- I'm on a real short story kick at at the moment and the best young short story writer I've recently come across is named Wells Tower (which, yes, is his real name). His collection, "Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned" is fantastic, full of finely honed, beautifully written stories which are remarkably well-observed and funny, truthful and occasionally disturbing. Yet they are generally heavier on plot than the microscopic observation which dominates the form of the modern short story. Things happen in Tower's stories. There are unexpected twists and turns. Never more so than in the title story of the collection, a story of a Viking Raid on a coastal town and its consequences, narrated in a modern American idiom by a decidedly reluctant pillager. The first line gives a little of the flavour: "Just as we were all getting back into the mainland domestic groove, somebody started in with dragons and crop blights from across the North Sea." It is a great story, unlike anything else I've ever read. And you can find it in its entirety right here.
- The pictures of Megan Fox dressed as the hottest Old West Whore since Claudia Cardinale on the set of "Jonah Hex" set me to pondering on the character of Jonah himself and Western comics in general. I like Western Comics. From the classic Fleischer Hex stories (particularly those with Garcia-Lopez art) to Mobius on "Blueberry", to "Lucky Luke" and Azzarello's "Loveless", Westerns make for good comics. All this in turn led me to check out "High Moon", a Western-Horror on DC's web-comic imprint, "Zuda". I don't read many web-comics and this is an interesting read on that basis alone, for what it suggests are the strengths and drawbacks of the medium itself. The story and art are ok, but the premise is pretty good and its worth a glance. The image above, on the other hand, is a classic Nick Cardy "Bat Lash" cover that I just had to include because its so lovely...
- "Batman: Dead End", the impressively slick and assured 2003 short fan film featuring Batman, the Joker and Alien and Predator, was primarily intended as a showreel for the directorial skill of Director Sandy Collora. Well, it worked, as "Hunter Prey", Collora's debut feature, is nearing release. A determinedly 70s-retro feel to the photography and design instantly marks it out as something different to most mainstream SF. Basically, it looks somewhat like a Star Wars fan film. But a really good one, with lots of violence:
- As I've written before, there are only a handful of Playmakers in the classic mode surviving in modern football. Riquelme, Diego, Gourcuff, to name a few, as well as the Brazilian Ederson, who is being played out of position at Lyon to accommodate the waning talents of Juninho. In previous seasons however, he was phenomenal for Nice, scoring regular belters like this one:
- Next Season, Arsenal will wear a Green ("Hunter Green", to be precise) away kit in Europe. Supposedly in homage to the (reputedly unlucky) away kit worn in 1982-83 and rapidly abandoned (in a similar vein, Man United's new kit is a tribute to thier 1909 kit, White-V from the shoulders and all). Not too many clubs play in green, is the thing. Countries (Ireland, Ivory Coast, Mexico for instance) do, since its a staple of many flags and even key to certain National identities and myths. But disregarding those that wear green stripes (like Celtic, Betis and Sporting Lisbon), how many Big clubs play in Green? None in England, unless you count Plymouth Argyle as a Big club. Saint Etienne in France, Werder Bremen in Germany, Palmeiras, Panathanaikos...In a world inescapaby dominated by red and blue, green is an unfashionable colour for a football shirt, it seems. A friend suggested to me that this was down to the folk superstition associating green with bad luck, which makes some sense, I suppose. What also makes sense is that Nike would ignore any such superstition in its lust for money through increased sales of as many new kits as it can churn out.
- One of the great voices of 90s Indie, singing one of the best songs of 90s Indie:
Jacqueline Bisset, officially the most beautiful woman in the world back then. Seriously.