Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Art has been cancelled.

Art has been cancelled because my computer has stopped talking to my scanner - or vice versa.  Which is a BIT of a bugger as it's the only way I can get the pages and pages of comic strip I have drawn into the wider world of Photoshop, Sketchbook, and the other post- paper and pencil software I use to do the lettering and colouring (and fixing my more awful drawing disasters) and thence to the web and eager eyeballs all over the world.

Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible, I suspect this only a temporary aberration - probably caused by me fucking with things that should not be fucked with - though I don't remember thinking "I wonder if this is entirely safe?" recently...

Ah well.  I just wish it hadn't happened in the middle of a seven page strip.  6 pages so far pencilled only 5 scanned.


Friday, May 17, 2019

I'm taking a wee break from the 7 page superhero strip I'm currently working on to start  on the cover for the next paper comic:  We have a con or two coming up and I need to have something new to point at as people walk past the stall not buying stuff.  That and I needed a break from endlessly (it seems) drawing the same two guys and trying to make them look interesting as they deliver their lines (sequential art is HARD! Especially when you're foolish enough to write a script in which the entire cast is the same character from multiple alternate universes.  I'm never doing THAT again.) So, this evening, after finishing pencilling the day's page (six panels including one total cop out "I'll add the interdimensional portal thingy in Photoshop later" panel) I had fun throwing my space-babe heroine into the clutches of something with a LOT of tentacles.

This isn't totally gratuitous - there is a gag coming.


Sunday, May 12, 2019

One of the great ways old SF movies (I'm talking about the 1950s and 60s here) used start was  to have our intrepid scientist/adventurers hold a press conference.  This was a great way  to get a shedload of info-dumping done thus getting the audience up to speed before the fun and games dodging meteor showers, getting attacked by giant rubber spiders, and trying not to kill the annoyingly stupid comic relief got going.   During the press conference  the scriptwriters could straight out answer the questions in the audience's mind (e.g.. "WTF is going on?") by having the questions posed for them by men with press passes tucked into their hatbands.   Concepts like multi-stage rockets, zero gravity, and the need to get to the moon before the 'Commies' could be explained in excruciating detail without sounding TOO much like a lecture.  These press conferences would often end with a Lady Reporter asking the Woman Scientist on the expedition for the 'Feminine Angle'.   (Sadly not ONE single Woman Scientist - and they always were single - answered '27 point seven degrees' which is a very feminine angle.  "None of your Right angled macho square stuff for me!").

 I digress.

 I have noticed that I have tendency to do something similar in my strips.  I find I often draw someone telling a crowd of people a whole pile of stuff that helps set up the joke.  A leader rallying his troops, a town crier making an announcement, a politician hectoring an audience.   In the strip I'm working on now I have a mass meeting of superheroes from across multiple dimensions - the trouble is jotting down 'crowd of faces' in my sketchbook as I'm writing the strip and doing a few loopy circles is easy....

When it come to DRAWING the bloody thing properly...

I seriously hate myself at the moment (well, the part of me that has to do the art hates the bit that writes the stuff) which is why I probably shouldn't work with writers.

My current work in progress has 106 faces IN THE FIRST PANEL!  All of which are attached to bodies and clothes and all of which will need colouring.... I am really going to have to give myself a stern talking too.  While I'm at it I'll give all the other bits of myself that do silly things a good talking to as well.  I'll hire a hall.

Hmm... I may get a strip out of this....

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Comic Strip Writing 102

Argh! Looking through my recent  Arthur story on line I noticed two HUGE typos - since corrected - HOW DOES this happen?

Meanwhile I'm working on a superhero yakfest which runs to 7 pages but... and this is a BIG 'but' for me... (And yes, I can hear my kids snikkering - "he said 'big butt' snarf! snarf!") ...I'm getting organised. I'm doing the layout and lettering first. The thumbnail/script in my sketchbook looks like a workable layout* instead of my usual mess of tiny panels with too much text crammed into them Sometimes sideways and onto the next page, often with little arrows and asterisks telling me where to go next.

Usually this means that as I draw the strip out, the art has to expand to make room for the words and I will often find what was one page of doodle in the sketchbook turns into 3 or more pages of strip.
Sometimes X and a half pages which is kind of annoying because then I'll have to go back and write MORE stuff to get to the bottom of a page.

This time though I'm pretty sure I can stick to my plan - which will be a first. So do the lettering, Print out the pages. Draw in round the word bubbles. What can go wrong...?

[Watch this space.]

* I think I had just read Tim Pilcher and Dave Gibbons' rather excellent book How Comics Work and had obviously learned something.

Monday, May 06, 2019


Daughter #1 and I went on the AUOB  Indy March in Glasgow on Saturday.  The first time I have ever felt able to march / walk / protest (whatever) while carrying the national flag. I have loathed nationalism and the parochial mindsets that go with 'National Pride' and the symbology of banners all my life.  The only flags I have felt any identification with have been wide, all-inclusive ones.  The Pride Rainbow...  The EU flag... symbols of hope over adversity -  but these are interesting times.

So I carried a flag and walked in the sunshine and chanted a bit and blethered with people. For a while D#1 and I walked beside a bunch of middle-aged gay women carrying Rainbow, EU, and Scottish flags.  I felt more comfortable with them.

At the end of two hours we reached the rally at Glasgow Green and D#1 and I split off to go and get a coffee at Mono.  (I'm so out of condition I needed  a sit down.)  We had coffee, D#1 bought a couple of CDs and a DVD, we chatted a while, and when we came out  the march was still arriving at the rally.  There were a LOT of people.

I felt like I had been part of something.

I don't know who took this photo,
 or where it's from
 but isn't it GREAT?

Thursday, May 02, 2019

Part 2 of the "Every film I watched, attempted to watch, or fell asleep in the middle of" for 2018.

  1. Five Fingers -
  2. Monty Python's meaning of Life
  3. Fortress - well that was as awful as I remembered it being. Holy crap! They made a sequel!
  4. She Wore a Yellow Ribbon - which, having not watched it for many years and then obviously not on a colour television ( yes- that long!), I was surprised to find wasn't in Black and White.
  5. The Scarlet Claw Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes
  6. Storm - Swedish SF/Fantasy/Existential Angst/Couldn't Make Its Mind Up movie that started off well but just lost me somewhere as it all turned out to be a lot less interesting than it was trying to be.
  7. Star Trek Nemesis - I guess this must have been one of the more interesting Star Trek films because I only fell asleep once while watching it.
  8. Lost Future - In the distant future tribal survivors of a plague fight for survival and a cure - watchable despite some seriously holey plot. Impressive set design work though.
  9. The Tomorrow Man - not bad low-budget (near zero SFX ) time travel story in which a wanted criminal goes back in time to kidnap himself from his abusive father in order to take him into the future to give him a better childhood.
  10. In Time - nice idea (time is literally currency - everyone gets born with 25 years of life but can buy gamble trade for more time to extend their lives) and it's an idea interestingly played with - but there are plot holes you could drive several buses through (side by side some of them) and enough 'gosh! wasn't THAT lucky?' moments for several films, but it looks good. Very stylish. There was enough going on that wasn't totally stupid to keep me watching .
  11. Valley of the Bees (1967) - I don't know a lot about Czech cinema but so far I have been pretty well impressed by everything I have seen.
  12. Ocean's Twelve - That was silly. A bit soggy at the end but a fun ride.
  13. Return of the Pink Panther - I introduce my younger kids to Inspector Cluseau. We all giggled like loons. Great fun.
  14. Iron Sky - it had its moments.
  15. Narcoplis - low budget British SF which thought it was cleverer than it was. Anyone who had read any Philip K Dick or read ANY time travel SF could have told you what was going to happen for the rest of the film from about 5 minutes in. The rest of the world could have told you from about 10 minutes in. The film has a prologue set twenty years before the action of the main film. A title card "Twenty years earlier" separates the two. Our cop hero finds the unidentifiable body of a man of about 29 years old - and then goes to see his nine year old son and gives him a copy of H G Wells' The Time Machine as a present. (Three Very Dramatic Chords please)... blah blah blah...
  16. The Mask - (with Number One Son). Never seen it before. I thought it was crap.
  17. It's a Wonderful Life - with Number 2 Daughter.
  18. Alien - with Number 1 Daughter.
  19. Forbidden Planet - with daughter #2
  20. Razorback - Giant mutant pig terrorizes a bit of the Australian outback as seen through the filter of an MTV video director who went on to make the hilariously awful Highlander.
  21. Dracula 3: Legacy A film I own only because it has Rutger Hauer in in it - a few years ago I dared myself to watch every film he has ever made. Boy has he been in some s**t. I have no idea why I dared myself to do this stupid thing but I did and I shall. Dracula 3: Legacy was very s**t. One of those films where Hauer was obviously on set for two or three days at most (all his scenes took place in one set) and had a huge vampire lesbian orgy in it (on a different set) which was even less interesting than the usual lackluster "Do we have to...?" movie lesbian vampire stuff that turns up in Jean Rollin's movies of the 70s. I really must get round to watching some of his good films.
  22. My Bloody Valentine (1981) Canadian slasher film on a DVD, which my teenage daughter tells me, has been shorn of all the "Good Gory Bits". From her descriptions of what was cut I don't think I missed much.

Missing CD? Contact vendor

Free CD
Please take care
in removing from cover.

Copyright (c) 2004-2007 by me, Liam Baldwin. That's real copyright, not any 'creative commons' internet hippy type thing.

(this copyright notice stolen from

eXTReMe Tracker