Thursday, 22 September 2011

Asterix, Bond and Zardoz

how do you make gifs
We all know of course that Sean Connery appeared in Asterix in the great "Asterix and the Black Gold"
He is a Secret Agent called Dubbelosix as he took his druidical exams six times and failed.
This is of course Canon for Asterix but for Bond? Probably not.
Although there is the obligatory self destructing message...

However the Sean Connery caricature is modelled on his Zardoz character.
Zardoz is an incredible film from 1973.
There is an incredible celebration of it here on "Mounds and Circles" check it out!

Friday, 16 September 2011

Brilliant Mash-ups 1 - Superman Loving the Alien

Now is this Canon?
It's an incredibly serious comic from the mid 90s.
Lois Lane and Superman are in it. Tick.
They get a distress call (in Kryptonian) (Tick) and he flies to a desolate Kryptonian colony that has been devastated by our face-hugging friends. (Er?) Does he live in the same universe as Ripley?

Because he is far away from our super power giving yellow sun he is at risk from being impregnated.
And oh my goodness... it happens! Superman is facehugged.

So I would say yes for the Canon.
Apart from his hair.
His hair isn't canon.
I deny the hair.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Indiana Jones was my Teacher - Spin off Edutainment

We all wanted to be taught by Indy.
From the spod who left the apple to the harlot with writing on her eyelids.
This book plunges you into his classroom at Marshall College, New England.
You too can be taught by this great man before he takes time off to battle Nazis, find lost treasure and make the beast with two backs with some floozy.
Exciting isn't it!
Look at that!
In this book Indiana Jones will take us back in time!
This isn't just some text book with added pictures of Harrison Ford in his costume! Oh no!
His lessons are inspirational.
He'd get an outstanding in an OFSTED that's for sure. (This is true for he would surely be linking his pedagogy to the world of work (Archaeology), something that is smiled upon greatly by the Gods of Education).
You don't believe that Indiana teaches in the real world? Check out the statement below!

See, straight from the horses mouth.
You can almost smell the leather jacket...

To be serious for a moment, Indiana Jones really did ignite my interest in history and archaeology. The guy made museums sexy.
BUT when they tried to do it on purpose in the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles.
I saw through them.
The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles was like watching a bored flagging teacher borrow the techniques of an incredible and vital inspiring teacher. The thing about any education that could have occurred in the original films was that it happened by accident. The best lessons allow students to discover and learn themselves,  they don't need to spell it out. "YOU ARE LEARNING! I AM TEACHING YOU NOW!"

To be honest this should happen more often in our classrooms. In fact I wish I was more like Doctor Jones, not the fusty professor of this book or the one from the start of Raiders of the Lost Ark, but the one out there teaching with his actions, teaching by example, teaching by living his life. 
Indy made me want to be a teacher.
I blame you for this Indy!
Damn you!

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Goofy Columbus - The Ultimate Influence on my Writing - Shameless Plugs

Sometimes people ask writers where they get their ideas from.
For a while I kept this secret but it really is a major influence.
I give you...

I bought this from a jumble sale when I was about 8 or 9 years old.
I read it again and again and again.
I loved it.
I still love it.
Goofy Columbus sets out to prove the world is round.
No-one believes him except for Queen Isabella (a cow).
He manages to get a fleet together.
But, in a very dark ending he is proved wrong - (see below).

It is a fantastic book, playing out medieval thought as fact and thus revealing the inherent silliness in out-dated and superstitous belief.
Seriously. It's that good!
A great non-canonical retelling of the Columbus story. However it is a beautiful part of the Goofy Canon perhaps one of the best.
It's pretty hard to get hold of now (try it!) so I guard my copy with my life and will NEVER sell it.

This story stuck with me into my adult life, even though it was gathering dust in a box in my loft, it was there tugging at my memory when I wrote "The Simple Process of Alchemy".
The play concerned the comical misadventures of two rubbish Rennaisance scientists, who accidentally create a love potion (that works), discover the secret of Alchemy and prove the world is the shape of a big cake.

Buy Simple Process of Alchemy!

It is the third act that is influenced by the masterwork known as Goofy Columbus.

It is much more saucy than the Goofy version but the flirtatious relationship between Isabella and Columbus is homaged, in fact you could argue there is a striking resemblance between the actor Ralf Higgins and the Disney King and Queen (he played both King and Queen in this play through the power of "hole in the set technologyTM"). See below for comparison.

Ralf Higgins                                      Ralf Higgins

A Fat Wolf                                   An Amusing Looking Cow
 It's just uncanny isn't it.
The lovely Ralf Higgins and the wonderful Chris Corcoran played all the parts in this play, little knowing that I had based this work not on the musing of Descartes, the arguments of Galileo or the works of Marlowe but on a cheap, short and little known comic book.
The end of the comic book was my main inspiration. I always wanted to end a play with two people hanging off the edge of the world and so I did.

Publicity shot
Shot from end of show


If you want to partke of this silly play (particularly good for show off male actors, budding double acts and silly university students) - you could play it with a massive cast too! Shameless plug!

Buy Simple Process of Alchemy!

Sunday, 4 September 2011

The Sweeney - Top Tips

This is beautiful.
Top Tips from Viz's compilation "Top of the Tips" (buy Here) presented in a lovely Look-In style circa late Seventies early Eighties.
Would the boys approve?
Is this Canon?
You're nicked if you think so...

Friday, 2 September 2011

Biggles - So you wanna be an extremely silly hero?

So you wanna be a hero?
I was really looking forward to this film, Biggles, Time Travel, Peter Cushing...
Released trying to ride the wave of success of Indiana Jones this is the only film adaptation of Biggles, which is a damn shame. Still it has a certain cheap and cheerful charm.
Monty Python loved Biggles both in their sketches...

And in literary form from their Papperbok... interestingly, these sketches, penned by Graham Chapman, investigate the whispered rumours about Biggles sexuality. One wonders what less enlightened audiences made of the sketch? Were they cheering when Biggles shoots Algy?

To a certain extent the below extract is a better spin off than the 80's movie above...
Buy it here.

And check out the real deal - a fantastic site with first edition covers of over 100 Biggles books by Captain W.E. Johns.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Clint Eastwood - The Continuing Adventures of the Man with No Name

What a cover.
Now this isn't a bad book by rip-off standards.
It sets out to do more of the same and by jingo it delivers.
Well sort of, you try capturing the sweat and grandeur of a Leone pic in a 35p pulp novel. (Do you remember when books were 35p? Well no me neither, this reprint was published a year before my birth.)

In the end The Man with No Name teams up with two others, a dirty bandit and a suave killer.
Hang on a second haven't we heard that somewhere before?

So in Brian Fox's head he would have cast Lee Van Cleef as DeCabronet (Lee would have to do a French accent) and Eli Wallach as Tuco.
To be honest Leone used the same actors in his films so why couldn't Brian in his book?

If you want to buy it click here.
Interestingly they kept reprinting this into the 80s. This was first published in 1967.
There's a lot of love for the Clint.