blog

General blog posts.

Swamp Thing

I’ve always had a soft spot for DC Comics’ muck monster, Swamp Thing. When I was a kid, there was a newsagents in Bryant Road in Strood where they had a spinner rack full of American comics for sale. I’d buy comics on the way home from school. It was…

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Alas, Apple Watch I knew you well

At the end of June my Apple Watch stopped charging. I took it off and forgot to charge it for a couple of days and found that it just wouldn’t turn on – even after charging overnight and swapping cables and plugs. Up until then it’d worked fine. I tried…

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Intellivision Summer

Back in 1983 my mum rented an Intellivision games console from Radio Rentals. She couldn’t afford to buy a console so she added it to the colour tv she rented. I actually wanted an Atari 2600 at the time but that wasn’t available from Radio Rentals. Some of the kids…

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Edgar Rice Burrough’s John Carter of Mars

I’m currently working my way through Edgar Rice Burrough’s Barsoom series of pulp adventure novels. A Princess of Mars, the first of the series, was a surprisingly enjoyable romp reminding me of a mix of Gulliver’s Travels, Jules Verne and H.G. Wells. While I’ve always been aware of John Carter,…

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Back to the Back of a Block-rocking Comic Book!

One of my monthly pleasures before Lockdown was to scan the pages of Previews, the catalogue that would announce upcoming comic book and graphic novel releases. Things have changed since March: lots of titles have been cancelled (some creators have been cancelled, too, but that’s a whole different matter) and…

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Room at the Top

After I was born my mother took me home from hospital to a small rented attic room at the top of a Victorian house in Rochester. We walked past the house today and I pointed it out to Alice and Soren. “That’s where I lived as a baby,” I told…

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Florian Schneider, “sonic perfectionist”

This month’s Electronic Sound has a heartwarming tribute to the enigmatic Florian Schneider, who died earlier this year. The piece, by Stephen Dalton, gives an excellent account of Schneider’s role in Kraftwerk. It’s particularly good in establishing the nature of the tensions between Schneider and Ralf Hütter that eventually led…

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"a furball coughed up by a supervillain’s cat"

Frankie Boyle on the British government: Boris Johnson, flapping about like a poorly-tethered bouncy castle, is supposed to serve as a distraction, a furball coughed up by a supervillain’s cat. He isn’t supposed to actually lead us through anything. We have a government that has no interest in governing up…

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“this weird thing of hyper-normalness”

Mark Fisher in an old interview: “What we have got with this digital culture now is this weird thing of hyper-ordinariness. You have got people who are done up to the nines but it isn’t like David Bowie where you are playing with some abstract aestheticisation. We have got people…

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