FROM MOONGIRL TO BOOMERBUTT: MINI-REVIEWS OF FIVE GRAPHIC NOVELS

One thing I realised last year: I’m reading a lot of graphic novels these days. I always have, but for reasons of digestibility, time, and interest, I’m smashing through them over the last year or two. Sixteen days into 2020, I’ve read six, so I thought it might be fun to post a paragraph or two each time I get through another five.

Naturally, to start with, I’m going to do six. Because that’s how I roll. Badly.

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MIXED MOVIE QUOTE: THE RUNNING MAN

How did we end up watching this sadly dated Arnold Schwarzenegger so-close-it-just-makes-it-seem-worse entry from the ‘not quite Predator’ days? Suffice to say, there was an emergency flight to Perth (more on that tomorrow, possibly), a trip to the DVD store, discovering that the Blu-Ray of Highlander that was purchased on said trip refuses to play in the Blu-Ray player bought in the same country as the Blu-Ray, and this was the first case I saw on the Family-Hasn’t-Seen-It-Yet pile.

Still, as the rule states, where there is movie watchage, so shall there be movie quote mixage. So here we are, your The Running Man Mixed Movie Quote:


Running Man

REVIEW: ALWAYS LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE OF LIFE, by ERIC IDLE

First book of 2020 finished.

 

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life: A SortabiographyAlways Look on the Bright Side of Life: A Sortabiography by Eric Idle

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Entertaining but superficial glossing over of a celebrity life that eschews self-reflection and insight in favour of name dropping and shaggy dog stories. It’s fun, and occasionally funny, but if you’re of the opinion that Idle’s career has been running off nostalgia and cannibalisation of his Pythonic roots for a long while now, this will not be the book to change your mind.

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HOW SWEET TO BE AN IDIOT: RIP, NEIL INNES

To paraphrase the immortal Tom Lehrer, I have been a fan of Neil Innes since conception. At least, I have been a rabid convert to the Innes way of thinking since my first introduction to Monty Python, via Live at the Hollywood Bowl on video early in 1984. Amongst the madness, surrealism, shouting, and general lunacy, a small, sweet-voiced man slowed proceedings down to sing two songs: after an umpty-million play-rewind-plays over the course of a week, I have been able to sing I’m The Urban Spaceman and How Sweet to be an Idiot in my sleep since the age of 13.

 

Sadly, Neil Innes left us this week, dying unexpectedly at the age of 76.

It was about eleven seconds from that first exposure to discovering The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, and another life-long obsession. Albums, DVD copies of Do Not Adjust Your Set, and learning every lyric I could cope with followed: my copy of their brilliant album Gorilla was the only LP I kept when Blake moved out and I gifted him my collection because he was so in love with his record player. My love of Python led me to the rest of their movies, and,to The Rutles, and to Innes’ solo work. At every stage, interest became love became an integral part of my comic and musical sensibilities.

 

 

After 35 years, I still have reams of Bonzo and Innes on my playlist, through LPs, to CDs, to, currently, my iPod and iTunes player. Whatever technological advancement is made over the next 10-40 years of my remaining life, they’ll make that journey with me. I’ve come across very few songwriters who can be so funny, sweet, mournful, whimsical, and touching, usually simultaneously. Innes is at the forefront of those I’ve found, and I shan’t be letting go of his work for anything.

 

 

Neil Innes was an important member of my karass, and always will be. RIP. Thank to you, it will always be sweet to be an idiot.