Thursday, June 10, 2004

On Monday evening I ventured into the West End for the European premier of the Mindscape Of Alan Moore. Beforehand I met with Ade Brown, Ally from Hyde Park and Joel Meadows (of TripWire fame) for a drink and some food (they all ate vegetarian – food that is, not an actual vegetarian- and I had chicken).
When we got to the ICA it was like a rerun of the Bristol con, with so many familiar faces in one space. I didn’t make it to any of the other events this year, so I don’t know if all of ComICA was so well attended by the usual suspects.

I sat in the second-from-front-row beside Joel and Ally, behind Dave Gibbons, Oscar Zarate, David Lloyd, Jose Villarrubia and Paul Gravette and about three seats along from Rich Johnston.
I have no doubt they can all describe their seating that evening in relation to me.
I also have no doubt that about half of the people reading this post will recognise none of those names, and wonder why I’m even mentioning it.

The film itself was very good. Alan Moore is a born performer, as any fan of his performance work will know, and he uses his voice like most people use a musical instrument - varying tone and pronunciation to shape his words and ensnare the listener. He was also very funny.
(My favourite line of his being 'Back in those days comics were just something you had if you were working class. A bit like rickets’).

On Wednesday we went to see The Black Rider - The Casting The Magic Bullets (William Burroughs and Tom Waits) at the Barbican.
Absolutely surreal and absolutely fantastic, it was a bizarre fusion of Burroughs’ tough guy poetry, Wait's desire to be as musically elusive as possible and the director's (I assume it was him anyway...) acute observation of old German cabaret. Billed as a musical fable, it was oddly the first time it had been performed in English (the language in which it was written).

We shared the venue with the Queen, who was at a concert being given by the resident orchestra and a host of famous named soloists, although I didn't see her.
I did, however, see lots of C list celebrities and a bar full of pretentious Hoxton artist/actor types who doubtless aspire to be such creatures.
Dave from Drop The Dead Donkey was there. He's taller than I thought he'd be, but dresses exactly as he did in the show, which was oddly comforting.

I've been quite edgy this week for absolutely no reason, and was getting quite stressed packing for my Ireland trip on Thursday night. I think it’s general frustration at being less productive than I thought I’d be after quitting the day job. Hopefully I’ll get into some sort of routine over the next couple of months.

Thursday morning is going well though, which has improved my mood dramatically. Probably just as well for Ireland!
The lady on the Ryanair desk let me take my (uncharacteristically overpacked) bag on the plane with me, and the customs lady let me use the express lane since it was quiet. I even got a good seat on the plane for once. I’m sitting beside an actor whose face I know, but whose name escapes me. He was reading a book about birds a while ago and then he wrote some poetry (also about birds I’m guessing). He’s now reading it to his wife as I write my summary of the week’s cultural events.
Right - that's me, I'm going to go and write comics now.


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