Saturday, 29 December 2007
Wednesday, 26 December 2007
Holy shit, talk about starting at the beginning!
Thursday, 13 December 2007
Monday, 10 December 2007
Today, however, I found myself gripped by a particularly inane thought. First I came up with the idea that it might be a good idea to market a very large ball of mozzarella cheese with the brand name "That'sa Lotsa Mozza". Then I wrote an advertising jingle for it based on Joe Dolce's "Shaddap You Face" with the following words:
"That'sa Lotsa Mozz-AH
Wanna make a pizz-AH
Or maybe a salad
Itsa not so bad
Itsa nice-a taste
AH, FILLUPPA YOU FACE!"
So for a large chunk of my walk today - at least from Elephant and Castle down most of Old Kent Road - instead of thinking new ideas for cartoons or what my next career move should be, every couple of minutes I'd find myself thinking "AH, FILLUPPA YOU FACE!"
It was Hell.
Thursday, 6 December 2007
Mother: Today, we're going to make risotto.
Manu: Yes! That's right!
Mother: First, we cut the vegetables.
Manu: Chop chop.
Mother: We finely cut the onions.
Manu: I'm crying now.
Mother: Chop up the potatoes.
Mother: Add aubergines and apples.
Manu: Apple? Very interesting.
Mother: Next, grate the cheese.
Mother: Next, make the stock.
Manu: Of course.
Mother: You must use delicious stock. It's important.
Manu: THAT'S RIGHT.
Mother: Put the onion in a frying pan.
Manu: Of course.
Mother: Cook the onion until it's brown.
Mother: Add the stock and rice.
Mother: No, it is not finished.
Manu: Sorry. I did not know.
Mother: Next, put in the potatoes and carrots.
Manu: Of course.
Mother: Lastly, add aubergine and apples.
Mother: Add the stock again.
Mother: It takes fifteen minutes.
Manu: Right, I shall sing the risotto song!
Manu: Risotto o atsumete
Mother: But this is not the risotto song.
Mother: It is "Kaze o atsumete". It's a very famous song.
Manu: It is my favourite song.
Mother: Do you want to stir?
Manu: Yes! Thankyou very much!
Manu: I am cooking!
Mother: The risotto is done, so add cheese.
Mother: Put it in quickly please.
Manu: I must be careful.
Mother: Stir again.
Manu: Of course.
Mother: There. It's finished.
Manu: Tiny Manu cooking!
Then there is a recipe for risotto, which I won't translate because there are better recipes out there on the internet, and at the end Manu is saying "Itadakimasu" which means "bon appetit!"
Sunday, 2 December 2007
Sunday, 25 November 2007
Sunday, 18 November 2007
Tuesday, 13 November 2007
Saturday, 10 November 2007
Wednesday, 7 November 2007
Saturday, 3 November 2007
Wednesday, 31 October 2007
This was, unfortunately, the last of the strips to appear in Select magazine. This was back in the day before mobile phones and I was working night shifts, so they found it difficult to get hold of me. I guess they found this frustrating since they simply stopped printing my strips, so that Dog Translucent is forever trapped in the clutches of this anonymous bad guy. Ah well, it had run its course - I was finding it harder to write for it. And this two year run looks good on the cv, but only for people old enough to remember Select.
Sunday, 28 October 2007
Thursday, 18 October 2007
Wednesday, 26 September 2007
In the 70's pop lyricists bought the cry of amazement to new heights. Famously, the song "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen (containing the phrase "mama mia") was knocked off the number one spot by the Abba song "Mama mia" - the only time an exclamation of surprise has knocked itself off number on in all musical history! Furthermore in 1971 Marvin Gaye sang both "Mercy me" and "What's going on?" in the space of one album. Giddy times, indeed.
Since then, things have cooled off for surprise in songs. Not including the use of "hello" (qv, Lionel Ritchie), examples become a bit sparse. Ian Dury said "knock me down with a feather", before the Bee Gees took the exclamation back to number one, with "You Win Again", which includes a section where they beautifully harmonise around the saying "Well, I'll be!" Genius. Will we see it's like again? Only the future generations of songwriters can answer that one.
Sunday, 16 September 2007
Friday, 14 September 2007
Thursday, 13 September 2007
That's how I rationalised my second cigarette of the evening while I soothed my nerves after sharing a kitchen with a falling chunk of plaster and a lot of water.Turns out the bath had been leaking since we got here and finally the ceiling gave up trying to hold it in and gave way. I was in the kitchen at the time. Luckily it's a big kitchen and I was about as far away from the disaster as it's possible to be, so apart from shock and a lot of swearing, I was fine.
There then followed a lot of phone calls to landladies and plumbers and an awful lot of mopping, and after a while the ceiling lost another chunk of itself. There's now a rectangular hole in the ceiling, about four feet by two feet, surrounded by a big damp patch and with bits hanging down. Lovely.
Luckily no one was hurt and not much was damaged. The DS is looking a bit damp, though. Jon is consoling himself with a trip to KFC and I bought some beers.
And somehow the baby slept through the whole thing.
Wednesday, 12 September 2007
The one in Palazzo Madama is worth mentioning because the whole scene is intact, except that whatever it was Christ was lying on is missing. Instead, Jesus is held aloft by a single metal prop, painted an inconspicuous grey. The result of which is that it looks like Our Lord and Saviour is doing a levitating magic trick which, judging by the expressions of those around Him, isn't going down too well.
Monday, 10 September 2007
Meanwhile, I'm happy that my Italian has stood up better than I thought. Although my friend's English hasn't. While speaking to her on the phone we tried to arrange to meet at a concert. I asked "Where?" twice and twice she misunderstood. I think she thought I said "yeah" the first time" and I've no idea what she thought the second time. It wasn't until I said "Dov'é?" that I got an answer.
Friday, 7 September 2007
Walking around this morning was a weird experience, seeing old places and familiar streets. It was like putting your hand out to a mirror and it suddenly passing through. Memories that had been vague and dissolute suddenly snapped into focus, and also other memories long since forgotten jostled their way into my mind and demanded attention. Like when I went past a shop and remembered that it was my third choice place to buy beer, and the creaking noise that the doors in the building made.
For some reason, however, the water in the drinking fountains doesn't taste as clean as it used to.
Thursday, 6 September 2007
Saturday, 1 September 2007
To make sure, I sent an email back asking if they had sent me this email by mistake. The replied saying that they were sorry but they had. Oh wells.
Wednesday, 29 August 2007
Saturday, 18 August 2007
This is my brother's joke. When we were living together as a family, and it came to serve the pudding of a Sunday lunch, if it was a pie my brother would ask people "How many degrees do you want?" This progressed to radians or quadrants, and then finally he came up with this way of accounting for the variation in the density of the filling. I thought this was just the sort of thing Dog Translucent should know.
Thursday, 16 August 2007
Wednesday, 15 August 2007
Monday, 13 August 2007
For a start, some of the jokes are just plain bad if they can be described as jokes at all, such as:
What did the angry monster do when he got his gas bill? He exploded.
Why didn't King Kong go to Hong Kong? Because he didn't like Chinese food.
These are almost funny by themselves for just not being funny. But there are other occasions in the book where you start to wonder if there isn't some cunning meta-joke being played out on us for reading this book. For example, on page 79 (yes, I took notes of the page numbers. So what?) there is the joke:
Why did the fat, hairy, drooling monster stop going out in the sunshine? He didn't want to spoil his looks.
While on page 82 there was:
Why did the big hairy monster give up boxing? Because he didn't want to spoil his looks.
Okay, so that was a bit weird. Perhaps they didn't catch that in proof reading, but then on another page (I didn't write down the page for this) was:
Waiter, there's a worm on my plate.
No sir, that's a sausage.
Followed immediately by:
Waiter there are two worms on my plate.
Those are sausages, sir.
So by now I'm thinking this must be deliberate. In fact, I'm kind of disappointed that the next joke wasn't "Waiter, there are three worms on my plate!
Would you shut up, I'm serving you sausages!"
Deliberate or not, there's a strange kind of desperation in joke books. Because the target market is children, they can put in any old jokes they can remember, and if they have to come up with something new, it can be drivel since the writers are anonymous. As long as they fill up the pages and put in at least a few decent jokes they should be okay.
The last one I'm going to talk about (at least for now) is this one (page 42, in case you have a copy) - a sure sign of desperation if ever I saw one:
What did the shy pebble monster say? "I wish I was a little boulder".
This one is just an ordinary joke - quite a cute one at that - with the word "monster" stuck in just so it would somehow fit in with the theme of the rest of the book. You've got to admire their chutzpah, if nothing else.
Thursday, 9 August 2007
Thursday, 2 August 2007
So this morning as I was walking to work along the Thames I saw a half-submerged boat near Festival Pier. I decided to sketch it.
As you'll notice, I kind of give up halfway through. That's because, as I was sketching the boat, the tide was going out meaning that the water level at one end of the boat clearly isn't the same as at the other end. Finally, I just scribbled in some loose lines to finish it off, making the boat look a bit more stumpy than it was (but not much).
Every day is a learning experience for me. And today's lesson was that, if drawing a wreck as the tide's going out, do the water level last. That way it won't move so much.
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