THUMBNAIL THURSDAY GETS ALL META UP ITS OWN ARSE

I remember exactly when I drew this. It would be to the surprise of nobody to learn that it was when I was working for the Department of Staff Bullying at the City or Rockingham, and that I was at a management meeting regards some art and culture stuff I should have been left alone to do but, well… we all know how it ended. So, a little double-meta going on, here: a comment on some of those community artist types* that I worked with, and a pretty decent dollop of self-knowledge about mine own abilities in any artistic direction. Except for the expression on the dog’s face.

For some reason I’m always satisfied with the expressions I manage to get on dog’s faces…

(*There are two types of community artist types: those who love art, practice art, develop art, and whether they pursue it as a hobby or something more, respect and love the process. And those who think wearing dungarees and tying things into their hair means they’ve done all the hard work. Guess which type ended up running the arts groups I was dealing with at the time…)

“I just paint what I see.”

FREE LEE! HOW MUCH OF A READ COULD CHUCK READ CHUCKLING, IF HE… UH…

My good friend and fellow author Chuck McKenzie has started a reading series on Youtube! A Touch of the Terrors features Chuck, in full Donald-Sinden-Meets-Elvira mode (don’t think visually) reading his favourite Australian horror stories, complete with cuddly bedtime ambience and nightmarish chest hair.

He recently took on Luscious’ brilliant 2007 story The Memory of Breathing, and now he’s turned his attention to my Aurealis Award-winning short Pater Familias.

Go, watch, listen, enjoy!

OH, THE FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS, THEY HURTS, THEY HURRRTTTSSS….

Question: you’ve just had your birthday. You got Lego. You’ve just returned from a lightning trip to Perth, and the Lego store. You got Lego. Now you have all this new Lego. But you’re 99% sure you’re moving in the next couple of months. You’re literally cleaning up the house for it right now. So the wise thing would be to just leave the Lego in its boxes, to make it easier to move. But it’s Lego. And you might not move for a couple of months. So if you put it away you might not even see it, never mind build it until, I dunno, possibly February. And it’s Lego. But the wise thing would be not to touch it. But it’s Lego… but the wise thing…… but it’s Lego… but the wise thing…

What would you do? What. Would. You. Do?

MIXED MOVIE QUOTES: THE CATCH-UP EDITION

Two movies to choose from for this post: first, this year’s stunningly beautiful and dream-like adaptation of Dune, which I chose as my birthday movie (a family tradition: birthday victim gets their choice of dinner, dessert, and movie) a couple of weeks ago and completely forgot to post; and secondly, Lord 16’s last act of sixteendom, choosing The Crow as his movie tonight, before transitioning into Lord 17 tomorrow.

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THUMBNAIL THURSDAY HAS A #METOO MOMENT

Someehow it seems appropriate that on the 46th anniversary of leaving England, the random number generator throws up a cartoon that pitches me right back to my short, pre-Australian childhood.

Even as a kid, Punch and Judy was horrific. Indeed, that’s part of its… I don’t know if charm is the right word, but certainly fascination.

It’s a grotesque, of course, a deliberate soft spot between what is acceptable and the dark mirror world where all is allowed and nothing is forbidden. As a tiny person on the cold, windy, pebble-coated beaches of — well, I’m not entirely sure, to be honest. The scratchy super 8 films in my possession don’t really make it clear, and both my parents are dead so they can’t tell me. Call it Bournemouth, or Brighton, or more likely as we were in Nottingham, Blackpool — the Punch and Judy show was right up there with riding donkeys and eating fairy floss as the maddest of mad shit my four year old brain could cope with. But holy hot damn, when you look at it objectively… depending on the professor, and the time, and just how closely parents and the authorities are watching, Punch is a coyote, a joker, an agent of chaos, or an outright monster from the same level of Hell that ‘gifts’ us Jimmy Savile and Denis Nilsen.

Continue reading “THUMBNAIL THURSDAY HAS A #METOO MOMENT”

MIXED MOVIE QUOTE NEEDS A MIRACLE TO SAVE US

My time together with Lord 16 is slowly, but inevitably, drawing to a close. We’re not at the finish line just yet, but as he’s coming to the end of year eleven, and could leave home as early as this time next year — Uni, life plans, sudden familial decisions to uproot ourselves and move halfway across the state, and so forth notwithstanding — it’s possible to imagine the final turn into the straight. To mangle an analogy.

So I’m running out of time to expose him to all the necessary texts to ensure he goes into his arts career with at least an acceptable understanding of the classics. And with the fortuitous purchase of a Mel Brooks box set, and the announcement of an upcoming History of the World Part 2 TV series, well, what better time to decide to show him the third of Brooks’ Great and Classic Trilogy?

It’s good to be the King.

Anyway, this is one of those you-have-to-recognise-the-movie-to-get-the-gag ones, but if you do, you’ll understand why I snorted like a pig seeing the farmer slip in a cowpat.

THUMBNAIL THURSDAY FINDS A COMPLETED ONE

An actual completed one, from a time when I had some cash in my pocket, a pad of decent gsm card, and the means to pick up some proper-quality greyscale watercolour markers, so I could give this whole cartooning thing a decent go.

I did manage to sell a couple of them along the way, but the experience was enough to make me realise I needed to devote my entire attention to it in order to be even a jobbing journeyman, and at the time, writing was the artform in which I was more advanced, and in which I had a better chance of carving out a career.

‘Tis to laugh, eh?

Anyway, I didn’t sell this one, because the craft just isn’t there enough. But it still makes me smile: as an expression of my sense of humour, it’s pretty pure.

“Bone… bone… baked potato… bone… baked potato…”

A POST ABOUT BRICKTOBER BEFORE THE TOBER BIT BECOMES IRRELEVANT

Dammit, how did three weeks get away from me like that? I was going to post in the immediate aftermath of my Lego-based trek southward, then I looked up and it’s almost Halloween!

Agh, well. It’s been a hella Lego-y month, as well: first I received a sneak copy of the new and enormous Lego Ideas set 21330 Home Alone to build and review for the Perth Lego Users Group website (and you’ll get a head-up when the review is posted), then there was the opening of Perth’s new official Lego store, which… you know… I missed because I’m all the way over here in Twohourflightawayland. And before all that, there was Bricktober.

So, in the spirit of it never being too late except for tomorrow when it will all be too late, let me tell you about Bricktober.

Continue reading “A POST ABOUT BRICKTOBER BEFORE THE TOBER BIT BECOMES IRRELEVANT”

DECISIONS, DECISIONS…

If you’re a Lego fiend, or just interested in the way I artistically express myself instead of writing these days, then be of good cheer: there will be a post about my epic excursion to travel down to Perth to exhibit at this year’s Bricktober exhibition last weekend coming soon.

To be honest, it would have been coming this weekend, except that well, decisions have been decisionated, and the family have decisionatisized that our adventure in Karratha is over, and it’s time for us to pack up and return to the relative civilisation of Perth and surrounds.

All of which requires us to have jobs. So this weekend has been a frenzy of cover letters, updated CVs, and hitting up all the job links of Jobs WA, Seek, and the like. Luscious is a career teacher, so we’re concentrating on making sure she’s offered a full-time position, which will then be the indication of where we need to settle ourselves, but I’m also making sure I at least throw my hat into the ring for some positions — as as many part-time ones as I can find, as well.

Pretty pictures soon, I promise, as soon as I’ve shot these applications away and have the time to write a full blog report. But for now, it’s off the submit buttons for me! Best case scenario is that we’ll go down for Christmas and simply stay. I’ll keep you in the loop.

THUMBNAIL THURSDAY PREFERS VODKA TO KOOL-AID

The idea of undergoing an interview process to get into a suicide cult is, to me at least, inherently funny. I mean, you’re an apocalyptic sect that firmly believes that whatever awaits you on the other side of death if preferable to this lifetime of gummint taxes takin’ away your freedoms and guns or whatever. Surely you’ll take any body that’s warm enough and doesn’t think too hard…

So Luscious faces her past as a member of a pack of bigoted religious scumbag zealots an apocalyptic religion by creating a Youtube channel and engaging in activism to help people see the truth behind the curtains, and I, who have never been a part of one, draw bad cartoons.

The important thing is we’re both helping

“You’re a suicide cult. I don’t see myself anywhere in five years.”

MIXED MOVIE QUOTE: SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN OR MORE OTHER MOVIES YOU CAN CLEARLY REMEMBER WHILE WATCHING IT

So, yeah, we saw Shang-Chi, the 25th MCU movie — and second that didn’t feature the adventures of white guys fighting other white guys to solve white guy problems with money — last night, two months after everybody else in the world, which is par for the course around our parts. And, well, look: parts of it were fantastic. The dialogue is whip-smart. The acting is top-shelf. Awkwafina and Ben Kingsley steal all the shows. Michelle Yeoh. Enough fanwank to cause heart attacks in 30% of incels world wide. The single most relatable, understandable, antagonist in MCU movies. Michelle freaking Yeoh. And yet…

It’s too damn easy to count the bits of Black Panther, the bits of Doctor Strange, the bits of Batman Begins, bits of that Bond movie where he fights someone in a neon high-rise, bits of every other Marvel movie with no surprises, bits of Guardians of the Galaxy 2, there’s yet another climax where two giant bits of giant CGI fight each other… honestly, they’re all starting to feel the same, now. And it’s yet another Marvel movie that’s ultimately about shitty Dads causing shitty Dad daddy issues in kids that can only be resolved by spending billionaire dollars or punching Daddy really, really hard…. you know, like Howard Stark, Thanos, T’Chaka, Ego, David Banner, Odin, Adrian Toomes……

On the other, other hand, it’s quotable as fuck, so here’s a mixed movie quote that was amongst the easiest ever to create.

BRICKTOBER, BABY!

Not long now: this time next week I’ll be packing the car with over a dozen large carboard boxes containing my display — entitled Alien Archaeological Expedition, for those with a need to know — driving for 16 wincing-at-every-goddamn-bump-in-the-road hours to get my arse to Perth, and carefully piecing over a dozen large cardboard boxes worth of Lego display back together again ready to set up for two days of telling people that no, this doesn’t come from a set, yes, I did make it myself, no, it’s not bloody Star Wars, yes, I really did come up with it myself, and no, your dad didn’t see it on the shelves at Target, go check yourself…. (Believe me, there’s a bingo sheet.)

It’s Bricktober time!

A tiny taste of one corner of my display. Imagine a tonne of in-jokes like this, but 12 baseplates bigger.

Get your tickets, come see the very large display I spent seven months putting together, marvel at the brilliant things people way more brilliant then me did in less time for much greater effect, and say hi to me because gods knows I don’t have any other Lego enthusiasts or, you know, even actual friends up here.

I can’t wait.

MIXED MOVIE QUOTE WILL SEE YOU LATER, SPACE COWBOY

What with the live-action adaptation of the top-three-greatest-anime-shows-of-all-time Cowboy Bebop dropping on Netflix next month, and what with Luscious taking the girls out for a girly day out yesterday, I took the opportunity to sit down with Lord 16 and finally press play on the final piece of his Space Cowboy education: to watch the Cowboy Bebop: The Movie after loving our way through the 26 episodes we’d already watched together. (Him for the first time, me for the umpty-billionth and oneth).

Of course I love it, and of course he did too, and of course we’re going to be right there come November 19, and of course it remains on of the greatest anime shows, not to mention greatest space operas, ever committed to tape.

But, as is the way of all things, to watch is to mis-quote. So here we go with today’s Mixed Movie Quote. Let the good taste… uh… retire:

THUMBNAIL THURSDAY REVISITS THE CLASSICS… AND STUFFS THEM UP

Devil at the crossroads, musical competition, pick the saddest or most inappropriate musical instrument possible… okay, so occasionally it’s not rocket science, and occasionally your not-rocket kind of implodes and crumples to the launch pad.

It’s an obvious trope, an obvious joke, and honestly, a trombone would have been funnier.

I kind of like the skeleton in the garret, though.

“Well, a fiddle is traditional, but I guess I’m willing to give it a go…”

MIXED MOVIE QUOTE: THE TEACHING FILM LOTTERY

One thing about teaching: being forced to a) teach film analysis to students who, for a variety of reasons, may have seen fewer than ten movies in their entire life, and b) choose films that conform to very strict rules regards purpose and rating, certainly results in watching movies you would never approach under any other circumstance.

Two cases in point.

First, the good: It was decided to teach our year eleven students horror movie this year, and the film that satisfied enough of the criteria to be chosen was the 2001 film The Others. I am about as far from a Nicole Kidman fan as it is possible to get — I find her cold, unconvincing, and so stagey I’m never unaware that she is dame-of-the-stage ahhhcting (a problem she shares with Judy Davis) — and yet, despite some shonky Kidmanesque moments (her pronunciation of ‘coh-TENS’ for ‘curtains’ raised a giggle every. damn. time.), the movie turned out to be an absolute masterpiece.

It was also, surprisingly, extremely teachable, even to a gaggle of boofhead boys who want nothing more than for this year to just shutup and go away so they can get on with the apprenticeships they’re just filling in time before taking up. Who’d have guessed? Not me.

On the flip side of the lottery, unfortunately, was case study two: the as bad as expected. In this case, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, a Disneybland assemblage of forced jokes, vapid life lessons, cliched everythings, and terminal eyerolls starring no fewer than four actors who make me want to run screaming from the cinema at even the mention of their names. The year eights I am teaching, of course, loved it, the treacherous little shits.

Ah, well. Can’t win them all.

So, two mixed movie quotes, and on the basis that the one for The Others pretty much chose itself, I’ve not remixed them with each other for once. In order of preference, The Others first:


And Jumanji: Welcome to the Executive Blandification.