After the sad news about Tom Frame [see previous post, below], I figure we could all do with some cheering up. so, here's the perfect antidote to those I Don't Like Monday Blues, courtesy of YouTube [and Paul Cornell for pointing out the link]: Nine minutes of Star Wars with all of Darth Vader's dialogue replaced with lines spoken by James Earl Jones in other movies. It's bloody funny, and recasts Vader as a lone groover, babbling about things nobody else understands. By the end, you're on his side, believing the galaxy would be a better place if we all appreciated baseball and the early works of Billy Joel. No, really. check out for yourself...
In other news, I've now officially been commissioned for my first Warhammer novel by Black Library. The Games Workshop omerta forbids me from divulging any details, but the book is due out next year and should be a right riveting read.
The postman has just delivered stats of Colin MacNeil's art for Fiends of the Eastern Front: Stalingrad #6. Stunning stuff, even on these murky copies. You gotta love it when an artist takes a scene you imagined in your head and transform that into something far, far better. Hey, anything that improves my writing is fine by me.
Woke up expectig to be incapable of movement after a long afternoon playing cricket yesterday, but am only a bit stiff of muscle and tendon. The Biggar Cricket Club senior team was playing Selkirk at Selkirk on a scorchingly hot day. Selkirk batted first and hit 209 off 40 overs, aided by my usual bumbling efforts in the field. I can't run that fast and can't throw for toffee, but always seem to end up on the boundary. I suspect I need new glasses, as I'm not picking up the flight of the ball as quickly as I'd like, either. Bowled three overs [with only one embarrassingly punk delivery included], but went for 26 runs - far too expensive. The batsmen were hitting it in the air, but never close enough to get caught, or edging it past the 'keeper. Despite that, I was pretty happy with my bowling.
Alas, my dismal run with the bat continues. I planned to block the first over, and have a go at any bad balls. The first delivery was down the leg side, so I left it. By this stage there were a handful of overs left and we were still in with a longshot chance of snatching a victory. My partner shouted at me to have a go at everything. I duly had a go at the second delivery and edged it on to my stumps. Pathetic. If I could get some batting practice or some coaching, I might work my way up to useless, or even not abjectedly awful. But facing two deliveries a week is not doing the job - much like my batting at the moment.
Despite my feeble contribution, the match turned into a thriller. Man of the match Gary carried his bat through the innings, scoring a mammoth 147 not out in our total of 206 for 9. When the last ball was bowled, he needed to hit a four to win the match for Biggar and reach his 150. Alas, it only brought a single and Selkirk triumphed. It's rare that a Sunday afternoon social game of cricket turns into such a nailbiter, and a shame Gary couldn't pull off a miracle, but he did the team proud. We played in good spirits, not taking too seriously and keeping a smile on our faces, even in defeat. If only all teams approached the game with the same attitude...
Right, enough wittering. Today work begins in earnest on THRILL-POWER OVERLOAD: The History of 2000 AD. In 2002 and 2003 I wrote a series of articles for the Judge Dredd Megazine, detailing the life and times of the Galaxy's Greatest Comic. I'm now revising, updating and enhancing that 85,000 words into a 120,000 word for publication next February to coincide with 2000 AD's 30th anniversary. I'm still interviewing people for the book, but need to make a start on the manuscript.
Peter Milligan has promised he'll find a space in his insanely busy schedule to talk about his mighty contributions to the comics, such as Bad Company and Hewligan's Haircut. Hilary Robinson has already supplied with the story of how she came to be writing half the comic in the late 80s, and retained the copyright on her creations. I'm hopeful of tapping the memories of early editorial team members Colin Wyatt and Roy Preston, while current editor Matt Smith has promised to talk about his tenure.
There's a handful of contributors who remain missing in action: Tom Tully, Alan Hebden and Michael Fleischer have all escaped me thus far. Anybody who knows their contact details, feel free to contact me via the comments section on this blog.