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The Drink Tank

issue 173

THe Happy Fun

Smile Excitement
Episode Issue
The Cover, featuring the image that may at cons anyhow. But we’ll be together Pegasus nuzzling in a clouded glen
and make the most of our time. These with a rainbow in the back. Evelyn in-
become my new logo, was from Miko, who things are hard. sisted I hang it up at my house so she
I understand will be leaving us for LA in a Another thing that is hard could see it every time she came over.
bit. I’ll miss her! is Evelyn’s habit of making my life I told Linda about i.
strange. Yes, I still love watchign the “Chris, is this your way of tellign
OK, So what’s this issue? Well, little beast, but she pulled an evil on me you’re gay?”
it’s going to be the same as usual...only me the other day and I’ve still not de- I fumed for a moment and then
with different stuff, including a very cided to forgive her mentally. noticed that there was a commercial on
different piece from Taral Wayne and We went to a Garage Sale and I TV for a movie that I really want to see.
a piece from the excellent Mr. John needed to get some stuff for the Mu- “I’m not gay, and though it won’t
Purcell! I’ve got a few small things too. seum from Mo (who did the art below). help my cause, I really wanna see
I was going to do a long piece about my While we were gone, I gave her three Mama Mia.”
museum, but i’m tabling that for it’s dollars. When I got back to the car, She It’s still up, right over my bed,
own issue in the next few weeks. had a painting in her blue pen-stained making my room into a den of cutesy
And of course, there’s St. George hands. artsy stuff. Why WHY could it not have
Spirits on Saturday and then Wester- “Did you buy a painting?” I been a velvet painting? That would
con! asked. have been one thing, but a Pegasus
This is also likely to be the last “Yup” she said and showed it to family in a clouded glen with a rain-
issue before Westercon, where I’m run- me. bow...
ning the Newsletter and the Fanzine It was a Momma and Baby WWWWHHHHYYYY?????!!!!!
Lounge, and there’ll only be two or
three more before WorldCon. That’s all
until the Games issue, which is one
I’ve wanted to do for a long time.
Of late, it’s been a little tough.
Summer is action-packed and that’sw
meant not seeing Linda nearly as much
as I’d like. We saw each other for a few
hours each of the last three weeks,
whcih is very tough. While I know we’ll
see each other much more starting this
weekend with St. George Spirits and
a BBQ on Saturday, and then a quiet
Sunday, and then it’s Westercon the
next weekend, but if I’ve learned any-
thing it’s that we hardly see each other
A Parable of Faith that was all he could find, and took
turns with his wife standing before
By the skeptic’s prophet, Taral the sun to make shade over the seed.
He watched. He waited. But didn’t
A poor man was promised, by once doubt a rich harvest would be
a Voice he heard in his head, that he his. When harvest time came however,
and his family would have a rich Farm nothing had grown, because of course
if he did as the Voice asked of him. he had sown his seed in a desert. But
He followed the Voice into the desert, he had Faith. So he scraped together
league after league, far beyond the all the money he could by selling his
fecund agricultural lands of his people, last humble belongings, the clothes off
until finally he thought he received his back, and even what few services
a Sign that he had arrived at his he could do for his neighbors (who
promised Farm. (A hole in his sandal were sensible camel drivers, not
sole.) There he stopped and thanked farmers).
the Voice. Then he sowed the seed he He bought a small sack of
had brought with him, all that he could seed and sowed it. Sure enough,
afford after he had sold his former nothing grew. Instead of the harvest
home and furnishings. He watered he expected, there was only the hard
the ground from a shallow saline pool scrabble. It was still a desert, after
all. But Faith that learns by
experience isn’t really Faith.
So he stole a little money from
the camel drivers and bought
an even tinier sack of seed.
After his back healed
from the whipping they The man had run out of
gave him, he sowed the few alternatives, but the Voice insisted
handfuls of seed he had that if he had Faith all would be well.
bought with the tainted money. So he sold his oldest son into slavery.
(It was pure enough, the Voice The camel drivers got a good deal and
assured him, for it was for the man bought several sacks of seed
a Holy cause.) The end of that he sowed every Spring for several
summer came for the third years. For several years at the end of
time and just as you’d expect, every growing season there was no sign
nothing had grown. Not even a of any harvest.
bitter weed. He sold his second son. The
money from the puzzled but happy distant ancestor said. How do I know PUSHING BUTTONS
camel drivers bought several more it ever happened? Maybe my ancestor by Frank Wu
sacks of seed. was a delusional schizophrenic. Blacks, Hispanics, Whites, and
Many more years of fruitless Haven’t we waited long enough to Asians all have different buttons that
sowing of the desert followed, then he realize it was just a foolish tale?” set them off. So says a bounty hunter
sold his last and youngest son. After “No,” said the Voice in his head, I met at a sci-fi convention. Well, my
that he and his wife took up relations the first time it had spoken since pal wouldn’t actually label himself as
once again, produced more sons, and that first Farmer died more than a a bounty hunter. But he used to track
sold each into slavery as soon as they thousand years before. “Have Faith!” down people who skipped their court
were born. But still the desert refused “Fuck you, liar!” he said and dates, physically “bag” them and haul
to bloom. went to the neighbors to ask for a job them in for a reward. Sounds like a
Faith must never waver though, driving camels. He lived happily ever bounty hunter to me.
so the man kept at it all his life. When after, so far as mortals can ever expect. He said that the trick is to
after many hard, desperate years, he But *his* son said, “Never mind get the target to lose control and do
died, his final son, the only one not him Voice, I have Faith!” And so he something stupid so he’s vulnerable
sold into slavery, did as his father did, continued his ancestor’s folly and sold to bagging. Over the years my pal
and raised sons that he sold as slaves many sons into slavery Faithfully ever learned that folks of different races had
to buy the seed to sow the desert. And after. different triggers.
he too waited for the Promised Farm to Once he was trying to bring in a
finally prosper, as was promised many Amen. big black guy, who was holed up, on
years before. Though it was not his the second floor of a building, holding
destiny to ever hear it himself, the son a girl (possibly his girlfriend) hostage.
had Faith in the Voice too, Threats of extended jail time didn’t
As did his last son, and the work. Nor did the possibility that many
last son of that son, and so on for people might die. But when my pal
generation after generation. used the “N” word, the guy lost his
A thousand years later, the last mind. He got so angry that he threw
son of a long, steadfast line received down his gun and stormed out of the
the Promised Farm from the faltering house unarmed, intent on beating my
hands of his father, and promised buddy to a pulp. Stupid. As soon as
that he too would keep the Faith. But he was out the front door, an associate
when his father died and he looked out threw a sack over his head and in
over the parched and cracked desert moments he was tasered and “bagged.”
pavement, he said to himself, The N word. That’s what got him.
“Am I crazy?. This is a desert! Racial taunting doesn’t work with
Nothing will ever bloom here, no matter Hispanics. You need to tell the target
what any Voice in the head of some that you’re going to fool around with
his girlfriend while he’s in prison. remind him he’s missed his court date, But even the N word has come back,
None of that is effective on White and he apologies and shows up for the especially if you’re an angry Black man
people. The key is getting their friends next date. In a suit. Woe betide him if or a character in a Quentin Tarantino
to turn on them, which is surprisingly you have to speak to his parents. movie. I like the fact that they’re slowly
easy. My buddy knew the target was I found it most interesting taking back the N word. The way that
hiding in his mom’s house. He checked that racial epithets only worked with homosexuals have reclaimed “queer”
it over once, twice. Nothing. Then he Blacks. I’ve personally been called all and “gay” and “fag.” That’s cool.
told the target’s mom that she could sorts of names over the years, even As for myself, I proudly and
lose the house if she didn’t turn him blamed for Pearl Harbor (which was publicly call myself a “yellow man.”
in. It was a lie, but she immediately orchestrated by the Japanese, and I’m Because, ya know, “Yellow is
coughed him up. She told my friend Chinese). I’ve been told to “go back to Beautiful.”
that the target was hiding in his bed. where I come from,” but Connecticut’s
He’d checked the bedroom, and he too boring for me. Being called
wasn’t there. “No,” the mom said, “you “Chinaman” or “Chink” or “slope” or
don’t understand. He’s in the bed.” The “squinty-eyed” isn’t enough to make
target had carved out a cavity between me want to beat someone to a pulp. So
the two mattresses, so he could hide I find the sensitivity some have
between them unnoticed. Clever, but toward the N word fascinating.
not clever enough if your mom is Over my lifetime, I’ve seen
scared of losing her house. half a dozen changes in the socially-
In another case, my pal acceptable term for folks of African
was interviewing the target’s best ancestry. It used to be ok to call them
friend. The guy wouldn’t give up any “Negroes”. Then that became taboo,
information. Then my buddy told him: but the word “colored” was ok. Then
“You could go to jail for obstruction of there was a shift, and woe betide you
justice. [Another lie.] And there you will if you said “colored,” unless you were
have lots of dates with Big Charlie.” talkin’ ‘bout the NAACP. But it was
That was the button. Perhaps there ok to say “Black is Beautiful,” or call
was no fear of God there, but there was someone an Afro-American. Then
certainly fear of dates with Big Charlie. Afros went out of style, and we were
With Asians, the story is supposed to say “African-American.”
completely different. Shame is a big Now people have realized that
deal to Chinese people. Shame of not it’s exhausting to keep saying all the
meeting expectations, of not having syllables in “African-American,” so
an education or job or girlfriend that’s “Black” is ok again. Every once in a
good enough. How do you bring in while I still hear an elderly person say
an Asian guy? You call him up. You “darkie,” but that makes me cringe.
Letter Graded Mail
sent to
by my gentle readers
Let us begin with Mr. Eric Mayer!!!

Amazing cover. What a contrast.
Was that the actual computer that
went to the moon or one like it? What
would Babbage have thought? One of
the things that really bugs me about
death is that I want to know what’s
going to happen and what we’re going
to discover. Hey, the Babbage engine looked like miniature parrots. They Art from the Magnificent Robert Hole!
would’ve required a much larger space have mean beaks. And the male had a
with Elephants, monkeys, etc) but
craft and probably wouldn’t have mean temper. Drew blood when I fed
the theory is deep and theones who
served much purpose anyway would it? them. Just hope those parrots don’t
try and fail out-number the ones
It’s funny, Mike came to photograph object to having their picture taken.
that succeed.
the Apollo Guidance Computer for They’re a loud and angry bunch.
Fascinating article about the
a friend and I asked if he wouldn’t Almost anything’ll make ‘em start
Pollock painting. I was going to ask,
mind taking this photo. It’s ended screaming. Especially wind. That’s
how could someone have forged his
up a couple of different places and makes ‘em really mad.
fingerprint? And then you explained.
is one of the very few pictures of me It’s great to read someone who
That is all news to me. Yes, it is
out there (Very few compared to the likes modern art. When I was doing
interesting if it showed what he didn’t
amount of words that I put out). The more art I tried some abstracts. No
want. Of course, it’s also interesting to
DSKY, the piece I’m holding, did fly, way. People look at an abstract and
see if what he didn’t want had some
though the rest of the ACG that we think it’s easy. It is hard. I like realism
value, how someone other then the
have is prototype. fine, but art doesn’t have to depict
artist would react to it.
I wish I could see parrots in the something any more than music does.
Interesting issue. (Hmmm, have
trees. Neat pictures. Crows seem to be (Actually, my ever-changing desktop
mentioned it was all interesting...)
scaredy cats. Around here I see small wall-paper is now a Klee)
sparrows chasing them. If crows are It is hard to conceive and execute.
afraid of sparrows imagine what they There have been people who
Yeah, it was sorta slapped together,
must think when attacked by parrots! have successfully sold children’s
but I kinda liked it!
I once had cockatiels which I thought paintings as abstract art (same
And now...Lloyd Penney!!! buying a Speedo! visit!
I also learned Now that Hillary
Dear Chris: to appreciate good has thrown in the
Back on The Drink Tank costumes, and the towel, it’s a popular
bandwagon...and I’m two issues work that goes into younger man versus
behind. Such as it always was, such them. Yvonne’s a old Grandad, let’s
as it always will be. There’s a spell in costumer, so I’ve go home versus a
there somewhere...let’s get caught up. learned to spot hundred years of Iraq.
170...Ah, Greco-Roman wrestling our French seams, and Doesn’t take a PhD to
gym teachers always failed to teach us. how costumes are From Espana Sheriff figure out who’s going
But then, I was a chubby and small best if they fit like regular clothes. to win this one.
kid, and I wasn’t going to learn I learned long ago that assuming It’s looking like Obama by 15 to 20
anything like that, nohow, especially another character for a short time is points, barring a really big mess.
when I was given a six-foot behemoth psychologically healthy. You have to I’m figuring it’ll be a interesting 4
of a school football player to tackle. I get out of yourself sometimes, and a years with a Demo Congress and
was set up to fail every time. Give me vacation from the everyday reality is Dem president. I really didn’t like it
smiling ladies to cuddle with every healthy. And, the hugs are therapeutic. the last time, but I was young.
time. Human contact and touch make us all Intelligent and pertinent?
I much prefer ‘Rasslin’ to wrestling, healthier and saner. Next time I have a week off, maybe...
but what are you gonna do. I’ve got I’ve never gotten too much into Anthologies are a perfect SF sampler,
a ton of old-timey photos for it too! costuming. It’s hard for me since and I’ve been told by local authors that
Hello, Shaz! I used to take part pretty much I always feel like I’m it is more difficult to write a short story
in masquerades long ago, and some done up in a fan costume! than a novel. The great ideas come
of them were at Worldcons. One thing An article on absinthe by faster and more often, and it’s easy to
that masquerades taught me is that someone named Mead? Serendipity stop at the end of a short story, and
you must accept your figure, no matter there, folks. Absinthe was popular pick up the next story when you have
what you think of it, and drop your because it had a level of danger to it, the time.
self-consciousness. Fans are a pretty like fugu in the sushi restaurant. I Short stories are fun. I really prefer
forgiving bunch, and while Rotsler’s should ask Yvonne if Diageo makes them to novels, but that may just be
Rules of Masquerades wisely suggests any brands of absinthe...she works because I’ve a short attention span.
not to dress as a pixie if you weigh 400 for Diageo Canada, just up the I must send you a Joe Mayhew
pounds, a good costume can make size street from us, and Diagoe makes cartoon I have...the only fan artist who
look good. If you’ve got it, flaunt it, and Bailey’s, Guinness, Johnny Walker ever complemented me with a drawing.
us dirty old men are looking, anyway. and Gordon’s Gin, among other fine Indeed you must!
Flash a curve or two, and be proud of drinkables. 171...That’s a fanzine lounge? Doesn’t
what you’ve got. Yvonne works for the Bailey’s look like any fanzine lounge I’ve been
Damn straight! I’m going out and people, eh? I might have to pay a in before, but with a pretty lady in the
conventions in town, and and was blown away! I found it to
Con*cept in Montréal. be perfectly in the tradition of the
Our Chris Knight is a Drunken One Shot.
movie guy and a fun dude. There is only one big comic
Steve Stiles puts his convention in Toronto, the Paradise
finger on it...most Hugo Comics Comicon. It’s been going for
voters are convention fans, five or six years now, but this year,
rather than fanzine fans. I’m it is on at the same time as the big
known mostly in Canadian media SF convention in town, Polaris,
fandom as a convention fan. formerly Toronto Trek, mid-July. Let’s
Could this be the secret of see what happens attendance-wise
my success in the future? with both conventions.
Naaaaah...’re Number One...and
Yeah, more convention I’ve read your writing. It’s Number Two.
voters than fanzine fans, (I am surprised a Prisoner reference
though part of the is hasn’t gotten that kind of response
fanzine fandom shrinking before.)
away from the Hugos as I totally agree! What took people so
well. In addition, I think long? The obvious jokes are the only
ones I get, usually!
middle, it must be a good thing! And you’ll be on the ballot next year
Hugs to Leigh Ann...great drink
that’s 2:30am? Sleep is for the weak! with the games in Montreal. I kinda
recipes. And no one got drunk enough
You might as well call it Zinecon, and think that’s when I’ll fall off the
to grab you. Well, they weren’t trying
issue badges. Or at least ribbons. ballot in favor of you!
(or drinking) hard enough, were they?
I run very entertaining fanzine The last League of Evil Geniuses
You’ll just have to whip up stiffer
lounges, though it’s Leigh Ann and party? Say it isn’t so! What are we
drinks next year, and I will end that
folks who make them expectional. going to do with all those League
sentence right now.
I’ll see how the WorldCon one turns polo shirts? I bought a new one just
I’ve got a new drink in mind for the
out. last year! Such flow of consciousness
next Lounge.
There’s a Chris Knight in BArea writing...writing exactly how you feel,
A same to end it on a sad note...I
fandom? Same here! Our Chris Knight and what you want, and who you love,
have read very little Bob Asprin, and I
has been the Ad Astra convention or would like to’s good for you
know some local fans wanted him as
artist (con artist) for many years, and to get it out. An emotional cleansing.
GoH at a local con. That wish will have
he lives just up the street from us. I never got one of those shirts!
to go unfilled.
He and his lovely wife Emily (mwah! Christian did a great job. The
I never read much of him either, but
mwah! We all love Emily Strange!) are original version was left on the
I’ve actually gone out and bought a
not only long-time fixtures at Ad Astra, Lounge computer and I discovered
couple of things lately.
but they are now also working other it as I came in on Saturday morning
All done, caught up, but there’s photography department I was able I can stop any time I want.
another Sf/SF...don’t you ever rest? to traverse the entire convention and I’ll gladly help whoever it is
Don’t answer that one...take care, enjoy it pretty evenly from a volunteer long as there are 600 women in
folks, and see you again soon, same and an attendee’s eye. CC26 is the corsets.
Garcia time, same Garcia channel. best convention I’ve been a member of More later! Keep up the good wok (I
Different Garcia zine. Bye for now in at least 10 years. I’d been recently had to do that as an homage to your
Yours, pooh-poohing Lit fandom as tired and style of fanzine publishing)!
Lloyd Penney. scraggly in comparison to the younger And I will see you in a few days!
I rest...I just know how to write sensa-wonder I’ve experienced at Christian
while I’m sleeping (and I think it Anime Los Angeles. At CC26, this Pasadena in 2010
shows!) energy permeated every corner of A bid for Westercon 63
the Doubletree and the weekend. It
Thanks, Lloyd! can’t just be credited to Kevin, as
chair, but his vision and excitement
And now, my hero...Christian certainly caught up a crowd of fans
McGuire!!! who brought out their best in making
the convention a place to meet great
Chris, people and hang out. The costumers
I’m reading forward in Drink themselves added their obvious love of
Tank right now, as I don’t want to fall subject and a desire to learn and share
behind. I was disappointed to learn their craft and costumes. You can’t go
that Your Hugo odds-maker issue wrong with 600 women in corsets. I
didn’t have any information on how was surprised at the number of males
to contact fannish Bookies. You don’t costuming at the high level visible
seem to be listed in any of the Las throughout of CC26. I will make a
Vegas odds houses. Maybe next year? point of being at costume Cons of the
Or is it too late for a supplemental future that wend their way back to the
issue? west coast.
I will gladly take action on any of What was that about 600 women
the categories. Other than that, I in corsets? You should know better
hear Kevin Standlee is also willing than to say somethign like that in
to make the book on these, but only the middle because that’s all I’m
in 20 dollar bills. The code word going ot focus on!
is “here’s my pre-support for your As an aside, I have volunteered
worldcon bid.” He’ll understand. to help out with facilities to one of the
I also enjoyed the varied people who rumor has it will be bidding
reviews of CC26. As a helper in the for a Costume Con in the near future.
hallmarks of turning a subject that wore a second hand British Army ex
one likes into something too much like Northern Ireland issue flak jacket to a
school to be honest. ZZ9 AGM.
It was a full day event, and So that was not really for us
even with the promise of beer and either. It’s hard when there is just too
Bladerunner in the evening, I thought much to do really.
it was too much and not something So I knew there was a slew of
I had heard anyone talk about, less comic signings going on in London,
mention they were going, so it got as on the 7th of June Brian Boland,
crossed off the list. Dave Gibbons and Sean Phillips were
ZZ9 (thats Zed Zed Nine, as in signing in Forbidden planet. This was
Zed’s dead, baby)Plural Z Alpha, the a comic book signing line-up from the
Official Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy Gods arranged to promote a new book
appreciation society were having their titled Studio Space.
Beeble Bear picnic. It was arranged I wasn’t able to make that one,
to meet quite close to where I work, as it clashed with the British Science
Lancaster Gate Tube station, but 600 Fiction Association AGM. No need
metres from Paddington and then after for Flak jackets here a much more
Steve Dillon, a sketch, a flypast, things from a traditional half an hour, I expect sedate occasion. I was impressed
Africa and pints in a train station. those present would head off towards with Conway hall, the location of the
the Peter Pan statue in Kennsington BSFA AGM, situated near Holborn,
by James Bacon
Gardens and relax, play games, eat a in the heart of London and yet it
picnic and set up deformed teddy bears was the quintessentially British
It was a hard decision, I was off
to enjoy a drink and usually they all location somehow. The hall was built
on a Saturday which is not that usual
head off for a beer. and owned I presume by the South
unless I book leave or am lucky, as I
It’s quite good craic and rather Place Ethical society, a free thought
was and the wife of course who works
relaxed. I have been to a few, not a organisation which advocates secular
a normal job was off, so what to do. I
huge amount of them and I know at humanism. Now there’s a mouthful.
wanted to do something, not just relax
one stage many people I know would I suppose its also from a time and a
around the house, so a trip into town
be there, but for some reason it was Britain where George Orwell would
as I call it was in order, town being the
not really what either of us were write 1984, now how would such a
shopping parts of London.
looking for, not sure why. Perhaps novel be received.
On Saturday there were
it was that no one had mentioned it Someone mentioned the British
a number of things on. Up in
really, and I am not as into ZZ9 as I Communists were meeting next door.
Nottingham was a Phillip K. Dick day
once was, it’s been through the ups Conway hall is a series of rooms
in the university. It seemed a little too
and downs, and sometimes it’s a very and was very nice and we had one
heavy duty for my liking, reading of
political organisation be times. I once that comfortably sat 50, although
papers and the like which has all the
there was no bar, which I found ever in the association, and one
as a downside, but that was OK as would have thought that the
I brought some cans and no one organisation would have lived
objected. Geoff Ryman gave a reading up to what the new president
of some very odd mundane fiction, had said in the morning, about
although he seems to see mundanism the association being a listening
as a bit of a game, wish he’d mention one. Ah yes – Stephen Baxter
this to his zealots of boredom. It’s is the new Prez, now Mr Clarke
interesting that he doesn’t seem to is dead and I think he is a cool
think that animorphism is a trope choice; he is very nice and didn’t
and that by badly grafting a shared mind being called el Presedente.
inherited memory science idea onto Lunch and afterwards
the characters its suddenly mundane were in nearby pubs of good
cutting edge fiction. It wasn’t to my character, and a lunch of Ham,
liking. Eggs and Chips washed down
Also Peter Weston gave a talk with Cider as I chatted with
about the origins of The BSFA, based Peter Weston about science
on writings which had appeared in fiction, Leeds Fandom and lots of cool 2pm in Waterstones, a British book
Prolapse and a considerable amount stuff was the highlight of the day I chain, in Oxford St. It should be noted
of research he had carried out in expect. that Oxford Street in London is the
doing so. There was a discussion So this all clashed with the main shopping street really, especially
about the BSFA, it had a tag line, but Forbidden Planet signing and even for fashion and department stores and
to be honest, it lacked direction and though I really really would like to tourists. It’s got over 300 shops and is
purpose and I felt it failed to achieve meet Brian Boland perhaps one of always really very busy. Waterstones
its potential, there were some good the finest comic artists the UK has have two shops, one quite near
people on the panel, but it didn’t get produced, I was resigned that I wanted Charing Cross Rd famed in its own
there. The best part was Peter Weston to go to the association that for some right for bookshops and Helene Hanaff
speaking to Farah Mendelssohn inexplicable I cannot leave. and the other up the other end quite
who was in the audience about the So the week previous I had the near to Marble Arch. They are about
reduction in Horror publishing, his crisis of having a Saturday off and too a mile and a quarter apart from one
response was brilliant. much to do, so when I also found out another.
This day, which was a good that Steve Dillon and Bryan Talbot So we jumped a train at East
one, but like the BSFA panel, failed to would be signing in Waterstones on Croydon, that goes directly to Charing
actually do what it was meant to. The Oxford street, this seemed to appeal Cross station, which is really quite
actual AGM was rammed into quite an to the wife as something we could do handy for the west end of London.
unsuitable half hour slot, and this year while doing other things about London. Luckily as we arrived, I got to
there have been more changes than Now the signing was scheduled for see the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial
Flight fly over head, an Avro Lancaster
with Supermarine Spitfires and two and I bought Studio Space. Now this
Hawker Hurricanes (I think), Merlin is a nice book, really well presented.
engines roaring a strangely guttural Some 320 pages long, it looks at a total
yet refined sound, propellers slicing of 20 comic artists and where they
the air and over they went. Amazing work, how they started, how they work
machines, the likes of which at one and their work in general. Its a much
time fought hard to protect what we broader book than I expected, but I
know as freedom. have so far enjoyed it.
This was followed by various The writer Joel Meadows was
formations of everything from what also there for the signing and we
looked like private jets (King Airs) to got chatting. The queue wasn’t long,
heavies such as the Hercules, VC 10 although the first chap had nearly
and Tri-Star refuelers, E3-D Sentry every Steve Dillon comic one could
and Nimrod to the Tally Ho’s of imagine so the queue wasn’t going very
Tornado’s and Typhoon II’s. All quite fast.
impressive. Lots of them, with a few He also had quite a bit of Bryan
moments interval between formations. Talbot stuff, so Bryan was busy
I wondered what was on and of signing. I hung bacj, there was no rush
course realised it must be the Queen’s at all really, at this stage there were
birthday and within about five minutes six people in the queue and I was in
around one o’clock they were done. no panic. So the next guy along also
So we wandered up to Waterstones, had some comics to get signed and
taking our time, in no rush, we had then asked if Steve would do a sketch
time in hand and we went a bit of out. in his Studio Space book. There is a
a convoluted route, walking across I wondered how his next project blank page opposite the beginning
Trafalgar Sq, as there was a Thai thing Grandville was coming along. This is an of each chapter, so its perfect. I had
on and eventually found ourselves by awesome anthropomorphic steampunk gotten Bryan to sign my book and
the Waterstones. We were a bit early, detective-thriller. The main character the second issue of Luther Arkwright,
so I adjourned to the Starbucks next is a Badger character, Detective- its my favourite cover really and the
door to utilise the facilities. While I Inspector LeBrock of Scotland Yard. folks behind were getting Mad Hatter
was walking back I met Bryan Talbot From images I saw, he is well armed sketched in the inside cover of Alice in
and we chatted as we walked. His work and it looks very authentic, Talbots Sunderland. Steve was drawing away,
Alice in Sunderland was in the last six expertise and attention to detail of this and in good form.
in the BSFA award this year, it was era being something of renown. Then I got to speak to him. Now
piped and Brasyl won the award, but So I wandered into the shop and he remembered me which was nice,
it is a piece of sequential art that all caught up with the wife, who was as he was GOH at an Octocon about
comic and fiction fans should check browsing books. I am lucky I do feel fifteen years ago, that I ran and he
storyline an absolute classic.
He is definatley one of my favourite
artists and until recently I could boast
I had everything he drew, having
original Warriors and some odd Marvel
UK bits gives me the edge, but more
recently apart from the Garth Ennis
Punisher series, I have missed a few
items. He is working on Wolverine
Origins at the moment.
So we got chatting and it was
really nice to catch up and to see
Steve doing what he does so well,
draw. I had a Preacher number one, the comic should feel.
sadly already signed by the other Joel was super and was talking
two creators involved and a Punisher about some future projects and plans,
graphic novel to get signed. I asked if another Studio Space book perhaps,
he wouldn’t mind doing a sketch in my but also other projects. Soon enough
sketch book instead of in the Studio I had a sketch, comics signed and my
Space book, he was absolutely cool, head full of future comics that I must
and noted it wasn’t mental busy. buy and we went on our way. WE
I asked for a Preacher and he took bussed it back down Oxford St and
his damn time doing the nicest Jesse walked down Charing Cross Rd.
Custer ever. He had run out of pencil, Orbital comics, one of the best
so I gave him mine and he was just shops in London was having a signing
very cool and relaxed. as well, I was just going to pop in and
lived in Dublin and was a regular at
Steve was talking about a plan browse and even said to the wife that
conventions. He was also the first or
that has been on the back burner for I’d be only a moment, but when she
second person to draw me a sketch,
some years now, City Lights, it was heard there was a signing, she was
advertised to be released to coincide resigned to a longer wait and joined
I have a number of pages of
with the tenth anniversary of Vertigo me. Down a narrow Dutch set of stairs
Preacher I bought them from Comic Art
comics, which was five years ago now, into a massive basement we went and
Dealer Albert Moy, who is based in New
and still no sign. Steve explained that Sim sank into a huge brown leather
York. I also have a couple of amazing
Garth Ennis, who would be writing this sofa, that is there just for that reason.
Judge Dredd panels, including one set
story, wants to re write it since he has I browsed and saw that the comic on
in The Emerald Isle, the Dreed version
been living now in New York for a while sale and being signed might not be my
of Ireland in the future and also a
and that has changed how he reckons cup of tea so called it a day and we
double page spread from the werewolf
continued. After browsing
We popped into a couple of and noting a load
bookshops on the way down Charing of books I want or
Cross rd., of course it’s nothing like should keep an eye
it once used to be, but then nothing open for, we met
ever is, is it, but we still found a few again, called into
bargains. Sim wanted to buy some a few more book
bead material, she makes these cool shops and headed
book markers, using beads and themes towards Covent
and she likes a book marker to match Garden for a beer
her book, so she went to Neil’s Yard a in a South African
nearly secret type of place, accessible Bar. On the way
by two lanes, which opens up to a we found a candy
plethora of cool and trendy little shops store, selling sweets
and cafe’s and bars. and chocolates from
I went to Forbidden Planet while America, Mainland
this book marker stuff was going Europe and from
on and found another signing. Gary Down South (Oz and
Erskine was signing Dan Dare, but I SA). Sim was very
had already had my comics signed by pleased and I was
Gary at the Bristol Expo, so I was cool. stunned that at last
There was a bit of a rearrange of their I found somewhere
graphic novel section and I checked that sold Baby Ruth
out the bargain shelves. Their SF Bars even at $2, it
section is the best in London in might be just worth
fairness and I was surprised to see it. I also found
that the Alternative History Section Cadbury’s Lunch
has been shrunk to make way for quite Bars, the closest
a large Paranormal Romance Section, thing in just fine
something that has suddenly occurred goodness that I can
everywhere I go. Not that WH Smiths find to Baby Ruth,
and Waterstones have alternative but these are from
history sections, but suddenly they South Africa. We
are trying to be a bit healthy, so pried nicer. We were slowly winding our way
have quite substantial Paranormal
ourselves away and suffered beer with south towards the train station home.
Romance sections.
Huge men from Africa and some Bil On the way, as well as poping
I hope they sell. More fans
Tong, which is a bit like jerkey but into a stamp shop and looking at
some nice first day covers, we listened
to some of the music being played, mentioned there was much going on long wodden tables, but we had done
in protest outside the Zimbabwe over on the south bank and under a enough and it was time to head back to
Embassy. It was once a fine tourist bridge there, there are a load of book suburbia.
office, now it is rather more secured sellers, selling second hand books on Just too much to do in this city.
and bunkered, the posters inside
showing age and lack of love. Outside,
a variety of Musicians were playing and
there was much singing and dancing
on the spot. There is a disaster we
are all just watching happen. We
contributed some money and signed
the petition and hoped that folks could
go home.
Its grim, unlike other protests,
they have posters of the injuries people
have suffered, in the last week or so,
it’s really shocking, but that’s the
power of the interweb.
It was a good day and we had
another pint in the pub in Charing
Cross Rd. Train Station waiting for
our train to Croydon. I love drinking
in Train stations, its like drinking at
a convention, combines a number of
things that make me feel comfortable.
I was also just so content with teh
sketch, that I was super relaxed and
just enjoying the evening.
While we were in one of the
bookshops, where we got the man to
put his copies of Brasyl in the widow. This shot of an early 2007 Psychotronic Film Festival is featured on teh Psychotronic
( er That won an award you know, I Film Festival Yahoo Group site. People to note: That’s me in the corner, that’s Jo Rhett
heard on the internet) we also heard next to me, Espana turned around to look at the guy in the fez, The Queen of Trash next
that Terry Pratchett was signing at to her. Ken and Jerry are two rows behind me, Dave Clark is there somewhere too. I went
Foyles, but not the big one on Charing to the most recent Psychotronic, the last at the regular venue, and was blown away by a
Cross Rd, but over at their smaller horror film from the American Dental Association, the Living Desert from Disney and an
branch on the South Bank. Sim had office safety film that felt like The Happening.