Merrick: The Sensational Elephantman

merrick-coverThought Bubble is the North’s premier Comic Con and for my money the best event of its kind in these fine Isles Of Albion. The convention has been steadily growing in size and reputation since its arrival almost eight years ago and it’s attracting some of the big names in the field of sequential art as well as providing an opportunity for a huge number of independent small press creators to get their work into the faces of the more discerning comic book fan. It is an event I enjoy immensely, with the added bonus that it’s virtually on my door step. I particularly relish prowling the small press tables looking for something new to take my fancy and that is where I happened upon Merrick. Fickle as it sounds my attention was drawn to the Merrick:The Elephant Man stall by virtue of the very rad Suicidal Tendencies shirt that the chap behind the table was wearing. I then noted that the Merrick shirt was a Black Flag rip, clearly this book was the work of a punker. With my interest piqued I had a quick chat with the books author Tom Ward (he was the fellow in the Suicidals shirt) decided he was a good bloke and I promptly laid my money down and grabbed issues 1 & 2 and a nice new shirt.
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AK Interactive – Tracks & Wheels


AK 47 is the tool, don’t make me act the motherfuckin’ fool.

There are two big names in the scale modelling arena, AK Interactive, currently run by Fernando Vallejo Calleja, and Ammo run by Mig Jimenez. Seems there’s a whole truck load of pit beef going on between those guys, but that’s not the focus of this article. Tracks & Wheels is. Making them look manky and old, to be more specific

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Culture. Alienation. Boredom & Despair. Show Pieces by Alan Moore & Mitch Jenkins

ShowPieces1webEach year Leeds International Film Festival puts together a truly eclectic selection of movies, shorts, animations and documentaries. Its a wonderful event, the largest of its kind in the UK outside of London and I am blessed to have it on my doorstep. This years personal must-see was an exclusive viewing of Alan Moore and award winning photographer Mitch Jenkins ‘Showpieces’.

Moore has never been shy about sharing his vitriol when it comes to movie adaptations of his existing work and really, who can blame him? Abominations like Constantine are an exercise in EXACTLY why Hollywood should leave things the fuck alone and Watchmen, whilst obviously intended as a reverential panel for panel homage of the book, failed miserably simply because the original material was already presented in the medium for which it was intended. A serialized finite comic book series. Something to be digested and appreciated at a particular beat and rhythm, not  consumed in an hour and a half whilst slinging junk food down your pig throat and playing with your fucking phone. So with that in mind I was excited to discover that Showpieces was Alan’s first work written intentionally for the screen. Not an interpretation of existing work, not a ham fisted adaptation designed to squeeze porcine posteriors into overpriced seats. Just the original vision presented as it was meant to be experienced. Far out.
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Unlistenable Racket vol.2 – November 2014

An incestuous month this time around, ladies and gents, with two pairs out of the four bands featured here sharing members between them. I think that sentence just about makes sense. We have the mysterious figure of Umberto releasing the latest addition to his solo SESSOVIOLENTO pantheon of ugly whilst also taking on guitar duties for the new release from transcendent nightmare-peddlers Ewige Schlankengraft. While on the slightly less horrific side we have Pianos Become The Teeth, who (reportedly) share a member with hardcore uber-super-group United Nations. The author Jess C Scott once said of incest in her novel Wicked Lovely that ” I felt like an animal, and animals don’t know sin, do they?”. Now, I don’t know much about that, so let’s talk about some fucking music, alright?

EwigeEwige Schlangenkraft – Enlightened Violence (COF Records)

As delightfully repugnant as ever, Ewige Schlangenkraft have traversed the comsos once again to deliver another collection of ‘songs’ that test the limits of human perception. Or, in other words, members of Cease To Exist and SESSOVIOLENTO (all part of the expanding Yamabushi ‘family’ of bands, London’s answer to Les Légions Noires ) jamming on tunes that sound like inter-dimensional horrors unleashed.
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A visitor’s guide to Manchester


For such a grubby city, it does look nice from high up.

Manchester, birthplace of the industrial revolution, a city crisscrossed by canals and Victorian architecture, still proudly demonstrating to those who know where to look, the importance of this fair city in the development of the United Kingdom. While not known today for its factories or its mills, it’s still a grand city, and if you find yourself passing through, chances are you might want to check out some of the following establishments, maybe to pick up some modelling supplies, a new comic for the journey home, or that elusive miniature you can’t get in your home town

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Follow Your Heart, Follow It Through – Punk Art and You

Punk: a style or movement characterized by the adoption of aggressively unconventional and often bizarre or shocking clothing, hairstyles, makeup, etc., and the defiance of social norms of behavior, usually associated with punk rock musicians and fans.

Of course, we all knew that around here, didn’t we?

A few years back, hobby blogger and all-round thoughtful bloke Dave G posted a very well considered post about the… not to put too fine a point on it, the saminess of the high-end paint-jobs that you see around the place. The point was not to deny the skill, talent and bloody hard work that goes into learning to paint the Serious Business way, but to ask whether we can or can’t and should or shouldn’t be doing something different, just because… well, you see one realistically-done lovingly-weathered pseudo-historical not-a-brushstroke-in-sight Khador army, you’ve seen ’em all. Is it good form to pursue the Golden Daemon or Cool Mini Or Not style, or is it better to follow your heart and realise your own vision?

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