Thursday, July 16, 2009

A Day In the Life of a Superstar Poet/Comedian

Marcus Keeley just has one of those days where only sleep, wine, Marlboro lights and cat videos will retain/destroy his sanity...

Operation Attic imminent! I'll be up in your crawlspace like Klaus Kinski

Check it out, this isn't me obviously above, but the promotional image of a skip the family is renting for a week clear out an the attic. It's good to see what size the skip is, unless he's a midget and he's deliberately employed to make their skips look bigger.

I will also be cleansing the old batcave of anything that isn't a book or a comic. Am implicating a certain sister's boyfriend up the attic with me under a 'what happens in the attic stays in the attic', clause God knows what's up there and I'm going to be squawking like Scooby Doo up there if find any dead mice etc.

We had a plan to get disposble suits and facemasks. More for the craic than anything else, also so I can do Beastie Boy poses. I also find the idea of a disposable suit very futuristic because Alvin Toffler talks about it
in Future Shock

Also the phrase 'I'll be up in your Crawlspace like Klaus Kinski, is of course, a reference to the below 1980s movie, I want to promote as a phrase just don't know whether is more suited as an aggressive 'up in ma grillle' style attack or perhaps a slightly preverse come on line. Who knows, I will probably never say it out loud in either context anyway, perhaps on stage.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Comic Cast First Year Birthday....Twisted Pepper, Friday July 17th

See these are the kind of conversations I enjoy in rural
Q: What are you doing at the weekend?
A; Ah, I'm going down to Dublin for a birthday party.
Q: Whose is it?
A: Well it's more of a what
Q: What?
A: It's like a birthday party for a podcast about comics and it's one year old.
Q: Is that one of the Ballinode Podcasts? lovely wee baby it is....

but anyway it's the first year party of Liam Geraghty and Craig O'Connor's great Comic Cast . I remember finally meeting the great Bob Byrne at the Birmingham Comic Show and having the conversation about growing up in Ireland and being a comic fan and all the comic-relating things you have in common even if you haven't met. Like the hot geeky girl that worked in Forbidden Planet etc. So listening to the lads is like an online version of that style of conversation
which goes from hilarious to suprisingly touching in places. Official blurb here:

The Comic Cast is an Irish based show about comic books - from the heroes of DC & Marvel to the anti-heroes of Fantagraphics and Drawn & Quarterly and beyond. Hosted by Craig O'Connor and Liam Geraghty, the show comes out fortnightly alternating between comics news and discussion and
interviews with mainly Irish comic creators, illustrators and animators.

They have also done a great job in connecting the worlds of comics, animation and graphic design in Ireland. Anyway, there first birthday is at the Twisted Pepper on Friday 17th of July

See in my day, comic geeks weren't allowed to hang out with top lady celebrities, but with a geek in the White House....yes we can.

Samatha Mumba rocks, at least I know who she is, had to look up Glenda Gilson as I've been England for 5 years and it takes a while to catch up on nonentities. Looking forward to it.

Friday, July 10, 2009

RIP the ole Indy 500,

The Indy 500 and I

So I had this great INOi 500 gig media drive, which dubbed the 'ole Indy 500' due to the trade name's 'o' looking like a 'D' and for it's rugged nature, or so I thought. It looked like something out of an 1980s postapocalyptic movie all metal and black and whirry and it seemed as if you could throw it at a wall and it would still work! Well maybe but not its innards as I found to my cost when one day as I was preparing to watch a movie in bed and it dropped less than a foot while in 'whirring up' mode (sorry for the technical jargon) and now it's dead, well techincally in a coma, it still whirrs but all my 500 gbs of movie and tv magic is all gone. So many happy memories of watching endless episodes of Justice League and Tim and Eric: Awesome Show. Great Job, so many visits to friends places with the wee lad in tow and forcing them for marathon viewings of cult crap.

Stop Press: turns out, I'll not the only comedian with computer death problems, the very funny Catie Wilkins has also had a (computer) death in the family on her fine blog 'Stuff', with the post RIP


Good night sweet prince.

What Americans Have Taught us*.....

"*Well mostly what they taught me via porn, psychoanalysis and comics..."
Was a (mostly) new powerpoint comedy lecture, (well I couldn't resist reshowing the Spider-man web good stuff) I did at the Safehouse Gallery for Marcus Keeley's Alternative 4th of July festivities. Mention of the night in his post here.
Catherine Hawcroft of Wild Wind Books and author of poetry collectionThe Hour of Doubt read

as did the great Seamus Fox who presented some heartfelt readings by Plath (Lady Lazarus) and Bukowski (Hangover) along with his own work.

Marcus and Northern Ireland comedy sensation and fellow Watchmen fan Ruaidhri Ward

Marcus has some lovely sweetberry wine dangerously close to a projector, livin on the edge!, rock and roll etc.

"It was a good laugh"

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Brew Ha Ha at McKenna's Brewery Bar, Monaghan, July 3, 2009

So normally, I spend my Monaghan down time wandering around the charity shops which they didn't have when I was wee, and now there's like three and a half. Occasionally, you strike oil, charity shop wise, like this two euro copy of the Batman RIP hardback. My other hobby is wandering by the cinema to see if they have any cool free posters (they never do) and checking out which films are in which screen. Like when Watchmen was in screen 2.

So when wandering around by McKenna's Brewery Pub it turned out they were having a stand up night for the first time ever with Eric Shantz, Rauiri Campbell, and Gary Cross. So I sent a few emails etc and wandered down and fair play to the lads and organiser Seamie, they let me on in the middle and it went really well. Was apprehensive doing my stuff in my home town, but the audience were great and in comparison to my lonely geeky adolescence there were loads of cool geeky people about who liked my Battlestar Galactica (although I didn't go into all the technical details about how the opening sequence depicts 'the act of cunnilingus that destroys humanity and the 'threesome or human holocaust' dillema and etc.) . Was great to see everyone do their stuff and one can see the effect of 10 plus years in Shantz's effortless performace. Even if the audience, overall, were a bit bemused by the whole idea of a comedy show they soon came round and there was many pints afterwards.

Here's me in the loos with a secretive happy face after a good gig. Before someone comes in and wonders why I'm taking pictures of myself in the loos.

Stop Press! the Monaghan Post had a bit on it today. I have a little pic that represents my wee noggin in 3-4 pixels!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Secret Identity: The Fetish Art of Superman's Co-Creator Joe Shuster...

"He's chosen the g'day lady!"

I don't normally get books from Urban Outfitters beacause they are a bit 'I need to buy something for the geek in my life but I don't really know anything about what they are into so I'll get something like this, cause, like, it's a little bit rude and cheeky. It's not a bad book available here I got in Nathan Barley-magnet superstore Urban Outfitters in Belfast for 7.99. It's basically a collection of Joe Shuster's fetish art, the essay by Craig Yoe is great. What strikes the reader is how not into fetish work the artist obviously is, compared to the likes of Jimmny fave Eric Stanton. I suppose it a book intended for a 'hey look at this wacky book' at a party style thing, rather than my style of analysis.

I quite like this one because of the wee guy lurking outside the window, He is the husband of the lady and this is a scene of orchestrated nincompoopery (according to my copy of the 1811 Dictionary of the
Vulgar Tongue)

This one's from "Slaves of Gerardo" seems like he's sending a drum style message, or perhaps DJing under his alias MC Allen Jones. More here
Bad Science is great.
Some other Current Reading

Big Laughs at the Big House! 29th June 2009!

So after the tv show auditions thing, see below, it was nice to wander around my usual haunts, and I hung around for Big Laughs at the Big House on the Monday night, which was great becuase we all got to rant about the weekend and see organisers George Quinn, Sinead McCullagh and Graeme Watson (who I didn't realise was a co 'survivor' of academia) again.

I decided to wear a black trouser/shirt white tie combo. Which was good but a size too small because I really wanted the tie and Primark didn't have it in a 15.5. I walked from central Belfast to the Pavilion (down Ormeau Road) which inspired new opening line: "Hello there, I am Lorcan McGrane, but according to some kids I encountered on the way here, I've come dressed as WAAAanker".

With the day that was in it, it was also a chance to get all the poor auld Mickey Jay jokes out of our system. Mine was: "It was very sad about that paedophile that died last week, yep his name was ..(insert name of choice, like someone mundane but possibly vaguely well- known, I choose a semi-famous nonfiction author because, you know, he looks like one) ..and he died when he was stabbed in aorta by a shiv in a secure unit in Belmarsh, but he did release any records, so no one gave a fuck!" What about poor auld David Carradine? that's more like I would potentially like at 70, why do you never hear news reports of the sex experiments that went right?

Am also still laughing at Marcus's unrepeatable Lady GaGa joke and Ruari's great stuff on religion, race, and carbonated drinks.
Scott Calonico of Scott and Stacey fame in pensive mood
he read from the hallowed tome of an Automan novelisation, props!
Marcus was introduced as Belfast's grumpiest gay! not true!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

54-46 Was My Number, well no it was Find me (the) Funny

3am while listening to Stewart Lee dvds is a bad time to be at this craic!

So it's been a comedy rollercoaster the last few weeks, and by rollercoaster I mostly mean the winding bus to Belfast. And by winding bus, I mean, it's not a bendy one but just flies round loads of country roads towards various shopping centres before it gets to Belfast while I'm normally strapped into the back seat listening to God Speed You Black Emperor * and drinking diet coke and gurgling and I go through Lurgan...they have a pub there called The Batcave! established 1947. I wanted to open a pub called the Batcave, oh well, I'll have to call it The Robocop Arms or something.

Anyway, I digress, so there was this BBC Northern Ireland Show called Find Me the Funny, that I went for. Young Marcus Keeley has documented his before and after reports of the experience but I thought I'd mention it here too. I was up north that weekend anyway to say goodbye to the Badbrute, who is off to Florida for a month, and staying up until like 4am watching Funny Games and Dune was prehaps not the best preparation for the 'audition'. Also 10am on a Sunday is not a very 'comedian' time of day, and few of us realise there is such time as any 'am' on a Sunday.

I thought it would be good to have something short and visual so I a version 2.o of the 'Hello There' book in various sizes.
The main judge was Kurtis Matthew who runs this comedy college in San Francisco seemed like a nice enough guy, but in contrast to Marcus I got a 'no, I don't like it' rather than a 'hey, I like this kid'. He just didn't like the prop and my overall geeky nervousness which is kind of the point, but I saw his too, he wanted more 'attitude' to 'fill a room' and different voices.

"You're into this geeky stuff, Do Batman!"he says, I'm like wha? my brain short-circuited I mean which incarnation of Batman did he mean? Gotham By Gaslight? Do Batman? what am I? some sort of a performing monkey on a regional BBC station reality TV show, oh wait a minute, there's a number on my McG jumper and I've been waiting in a room drinking bottled water and going quietly mad for 8 hours, that's exactly what I am.

I presume he would meant some generic gay Batman/Robin schitk but all I could come up with was my 'Good Evening Comissioner' bit with the silly voice (long story). It was bizarre experience normally when you're at gigs you can wander around and not everyone you talk to will be a comedian, but this was a holding pen of hundred plus comedians all wandering around going through heightened mood cycles from hilarity to bleakness.

The production staff were cool and really friendly and it was great to meeting up with such top Northern Ireland comedy luminaries as Marcus Keeley, RuaidhrĂ­ Ward, Simon McCullagh, Stacey Mead, Scott Calonico , Paddy Mc Gaughey, Matthew Collins, and Gary Croft (who I like, because unlike all the afore mentioned he also got knocked out in the first round). In between the madness there was much trips to the Crown. Have been to Belfast since and it's great to go there and not have to hover around the same building for 8 hours. I got off lightly, however, as all the afore mentioned had to wait around until like 12.30 or so to do many a 'Who's Line is it Anyway' style improv or joke writing tasks and still didn't get through. It will be interesting to see the show though, and they seem to have centred on some totally new people so it will be interesting to see the training aspects.

If I feature at all it will be for some impromtu slapstick, whereupon hearing that I was 'out' I just wandered off and they had to call me back to gather all my stuff which I did in a 'pick up one thing while simultaneously dropping another thing' manner, which is always hilarious (for onlookers).

*Christ, thought there was an official video but there seems to be some sort of youtube subgrenre of people making the most obvious video for this.

Friday, July 03, 2009

From the Vaults: The Temple Bar Review

I like this one because I was bemoaning how ridiculous 1980s nostalgia was in the wake of The Wedding Singer and how 1990s nostalgia was just around the corner in 1999.

From the vaults The Trigger..."Thanks but no tanks...comicdom's other violent femmes"

This is from the summer of 1995 I think (might be 1996). Via friend Danny Watkins, I got a placement on Sun Zoom Spark in Galashiels and this was their next incarnation, The Trigger, with NME-style inspirations it had some great articles, note the cover interview by Roger Simian with Traci Lords and although covering music mainly there was normally a cultly style two-page spread. In this particular issue I wrote an article on female superheroes, quel surprise.
The curios are Big Bertha from Blast! magazine and Hell's Angel, Motormouth, and Tuck which would perhaps be unfamilar with anyone who didn't read Overkill or the parallel US publishing of Marvel UK's stuff.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

From the Vaults: The National Student..June 1995

Had this idea a while back to scan in all my old journalism stuff instead of carrying round photocopies all the time. Here is one of the first bits of humour writing I ever did from the June 1995 issue of 'National Student' called the "The illusion of Study".

At the time, I was amazed to be in the same publication as Jarvis Cocker, Stewart Lee, and on the same page as Tank Girl. 90s-tastic...