BRICKTOBER 2020 AND THANKS FOR 2000

One of the things I’ve missed most since moving to Karratha is the opportunity to exhibit at my favourite annual arts exhibition, Bricktober. So much so, in fact, that recently I determined that I was going to pack myself into the car and drive down to Perth in 2021 for the sole purpose of doing just that.

Then a double dose of positive karma struck: Firstly, Luscious approved the plan, and second, my good pal (and head honcho of Bricktober) Stephen Kendall gently coughed in my Facebook feed and mentioned that a) due to Covid-19 restrictions, Bricktober was taking place in a fully online environment this year, and b) if I pulled my finger out and built something inside of a week, I could display something this year as well as next.

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MIXED MOVIE QUOTE DOUBLE FEATURE: ‘TENET’ AND ‘BILL AND TED FACE THE MUSIC’

Two movies viewed in two days, and both linked by a common attribute: the playing about with, subverting, and otherwise playfully bruising of, time.

Honestly, it was almost impossible to find quotes and images that could be swapped for comic effect. Instead, the fun has to come from seeing such perfectly complementary swaps come from two movies that couldn’t be much further apart on the dramatic, ambition, and noteworthiness scales.

Excelleeeent!

LEGO: AN INTERLUDE

It’s the beginning of the term three school holidays. Lego reviews will follow. In the meantime, however, a short interlude:

I’ve been a lover of Bricktober since its inception, and one of the hardest things about moving to Karratha has been my inability to exhibit there.

In the wake of Blake’s one-year anniversary, though, I decided it was time I focused my life forward– no more wallowing on what the past has cost me (well, some wallowing — nobody gets over losing their son that quickly — but targeted wallowing. Specific wallowing.) while my own inaction costs me everything else. It’s time to face forward, and work on what I would achieve if I had thirty years in front of me and the only thing holding me back was me. Which is, kind of, actually the case.

One of those things was Bricktober. If it couldn’t come to me, then I was going to work out how to go back to it. Which meant planning to build something and take it to Perth. October 2021 is a year away. I could do that.

At which point my pal Stephen, who heads the organisation that runs Bricktober, popped up to tell me that, because of Covid, the whole thing was online this year, and if I could get something built in time — even something as small as a 20×20 stud diorama — I could have it included.

Oh, and it would have to be completed in a week.

Turns out, that was just the motivation I needed. So here’s a sneak peek at the first MOC I’ve completed in a ridiculously long time, and the first salvo of regaining my creativity. Bricktober will feature hi-res images, with some video and assorted goodies, but for now, here’s a quick squizz at The Hunting Lodge.

ONE YEAR

It’s been one year.

A year ago today I was standing in the middle of an oval in Dampier with members of the writing group to which I belonged at the time, preparing to read The Alphabet Book of Murderers to a crowd we were hoping would arrive any moment. And then I got the call.

Luscious. Three words.

Blake. He’s gone.

And I was already running for the car.

One year since he took his own life. One year since he left us with nothing but grief and questions, and no belief that either of them will ever be put to rest. One year since our world fell down around us. Since then we’ve lost all momentum, all desire to pursue our own lives, our own ambitions. I don’t write. I don’t build. I don’t exercise. Luscious is all that and more. We’re waiting for something that will never arrive, and we don’t have the energy to get up and find it.

I don’t have any more words. Just that. It’s not fair. It’s never going to be fair. It’s never going to be right. And it’s never not going to hurt.

None of this is fair.

FIVE GRAPHIC NOVEL MINI-REVIEWS: NEXT PLANET OVER.

Time for more shenanigans in time, space, and the dance floor. The best new character Marvel has introduced in years, a bad fit for one of the oldest, and some early-career Dorkin wonderfulness are ours to discuss, along with the best Volume Two of the year, and more bitching about Batgirl. It’s all good, clean fun. 

Continue reading “FIVE GRAPHIC NOVEL MINI-REVIEWS: NEXT PLANET OVER.”

MIXED MOVIE QUOTE DOUBLE FEATURE: FLETCH AND LA CONFIDENTIAL.

Last night, Luscious and I had the opportunity to lie back in bed and watch a couple of movies without catering for Lord 15. We took a double trip back to simpler times, with Chevy Chase’s least mediocre effort Fletch, and the always-superb adaptation of one of my favourite authors’ best works, LA Confidential.

It’s Mixed Movie Quote manna from… well, somewhere in Los Angeles, I suppose.

 

Fletch

 

LA Confidential

FIVE GRAPHIC NOVEL MINI-REVIEWS: MAD, BAT, AND DANGEROUS TO KNOW

Time for another graphic novel mini-review roundup, because apparently I don’t what’s good for me. In this edition, I prove I don’t know what’s good for me by making my umptybillionth attempt to find something good in Deadpool (spoiler: failed again), revisit a favourite character, and touch base with one of the most pointless characters in comics. Plus Spiderman.

You’ve been advised.

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LEGO 250 REVIEW: 6205 V-WING FIGHTER

Gee, it feels like it’s been a while since I’ve posted a Lego review.

(Checks posts).

Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiitttttt………

Okay, let’s get back on this damn wagon, especially as the reviewing may have stopped but the purchasing hasn’t, meaning I’ve now bought way more sets than I’ve reviews since I set out to cover the 250 I had (at the point I started. How many do I have now? SHUT UP, YOU’RE NOT MY REAL MUM!)

An easy one to begin: Star Wars, and a little fighter plane from that benighted franchise.

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LESSONS FROM A ROAD TRIP

Karratha to Perth: 1600 kilometres.

Date of son and daughter-in-law’s wedding: slap bang in the middle of the school holidays.

Length of time we’ve had shiny new SUV: two weeks.

Of course we drove.

The plan was relatively simple: we’d bundle ourselves into the car, blast through the 11-hour drive from K-Town to Geraldton in a day, stay overnight, then hit Perth on day two. Coming back, we’d take things slower: stop at Geraldton again, stop at Carnarvon on day two, get home on day three. Take the time to see a tourist trap or two on the way. We’d have Lord 15’s best mate in the car with us, so turn the trip into a bit of a sightseeing experience rather than a race. And with the extra space we’d have, and the lack of a luggage limit, get some big-arse shopping in in the meantime.

And so we did.

Along the way, though, it turned into an important rite-of-old-man-passage. Because I learned some things, and those things are going to herald some changes. Continue reading “LESSONS FROM A ROAD TRIP”

FIVE GRAPHIC NOVEL MINI-REVIEWS: ZAC’S CHOICE

Every now and again I throw a challenge to a nearby personage to hit me up with five graphic novels from my collection they’d like me to review. This time it’s Lord 15’s buddy Zac who happened to be in the wrong room at the wrong time. Let’s see what I thought of the ones he picked out while I was shouting at him to hurry up.

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MIXED MOVIE QUOTES: RUNTS PRETENDING TO BE SUPERHEROES EDITION

It’s the last week of a long semester. I’m running on fumes, my students are running on fumes, the whole world seems like it’s running on fumes. So you know what? Screw it. Let’s power down, put a couple of movies on, and recharge our batteries. Ain’t nothing we can do in this week we can’t do in the first week of term three.

One of my Year Ten classes is watching Red, but I’ve done that one. The other is watching Mission Impossible: Holy Shit, I Can’t Believe This Pile of Crap Is Supposed To Be The Good One. And my Year Nines are watching Shazam.

So, as per my usual rules, here we are: A Mixed Movie Quote Cage Match. Shazam v Fallout.

I’ll be grown-up later.

 

fallout

 

 

Shazam

FIVE GRAPHIC NOVEL MINI-REVIEWS: TEAM-UPS, REBOOTS, CLASSICS, AND KINGDOMS

It’s been quite a little while since I managed to sit down and read some graphic novels. But the term is winding down: two out of my three classes have, to all intents and purposes, finished their work with a week to go — so there’s suddenly a little extra time in my week, and I’ve taken full advantage of it. So get ready: there are reviews galore to come.

Let’s get started with some easy takes, involving some of the core characters of both Marvel and DC.

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MIXED MOVIE QUOTE: THE EMPEROR’S NEW GROOVE

It’s been a long time since I’ve managed to sit in front of the blog. Hopefully that will change in coming days, when we’re facing a teaching semester without COVID, cyclones, and all the other things that have turned the first half of this year into a rolling ball of liquid shite.

In the meantime, I was overcome by the medical necessity to see The Emperor’s New Groove again tonight. By the Gods, it’s still an absolutely wonderful, brilliant movie — I’d argue with anyone that it rivals Aladdin as the best thing Disney has ever done. And the Mixed Movie Quote proved so very easy…

 

Emperor's New Groove

LEGO 250 REVIEW: 31058 MIGHTY DINOSAURS

There’s something risky about designing a Lego set around a subject in which curves are the predominant architectural feature. For all its adaptability, and the cornucopia of new pieces that have arrived in recent years, Lego is still, essentially, a blocky product. Many pieces might be curved, but even they still give a predominantly rigid effect: sinuousness and curvaceousness are not in the brief.

So what happens when Lego decides to make sets involving animals? And what happens when the company decides to use the same part to make three?

Surely, madness abounds.

Continue reading “LEGO 250 REVIEW: 31058 MIGHTY DINOSAURS”

COVID GOES TO THE MOVIES: POSTWAR

Here’s my last gallery of movie images based on the Facebook meme that Stephen Dedman tagged me into: following on from forays into Speculative Fiction, Animation, the pre-1945 era, and Comedy, are ten (thirteen) modern — ie: post war — movies that have made an impact upon me — that don’t necessarily fit into any of the other categories. You know how these things work.

They’re not necessarily the best (although most are all-time favourites), but they are those that have had the greatest impact and influence on me as a person, artist, and small despairing thing. Stories will be shared as requested.

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COVID GOES TO THE MOVIES: PRE-BOMB FILMS

As previously discussed, I’m throwing up five lots of ten (thirteen) images from movies that have impacted me, as yet another in our ongoing line of Covid-gathers-our-personal-information distractomemage.

Today, I’m hitting up pre-war fillums, from the golden age of talkies, shee, before the big one, shee? Nyaaaah.

Well, before the end of the big one: this is my list of films up to 1945.

Oh, and I should point out, as I haven’t already, that these aren’t necessarily the best movies from each category, or even, necessarily, my favourite; just the ones that had an impact. Anecdotes on request 😉

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LET THERE BE MEMES: COVID GOES TO THE MOVIES — SF/F/H

Time for another Covid-distraction meme that has been doing the rounds of Facebook lately.

This one asks you to post an image — no posters, no titles, and no explanations, just an image from the film itself — from ten films that have had an impact on you. My good friend Stephen Dedman has tagged me.

Yeah. Bloody thanks, Stephen.

Not only have I failed to narrow it down to ten films, I decided to be smart and break it up into different categories — SF/Fantasy/Horror; Animated; Comedy; Pre-War; and Post-War,  and then still couldn’t manage to winnow the SF/Fantasy/Horror list down to ten. FFS.

So, balls to it. Here’s the first of the five lists. And here are the thirteen film images.

Pppphhhh.

Continue reading “LET THERE BE MEMES: COVID GOES TO THE MOVIES — SF/F/H”