alan moore

The Tour The Tour Day Eight: Northampton, Alan Mooretown

All of a sudden, I was alone. Where once there had been four, there was now just me. After yesterday’s tragic Mixer Mishap, wherein my Motu bag containing Jack’s mixer, all his wires and leads, my Lars Attack T-Shirt AND MY COWBELL had accidentally stayed on the train to Manchester when we changed at Bristol, it had been decided that Jack would have to return to London to get another, and I would travel to Northampton solo.

I was excited to go and play in Northampton. Alan Moore lives there. It’s the oldest city in the country (I think). It has a strange magic and mystery about it. So I did a reckie on the Travelodge, counted my bags, checked my pockets, and called a cab. 27 minutes later my cab arrived, and 12 minutes after THAT I was frantically trying to get the stupid bloody ticket machine to give me my prebooked ticket as my train made ominous About To Leave noises. 2 minutes later me and my many bags were flying down a flight of stairs and through the closing train doors, and the thing heaved off with me collapsed on a table panting like a lapdog in the desert.

I only had to change once, which gave me the perfect opportunity to drop my coffee on the platform like a fucking wet BOMB, and I did a lot of work on the trains with my magical Dongle, which pleased me greatly. I also met a self-professed Nomad, whose brother did sound at the venue we were going to be playing at that night, so I gave her a CD to help her on her travels.

Jack, meanwhile, had got to London, and had gotten to his mixer and wires and leads, but was finding it difficult getting hold of his lift back. I said, “don’t worry G, everything will be awesome,” because I think that to be true.

Northampton greeted me with a thick wet sky the colour and consistency of porridge, and a hill stretching out into infinity. So up the hill I went, me and my bags, like Dorothy up the Yellow Brick Road, observing the many sights and sounds and smells of this new place, and after 20 minutes I happened upon a troupe of Amateur Dramaticians, who introduced me to The Legendary Roadmenders, our venue for the night.

The Legendary Roadmenders is a colossal, labyrinthine collection of rooms of varying sizes, some containing stages, some containing speakers, some containing bongos and crisps. I realsied that I had seen the place before, recently – in a very vivid and detailed dream, so make of that what you will. At any rate, it wasn’t long before I got the sad news: Jack was stuck in London, and would not be able to play with us tonight.

"OH NOES!" I thought.

“Where’s Jack?” said Lars.

“Jack’s coming back, right?” said Tour Managing Fireball Thrower Ryu.

“Oh no, that sucks for Jack,” said Weerd Science, sadly.

“What are you going to do without Jack?” asked MC Kal.

It was a good question. But we are resourceful people, and we come prepared, so OF COURSE I have all my instrumentals on my laptop, and OF COURSE Jack bought me a toy robot for my birthday, and if you are confused as to how a toy robot could help in such a situation, first you must be made aware that what many people love about our show on this tour is our rapport. “I love the way you and Jack Nimble talk to each other during the set, it’s so funny,” said Lars after the first night, and variations on that righteous statement occur nightly.

And so, I took that yellow robot that talks when you squeeze his hand out onstage with me that night, dear reader, and lo he did keep me company up there, and his banter was pretty good, but not a patch on Jack’s, obviously, and he DID start singing and refused to stop at one point, so I had to chuck him on the drums and leave him be.

And yes, it was pretty tricky up there with no DJ having to press laptop buttons all the time and stuff, AND it was a pretty quiet night as far as numbers of people in the building were concerned, but those that WERE there were awesome, and as you ought to know by now, I am a G, and I smash the crap out of stages, and I bring the party, and lo, I did smash the crap out of the stage AND I bought the party. Here's me doing Thanks For All The AIDS, courtesy of Ben Sorrie's magical camera:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FsPKomjzIU

MC Chris continued the party, and did a good job of dealing with a large, bearded heckler/loudmouth, deflecting his crudery with wittery, and giving the best performance of that song about Neville Longbottom of the tour thusfar.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LsepUH7s3-c

MC Lars and Weerd Science were brilliant yet again, and turned a small room of people into a zoo. Science then told the zoo how sad he was that Jack Nimble was stuck in London, and how much we all missed him, and how we were a family now, and how being on this tour was like being on tour with your best friends, and everyone went, “WHOOOOOOOOO! JACK NIMBLE!” and lo the Northamptpn Magic I’d been wondering about on the train did make itself very apparent, and lo, we did boogie, in honour of our absent friend.

WATCH: Alan Moore & The Retro Spankees - Jonny Fortunate (Live)

Live footage from Almanac and co's Dodgem Logic launch do in sunny Northampton the other night. I wish I had been there, it looks like a marvelous party. And I love The Party!

More over at Bleeding Cool.

So, yeah, I was sat on the train on the way back from Envy's video shoot last night reading Tom Strong: v. 1, which is a lot better than I remembered it being, when suddenly this really tall guy is looming above me, eagles circling his head, and he's all like, "is that Tom Strong? Do you like Alan Moore? Well here's my fanzine with an exclusive interview with Alan Moore in it!"

With a flourish he deposited a strange smelling high quality A5 magazine called Mustard in my lap.

And I was like, "woah, cheers dude!"

The train's brakes screeched like a cat on fire, and off he went, cape billowing in the wind, or at least that's how it appeared.

When I got home my girlfriend wasn't there and it was too cold to work, so I went to bed with my clothes on and read Tall Billowing Cape On The Train Dude's Alan Moore interview, and it was bloody good indeed. Did you know Alan Moore smokes hash every day, like Nate Dogg? I wish I could afford to smoke hash every day like Alan Moore and Nate Dogg. I should get back into magic. ANYWAY! You can read the first 4 pages of it online over here. How's that for service?

Embrace The Singularity

Joey writes, concerningthe video above:

There's this spanish rave/dance trupoe called Crystal Fighters new video, I've seen 'em live there pretty good.

I saw their new video on some blog or other, I watched it.

I saw someone wearing a mask similar to the one we found on the train tracks. really similar. no wait. I'm pretty sure it's the same fucking mask.

That's weird... The video was obviously shot in hackney wick.

what do you guys think?

Hmm! I concur. IT's THE SAME FUCKING MASK! Check it out:

See?! A HA HA HA! WE GOT YOUR MASK CRYSTAL FIGHTERS! AHAHAHAHA!

So. Yeah. There you go. Over and out - I am too full of work and hangover to communicate properly. i read for a part in a new TV show yesterday and they plied me with comic books and wine. Swine!

Speaking of comcis, it seems that I am not the only human that thinks Ultimates 3 is the worst comic book ever written. Blimey!

Oh, and props to all you guys for suddenly deciding to post my STEAM video last night. Do you all read The Bad Librarian? Cos he's the only one I sent it to. Daps all around!

March Of The Sinister Ducks

Sinister Ducks 8pm and its still light. Wow.

Adam Walton played the title track off of The Omega Sanction on his show last night. Click here to listen back. No one's noticed the hook origin yet, which I am shocked by.

He also interviewed Pete Waterman, who is something of a SLEPT ON WIZARD... so check it out.

Other nice things to listen to:

Hunchbakk's latest forray into super ugly beatstuffs...

Dr Dre's Top 25 Productions, courtesy of Kevin Nottingham Dot Com

Sinister Ducks - March of The Sinister Ducks. Alan Moore on vocals. Cheers Luke Herr for the heads up...

So.

I got some really fucking horrible news on Friday. The Swine have robbed Littles of his freedom, for a completely inordinate amount of time. Dude's gonna appeal, so I'd thank you all to keep him in your most positive of thoughts, prayers, or whatever else you might wanna call them.

Tony Daniel Reveals Identity Of New Batman, Quits Blogging (Spoilage)

Dick Grayson Black Batman Design by Tony Daniel Batman artist Tony S Daniel has taken his blog down, after incurring the wrath of his publishers, DC comics.

Oops.

Dude posted the above pic of a proposed costume for The New Batman, complaining that DC had rejected it:

"They didn't want the all black, which I understand. But I thought it would be a cool change, and he'd still be recognizable as Batman. Looks a little (or a lot) like the movie version."

Oh well. But it wasn't the complaining that caused the upset - it was the picture, for scribbled at the side is the text:

“Pitch black cape can envelope Dick & hide him completely.”

Dick, as in Grayson, the OG Robin. Whoo! Big surprise!

However, after this got reported by comics blog Robot 6, causing something of a frenzy in the Bat-fan community, Daniel took his blog down entirely, and left the following message on, um, a messageboard:

A note to the good guys and the bad guys,

No trouble from DC, so I can stop that before it gets any legs right there. But the good folks at CBR have helped me come to the conclusion that I should keep more to myself. Thank them for my permanent radio silence from here on out. For the record - Jason, Tim and Dick each had their own suit designed by me for BFTC. That’s what was shown, and before I could correct it and put the right images up, people ran with it and made it into something it wasn’t. I would hope that the good folks didn’t mean to be malicious in posting something I almost immediately took down because I realized it was the wrong image. So for my own good I’m going silent. No more blogs. No more correspondence. Over and out. For good. Thanks to everyone who’s visited my blog and supported me. Almost half a million since it began. Maybe when I’m old, drunk and senile I’ll do something again.

Tony S Daniel

Which is kind of sad (and a little lame). Daniel should not have been surprised that, having posted something, it got noticed. And he's shown a propensity for paper-skinned over-reaction before - a reader of his website was allegedly banned for posting the following comment, regarding his writing on the new Batman mini-series, Battle For The Cowl:

Re: BFTC #1 The issue was good. Damien was our of character. Not the type to cry for “mooommmmmy” or ask dick “are you okay!?!?”

The writer, one Rob, claims, "Tony called me a troll and banned me from his blog! I said the issue was good! Maybe I am just a bitter fanboy…. but Tony really strikes me as a complete tool who can take no criticism (even in a positive review) and accepts no accountability for his mistakes."

I've said it before - blogs from creators can be awesome things, but not everyone's built for it. If you can't communicate effectively, take criticism, or have difficulty with any aspect of the intimate nature of web based interaction, stay the hell away. Mystique is an underrated concept these days anyway. I mean, could you see Alan Moore blogging, and posting on messageboards?

RIP Tony Daniel, The Blogger. More time for making stuff, eh?

Comment Fail / Video Response Win

This is, like, the best video response to a comment ever.

In fact, it is the only video response to a comment I have ever seen.

But I bet it's the best one.

The creator of the video, the excellently coiffed Yorkandpomona, who's actually called Liz and lives in a rather beautiful part of America with some chickens and an Iron Man poster (the life!) left a comment on my ...Spring video, pointing out that,

"first day of spring 09 is march 20th:)"

And I posted the video on the 23rd. So I replied, eloquently enough,

"FAIL!"

Meaning that I had failed, spectacularly, but was excited anyway.

Sadly, Ms Yorkandpoma thought that I was calling her a FAIL and made that charming video up there.

So, I had to go back on there and explain that I was meaning to call her a FAIL at all, and accidentally deleted someone else's comment in the process, which will likely cause more offence in the general population. This, ladies and gentlemen, is why I usually don't go on Youtube comments... There is a curse on that place (probably something to do with Alan Moore), that turns even the most well meaning of conversations into huge scary wars.

Still, I learned something, and that is important. So thank you Ms Yorkandpomona, I am forever in your debt. And your hair is awesome.

Watchmen? Wastemen, More Like

Watchmen? Wastemen more like... So, Luke rang me yesterday. I was like, word up Luke! Seen any good steam trains lately? And he as like, never mind that Dr The Don, I have an assignment for you. Fancy going to see Watchmen tonight at the Imax and reviewing it for The Quietus? And I was like, dude! No way! OMFGdotcom forwardslash FUCK YEAH! And he was like, stop talking like a twelve year old. And I was like, NEVER!

Then I crashed my bicycle into a white van but I didn't care because I was SO EXCITED!

Then I went home and my new PC got delivered. Then I went to the Natural History Museum to see the Darwin Exhibition courtesy of my good friend BJ who works there. The I went to see The Watchmen with my hot girlfriend, who was suffering some terrible agonies. Then we came home, and I wrote this.

From The Quietus:

Watchmen Reviewed: Has Zack Snyder Killed The Comic Book Adaptation?

Adam Narkiewicz, February 27th, 2009 04:10

It's one of the most talked about graphic novel adaptations in cinema history. But will creator Alan Moore's misgivings about filming Watchmen be realised?

You probably know that Watchmen is a movie based on this totally awesome comic book that Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons did in the 80s that pretty much single-handedly dragged the superhero genre (and the public's perception of it) kicking and screaming into the Modern World. This led to comics being sold in book shops and all sorts of neat stuff like that (it was also responsible for acres of really shitty comic books about ridiculously emo superheroes with creepy sexual hangups, but so what? Hunter S Thompson was responsible for more shit "journalism" than you could shake a sack of coke at - cough - but I was still hyped about that Fear And Loathing movie.)

The work's author, world-famous magician and Northampton resident Dr Alan "RZA Rings" Moore has notoriously refused to have his name on the credits, and has been telling anyone that asked for as long they've been asking that the comic is unfilmable, and that any attempt would fail harder than the Titanic did at Being A Reliable Method Of Water Transportation.

But no-one listens to comic book writers, especially when comic book movies have been making almost as much money as drugs and guns and bestial ninja pr0n lately. "Fuck Alan Moore," my overtly-manly geek-off Welsh buddy Gwilym spat at me, when discussing the subject recently. "Unfilmable my arse. That hairy fuck hasn't got a clue. They've got the technology to do anything in films now." Gwilym loved 300, incidentally - Watchmen director Zack Snyder's last comic book adaption, an intensely racist and magnificently dumb affair, that manged to be both homophobic AND homoerotic all at once.

“I would rather not know [about the movie],” said Moore, last year. “[Zack Snyder] may very well be [a very nice guy], but the thing is that he’s also the person who made 300. I’ve not seen any recent comic book films, but I didn’t particularly like the book 300. I had a lot of problems with it, and everything I heard or saw about the film tended to increase [those problems] rather than reduce them."

Yeah, but so what? Watchmen is based on Watchmen, and Watchmen is the best comic book ever! Or one of the best comics ever, anyway. Zack Snyder says he loved Watchmen more than his mother and his God combined, and has made an "unprecedentedly faithful adaption"... How could it go wrong?

Wow.

You have no fucking idea.

Zack Snyder's Watchmen is the most incredible feat of "faithful adaption" fail this side of The Bible (ask Jesus if you don't know what I mean). It's like somebody traced a picture of a lovely shiny tasty apple, then scrawled maggots all over it, then wiped their arse with it, then decided to feed it to a passing toddler and draw a picture of a banana dipped in pestilence instead.

You kind of realise it's going to be shit from the first moment. The Bob Dylan song used to illustrate the effect superheroes had in this alternate reality between the 50s and the 80s is about as subtle as a Spiderman outfit at a funeral, and then they go and set their stall out for all to see by adding a load of unnecessary post-Matrix superviolence to The Comedian's death scene - those cartoonish, slow-mo blood-spatter sequences that gave all those 12 year old boys who loved 300 all those cute little erections. That shit runs rampant through this movie like acid diarrhea. A part of you does go, "ooh, that looks just like the comic!" when he gets chucked out of the window. It really does, and that happens a lot during the film - most of the key moments are indeed, perfectly executed, filmed versions of panels from the comic book. But that's it. That's the only thing that is any good about the movie. And that's where any connection between the comic and the film ends.

A comic book is - shock fucking horror - more than a storyboard. There's stuff that goes on in a comic book, in the panels, in the drawings, in the speech bubbles, and in the gutters (the space between the panels, ign'ant non-comic reading scum). To successfully adapt Watchmen, a filmmaker would have to be able to recognise this. He would have to be able to read, and understand a comic book. Something eight-year-olds the world over have learned to do just fine, but something that, on this evidence, Zack Snyder has not.

Zack Snyder's Watchmen is a travesty. Dialogue and plot points are butchered, moments of true emotion are rendered lifeless, dull, and at some points quite mirthful, by a combination of bad acting, bad editing, bad direction and outrageously populist, woefully inappropriate music choices (Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujah' is dropped on a sex scene, seemingly for comedic effect) Stunningly bad lines are added willy nilly (there's even a tacked on "NOOOOOOOOOOOO!" at the end, which made me laugh out lout), and that's not even getting to the wholesale abuse of the characters and the story. The most important stuff is gone, and what's left is exaggerated beyond reasonable comprehension (right down to giving Dr Manhattan Donkey Dick) and dragged out for what feels like seventeen years, until all memory of what was great, moving, beautiful and true about the comic is gone, and all you're left with is a gang of whiney arsehole lead characters you don't give a fuck about (Jackie Earle Haley put in an admirable effort as Rorscharch, to his credit), a convoluted, nonsensical mess of a story, and an outrageously shitty 911-evoking new ending (!!!!!!!!!!!) that ruins the whole point of the book. Were it a horse, it would be dragged out back and shot. And made into that knock-off Pritt Stick that doesn't work. And sniffed by NME readers at Pete Doherty lookalike parties.

Incredibly, Snyder has taken one of the greatest comic books ever published, and made the the single worst comic book movie ever to see daylight. Batman And Robin was Apocalypse Now compared to this. Watchmen: The Movie! is a goonish, damp, moronic, downright rude travesty. Alan Moore's worst fears could not prepare us for what Snyder has done to his most beloved work. Watchmen may have single handedly killed the comic-book movie genre. And you know what? Good. Maybe Snyder and his ilk can try coming up with their own ideas, and curling off huge diseased shit-heaps all over them, and maybe comic book scribes can stop trying to write movies, and get back to doing what they do best, and what only comics can.