Thursday, June 22, 2017

Ranking the Offspring albums when I was 15


"I saw them live in Manchester in January on their 2001 European Tour, and those guys kicked some ass" - Me, apparently

Bit too busy to compare 100+ short stories this month, so I've invited my more eager, younger self from half a lifetime ago to share his enthusiastic, falsely confident, needlessly long opinions about one of the only bands he's ever listened to. The other band was Nirvana, who are used as the only point of comparison throughout.

This is what the absence of anxiety of influence looks like. I only [cruelly annotated] these when strictly necessary, but I didn't bother proofreading, since I didn't pay me for that. I only earned a few pence from writing these reviews for dooyoo.co.uk, and I'm going to need those when I discover angsty nu metal soon.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Ranking the Umberto Eco novels


Because I'm a bit of a ponce, I've always found challenging art to be the most satisfying. The more unreasonably complicated and stressful the novel, the more memorable the reading experience.

When I bother to put in the time and effort, there's a high chance I'll be rewarded with a favourite book of the year. Like happened in 2016* and 2015. 2014's was a comic with no words, because you have to sabotage your own arguments sometimes. The two years before that were both Umberto Ecos.

You'd think that guarantee of satisfaction would be motivation enough to read the remaining five-sevenths of his fiction library, but I've only managed another one and a half in the years since. It's a lot of effort, isn't it?

So it's time to stop lazily reading a couple of thousand pages' worth of short stories a month and knuckle down to some grown-up reading. Here are The Top 7 Umberto Eco Novels, with their original Italian covers to make me look smarter than I am. I didn't read them in Italian, obviously.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Kids write/draw the funniest things on Amiga computers in the '90s!



I was eight (I think) when my family got our first computer, so already past the point where my juvenile Deluxe Paint art and Wordworth stories could be considered adorable and unexpectedly amusing. Fortunately, I had younger brothers.

Hard drive wipes, dismantlings and floppy disk deterioration mean it's unlikely that any of our 32-bit digital catalogue survives today. In many cases – such as the case of my "epic" sci-fi animation series The Lost Alien and the exhaustive encyclopaedia I wrote to accompany it – this is for the best. But it was a shame to lose some of the funny kid stuff.

The drawing above is a reconstruction of a drawing by my brother Michael when he was about six. There are a few things I like about it, maybe you can work them out.

The story below is a reconstruction of the first thing my brother Chris ever typed/mashed when he was about five, using the largest blube font they'd allow him. It's about a monster called Chris, the Qeen and the Qeenie (apparently different people, though they both wind up in his oss).