Do you remember your first kiss?

Do you remember your first kiss?
Do you remember your first kiss?

Friday, 2 February 2018

Plastic Man 1 (1966)

Plastic Man #1 (1966) was, for me, the best cover of the silver-age. Sure, I know that Plastic Man debuted in the '40s, and that Jack Cole was a fantastic artist. Sadly, for both Jack and myself, I wasn't around then and so missed the birth of this iconic superhero. However, when Gil Kane drew his version of the DC revived Plas, I was an eager young comic-devourer and I loved this comic. I loved Plas's attitude above all else - his cynicism appealed to me even at my pre-pubescent age.  I loved the cover, I loved issue 1, and I loved issues 2 to 10. 
One thing I never got - why did Plas say, on the cover "You'll never know, commissioner, whom I ran into!"    Why did he not say "You'll never guess, commissioner, whom I ran into!" Surely that would've made more sense! 
Notwithstanding that, here it is in all its 3 megapixel glory - Plastic Man #1.

Monday, 28 November 2016

Leonard Cohen

Here's my tribute to the late, great Leonard Cohen, who died on 7th November 2016, aged 82.  The lyrics come from the track "Darkness" from his album "Old Ideas" released in 2012.

Sunday, 3 July 2016

#Brexit - what the hell is going on?

If anyone out there doesn't understand what's going on in UK politics at the moment, here is a short and succinct resume:-

"So. let me get this straight... the leader of the opposition campaigned to stay but secretly wanted to leave. so his party held a non-binding vote to shame him into resigning so someone else could lead the campaign to ignore the result of the non-binding referendum which many people now think was just angry people trying to shame politicians into seeing they'd all done nothing to help them.

Meanwhile. the man who campaigned to leave because he hoped losing would help him win the leadership of his party accidentally won and ruined any chance of leading because the man who thought he couldn't lose. did - but resigned before actually doing the thing the vote had been about. The man who'd always thought he'd lead next. campaigned so badly that everyone thought he was lying when he said the economy would crash - and he was. but it did. but he's not resigned. but. like the man who lost and the man who won. also now can't become leader. Which means the woman who quietly campaigned to stay but always said she wanted to leave is likely to become leader instead.

Which means she holds the same view as the leader of the opposition but for opposite reasons. but her party's view of this view is the opposite of the opposition‘s. And the opposition aren't yet opposing anything because the leader isn't listening to his party. who aren't listening to the country. who aren't listening to experts or possibly paying that much attention at all. However. none of their opponents actually want to be the one to do the thing that the vote was about. so there's not yet anything actually on the table to oppose anyway. And if no one ever does do the thing that most people asked them to do. it will be undemocratic and if any one ever does do it. it will be awful.


Thursday, 31 March 2016

I Name This Ship...

So, the story of the week this week, must be the rather strange proposal issued by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) to the public to come up with a name for a new research ship currently being constructed at the Cammell Laird shipyard on Merseyside, England.
The ship (cost £19 million) is being built at government expense and will go to Antarctica in 2019 to carry out scientific research.  NERC asked the public to visit their website and choose, and vote for a name for the vessel.
Some names were eminently sensible.  Many suggested The RRS Shackleton, after the great British explorer who almost made it to the South Pole in 1909.  Some came up with RRS David Attenborough, the famous naturalist, who will be 90 this year while others suggested more esoteric names such as RRS Polar Dream.

However, the out-and-out winner at this moment is the RSS BOATY McBOATFACE which has polled over 27,000 votes, ten times more than its closest rival, RRS Henry Worsley.
Doesn't this tell us something about the great British public? I think it tells us that no matter how many times authorities try to impose sensible authority on us, it usually backfires. The British public like nothing better than something to smile about, rather than something boring and grand.  It fits in with our rather cynical attitude to authority in general. 
It remains to be seen whether the public's choice of name will ultimately succeed, as a) there is still 16 days of voting left, and b) NERC has made it clear that it has only asked for suggestions, and that the final decision rests with it.  I can't help hoping that, in three years time, as the plucky research vessel arrives in Antarctic waters that the crew will raise their glasses and drink a toast to BOATY McBOATFACE!

Monday, 21 March 2016

E.U. - Stay in or leave?

The problem for me (and the average British voter) is that the issues are far too complex for anyone to be able to make an 'informed' decision. I've watched Question Time for the last three weeks, and now I have even more questions than I did before I started watching! Added to this we have the unhelpful 'non-information' fed to us by Cameron, Osborne and Johnson. Headline stuff only, such as "XXXXX jobs will be lost if we leave the E.U." The next day, "XXXXXX jobs will be saved if we leave the E.U.". Therefore the only way that the average voter will vote will be on a 'gut feeling' which is worrying.
I'm not even sure that the British public should be asked to make such a decision. In 1965, Parliament voted to abolish the death penalty, a liberal policy that most voters would support now. However had there been a referendum in 1965, undoubtedly the British public would have voted against such a measure, as feelings ran high that hanging wasn't such a bad thing (ask my dad!).
Therefore we are not qualified, we don't understand the issues, we can only guess how either option might affect us personally, and solid facts are hard to come by. I will vote, and I lean towards voting in favour of staying in the E.U., but currently I am still very much in the 'undecided' camp.

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

The greatest LP of the 1980s - bar none

Welcome to the Pleasuredome
by Frankie Goes To Hollywood

"I'm sorry, I left me card at home",
"Well, you're late as well. That's three times on the run. The supervisor says if you're late again, we've gotta put you on daily signing."
Followed by Holly's cry "Ha" - is it of anguish or anger?
This is the run-in to Frankie's version of Springsteen's "Born to Run" which in my humble opinion is better than the original.

What on earth are you going on about, I hear you ask. Well, these are the opening lines to just one single track on the magnum opus that is "Welcome to the Pleasuredome." And a pleasuredome it is too - a roller coaster ride of magnificently produced gargantuan sound. Every track is an absolute pleasure to listen to - from the opening track with sounds of birds singing, to the ending with the narrator repeating "Frankie say, Frankie say, Frankie say...No more!" I love it - every goddamn minute of it. Take time out, grab some good headphones and listen to the whole sixty minutes with no interference from any extraneous noise - I guarantee you'll regard it as one of the best hours of your life.
This is, without doubt, the best album of the 80s - even better than Kate Bush's "Hounds of Love."
Just one gripe - I'm sure that on my original vinyl version, there was a track featuring a Prince Charles soundalike asking "Just what exactly is meant by orgasm?" That seems to be missing here - or did I only imagine it?
Listen - go buy this album now - I promise you won't be disappointed.