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Blog Archive: July 2019

All The World's A Comic
On Friday after work I went back to my old stomping ground of BLOOMSBURY to attend an event at The British Museum - or, as all the cool kids call it, "The BM". It was BRILLIANT being round that way again - I worked in Bloomsbury at Birkbeck College from 2003 to 2014, and then adjacent to it a couple of years later at UCL, and I flipping LOVED it. The whole area is full of MUSEUMS and INTERESTING PLACES and SHOPS both Chain and Non-Chain and mostly PUBS. Much as I love my current job the area around Kings Cross is nowhere NEAR as much fun!

One of my favourite things to do when I was at Birkbeck was to pop into the British Museum on my lunchbreak, just to go and see one Interesting Exhibit at a time. I would usually pop in via the back door, and did the same on Friday night, passing the Easter Island statue (i.e. Arthur in "Storm House") on the way. It was very WARM in the main building, but thankfully the talk I was going to was in the air-conditioned basement, where various staff members somehow knew EXACTLY what I was there for.

For LO! the talk was called "All The World's A Comic: Storytelling Through Pictures" and the audience contained a large proportion of The Usual Suspects. It was chaired by all-round legend Mr Paul Gravett and featured a talk by HIM and then from five EXPERTS from the museum, discussing items they looked after which related to narrative storytelling. I knew Paul Gravett's talk would be fun, but I was expecting the others to be a bit DRY and BORING, and possibly not much related to comics. In this expectation I was ENTIRELY WRONG however, as each of the experts were INCREDIBLY ENTHUSIASTIC and REALLY REALLY wanted to tell us about their items. They all had different styles too - some bombastic, some a bit cheeky, some just desperate to tell us why they found it all SO VERY EXCITING!

It didn't teach me a lot about comics, but it DID teach me a lot about ROCK PAINTING, the ancient Assyrians, Buddhism, and LOTS more. One of the amazing things about living in That London is that talks like this happen EVERY DAY, all over the city. If I wasn't worried that my BRANE would explode I would go to them all the time!

posted 29/7/2019 by MJ Hibbett
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Financial Management Of ROCK
As well as being peerless pioners of ROCK ACTION, The Validators also have an enviable track record in revolutionising ROCK ADMIN. Our development of The Spreadsheet Of ROCK, for instance, has helped literally MILLIONS* of young bands successfully manage their time in recording studios, and our use of Good Practice in Procedureal Issues has been a major part of our dominance in the field of Being Good At Having Band Meetings (*I expect).

This trend is set to continue in the future, notably in the GRATE new idea for Physical Product which we shall be using for our forthcoming series of EPs, but also in terms of FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT. For LO! after years of having "the record company" (hem hem) paying for the recording and release of our Physical Products, we are now moving to a CO-OPERATIVE model whereby funds ACCRUED by said band are used to fund things. This change has come about entirely because of our ongoing desire to experiment and innovate, and definitely not because "the record company" works in the public sector and has basically had pay cuts for the past ten years!

This decision came at quite a good time for us, as we have recently done TWO gigs that actually PAID US MONEY, which we were able to put into a notional FUND to pay for other stuff. This was all very jolly when money was just coming IN, but gets a bit more complex when it starts to go OUT for things like rehearsals and recording sessions, so over the past few days I have been in correspondence with our Financial Director Mr T "The Tiger" MacClure, to find ways to formalise our processes.

(if you're wondering wht Tom is our Financial Director, it's because he is REALLY GOOD at Going And Asking For The Money after gigs, and has even on occasion come back with MORE money than expected. Various previous Financial Directors have often come back looking SHEEPISH having got too embarrassed to bring the subject up)

All this led to us setting up our own BAND PayPal account (Tim's idea!) where money can both be deposited and sent out from, enabling individual band members to PAY for stuff and then claim the money back, and also for us ALL to see what we've got left. EXCITINGLY we also now have one of them Google Spreadsheets which shows what we've spent AND ALSO what we still need to spend.

This last bit of PLANNING has been, genuinely, QUITE EXCITING, as it shows HOW we can do our next batch of releases and, by extension, affirms that we WILL! As mentioned previously, we're hoping to put out at least three EPs of new material, with the first coming later this year, and seeing it all written down like this is rather LOVELY as it makes it all look highly do-able. The next ACTION POINT, once the financial plan has been discussed, amended, and agreed by the entire BOARD... sorry, BAND, will be to get on with some more recording. I'm booked in to do my bits next week, and I can't WAIT - nothing says ROCK AND FLIPPING ROLL like a properly budgeted recording session!

posted 24/7/2019 by MJ Hibbett
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Edinburgh Again
Myself and The Lava In My Volcano had a BRILLIANT time this weekend, as we went on a MINI BREAK to Edinburgh. AGANE!

As previously, we booked our train WELL in advance, which meant we got to go FIRST. This is always good, but especially so when travelling on a weekday as they give you tonnes of FREE BOOZE and also GRUB. Going up on Friday we got veggie WRAPS, but coming back on Monday we got ACTUAL CURRY on PLATES. It was well swanky!

Also as last time we stayed in the Premier Inn Hub, which The Guests In My Rooms described, correctly, as "like a posh youth hostel", notably because instead of a BAR or RESTAURANT it has a sort of mini-REFECTORY where you could go any time day or night to get free tea and coffee, with a FRIDGE to get beer from and a counter to pay for it at, also to get stuff like TOAST. It made the whole place feel very SOCIABLE, and we even CHATTED to some other guests!

One of the (many) lovely things about going to Edinburgh is that we have both been there A LOT so didn't feel the need to dash around doing things, which meant that on Friday we just went for a bit of a WANDER round, then had some tea. Saturday was a bit more ACTIVE, kicking off with us going to see Victoria Crowe: Fifty Years Of Painting on the recommendation of a work chum. It was Really Quite Good - I especially liked the paintings of the SHEPHERDESS she used to live next to, though we both wondered how it would feel to have a Posh Artist move in next door and then keep bothering you with her easel. The exhibition was THORT PROVOKING in many ways, notably about PRIVILEGE in ART i.e. it always seems to be Posh People painting pictures of and for OTHER Posh People which are then BOUGHT by Posh People in a huge network of Awards and Honours also for and by Posh People. I know this one was about an artist who started half a century ago, so you could say it is as a result of being from A Different Time, but I'm not so sure things have changed that much.

After THAT we zoomed round to The National Museum Of Scotland to go on one of their themed TOURS. The one we rocked up for was called "Strokes Of Luck", which involved an EXCELLENT Retired Psychologist taking us around a hugely varied bunch of ARTEFACTS which had been found through, or discovered involving, or were very very vaguely linked to the idea of, LUCK. To be honest the theme didn't really hold up, but it was a BRILLIANT way to zoom around the MASSIVE collection, and we got to see some brilliant things, notably the BERSERKER from the Lewis Chess Pieces who did NOT look like Slaine but DID very much look like a LOON. We also got to see the TAPESTRY version of one of our favourite paintings from the Victoria Crowe exhibition, Large Tree Group.

We spent the rest of the day doing further Wandering About, notably round Greyfriar's Kirk which, after a MILLION visits to Edinburgh, neither of us had been to before. It turned out to be full of Harry Potter fans, and also the sound of The Proclaimers soundchecking at the castle! Further wandering took us down Calton Road where, after YEARS of thinking about it, I finally located the site of Calton Studios where I did my very first EVER Edinburgh Fringe show in - YIKES! - 1990!

On our last full day we went for a MASSIVE HIKE up Arthur's Seat, which involved a LENGTHY return journey round the base after someone (it doesn't matter who) got a bit confused about the best way down. It was a GRATE walk, but crikey, it didn't half hurt the next day - my Fenland legs are not meant for such things!

In the evening we met my SISTER for the PUB and then a GIG, as we'd booked tickets to see Hamish Stuart from The Average White Band. It's not the sort of thing ANY of us would usually do, but it seemed rude to go to Edinburgh during a festival (the Blues & Jazz one in this case) and NOT see a show. The support band were RUBBISH - they were very Proficient and Competent, but they had no TUNES or indeed POINT and (most HEINOUS of ALL band crimes) they not only did Introducing The Band TWICE, but when they did it none (NONE!) of the band did the traditional BIT. When you say "On BASS, Kenny Rhythm!" (for example) Kenny is SUPPOSED to e.g. play that bit off of Gracelands, but all they did was NOD and smile. DISGRACEFUL!

Hamish Stuart and co, however, were BLOODY BRILLIANT. It was sort of like the first time I saw Belle & Sebastian and thought "Oh THAT'S what this sort of music is MEANT to sound like!" in that it was all the usual FUNKY THINGS you see bands like that do, but GRATE. They were a DELIGHT to watch, ENGAGING between songs, clearly having fun and, astoundingly for me who always wants a song to finish after two minutes, it was ACTUALLY ENJOYABLE when they started mucking around and RIFFING. I could hardly believe what I was hearing - there were GUITAR SOLOES and they were A GOOD THING!!

It was, all in all, a pretty bloody brilliant holiday and one I would recommend to ALL. I enjoyed it so much, in fact, I'm going up again NEXT month!

posted 23/7/2019 by MJ Hibbett
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Rocking Woolwich
On Sunday I headed over to distant WOOLWICH (Abbey Wood, to be specific) where I was due to meet The Validators to play at the "Abbey Acoustics" day at Lesnes Abbey. I had never been to that particular bit of London, so was astonished when I came out of the station to find that I appeared to be on the VERY EDGE of the entire city, looking out of a SPACESHIP BALCONY onto The Actual Countryside. In one direction: LONDON. In the other: HILLS!

I stomped round to the Abbey grounds to find Mr T Eveleigh, promoter, waiting. Tim - or Big Tim as he is known round our way for avoidance of confusion - had booked us in his capacity as The Only Promoter Left Who Still Books Us, on a bill with the ever mighty Grace Petrie. The whole event was being run by the local council, which meant we got paid and there was a LOT of nice gear to use, but there was also the small matter of the council not remembering to actually promote it very much, so it was Not Exactly Rammed!

The Validators arrived (with Tom and Frankie having come via The Woolwich Ferry, which made all concerned VERY JEALOUS INDEEED), as did various pals including The Hull Of My Boat, Mr W Pilkington, Mr M Tiller, The Hewitts, Mr D Greene, and various members of Clan Pattison. It felt like what I believe the young people refer to as MY SQUAD i.e. a TONNE of lovely people what I have ROCKED variously with the years. Ms E and Ms L Pattison managed to secure us the use of one of the PAGODAS that had been set up as shelter, so we even had our own AREA to spend the afternoon in.

And WHAT a lovely afternoon it was - the sun shone, BEER was had (via a couple of supermarket runs) and there was much YACKING, only slightly interrupted by the fact that we had to go and do a GIG in the middle of it all. The stage was one of those with an INFLATABLE ROOF, which made it feel very WARM, much like distant memories of being inside a bouncy castle and we thus duly all took our SHOES off when we performed.

The gig went pretty well for the most part - the sound was GRATE, and the audience, though a bit far off (there was a whole row of pagodas about thirty feet away from the stage, and most people were comfortably sat around them), seemed to like it - but there were some ISSUES in the middle. Somebody - and there's no point saying who, it could have been anybody - forgot the WORDS quite a lot and, when it came time to do Have A Drink With Us was unable to remember what the chords were. We then launched into Payday instead and discovered EXACTLY the same problem. SOME members of the band found this HILARIOUS, but it should be noted that whoever it was was distracted by the fact that the soundmen had had to MIC UP his guitar because the pickup wasn't working, so he was unable to JIG ABOUT as much as usual, or to turn round during songs to see what everyone was up to.

Despite all that, it all went off jolly well (even if when we eventually DID do Have A Drink With Us the chords were soemwhat more VARIED than usual), with THIS as our eventual setlist:
  • Billy Jones Is Dead
  • Can We Be Friends?
  • I Don't Have To Worry About That
  • It Only Works Because You're here
  • Being Happy Doesn't Make You Stupid
  • (You Make Me Feel) Soft Rock
  • Have A Drink With Us (Drink Doch Eine Met)
  • People Are All Right
  • Easily Impressed
  • We Did It Anyway

  • It was a LIVE (band) DEBUT for I Don't Have To Worry About That, and the highpoint I think was the determination of a section of the audience to BELLOW the "OI! HIBBETT!" bit of Easily Impressed from a distance. It was all bloody delightful, and continued to be so as we all sat around for a couple more hours, including a BRILLIANT performance by Ms G Patrie at the end. Flippin'eck, that is someone who knows how to work an audience, she was FAB!

    When it was all over we said our farewells, before a sub-group of us headed to the pub for a quick pint. It wasn't even seven o'clock when I got home, which was a VERY sophisticated way of doing a gig. More of this sort of thing please!

    posted 10/7/2019 by MJ Hibbett
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    Making Some Hits
    After the bizarre altercation on St Pancras platform earlier, my journey to Derby did not get much smoother. A train ahead of us had a "braking problem" which meant it got stuck at Market Harborough and we got stuck behind it. There had also been a line-side fire overnight, near Wellingborough, which not only LOOKED like the apocalypse but also SMELT like it when we went past. The staff on the train were GRATE, with regular announcements keeping us up to date, even if it was just to say "We don't know when we'll be moving, but we're trying to find out." It's EXACTLY the right thing to do - if you TELL people what's going on they don't PANIC, and everything is MUCH less stressful.

    What with one thing and another we ended up getting into Derby precisely 60 minutes late, which at least was good news for my Delay Repay Claim, but did mean I missed my ABSOLUTE FAVOURITE bit of any band-based activity i.e. setting up the drums. Ask anybody in a band, they will tell you that that is the BEST BIT, especially when it goes on for HOURS. I hopped in a taxi, but by the time I reached Snug Studio Tim had nearly finished hitting things repeatedly. EPIC SADFACE!

    For LO! I was up there for a recording session with The Validators, or in this case 80% of The Validators as Emma was not in attendance - there was unlikely to be time for ANY vocals we thought (correctly), but still I was surprised that she didn't come just to hear the rest of us doing puns about bands we saw thirty years ago and, occasionally, making a racket.

    The PLAN was to record drums and bass for a bunch of new tracks, which we're planning to release as EPs later in the year. Tom had brought his LAPTOP and logged the PLAN, which we discussed with Mr R Newman, studio WHIZZ and all-round CHUM. With that done, and instruments sorted out, we set to WORK!

    On previous occasions I have stood in the control room with Robbie and sometimes Tom, while Tim and Frankie occupy the studio, so that my vocals and AXEWORK don't leak into their tracks, but this time I was offered the chance to go in the VOCAL BOOTH instead. This worked REALLY well because it enabled me to LOOK at The Rhythm Section and give them CUES. The only downside was that it was Quite Warm in there, especially once we got going. Tom, meanwhile, remained in the room with the air conditioner and no drums.

    We had prioritised three songs - "People Are All Right", "You're A Tory Now" and "I Don't Have To Worry About That" - which we had learned up at our recent practice, and we got through them all in EXCELLENT time, having a few bashes at each and then returning to the control room where Robbie spent some time FIXING them. I'm not sure what he was doing - we are METRONOMIC in our timekeeping and FLAWLESS in our professional competence - but he seemed to spend quite a while doing it!

    With those in the bag, bass and drum-wise, we had a go at "I'm Doing The Ironing", which we'd rehearsed with the others, but had never gotten quite right. We spent about half an hour going through it, TIGHTENING UP various aspects so that, when we finally got round to a proper take, it sounded DEAD GOOD. We then did three MORE takes, until it sounded BLOODY GRATE - in previous years the final issued version of a track has often been the only time we ever managed to play it right to the end, but this time we had a go at making them a bit better too!

    While Robbie did some more inexplicable "fixes" to our clearly perfect musicianship we went back into the main room to have a go at something else. When last we'd met Tim had pointed out that, in our early days, we had OFTEN just learnt a song in the studio, without worrying about ever having to play it live, and that if we wanted to have some B-SIDES for the aforementioned EPs it surely wouldn't hurt to try it that way again. Thus we had a very brief go at "Facebook Manifesto", discovered it wasn't actually very good, and then did an ACE version of "An Office Ballad". It was FAB - VERY different to how I've been doing it live, and even MORE GRATE!

    By now we only had half an hour left, and two songs remaining on the "possibles" list. Tim revealed he didn't really like "Cheer Up Love" much, so we didn't do that one, and I wanted to save "It's Hard To Be Hopeful" for when I/we had a bit more time. Thus, without any other options, we went back in and DONE A JAM! I'm not sure whether it was any good or not, but we did at least have a go!

    All that remained was to get packed up, thank Robbie, and then head off. Frankie walked back with me towards the station, which gave us a chance to have a delicious PINT on the way before I got my train- this one went FINE, and also featured TV's Liz Kendall in my carriage!

    It was a DELIGHTFUL way to spend the day, and hopefully laid the foundations for some MASSIVE BANGERS in future. The only slight sadness to these occasions usually is me going away wishing I got to see The Validators more often, but there was no need in this case, as I would be seeing them the very next day!

    posted 9/7/2019 by MJ Hibbett
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    Platform Altercation
    I had a very strange experience at St Pancras station on Saturday morning. I'd booked on the 09:02 train to Derby, where I was due to do some recording with The Validators (more on which another time), and when the platform was announced at about 08:45 I, along with several hundred other people, went to get on board.

    When we got to the train the doors were still locked, which isn't that unusual, but then they stayed locked. It got to 09:02 with them still that way, and no announcements whatsoever about what was going on, so I thought I'd go and ask. It's always annoying when train companies leave you like that - even if they made an announcement to say "We'll find out what's going on" it would reassure people that their train isn't going to just leave without them.

    Keeping an eye on the train to make sure it didn't do just that, I walked back down the platform to the area near the ticket gates, where two members of staff were having a chat. I asked what was happening with the train, and one of them, a big bloke dressed in a management suit rather than uniform, started suddenly laying into me. "Be patient!" he yelled. "We're waiting for a driver!" I was shocked at how suddenly, very aggresively, angry he was (I'd asked very politely!) so said "Could you tell us all that? There's all these people waiting - " "We didnt' know did we? We've only just found out ourselves, which is why we're making an announcement now," he shouted, pointing at his colleague, who then took out a walkie-talkie and made an announcement. It was all a bit weird, not just because he was SO AGGRESSIVE about it, but because they had clearly not only just been informed - before they'd spoken to me I'd seen them chatting to each other without doing anything, and anyway the train had been locked for 15 minutes and should already have left!

    "Now go back and wait for your train," he said, jabbing his finger at me. Look at all those other people - everybody else is waiting, you're the only one who's complained."

    "You're the first to complain" is one of those things that arseholes always say, as if that invalidates what you're doing - in this case I was the first because I was at the near end of the train. The whole experience was ASTONISHING - he seemed to be FURIOUS, as if I'd accused him of something, instead of just asking when the train was going. I've had all sorts of bother from East Midlands trains and their predecessors over nearly 30 years, but never anything like this.

    "Is this how you do customer service at East Midlands Trains?" I asked (yes, that is an INCREDIBLY ENGLISH way to protest!). "Yes it is!" he said. "Now go back to your train and wait."

    It was UTTERLY WEIRD, but then it got worse! I went back to the train, shaking, and then thought "Hang on a minute, he can't get away with that." Like most people i have met bullies like this at various points of my life, and have realised that they behave this way because they CAN. Here in The Future, however, we have tools to help us STAND UP to them, so I turned back round and got my phone out to take a picture of him, so I could report exactly who had been so horrible.

    He was stood in the middle of the platform watching me - triumphant at his victory I guess - but when he saw my phone come out he turned around and started walking away. This bloody infuriated me, so I marched back down to try and get round him. He moved around, hiding his face, and said "Yeah yeah, get your phone out." He then got HIS phone out and held it up in my face, so I couldn't get a picture of him. "I'll take a picture of you shall I?" he said.

    I took my picture and started to move away, and he said "It's illegal to take pictures of staff on the platform!" This infuriated me even more - this is ANOTHER thing that bullies ALWAYS say, it's the equivalent of some git on a messageboard in olden times saying "That's LIBEL that is, I'm going to SUE you."

    "No it's not," I said, "And anyway, you've just taken a picture of me!"

    "Oh yeah, do you want to see my pictures?" he said. Goodness knows what that meant, but at this point another member of staff came over, presumably to calm him down, which was handy as I had a witness when he shouted "I'm going to smack that phone out of your hand!" "Did you hear that?" I said. "He's threatening me with violence!" "I said I was going to SNATCH it out of your hand," he shouted, as if that was entirely different (it's not what he said).

    It was all WEIRD, especially as it had begun with me asking what was going on with a train! I turned and went back to the train because, to be honest, my brain had realised that this was all a bit scary. He was a big bloke, clearly not used to being challenged and, I guess, in a position of power, and he really did look like he was going to thump me! A few minutes later the doors finally opened and I got on the train, shaking with adrenelain, and TWEETED East Midlands Trains about it. I gave them most of the details above and they said they were sorry that I felt I was "not addressed in the correct manner" (!) and that they'd investigate, but that "Usually in these types of situations it's one persons perception of events against another and emotions can run high in stressful situations", which I felt was pretty much a guarantee that they'd do sod all!

    It was an EXTREMELY weird, and frightening, experience. Thank goodness the rest of the weekend was a bit more fun!

    posted 8/7/2019 by MJ Hibbett
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    More Conferring, More Showing Off
    I've spent the past two days at ANOTHER conference, this time in the city of LIVERPOOL. It was not QUITE as interesting as the previous conference, as this one was about WORK rather than COMICS, but still it had its moments.

    HONESTY forces me to say that the most fun bit (for ME) was on the second morning, when I'd agreed to do a "lightning talk" in a session where people talked about their experience using ELEMENTS, the computer system that we were there to talk about. There were meant to be six slots in the session, but just before I got up to do my bit I was informed that, out of the TWO people who had agreed to do it, I was the only one who'd shown up! Luckily for all concerned I don't mind a bit of showing off, and was this very happy to a) get some actual LARFS at 09.50am when talking about a computer system and b) share some of my INISGHT and KNOWLEDGE i.e. I always check our SYSTEM LOGS in the morning to see who's had trouble logging in, then EMAIL them with one of two standard emails to tell them what they need to do to make it work - I always think this helps stop people either PANICKING or going and telling all their friends that the system is rubbish and broken, and assumed it was Standard Practice, but a couple of people afterwards said they were going to start doing it themselves. Does this make me a THORT LEADER?

    The rest of the conference was the usual mix of Interesting Things, Not Very Interesting Things, and Lots Of Biscuits. I'd gone up early on Tuesday morning and headed back straight after it had all finished on Wednesday, so didn't get much time to look at Actual Liverpool - I could have done some sightseeing on Tuesday night, but I had some FOOTBALL to watch. There has been a LOT of drama, controversy, borderline cheating, bad behaviour, dodgy decisions, ludicrous skills and general PALAVER about The Women's World Cup, and as this is EXACTLY the sort of thing I like most about International Football, I have THOROUGHLY enjoyed it. I must admit though, a little of the PAIN of England going out was taken off by the fact that it won't now interfere with our GIG on Sunday at Lesnes Abbey - I don't think the festival is quite big enough for a BIG SCREEEN TV to watch it on!

    posted 4/7/2019 by MJ Hibbett
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    Comics Conferring
    I spent most of last week in the city of Manchester for the International Graphic Novels And Comics Conference. It was a whole WEEK of people talking about comics in a scholarly way, which was a) fun but also b) a LOT!

    Manchester, it turns out, is quite an expensive place to stay in, so to save money on my accomodation I ended up having to set off on Monday morning rather than staying the night before. It was VERY early - registration was at 9am so I had to get up at 5AM IN THE MORNING to catch the 6.36am train - but it all went fine and I made it to venuew good time. It carried on being fine until lunchtime when I realised I was KNACKERED and so went off to my hotel to a) check in b) have a NAP.

    I stayed in the Premier Inn in Media City, which was very pleasant, just about affordable, but a LONG way away. It took me about an hour to get between my room and the conference each day, but the good part about that was that I got to go on the TRAMS every time - I do like trams and these were dead good ones. It was also Quite Exciting being in Media City, especially in the mornings when I'd put BBC Breakfast telly on and think "That's just round the corner from here!"

    The conference was about Comics and Transmedia which should have been RIGHT up my alley (NB my PhD is all about Doctor Doom and Transmedia) but, as ever with this sort of thing, in many cases people had thought "How on earth can I make MY research sound relevant?" and just said "storyworld" a couple of times while doing the traditional Here Is A Comic What I Have Read presentation. I was a bit disappointed also that TWO of the FOUR main people I wanted to see had dropped out since I registered, but the TWO I DID want to see were GRATE - I didn't learn a whole lot of NEW stuff from their talks, but it was EXTREMELY reassuring to UNDERSTAND about 90% of what they were on about and know that I was thus on the right tracks!

    Away from my Subject Area there were LOTS of very interesting talks, notably one that told me Alfred E Neumann existed before MAD Magazine, and another that PROVED that me and Steve's shows were ENTIRELY in the vein of RADICAL FRINGE THEATRE. Infuriatingly though, one of the best and most interesting talks was by one of my own supervisors, who talked about using Art Historical Techniques to show the similarities between Mike McMahon and Brian Bolland's work on "The Cursed Earth". It was dead good, but I could have got that sort of thing back in London!

    I also got to do a talk myself, in a slot at 9am on the very last day, which actually worked out well as a) only people REALLY interested in Marvel Comics And Transmedia could come b) the person before me in the session gave a REALLY interesting talk about Marvel Legacy and Marvel Now! and then c) the final person didn't show up so d) we had plenty of time for a LENGTHY discussion with the aforesaid ENGAGED audience members. It was brillo!

    An interesting thing I discovered was a shop called BOOTHS which is apparently known as "The Waitrose Of The North" because it TOTALLY IS. Next time someone from The North claims that Southern people are too posh I shall highlight my knowledge of this fact. They're all eating focaccia up there!

    I did manage to CARVE OUT some spare time for myself over the week, especially on Wednesday when I did a LOT of work on The Book (which is now onto - hopefully - final re-writes) and then ended up going back to the hotel to watch THE FOOTBALL. Here is my excellent joke about The Lionesses: "They are so GRATE at The Football, you might almost forget that they are ... (pause for effect) ... ENGLISH". Thank you very much! My other joke is an HILARIOUS RIFF around the idea of having "Comics Studies Bingo" where (HOLD ONTO YOUR SIDES) once you have ticked off all the buzzword you shout... "MAUS!"


    It was a very good, very interesting week, but I tell you what, I was glad to get back on the train when it was all over. It made my BRANE hurt!

    posted 1/7/2019 by MJ Hibbett
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