1 April 2003
[war] Northern Iraq Weblog — BBC Reporter Stuart Hughes on-the-spot blog from Iraq … ‘We were woken by the News Desk at 0730 and for the next 8 hours we barely drew breath. The Rolling News Monster had us in its grip and wasn’t going to let us go. Each hour was filled with lives for World TV, News 24, World Service, Radio 4, Five Live, you name it, interspersed with the odd rushed phone call to find out what was actually happening.’ [via Bowblog]
2 April 2003
[comics] A Self-Aware DC Universe — Rich Johnson update on Alan Moore and Grant Morrison. ‘…Morrison talked about the basics of life. How it arises from complex systems. And how so comics continuity has become so complex as to support sentience. Expressed his intent to create a comic so complex that it becomes a living self-aware being, as well as bringing that same aspect to the DC Universe, wanting to make the DC Universe realise that it’s alive. He didn’t appear to be joking.’
[comics] Grant Morrison: Ten Cats Mad — Jeremy Dennis on Grant Morrison at the ICA. ‘…let’s talk cats! Paul loves cats, Grant loves cats. Grant loves cats so much that he has four in house and six buried in the back garden. “Are you a dog person?” asks Paul. Grant stares at his shiny boots and looks slightly guilty. “I really like dogs,” he says, “But I like cats more. And dogs need so much looking after, so much attention. I think I’d just get really frustrated with a dog.” The guy three rows behind me who came in to listen to Grant talk about acid trips and alien abductions nearly explodes with frustration.’ [via kookymojo | Related: Jeremy Dennis’ Website]
3 April 2003
[politics] Unfazed Passenger on a Dizzying Ride — Simon Hoggart on Tony Blair … ‘Tony Blair arrived for prime minister’s questions looking quite unflustered. This is something of a feat for a man who must feel he’s in the back of a truck which is hurtling up a mountain side at 70mph, through a dozen hairpin bends, a dizzying drop first on the right, then to the left – and who is at the wheel? Donald Rumsfeld! Aaargh!’
4 April 2003
[web] The Secrets of Drudge Inc — behind-the-scenes at the Drudge Report‘Drudge amassed a vast network of independent sources. That network of instant-messaging buddies is heavy with media insiders who use as an industry echo chamber. Drudge’s network has helped him routinely beat the big boys to the punch. In just the last few months, he broke the news of celebrity photographer Herb Ritts’s death and even scooped CNN when Walter Isaacson resigned as that broadcaster’s CEO. “There is always this feeling that Drudge is about to break something,” says Phil Boyce, program director at WABC radio in New York. That leads many loyal readers to check the site 10 to 15 times a day.’ [via]
5 April 2003
[war] The Mood Changes as the Marine Invasion Gains Momentum — Guardian Reporter meets the Republican Guard … ‘They were still in uniform, but were already making their transition to civilian life. “It’s a relief,” said Mahdi, of his capture, of the collapse of the guard, of the end of the regime. “It’s like a weight off my chest.” Yet Mohamed spoke of how difficult it would be for Iraqis of his generation – they are all in their early 20s – to think themselves out of the tyranny inside their heads. Asked what he thought about Saddam, he said: “He’s my father, he’s my president. We didn’t understand him properly. We grew up with him around so we don’t know anyone else but him.”‘
6 April 2003
[mp3] Winamp 2.90 — lastest version of the best MP3 player for Windows.
7 April 2003
[books] Pullman brings back Lyra for Oxford mystery — update on Philip Pullman … ‘”At the heart of it is a new short story called ‘Lyra and the Birds’, explained Pullman this weekend. “It’s set a couple of years after the end of The Amber Spyglass, and refers both back and forward – so it’s a sort of bridge between the trilogy and a longer book coming later, to be called The Book of Dust.”‘
[comics] Snake Charmer — first of a two part interview with Alan Moore. ‘…you find that places definitely do have their own unique essence, made up of their history all of the rumours and legends about them – all of the people who passed through there, leaving a kind of historical imprint. You’ve just got layers and layers of historical meaning and mythological meaning that somehow go together to make the place what it is.’ [thanks Zed]
8 April 2003
[retro-gaming] GP32 Review — interesting review of an open Gameboy Advance-ish Handheld called a Gamepark. ‘…what a lot of people want the GP32 for is EMULATORS because its ARM CPU can be set upto around 133 – 160MHZ (compare that with the GBA’s 14MHZ) its capable of running pretty much all the old classic consoles, even controversially the Gameboy, Gameboy color & Advance! Current emulators include SNES, Sega, NES, PC Engine, ZX Spectrum, Commodore, MSX, GBA etc etc. the older systems run perfectly including sound…’
9 April 2003
[comics] Snake Charmer 2 — second part of an Alan Moore interview from Ninth Art. Moore: ‘Apathy is the key to an awful lot of my behaviour. It’s the reason I’ve got this ridiculous beard and haircut. It’s just simple laziness. I can’t be bothered to shave every morning like ordinary people do. I can’t be bothered going to the barbers or places like that. I could be sitting here writing my silly-arse comic books or composing some new incomprehensible magical tract, which is much preferable to me.’
[crime] Metropolitan Police Most Wanted — the list includes mudrerers, paedophiles and map stealers‘Bellwood, 50, is currently wanted for questioning by both Danish and Welsh police following thousands of thefts of high-value maps from libraries throughout Europe. [..] It is estimated that 4,500 maps of this type are missing from libraries across Europe.’
[war] Northern Iraq Weblog — BBC News reporter Stuart Hughes has been recovering and updating his weblog after having his foot amputated following being injured by a landmine in Iraq‘I’ve been avoiding using one word until now because it scares me but I think now’s the time to say it. Amputation. It’s such a brutal word, conjuring up images of below-deck surgery in blood-spattered operating theatres on navy tallships. But that’s what’s happened to me and now it’s over it doesn’t seem so bad. Rather than months of hobbling around on crutches and scores of slow and painful operations, hopefully it means a swift return to normality.’ [Related: Iraq Journalist’s Leg Amputated]
10 April 2003
[war] New Get Your War On about the fall of Baghdad … ‘Ugh. I hate finding cluster bombs in my cake! They get stuck in my fillings.’
11 April 2003
[blogs] Some blog’s I’ve added to Updated UK Blogs Updated list recently…

Image of Cerebus: 'Die alone, unmourned and unloved?'[comics] A Chat With Dave Sim. Creator of Cerebus [Part 1 | Part 2] — from Cerebus Fangirl … Dave Sim’s Life: ‘I work six days a week. I’m up at 6 a.m. and I’m usually at work by 7:30 a.m. I usually work until 6 p.m. I pray five times a day. I read the newspaper for two hours. I go to bed. Sunday, when I’m not sleeping I’m reading aloud from the Torah, the Gospels and the Koran, a big chunk of each. [laughs] The only “dirt” I could come up with is Friday night I go out to a bar which, apart from me, is exclusively inhabited by university students. I drink two, three or four beers and I look at dozens of amazingly, dazzlingly, astonishingly pretty young girls – each more amazing, dazzling and astonishing than the last – for all of whom I am completely and mercifully invisible. I look until I think my eyeballs will bleed. Around 1 a.m., when some of the amazingly, dazzlingly, astonishingly pretty young girls have had a little too much to drink and it becomes obvious that I’m becoming visible to some of them, I go home.’
12 April 2003
[war] Iraqi Officer Tells of War Chaos … Iraqi Army Officer on fighting in Baghdad … ‘He said the Republican Guards did not want to engage in street fighting in Baghdad, despite allied forces being convinced they would make a last stand there, since the Iraqi soldiers’ families were there and then “everything (can be) broken that’s yours, so if I fight in my city, every building is mine … those are our families, our babies.If you want to fight, you should fight out of (away from) your home,” he said.’ [via The Command Post]
14 April 2003
[war] Drawing Fire — Steve Bell on why he’s not an “embedded cartoonist” … ‘I believe passionately in the idea of cartoon reportage, but not at my age, and certainly not in the present circumstances with the military breathing down my neck. Don’t get me wrong – I would love to hurl myself into foxholes and I really enjoyed the only time I’ve ever been paintballing. But I fear this would be paintballing with extreme prejudice – and just imagine the indignity of being at the beck and call of nuclear-powered wankers like Air Marshal Bertrand Bollocks or whatever his name is.’ [via Metafilter | ¡Journalista!]
[comics] Juicy, Gossipy SPACE Tidbits — interesting report and gossip about Cerebus from the SPACE comic con … ‘Gerhard almost quit [Cerebus]. He’s back but Dave needs to coach him (he used a baseball analogy: “How’s the arm? How’s the back? OK? Are you up for this? Do you want me to help with your parts?”) and occasionally covers for him. Ger tried to quit for good, but Dave “wouldn’t let him”. What are Gerhard’s “issues”? That’s a feminist thing to ask! They have always been Guys and business partners. They don’t try to get into each others heads.’ [via Cerebus Yahoo Group | Related (kinda): Sim Sketch of “Old Cerebus”]
15 April 2003
[books] E is for Excess — An A to Z of Brett Easton Ellis‘O is for Onica, David. Patrick Bateman buys an expensive original by the contemporary artist to hang over his fireplace. An ex-girlfriend suggests he may have hung it upside down. He kills her with a nail gun.’
[war] Said al-Sahaf (Iraqi Information Minister) Soundboard‘My feelings – as usual – we will slaughter them all.’ [via Fimoculous | Related: We Love The Iraqi Information Minister]
16 April 2003
[comics] Colin’s Gulf War Diary — stripblog from Colin Upton

Panel from Colin's Gulf War Diary...

17 April 2003
[web] Inside the Soul of the Web — a Wired Reporter watches 24hrs of Google Searches …

‘Darkness crawls across the Atlantic and makes landfall in the Western Hemisphere. On the screen, the West Coast of the United States is ablaze with dots, while only insomniacs and night owls are still typing away in Europe. The noonday sun is now over Indonesia. This may be the strangest time of all. The predawn monsters of European imagination meet the late-night desires of North America – then all are nearly buried by a deluge of business questions, most in kanji, pouring out of Asia. Amid this flood there are also anxious queries, perhaps from emergency room doctors short of reference books and journals.’

18 April 2003
[comics] Charley’s War — really well done site covering the World War I comic from Pat Mills and Joe Colquhoun. Mills: ‘A letter (from memory) which said from a soldier to his young wife something like: “Bing! go a bullet – maybe get that man. And you just feel like you’re gonna get the dirt. But you know, dear, you mustn’t worry, because I’ll be all right etc.” The day such letters are respected alongside the university educated poets is the day our schools will be teaching the reality of war. I doubt it will happen. I’ve lived in an army town and the stories soldiers have told me of more modern conflicts suggests things have improved, of course, but still have much in common with Charley’s day. Charley is the ordinary, working class, illiterate but courageous soldier of his generation who was sacrificed by an odious class system.’
20 April 2003
[war] Where is Raed Salam Pax? — Metafilter discusses the fate of the blogger from Baghdad and remixes in Kaycee Nicole‘Salam Pax is Steven Den Beste.’
21 April 2003
[tv] So I Phoned A Friend [Part One | Part Two] — Jon Ronson covers the Who Wants To Be A Millionaire Trial … ‘We regulars spend much of our time psychoanalysing the Ingrams. This is because their demeanours are so un-criminal. Even the police, unusually, get involved in the speculation. “The major is a strange character,” says one arresting officer during a press briefing. “Puzzling. I can’t figure him out. There have been some comments in court about Diana being stronger…” He pauses. “I don’t understand that sort of relationship. I’m not part of a relationship like that.” “You’re a lucky man!” shouts a journalist.’
22 April 2003
[comics] Suggested for Mature Retailers — yet another interview with Dave Sim — this time regarding Miracleman, Gaiman and McFarlane from 1995. ‘…basically asking Neil if, bearing the Spawn #10 metaphor in mind, it didn’t make more sense to let Miracleman out of his cage – instead of Neil spending umpty-ump million dollars and Todd spending umpty-ump million dollars to decide whose cage Miracleman is going to be in: Neil’s or Todd’s. So Neil says, “Well, the advantage of being in my cage…” and I interrupted him and said, “Neil, listen to yourself. There is no advantage to being in anyone’s cage.” And there was this dead air on the line. And I’m thinking to myself, This is nuts. I’m talking as if Miracleman is an actual person (laughs). And after a few seconds Neil laughed and said, “I hate it when you make sense.” (laughs) Which was a relief, because I thought what he was going to say way, “Dave. Listen to yourself. You’re talking about a super-hero as if he’s an actual person.” (laughs)’ [via ¡Journalista!]
23 April 2003
[comics] Millar’s Ultimate Trouble [Part 1 | Part 2] — interview with Mark Millar … Regarding Trouble’s Cover: ‘I actually made a cup of tea, sat down and counted the number of people who thought these two teenage models were transvestites. It was the funniest thing I’ve ever seen in my life because, like I said, it was an inkblot test for the sexual tastes of the posters — ideas ranging from pedophiles to transgender hookers. Only about ten or fifteen per cent thought these were just normal girls. A whopping forty per cent thought they were transsexuals. What does this say about the messageboards ? And what does this say about what people expect of me???’ [via Neilalien]
[blogs] Anil Dash‘A few weeks ago, I had started an entry with the phrase, “Though I work in the weblog industry…” and I had done so mainly as a tongue-in-cheek joke about how seriously the blogosphere takes itself. I was talking to Matt a few days later and he told me he’d pictured me coming up from the weblog coal mines, covered in soot, bringing home the permalinks. But I had time to think about it since then, and to talk to a lot of people about where weblogs are going, not just what they’re doing now and what we’ve done so far. And I realized that, maybe a year from now, there will be a weblog industry, and not just the few scattered groups of friends and colleagues that I’ve watched building tools and technologies and companies over the years.’ [Related: Ext|Circ Linkblogs the Typepad Announcement]
24 April 2003
[wealth] The Forbes Fictional Fifteen — a list of fifteen fictional billionaires … Bruce Wayne: ‘Prominent playboy had tough year. Charged with murdering old-flame Vesper Fairchild. Exonerated partly through efforts of mysterious Batman and other costumed crime fighters. Shares of Wayne Enterprises, where he is chairman, languish based on lower-than-expected profits and Gotham City’s sky-high crime rate. Orphaned during street mugging at age eight, went on to build then-tiny Wayne Enterprises into technology powerhouse. Rumors swirl over habit of keeping teenage boys as wards. Donates tens of millions each year to charities for police, paraplegics and orphans. Member since 1939.’ [via Robot Wisdom]
[blogs] It’s A Zoo Out There — on-the-spot blog of a young Doctor in Singapore dealing with SARS … ‘I just feel very vulnerable right now, but what to do. I dread the day when I take my temperature and it is high…’ [via Guardian Weblog | Related: SARS Watch Blog]
25 April 2003
[stuff] Random Linkage …
  • Graph and Forecast for the SARS Epidemic‘The slope of red curve implies that the number of reported worldwide deaths due to SARS will double every 12 days. The number will be 100,000 on about August 9, 2003. A million deaths will be reached on about September 19, 2003, and ten million on about October 31, 2003. This forecast will change every day as new data changes the slope of the curves. Note that the world deaths appear to be doubling faster than the world cases. Either the number of deaths will double more slowly in the future, or the number of cases will double faster.’
  • Ask Warren Ellis … Slashdot Questions for Warren Ellis … ‘Transmet drew details from current events, but not the big picture. In a year where one news corp. runs attack ads against another for not being pro-administration enough, and Helen Thomas is sent to the back of the bus for not being a simpering twit, the most famous journalist today is… Geraldo. What makes you think a competent muckraker will have any kind of influence at all…’
  • Little Blog Buttons‘Steal These Buttons!’
  • New X-Men #139 … Barbelith discusses the latest issue of Morrison’s New X-Men. ‘Xorn, in the conservatory, with the candlestick.’

27 April 2003
[health] Confessions of a Ten-a-Day Man — William Leith looks at the painkilling industry in the UK … ‘Imagine this as a business proposition. You buy a cardboard tub of fluffy white powder for around £100. Then you turn the powder into a quarter of a million pills, which you sell at 10p per pill. Every cardboard tub you buy makes you a profit of £24,900. The powder is pure ibuprofen. The pills are painkillers. The company is Boots, which owns a subsidiary called Crookes Healthcare, which manufactures Nurofen. Sounds good, doesn’t it?’
28 April 2003
[comics] The 12 Dumbest Covers of American Comic Books … [via Die Puny Humans]

photoshop this comic cover!

Oddball Comics on The Rifleman Cover: ‘Y’know, I’ve heard the term “sportin’ a woody” before — but this… this… this is just plain ridiculous! And the expressions on the faces of Chuck Connors and Johnny Crawford just make things worse — or at least, funnier!’
[distraction] ZX Spectrum Game Top Trumps — for aging Brit retro-gamers…
29 April 2003
[comics] Peter Bagge Opens Comics Sweatshop [Part 1 | Part 2] — interview with Peter Bagge about his new DC Comic … [via ¡Journalista!]

‘BAGGE: …someone at Fantagraphics will hand me a graphic novel collection of something by Joe Sacco or the Hernandez Bros. and I don’t read it because I read it in the comics.

THE PULSE: You’re the one! You’re a pamphlet peeper, not a book buyer!

BAGGE: Yeah, it suits my attention span better. But also I just like the format. Its cozy.’

30 April 2003
[film] Strip Mining — the rivalry between DC and Marvel feature films … ‘Meanwhile [in 1996], DC was treading water. Insiders cite “temperamental” Batman producer Jon Peters as one source of strife. In charge of resurrecting a long-dormant Superman, he wanted to take the franchise in a darker direction. The ex-hairdresser reportedly infuriated scripter Kevin Smith, who worked on the abortive Superman Lives! incarnation, with seriously bizarre suggestions. He decided the film’s villain, Brainiac, needed a “gay R2D2” sidekick. Apparently colour-blind, he felt the man of steel’s traditional costume was “too pink”.’