Saturday, January 31, 2009

At last, after almost two months, I got my 18-55 lens back from Jessops and the strange thing is that because it's half the weight of my 18-108mm, it feels like I don't even have a camera with me. So on Thursday, I took a walk down to The Strand to do a couple of things, armed with the repaired old lens and the light was crisp, so I shot quite a few images around Covent Garden and Bloomsbury (just for a change :)). It felt a little strange because I used to walk around Covent Garden when Time was on Waterloo Bridge and now Time is a place I'm not likely to work for again because they've cut right back on staff and work. So here are a few photos from Covent Garden and Bloomsbury including the Masons building, Piano's shopping centre in St Giles which is coming along and a few other places…

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Superhero Special is looking fantastic so I thought I'd share the uncorrected Dan Didio spread plus the latest version of the cover with you. Don't forget that you can still order it from Diamond or get it from Barnes & Noble in the US or Borders in the UK in March when it hits…

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

I admit I've been a bit remiss and haven't posted anything on this blog for seven days now. It's just that the week has been filled up with getting on with the TRIPWIRE Superhero Special, which is coming along fantastically now (it will be the best looking publication we've done ever), and getting started on my Frank Quitely piece for the Megazine, which is going well. I've also picked up a Watchmen feature to write for Sci Fi Now, now that the film is back on again. I did go and see a press screening of David Goyer's horror film The Unborn but I really can't be arsed to review it. It's not very good, the plot is stupid but there are a couple of moments that made me jump and at least it's only 90 minutes. I've had two publishers reject Odd London too, which is fair enough. In fact, one publisher said that they quite liked the idea but they have something very similar coming out this year but they would actually like to see what else I have in my bag of book proposals. So that's encouraging. The longer you work as a freelance writer, the more you realise that you need to have about a dozen different proposals bubbling under at the same time since you've no idea which one is going to happen. We may have news regarding the frequency of TRIPWIRE too but I don't want to get anyone's hopes up (most of all my own) because nothing is definite until the project comes out, so I won't say any more unless it actually becomes a reality. I met up with Mike Carey, David Baillie, Leon, Baz, Andy Colman and Mike Carey's mate Matt Peckham, who does his website. I'll leave you with a couple of photos of the Astoria, a London venue that has now shut and will soon be obliterated to give way for the massive Crossrail project. In the week that Tony Hart died (I've lost another piece of my childhood) this is fairly sad news…

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Friday, January 16, 2009

On Thursday, I went to the Paul Cornell signing at Forbidden Planet in London. Armed with the camera, I took a few shots of the writer to get a shot to accompany the feature in the Superhero Special. His Doctor Who episodes were the highlights of the series that they were in, his Captain Britain title is a very enjoyable read and apparently he's about to announce that he's taking on another book for Marvel. He's also a very easygoing bloke…

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Clint Eastwood is a man whose work I've always admired. He is one of the most ambitious directors of the last three decades and Changeling was a true work of vision. So I was looking forward to Gran Torino, his last film as an actor. Directed by the man himself, I was a little bit skeptical when I heard about it and its subject: basically it's a vigilante film with Clint as a Polish widower who takes revenge on a hispanic gang who terrorise his neighbours. But there is a problem with Gran Torino, which is why it comes across as a slightly superior made-for-TV movie rather than anything more significant. Eastwood plays Walt Kowalski, a Polish man who just lost his wife and is the last non-Vietnamese resident living in a rough part of Detroit. His neighbours are Hmong, a Southeast Asian minority people who live in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, and initially his hatred of them is undisguised. But gradually he gets closer to them and when his neighbours' son Thao Vang Lor is bullied by his gang member relatives, Kowalski intervenes. The problem here is that the transition of Eastwood's character from bigot to multiculturalist just doesn't ring true and Eastwood is a very limited actor, so this is beyond him. The supporting cast are passable but moments of levity in the film jar with the revenge theme, making it a very uneasy fit. Dirty Harry worked because he was a right-wing cop in one of America's most liberal cities and the juxtaposition was very effective. Now 38 years later, Clint Eastwood has moved on in his career and made some exceptional films as a director (Mystic River, Changeling) but Gran Torino just doesn't work. If you are a fan of Eastwood, you should see this film but don't expect too much. As his final onscreen performance, it's rather unimpressive…

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

We've had fog again today and it's quite thick so here are a few pics from this morning (and we don't have moors anywhere near London: that's a quote from American Werewolf in London)…

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Sunday, January 11, 2009

I went to Waterloo today to get a train refund and so with the bright winter light, I took a few photos around there. Also on the way in, I stopped off at Primrose Hill which looked suitably lovely. I also popped into town so there's a couple taken at Bloomsbury too…

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Friday, January 09, 2009

On Thursday evening, I met up with Steve Colgan, Murphy and a mate of theirs, Sarwat, who worked with them on their Bigger Betty comics in the 1990s. Sarwat has become a children's author and his first book The Devil's Kiss will be out from Puffin in the Autumn. I haven't seen him since 2001 so it was rather cool to catch up with him. I haven't seen Murphy since San Diego so that was also nice. I also took some photos of the St Giles Shopping Centre, which is unfinished and won't be called that when it's done. It's designed by noted architect Renzo Piano and replaces a hideous 1970s MOD building on St Giles High St. It may change the tone of the area but I'm hoping it won't. But it is interesting to document its building so here are a few pics of the work in progress there. We also had thick fog last night, which was so thick I could only see a few feet in front of my car when driving. Unfortunately the camera couldn't capture this. The last time we had fog was about two years' ago so that was a surprise…

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Monday, January 05, 2009

So we've started January and we've had a little bit of snow in London. I woke up this morning to be greeted by this small dusting in my road. So I thought I'd share this with you lot…

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