Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Ninety-nine days to go

Do you remember NaBloPoMo when I blogged increasingly shorter posts every day for a month? Or blog365 where I was meant to blog every day for a year, but gave up partway through March? Well Hundred Days is similar to that, except I don't have to do any writing.

What Hundred Days is Josie Long trying to improve her comedic & personal skills by vowing to write one proper joke and meet a new person every day for the next hundred days. And as usual it's a lot easier to maintain the vow if you make a public declaration of it, so the guilt of other people can keep you on track.

Josie, being kind, or wanting to spread the pressure onto other people, decided to allow others to make similar vows. These can all be read on the Hundred Days website (or on twitter). And if you squint (or look alphabetically for my name) you'll see that I've vowed to write a topical haiku a day and to do a page of my Japanese book.

I'm pretty sure that this should be achievable for me as it takes about five minutes to read one page of my Japanese book* and haikus are pretty easy to pull together.

As long as you remember how many syllables are in a haiku that is. I foolishly put my first one on Twitter and about four minutes after posting it realised I'd put one extra syllable in the middle part. If you're interested here is the correct haiku for Tuesday 1st December:

B. C. F. testing
data not ready today
so I leave early

And here's the one for Wednesday 2nd December (aka Day 2):

Died before saving
Mario and Luigi
train journey wasted

The Japanese stuff I've learnt is how to say hello and goodbye so sayonara & bis bald**!

* Although it's easy now as I'm at the beginning which I know off by heart. I'm more worried when it gets to the later stages and I'm doing buildings and stuff.

** Oh wait, that's German

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Thoughts on Thought Bubble 2009

I've done some rather geeky stuff in the past. There was the time I went to see Amber Benson in Leeds, the year straight after I left uni where I spent all my money on Buffy figurines and last month when I went to Nottingham to see some people from a podcast play chiptune music.

I'm not sure if going to the Thought Bubble Sequential Art/Comics Festival is geekier than any of these, but it comes pretty close.

This was the third year of it taking place and as usual it was being held in Leeds. Unfortunately for Freya & I Leeds was rather rainy that day, so we were rather damp when we showed up.

Going from what C-Monster had written before I was expecting a pretty spacious hall full with comicky goodness. In reality it was smaller than I imagined (although conversely Freya thought it was a lot bigger) but the goodness was still there.

It's a bit of a cop-out but there really was something for everyone with the cosplayers grouping around the princess, numerous stalls selling indie comics to people after something new and massive queues for the big names in comics who I had never heard of*.

The main thing I came for was to annoy C-Monster which I did successfully by first making him think I liked him by mentioning J Nash and Kenickie***. But then I turned on him by askin him why he didn't write Sleater-Kinney with a hyphen. So he threatened to punch me which was exactly the response I wanted! Hurrah!

We also spoke to Jamie McKelvie, and Freya told him - when C-Monster's back was turned - that she not-so-secretly preferred Suburban Glamour to Phonogram. Jamie also claimed that he was not that well off, which went against the Tescos Finest croissants that he had just bought. Aha! Foiled again McKelvie!

Marc Ellerby was sat near C-Monster and he's one of Freya's favourite comic book people, so I pushed her to the front of his table and made her talk to him. As expected he was super-nice and spoke to Freya for a long time (although that could be because she had brought (an bought) a lot of stuff to be signed). Marc's girlfriend Swedish Anna was there as well and she was super-nice as well.

As well as the stalls there were some talks going on in the curtained area. The first one we saw there was about films and comics. It was interesting, mostly due to Paul Cornell who made lots of quips and added humour to what could have been a dry talk. One bad thing was that they didn't actually talk about Scott Pilgrim which could have been intriguing, instead they preferred to complain about everyone talking about superhero films, ironically by only talking about superhero films.

The other talk was chaired by C-Monster and was about comics and games. This was made slightly weirder by the fact that C-Monster obviously recognised us from earlier and kept looking over in our direction. I can only presume he wanted me to make a J Nash style interjection by standing up and going "Oh look - it's the Goodyear blimp! No, erk, oh! (dies)". In which case he was sorely mistaken****.

I was going to stand up and ask if they were upset that games had a mainstream appeal that comics were currently lacking, and if so, would they be prepared to work on a Wii Fit comic. However I decided not to as everyone else was asking serious questions and I just wanted to do a weak joke about Wii Fit.

This panel was a bit more humorous as there was a Yorkshireman who took the piss out of almost everything anyone said. All convention panels need a Yorkshireman.

The other thing this panel had was that all five people on the panel wore glasses and had a bald/shaved head. Which made this look like a Buzzcocks-style identity parade for INSERT NAME HERE.

By this point Freya and I were getting tired so we missed out on the after party, where I understand McKelvie and C-Monster did various drunk things. As I was in bed by nine-ish, it was probably for the best that I didn't attend.

We'll certainly come again to next year's Thought Bubble though, particularly if that Cosplayer who was an X-woman wearing tight green spandex and a strawberry-blonde wig attends again*****.

* Or more accurately who I had heard of but I didn't have a clue who they were. For example, I knew Andy Diggle had worked with 2000AD but I couldn't for the life of me tell you any comics he's done**

** Except after Thought Bubble I can tell you he wrote The Losers, on which Jock was the artist.

*** Indeed I had a massive spike in visitors when C-Monster linked to my Kenickie@Reading post. Which I then ruined by not blogging for another nine months.

**** As that was a very poor J Nash impression

***** Actually the best cosplayer was the girl dressed as Luke from Professor Layton. I walked past her four times before I realised who she was******, mostly because it was pretty obvious who were the cosplayers were as they were dressed in luminous colours and had tails, whereas Luke was charmingly understated.

****** When I realised I said "Professor, I've sorved it!"