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June 2006 Archives

June 4, 2006


On Friday, I had a longish talk with my brother about his creative endeavours and mine. He mentioned that whatever he planned to do, he'd find himself losing interest and not finishing it. What I found interesting was that the sort of projects he mentioned as examples were things like cleaning up and remixing old recordings of the various bands he was in, editing videos he had lying around unfinished, and other projects that involved a lot of digging through old stuff, cataloguing it, improving what already exists, trying to finish what didn't get done when it should have been. Hearing that was like having a mirror held up to me - it's exactly what I've been doing for over a year, and I'm heartily sick of it.
My brother's projects, and mine, are the sort you start on when you don't feel up to the task of setting up something new. My brother's a father and a full-time wage slave, and all his old bandmates apart from me are either one or both of those things, so reviving his old bands for serious performing commitments has proved elusive, and setting up new bands even more so. So instead, he remixes his old recordings. In my case, I've found myself a bit stressed-out from doing long ambitious comics, and also a bit frustrated that the finished work on those was a bit uneven. I didn't want to start a new long storyline until I was damned sure that I had an idea that was worth pursuing and that I could keep the process under control. Also, I was spending more time having meetings, doing research for each new project, planning and trying to get organised. And I didn't want to burn out again. All these things made me very reluctant to plunge into a new storyline, but while I was getting things into place, I could keep the schedule going by translating and posting old work. On a per-episode basis, this takes a lot less time than drawing new work (although it does often take more time than I would have hoped), so I could use some of the time saved for setting up the Chronicles of the Witch Queen site, remaster some of my side-comics (Pindrop and Unfantasy, for example), transcribe the archives in OhNoRobot, and generally fix things up that needed fixing.
The problem is that all of these things are sort of interesting to do, and they're definitely useful: I want my web archive to be the best it can be, and that means having polished scans and searchable pages are good things with a capital G. But taken together, over the long run, these projects turn into albatrosses around my neck. They take more time than planned, seeing them through to the end is a bit of a drag, and at the end of the day, they're not creative. They act as surrogates for the true creative act, using energy and effort that should have been used for making something new.

I wonder if this is a common pitfall for artists. From talking to my brother, I suspect that it might be. (Another pitfall that I think is commonplace, at least with webcartoonists, is that of simplifying ones art to be able to make deadlines. Works well if you do it only once, for a short time, to get out of a tricky deadline situation, but if you do it again and again, then in the long run, you take all the fun out of creating the art in the first place. So the simplified art ends up taking as long to make as the more complex art, simply because it's become a chore. Eventually, the artist gives up. I've avoided that pitfall so far though.)

Luckily for me, a lot of my albatrosses are about to fall from my neck. Tomorrow, the remastered Guðrún will start its run on the Chronicles of the Witch Queen website. On Tuesday, Geir and Daniel's Alcydia will start its own serialisation at the same website, after many delays. Adam Cuerden has agreed to act as a script editor for Alcydia and he's been doing a great job whipping Geir's self-translation from the Norwegian into shape and making sure it matches Daniel's visuals again. Finally, I'm now very close to finishing the transcription project. I really want that one out of my life, so this morning I bit the bullet and transcribed over 40 episodes, most of them from 2002. The list of comics to transcribe now shows several non-ROCR sidecomics, a good number of recent episodes and a few ones from 2001 and 2004 that are a bit problematic for various reasons (if you want to help transcribe ROCR comics, best to leave anything from before 2006 alone). Soon, the list will become shorter until it only contains the latest few comics. By that time, it will no longer be a project but a minor chore. Good riddance.
I wish I could guarantee that the end of these projects will lead to more new comics. My best guess is "not yet, not quite". But I'm sure it'll help.

June 5, 2006

Guðrún remasters start

Intro to Gudrun - click!

The first, introductory, page of the remastered edition of Guðrún is now up over on the Chronicles of the Witch Queen website. The whole 64-page story will run there in three full-page installments a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. When it's done, I'll replace the installments that are on the Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan website with 800-pixels-wide half-page installments from the new master files.

Guðrún is the story of Duchess Guðrún's kidnapping in Iceland. Tamlin's gang join up with the infamous Baron von Fieffelfalsfaffel to find out what exactly has happened and rescue the Duchess. I wrote and drew this story between 1998 and 2000 and still like it a lot. Considering how I usually hate my old work, that's saying something.

Consumer warning: Transmission records

Mithandir reports:

I hereby implore you NOT TO BUY ANY albums produced by the Transmission Records label. The reason? Copy protection.

See, I don't own a CD player. I got a PC with a good sound card and good speakers and I have a portable mp3 player. So the first thing I do when I legally buy a CD is rip the tracks to mp3's so I can actually listen to them. But now I have two CD's that ... well I can't listen to them. Oh sure, they put a bunch of 128kbps encoded wma's on the CD too, but my portable player can't understand those and while my PC does, they are of crap quality with a tonal range more usually associated with early 30's sound recordings. 1830's at that.

On top of that, the CD runs a 2.2 Mb autorun.exe file when you insert it into your PC. This starts up WMP to play the wma's.... right ...

Look, I'm a programmer. You don't need a 2.2 Mb .exe (and some additinoal DLL's, data files and configuration files) if all you're doing is starting a program. Heck, you don't need a .exe at all. So they're doing something else there and they're not telling what.

Oh, also there is NO indication on the box that a copy protection system is used in these. The only external indication is a small logo on the CD itself (which you all know they take out in the CD store to prevent theft so you only get to see that after buying the CD). This logo sits right underneath the official "Compact Disc digital audio" logo. I'm not a lawyer, but Reinder informs me that it is illegal for a CD with copy protection to bear that logo.

About that last paragraph: we've been discussing the problem in IRC and I've been trying, unsuccesfully, to help Mith get those tracks to his computer. How well "Copy Protection" works depends on what combination of OS and CD-ROM firmware is running. There's a good chance that I might be able to rip these CDs by simply sticking the CD into my iBook, or by installing my old 16-speed CD-ROM player into my PC.

Anyway, I don't know much about the legal intricacies of logo-compliance, but what I've read over the past few years is that Phillips, who own the CD audio format patent will only licence it to, and allow the old Compact Disc Digital Audio label to be used by, labels that put out CDs that comply strictly to their standards, which do not include "copy protection" measures. I don't know if any lawsuit on this issue was ever brought to completion, but my belief as a reasonably well-informed layperson is that Transmission are in breach of Phillips patents and, at the very least, morally culpable of defrauding their customers, as well as harrassing them with malware and selling them a broken product. Don't reward these practices with your money.

By the way... why do pre-ripped tracks on CDs and DVDs always have to be so bad? I got some awful ones included with Ian Gillan's recent Gillan's Inn album, and it seemed to be that there was no reason for them to be as badly done as they were; they were there as bonus tracks on an otherwise excellent dual-disc package, not as a consolation prize for customers bamboozled into buying a defective, "copy-protected" disc. And the filesizes weren't particularly small. Is there someone who does the pre-ripping for all record companies and who happens to be deaf?

June 6, 2006

Alcydia starts at Webcomicsnation

Alcydia page 1 - click!

Alcydia by Daniel Østvold and Geir Strøm has started on the Chronicles of the Witch Queen website. It will run in full-page installments on Tuesdays and Thursdays, until finished. Alcydia is intended to be read parallel with Guðrún, which relaunched yesterday. In both stories, Duchess Guðrún of Dungill Fens is kidnapped during a stay in Iceland, and it's up to Tamlin's gang and the Baron von Fieffelfalsfaffel to find and rescue her.

Many thanks to Adam Cuerden for his editorial input, especially in the second half of the story.

A familiar face, plus albatrosses, continued.

There's a familiar face, to Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan readers at least, in today's Chasing the Sunset. Some of the readers are already taking notice...

In other news: two albatrosses removed, one to go. The transcription project is now for all practical purposes finished with only some mopping up left to do. It'll need keeping up to date but this is a process that can be largely automated. And I just posted all the updates for the Guðrún remasters. Unless I've made some bad mistakes, I won't have to think about it until the serialisation ends on October 30. Of course, it's very likely that I've miscounted something or did something else wrong that will require me to go back to work on the project, but those problems, while annoying, aren't as much of a mental burden as the constant nagging feeling that I ought to be finishing this up. Even the update reminders I'll be posting here during the first week are all scheduled to appear automagically.

So the rest of the day will be devoted to creative therapy. I need to get some drawing practice in, so I'll be doodling whatever takes my fancy, plus sketching out some locations for King Groy and taking a life drawing class in the evening. Good.

June 7, 2006

Rilstone decodes Daily Express reporting

Sometimes I feel like I should just use my RSS scraper to stick a copy of Andrew Rilstone's blog in mine (to do so without his permission, though, would arguably be a form of plagiarism). He doesn't write much but he's always a great read. Today, he reads the Daily Express so you don't have to. Or rather, he read it for a week last month, but has now recovered enough to post an analysis. Drop what you're doing and read it. The blog post, I mean, not the Daily Express.

Guðrún, continued

Gudrun introduction page 2
Just to remind you that there's an update for the remastered Guðrún today. Page two of the series introduction.

June 8, 2006

Alcydia, continued

Alcydia page 2 - click!
Page 2 of Alcydia is up.

June 9, 2006

Guðrún remasters update

Gudrun page 1, properly - click

There's a new page of the remastered Guðrún up, and with this one, the story begins in earnest. A hapless traveler trudges through the snow... what danger lurks in the frozen forest?

June 11, 2006

The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit

...turned out all right. I'm in no mood to write a full review, but for the record, I liked it. Next week's trailer looks interesting as well. Won't see that one until the Monday after, at the earliest, though.

June 12, 2006

All in all, fortune smiles

The tendon on the outside of my right ankle hurts, and has done so for two weeks. My doctor has told me to take it easy with the running until it's better, and replace my running shoes. Luckily, the pool is really quite inviting with the recent weather.

I have written a four-pager for an anthology of cartoonists from Groningen, and partly drawn it. It initially looked like I wasn't going to get it ready in time for the deadline, but it now turns out that that deadline, despite what it said in the call for submissions, wasn't entirely set in stone, so I might still get it done in time. The comic itself has a nice me-in-1998 vibe to it, which I like. I drew a lot of great short comics that year, things that I can still look at now and think "yeah, that was all right".
Writing on next season's Gang of 4 is also progressing well. I've got a loose first gag idea, and I've done the necessary ground work of refining the characters to make them more distinct from one another. It looks like this year, sparks will fly between Amber and Ruben in particular. I like that and am very interested to see where that goes. That took about an hour and a half, so at that rate I'll have a lot of the season scripted by the end of next week. I'll try to have at least several episodes and a good overview of the story arc.
I have also storyboarded the first draft of a crossover between Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan and The Bare-Pit, in a way that sets a minor ROCR character up for her own comic series, should I choose to do that. I'll send the script to Bare-Pit creator Stephen so he can check if I've written the characters right.
I have money in the bank, somehow. A week ago, I was €100 in the red and worrying about when that was going to be made up. Now, at least two of my workshop clients appear to have paid me, keeping me in the black for a few more weeks.
I have been invited for a job interview at a local software localisation firm! I'd more or less given up on that, but presumably their initial batch of candidates didn't turn out so well in interviews.

On balance:
Hear me roar.

June 13, 2006

Yay Sofa!

My reviews of the new Doctor Who episodes have been pretty brief lately. My problem with the series isn't that it's suddenly become bad - it's worse than that. Season 2 of the new series has shaped up to be a very ordinary sort of series. Every week, we get a perfectly entertaining, competently-made action adventure that could just as easily have been any other series.

But not everyone feels that way, and it's nice to know that some traditions are being maintained:

(37) "Oh. Dear. God." says Adam slowly and distinctly. "Exactly. The. Opposite," says Dad. Harry abandons his cushion and races behind the sofa, closely followed by Amy. For the next few minutes, they're like meercats, popping up and down depending on whether the Beast is on screen or not.

(From The Fear Forecast which is always fun to read. The kids rated "The Satan Pit" 5 out of 5, or "terrifying", by the way.)

June 14, 2006

Correct order for Chronicles of the Witch Queen stories

The correct chronological running order for the Chronicles of the Witch Queen stories is as follows:

  1. The Double
  2. Christmas at Blocksberg
  3. The Eye of the Underworld
  4. Thousandstab
  5. Staff Cutbacks
  6. Alcydia / Guðrún
  7. Courtly Manners
  8. Courtly Manners 2: The Unicorn Race

Webcomicsnation doesn't offer any means of changing the order in which stories are shown on the front page - they're shown in the order their database entries were added to the site. This may change in the future, I hope. I like being able to move blocks around like I can do in WillowCMS.

June 15, 2006

Willard Mullin on animals

The Animation Archive has some lovely samples of a Famous Artists cartooning coursebook showing how sports cartoonist Willard Mullin drew animals. It's lovely lovely stuff, inspiring and educational. I like it extra because it will help me settle a long-standing argument with studio-mate E. in my favour: Mullin names the joints of an animal according to their structural correspondence with human joints, not their functional ones (otherwise what Mullin calls the wrist would be called a knee). That'll teach E. to look at me funny when I try to describe animal parts.

June 16, 2006

...and it all comes crashing down

On Tuesday, the day after I posted All in all, fortune smiles, I spent the day outside at the lake, then rode my bike home to fetch a couple of Hello You!s to show to my workshop students, rode to the school, lost my sense of where I was and where I was going, spent the actual workshop sweating buckets and generally crashed and burned. Heat stroke exhaustion, I guess. Since then, I've been struggling to write the first-in-series Gang of 4 episodes, and those two things together, which may or may not be causally related to one another, have taken me off my high of the week before that. Things that didn't bother me last Monday, such as the pain in my foot and the realisation that decisions I made when I thought I was going to draw that book contribution in a hurry would come back to haunt me now that the deadline had been extended, are now pushing me into a state of depression and worry.
Objectively, I'm not worse off than I was before. I'm a little behind schedule with the Gang of 4 scripting, but I have written 3 viable scripts whose main flaw is that they aren't the first one. I have identified a flaw in the series concept that is making the writing more difficult (the ensemble cast is making it hard for me to develop characters properly) and have contacted my editors about last-minute tweaks to the series concept and title. Yes, my foot hurts but I've had worse injuries. Yes, correcting errors is a drag, but hey, I've got time? Yes, I need to hand in tax stuff or ask for another extention. I can do one or the other, surely?

Five days ago none of this would have bothered me. Now it does. I'm going on a trip tomorrow and a nagging voice is telling me that I mustn't, that I must stay put and slog until the backlog is cleared. I know that won't work. I know that time away from the studio will make me feel better and fresher come Monday. But depression has a way of perpetuating itself.

God, I miss running. That was the one thing I could always rely on to break the cycle. Maybe I should just bite the bullet on Monday and train inspite of the injury, even if it's only with the beginners.

June 19, 2006

Love and Monsters

Well, I'm all out of love. So much potential in the idea of a group of Doctor obsessives. So badly squandered on hackneyed story ideas.
We've known since series 1 episode 1, "Rose" that there were people who have noticed the reoccurrence of the Doctor throughout history and gone a bit nutty over it. In "Love and Monsters", we get five of them. Five people with their own backgrounds and their own reasons,major trauma and loss for some of them, mere curiosity for others, to lose themselves in the quest for the Doctor. They meet, exchange theories, ideas, even fan art, and out of their meetings grows something else, a stronger bond, a purpose in life. I was actually touched by that. I instantly sympathised with the characters, sketchy as they were, and found myself rooting for them. It's a lovely mirror to fandom, or fandoms, the social networks and subcultures they form, and the way fan groups move on beyond what brought them together into real friendships that otherwise would have been prevented by barriers of age, class and location.

Then the monster*) shows up and the whole thing goes to shit. I don't mean for the characters although they do get picked off one at a time**) (and I don't feel bad about spoiling this at all. When this episode comes on in your area, whether you see it on Scifi Channel or Nederland 3 in a year's time, don't waste your time on it - go do something else instead). I mean disastrously bad writing. After the monster appears, the story unfolds in an utterly predictable manner: the monster, in disguise, asks to speak one member of the group after another to speak with him in private, then eats, sorry, absorbs that member while the others walk away from the meeting place, oblivious to the screams (honestly, I'm doing you a favour by spoiling this). The one thing that isn't predictable is the very end when the writer makes the Doctor do something that completely contradicts everything he stood for in the past two series (not to mention what I've seen of the twenty-odd seasons before that): he partly resurrects the love interest and last victim of the episode's hero, trapping her mind and face in a piece of pavement so the hero can go on loving her forever and ever and she can go on giving him blowjobs for all of eternity. Errr... what? Whatever happens to the idea that everything ends?
Don't get me started on the Scooby Doo chase in the beginning of the episode, by the. Just don't. The only things that redeemed the episode somewhat, except for the setup, were the scenes with Jackie Tyler. The writing in those was cheesy too, but at least it succeeded in being funny, and Camille Coduri has grown into the character so much she can make any old rubbish work.
And any old rubbish is exactly what this script was. I'll need to make a note of who the writer was so I can avoid his work in the future. Update: It was Russell T. Davies himself, which means that avoiding his work will be very difficult. On the other hand, he is capable of turning in good stuff. Sometimes.

*) I mean the real monster, not the thing with the teeth that went "RAWR!" at the beginning. The thing with the teeth that went "RAWR!" at the beginning served its purpose well enough.

**) Sort of like Series 2 has been doing until now.

Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan story "The New Sheriff"

A "new" Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan storyline started today: The New Sheriff from 1994. It'll be the last of the 1990s storylines that I will publish on the site. In fact, in my opinion it pretty much represents the final scrape at the bottom of the barrel; there is more unpublished stuff but I think I might just burn it, and this one only just about made the cut, mostly because it introduces the Sheriff as a character. He will play a major part in the revised "King Groy" story and in the short story "Feral" that I've got planned.

Right now, I'm not sure which of those two I'll run first, by the way. For the past few months, it's been my intention to run "King's Drama" first, because that would immediately close the gap that exists in the archives. But the writing on a crucial early scene has proven to be difficult, and it may soon become harder for me to work on a project of that size, because I just might have a 32-hour job soon. "Feral", in any case, is already largely scripted; the script already exists in at least two revisions. And it's a much more manageable story of about 20 pages.

Neither story will run immediately after "The New Sheriff", anyway. I will first rerun some material that has been published here and there on the web, and maybe some of the guest comics that I never fully transfered off the Keenspace server when I switched to using Xepher.net and WillowCMS. Those things together should tide me over through the summer without missing any updates.

June 21, 2006

Job interview

I'm one of three candidates for a rather well-paid translator's job in Groningen. Today, I had the job interview, my first "proper" job interview in five years, for the first non-comics job I applied for in five years. I'll have to do a trial translation for them, and on the basis of that, the company will decide who gets the job.

It's full-time and likely to be demanding, so it will have an impact on my work in webcomics, or comics in general. Now may be a good time to approach me about doing Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan guest comics - it's actually been a while.

I'm not going to name the company or go into detail about the kind of work or the sort of clients the company has. Let's talk about ties instead! I'm always a bit embarrassed by the fact that I don't know how to tie a tie without detailed instructions including diagrams. But considering that Googling for "How to tie a tie" returns many results from websites specialising in just that, it's probably not rare or something to be ashamed of at all.

I actually sort of like wearing a tie, a couple of times a decade. But I haven't quite found out how to wear one comfortably. Without the tie, my suit would actually be the most comfortable combination of clothing I own - certainly better than jeans. Unfortunately, the tie, so far, spoils the whole deal. But then it may just be my own shameful! incompetence at tieing it.

I found the job interview experience extremely tiring, even though this one wasn't exactly a third degree. It was all very pleasant, with the owner/director doing most of the talking. Nevertheless, the preparation for the interview, and the interview itself have taken it out of me. I'm knackered.

"Cyberspace for Girls"

I read about this in the Dagblad van het Noorden: A pilot project at six primary schools in Drenthe showed that girls develop better computing skills if they're taught those skills separate from boys. Without boys present, the article claims, girls develop more interest in computing and find out that they can work with computers as well as boys can.

Personally, I find the idea of separating students by gender repulsive. But if that's what it takes to free girls from their own prejudices, and makes them work better in that one area. But what if it applies to all areas of academic achievement? Girls in the 10-12 age range are ahead of boys the same age, physically and mentally, and maybe boys are holding them back in other fields as well. But segregated classes don't seem to me to be a good way to prepare boys or girls for adult life, so... in two minds about this one, definitely.

Re: the title: "Cyberspace for Girls" is what the project is called, which puts me in mind of books like "Gravity Explained for Ladies" that were published in the 19th Century, and also of <blink> tags and the phrase "Information Superhighway".
(untranslated article below the cut, because I'll want to remember this one in case it ends up in a Gang of Four plot)

Continue reading ""Cyberspace for Girls"" »

June 22, 2006

"Our chief weapon is surprise!"

OK, this, posted at scans_daily , is making me feel better about the Monty Python lifts in my early comics. If DC comics got away with it in one of their flagship titles, so should I.

Sony Rootkit update

Perfect Porridge has a few words to say on the Sony Rootkit settlement. Seems that after selling their customers spyware-infested "CDs", offering a "removal solution" that forced users to jump through hoops to get control of their PCs back and in the end made things worse, and finally being forced to replace the defective products and compensate users, they have found a way to further compound the annoyance they've caused:

Remember in late 2005 when Sony put out CDs that contained malicious rootkit spyware that infiltrated their "paying" customers' computers and left huge gaping holes for hackers?

Remember how the patch they issued actually opened up larger holes? And then remember that the final patch actually used stolen copyrighted code, no less?

Well, we're sorry to say, we fell victim to the Sony scam. And over the past 230 days (as of today, 6/20/06), we've had more than 20 back and forth e-mails with Sony Customer Service, more than 4 hours logged on the phone and still have not had our case settled.

Throughout the course of this, we actually saved other Sony customers many headaches. We single-handedly discovered the toll-free customer support line number on their DRM Web site was disconnected. We single-handedly pointed out they weren't mailing the list of available settlement albums to customers who wanted to use iTunes (not the SonyCONNECT service, which they strongly push- like we'll ever use Sony again, right). We also persisted where many would give up, as countless CSRs transferred us around the country - treating us like we were inconveniencing them.


June 25, 2006

Fear her (spoilers)

So there is hope.

"Fear Her" was actually quite silly and too much like "The Idiot's Lantern" in basic plot, but at least the ingredients were all there: the episode got a few good frights in, had some funny moments that actually worked, and was at least directed and performed in a way that allowed me to lose myself in the story, rather than what happened last week, when small mistakes of timing and cutting (not to mention some really obvious clichés) broke the illusion for me.
I could have done without the animated child's drawings, and I could have done without the black road construction worker as comic relief - I don't think the team intended to single out a black character for that, after all the central character and her mum were also dark-skinned, but something about him left a bad taste in my mouth. I also could have done with tighter plotting, with less of the coincidence and the convenient plot resolution. So the alien of the week just happened to land in a pot hole that the road worker was pouring hot tarmac over, that just happened to be in the vicinity of a house where a child was feeling lonely, and happened to do that in the year of the London Olympics, and it just happened to need the Olympic Flame and its symbolism to reboot its spacecraft? Give me a break, and in any case that last aspect of it was bloody silly even without the coincidence. I also could have done without Rose's daddy issues, although I now realise that's all been part of the setup.

Nevertheless, for all that didn't work about this episode, it ended up clearing the bar, if only just. By the end, I was happy for the little girl and her mum as well as sympathetic to the Doctor and Rose as they separated themselves from the festivities at the end. I could even put up with them musing portentously in the final 30 seconds.

Next week: Surprise, surprise, the parallel-earth Cybermen will be back!But you know, it could just turn out all right. Though the narrative format may be a bit of a hindrance here, as that sort of stuff makes things heavy-handed.

Some people have been giving out marks out of 10 for these episodes. I haven't, but if I did this one would be 6/10. Delivers the goods, could have been really good if the scriptwriter had tried harder.

Random thought: This episode could be characterised as a bit of a filler, a cheaply-made item to fit between the last epic two-parter and the two-part finale. So could "Love and Monsters" which was set up so it could be filmed simultaneously with another ep. Two fillers in a row can't be good for a series' momentum - but why have fillers at all? There are only 13 episodes in each series! "The Girl in the Fireplace" basically screamed to be expanded into a two-parter, and there were one or two more that would have benefited from a slower pace. No wonder people are getting fed up.

June 26, 2006


They're not actually German, and they're not actually time travelers from the year 1982, but Belgian electro-clashers Ringel-S could have fooled me. They have the right sunglasses as well.

I saw Ringel-S at the 4th Heaven & Hell Darkwave mini-festival on Friday. I was there because my friend Danny's band Swansdown were opening, and I was kind of curious about the headliner, veteran Goths Clan of Xymox. Swansdown were pretty good and had the good sense to bring dancers so we'd have something to look at other than their mugs. Xymox turned out to be very similar to Swansdown (probably the other way around, natch) but more seasoned, professional and bombastic. Unfortunately they went onstage at 12, at which point I was already quite knackered and didn't feel like listening to any more music, so I left. If they'd come on two hours earlier I probably would have loved them.

I'm not sure Ringel-S, who came on between the two other bands, properly belonged on the bill as they are a lot lighter in tone. But I loved them instantly. They get that Kraftwerk style and know how to turn it up to eleven. Jeroen and I both bought different editions of their demo CD - so far, my favourite track is "Sex auf DVD" from the blue version.

June 28, 2006

An unfortunate choice of home page design

The new home page for the Tour de France website has a design that, by itself, isn't particularly disturbing. Nevertheless, it will disturb some, because they'll be reminded of something disturbing.

There are certain things that, when you've seen them, you can never un-see again. (Cropped screenshot below the cut)

Continue reading "An unfortunate choice of home page design" »

June 30, 2006

For God's sake, just cancel it already

After this, with Ullrich and Basso out of the running, a dramatically reduced number of contestants on prologue day, and confidence in cycling's integrity presumably at an all-time low, is there any point in even having the Tour de France at all this year?

About June 2006

This page contains all entries posted to Waffle in June 2006. They are listed from oldest to newest.

May 2006 is the previous archive.

July 2006 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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