8 March 2009 * link
I've been a Londoner more than half my life now and in that time I've gotten to know
the city pretty well, but there are still....
THINGS ABOUT LONDON I LEARNED FROM COMICS
1) When flying in from the US, airliners routinely land on the River Thames:
2) Charing Cross has cobbled streets, medieval houses, and is surrounded by woods:
3) Despite Ireland, the Irish Sea, Wales, and a fair chunk of England lying between them,
you can smell the Atlantic from the docks:
Incidentally, if you're wondering how the character shown covered ten miles in three minutes,
well being a vampire he did it by turning into a bat and flying there.
Images copyright DC Comics and Marvel Comics. More geographical insights as I uncover them.
6 April 2007 * link
This is, I suppose, a blog. I had no intention of ever starting one, honest. It
all began when someone asked see this illo by Neil (see item below), who
gave permission to post it saying he'd quite like to see it again himself. I've had
a website for years, though I rarely update it, so I had somewhere to post it. Only it
didn't seem right to just post it bare without at least a little bit of explanatory
text to provide context. Then, of course, it struck me that the combined illo'n'text
really needed to be embedded in some sort of larger format rather than just standing
alone. Fire up a text editor, type out some vanilla HTML, and in not much time at
all there was the skeleton of this page. Having created it it seemed a shame not to
add in a sidebar with a few links and, well, here we are.
This is somewhere to post the occasional thing I want to point others to. I
don't see it as something I'll be adding posts to very often, but if I do I'll
probably spruce up the design a bit.
A few days ago, in a comment thread on the Nielsen Hayden's MAKING LIGHT, Neil
Gaiman wrote that:
I'm pretty sure my first published illustration was a Watchmen gag in an Avedon Carol
fanzine, unless my memory has gone...
This caught my attention because:
Neil -- That very illo has been pinned to my office notice board - about a foot from where I'm
sitting - for years. You dated it, too - 29/9/86. I used to keep a diary back then, but
a quick look at the appropriate page has no mention of you at all. Seems I spent the day
visiting various museums with Stu Shiffman, over from the US. We used to see you pretty
often back then so I suppose we could've all met up at a pub afterwards. Strange that
my diary doesn't mention it if we did, though. The thing is, I was there when you drew
that picture, and it was either in a pub or at a con. The nearest entry I can find that
mentions you is a week earlier at UKCAC '86, the only comics con Avedon and I ever
attended. Perhaps you drew it there and misdated it? Curious.
Rereading my diary from that period for the first time since I wrote the entries,
that was quite a socially busy and interesting few weeks. Much more hectic than
the more sedate social life I enjoy these days. Neil replied to my comment thus:
Rob -- I remember meeting Stu with you, so my guess is that it was done in the pub that
evening. I'm pretty sure I didn't do it at UKCAC. I interviewed Alan and Dave about
Watchmen there, though. In a suit, as befitting the occasion.
This is probably what happened, and when the drawing was done. Anyway, one of those
reading the thread asked to see the cartoon, Neil was happy for it to be posted, so here it
is, two decades after it was drawn. And it occurs to me that if it gets linked to it
will be seen by many more people than the maybe couple of hundred who saw it in its
original fanzine appearance.