Raising the dead

Four years ago I sort of nearly died which I suppose makes me a walking corpse.

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Four years later I feel barely alive so still a walking corpse, well, sort of, more sort of a walking and dragging a leg behind me corpse, so less Fulci and more Romero.

Let’s see if there’s four more years and then maybe I’ll have moved on…

One more year done…

Somehow I’ve managed to drag myself through another year without being turned into Findus Crispy Pancakes or be nuked by Donald Trump high on drugs and the smell of prostitutes piss. So I have got into another year full of fresh horrors.

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What the year ahead has for us remains to be seen, but thanks to all the birthday wishes and thanks for sticking with me as we all race to become skeletons.

Come to Rutherglen Comic Con and buy comics from me

The comic convention season for 2020 starts this Saturday in sunny Rutherglen, with their annual comic con.

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It’s a good show in a nice location with a good selection of guests like Gary Erskine, John Lees and Fraser Campbell, and in the past I’ve done well at it. This year I’m bringing some slightly different stuff, plus this is the last of the one-day shows where I’ll be bringing a full selection of back issues. Future one-day events will still have my back issues, but I’ll be offering a wider selection of packs, trades, and stuff I normally don’t bring to the smaller events.

So next time the full flash is displayed will be Edinburgh so this is your last chance before then to possibly pick up some dreamy back issues.

I’ll be near the entrance. Just look for Neptune Comics.

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So come say hello and buy some comics!

Watch this Blade Runner convention reel from 1982

Blade Runner is one of my favourite films. Even if the UK poster is one of the worst posters you’ll ever see.

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In the early 80’s fandom was nothing like the organised beast it is today. Film companies knew enough back then though that keeping fans informed and happy would, hopefully, result in box office gold. Early efforts consisted of a few clips and some posters, maybe even an actor from the film would turn up and sell the film hard.

In 1982 I was a wee boy at one of Glasgow’s then annual science fiction conventions, Faircon, and one of the unsuspected highlights was a promotion by the film company for Blade Runner.  They gave away posters and badges, which are all now sadly lost throughout the years and yes, they’d be worth silly money now but the real highlight was a promo reel for the film which looked amazing.

I haven’t seen or even thought about it for nearly 40 years when looking at YouTube after the death of Syd Mead. It really is a great bit of archive not to mention it brings back al the nostalgia of being stupidly young and watching this all those decades ago.

A tour round Sparta Press in 1977-an amazing bit of comic book history

The internet can still be a wonderful thing. The bit of footage I’m posting here is of a tour round Spartan Press in 1977, which to most people sounds incredibly boring but to comic book fans above a certain age especially, it’s the Mecca of comic books as this is where nearly every American comic book was printed for decades.

When I worked for Neptune Distribution in the 80’s and early 90s I was totally familiar with Sparta, as we’d get their boxes all the time. For us in the UK, this would be a Friday when we’d get our shipment from the US before picking them for shops across the UK. Many a week would end up with me down the pub covered in newsprint, but DC Comics and Marvel moved more and more of their titles to other printers who could do better justice to the art in their titles. The problem with Sparta Press is their comics are wonderfully bits of nostalgia but cheap newsprint fades with time, so take say, a Daredevil comic drawn by Frank Miller in the late 70s and its likely to look dull and faded. Better printing stock and techniques made Sparta obsolete.

So to have this video pop up in my recommendations is a joy. This is deep pop culture history so enjoy…

A new year is upon us

And we’re in 2020. Just. Hopefully, things don’t go as I think they will otherwise we’re utterly screwed this year, but let’s try to gouge some positivity out of the year Brexit slides its knife between our ribs and twists while Boris Johnson and Donald Trump masturbate furiously over each other.

So there’s a nice vision of the year ahead. On the other hand it is an Olympic year which this year means that Neo-Tokyo is about to explode.

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We’ve now lived til the first decade of the 21st Century that feels like we’re in the future we all dreamed about, or had nightmares about when we were younger. If you are younger, then I’m sorry but this isn’t going to get easier or better quickly.

But let’s try to start with a positive, so a good new year to all. May I be proven wrong and may everything good happen this year because we all bloody need a good year.

Happy 2020!

 

Everything comes to an end

2019 is about to end, as does the decade but the year ending is quite good because it means we’re all getting nearer the real crap hitting in 2020. Next year is a start of a new decade and one which will shape the rest of the century but remember, Australia is burning, the far right are triumphant and corporations are turning the world into a dystopia.

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Happy new year!!