When I’m 64…

Two events this week caused me to muse on the future; in particular, a future in comics and about the realities of being committed to the medium in the long term.

The first was a meeting with a group of people about pension plans, and how I needed to start saving now, so that I can eventually enjoy “the longest holiday of my life”, aka: retirement.

The financial consultant used a Power Point slide to show a young man with blonde hair and a full set of teeth parachuting over an exotic location like the Bahamas as an illustration of how my “longest holiday” might go.

Fearing that I might flat-line before he reached the 28th slide, let alone the age of 60, my ears pricked up when he told us that people are now living longer, post retirement. There’s at least a good 20 years of mileage left in me after I retire and someone, namely, me, has to pay for that.

Now, being a comics creator, I’m disposed to thinking I’ll remain forever young. The only time I’d ever consider the future is if I was plotting a mini-series where the chief plot concerned time travel and preventing a future that should have never happened.

My gut reaction to the word ‘pension’ fills me with revulsion. Why save for a future I may not arrive at when I can spend that money now on making comics in the very real present?

The question might sound idiotic, even senseless, but the finances of making comics presents me with a very real need for an answer.

Why not save for any number of ‘things’ that are sensible?

A HD TV, a holiday in the sun, a pension, a family, a house, a car – a veritable shopping list of things that underscore a good life, a life well-lived, by some people in society.

The truth is that making comics is something that I cannot switch off. It is, to coin a hip-hop phrase, what I am about. I’m like fucking Wile E. Coyote and the next issue is always my Road Runner; there are a hundred ways to fill my stomach, but catching that bird is what will settle my hunger.

As a young (ish) man writing this now, in a fully heated apartment, with the Saturday run of grocery shopping done, I’d like to think that if I reach 64 with my pockets not overflowing with wads of cash, that I will be content having made my comics.

The knowledge that I stayed committed to something I believed in and made my life a testimony to it might buy me some peace within the universe – something that a HD TV really couldn’t do.

That could be a lie I’m simply selling myself to ignore the future and to carry on making comics.

But if you’re going to live your life by a lie you might as well die peacefully by one, more of which I will be discussing in my next post.

In the meantime, roll on issue #999! : )

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posted by JP at 8:34 pm  

Drool Here

London Horror Comic#3

Cover to issue 3

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posted by JP at 10:33 pm  

Advance review of London Horror Comic 2 on Geeking Out Comic Peek O’ The Week

“If you’re a horror fan this is a must-read.”

We’re reviewed at time index 4:14. There is also a brief review of issue 1 at 2:48.

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posted by JP at 5:56 pm  

Previews listed comic needs penciller – paid

London Horror Comic, the critically acclaimed horror-comic anthology, needs a penciller for work on a 32-page book.

Send an email including your page rate in USD$, web links to your artwork on-line and a short bio including the names of titles you have worked on to:

londonhorrorcomic[a]googlemail.com

(replace the [a] with the @ symbol)

1.Candidate must have a previously published body of work.
2.Only applicants whose work interests the publisher will be contacted.

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posted by JP at 2:06 pm  

Review of issues one and two of London Horror Comic on Comicbookresources.com’s Comics Should be Good Blog:

“For 4 dollars, it’s certainly as good as a lot of what Marvel’s trying to sell you for the same price!”

-Greg Burgas

Full review here.

Scroll down about four spots once there.

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posted by JP at 10:09 pm  

Bit of the old London sci-fi

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posted by JP at 4:09 am  

ATTN: Retailers

If you’ve ordered copies of the London Horror Comic #2 for your store email me at the address below with your store name and address and you will be added to our “Where to buy” section of the website. Replace [a] with the @ symbol. Ta.

Email: editor[a]londonhorrorcomic.com

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posted by JP at 7:58 pm  

The Wire vs UK TV

There was a hospital drama on BBC One a few nights ago. After having just enjoyed a marathon session with The Wire, I tried to examine why the BBC drama wasn’t as good.

Some exceptions aside first: the BBC drama seemed authentic in its medical speak. It was as well researched as any street corner on Baltimore, but its aims and ambitions aren’t in the same league as The Wire.

The doc drama isn’t setting out to dramatize how a public health system functions in the UK against a political and bureaucratic backdrop. It is not examining the types of people who would willingly put themselves forward for a job that requires exacting skill but in a profession which is also chronically underpaid.

It uses of the arena of the hospital is to easily set up and establish new conflicts week in week out – fast fiction.

With fast fiction, a simple small story about how treating a patient touches a physician’s personal life can be immensely satisfying. But in this case the the chief plot concerned a nurse suspecting that her doctor boyfriend was cheating on her – all because she discovered he was planning a trip to Rome with someone else. She proceeds to confront him. He denies it. Then she finds a rough guide to Rome in the locker of the lady she suspects of having an affair with her boyfriend.

Now, in the next scene, she could have grabbed a machine gun and shot him, but my level of interest wouldn’t have peaked in any way.

So why does this fail as a story where The Wire succeeds?

Why is a scene about corner boys trying to capture a homing pigeon (it happens in series 4 of The Wire) more riveting than the revelation of an affair or breakdown of a relationship?

I think the difference lies in not what happens, but why what happens is important and what it means to the people involved.

In The Wire, we glimpse a shred of hope for the boys and their future by showing that, if they can work together, then they can achieve what they want. We’re also introduced to a character who, initially disowned by the group for smelling and not having enough money for clothes, reveals his knowledge about homing pigeons and wider intellect.

These simple series of scenes are important not because of what happens – catching a pigeon is hardly edge of your seat entertainment – but what the encounters will eventually mean for the characters involved as they go to school and grow up in a city marked by violence.

The BBC doc drama could have made slight changes to the story to make it work. You could have had the woman wanting to break up with her man, and when she finds out about the affair, she has the perfect excuse to end it. She ends it and maybe wins back a bit of pride to help her in her next relationship. Only when she does end it, the man’s pride is hurt and he redoubles his efforts to win her back!

OK. That’s hardly Shakespeare, but at least it’s different, slightly meaningful and could raise a few laughs.

Noble ambitions for us all.

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posted by JP at 7:36 pm  

Advance review of London Horror Comic #2 number: 3

“Reach Out” is a story without words and it really does not need them. The drawings speak for themselves. A woman reaches out only to find things are not as they seem. Life is f**ked up. 4 out of 5 stars.

Richard Vasseur – Jazma Online

Over here

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posted by JP at 11:53 pm  

The ladies love the London Horror Comic – official

“One thing’s for sure: Kamath possesses the imagination to keep making highly enjoyable comics that will keep you entertained every time. There’s no doubt about it—LONDON HORROR COMIC is one comic book that’s worth the four-dollar price.”

Review of London Horror Comic #2 over at the girlsentertainmentnetwork.com.

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posted by JP at 7:55 pm  
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