I know I’ve not posted for absolutely ages and so I expect no-one will even read this or be affected by it, but the site might be down on and off whilst I upgrade WordPress.

I’d buy that for a dollar!

Missile base on sale as ideal home

It is the ideal home for an aspiring James Bond villain, or an anxious survivalist seeking a refuge that can withstand an atomic bomb.

A former US intercontinental ballistic missile base – with a network of underground tunnels and silos, but no nuclear warheads – is on sale on eBay for $1.5m (£750,000, 1.06m euros).

Shame about the lack of missiles though, otherwise I’d be seriously interested in making an offer 😛

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Chocolate Wolverine Part 2, now with an ‘Amazing’ friend

I finally got round to finishing the Wolverine blank I mentioned in an earlier post, that I’m hoping to turn in to chocolate lollipops for my wedding.

I kept putting it off because it was taking a lot of work trying to get it all symmetrical, smoothed out and to the high level of finish that I wanted, but my fiancée reminded me that most people that will be seeing these aren’t comic fans and so won’t care if it looks like who it’s supposed to, or if the right and left sides of his costume match, and it’s only likely to last about three seconds after it’s discovered that they’re made out of chocolate before someone bites the head off anyway, so as she was happy with it I decided to leave him asymmetrical and call him finished.

For a bit of variation, I knocked out an equally asymmetrical Spider-Man (black suit so I didn’t have to try and sculpt the webs 😛 ), the texture looks a little weird on him, as I ran out of primer mid spray.

Finished Prototype Wolverine bust Finished Prototype Wolverine bust Finished Prototype Wolverine bust
Finished Prototype Spider-Man bust Finished Prototype Spider-Man bust Finished Prototype Spider-Man bust

Figures are in 1/12th scale.

Chocolate Wolverine

Not 100% sure yet if this is what this will be used for, but we had the idea of having chocolate lollipops on tables at my wedding as favours for the guests (if I’ve not already mentioned it here, I’m getting Married in May after a financially forced long engagement).

Rather than having some generic shop bought ones (which are perfectly acceptable of course and we might still end up going that route of this doesn’t work), we thought it might be fun to have some custom versions, and as we both like comics (well we both do now, sorry for turning you into a geek Snacky) and I’m learning to sculp/cast anyway, here is the work in progress for a prototype Wolverine bust lollipop.

Prototype Wolverine bust Prototype Wolverine bust

Figure is in 1/12th scale so about 7cm tall and 4.5cm wide at largest points.

Cycling is bad for your health!

Well mine at least anyway, I’ve been trying to cycle the five and a half miles each way to work and back as often as I can muster the energy, mainly because I hate paying for the train, which is almost always invariably late, too busy and smells.
The down side is that I’m pretty lazy so it’s a lot of effort, and this year it seems lots of other people have decided the train is a no-no too, so the canal tow-path I use to get to the city centre is getting pretty crowded, but I persevere as it’s the only exercise I get and it is remarkably quiet along the canal again at the slightest sign of bad weather.
Feeling rather unwell today (it’s the beggining of cold season after all, and as we know I get so many colds throughout the winter on and off it’s almost one long cold of varying severity) I decided not to get changed into my cycling gear for the ride home (it’s usually really muddy and I try to make it at least a bit of a work out so changing at each end is a must) and that I’d go slowly and only ride part of the way, and use the train for the rest of the trip home (the canal follows the rail line, or vice versa, most of the distance between my work and home).
It seems I should have just got the train all the way or rode home as fast as normal, as I now feel even worse for the ‘rest’. There is plenty of room to pass oncoming traffic or overtake slower cyclists/joggers/pedestrians if you pick your spot and notify the other party of your intention, but tonight all of a sudden where a bush slightly narrows the tow-path there was another cyclist on the inside of me overtaking, his handlebar touched mine and then I was sliding along on my face and my bike was trying it’s hardest to reach the bottom of the canal.
The other guy rescued my bike (helped by the fact my pannier bags had acted as poor mans water wings and stopped it submerging completely, the edge of the rear wheel was still showing) and I lent him what little tools I had to (unsuccessfully) straighten his steering back out, and then I rode my dripping bike home.
And the worst part? Despite being massively sore and my face stinging like trying to eat raw onion and salt filled jellyfish with your eyes, I look absolutely fine, as if I’d just been out too long in a strong wind or gently slapped by a child, not one cool manly scar to show for the whole ordeal!

BICS 2007

Last weekend I attended the second annual Birmingham International Comics Convention (I know, I didn’t realise there’d been a first either, thanks a lot to a friend of mine who told me about it, you know who you are).

I had a pretty good weekend overall and managed to get out of there spending hardly any money on comics/graphic novels etc, and even managed to snag a few free sketches/signatures from a few luminaries of the comics world.

As I pre-ordered tickets I got entry into the launch night the evening before the show in a pub in Birmingham and found myself sat at a table with Bryan Talbot and Jordan Smith with Mike Carey and lots of other ‘names’ milling around within arms length, but I found myself a little shy that evening (uncharacteristically so, especially with a couple of pints inside me) and decided to let them all talk to people they knew instead of bothering them, before retiring fairly early (not the cheapest bar I’ve been to).

Getting to the show late the next morning, I just managed to get in and get a seat for ‘Comic Artists Flip Out’ which had Alan Davis, Staz Johnson and Mark Buckingham at the front of the room sketching whatever they felt like on A1 sketchpads (and taking requests and answering questions at the same time). It was great fun to watch professionals knock out such good pictures in such short order, and the really good part was that everyone in the audience got a raffle ticket before they started and as soon as a sketch was complete they called a number and whoever had a ticket ‘won’ the sketch. It turns out Mark Farmer was sat in the row in front of me and won the first completed sketch which just so happened to be an Alan Davis Batman, (I was gutted to say the least, but then I actually won a Mark Buckingham sketch myself).

Later on after queuing for an age I got to talk to Dave Gibbons who was a genuinely friendly and chatty bloke. As I knew Dave was going to be at this event I thought it would be fun to try and make something to take along and get signed, but as I’m still not very good or fast and only had a limited amount of time to work on anything I decided to use one of the penguin cast-off’s I had lying around from the penguins I make for my fiancée I made a couple of ‘Rorschach Penguins’ gave one to Dave to keep, and he was more than happy to sign the other one for me as well as do me a little personalized Rorschach sketch and sign all my copies of ‘Watchmen‘.

After a bit more wandering round I just managed to catch Mike Mignola before he went off for the first of his Q&A sessions of the weekend and gave him a ‘Hell Penguin’ custom I’d made and got him to sign one for me too. Unfortunately I didn’t manage to get into his incredibly popular talk that day, but did manage to catch the ‘Darkness Calls‘ talk the next day as well as see the Q&A session with the incredibly talented and unassuming Kevin Nowlan who later on did a quick Wasp headsketch for Susan and a Jack B. Quick for me.

My only regrets from the weekend were missing the Adi Granov and Esad Ribic talk and the Matt Hollingsworth colouring master-classes and that I didn’t manage to get more sketches and signatures, but then there’s always next year.

Staz JohnsonMark BuckinghamMark Buckingham sketch, 'Fly Catcher' from FablesMike Mignola, Duncan Fegredo and Pete DohertyMike Mignola notes and layout thumbsDuncan Fegredo pageMike Mignola character designDuncan Fegredo pageDuncan Fegredo pageDuncan Fegredo pageDave Gibbons holding his 'Rorschach Penguin'RorschachWasp sketchJack B. QuickModded penguins signed by Mike Mignola and Dave GibbonsModded penguins signed by Mike Mignola and Dave Gibbons