Sunday, June 18, 2006

Moving like a glacier today… Not good.

The crazy Danish lady who takes circuits at my gym on a Saturday has done me a whole series of injuries, my hay fever is being a pest for the first time in years and I’m on top of all that I’m a bit tired.
Poor me…

It’s my last day in the country for the next week, so after writing this I’m answering some email, packing and then adios. If anyone sends me an email that does not in the next couple of hours it won’t get answered for a bit… But then that’s business as usual isn’t it?

Last night we went to see Taming of the Shrew at the Open Air Theatre in Regents Park and it was really, really good. Normally at these things the cast is mostly excellent and there are a few duff actors whose faults you kind of have to overlook, but this production was almost perfect. The guy who played Petruchio was especially good, doing things with the character I’ve never seen before (and I’ve seen some good Petruchios in my time…) I thought I recognised Katherine, although I can’t figure out where from, but Bianca was played by Sheridan Smith from Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps. It’s a shame Bianca’s not such a great character as she seems like a very good actress.

The play was enhanced by a soundtrack of Foo Fighters hits carrying all the way from Hyde Park, which I for one was tapping my toes to.

Someone emailed last week complaining that this site is listed on the comics weblog update list (or something) but I don’t talk much about comics… So here goes…

It’s been both a good and bad week for comics. (That’s a good start isn’t it?)

The good things :
I got some new books. And they were all great.

Scott Pilgrim Volume 1
Wow. This is an exceptional read. I know everyone’s been raving about it for years, but I only just caught the bandwagon. I’ll be grabbing volumes 2 and 3 sometime very soon.

Buddha Volume 1
Not at all what I expected, but I enjoyed this almost as much as the previous book. It’s been called one of the greatest achievements in comics, and I’m hoping later volumes won’t disappoint. I’m not sure whether to switch to reading Tezuka’s other epic, Pheonix, or to get the next couple of books in this series. Can anyone advise?

Y: The Last Man
This never disappoints. Friends have been hinting that Vaughan’s writing is getting weaker in recent issues but I wouldn’t know as I read this in trades. There is certainly no sign of him letting up in the latest book, Paper Dolls. Perhaps it just reads better in trade? I don’t know though, as I think BKV writes the best cliff hangers in American comics today, and I think I’d really get a kick out of reading it monthly. This is the one series that I’ve loaned out and always had good feedback from. I love the way he doesn’t spoonfeed the reader – you’re left on your own to get the Reagan gag and to notice the origin of Ampersand’s name. Brilliant – I wish I could write like this guy…

Walt Kelly’s Our Gang
I haven’t actually read this, but it’s a beautiful Fantagraphics book, so I know it’s going to be a at least very good. I also picked up a Zippy collection, which I’m looking forward to.

The bad news is that yesterday was the last day of trading for the best comics shop in London - Comics Showcase. (Of course, that’s just my opinion, I know it wasn’t universally regarded as such). It was one of the first comics shops I discovered when I moved here and I always popped in when passing even if I didn’t always pick something up. It was a classy shop (despite the hole in the carpet in front of the X Men comics) and it’s sad to see it go. It was one of my secret ambitions to be famous enough to do a signing there one day, rather than down the road at FP.

I popped in yesterday for a few minutes and briefly caught up with the magnificent Dan Fish. (It was Dan that recommended the Zippy Annual).

Okay – I’m off now. Take care of each other and remember – just because I’m away doesn’t mean you can burgle my house. My housemates won’t think twice about ripping your arms off.

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