March 30, 2003
[tech] Compressing Webpages for Fun and Profit — a how-to about compressing pages on the fly with PHP to speed-up downloads and save bandwidth. ‘…what if I told you that you can third your content easily with no work on your part whatsoever? It sounds like a pitch I might get in a lovely unsolicited email. The secret lies in the fact that every major browser of the past 5 years supports transparently decompressing content on the fly.’ [via Neil’s World]
March 31, 2003
[blog] The Dullest Blog in the World‘I put a compact disc into the machine and played track 1. I then forwarded it to track 9 and played that and tracks 10, 11 and 12. Later on I may play track 3 and 4 and perhaps 18 depending on how the mood takes me. I will miss out track 2 as I don’t like it that much.’ [via I Love Everything]
[comics] Ebay Auction — Batman: The Killing Joke by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland … I’m trying to prune back my comic collection a bit so expect a few auctions to show up here. This is an Alan Moore Batman comic from 1988… The Joker: ‘All it takes is one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy. That’s how far the world is from where I am. Just one bad day.’
April 1, 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]
April 2, 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]
April 3, 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!’
April 4, 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]
April 5, 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.”‘
April 6, 2003
[mp3] Winamp 2.90 — lastest version of the best MP3 player for Windows.
April 7, 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]
April 8, 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…’
April 9, 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]
April 10, 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.’
April 11, 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.’
April 12, 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]
April 14, 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”]
April 15, 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]
April 16, 2003
[comics] Colin’s Gulf War Diary — stripblog from Colin Upton

Panel from Colin's Gulf War Diary...

April 17, 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.’

April 18, 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.’
April 20, 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.’
April 21, 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.’
April 22, 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!]
April 23, 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]
April 24, 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]
April 25, 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.’

April 27, 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?’
April 28, 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…
April 29, 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.’

April 30, 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”.’
May 1, 2003
[books] A couple of William Gibson links from the Guardian …

  • Talk time: William Gibson — brief interview on Blogging, Google and the Internet … ‘Q: Is brevity the key to good internet communication? A: It’s hard to say whether it actually is brevity when it involves a hyperlink. If what you’re presenting is a customised node, then the node is the message and you don’t want a lengthy node!’ [Related: Slashdot]
  • Back to the 80s — review of Pattern Recognition [Buy: UK | US] … ‘Pattern recognition, as a human phenomenon, becomes something else when it goes too far; it becomes “apophenia… the spontaneous perception of connections and meaningfulness in unrelated things”. One of the disappointments of the novel is that it doesn’t push this far enough as a potential plot device. If there were an insane number of interconnections by the end, as is sometimes the case in thrillers, then the reader would feel more fulfilled.’

May 2, 2003
[comics] Fear Factor — profile of Jack Chick‘This Was Your Life! created a template — sin, damnation, the possibility of redemption — for scores of future tracts. The artist’s formula and drawing style have changed little in five decades. When an archivist at the Pasadena Playhouse began rooting through old boxes in the late ’90s, she discovered drawings that he had done in 1948. The single-panel cartoons revealed the same perspiring characters, pop-eyed faces, and 1940s Sunday-comics sensibilities of his current tracts. “He’s not worried about impressing other cartoonists, which is kind of what motivates a lot of cartoonists to pick up their chops a little bit,” says Clowes. “There’s something really interesting about seeing a cartoonist not develop at all.” Art Spiegelman, who won a Pulitzer Prize for Maus, a graphic novel about the Holocaust, is less kind. “It makes me despair about America,” says Spiegelman, “that there are so many people who read these things.”‘ [via Boing Boing | Related: This Was Your Life! | Metafilter]
May 3, 2003
[books] Tomorrow’s Man — profile of William Gibson

‘”…I find myself thinking sometimes that there isn’t anything other than the impact of technology on society – possibly that has been more significant historically than any sort of political thought, in terms of bringing us to where we are now.” Gibson chooses a contemporary example: his friend’s camera-phone. “I get these pictures every once in a while – no explanation – and it’s just so cool, and it’s such an intimate thing. The view down an airport corridor, or something that struck him as funny.” But to every silver lining there is a cloud. “If that becomes very common,” he points out, “that’ll change the texture of life. You’d lose things. Someone telling you about their new girlfriend, for instance, and you don’t meet her for six months, so you have this picture in your head of her, and then you meet her … and that won’t be happening because he’ll have emailed the photograph right away. Apparently small things like that have a huge cumulative effect on how people experience reality.”‘

May 6, 2003
[comics] A Blog For Galactus — the Devourer of Worlds has his own weblog. ‘…suddenly, out of the planetary orbit comes my employee and galactic herald, Norrin Radd, and he is all up in my business! He is like, “Master! For the first time I realize the dreadful enormity of what you plan to do! You must not tamper with other worlds! You cannot destroy the entire human race!” And it is like he is SAYING, “These are NOT ants, Master! They think..they feel…they have even created the primitive civilization which we see all about us!” But what I am HEARING is, “Galactus, you are fat and no one will ever REALLY love you.” People can be real jerks sometimes…’ [via Do You Feel Loved?]
May 7, 2003
[books] Have You Seen This Man? — a look at the reclusive life of Thomas Pynchon‘In 1997, a CNN crew spent days staking out Pynchon in New York, eventually capturing him on film. After the novelist’s heated objections, they finally broadcast three minutes of footage of street scenes without identifying the one-second clip that featured Pynchon himself. Some fans believe they have identified the man nevertheless, and the Dubinis’ film ends with a digitally enhanced loop of the man in army-surplus jacket and red baseball cap that one contributor believes to be Pynchon. The “fan” who has enhanced the clip affects sadness that Pynchon has finally been “caught”, even as he gazes at the TV monitor with something like possessive lust.’
[iraq] Dear Raed — the blogger from Baghdad updates … ‘Let me tell you one thing first. War sucks big time. Don’t let yourself ever be talked into having one waged in the name of your freedom. Somehow when the bombs start dropping or you hear the sound of machine guns at the end of your street you don’t think about your “imminent liberation” anymore.’
May 8, 2003
[spam] Spam You Never See … [via Diamond Geezer]

yes I have a very juvenile sense of humour...

May 9, 2003
[blogs] Microsoft’s Got Blogging On the Brain — weblogs are finally being noticed at Microsoft‘With one foot in the consumer world, and the other in the business realm, Microsoft seems to be hedging its bets as to how to capitalize on Weblogmania.’ [via Anil’s Daily Links | Related: List of Microsoft Bloggers]
May 10, 2003
[comics] Warren Ellis Answers — interviewed on Slashdot … [Related: Die Puny Humans]

‘When you talk about movies, there’s always that which bookstores live by; the book is almost always better than the movie. You could have no better case in point than FROM HELL, Alan Moore’s best graphic novel to date, brilliantly illustrated by Eddie Campbell. It’s hard to describe just how much better the book is. It’s like, “If the movie was an episode of ‘Battlestar Galactica’ with a guest appearance by the Smurfs and everyone spoke Dutch, the graphic novel is ‘Citizen Kane’ with added sex scenes and music by your favourite ten bands and everyone in the world you ever hated dies at the end.” That’s how much better it is.’

May 11, 2003
[books] Luke Rhinehart: Throw and tell — interview with the author of the Dice Man [Buy: UK | US] … ‘His idea was a serious one: he wants us, if not actually to take up dicing to dictate the course of our lives, at least to realise that we have options and that escaping the patterns of our existence is at least a possibility. Yet he is also a comic writer. The Dice Man is anti-political correctness and is consistently terribly funny. So, naturally, he is joking. Let’s pretend that there are millions of dicers sabotaging the normality of their lives and those of others around them because, hell, it will promote the book. Seriously, though, how many devotees of the dice way are out there? “I think very few,” he replies, finally.’
May 12, 2003
[comics] Last Week’s Comics …

  • The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen #5“I simply can’t let things go. Do you know what I mean?’
  • Alias #22‘My Head — it feels Strange! I – I need some air!’
  • The Filth #10‘Have you any idea what happens when you cross stupidity, a love of science-fantasy fiction, and blind idealism with humongous amounts of money?
  • Reload #2‘You think people want to know the American Government’s been run as a criminal enterprise for the last eight years?’
  • 100 Bullets #44‘Word on the wire is, you’re a fuckin’ Cop Killer. I’m envious, Dawg, Knowhumsayin?’

May 13, 2003
[politics] Gasps as the Wrecking Machine Careers out of Control — Simon Hoggart on Clare Short’s Resignation Speech. ‘…it was for [Blair] she saved the unkindest swing of the ball, the one meant to bring the chandelier crashing down on to the ballroom floor. “To the prime minister I would say that he has achieved great things since 1997, but paradoxically, he is in danger of destroying his legacy as he becomes increasingly obsessed by his place in history.” The man sounds like Blofeld. It was not hard to imagine the roof of Downing Street opening, klaxons sounding, as the nuclear-tipped missile rises up, trained on Birmingham Ladywood.’
May 14, 2003
[books] The Baroque Cycle Is Coming — preview of Quicksilver, Neal Stephenson’s new book … ‘He hadn’t really known what to expect of America. But people here seem to do things — hangings included — with a blunt, blank efficiency that’s admirable and disappointing at the same time. Like jumping fish, they go about difficult matters with bloodless ease. As if they were all born knowing things that other people must absorb, along with faery-tales and superstitions, from their families and villages. Maybe it is because most of them came over on ships.’
[politics] Blair’s Rule by Diktat — Cartoon from the Guardian by Steve Bell … ‘THE . MAS-TER . DOES . NOT . RULE . BY . DIK . TAT’
May 15, 2003
[comics] Great/dumb Comic Book Covers — Metafilter discuss the Best and Worst Comic Book Covers … ‘Threads like this make me long for the days when I spent hours in the comic book shop discussing comics, M:TG cards and bragging about my collection of extremely rare and entirely coverless comic books (at some point I realized that they only way I could have items such as “Amazing Spider-Man #1” was to find copies without covers….lol). I do have more money now though.’
May 16, 2003
[comics] Rebel in Exile — preview of a Graphic Novel about Marjane Satrapi’s childhood in Iran during the Islamic Revolution in 1979. [Buy: UK | US] ‘…Persepolis, her tale of this remarkable childhood, is published in English for the first time. It is an extraordinary book, outspoken and caustic on the suffering of so many of her fellow Iranians, but also funny and surprising and in parts extremely moving. It is told in graphic novel form, in stark monochrome drawings reminiscent of medieval woodcuts or ancient Persian murals.’
May 17, 2003
[weblogs] Dating a Blogger, Reading All About It — the New York Times on the perils of knowing a blogger … ‘The proliferation of personal bloggers has led to a new social anxiety: the fear of getting blogged.’ [via Anil’s Daily Links]
May 18, 2003
[books] The Honest Outlaw — Paul Theroux on Hunter S. Thompson … ‘One of my favourite Thompson pieces (reprinted in his collection Better than Sex) was written after the death of Richard Nixon. As the funeral orations were being delivered and everyone was praising Nixon, Thompson wrote “He Was a Crook”, one of the best, the funniest, the most sustained polemics I have ever read. Midway through it, in a burst of candour, Thompson reflects on his harsh words and says, “but I have written worse things about Nixon many times, and the record will show that I kicked him repeatedly long before he went down. I beat him like a mad dog with mange every time I got a chance, and I am proud of it.”‘
May 19, 2003
[obit] He was a Crook — Hunter S. Thompson’s classic obituary for Richard Nixon … ‘If the right people had been in charge of Nixon’s funeral, his casket would have been launched into one of those open-sewage canals that empty into the ocean just south of Los Angeles. He was a swine of a man and a jabbering dupe of a president. Nixon was so crooked that he needed servants to help him screw his pants on every morning. Even his funeral was illegal. He was queer in the deepest way. His body should have been burned in a trash bin.’
May 20, 2003
[iraq] Interview with Salam Pax — more from the Baghdad Blogger‘During the war, the Arab-language news program of the BBC had a story about my virtual diary. Coincidentally, my father was in the first floor of our house and heard the story on the radio. Then he came down the stairs and told everyone the strange story of this mysterious Internet blogger, who supplied the world with news from Baghdad. (Laughs). At that moment, I sought to keep my composure, but in reality I thought I was going to die…’ [via Nick Denton]
[books] An interview with Zadie Smith — yet another one … [via kottke]

‘Q: Did the Rushdie fatwa cause you trepidation when you were writing your book, in which you lampoon Islamic separatists?

Zadie: I wrote White Teeth in the late nineties. I didn’t really feel trepidatious about it. It was a different time.’

May 21, 2003
[film] An Auteur Packs His Bags to Venture Onto the Web — preview of Peter Greenaway’s New Project (which sounds interesting intriguing amazing) … ‘”The Moab Story” and the Web site are part of the first phase of what may become Mr. Greenaway’s magnum opus, “The Tulse Luper Suitcases.” The project is as unusual for its scale as for the Internet’s prominent role in it. As now conceived it would eventually include three to five films, a 16-part television series, a touring theater production, several books, DVD’s and Web sites and an online computer game. Mr. Greenaway acknowledged that the project’s scale was “megalomaniacal.”‘ [via Fimoculous]
[iraq] ‘Salam Pax’ plays Americans for fools in Iraq — the backlash begins against Where is Raed?‘Salam is the scion of a senior figure from Iraq’s Baathist nomenclature. He was brought up at least partly in Vienna, which is the OPEC headquarters; his father was therefore an oilman, and possibly a former head of Iraq’s OPEC mission. Another clue is a hint that his grandfather was an Iraqi tribal chief, from which I infer that his father was one of the Iraqi tribal chiefs that Saddam Hussein rewarded for loyalty, outside the Tikrit clan.’
May 22, 2003
[comics] Bachalo’s X Weapon Plus — brief interview with Chris Bachalo about his upcoming work on GM’s New X-Men … On working with Morrison: ‘I feel like I’m on an X-Men / Steampunk / 2001: A Space Odyssey trip written by Shade the Changing Man. Fabulous!’ [via Barbelith]
May 23, 2003
[war] “If We Run Out of Batteries, This War is Screwed.” — Wired Article on the US Army’s creation of a “tactical” internet during the War in Iraq …

‘The history of warfare is marked by periodic leaps in technology – the triumph of the longbow at Crécy, in 1346; the first decisive use of air power, in World War I; the terrifying destructiveness of nuclear weapons at Hiroshima, in 1945. And now this: a dazzling array of technology that signals the arrival of digital warfare. What we saw in Gulf War II was a new age of fighting that combined precision weapons, unprecedented surveillance of the enemy, agile ground forces, and – above all – a real-time communications network that kept the far-flung operation connected minute by minute. Welcome to the so-called revolution in military affairs…’

‘I’m headed north again, this time with a 97-vehicle convoy whose mission is to deliver missile launchers and set up a Tactical Operations Center just south of the Baghdad suburbs. But there’s a problem; the convoy makes two massive U-turns in search of a side road that leads to a much-needed fuel stop. “We’re lima lima mike foxtrot in Iraq,” says Sergeant Frank Cleveland, who’s riding shotgun in the truck where I’ve hitched a ride. “What does that mean?” I ask from the backseat. “We’re lost like a motherfucker,” he says.’

May 24, 2003
[bb4] Big Brother 4 has started. I’ve already been sucked back in (I am weak!). Any First Impressions?

  • Official Big Brother Site‘Anouska was more hurt than she was letting on. “Whatever we’ve done in the last hour,” she told Scott, “has irritated someone in some way. “The last hour I’ve been me,” she went on, “Give a s**t! Give-a-s**t! Where’s my wine, Goddamit!” she finished, marching off towards the kitchen.’
  • Big Bro 4 — Unofficial site … ‘Todays top headline: the victims enter the house’
  • Big Brother’s not-so-dirty dozen — BBC News Report … ‘”Have you seen her bum?”, screamed Davina McCall as Anouska tottered into the house on her heels. And with that, the tone for this year’s Big Brother was set…’
  • Diamond Geezer: ‘It’s back. 64 days of meaningless addiction. Excellent.’
  • Barbelith on BB4: ‘…Cameron, the happy clappy Bappy that deserves a slappy.’

[comics] Yet Another Grant Morrison Interview — I’m wondering… If the DC Universe did become self-aware would Paul Levitz have it Pulped? …

‘…now that we have the idea in our heads that “intelligence” appears when systems become increasingly complex, we can approach my notion of “living comics.” Think of a STORY. My contention is that a story can be made sufficiently complex that it achieves some measure of self-awareness – in fact I believe this is what’s happening when authors talk about characters “taking control” or when they say “the story just took a turn I wasn’t planning…”. When I was doing The Invisibles, I was definitely aware of the book as a living entity which was interacting with me in many of the ways a human being might but at the time I was thinking of this “aliveness” as a kind of mystical quality not as an emergent property that could reproduced without recourse to the spirit world. I’d like to see if I can deliberately “wake up” a story and let it make its own decisions.’

May 25, 2003
[bb4] Earlier, in the Girls Bedroom at the Big Brother House

‘”I’ve got a big bed and no-one to share it with me” [Anouska] says. They then started mentioning “Follow The Van“.

The rest of the girls then start saying “follow the courgette”, “I don’t get it” says Anouska …

Meanwhile in the living room the boys are discussing Star Trek.’

[web] LJDrama Files — all the drama of LiveJournal distilled into a weblog … ‘There are many lessons to be learned in your life. chief among them is “don’t go sending people pictures of your tits while you’re drunk and then get mad when they post them online!”‘ [via scribot]
May 26, 2003
[paranoia] Spam Anxiety… what are the Spammers trying to tell me?! …

Effort and Expense of a Large Manly Penis

May 27, 2003
[comics] Timeline for the 2000AD Universe — it manages to tie together the histories of Judge Dredd, The A.B.C Warriors, Sam Slade and Strontium Dog‘The robotics revolution is not without its difficulties. The mark one war droid cannot discriminate between enemy soldiers and civilians. The mark two war droid is programmed with genuine moral values, but becomes a pacifist and surrenders to the enemy. The mark three war droid, named Hammerstein, is created at the University of Wisconsin in a project funded by Rover. The first emotion ever experienced by a machine is jealousy and results in the accidental death of the creator…’ [via scribot]
[bb4] Jon Tickle on Women: ‘You have only one prize to pick — and you know there are, let’s say, 30 prizes on the conveyor belt. They are coming through one at a time. But what makes you stop the conveyor belt and say you want a prize? The mathematical way is to look at the first ten items — the first third. Then the first thing you see out of the next two thirds is better than anything you have seen before. Because if the first ten items are spread evenly on the good or bad scale, you will get a few things in the 90 per cent area. It’s unlikely you are going to get the 100 per cent best item in your first third. So pick the best thing in the next two thirds. Then you’re going to get something pretty good.’
May 28, 2003
[gm] Grant Morrison wonders if Justin Timberlake is a Mutant: ‘Definitely a pure mutation – and he’s trying to push his powers in a more evil direction. I think they inject all of those Disney kids, like Britney, with something when they’re young. One minute, they’re singing about mice, and the next, they’re riding motorcycles and fisting each other.’
May 29, 2003
[bb4] Anouska-isms — On Death: ‘It’s just another transformation… granted a bit more radical than puberty.’
May 30, 2003
[comics] Fantagraphics Needs Your Help — Fantagraphics (publisher of Dan Clowes, Joe Sacco, Robert Crumb and Chris Ware) is in deep trouble … ‘Inexperience with the book trade resulted in our erring on the side of overprinting our books too heavily throughout 2002, so that our anticipated profit is in fact sitting in our warehouse in the form of books. Loans must be paid in cash, not books. The only way to get out of this hole we’ve dug ourselves into is to sell those books. Which is where, we hope, you come in.’
[iraq] Salam’s Story — the Guardian interviews Salam Pax ahead of them publishing his new fortnightly column. ‘…in the final weeks before the impending conflict, he became increasingly anxious that the men of the Mukhabarat, the feared Iraqi intelligence agency, were on to him. “They were not only paranoid, they were going crazy,” he says. At one point the regime blocked access to the website on which he was posting his writing, “There was the possibility that they knew. I spent a couple of days thinking this is the end. And then you wait for a couple of days and nothing happens and you say, ‘OK, let’s do it again.’ Stupid risks, one after another.”‘
May 31, 2003
[bb4] Jon’s Website (of rather interesting things and little known facts) … ‘The universe is like, well big and is made up of loads of galaxies. Galaxies contain stars which are rather like our sun. Molecular structure differs but their intrinsic function is very often similar. Stars can die. Like people, but with less crying. It is my ambition to be an inter-galactic Jedi.’
June 1, 2003
[blogs] If You Really Want To Know, Ask A Blogger — The Observer’s John Naughton on Blogs …

‘[…] the whole point of the web is full and comprehensive linking, and Google ranks pages by the numbers of other pages that link to them, it is hardly surprising that blogs are winning over established media. Nobody in his right mind would link to a mere abstract. A few Big Media outlets understand this elementary fact. The Guardian and The Observer sites are exemplary in this regard – which is why they are beginning to outrank their competitors (for example, the London Times and the New York Times) in web searches.’

June 2, 2003
[blogs] Downhill — six degrees of seperation weblogs … ‘LinkMachineGo links to Junius links to InstaPundit.’ [via Interconnected | Related (kinda): Oracle of Bacon]
[comics] Frank Miller Speaks! — MP3 audio of a Comics Journal inteview of Miller by Gary Groth.
June 3, 2003
[blogs] Mission Fullfilled — Warbloggers feel sad and unsatisfied after wargasm … ‘I myself did notice something rather odd about a week after combat ended in Iraq. I was relieved that we finally attacked, and even more relieved that the war was quick and that our military suffered as few casualties as they did in winning it. But I also felt, oddly, a kind of let-down, an emptiness, something missing.’
June 4, 2003
[iraq] Baghdad Blogger — the first Guardian column from Salam Pax‘Beside all the papers we now have a TV channel and radio; they are part of what our American minders have called the Iraqi media network. My favourite TV show on it is an old Japanese cartoon (here it is called Adnan wa Lina). It is about what happens after a third world war when chaos reigns the earth. Bad choice for kids’ programming if you ask me.’ [Related: Salam Pax is Real]
[comics] Fantagraphics Appeal Paying Off — Team Comics seems to be saving Fantagraphics … Eric Reynolds: ‘This grass roots campaign looks to be a phenomenal success: if orders continue at close to the rate they have for the last five days, we project that by weeks’ end we will have achieved our immediate goal of… $80,000.’
June 5, 2003
I’ve been thinking about underpants lately … How many pairs of Underpants should a man own? Is 14 too many or too few? How many pairs of Underpants do you have? Tell Me.
June 6, 2003
[web] The Eighties Tarot — tarot cards as pop icons from the Eighties … ‘The serendipitous Ferris Bueller, loved by sportos, motorheads, geeks and sluts alike, is the perfect Fool.’
June 7, 2003
[spam] BT Blocked by Spam Blacklist‘BT has been rocked by allegations that its own servers are “dangerously misconfigured, insecure or abuseable” and are exposing email users to the threat of increased levels of unsolicited mail. A number of BT customers attempting to email friends and colleagues have been perplexed by their emails bouncing back with a delivery error message…’
June 9, 2003
[books] Excerpt from /usr/bin/god — Two thousand word extract from Cory Doctrow’s new novel … ‘Everyone was a font of creativity and interesting factoids. Conversation was solidly anti-idiotarian, a form of discourse that ran, “Here is a $THING. It is stupid. I am smarter;” “I see! Here is $ANOTHER_THING, it is likewise stupid and I am likewise smarter.” It wasn’t just a fucking stock-market bubble — it was nerdvana.’
[weblogs] Blogging’s too Good For Them — from today’s New Media section in the Guardian … ‘Just imagine… no more illiterate teenage wannabes clogging up the world’s most popular search engine with their idiotic “which Sex And The City character are you?” quizzes and incestuous links to their mates. No more American neo-Nazis babbling on about the Dixie Chicks and inciting racial hatred. No more tree-huggers talking about henna tattoos, home schooling and tofu. Just a list of proper sites full of proper information, written by proper journalists and proper academics. Fantastic.’
June 10, 2003
[web] Drudge Match — Camille Paglia interviews Matt Drudge. [via Anil’s Daily Links]

‘PAGLIA: There’s something retro about your persona. It’s like the pre-World War II generation of reporters — those unpretentious, working-class guys who hung around saloons and used rough language. Now they’ve all been replaced with these effete Ivy League elitists who swarm over the current media. Nerds — utterly dull and insipid.

DRUDGE: But you look at these tanned, blow-dried gym bunnies like Brian Williams, NBC’s next anchor — all they do is read off a teleprompter, and no one has a problem calling them journalists. In the end I really don’t care what I’m called, as long as it’s not blogger.’

[blogs] Simple Guide to the A-List Bloggers. On Chris Pirillo: ‘I am everything. I created newsletters. I made them work. Want some of my spammy newsletters? Former TechTV star. I am cool. The size of my ego wouldn’t even fit in Texas. Doncha wish you lived my life? In the Age of Spam, my answer to everything is email newsletters, yes, links to shareware, freeware, thisware, that ware, along with smart comments quips from Super Geek, why I mean me, of course. It is all about branding and my chaotic hyperkinetic personality. Join my Brain Trust and I can tell you how *I* did it, yes, yoooou tooo, can cassssshhhh in on all the Internet Riches out there just waitttting to be found, for onnnnnlllllllyyyyy $97 a month. But waiiiiit thereeeereee’s moooree, we’ll throw in a cool piece of Pocket PC software that I got from my Microsoft buddies. They like me. I like me. I use a Palm now however. But I am Super Geek.’ [via Ben Hammersley]
June 11, 2003
[bb4] Jon’s Geek Army — Jon Tickle fanpage … ‘Chosen by God, Loved by Women.’ [Related: Jontical]
June 12, 2003
[books] A Beautiful Mind — profile / interview of science writer Paul Broks (“the new Oliver Sacks”) …

‘What would he tell a stranger the book is about? “Without putting them off?” he asks with an uncertain smile. “That’s the difficult thing. Well it’s about how personal identity is fragile, and how at one level we’re basically meat and at another level we’re basically fiction – human beings are storytelling machines, and the self is a story, and we tell a story about ourselves, and we just pick up on the story.” He stops, defeated…’

[bb4] Ebay Auction: — currently at £510 with 3 days to go and it’s misspelt … ‘You are bidding for the complete ownership and management of JOHNTICKLE.COM. Due to a certain persons popularity in a certain Channel 4 production, this domain name is going to be very popular and will attract a LOT of visitors.’
June 13, 2003
[books] Life, the universe and everything — profile of Bill Bryson … Regarding his new book: ‘…the result is 30 chapters of slightly awestruck potted science – cosmology, palaeontology, evolution, cells, oceans, forests, the birth of self-creating life, the rise of man. Sensibly, Bryson leavens the jaw-dropping statistics and atomic physics with some droll stories of scientific endeavour from the last 300 years. Such as the astronomer Percival Lowell, who believed that Mars was covered with water-ferrying canals built by industrious Martians; few sought to disagree with him because he was, after all, endowing the expensive Lowell Observatory (which discovered Pluto in 1930).’
[comics] Fanta Out Of Fire — interview with Gary Groth about the sucessful Fantagraphics appeal … [via Neilalien]

‘GROTH: I caught it about a week or two before we sent out the open letter. Just in the natural course of paying bills and looking over our upcoming list, something triggered this. I realized that things weren’t right, and that’s what did it. I called an emergency meeting with Kim and our accountant, and sat down to empirically verify my gut feeling that this was not good.

NRAMA: And the cold feeling in your stomach got bigger and bigger…

GROTH: Yeah. It was a real “Oh shit, we are fucked!” moment.’

June 14, 2003
[spam] Open Relay Spam is ‘Dying Out’ — Where does the typical Spam come from then? … ‘Spammers traditionally used ‘open relays’ to distribute their spam. Open relays allowed spammers to off load the job of sending thousands of emails to a powerful server with high bandwidth. The practice slows down the processing of legitimate email and clogs up bandwidth, to say nothing of the potential damage to reputation that comes from even innocently sending out spam. Years ago spammers were spoilt for choice for open relays, but now the window for exploitation of corporate mail servers has reduced dramatically…’
June 15, 2003
[blogs] Beta Standalone Trackback Form — another reason not to listen to the geeky voice at the back of my head telling me blogging would be a lot easier if I upgraded to Movable Type … ‘This form can be used to send a trackback ping to any blog that accepts Trackbacks. You do not need to have a Trackback system on your blog to send pings.’ [Related: Simpletracks | via Anil’s Daily Links]
June 16, 2003
[film] Mescal and Madness — behind-the-scenes at the making of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest‘The most moving moment of Kiselyak’s documentary comes from Bo Goldman, the film’s eventual screenwriter, who argues that, as in every great story, there are no choices as to what the outcome is. “If a man lives a good and honest life he’ll come out OK,” says Goldman, reflecting on the way McMurphy finally sacrifices himself. “Even if he loses his wife, or loses his children, or destroys his career, he’ll come out OK. Because he’s written the right script for himself.”‘
[books] Excerpt from Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Everything

‘…experts believe there may have been many other big bangs, perhaps trillions and trillions of them, spread through the mighty span of eternity, and that the reason we exist in this particular one is that this is one we could exist in. As Edward P. Tryon of Columbia University once put it: “In answer to the question of why it happened, I offer the modest proposal that our Universe is simply one of those things which happen from time to time.”‘

June 17, 2003
[web] LinkMachineGo… in Bizarro-World!‘real love bond of union’ [via Black Ink]
[comics] Two scanned pages [Page 1 | Page 2] from Alan Moore’s Script for V For Vendetta …

image of voice of fate dialogue from Alan Moore's V for Vendetta Script

June 18, 2003
[bb4] Big Brother 4 Nomination Diagrams — charts describing who has nominated who … Some interesting analysis: ‘…Looking at this potential 5-5 split in terms of gender, it appears that Cameron and Gos have become honorary girls, while Sissy has been singled out as not girly enough.’ [Related: Diagrams for Series Two and Three | via Diamond Geezer]
June 19, 2003
[search] GoogleGuy Says — insider info from Google‘GoogleGuy is a Google employee who is very helpful in responding to questions and providing information to webmasters in the forums at WebmasterWorld.’
June 20, 2003
[comics] ¡Journalista! on the ‘comics blogosphere’: ‘There have been comics-related weblogs for some time now, of course, but the collected group seems to be finally getting big enough, and complex enough, to take seriously as a sort of ecosystem of ideas. We’re starting to see more and more real writing on the subject, from a wider variety of viewpoints — an environment that political weblogs take for granted, but into which comics weblogs are still growing. What started out as a set of isolated rants seems to be turning into a genuine, multi-tiered set of conversations…’ [via Neilalien]
June 21, 2003
[comics] DaveWatch — reading the last issues of Cerebus so you don’t have to … Dave Sim: ‘I had assumed — such was my level of disengagement from feminist social reality — that overnight the military in the Nato countries were going to be up to their eyeballs in volunteers (comparable to what happened in 1914 and 1939)–countries like Canada would volunteer for the dirty jobs of sending wave after wave of ill-equipped soldiers into the caves of Tora-Bora and, over the course of a year or two, the military authorities would find out what to do with the real soldiers based on what had happened to the cannon fodder. I prepared myself to volunteer for cannon fodder duty.’
June 22, 2003
[nsfw distraction] C*nt Trumps — play top trumps against the computer using annoying celebrities … Jeffrey Archer: ‘Rating: An Utter, Utter Cunt’ [Related: Celebrity C*nt Database]
June 23, 2003
[web] Some recent interesting Barbelith threads:

  • Promethea #26‘This issue was ridiculously cool.’
  • Barbelith. (Warren) Ellis. Cameron (Stewart) (and Fatbeards) … ‘ I am using the term “fatbeard” in an inclusive, spread-the-love term, as a reader of comic books myself (a closer reading may have noticed that nobody has actually mentioned liking or disliking particular comic books in this thread yet). As you say, I am posting about comic books on the Internet. I am clearly of the fatbeard nation. I get to use the term, you don’t, to paraphrase Richard Pryor. Except of course you do, because you are also posting about comic books on the Internet.’
  • Sporanos Series 4 Discussion‘A wig!’

June 24, 2003
[comics] Return to Sim City — analysis of the latest issue of Cerebus … ‘Sim has produced a one-panel-per-verse Bible pastiche with art that at times comes close to abstraction, complete with running creator’s commentary built into the layout of the page. It’s certainly a fascinating experiment. The problem is that it’s nuts.’ [via ¡Journalista!]
[blogs] Cory Doctorow on the Today Programme — one of the authors of Boing Boing was interviewed on Radio 4 this morning.
June 25, 2003
[comics] Slick on the Draw — preview of the Comica! Festival at the ICA‘London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts will be hosting Comica, a 10-day festival of comic art and literature from around the world. Running from 27 June until 6 July, Comica features some of the most highly regarded figures currently working in the form, with appearances by Jimmy Corrigan creator Chris Ware and Joe Sacco, whose Palestine, a collection of graphic war-zone reportage, was published earlier this year.’
June 26, 2003
[comics] Princess Di in X-Statix linkage:

  • Diana in the Mavel Universe — from Newsarama‘It was later confirmed for Newsarama that Diana would join, in some form or another, X-Statix.’
  • Princess Diana, Superhero — Peter Milligan Comments … ‘Diana comes out of it a lot better than the British establishment. Indeed, a couple of old palace eminence grise types arrange for this resurrected mutant zombie to be killed. “And this time, let’s do it properly,” one of them says.’ [via I Love Everything]
  • Guardian’s Pass Notes: Princess Diana, the Superhero ‘Next up from Marvel Comics: Camilla Parker Bowles as Catwoman; Prince Philip as the Joker; Derry Irvine as Judge Dredd.’
  • Diana in ‘Sick’ Comic — Daily Mail Article … ‘Marvel editor- in- chief Joe Quesada said: “Princess Diana is a mutant. Like every good superhero, she’s coming back from the dead. She’s going to join one of the X-Men teams. “If comics are anything, we’re subversive. This is really a wonderful story.” The monthly comic is already on sale in America and Britain and is expected to sell around 150,000 copies worldwide.’

June 27, 2003
[film] ‘After 100 takes, they asked me: What the hell are you doing?’ — interview with Ang Lee … ‘One of the rules that govern comic books is that each page is broken into panels, which enable the artists and writers to approximate in print the kinetic quality of film. Lee chose to break the screen into multiple images as his way of reversing the equation. Even the size of the screen alters from scene to scene; the frame expands to exaggerated widescreen for some portions. “I had to find my way of translating the excitement you get when you’re reading comic books to the big screen,” says Lee. “Not just lining things up with montage, but choreographing multi-images in the same space’
[politics] Dear Bill: They’ve Called Last Orders — Simon Hoggart sums up Denis Thatcher

‘The received wisdom now is that Denis Thatcher was far from being a gin-soaked old bigot. Well, up to a point. But he certainly relished the world of the golf and rugby club bar, the just-time-for-a-quick-sharpener, the jovial trust-you-to-walk-in-when-it’s-my-round culture. Or as he once put it to his wife when she queried his request for a stiff drink on a morning flight to Scotland: “My dear, it is never too early for a gin and tonic.” “He had,” said an appreciative lunch guest at Chequers, “a very sharp eye for a refill.” And if the term means anything at all, he was a bigot.’

June 29, 2003
[comics] Marvel: State of Play — interesting internal gossip about micro-management of creative projects at Marvel by Joe Quesada and Bill Jemas … ‘”Marvel Boy” II is not happening because Bill Jemas wants to change the script, and Grant Morrison doesn’t.’ [via Neilalien]
June 30, 2003
[comics] I bought this a couple of weeks ago… Prez #1 — One of DC’s Goofier Moments … (click image to enlarge) …

Cover to Prez #1 (1973)

[web] Capital Numbers — a months worth of London numerology from Diamond Geezer. ‘…because London Counts.’
July 1, 2003
[politics] A Hard Line on Bush — Steve Bell visits an Editorial Cartoonists Convention in America … ‘Watching Fox makes you realise just how rampant the right is at the moment, and reading the New York Times, a supposedly great liberal newspaper, makes you wonder if they would ever say boo to a goose, let alone tell truth to power. It seems dull, ponderous and timid. It’s also one of the few major papers without its own editorial cartoonist. It runs syndicated stuff, but that’s not the same thing. Having its own editorial cartoonist is at least a sign that a paper is prepared to put somebody’s nose out of joint now and again.’
July 2, 2003
[connections] Microsoft Word bytes Tony Blair in the Butt — a mysterious person called M. Khan turns up in the revision history of a UK Government word document about Iraq …

Rev. #9: “MKhan” edited file “C:\TEMP\Iraq – security.doc”
Rev. #10: “MKhan” edited file “C:\WINNT\Profiles\mkhan\Desktop\Iraq.doc”

Unofficial Mary Whitehouse Experience: ”M. KAHN IS BENT’ was, until recently, painted in very large white letters on a railway bridge that crosses the North Circular road in London between Crouch End and East Finchley (Just by the gasworks). It had been there for over ten years, unmissable by every single car travelling in a westward directionon the North Circular, which, bearing in mind that approximately 300,000 cars containing an average of 2.7 people pass under that bridge every day, would indicate that, over the course of time, the fact of M. Kahn’s bent-ness may have been impressed on 2,956,500,000 people, or round about five times the population of Europe.’
July 3, 2003
[comics] Rolling Commentary — Alan Moore on the War in Iraq … ‘[America is] a great country, but you (and the rest of the world) got Bushwhacked. A spooky little clique who for some considerable while contented themselves with being part of America’s un-elected Shadow Government have now stepped boldly up into the footlights, where they feel (perhaps correctly) that they can now do or say whatever they want, and that nobody can or will do anything about it. They’ re ready for their close-up, Mr. DeMille. There is no longer any need for secrecy or shadows. Covert wars were so last century, don’t you think?’ [Related: Arthur Magazine | via 2lmc Spool]
July 4, 2003
[london] Oystercard — a new smartcard for London Transport replacing Travelcards (rechargable via the Internet!) … ‘Oyster is the new ticketing and revenue system that is bringing smartcard travel and all of its associated benefits to Transport for London and its customers. At the heart of this system is the Oyster card which can be used on Tube, bus, Tramlink, DLR and National Rail services within London.’ [via Wanderer’s Weblog]