Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Power Socket 4 "Oxygen Percentage: Normal"

Today's dose of slobbering, massive-jawed beast-encountering sees our stiff heroes finally eschew the random violence of earlier issues for rubber-tipped arrows, while our villain comes into his own now as something genuinely entertaining, in my opinion anyway. I love Black Shark's scenes in this.
The main influence here was of course American International's "At The Earth's Core", which I was quite surprised to discover recently is an actual film, with a beginning, a middle, an end, and a finite running time - and not, as it seemed in 1985, just an endlessly self-replicating series of randomly-generated sugar hallucinations muscling its way into the schedules with the unheralded regularity of pages from Ceefax.

I honestly think it was this film that first taught me that adults sweat. I wish I could still rip off ideas this easily. Natchtka!

Monday, 29 July 2013

Power Socket 3 "Gollup Gollup"

Tomorrow sees me back in the Ring - and the murk and the leg brace - for a week at the BAC again before a short run in Edinburgh. Do come along, although the durned thing keeps selling out - I know - so I will understand. Appropriately enough though, today's Power Socket also explores our darkest imaginings. (Is that how you spell imaginings? It looks silly.) I pull no punches. Ipso facto: not only does the baddie have a hood and a scythe, he has a horn.* You have been warned. Yes you have.

Did Fang go out for Chinese because they were so nasty about his cooking in Issue 1? I'd like to think so. Anyway, yes, exciting.

* And his hood has a clitoris. Okay, I'd only just noticed.

Power Socket 2 "Your gondola's ready"

Computor sweat.
Reading this again I'm less sure now about Agamemnon's credentials as a Reed Richards-style brainiac, but I must have given him those grey streaks for a reason. Maybe he was supposed to be more of a gung-ho Hannibal Smith-type, but with a small tank instead of legs. Is that a tank? Also I seem to remember Changeling was supposed to be the suave one, yet here he is biting the head off a dinosaur. "It looks like an old bottle cap..." It's true, Digi-toc looks like the nipple of a water bottle, but I don't remember water bottles having nipples in the eighties, so who knows what the Mongrol means by this? And who knows what the accomplice was intended to accomplish, or how Digi-toc brought the weapons, or how they got from their converted toilet/bar thing in Sloane Square to the Pacific in a speedboat, or if Neanderthal is just this guy they let tag along with them or what? One thing I do know though is I really enjoy drawing the intermediary stages of a morphing. 

"Your death will be a slow one. You will rot in my cells." Ahhh, life... the slowest of all the deaths.
Be sure to join us next issue for that other never-fails standby, the "scare them to insanity" plan, still only 10p!

Sunday, 28 July 2013


While I sort out my dongles, and since the scanner's working, here's the first of seven and a half issues of a comic I tried selling at school in the mid-eighties over a period of probably two years or so. I'd seen someone in the year above do something similar and was clearly both impressed and inspired, a rare combination of emotions for me then as now - I think I'm more likely to be inspired by seeing someone else do something wrong. I know that by issue Power Socket's  seventh issue I was heavily into 2000AD, because that was the issue my Dad persuaded me to take along to the 1987 Annual signing to show Alan Moore, Kev O'Neil, Pat Mills and the like, which is a hell of a memory - but looking at these early issues which appear to be inspired more by Saturday Morning Cartoons, I'm willing to bet they came out a while before I was a friend of Tharg. I was, maybe, ten when I wrote issue 1, and never really into Superhero comics but I knew from the cartoons that you should have a robot, a tough cookie who says "sucker", a brainy leader, and beyond that my characterisation skills clearly faltered. These are scanned from photo-copies. The originals were rescued from the house fire but are a little crumbly. The signature "ZANY" is not something I stuck with. And Agamemnon was meant to be called Armageddon, but I rather fortuitously misspelt him. Let's go.

 Stay tuned!

Saturday, 27 July 2013


I can't get my telephone to put photographs on my laptop.
What I've done is put a wire into a hole in the telephone, and then the other end of that wire into a hole in the laptop, and made sure that the two ends of the wire have the right pictures on them and match the holes, and the little picture of the wire that becomes three wires appears on my phone and then... Well, something happens then, doesn't it? They're supposed to go "Hi" or "I've noticed you've stuck a wire into us, would you like to move stuff through that wire, like those photographs of tents or - You probably don't even remember what you photographed, do you, it's so long since you uploaded any of them."
"Yeah but who's fault is that? I did my bit. I put the wire into you two guys. And it's the right wire, do you know how many wires I have? Now it's up to you to put the things through the wire."
"What wire? Who are you even talking to, Simon? This conversation isn't happening. That's the problem surely."
"Yes. Good point. Thank you for being so understanding... Hello?... Hello? Helloooo? Looo booo? Mah. Just singing. Singing to myself - Oh yeah, photos- Oh no."
And of course no photos means no blogging (I don't make the rules.)
UNLESS, say, someone suddenly posted online a short sketch show in which I was asked to appear back in January, alongside many excellent people who have actually appeared in other, actual things.

That's me in the corner. No, the other corner.

The invitation to be in Spats came from Ed Morrish, who also produces John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme (the third series of which we're recording at the moment) and look, there's John, and Maragaret Cabourn-Smith. And Dan Mersh in a moustache suddenly! My film work is far too scanty to convince me I actually know what I'm doing yet, but I'm happy at least with how I'm doing it wrong in this. Enjoyee. Right, I'm off bright and early tomorrow/today to Bristol to appear in Hannah Ringham's "Ghostphone" in which covered in paint, shouting a little, and armed with a baseball bat I lug detritus around a chamber of strategically orchestrated abuse. Much more my comfort zone. And it's excellent to be working with Hannah again. Those of you reading this is in Bristol, why not come along and see it?
Because you won't be getting any photos of it, I can tell you that.