The Graveyard

The Lair Of Gary James

Posts Tagged ‘magazines’

Lit List: Spaced

Posted by BigWords on November 1, 2012

Season 1

Episode 1 – Beginnings

As part of the sequence where Daisy goes over Tim’s childhood, she mentions Batman comics.
Numerous comics, including Avengers, Cable, Cry For Dawn, Daredevil, The Darkness, Fantastic Four, Planet Comics, Weird Fantasy and Weird Science can be seen in Fantasy Bazaar comic shop in which Tim works. There may be more I haven’t noticed… In real life, it is the renowned comic shop They Walk Among Us.
An issue of FHM can be seen, opened to a Gillian Anderson photograph. I think it is the #84 (Jan 1997) issue.
As part of the sequence where Tim goes over Daisy’s childhood, she can be seen reading a copy of The Beano.
When Tim opens a cupboard two girls are standing in it, just like in The Shining (based on the Stephen King novel).

Episode 2 – Gatherings

The music from the feature film Misery (based on the novel by Stephen King) plays when Daisy is typing.
Tim reads an issue of Zenith while Daisy is on the ‘phone with her boyfriend, and later is seen reading an issue of Judge Dredd. There is talk on the commentary about it being the US editions, which is rather more amusing than it really should be…

Episode 3 – Art

The (thankfully fictional) magazine Flaps is mentioned by Daisy as one of the titles she submitted work to, and the office is later seen.
A whole slew of magazines are seen when Daisy goes to the newsagent, and she then returns to the apartment with magazines and newspapers.
The Guardian very noticeably falls out the top of the bag of newspapers and magazines Daisy returns with.

Episode 5 – Chaos

Socialist Worker newspaper is seen at the beginning of the episode.
2000 A.D., Judge Dredd Magazine, The Death Of Groo (and the other comics in Fantasy Bazaar).
There’s a flashback sequence which is based on the maze sequence from The Shining.
Tim reads The Independent newspaper report of the break-in at the animal testing facility at the end of the episode.

Episode 6 – Epiphanies

Tim wears a Batman t-shirt (with an image in the style of the animated series) at the beginning of the episode.
Captain Marvel (the Fawcett character, rather than the Marvel character) is referenced during the Scrabble game.
Daisy is reading Eightball issue #13 (Apr 1994) before Tim snatches it from her and begins reading it.

Episode 7 – Ends

Katsuhiro Otomo’s Akira is mentioned at the beginning of the episode.
Mike mentions Andy McNab when he is in his meeting with the Territorial Army.
Daisy looks at her typewriter in yet another reference to The Shining.
During Daisy and Marsha’s talk, Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare is referenced.

Deleted Scenes

Mike is holding Gun Magazine while asleep on the train.

Season 2

Episode 1 – Back

Tim’s opening narration is reminiscent of the one in GoodFellas, based on the book by Nicholas Pileggi.
Mike is holding Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson when he comes out of the bathroom.

Episode 2 – Change

French Fun by Catherine Bruzzone, The Diet Cure by Julia Ross, a Dummies Guide title, and a selection of Mr. Men books are among the titles seen in the bookshop Daisy is working in at the end of the episode. Other books are seen, though the names of the books are obscured by the camera angle.

Episode 3 – Mettle

Some of the scenes parody One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, based on the 1962 Ken Kesey novel.
The sequence set in an underground robot wars club is based on Fight Club. “The first rule of Robot Club…”

Episode 4 – Help

Dark Horse Comics is referenced in a poster at the beginning of the episode.
Tyres calls Daisy “Shakespeare” when he arrives to take Tim’s portfolio.
Daisy reads Hello! when she goes to fetch Mike from Marsha’s .

Episode 5 – Gone

Another Shining visual gag appears in this episode.

Episode 6 – Dissolution

Daisy can be seen writing for Colwyn Bay Gazette in a dream sequence. Unfortunately, the website seen is no longer working.

Episode 7 – Leaves

Sophie tells Tim that she has to leave to work for Marvel.

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It’s Just A Question Of Self-Restraint…

Posted by BigWords on October 22, 2009

As NaNo lasts an entire month, I figure that I’ll have to drastically alter my internet habits. The forum activities will be hard to give up, but if I stick to two or three rather than my usual round of three-to-four hour surfing then I’ll be able to give more attention to my writing. The NaNo forum is going to be one of my main haunts, but I can’t give up AW for any novel. Hell, I’ll probably need some of the advice therein to get my story fixed up nice ‘n’ presentable.

Film and game forums will be banned from my computer for the foreseeable future though, as those are distractions, and I probably shouldn’t be browsing 4chan in the first place… TV Tropes might have to be given a miss as well, despite being one of the most useful Wiki’s on the net – yes, it is much better than the one you’ve all heard of. The one which pops up at the top of every single fucking Google search. I have spent longer on TV Tropes than Wikipedia these last few months, and not a single minute has been wasted time.

Can I stay away from ‘Quote Of The Day’ sites? Hmmm. Might need to ponder that. I certainly won’t be bothering with online dictionaries or thesauruses, seeing as how the NaNo WIP will be posted here anyway. I do so love the spellcheck WordPress has, even if it isn’t filled with as many obscure and wonderful words as I would like. There will be no reason to mess around on music sites because I have enough CDs to listen to different songs all the way through November, and I’m not going to need any browser games.

Am I missing anything?

Oh yeah… Torrents. Downloadable goodness. I might as well fill up some of the space on my hard drive while I’m busy writing, and the entertainments which will be ready for me at the end of the month can count as my little reward to myself for keeping focused. The idea of staying in for a month is beginning to appeal to me, especially when I take into account the money I will save by not going out. I might even end the month with some money to spare – not likely, but I can dream, can’t I?

It’s lucky that I don’t have any ongoing subscriptions to sites, so I’m not gonna lose money by not visiting anything, and there’s nothing I particularly need to subscribe to anyway. My book blog (not abandoned, simply neglected) won’t be getting any attention during the writing frenzy, but neither will my Triond account – which I still haven’t written anything for due to all my running around these last few months. I guess I ought to check in on my mail every day, even if only to delete the spam…

This NaNo thing is a really good idea for people who spend too much time online.

Seriously, I can really imagine it being suggested to people who have big problems with constant web activity, and it’s benefits aren’t limited to keeping people off chatrooms and forums. There are lots of therapeutic reasons why writing for a month can be beneficial. All hail The Office Of Letters And Light, saviors of the human race. If it wasn’t for an enforced break from my usual routine I would have the urge to see what is going on around the internet…

I won’t be buying DVDs, games or books. There are some magazines I might pick up, because life without at least a few little luxuries would be intolerable. That is a lot of free time I’ll be making for myself. Other blogs are a big temptation, and I’ll do my best to steer clear of the more engrossing ones, otherwise I’ll end up spending the better part of a day engrossed in someone else’s life. Which, interesting as that may be, isn’t gonna be the most productive use of my time.

The biggest difference the lack of downtime will bring is in my ability to find weird stuff, which I seem to have a knack for. So that means I won’t be bringing you stuff like, uh… Well, this:

Disneyland Memorial OrgyMy words will have to be compelling enough on their own…

I’m getting rather nervous about this idea now.

Posted in Over The Line, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Magazines

Posted by BigWords on September 19, 2009

Black Static, the horror magazine, had a free issue offer so it seemed sensible to see what they were doing before either submitting anything or taking out a subscription. I’ve had the issue (#12, Aug/Sep) sitting around for a couple of days, and the more I look through it the more I’m coming around to really liking it. There are lots of magazines being published at the moment, so finding one that doesnt seem like another “obligation purchase” is refreshing.

The layout of the reviews reminded me of Samhain, while the familiar size and weight made me think of Tripwire… Though consideering the fates of those magazines I guess that any more of my views may put the jinx on what seems to be a damn fine read.

With Dark Side seemingly set to vanish from the newsstands – not that it gets a very good showing in Fife shops at the best of times – I need a horror magazine that doesn’t annoy me. I’ve grown increasingly dissatisfied with Fangoria over the past few years due to its annoying layout quirks and some really bad fims they have covered. I know, despite my whining, that the mag doesn’t have control over the quality of the films, but wasting space on poor movies is all too common.

I don’t think I have addressed it here before, but Wizard, which found its’ voice in the late nineties, has seriously gone off the boil lately. Do we still need to read the wanky fan-wish “cast the comic” stuff, or to know about another new publishers’ lineup? No, sorry, that shit ain’t gonna wash when I have better magazines to read. Only… The little things which crop up in various titles that really don’t add anything is beginning to be really noticeably.

Why do articles get broken in two? Do I want to turn to a few pages from the back of the magazine to read the rest of an interview? Or get a headache trying to separate the text from the ugly colors on the page? That particular problem is most noticeable in Allan Bryce’s SF-tinged mag. Enigma? I can’t remember the title, but it was so hard to read that it was no surprise that it didn’t last the test of time. The harder it is to read the words on the page, the less interested I become in the comtent.

I’m still picking up Death Ray, SFX (despite some SF, horror and fantasy creators viewing it with suspicion) and SciFiNow. Along with New Scientist, that’s pretty much my buying habits at the moment. There are gaps in my Hammer Horror and Comics World collections, so I pick those up when I see them, as with Starlog and other defunct titles. PC Zone and PC Gamer have slid in value for money in the last couple of years (and do I really need the same stuff on the cover disks as they had this time last year?).

360 and other gaming titles are fun, but with the exception of demos don’t really offer me anything that I can’t find on the internet, so I only occassionally pick those up to see who is involved with wich projects. There are some juicy bits of gossip that turn up if you buy all the mags and read them carefully, but I can’t be bothered any more. The news that a possible 1970’s-set sequel to Thief is the only reason I picked up one a couple of months ago, but still…

Maybe I’ll have to think hard about adding Black Static to my purchase list.

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Guess The Mystery Author

Posted by BigWords on August 26, 2009

There is a rule over on the AW forum that states ‘respect your fellow author’ – which is a good thing considering how some threads can turn into extended ramblings and rants. That shit ain’t gonna fly here, ’cause what I have here is an entirely different kind of free speech. This is where I can let rip without any censure, and the current target is a mystery author who really ought to be uncovered. Lets play along.

In the current issue of SFX Dave Langford writes (in his regular column) about an author who has tried to abuse online reviews to publicise his own works. Interesting, no? Well, there are a few clues in the article. The mystery author (named “Direhack” in the column) is an American self-published author who “writes woefully inept fantasies”. Hmmm. Doesn’t narrow the possibilities any, so we’ll have to search further.

The mystery author uses hundreds of Amazon accounts to post reviews of his own book. The author’s page on Wikipedia has been culled (start hunting, puzzlers), and they have been known to threaten legal action. Narcissistic and petty could be a lot of people, so the list of possible authors isn’t exactly shrinking. Hell, I’m no closer than I was…

If big names such as Stephanie Meyer don’t know a fucking plot when they see it, then I dread to think how bad the mystery authors books are. Have I already mentioned in this blog how bad Dan Brown is? There are plenty of idiots wielding pens who ought to stop. Right now. This very instant. I’m guessing that Direhack is worse than those two penny dreadful scribblers put together. Which would make him Epic Fail multiplied to infinity.

C’mon peoples, we gotta find out who Direhack is so I can mock him.

Posted in Over The Line, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

What Does A Ghost House Look Like?

Posted by BigWords on July 20, 2009

This afternoon I gave in to temptation and bought a copy of Paranormal, which sets out its’ view on the supernatural clearly enough. It’s in the continuation of titles such as Fortean Times, Encounters and hundreds of books and television shows which claim that spirits are all around us… But the evidence is presented with some photographs that perpetuate the stereotype of gray and spooky locations.

Which doesn’t sit right with me.

Don’t get me wrong on this – exploring things outside of our understanding is important, but do we have to be subjected to slanted images? Purposefully chosen photographs, which do the work of a couple of thousand words, are common in nearly every media, but in this specific area we should be looking at subjective and impartial evidence.

Do the images which accompany their ghost tales look like the photographs you see in the windows of estate agents? No. And that is why I can never take these types of magazines completely seriously, because they try so damned hard to convince people of the existence of possible spirits that may or may not exist. There’s nothing wrong with a mundane photograph which depicts how a place actually looks, with proper lighting. Using deliberately spooky pics just plays into the stereotype of “Oooh, it looks haunted.”

Yes it fucking does, because that is what the magazine wants you to think.

The television shows such as Most Haunted, which airs on Living (without any irony), are just as manipulative and shallow. I tend to give them the benefit of the doubt when I can, but as episodes nudge ever-closer to self-parody and slapstick it becomes difficult to see where the truth is. How much of a show has to be set up before it gets re-positioned as a drama rather than a documentary?

There are some compelling stories which raise interesting questions about the afterlife… Borley Rectory and Mary King’s Close are enough to make even hardened skeptics take a fresh look at the evidence, but they have been re-fashioned into traditional ghost stories to cater for the mass-consumption of anything ooky. It’s a shame that the facts can never be presented as they are, twisted as they are to fit the perceptions of low-brow rubberneckers. It gets real old, real quick.

Even if you strip away the bullshit that has been pasted onto real locations, the matter of separating the legends from the actual history is troublesome. How many years did it take for the Mary Celeste to regain her true name after the novelized version of history dubbed her Marie Celeste. We shouldn’t be fed the images which play off emotional feelings to hauntings, but see the locations for what they are. Most are unspectacular.

The rattling chains associated with disturbed spirits – which was an ancient Roman concoction – has remained with us, as has many other absurdist views. And no-one has yet answered one important question regarding ghosts:

If the earthbound spirits are victims of violent deaths, forever doomed to walk the earth, then why aren’t more sightings reported with better evidence to back them up? Why do ghosts only seem to appear in pitch darkness, when terrible photography is the only option?

I’m going to buy the magazine again, just to see if they are eventually gonna use regular photographs. I like the idea that the creators believes in something, but I’m not sure if they are going about presenting the evidence in the best way.

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