Sunday, 8 January 2017

The Order Of The Daleks.

One of the November releases from Big Finish was the Sixth Doctor story The Order Of The Daleks which introduced a wonderfully original Dalek er, "Paradigm" .A stunning creation arrived at through the collaborative efforts of writer Mike Tuckers, director Jamie Anderson and CG designer Chris Thompson. Just take a look at the finished article, a delightful fusion of stain glass, lead piping and striking interior lighting. If this thing came trundling out of a darkened crypt screaming its interminable hate speech (The only language a Dalek truly speaks.) it would turn fifty years of Dalek history on its head. Think about a creature like a Dalek driven by a moral certainty and you discover a new depth of cruelty and madness they have not, til now, plumbed. Consider the most evil acts in human history and how many of them were driven by an absolute belief in the righteousness of insane acts. Imagine a Dalek with a faith,a monster that believes in something. Things just got a whole lot more horrible.
              Saw a very nice article on the work of Jamie Anderson in the recent Doctor Who 2017 Yearbook (And a whole lot of Who related stuff was going on despite the absence of New Who on Saturday night television.)"Return To The Forbidden Planets" is a great article and Jamie Anderson has some interesting stuff to share and tell.I had a nice chance to tell Chris Thompson himself what a wonderful job he has done , saw some other work by this very personable fellow and now look forward to whatever surprises he may have up his creative sleeve.
                 "..his creative sleeve. What is a creative sleeve? " I hear you ask.  A creative sleeve is something like a sorting hat. Only, it is nothing like a sorting hat. More like a boot cupboard. A big giant boot cupboard. With no boots in it. Just surprises.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Road Goes On Forver.

I do not find a fist thumping air pumping moment coming along very often in Doctor Who comics (Or in any comics for that matter.) but the recent issue of The Eleventh Doctor Adventures Yeat Two #15 was as close to having just such a moment. I am not one who is inclined to air pumping gestures of any kind. I have just never been comfortable with the historic precedent for such things and what they usually signify. Salutes of any form usually end in some one getting hurt.
              No, I am talking about a moment of pure joy that expresses itself in a spontaneous reflex when you cannot but help yourself and think "Boy, They Got That Right.". Such was the case with the creative team of Si Spurrier and Rob Williams and artist Simon Fraser with the story Physician, Heal Thyself. The culmination of a complex story arc that literally ends with a bang..and a bang.. and a bang,bang,bang,bang..
                Abslom Daak finds himself in Dalek Killer paradise.
                Its a pretty twisted idea but then he is a pretty twisted character.
                Abslom Daak  will also serve as a reminder of just how creative an artist the late Steve Dillon was.Abslom and the Cyberman With A Soul. They are almost mythic characters to readers of a certain vintage.The denouement of this story would surely have made Steve smile and for that reason alone it stands out as being worth completing. The 5oth Anniversary episode of Doctor Who was a perfect celebration of what New Who has come to mean to people. This story arc is also a bridge between the worlds of Doctor Who as it is now and those far off days of a weekly Doctor Who magazine and comic.It seems like such a trivial thing when weighed up against the huge loss of Steve but our days are made up of such trivial things. He was held in such high regard not just for his talent as an artist but also because he was such an exceptional human being. Smart, witty and with a rebel's twinkle in his eye.
                The kind of Right Stuff you cannot fake.
                                                             (From my sketch book.)

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Different Drummer.

Quick drum roll ladies and gentlemen. 2016 just came to a dramatic close and 2017 beckons like a clean page waiting to be scribbled on. Put your booby babble on it.
                'Cause if its your booby babble it will be some one elses.

A Knight To Remember.

Ken Dodd has been knighted!. A funny wonderful man who never let his fans down and has made generations laugh over the  years.Its an old thing left over from Empire I know but it is quite the honour for quite the honourable gentleman. In the old school sense of the word. I suspect this will mean the world to Doddy and I hope he gets the message he means the world to so many.
            Well done Doddy!
            You are not just a Knight you are a Prince amongst men.
            There will be some partying tonight in Knotty Ash.

Thursday, 15 December 2016

A Trick Of The Tail.

The toughest thing about doing this sketch of Basil Brush was getting him to stand still while i scribbled away. He is a master of the theatrical anecdote , you know. It comes quite naturally to him. He is a born story teller and a great thinker. Like a small hairy orange Stephen Fry, so to speak. I have off late been trying to fill a few gaps (Oh er, Madam.) in my Basil Brush annual collection. they are lovely books. with artwork and stories by the great Peter Firmin.
             I would have asked Basil to sign them for me but I feel he is a pal now.
             It seemed a trifle gauche.
             And I much prefer a gauche trifle.

Rogue Trooper.

Bumped into the notorious Hedge scout herself at the frankly spellbinding Star wars Rogue One Preview. Bad company but also the best of company. There were a number of imperials (including the big bad Darth Vader himself rasping about in that louche way of his, strangling a few people here and force slamming a few people there.)in the screening and a surprising few Rebels. Nothing to do with politics off course, the bad guys always seem better dressed.
            Loved the film. Talk about suspension of belief. Even my aged palette was satisfied, Felt transported to a galaxy far far away. And a time that seemed passed away. 1977 all over again.
            Best part of the evening was watching my pal Joseph dragged upfront to lead a chorus of the John Williams Star Wars theme. There he was waving his arms and singing away like a returned Prince Of Wallachia as the audience tunelessly did their best.The Son Of The dragon himself.
           You can see Vader himself lurking about in the background of this photo. Force chomping on a sweet and sour spider.Even Dark Lords Of The Sith have a sweet tooth it seems.

Abslom Daak

Picked this issue of Doctor Who Eleven Issue Eleven. The one with a variant cover drawn by Steve Dillon. Of his own character and creation Abslom Daak. A small but poignant reminder of the great loss of Steve Dillon. That wonderful artist, that wonderful man. It is not that long ago that Si Spurrier reintroduced the feared Dalek killer to the Doctor Who multiverse continuity and it all seemed so well timed with Steve enjoying a new burst of creativity and a welcoming and growing  respect for an artist who never let his fans down.
And a man who never let his friends down.