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Messages - The Legendary Shark

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1
Off Topic / Re: Threadjacking!
« on: 13 June, 2021, 10:24:52 AM »

Hair today, gone tomorrow...


2
General / Re: 2000AD Forum Sketch Comp #4: SPECIAL BOLT-01 EDITION
« on: 31 May, 2021, 05:38:28 PM »


Wonderful.


And hello!




3
General / Re: The DAVE EVANS TRIBUTE BOOK — LAST(ish) CALL
« on: 31 May, 2021, 10:01:26 AM »
I'd just like to add my thanks to you, Jim, for organising this wonderful tribute. I know I've already contributed a picture but, if I may, I'd also like to add the following to the general tributes page:

On my journey through this life I have come to understand that the reason why there are so many of us is because we need to be kind to one another and because we need to help one another, for we are all beings of infinite worth and potential.

Of all the souls I have encountered on my journey, none personified this belief more than Bolt-01. In his passing we are faced with an incalculable loss, but in our hearts the candles lit by Dave Evans will never sputter or grow dim.

He showed us all how to be better.

With love everlasting,

Mark "the Shark" Howard.

4
Off Topic / Re: RIPs
« on: 28 May, 2021, 06:44:32 PM »

An old saying goes -  a good fence lasts for three years, a good dog lasts for three fences, a good horse lasts for three dogs and a good man lasts for three horses.


5
Off Topic / Re: The Political Thread
« on: 27 May, 2021, 10:14:15 AM »
Don't worry, the peerless British press will hold them to account.  We're just one unnecessarily-smug Marina Hyde column away from real social change.

Most people  I know, sadly including my mother, believe every word they hear. "Don't be daft, Mark, they're not allowed to lie."

Makes me weep.


6
Off Topic / Re: Threadjacking!
« on: 26 May, 2021, 08:51:21 PM »

Mercury.

Don't ask me how I know that.



7
Off Topic / Re: The Dream Warriors
« on: 25 May, 2021, 12:40:29 PM »
Here's a weird one that affected me quite deeply and came in three parts, punctuated by pee breaks.

Part I - The Poet

I awoke in a luxurious bed in a very classy bedroom. Next to me was a woman with her naked back to me. Her back was covered in bruises. I made one of those waking up noises and she stirred.

"I suppose you want me to assume the position," she said in a defeated yet entirely familiar voice.

"Eh?"

She turned to face me, eyes down, and I was stunned to find that she was Pam Ayres. I gaped and said, "Pam Ayres?"

She hid an angry scowl and pleaded with me to stop playing my wicked mind games on her and just "get on with it."

I got out of the bed and backed away, blathering. "I would never do that..."

After a brief conversation she grew truly afraid. "Who are you?" she demanded and then, when I told her my name, she called for help and three bodyguards burst into the room. She pointed at me and shouted that I was an impostor. The bodyguards thought  this was very amusing until they spoke to me and finally agreed with Pam. They moved in to do me mischief.

Whenever I punch people in a dream it's always pointless - my arm feels like it's moving through congealing concrete and the punch connects with all the force of a fly landing on blancmange. Not this time. The lead bodyguard went down like a sack of cheap manure, thoroughly sparko.

"Get the Hell out," I said, playing a part, "and don't come back until I call for you."  They departed, carrying their unconscious friend with them.

Pam was properly scared now and very confused. I stayed back and tried to figure it out. I'd first seen her, I explained, on telly years ago reading her poem I wish I'd Looked After me Teeth, we even had a book of her poems, and that she still popped up on the radio and telly, that she was a kind of mid-level national treasure, and that I'd never met her, knew nothing about her.

She explained that her husband, whom I shall call Bastard Shark, had also seen her on telly all those years ago and used his family's vast wealth and power to woo her but, once married, had kept her a virtual prisoner in this mansion, subjecting her to regular beatings and constant mental torture. In her world, she'd never been on telly again, never been allowed to publish - or even write - another poem.

After a long conversation, we came to the conclusion that I'd somehow woken up in the wrong alternate universe, in the body of an alternate me.

She happened to have divorce papers hidden away, drawn up in secret years ago, but never had the nerve to present them to Bastard Shark. So I told her to fetch them and we both signed them, ordering the bodyguards to also sign as witnesses. Pam was very happy, as was I.

Then my bladder woke me up.

Part II - Worry

It took me ages to get back to sleep. The dream had been so real that I was worried what Bastard Shark might do once he regained his own body. I was also worried that I was worrying about people who don't exist, dream people.

Eventually, though, fall asleep I did and found myself trying to get back. Bastard Shark, however, appeared and blocked my path. In a monstrous rage, fairly radiating malevolence, he howled at me.

"Stay away from my body! Stay away from my world! Stay away from my woman!" His voice was fearsome, filled with sickly purple light, and he raised his fist then punched me so hard that I woke up.

I had  another pee then went back to bed.

Part III - Pawn

Asleep again, eventually, I found myself in a featureless void. Soon, another me appeared, this one I'll call Evil Genius Shark.

"Did it work?" he asked me. I didn't understand, so he reached into my mind and took the memories of my visit to Pam and pumped his fist in triumph.

He wanted to know what I'd learned about this alternate world. He thought he could steal Pam's poems, which didn't exist in his world, and publish them to make money. He wanted to send me into the bodies of alternate versions of me every night to pick up anything he could sell in his world.

I was appalled and demanded he send me back to check on Pam, give her enough time to escape from Bastard Shark because I feared that in signing the divorce papers I'd actually signed her death warrant.

Evil Genius Shark was angry. "Humans are infinite in number," he said, "the loss of one is less than insignificant."

I pleaded but he just looked disappointed and, looking at someone I couldn't see said, "This one is no good. Find me another."

The void evaporated, Evil Genius Shark disappeared and then my alarm went off.

***

I've tried to get back on subsequent nights to rectify my mistake but without success. I've also been trying to make sense of it, in quantum and psychological ways but, again, without success.

Maybe I'm just loopy.



8
General / Re: 2000AD Forum Sketch Comp #4: SPECIAL BOLT-01 EDITION
« on: 24 May, 2021, 06:46:30 PM »

Truly Zarjaz.


9
Creative Common / Re: Does my Art look big in this?
« on: 23 May, 2021, 07:50:06 PM »

Indeed it is.


10

A man made of X-rays, a Yankee trader, and a Zulu shaman go to war...


11

Given that Beowulf and Achilles are still cropping up I reckon that good characters never die.


12
I ask: should creators die with their characters…?

Well, I do. Regularly.

(This "joke" would work much better if I was a stand-up...)


13

No, no - I get that. It wasn't"t any specific "will you read this?"  "No," conversation. It was more the underlying attitude of what is intrinsically worthwhile and what is intrinsically worthless.

Of course, Pat and I have never discussed copyrights and such because, boy, that would be a spat for the ages! :-)

All that being said, he never tried to stop or block me - which is definitely not nothing - but he certainly thought my efforts were pointless and inconsequential which,  also, I can not disagree with, but that doesn't automatically translate to exploitation or lack of respect on my part -  which is the impression I got.

14
Off Topic / Re: Threadjacking!
« on: 21 May, 2021, 02:44:56 PM »

Or the eugenicists.


15

All of the above is why I'm really not interested in becoming a professional comics writer any more. It's much more satisfying, for me at  least, to remain strictly amateur. Writing for Zarjaz or Paragon is fulfilling enough for me - and complicated enough.

To illustrate, I'm still rather proud of Flesh: Extinction , which would never have seen the light of day if not for Dave and Rich. Those guys taught me, albeit probably unintentionally, that enthusiasm is far sweeter than profit.

Over the years I"he enjoyed a sporadic exchange of emails with Uncle Pat and, without wanting to betray private words, was disappointed in his dismissive attitude to my efforts based on his original ideas - which he did not read. I felt as if he was afraid of giving any opinion on work that was not his own - which is fair enough as I have broadly the same attitude - in case it somehow undermined his own position. As if I was angling to monetise his ideas myself, somehow - which was not the case. The concept of me putting my own spin on his ideas as a labour of love, in honour of the original and not an attempt to supplant or subvert it,  seemed to have little merit. It is difficult for me to read public statements he's given and not feel as if I'm just a hack recycling his ideas. Which, of course, I may very well be - but not intentionally. I never begin by thinking, "I wonder what I can steal,, monetise undermine, and ruin today?" 

So no -  I think I'll just keep on writing for the love of it, thanks.  Money and contracts and rights and all that rubbish would just ruin it for me. Let Pat have the money and the contracts and the rights -  I'll just take the love and the enjoyment.

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