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Topics - The Legendary Shark

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Creative Common / Japan Relief
« on: 29 March, 2011, 02:26:07 pm »
I've had a bit of an idea to help raise money  for the Japan relief effort. Not surprisingly, this idea involves creating a comic, but not in the conventional sense.

I've already asked a few people who are in the know (thanks for your time, guys!) and they seem to think that the idea may be a goer.

Step One would be to auction off "starring roles" in specially created stories. The winning bidders submit photos of themselves (or loved ones, friends etc) to be included as characters in how ever many stories we can fit in the special comic. Ideally, we might ask professional creators to agree to write/illustrate special one-off stories including the winning bidders' characters. (For example, how much would COMMANDOFORCES bid to appear in a one or two page Wagner/Ezquerra Dredd if we were lucky enough to entice them aboard? How much would a Hellboy fan pay to appear in a one or two page Mike Mignola strip?) "Cheaper" winning bidders also get to appear in stories, these penned/illustrated by small pressers.

Each winning bidder would get a complimentary issue of the comic - maybe including a page of original artwork (or not, it might be an idea to auction those off separately, creators willing, of course) or a small signed postcard (we could create a page of postcards for each contributor to print out, autograph and send in, so one can be included with each issue - maybe).

Step Two would be to print off a limited run (say a dozen or so issues, individually numbered and maybe containing an autograph or two or whatever might add a bit of extra value) and then auction them off.

Step Three would be to release the finished comic through Lulu (or something) at a set price for anyone to order.

Lastly, a cheap pdf version to download.

First thing to do would be to get as many creators firmly aboard as possible for the initial character auctions. So, who's willing/able/free to donate a day's worth of art or writing to this project?

Second; deadline. It has been pointed out to me that this project might need to be completed quickly, but I don't know. I was looking at the Japanese calendar and two dates suggested themselves to me for deadlines:

1: The Japanese festival of "Obon," (an annual Buddhist event for commemorating one's ancestors) which occurs in mid-August. This festival may also suggest a title and theme for the comic.

2: New Year (shogatsu or oshogatsu). "Years are traditionally viewed as completely separate, with each new year providing a fresh start. Consequently, all duties are supposed to be completed by the end of the year, while bonenkai parties ("year forgetting parties") are held with the purpose of leaving the old year's worries and troubles behind."

Maybe both dates could be used for different stages of the project.

So, what do you reckon? (Be honest!) Of course, I'd be more than willing to do most of the "heavy lifting" on this project - but, having learned a bit from "SuperSquirrel Undefeated!" and "Jikan: The Flood" I'd be very happy to have your help on this, if you think it's a workable idea and have the time to chip in.

So, any thoughts? Any volunteers to help me set it up and get stuff rolling? Anybody knowledgeable enough about Japanese culture to help ensure the project doesn't end up being in poor taste? Anybody got photos of Tharg in a compromising position? Any creators willing to donate a day or so sometime over the next five months?

Off Topic / “Truth? You can't handle the truth!”
« on: 18 March, 2011, 06:52:29 pm »

As you may know, I've hijacked a couple of threads lately with my “alternative views” of the world. Although I'm not sorry I did this, I am a little uncomfortable. I've been asking myself why I would do such a thing; why would I think that anyone is interested in such outlandish views? Do I want to convert people, to thrust my face into yours and scream “Look! Look what They are doing to us!” Am I mad? Has my mind snapped? They say that a madman never knows that he's mad – is that what's happened to me? Am I howling at the moon? Am I broken?

Or is there something in it? There is little likelihood that such a big question could ever be answered on a forum about 2000AD, but I thought I'd float this thread in case anyone wants to discuss “alternative” views. If nothing else, it'll give me a place to rant and rave without upsetting the forum in general. My own virtual rubber room. Feel free to point and giggle – I won't be offended.

I remember watching the events of 9/11 unfolding moment by sickening moment on TV. Aircraft smashing into buildings. People jumping to their doom rather than waiting to be burned alive. New York suffocating under great, white clouds of pulverized concrete. First Responders heroically but with aching futility searching for survivors in that terrible aftermath. Tears. Pain. Death. Anger.

And then watching, with a chasm of dread in the pit of my stomach, as the United States of America went mad, dragging the rest of the world after it. The most powerful nation on Earth, the one with the biggest guns and the most bullets, shaking its fist and declaring that “you're either with us or against us.” I was with America that day. I felt its pain. I felt its fear. I felt its anger. I still do.

I was dimly aware that a few lone voices were crying “foul!” and blaming not Muslim terrorists but their own government and I thought these people mad. The U.S. Government, I believed, would not perpetrate such a despicable act against its own people. The very idea was unthinkable and an insult to all who died on that dark day.

It wasn't until around 2005 or 2006 that I began to have doubts of my own about exactly what did happen on 9/11. There were, I found, some unsettling questions. Thinking still that these questions were probably just landmines planted by anti-government malcontents I decided to look into these questions for myself, to convince myself that what I was being told was the truth and that these questions were trivial and easily answered and dismissed. I soon discovered, however, that many of these questions were difficult to answer and led to some very frightening places.

I had never heard of the collapse of the third tower, WTC7, until an internet friend of mine (whose intellect and knowledge of all things scientific dwarf my own as a redwood dwarfs a thistle) told me about it. Even then I didn't believe it because I didn't want to believe it. But those pesky questions remained and led me deep into a place I didn't want to go – to a place I still don't want to be in.

I continued my research (although the word “research” in this case is a much grander word than my meagre web-trawling sessions merits) and suddenly found myself confronted with a world I had hitherto not even dreamed existed. A world of ruling elites, corrupt central banks, rotten governments, biased media, fake wars, conspiracies and a whole raft of outlandish theories and frightening facts. The world, I realized, was not as I thought it was. It was like seeing a boom-mike dip into the top of the picture in a film or TV show. As if the illusion had been broken, the fourth wall cracked just enough for me to glimpse the other side.

I haven't started this thread to go through all the questions raised by 9/11 – there are a million and one sites on the internet dedicated to such things – but to ask if it's possible that things are not quite as they appear to be in this world of ours. Is it possible that there is a hidden struggle going on for “control” of the world's population? Are we nothing but cattle, or “sheeple” as some observers and commentators call us? If so, what can we do about it?

So, here's a thread where we can discuss truth and lies – if you so desire. The thread may, of course, sink without a trace into the background hiss of the internet but, given everything that has happened and continues to happen as a result of 9/11 should we not at least cursorily examine what's going on, or not, behind the scenes, or not, in our societies?

Over to you, my friends. Let the madness commence...

Off Topic / Martian Life Form or Just Another Rock?
« on: 24 November, 2010, 10:21:56 pm »

Creative Common / Inspirational Images
« on: 17 October, 2010, 01:46:57 pm »
Sometimes I come across inspiring images on the internet that really should be shared with creative people - but where to put such imagination-sparking pictures? Here?

Bit of a Strontium Dog vibe coming from this. It's not Durham Red, obviously - Gateshead Black, maybe?

General / The Secret Project
« on: 30 July, 2010, 12:19:39 am »
Some of you will already have received a message from me concerning this Top Secret Project. Many have already replied to indicate a willingness to take part in the Top Secret Project.

If you would also like to take part in the Top Secret Project, please email me at

sharkpool AT sharkpool DOT f9 DOT co DOT uk

and I'll send you the details of the Top Secret Project. Even Tharg has offered to help in this Top Secret Project, along with many droids, protodroids and Squaxx. This is a project. It is Top Secret.

Your computer will now explode.

Off Topic / Show Us Yer Rubber, Creep!
« on: 26 July, 2010, 03:51:59 pm »
A couple of weeks ago in the Yap Shop it came to light that many of us own gas masks or, as Commando Forces insist we call them on pain of pain, respirators.

Here's mine:

Anyone else feel like sharing?

Events / One Year Old
« on: 30 June, 2010, 11:31:37 pm »
It's my birthday on July 5th (44, dammit) - and also the Rowdy Yates Block Citizens' Yap Shop over at www.paltalk.com is just over a year old. Yaay!

So, to celebrate a year of chat that's seen such visitors as John Wagner, Pat Mills, Carlos Ezquerra and the ever present and much loved Colin MacNeil, amongst other droids too numerous and talented to mention, I thought we'd try for a little party.

I'm going to email as many droids as I can and if any agree to attend, I'll post their names here. If anyone else would like to attend this one-off on-line party, or if you know anybody who might be interested, or know any droids, or are a droid and you want to call by for a jolly good chatter about nothing in particular, please come along!

The time and place is next Wednesday, the 7th of July and let's say eight-ish until whenever.

What do you all reckon? There's only a week so it might all come to naught but, what the Hell, shall we give it a go?

Games / Starfleet Commander on Facebook
« on: 04 June, 2010, 07:18:56 pm »
I swore I'd never get sucked in to one of these things, but here I am trying to build up enough resources and technology to build a Hephaestus Class Attack Platform and avoid getting crushed by more powerful players.

Anyone else addicted to this bloody thing?

Off Topic / The Political Thread
« on: 09 April, 2010, 03:59:03 pm »
As the "election" is coming up, when we'll all be asked to vote on the people the Power Elite tell us to vote for, I thought we might as well have a political thread for this and other political comments.

I'll kick off by posting this here:

"Dear friends,

Take a look at this: http://www.38degrees.org.uk/clean-up-lobbying

I've just emailed my local election candidates to demand that they support new rules to ban secret lobbying to help clean up politics.

Whether it's tobacco advertising, arms deals, GM food, or airport expansion, companies pay people to try to influence government. We've got a right to know what they're doing, especially when its our prospective MPs who are working as lobbyists.

Please email your candidates now and ask them to commit to lobbying transparency, it only takes two minutes: http://www.38degrees.org.uk/clean-up-lobbying


Off Topic / Photoshop Tennis II: Free For All
« on: 22 March, 2010, 12:36:11 pm »
The Photoshop Tennis thread we did last year was fun, but spoiled by the strict turn order.

Let's have another go. This time, just take the last image on the thread and do as thou wilt with it. We'll get a few people doing different things to the same image occasionally, but what the Hell?

Rule 1: Keep the original image size (in pixels).
Rule 2: Always build upon the latest posted image (ie, no skipping backwards to use earlier images).
Rule 3: Have fun.

And to kick us off, a bit of Jock/Blythe Dreddy goodness...

Books & Comics / A J. R. Hartley Moment
« on: 06 March, 2010, 06:56:12 pm »
Ah, comics - and comics people! I come before you to beg humbly for help...

In the late eighties or early nineties, I had a two-page comic strip entitled "The Adventures of Burnley Smith" published in a "Viz-Alike" comic called "Trout." I think it was in either issue three or four (the last issue before the comic folded).

I used to have a copy of said comic, but alas this was lost many years ago. There was this woman, you see, and this argument... Well, I've never seen it since.

Does the Hive Collection include any Trout comics? Does the Hive Mind know where there is one? Help me, JR Hartley, you're my only hope!

Film & TV / Pat Mills on TV NOW
« on: 22 January, 2010, 04:22:11 pm »
Pat Mills is being interviewed on Sky Channel 200 RIGHT NOW

Also straming here:  http://www.justin.tv/edgemediatv#r=KyRP0YI

Off Topic / The Intercourse of Beautiful People
« on: 06 January, 2010, 06:02:49 pm »
You read the word "intercourse" and thought I was on about SEX, didn't you? Well, I wasn't on about SEX at all, but SEX sells and so I deliberately tricked you into thinking about SEX through cunning use of the word "intercourse," by which I mean not SEX but chat.

Web chat, to be frank.

It's a New Year, so why not make a resolution to nip in to our snuggly Twoothy-based chat room on Wednesday nights? It's not as good as SEX, but it's better than bleeding to death in a rat infested sewer.

If you have a pc, download and install the Paltalk chat client (it's free to install and use) from here: http://www.paltalk.com/index.php

Mac and Unix can join in the fun (also free) via this page: http://www.paltalk.com/express/

Once you get Paltalk (which is free, or did I mention that?) working, you can find our thrillpowered room under: Miscellaneous/Other/Rowdy Yates Block Citizens Yap Shop

You'd be surprised who visits us. Colin MacNeil (yes, the very same) joins us regularly and PJ Holden has been known to drop in from time to time as well. I'm going to try to get some more creators in this year for Q&A sessions, maybe, or maybe just for a chinwag.

Most people drift in between 20:00 and 21:00, some much later, and the room is open into the wee smalls. So, come on down and have a natter and please accept my apologies for luring you into this thread with the promise of SEX.

Creative Common / 2000AD Posters
« on: 16 December, 2009, 01:06:19 pm »
Earlier in the year, my local printer (for whom I occasionally provide artwork) gained access to a proper poster printing machine. I created a few images for him which he used to promote his business and he asked me if I'd any ideas for using this machine.

Well, yes. I do have an idea, but it's pretty niche and I have no idea how to proceed so I thought I'd pick the communal brains of the forum.

My idea was to create vector images based on classic 2000AD covers and panels (I'll post the ones I've done so far at the end of this thread) and to keep the style of the original artist. Once vectorised, these images could be blown up to any size without becoming blocky or blurred. Initially, this idea was purely for my own personal use but then I thought, hey, maybe other Squaxx may want copies also. That's when I kind of lost my way.

I emailed Rebellion some months ago to ask the following questions but, unfortunately, did not receive any reply. So, I thought I'd ask you lot.

1: Is there a market for this stuff? Would you buy one and how much would you be prepared to pay?

2: If I were to sell these privately, at cost, what permissions would I need?

3: If I were to sell these for a small profit on Ebay, for example, what permissions would I need? Would Rebellion require a percentage of the net profits or what?

4: What wording, in regards to copyright, would need to be on the posters?

Once I have the answers to these questions, I'll know if/how to proceed. If all goes well, I'd love to vectorise more classic images for posterisation and I'm sure that at least some Squaxx have favourite images/covers/panels they'd love to see on their walls in glorious poster form.

Any help or advice anyone could give would be much appreciated. This is my initial exploration of the feasibility of this project, and if anyone from Rebellion is reading this, then I'd be most interested in hearing from you.

Anyway, here are the images I've vectorised so far:

("King of the Streets" is not quite finished yet.)

Off Topic / The Wee Smalls
« on: 14 September, 2009, 02:15:02 am »
It's 02:15am and I'm still sat at my computer. Around me the majority of the country sleeps, fitfully no doubt, storing up energy for the working day which is only a few hours away. I don't have a job at the moment. Society regards me as useless. So I sit here, a pointless, idle human being with only a small, grumpy old Patterdale Terrier for company, browsing through the 2000ADonline website and wondering where it all went wrong. Or where it all went right.

Being out of the rat race may be socially unacceptable, but it certainly is peaceful. Sure, I've got no money to indulge in such things as travel, Sky TV, the latest gadgets, assembling an impressive collection of graphic novels, eating properly, developing a drug habit or hiring hookers, but I find that the less I have, the more content I become. Not for me the constant worry of earning enough to pay the rent or paying off credit cards and loans that will never be cleared. As an old farmer I used to know when I was a hard-working youth used to say, "I've got nothing, but that nothing is all mine."

Poor without debt is better than a prince, as the old proverb goes, and I was lucky enough to be able to pay off all my debts some years ago with a miserly redundancy package. Nothing was left after I'd paid my debts off. I cost the state about £100 per week (Gordon Brown costs the state about £3,596 per week excluding allowances, MPs cost about £1,245.50 per week excluding allowances, and none of them post here, so far as I know). On the one hand, society abhors me; on the other, I'm largely happy.

I try to put something back into society through my work as a parish councillor - but still I am regarded as a parasite. I try to help people. I try to amuse and entertain people through mediums such as this very message board. I don't always succeed, but I try. No matter what I do, I don't seem to be worth that £100 per week.

These are some of the thoughts that keep me awake into the wee small hours of the morning. What keeps you up so late?

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