Friday, April 19, 2024

Comic Cuts – 19 April 2024

I have been keeping busy with a third commission from The Guardian, this one on the late Trina Robbins, which took me four days to complete: Sunday gathering information, Monday listening to some audio interviews and making notes, Tuesday reading her autobiography and various interviews. During this period of information gathering, I was also writing notes that I eventually pulled together into something I hoped was coherent.

On Tuesday night I had a draft that was 1,900 words. The commission  was for 900 or so, which meant Wednesday was spent slashing, rewriting and rewording until I had something I could submit.

Thursday was definitely more relaxing: I read Eagle Times (a review will appear on Saturday), got started on a little essay about Joan the Wad (the lucky Cornish Piskey) and... well, if you're reading this, I must have written it.

It hasn't been a mad rush all week: we managed to get a little gardening done on Sunday morning and I've started on a new book (The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers, which was nominated for the Arthur C. Clarke Award and the British Fantasy Award a few years ago; and was the first in a 4-book series that won a Hugo in 2019. Mel has already read them and recommended them and what I've read so far has been enjoyable. I'm still being introduced to the mixed-species crew of the Waylander, which made me think not of Star Trek as most people would, but of Eric Frank Russell's Jay Score stories, with its human / Martian crew.

It's a very popular series and, digging around, I discovered that it has its own Wayfarers Wiki website. That's where the cartoon of the crew is from, drawn by Elsa Varland; there are plenty of other images of aliens, of the Wayfarer ship... I'm a little wary of exploring too far, just in case the site begins to infect how I see the characters, but it's certainly something I'll explore once I've read the book(s).

We watched 3 Body Problem, which ended too quickly and there will now be a long wait until the next tiny batch of episodes. Apple have done one series right: Slow Horses has had seasons filmed one after the other in pairs, so release dates have been relatively close together: three seasons broadcast in two years, season four already filmed and the fifth already commissioned.

I appreciate it would be impossible to do this with all shows, but I do find the waits between seasons frustrating, especially as I have a lousy memory for faces and plots. Great for rewatching Poirot and other detective shows, but not so for Foundation where it was twenty months between seasons. (And as I like to save up a show until we have all the episodes, it was another three months waiting for the finale before we got started.) I think our longest wait was for the second season of Carnival Row, which we watched 43 months after season 1.

Of course, my other frustration is shows that end without a proper ending... so good news that Snowpiercer season 4, its last, which was filmed and ready for broadcast by TNT, has been picked up by another channel and will be available from early next year. Now I can watch season 3, which I have been sitting on for a year or two, safe in the knowledge that at some point I'll have the opportunity to try and figure out how to watch season 4 as it's gone to AMC, which was on Sky until 2019 when it became a BT TV exclusive before disappearing from there last year. Didn't bother me at the time (I'm not a Walking Dead fan), but now...

Now I need a lucky Cornish piskey...

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