Thursday, 24 March 2011

State of the ((superhero)comic book) arts

Like the majority of comic book fans, my gateway books were all superhero titles. In the most part this is due to the fact that, well, super hero books make up the majority of what is out there. Being from the UK I had other options in the form of 2000 AD and the like, but a lot of them tapped into the same experience we all craved as youngsters- that of a talented individual (or a group) facing off against overwhelming odds. Not a lot's changed to be honest, apart from the medium I use to get my fix. I mean, I'll always love superheroes, but it seems to me that the genre that birthed them has given up trying anything challenging or new with them. It seems to me like they're just slowly letting them die. Just why are there so few good superhero comics anymore?

This all started when it occurred to me recently that of my top ten favourite superhero projects over the past few years, only one of them was a comic. The initial plan here was to give you that list but I realised that would be tip most of you over your justifiable boredom threshold. Suffice it to say- just the fucking one. From the genre that birthed the superhero. That seems shocking to me. It's only since I've been revisiting recent-ish DC and Marvel books that I've realised just how shocking the general quality is. Sure, we can rightfully bitch about the quality of so many film scripts too, but they're like 'The Catcher in the Rye' compared to your average superhero book.

I hope they weren't always like this. I hope that my early memories of comics aren't as rose-tinted as I now come to suspect they are. Really, I'm writing this in the hope that somebody will come along and go 'Look, asshole, here's an amazing superhero book. You don't know what you're talking about!'. I am horrendously out of the loop these days, after all. I'll just keep my fingers crossed as I still love the medium, and always will. There are still so many quality comic books out there, it just makes me sad that my old friends, the superheroes, seem to be getting such a short shrift these days. Apart from their non-unionised, Hollywood equivalents, of course. So, am I wrong? Is their hidden amazingness going on that I'm not aware of? Can you show me? Please?

Friday, 11 March 2011

Oh Canada....

I'm currently in the midst of applying for a Canadian working holiday visa, for those of you not in the know and it is a grim and harrowing experience. Just like a trip to Canada, I guess! Boom! Just joking Canadianite friends who peruse this blog! I'm quite sure your country is tops. Let's just hope I get to find out first hand....

Nearly all long term visas and similar schemes seem to be increasing the number of hurdles as the years go by, and I get it, I really do, but it's shitting on the little man more and more. And by little man, of course I mean me. Right now I have to get a police certificate from every country I've spent more that six months in, can only get the visa if I haven't spent more than three years in a foreign country (I'm close!) and need to sign a stack of forms declaring I'm not going to do anything unsavoury once I get there ( Your sheep are safe Canada- for now). It just drives me mad- I'm just going to go there, work hard and enjoy myself. I do treat things with respect! I will not break any laws, probably! Argh!

In a way this all happily dovetails into my 'douchebag card' system I'm going to implement once Northern Ireland rises up and seizes control of the world. The basics are this- you'd apply for said card and then be followed around by an independent adjudicator for one week over the course of the next three months. After that period of time, a ruling would be made and you'd receive a card that would either say 'Not A Douchebag' or 'Douchebag'. Having a 'N.A.D' card would bring all kinds of benefits- upgrades all over the place, drinking booze on the train and a significant reduction in the amount of paperwork you have to do, amongst many other things. Just an idea right now, but let's make it happen, people! I mean, at least 50% of you would see the benefit of this system. It's either that or we just go full on 'Judge Dredd'.

Sigh. It's only a wonderful dream. In the meantime, if you are ever applying for any work permit, visa or entry card, drop me a line. I've almost certainly been through that shit before.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Fireside chats- Lifestyle Choices

A friend and I used to while away an evening lamenting the experiences we would never have- those paths that shall always remain closed to us. True, as an individual it's possible to taste only a fraction of the things life has to offer, but it can be interesting to dwell on what could have been, even in a bitter-sweet fashion. Here, in no particular order, is a list of some of the things I've never been and never will be.

Human Trafficker

I will never be a human trafficker. There. I finally said it. Wow. It feels good, you know? Cathartic. Not that I'd ever be a human trafficker, you understand, but it's always hard to close the door on an experience. All in all, it seems like a tricky business anyway. Profitable, maybe, but tough and pretty competitive. In honesty, I think it was my upbringing that denied this world to me. Damn my middle class roots. Maybe in the next life I'll be lucky enough to be born in some Eastern Bloc nation and get to experience all the wacky adventures that brings. Fingers crossed.


Mainly because I just don't think I could deal with beatin' all dem hoes. And they need to be beat, no doubt. I can't even hit a guy, never mind a girl. Which isn't to say I'd discriminate in my choice of hoes, of course. I'd like to think I'd offer a broad portfolio of guys and girls to satisfy all potential customers. That's just Business Studies 101 right there (I'm glad I took something away from that class). Regardless of all this, my hoe beating handicap will always stop me from moving into this lucrative industry. So sad. But talking about hoes....

Rent Boy

Now, I'd imagine this will be a crushing blow for a lot of my readership, but I'm sorry, I just don't think I'll ever be into it. The worst thing is that I'm built for it. You've all seen this face. I'd be getting ass left, right and centre if I was. But it's not to be. I'll take a soft, nice smelling cute girl over a smelly, dirty dude any day. I guess I'll always be one of those damn reverse-queers. Those cries of 'You disgust me you fucking straight!' will just have to continue to haunt me til the day I die.

Proviso: Unless the money was VERY right, of course. Well, slightly right.

Fighter Pilot

Because, genetically, only my eyes are up for it. Don't tell the RAF.

So don't be shy. What lifestyle choices have you been denied by some terrible scheme of genetics, upbringing or sanity? Let's share the pain together.