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Friday, June 10, 2011

Comic Cuts - 10 June 2011

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I'm pleased to say that Eagles Over the Western Front volume two is now available and all pre-ordered copies have shipped out. More orders have been coming in and they're usually in the post the same day or the next day depending on when they arrive.

I don't have much else to report on the home front. I've been plugging away on The Mike Western Story, which hasn't left much time for anything else. Did some scanning of bits 'n' bobs for next week's Bear Alley features, photographed some cats, watched lots of Ross Noble on DVD, started catching up on the latest series of Wallander... and that has been about it apart from e-mail, eating and sleeping. It's amazing how dull my life is some weeks. There's some potential here for running the most boring twitter feed ever.

I have had more problems with the computer and I'm actively seeking out a new one now. At the moment (the wee hours of Friday morning), the best deal I've found for what I need is £755+VAT+delivery, which is a bit of a bugger as it's more than I anticipated. I don't really need a new monitor, keyboard or mouse, but they're bundled into the price and, frankly, for the discount I'd get if I asked them to not include them, I'm just as well off having them as spares should the ones I use stop working. There's safety in numbers (which is why I'm up way past midnight backing up everything onto two external hard drives, which has been my habit since I had an external hard drive crap out on me back in 2009!). My problem is that I'm forever tinkering with bits of text and, when it comes to doing a quick back-up, I can barely remember what I've done today, let alone the past week, or fortnight, or month... however long it has been since the last back-up. Very shortly, I'll be heading off to bed, leaving the machine copying all my data files, which will take a few hours.

(I can't recall whether I mentioned that I'd finally discovered where all my e-mails are stored on my computer. I was amazed to find that I had 16GB of stored e-mails.)

Comics have been getting a bit of a kicking the last few days. The Commons Speaker John Bercow called the Daily Mail a "sexist, racist, bigoted, comic cartoon strip" during a Q&A session with political commentator Steve Richards at Kings Place, London. I can't think of any comic that would print the rubbish that appears in the Mail every day. And, in the interest of balance, the Mail isn't the only paper that prints rubbish.

Then there was this story on the BBC News website which revealed that Dundee University was to offer students a one-year MLitt in Comic Studies from September. "Graduates on the course will study the impact of comics on the worlds of art, literature and popular culture." Scottish Labour MP Tom Harris quickly tweeted "Dundee University is launching a degree in comic books. That'll show those who say degrees are being dumbed down!" provoking spirited reactions from John Freeman and Joe Gordon

I wonder if these people read comics and are speaking from a position of knowledge or whether they're making sweeping statements based on no information whatsoever. Most of us know that Sturgeon's Revelation 90% of everything is crap applies to comics just as it does to all literature, cinema, consumer goods and everything else in this world. Including the outbursts of MPs. The smart move is always to try and seek out the 10% that is good and not tar that 10% with sweeping generalisations.

Random Scan... well, today's scan is actually the solution to yesterday's Paul Temple story. I hope you played along and if you haven't read the story yet, don't read the solution until you've scrolled down and read it through (it's only short).

Next week: it's TV Express scrapbook week, with a selection of odds and ends from the pages of that comic. See you next week... maybe with more exciting computer news!

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