Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Punishment, Politics and Performance

Another quick mespaff; blasting out fragments of self-serving shillbaggery and News in one easily-chokable nugget.

First up:


Welcome to the Helter Skelter Club — psychedelic hangout of every costumed wannabe, z-list villain and spandex tryhard in NYC. Its retro-tastic owner – Captain Pepper – has been up to his paisley-print elbows in bad business, but now he’s caught the attention of one decidedly ungroovy vigilante…

Artist Werther Dell’Edera (Loveless, X-FORCE) and writer Simon Spurrier (Gutsville, GHOST RIDER) cordially invite you to witness Frank Castle facing Trial By Weird, in a kaleidoscopic killfest featuring super hero groupies, brain-sucking Nazi midgets, scale replicas of the Devourer Of Worlds and lots and lots of ninja teddies.

48 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99

...which is out tomorrow (Wednesday 5th November) in the US, and Thursday (6th) in the UK. I'm assuming we're all going to be glowing in the post election-day haze of unfounded optimism and cheer, so reading about a psychotic vigilante kneecapping hallucinogenic unicorns probably won't be high on anyone's list of priorities... But still. Yay free world, etc etc. Buy three hundred and twelve copies each, please. And yes, that is a hilariously strange front cover. There's a great "Dora the Explorer" photoshop version floating about somewhere on the netwub. I'd go find it and post it here, but am frankly too lazy.


Yesterday saw a fairly significant landmark in my glacial attempts to become a screenwriter (on top of all this comicky and novelly nonsense). I've been engaged for a while now on the WRITERS' TRAINING SCHEME at Met Film, based in Ealing studios. The idea is basically that you spend six months developing your skills as a screenwriter (and as someone able to stay un-gobbled by the sharks of the industry), whilst a) writing your very own script, for which you retain the rights, and b) Getting Paid for the pleasure. This has been a WIN WIN WIN setup, and I've made some great friends along the way. It's also been ludicrously intensive and frighteningly stressful process, which goes a long way to explain why the second Novel has been delayed.

At any rate, I'm anticipating emerging from the scheme with a thoroughly batshit screenplay under my arm just in time for a nice relaxing Christmas. More on the specifics of the story as and when I get a moment. Think Zombies, think redemption-from-beyond-the-grave, and think Toulouse Lautrec's Paris. Huzzah.

Yesterday's little landmark was the first "performance" of the first draft, by a group of talented actors brought-in specially. First revelation: the jokes you expected to be funny rarely get a laugh. Second revelation: the stuff you packed-in to keep up levels of smirk-ism get the biggest laughs of all. And Third Revelation: no matter how much you try to be slick and sleek, no matter how lean and unpadded you think your screenplay is, it's not until you sit there seeing it come to life that you realise exactly how much flabby unneeded dross is clogging-up the pace.

There will be rewrites, and scissors shall be wielded, oh yes.

Aaaanyway. Back to watching Americans wrestle with the Politics of Charisma...