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31 August 2014

Kabuki (1994)

When it comes to writing comics, I'd say that I know just about enough to be dangerous. This might sound odd given that I have now written two "graphic novels" with a third in the pipes, but believe me when I say that these ventures have been all heart and no training!

In the middle of creating "Bad Moon" I did consider doing some research for pointers, but I gave that idea up almost as soon as I'd begun; I realised that I didn't want to produce a comic like anyone else's. It seemed that the best way of doing this might be to ignore what that had gone before. I even went as far as to avoid reading comics; I didn't want to subconsciously infect my novel with someone else's ideas. I know it sounds a bit extreme, but this was simply how it had to be. It was only after finishing "The Black Pirate" that I finally felt safe picking up comics again. I bought loads and have been working my way through them ever since. There's been a real mixed bag of subject, styles and quality. All have been insightful in some way. Before the memories fade too much, I'm going to share some of my thoughts on them with you on this blog.

My first review is a wildcard purchase. I happened upon it quite by chance. It is the 1994 graphic novel "Kabuki: Circle of Blood" by David Mack.

17 August 2014

Till Death Do Us Part

I know that I said I wouldn't do any more comic-making, but a week away without wifi left me with a bit more time on my hands than I'd bargained for. Ha ha. I started storyboarding and before I knew it, I had the entire story for the third book mapped out! Would you believe it!

The cover to "Dead Hand" gives a hint of what is to come...

but only a hint ;-)

Highwayman Banjo - Dead in the Water

Regular readers of this blog will know that I started a new project this year to build a banjo. I dubbed the build "The Highwayman Banjo" and have been posting updates fairly regularly ever since. Actually, the last update was months ago and since then I've been busy doing everything but the build! Nooooo! Time for a quick update...

This looks interesting. I'm going to have to try and remember what I was up to from the photo. Ah yes... Here I am gluing the ebony veneer on the headstock. After some precision cutting with my table saw, I'd managed to cut the headstock so that it inclines back at an angle.

I'm in a make or break mode now. Any mistake from this point onwards is going to be fatal!

7 August 2014

A Short Study of Crescents

Can it be less than a year since I thrilled you with some holiday snaps from my visit to the wilds of Northumberland? The answer is yes. The good new is that I've been back and I have a heap more photos to share with you! Ha ha... I bet you can't wait! Given that I've been a bit quiet on the blog of late, I'll also try to squeeze in a few other updates here and there too. Buckle-up!

I started my last post on Northumberland remarking at the crescent I'd seen whilst up there. More on this now. I'm still trying to figure out what it means and where it came from.

Although crescents can appear as heraldic "charges", I'm not convinced that this is one of them. I've learnt that the up-turned moon was a symbol brought back to England from the crusades; The symbol of Islam. It was often used to denote a cadet branch to a royal family (i.e the descendants of royalty... a royal line). Another red herring I reckon.

This particular crescent is the symbol (or "badge") used by the Earl of Northumberland, a title held by the Percy family. The one pictured above adorns the entrance to one of their residences: Alnwick Castle. I still haven't got a clue where it originated.