Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Captain Goodvibes revisited

Growing up in the outer suburbs of Melbourne in the 1970s was pretty much a waste land.
Magazines like Tracks showed a world a million miles away aesthetically and socially.
It was the mag where even the ads took you somewhere else.
Besides the articles and photography of unattainable places there was the regular Captain Goodvibes strip.
Tony Edwards and the Captain

Creator Tony Edwards had a unique style that made hard lines obsolete, Each panel was a wonderland of dots and shading.
Each month the Good Captain with his faithful dog Astro managed to be disgusting, violent and hilarious all in one big mad adventure.

This gem is a short film from where I'm not sure but it faithfully reproduces the comic strip.
Conjures up what Yellow Submarine would have been like if the creators hit the gin and heroin instead of the acid.

A previous article

Friday, 18 November 2011

Flashback 2011

It's that time of the year again when the Flash Fiction group over at the rather less important than it use to be Red Bubble thanks to their absolute lack of support for writing.
But somehow even under those repressive conditions the group has managed to  thrive and thanks to the many wonderful contributors another volume of the Best Of has been published.
I actually had a hand in this one but most of the glory sits squarely on the lovely Anne van Alkermade's shoulders who edited the whole book and supplied her ISBN for publishing immortality in the National Library.
Catherine Swanson supplied some inspired cover art as well as some of the most clever stories.
I did some proof reading, which is like asking a five year old to look after a sand castle, if you get my drift.
So check it out here and buy a copy if you feel the need.
There are some wonderful and rather witty works in there.
The must see section would have to be the Barbara Cartland Challenge.
It will bring tears of laughter and may  stir a loin or two.

Here's a couple of my stories.

Everyone reacts differently

He’d been at the door for hours now.
Just standing in the doorway with his “army” hat he’d made so that it looked just like his dad’s.
His mother was still lying on the bed sobbing uncontrollably clutching the official letter that arrived that afternoon.
In a scene of subtle synchronicity, the boy saluted the sun as it set in the mid winter sky just as his mother dropped the letter onto the floor.
As of tonight the world as they knew it would take a whole new course, meanwhile the cat went from room to room trying to get either’s attention so it could be fed.

Route 66, Critters 0

“I spy with my little eye something begging with E”


“I spy with my little eye something beginning with K”



“I spy with my little eye something begging with W”

BOOMP! BOMP! Thud Thud Thud


“Right I hope you two are happy now “ cried Mum “ If you were that bored we could have stopped for a while gone for a walk. That Wombat has done some serious damage.”

Barbra Cartland NOT

He couldn’t stand it any longer.
It should be paradise.
The four poster bed, the silk sheets, the lace pillows and beautiful views from the second floor balcony just two steps away.
But it wasn’t, it was a hellish experience.
Here he was, the world’s most eligible bachelor in a villa surrounded by middle aged housewives .
The collective sound of heaving breasts making it impossible to sleep on his first vacation in years.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Dr Dee

Checking out Damon Albarn's new English Opera and getting acquainted with John Dee

The sixteenth century in England (and Europe in general) was an amazing time in modern history. It is regarded by historians as the century in which the rise of the West occurred.
With the likes of the Protestant Reformation, the Spanish Armada, circumnavigation of the globe. Important characters of history appear everywhere, there names instantly recognizable Henry V111, Elizabeth 1, Sir Francis Drake, William Shakespeare, Sir Walter Raliegh add these names to others from Europe
Copernicus, Machiavelli, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci , Nostradamus, Christopher Columbus, Martin Luther, you get a feeling that modern civilisation began in 16th Century.
One name that keeps popping up recently is the name of John Dee.
A former confidant of Elizabeth 1 and inspiration for characters for the plays of Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe, he led an amazing life as a scholar, mathematician, occultist and alchemist.
He is recently the subject of a modern opera by Damon Albarn on the recommendation of Alan Moore.
I highly recommend you look him via the list of links below.
Also linked are a collection of songs from the opera as well as several interviews with Albarn.
Very Interesting reading and viewing.

This is a 48 minute doco from the Hallmark channel which is a bit dramatic but still very interesting. It concentrates a bit too much on the occult side.
It also features Alan Moore.

John Dee Wikipedia article

John Dee Society

Download 10 songs from the opera and a rather interesting interview with Albarn

Saturday, 5 November 2011

A story about me (sort of)

100% Danny Nolan
Written a couple of years ago by the very talent T Shirt prodigy Lucan Industries
Sadly not very productive these days but still worth a visit to check out his innovative and thought provoking designs.
This is the story but the original can be found here.
I was responsible for the Ralpph Steadman knock off.

100% Danny Nolan

Nolan stared back down the road, the bike’s dust trails disappeared quickly around the bend but the growl of the engine took longer to subside, he walked, unsure of his next move, to what passed for a kerb to avoid being cross-bred with another speeding bike. He was somewhere south of Arambol and the sun was setting fast through the palm trees to his west. A man walked past eating an onion as if it were an apple, nodding in Nolan’s vague direction, but it may have just been a twitch, Nolan started to whistle the theme tune to The Six Million Dollar Man, stuck his hands in the pockets of his dusty shorts and walked off the embankment the road monopolised and through the rice field to the beach.
As he reached the foot of the dunes he passed a hut, four individuals sat within, silently staring at the horizon, a chillum made it’s way around the group, ritualistically smoked without comment, music escaped from a small indian-made stereo wedged in the sand, any trace of the warm wholesome bass that the producer intended to deliver had been robbed by the 500 rupee sound system, but no one seemed to mind.
Nolan continued his route towards the shoreline, a Rajdoot coughed into life 50 yards ahead, the driver struggled to get the bike moving forward as it fishtailed in the soft sand, but eventually it bit and roared up the beach, past Nolan and on towards the road.
He reached the water and sat down amongst the thousands of dead bodies littering the coastline. The sun was just reaching the horizon, and was casting a pink light across the decaying corpses, glinting off fake jewellery and motionless watches. Nolan kicked a stray arm away from him to outstretch his own legs, then stared at the burning sphere and counted the seconds until it disappeared from view, wrinkling his nose involuntarily from the smell of rotting flesh.
When Helios had ridden his chariot over the horizon Nolan jumped to his feet and walked through the putrid human mass towards a makeshift bar. When he reached it’s entrance he kicked his sandals off and walked up onto the carpeted bamboo frame. He surveyed the other patrons, one man asleep on the floor, another old woman coveting a plate of rice and deeply engaged in conversation with someone who hadn’t turned up yet, and a twentysomething ponytailed man wearing only a cloth around his waist shouting something foreign into a cheap mobile. Nolan ordered a pint of vodka from the boy and, after selecting a table with a prominent view, settled back on a cheap, white plastic garden chair.
The boy returned with his drink, Nolan removed the unnecessary straw and tied a knot in it before throwing it onto the sand below. He then poured a third of the firewater onto a day old burn on his thigh before draining the rest in one mouthful. It scorched his throat, and burned his stomach, his eyes began to water and he laughed, noiselessly. Nolan turned to the man at the next table who was still busily barking orders into his phone, “Shut the fuck up” Nolan explained casually. The man stopped talking and looked at this red faced, watery-eyed newcomer, confusion dripping down his arrogant face. “Huh?” he unimpressively retorted. “I said, shut the fuck up” Nolan reasonably returned, then standing, slowly, he threw up over the man with the mobile, litres and litres of blood streaked, vodka saturated vomit, chunks of the last meal that had found it’s way into his stomach snagged in the man’s ponytail. Phone man stood sharply, yelling, pushed against his equally cheap chair, which folded under the pressure and both collapsed in a putrid mess on the floor. Nolan kicked the man’s phone away and then slowly, and not too steadily headed back to the entrance to retrieve his sandals.

cheers nolan
As he trailed his feet in the sand trying to locate his footwear, his eyes no longer being of much use, the boy appeared with a yard long, 3 inch thick piece of bamboo, and brought it down, squarely on top of his head, Nolan fell forward and broke his nose on the step, but it really didn’t matter, the bamboo had split his skull and blood was rapidly filling his corpus callosum, he had about a minute left to breathe. It hurt, incredibly, but the vodka numbed the worst of it. “Should have stayed on the bike” he thought to himself. Then he stopped thinking altogether.
At some point today became tomorrow, but no one really noticed.