1 February 2002
[comics] Classic banned Judge Dredd strips — the Burger Wars and Jolly Green Giant stories from the Cursed Earth Saga‘Don’t worry, Folks. Everythin’ in MacDonalds is Disposable — includin’ th’ staff.’ [via The Haddock Directory]
[uk] Lunch is for Wimpys — the return of Mr Wimpy … ‘There was something very British about Wimpy from the moment that it sprang from an item on the menu in the Lyons Corner Cafe, to its own fully fledged chain in 1954. Whether it was the insistence that fast food should be eaten with a knife and fork, or the appearance of toasted teacakes on the menu, or even the willingness to name itself after the burger-munching character from Popeye (can you imagine an American chain calling itself Nerdy?), it was markedly different from McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken and the rest; more closely associated to the tea urn than the flame grill. Then, in 1989, Wimpy went west, or so it seemed.’
2 February 2002
[music] The unsinkable Ian Brown‘He orders lunch carefully – no cheese, no pork, no wine (he hasn’t touched alcohol for years: “I can’t get with the taste of liquor”) – and lights a cigarette. “There were about three weeks in 1989 when everyone loved us and no one slagged us,” he recalls with a smile. “I wasn’t on stage to be worshipped or for people to look up to me. I was with the crowd. We started out to finish groups like U2 – that was what it was all about. And they’re still the biggest band in the world, so we failed. We didn’t really do anything, people wore flares for a year or two, d’you know what I mean?” he laughs. “That’s all we did.”‘ [Related: Tanya Headon on Fools Gold / Stone Roses]
4 February 2002
[comics] Moore’s murderer — yet another profile / interview of Alan Moore … ‘Magic is now at the centre of his life, he admits, but he knows where all this can lead. He has heard of David Icke, and he’s aware that he’s already off most people’s scale when it comes to sanity. “I’m not a millionaire but I’m very comfortable doing what I do, and I’m more productive now than I was in my mid-20s. It’s all down to functionality eventually. If you’re functional it doesn’t matter if you’re mad.”‘ [via Robot Wisdom]
[blogs] Need To Know: ‘The BLOGGIES are announced, and all of the constantly updating, filter and linking, daily diarists of the Web are there to cheer the winners on. Excepting the folk, and those everything/nothing kids, and the advogato/kuroshin journalers, of course. Nope, this one’s for people who do *proper* weblogs.’
[books] Soap and the serious writer — interview with Philip Pullman … ‘Will and Lyra are a sort of Adam and Eve but, instead of reaffirming the Creation story, CS Lewis-style, they subvert it. Pullman is, actually, all for Eve listening to the serpent and trying the fruit. “I see it as a positive act,” he says. Because it shows curiosity, a willingness to embrace life? “Yes. Absolutely.” He says that if his book has any message, if readers go away feeling anything, he hopes it is that “this physical place, where we live, is a place of great beauty. We forget it as we grow up. We get so overlaid by habit. I want to say, open your eyes. Living is exciting, a source of amazing joy, and with that comes the responsibility to live it fully”. Oh, come on, I say. None of us can go round in a state of marvel all the time. Can you? “No. I do get tired and fed up, especially when I’m doing my VAT returns.”‘
5 February 2002
[blogs] A bit of UK Blog history — thinking about a UK Blog Timeline …

Any others? Tell Me.
[books] Machismo isn’t that easy to wear — interview with Norman Mailer … On America: ‘What would we think of someone who was seven-foot tall, weighed 350 pounds, was all muscle, and had to be reassured all the time? We would say that fella’s a mess!’
6 February 2002
[books] Newsround kids ask Philip Pullman questions… What would his daemon be: ‘…I think my daemon probably is if I could guess would be one of those birds like a Jackdaw or a Magpie, nothing spectacular to look at but they steal bright things, whether it is a diamond ring or a bit of aluminium foil or whatever it is, an old tin can, if it is bright and shiny they go and pick it up. That is what story tellers do – we look for bright shiny interesting bits of gossip or bits of news or bits of information that reveal a character or something. And we collect them all and take them back to our nest, so that is what I think my daemon probably would be, but I can’t choose and I don’t know.’
[film] 100 Years, 100 Stinkers — the worst films of the last century … ‘There ought to be a law with mandatory prison time for any studio executive who ponders doing an eighth “Police Academy” film. The basic story of misfits who enroll in a big city police academy and make the force was beat beyond recognition through six numbing sequels. Steve Guttenberg had the good sense to jump ship after #4. Most audience members bailed out with him.’ [via]
7 February 2002
[comics] What’s Your Comic Book Ideology? Mine Were: ‘#1 Dave Sim. #2 Steven Grant. # 3 Warren Ellis. # 4 Gary Groth. # 5 Scott McCloud. # 6 Neil Gaiman. # 7 Stan Lee. # 8 Grant Morrison. # 9 Kevin Smith. # 10 Joe Quesada/Bill Jemas.’ [via WEF]
[tv] Rock the vote — the Guardian’s Political Editor meets Will and Gareth from Pop Idol‘Gareth is 17 and was in his second year, doing his A-levels in Bradford when the Pop Idol opportunity interrupted. He has a painful stammer which he masters with difficulty and the help of his voice coach, Mike, who now travels with him. Gareth ought to be the underdog, except the bookies have him as the favourite to win – out of the original 10,000 wannabes who entered the competition last autumn. Meaning to be helpful, I tell him that Winston Churchill had a lisp and Nye Bevan a stammer. But he appears to have heard of neither of these recording artists. And why should he, I suppose. They are both very dead.’
[blogs] ‘There is so little that’s original on the web these days. Everything seems a bit recycled, plagiarised, stolen, revisited, reworked, repackaged. Especially in the personal publishing world.’ [via Venusberg]
8 February 2002
[wtf?!] Wgirls

A Dubya Girl

[web] I have seen the Future … essay by James Gleick: ‘The hardest fact to grasp about the Internet and the I-way is this: It isn’t a thing; it isn’t an entity; it isn’t an organization. No one owns it; no one runs it. It is simply Everyone’s Computers, Connected. It is the network of all networks — the combination of all the large and small university, government, and corporate networks. It extends to individual PC’s at the end of the line, like shacks at the ends of dirt roads not far from the turnoff to U. S. Route 1.’ [via]
[comics] Which Star-Crossed Marvel Lover Are You? [via Venusberg]

I am Prof. X

9 February 2002
[books] What Should I Do With My Life? — preview of Po Bronson’s new book … ‘I wasn’t drawn to saints. We can worship saints, but we can’t emulate them. I would rather hear how the weak-of-will end up doing some good. The hesitant, all-too-human.’ [via Metafilter]
10 February 2002
[past] Let’s Blog like it’s 1983…

  • Film: Risky Business‘Joel, you wanna know something? Every now and then say, “What the fuck.” “What the fuck” gives you freedom. Freedom brings opportunity. Opportunity makes your future.’ [Related: Risky Business at IMDB]
  • Comic: Swamp Thing 21 — The Anatomy Lesson‘You see, throughout his miserable existance, the only thing that could have kept him sane was the hope that he might one day regain his humanity… the knowledge that under all that slime he was still Alec Holland. But if he’s read my notes he’ll know that just isn’t true. He isn’t Alec Holland. He never will be Alec Holland. He never was Alec Holland. He’s just a ghost. A ghost dressed in weeds.’
  • Book: Christine by Stephen King‘If being a kid is about learning how to live, then being a grown-up is about learning how to die.’
  • Game: Manic Miner by Matthew Smith‘Can YOU take the challenge and guide Willy through the underground caverns to the surface and riches. In order to move to the next chamber, you must collect all the flashing keys in the room while avoiding nasties like POISONOUS PANSIES and SPIDERS and SLIME and worst of all MANIC MINING ROBOTS. When you have all the keys, you can enter the portal which will now be flashing. The games ends when you have been ‘got’ or fallen heavily three times.’
  • News: Headlines on Ceefax for the evening of Monday 3rd October 1983 also Guardian Coverage from 1983 … Mrs Thatcher in 1983: ‘ She has a temperamental determination and some shrewd populist instincts and she has acquired that inner metal which comes from having visited the edge of disaster. But she owes as much to luck as to native skill and her success has been achieved in spite of her propensities to rash misjudgment, wilfulness, and narrowness of mind and vision. She is not short of fatal faults to bring her down.’

11 February 2002
[reading] American Tabloid by James Ellroy … From the introduction: ‘The real trinity of Camelot was Look Good, Kick Ass, Get Laid. Jack Kennedy was the mythological front man for a particularly juicy slice of our history. He talked a slick line and wore a world class haircut. He was Bill Clinton minus pervasive media scrutiny and a few rolls of flab. Jack got whacked at the optimum moment to assure his sainthood. Lies continue to swirl around his eternal flame. Its time to dislodge his urn and cast light on a few men who attended his ascent and facilitated his fall. They were rogue cops and shakedown artists. They were wiretappers and soldiers of fortune and faggot lounge entertainers. Had one second of their lives deviated off course, American history would not exist as we know it.’
[web] Workers of the world, Reunite — profile of the creators of Friends Reunited‘it makes fascinating reading for anybody remotely curious about people’s lives. “We had no idea how much appetite there would be for it. We had underestimated people’s interest in the past. People are nosey. They just can’t help being interested in what people get up to,” said Mr Pankhurst. The idea for the site was Julie’s. When she became pregnant, she wondered how many of her school friends had had children. She tried to find out via the internet, but discovered little to help her, so the couple decided to set up their own website dedicated to school friends. That was in October 2000 when they thought it would be little more than a diversion, an amusing hobby…’
12 February 2002
[comics] Preview of X-Men #122 … [via Barbelith]

Emma Frost: 'We must be nothing less than fabulous.'

[vd] Geekout E-Greetings — from Orbyn and‘We at know how painful the approach of Valentine’s Day must be for some of you out there. Let us ease your pain.’
13 February 2002
[books] The Hard-Boiled Bookshelf – James Ellroy‘His personal story has been relentlessly self exposed. He does 200 interviews a year and has written a quasi-autobiography in which he tells of his journey to “rediscover” his dead mother and to find out who killed her. He has examined, more completely and graphically than anyone (except perhaps himself) ever needed to learn about, his life as a druggie, shoplifter, petty criminal, peeper, B&E man, panty sniffer, white supremacist, and marathon masterbator.’
[comics] The Religious Experience of Philip K. Dick — comic strip by Robert Crumb‘It is an interesting graphic interpretation of a series of events which happened to Dick in March of 1974. He spent the remaining years of his life trying to figure out what happened in those fateful months. You will find all 8 pages of this story here.’ [via Bitstream]
[royalty] Two excellent articles on Princess Margaret … [via Blogadoon]

  • Wilful, charming, grumpy and regally badly behaved‘…deference died, and if ever there was a princess who needed deference, it was Princess Margaret, implacable believer in the ancient and divine right of royalty to behave badly. In this, she might be blamed for a lack of intelligence and sensitivity; there can be little doubt either that she and her life led the move downmarket into the unforgiving public glare. But whatever else you might feel, there must be admiration for the gusto with which she threw herself into the plot. If life resembles nothing so much as a bad movie on Channel 5, Margaret is its queen. ‘
  • The final days at the personal court of Britain’s alternative Queen‘The problem was very much one of the institution of the Royal Family, permanently stuck, it seems, in a 1950s version of Britain. “The Queen Mother, and to some extent the Queen herself, have very little time for illness,” says another source. “When Princess Margaret used to take to her bed, her mother would come in and pull back the covers, saying, ‘What’s all this nonsense? Get up!’.”‘

14 February 2002
[comics] Batman Valentines Day Card from The Cap’n’s Unfortunate Valentine’s Cards‘I fight a war that can never be won. I strive toward a goal that can never be reached. I am haunted. I am relentless. I am tortured. Won’t you be my valentine? ‘
Batman Valentines Day Card

[distraction] Dr Evil Soundboard‘There’s nothing more pathetic than an aging Hipster.’
15 February 2002
[music] Looking for a new England — interview with Billy Bragg … ‘…you say Orwell came up with a list of things he thought were English. What would your list be? “Well, it’s dictated by my cultural background. So Bobby Moore winning the World Cup. It doesn’t mean the same to everyone, I’m aware of that. Chalk horses made in the Bronze Age; Marmite. It’s personal. Englishness is like a mantelpiece that you put things on. We all have that mantelpiece, it’s what you put on that mantelpiece in your soul.”‘
[movies] From the Oscar SiteBest Picture Movie Posters since 1928. [via]
[wtf?!] I Was In Love With A Nutcase — What it’s like going out with a girl with multiple personalities … ‘Having four other personalities living in the body of your girlfriend was definitely an odd experience.’ [via]
16 February 2002
[film] Look, Dad, Top of the World — William Leith interviews Kevin Spacey‘I can’t help looking closely at Spacey’s eyes, and his mouth, and his hands, just as I have not failed to notice the camp touches he often gives his characters – the fluttering eyelashes, the snootily tilted head, the catty remarks delivered out of the side of the mouth. Spacey’s characters, mostly highly intelligent weirdos and losers, all come from left field, and he renders these people, these creeps and oddities, with more sensitivity and feeling than any actor I can think of. Could anybody else raise a glimmer of sympathy after cutting off Gwyneth Paltrow’s head and putting it in a box?’
17 February 2002
[books] More, Now, Again — book extract. This time Elizabeth Wurtzel is on Ritalin… ‘Dr Singer suggests that I try cutting the pills in half with a sharp knife. So I get out a steak knife and cut a Ritalin pill in half. This is harder to do than I might have guessed, and it just splits into little pieces, crumbles like a biscuit, with powdery flakes all over the place. Eureka! Why had I not thought of this sooner? I swallow a couple of the chunks with water like I normally would, and the rest I chop up into even finer bits. I press on them with the knife and break them down until they’re a white powder. I snort up the Ritalin. It scratches and burns my nostrils a little bit, but it’s not too bad. And then I feel a tiny rush in my brain.’
18 February 2002
[comics] Charles Shultz Speaks! — MP3 downloads of an interview between Gary Groth and the creator of Peanuts‘Schulz discusses, among other things, the relationship between gag cartooning and strip cartooning, the blurring of fantasy and reality in Peanuts, Al Capp, Umberto Eco, and how Schulz brought existential despair to the funny pages of the 1950s.’ [via Bugpowder]
[web] So much content, so little time …

  • Seanbaby’s Hostess Page‘In the seventies, villains weren’t as deadly as they are now. All it took to be evil back then was a pair of bellbottoms with matching turtleneck and headband. Maybe an afro, maybe just some panties and a cape. One or two of them thought just being ugly would bring the world to its knees, and most times it almost worked.’
  • Atari 2600 Porn and a Brief History of Video Games‘The Atari 2600 wasn’t just built for games. It was built to punch our brains in the face with it’s indescribable madness. And this article is here to try to describe some of its most disturbing games.’
  • Seanbaby’s Super Friends Page‘The Super Friends somehow stayed alive for 10 years by hiring people who could talk to fish, match a cape to their underwear, and turn into a bucket of water.’
  • The Nation that Freaked Out … Seanbaby on the War on Terrorism: ‘One of the biggest tragedies involving airport security was the huge number of editorials that appeared in every paper, magazine, and TV show in the country complaining about it. That’s fine; you should complain every time someone shoves a bomb-sniffing dog three feet into your asshole for wanting to ride their plane. Those don’t bother me. The editorials that bothered me were the ones by people complaining security wasn’t tight enough. There were all these brave investigative jouranlists that were outraged they managed to get through checkpoints with a butter knife in their carry on.’

19 February 2002
[buffy] Oh, you slay me — interview with Anthony Head‘There are few things cooler than having Rupert Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer as your dad.’
[comics] Do Not Underestimate the Power of the Dark Side — Sequential Tart interview with Gary Groth … ‘I’m a romantic and a cynic and, in fact, I don’t think you can be one without being the other: a romantic because you want the world to change for the better and a cynic because you know it won’t.’ [Related: The Comic Journal Website]
20 February 2002
[books] Philip Pullman Q&A On Guardian Unlimited … On how booksellers should recommend his books to children: ‘I’d say: “You are forbidden to read these books. They’re too old for you, and they’re full of things you shouldn’t experience yet, like sex and violence and dangerous ideas about religion. I’m putting them up here, on this shelf, and I’m going out for an hour or so. You’re not to touch them.” ‘
[comics] The Unh! Project‘A collection of guttural moans from comics’ [via RACM]
21 February 2002
[blogs] Weblogs as community — book extract from Derek Powazek’s Design for Community book … ‘I don’t believe that there is one cohesive weblog community. Instead, there are many communities, groups, cliques, and clubs in the weblog space. Any weblog with comments can quickly turn into a community of one, attracting a small group of people who are interested enough to follow along and participate. And if each of those readers then starts a weblog of their own, with comments that the others take part in, you wind up with a giant, interconnected, ever-evolving community. Or, better, a hazy cloud of overlapping communities, each with its own feel, and sharing a few members.’ [via Evhead]
[blogs] Steven den Beste on blogging and Amway‘It occurred to me today that web logging is a form of multi-level marketing, for some people. The currency is hits, the organizational structure is linking. The structure is a cross-branched tree; with people getting a percentage of the traffic of sites which link to them. The object of the game is to get other people to make permanent links to you. The more important the site which does this, the more valuable the link and the higher you rise in the pyramid. When your site begins to get a lot of traffic, you in turn can bestow largesse on those below you with transient or permanent links, and by so doing begin to build your own downline when they link back to you. The grand prize is to get “A-listers” to link to you; then you get a percentage of the huge traffic their sites get.’
[blogs] Linkpimp — lots of headlines and links … ‘Meta to the bone, big daddy’
22 February 2002
[books] Book-a-Minute Classics — ultra-condensed novels … Gravity’s Rainbow: ‘A screaming thing comes across the sky. It’s a V-2 rocket carrying twelve thousand pounds of symbolism, and it’s coming down on your poor, deluded, postmodern head.’ [via I Love Everything]

Think you can drink and Blog? Think Again.

[comics] Get Your Voltr On‘What the fuck is Voltron talking about? Is this some religious thing? Am I fucking being baptized by Voltron?’ [via Lukelog]
25 February 2002
[comics] Professor X And Marvel Boy — gossip about Grant Morrison ghost writing Authority #28 for Mark Millar … ‘recently things have not gone too well for the “we’re not a couple” couple. They haven’t spoken for almost a year now and there seems to be a rift based around Grant Morrison ghost writing the original script for Authority #28 as a favour when Mark Millar was being treated for suspected cancer early last summer. ‘ [via Neilalien]
26 February 2002
[books] Snort Story — interview with Elizabeth Wurtzel … ‘Wurtzel was in New York on 11 September, and her apartment is close enough to the World Trade Centre that her windows blew in. But she remained in bed until the second plane hit – in spite of the frantic ringing of the phone – and to this day seems oddly calm about the whole experience. She told a Canadian journalist: “My main thought was: what a pain in the ass. I felt everyone was overreacting. People were going on about it. That part really annoyed me.” When I asked her how she felt about the attack, she said: “Hmm, I’m trying to remember. I was numb for quite a while. I was preoccupied with trying to get my cat out of my apartment. I treated it like a natural disaster not Armageddon.”‘
[news] Still hungry after all these Years — profile of Watergate journalist Bob Woodward … ‘The movie of Woodward and Bernstein’s book — in which they are portrayed by Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman — reveals their efforts to reveal that the break-in, and a range of other nefarious incidents, was ordered by Nixon. What it does not make clear is that from the very beginning — when they discovered on the first day that the five burglars kitted out with Playtex rubber gloves were former employees of the CIA — the pair had stumbled unknowingly on to an obviously massive story.’
[cartoon] Steve Bell on Stephen Byers and the Spin Row‘Fuck, Minister.’
27 February 2002
[comics] Some important comic-related research — Two Playboy Playmates that Chester Brown mentions in his autobiographical comic The Playboy [Links below not safe for work] …

‘So — What are you feeling? Disgust with yourself for having bought such a publication. The typical self loathing you always feel after masturbating. Annoyance that you didn’t check out the skin colour of the playmate before buying the magazine. That last one leading to more feelings of self loathing — this is the first time in your life that you’ve had to face the fact that at some level you’re a racist. If only you’d never bought the damn thing, eh?’ — Chester Brown.
[blogs] Metafilter: A Methodology — an examination of what is wrong with Metafilter‘This brings us to Matt Haughey, the owner and proprietor of Metafilter. Mr. Haughey is frequently overlooked for his efforts at hosting the site, maintaining Metafilter order and overseeing the day-to-day operations of Metafilter. Dwindle has presented new evidence that Mr. Haughey may face mortal danger in light of the high stress levels of trying to judiciously govern a community with so many disparate users. As we shall see in the ensuing statistics, Mr. Haughey’s efforts are not only overlooked, but they may lead to his untimely death, which, aside from depressing the living hell out of Dwindle and myself, would also lead to the death of Metafilter.’ [via Metatalk]
28 February 2002
[comics] Suck has been dead for a while now but before it shutdown it published some illustrated articles from the cartoonist Peter Bagge

‘”Just think!” I thought to myself, “I get to cover The Democratic Convention for!” Yeah, me and about 50 million other journalists, but it still felt like a big deal to me at the time the prospect first came up. Plus there was a lot of buzz over the possibility of PROTESTERS getting out of hand like they did in Seattle during the WTO meetings. We’re talking RIOTS, folks! BIG ones!!! Who’d want to miss out on THAT action? Er, from a nice, SAFE DISTANCE, that is.’
[war] Bin Laden’s private life revealed amid rubble‘Osama bin Laden’s underpants were hanging up to dry in the bathroom of his house outside Jalalabad. They were striped grey and black cotton boxers, with a label reading Angelo Petrico, a size XXL large for such a lean-looking man.’ [via Blogadoon]
[comics] Get Your Wurtzel On — reworking of Get Your War On‘…when you get naked on your own book cover and yet nobody gives a shit, the world must seem pretty cold!’ [via RACM]