys and girls crawling up rocks on this alien landscape ( Led Zeppelin – Houses of the holy) another was a school desk (Alice Cooper’s Schools Out) Others were plain with beautiful calligraphy (Neil Young Harvest) Many of the records these covers held were thrown in a pile waiting to be returned to their covers. The covers themselves also had different textures and quality. Some were smooth, others had a mottled crocodile skin feel to them. All up they were a hell of a lot different from the Bagpipe and yodeling LP’s that we had at our place.
Since that day I have collected many a record, read many a book and decided that if you love music you have to go beyond the music. I was so amazed at how many people blindly interpreted popular songs with meanings that were never meant to be that I wrote a book about it.
But I have to say if CDs had that extra 7+ inches either side they’d be harder to fit in the glove box but easier to read the words.

For the record (pun intended)
Best album cover – Goodbye Yellow Brick Road – Elton John (see above)
Colourful with a triple gatefold sleeve to highlight the lyrics, that are individually stylized by different artists.
Worst album cover – The Long Run – The Eagles
At one time the most expensive album ever produced and all the sleeve had was the band name and the title of the album. A total slap in the face to fans.

Monday, 12 October 2009

How well do you know Shakespeare?

Having just reread Bill Bryson’s excellent Shakespeare I wanted to share some of the rather wonderful things this book brought to light about what we know and what we perceive about the Great Bard - William Shakespeare.
We all know who he is , we all know he is regarded as the greatest ever English language playwright, we would even be able to recognize him by his portrait almost instantly.
These are things we take for granted but as Mister Bryson points out when describing why his book is so thin:
“…to see how much of Shakespeare we can really know, from the record. Which is one reason, why (the book) is so slender”

There hangs a portrait of a man in The National Portrait Gallery of London, no one knows who painted it and its providence can only be traced back to 1747. It has been retouched over time and so ill treated that much of the detail is gone.
Scholars have presumed it is William Shakespeare because of the style it is painted in and the fashion of the clothes. It could be said it looks like a portrait of William Shakespeare, and so it should it one of the three likeness of him that all are taken from.
In fact of the other two one is a statue that was white washed thus removing all its painted on detail. This is at the place of his burial at Holy Trinity Church in
Stratford-upon-Avon and was commissioned seven years after his death; this is also the year the third portrait was made – engraved in brass – for the cover of the famous First Folio, the first collection of Shakespeare’s works. This brass etching wasn’t done from a sitting (as the statue) because Shakespeare was dead seven years before it’s commission, and is considered even by the methods of the day to be a very mediocre piece of work.

Shakespeare left the world nearly a million words of text with his collective works but only fourteen words in his own hand- his name signed six times on various legal documents and the words “by me” on his will.
No original manuscripts survive of his plays, sonnets or poems. The First Folio was constructed by two of his former colleagues and good friends who interviewed actors and friends who had played the roles.
Of the six signatures not one is spelt the same way and the only one not recorded is the one spelling that everyone knows and is now the acceptable spelling used to this day.
The fact is we know little or nothing about this man who left the world so much.
So over the years as more and more written pieces are released on the great man, some are nothing more than critical works on critical works by people who have used conjecture rather than fact to state theories, it is probably best not to judge the personality that wrote the works on just the words because that would be inaccurate and just plain wrong. The facts are we know nothing at all about the man , let alone what he may have looked like.
There are close to 5000 books published just on the subject that Shakespeare didn’t actually write his plays at all.
It is paradoxical that nearly any one above year eight at school could recognize a likeness of Shakespeare the instant they saw one but of the three surviving likeness two are pretty dodgy works by artists working years after his death and the third a rather more compelling picture of a man that may or may not be someone else all together.
He is at once the best known and least known figures in history.

Monday, 28 September 2009

The influence of Cartoon bands.


Bob Marley and the Banana Splits?
Bob Marley (seated)

Following allegations last year that Avril Lavigne plagiarised the Rubinoos an item on the BBC website notes a striking similarity between the Banana Splits' theme song and Bob Marley's Buffalo Soldier.

Listen to Buffalo Soldier - key lyric "Woy yo yo" - and The Tra La La Song, and there are distinct similarities. But while the Banana Splits came onto the scene in 1968 as hosts of The Banana Splits Adventure Hour, Bob Marley & the Wailers' Buffalo Soldier did not appear until the posthumous release of Confrontation in 1983.

According to the Bob Marley Foundation in Jamaica, the reggae legend would probably never have heard of the Banana Splits, let alone be inspired by them. Spokesman Paul Kelly says he is unfamiliar with the TV show, and nor has he dealt with other inquiries about the Banana Splits.

...." it's reggae - it's got the 'one drop beat' of the bass guitar and drums. The Wo yo yo is just Bob Marley being creative; it is Jamaican slang, an exclamation, a joyful noise the Jamaicans make when they laugh at a joke." he said. The song has a serious message: "In America, the red Indians used to say the black people resembled buffalos because of their dreadlocks - so 'Buffalo Soldier, dreadlock rasta' - and the song is about them being 'stolen from Africa, brought to America, fighting on arrival, fighting for survival' about 400 years ago."

Fleagle in concert

But a musicologist, who asked not to be named for professional reasons, says the songs are "strikingly similar. The main differences are in bars two and six, where the timing and inflection in Buffalo Soldier is more jumpy and Marley sings with a groove, whereas the Banana Splits theme song is "straight". And in bars three and seven, a note is gained in Buffalo Soldier or omitted in The Tra La La Song. "The other difference is in bar four - where the final note goes down to a C in Buffalo Soldier but up to an E in Banana Splits. In bar eight they both go down."

Well there you have it. Will the Bob Marley foundation be required to pay royalties to the creators of a kid’s show? Somehow I doubt it but I wish I could get that damned banana splits song out of my head... Oh oh Chongo!

Shamelessly lifted from
Go visit

Monday, 21 September 2009

The Bots - The world's first virtual band

We all know that Gorillaz are the most popular and succesful bvirtual band in the world but the Bots take claim as the first. The Bots have been around since about 1992 and were basically an anti President Bush senior bunch of cyber nerds , when the first Presidential Mix, Bushwack, was released under the name Tone Def. Bushwack utilized The Bots so called revolutionary Presidential Truth Filter, which extracts truthful statements from vast wastelands of presidential obfuscation and distortion.

Later, in about 1996, The Bots employed speech synthesizers to create one of the first downloadable songs on the internet. Smoky, Paul Bot and Fred Bot created the song "Fuck You" in general midi and soundfont format, as mp3 files were still in the future. Through a series of recordings, The Bot Brothers, as they originally called themselves, displayed a bad attitude and an angry sarcasm that was unmistakeable. Years later, Synthia joined The Bots and the band went in a slightly different direction. Her recipe was to add a little bit of sugar to the mix.

Now The Bots claim to be as angry and critical as ever, but it is all filtered through a prism of hope, love, and humor.

Most info gleaned from here.

make up your own mind.

Monday, 7 September 2009

The Motors

I while ago while fishing around on Youtube, I stumbled across this classic Motors track from their self titled first album, the one before they got all emo with the hit airport and album Tenement steps.
I was actually looking for a live performance but this wonderful animation takes the cake for sheer brilliance.
I loves it

Monday, 31 August 2009

I don't think so

I had these two links up my sleeve for a while.
They are two best of lists regarding all time best cartoon bands.
With the occasional exception I can't believe the authors of these pieces took their heads out of their arses long enough to actually look around and research a bit better, though I will admit both did well their number one pick even if neither appeared in each others list.
If by chance this is their truthful and honest opinion I never want to see their favourite book or movie list.

Top Ten from Topless Robot

Top 5
from msnbc entertainment

From the archive

Monday, 24 August 2009

Some nice pieces of footage to share.

District 9 has began screening last week and those who aren't aware it was made after Peter Jackson gave up butting heads with Hollywood Sudio execs over the Halo movie and felt he owed (then unemployed) Director Neill Blomkamp a movie.
So he made a full movie version of Blomkamp's short movie Alive in Joberg.
So here is the short film and a fan made trailer for the unmade Halo movie.

Monday, 17 August 2009

Who watches the Watchmen? Me of course.

I observed with interest when news broke of the making of a Watchmen movie.
The comic (graphic novel) that it was based on had become legend in fanboy circles and deservingly so, Alan Moore’s genius script with Dave Gibbons competent artwork have created an amazing epic saga that satisfies immensely brilliantly detailed with it’s fantastic storylines,
plot subplot and ultimate finish.
The word was out that Zack Snyder would destroy the adaptation completely and Hollywood would be responsible for screwing up another masterpiece to satisfy the masses and their own wallets.

They were wrong in my opinion, it turned out Zack Snyder was the perfect guy for the job, heaven forbid if Michael Bay got the gig, the movie was faithful to the book and only omitted this not totally necessary to the plot, the Tales of the Black Freighter (the comic book story inside the comic) being the most noticeable.
It was a major hit and deservingly so and I bought the special release dvd and because of that I decided to have a peek at some of the other releases that the movie has set into action.

Of course you can get re-releases of the 12 part comic release as an omnibus, some are ridiculously expensive and are for people who collect don’t enjoy.
For me it was the $AUS 39.00 soft cover version which is more than satisfactory, because it is what it is, the complete story as it was told.
For those who thought the whole movie for some strange reason inappropriate (and there are a few out there) the answer came in the Dave Gibbon’s produced Watchen, motion comic dvd.
This is the next best thing to the comic if not better.
Because it’s the comic, panel-by-panel animated.
Nothing is left out At 5 hours it is terrific value and gives you a chance to relive the graphic novel as a whole new experience.
Something that is a bit of a mystery in the dvd if I have to be a critical.
The narration is handled superbly by Tom Stechschule , I just wish they could of spent a few dollars hiring a woman to do the female voices. It is the only failing in a great production.
As with most film adaptation of his work Alan Moore has said he has no intention of ever seeing Zack Snyder’s Watchmen movie and in the Motion Comic you would be excused if you thought he had nothing to do with it as he is not mentioned anywhere in the credits.
Released at the same time is the Tales of the Black Freighter, this short animation is a retelling of the comic within a comic from the Watchmen graphic novel.
Technically better presented than the Motion comic and with "300" star Gerard Butler doing the voice of the doomed captain it is a bit short.
Clocking in at 30 minutes and incredibly gory it is the cautionary tale of madness, as a stand alone product it could be considered a bit of a rip off what saves this dvd from such accusations is the accompanying short.
Under the Hood. The memoirs of Hollis Mason mentioned in the comic and movie.
This mockumentary delves deeper into the cult of the Watchmen and uses all the movie characters to fill in a lot of detail regarding the formation of the minutemen and the period between the early “Masked Heroes” and the Keene Act the outlawed the new brand “The Watchmen” Of course this is all in the original comic but it shows Zack Snyder's geruine good will and respect towards the original concept by being a big part of these additional projects and hopefully dispell the nasty attacks that first appeared when it was first announced to head the movie project.
I believe he has breathed new life into a 20 year + project that could have got lost in fandom.
Once again the is no mention of Alan Moore only the Dave Gibbons co-created.
Highly recommended.