Monday, August 21, 2017
Saturday, August 19, 2017
Thursday, August 17, 2017
Tuesday, August 15, 2017
Sunday, August 13, 2017
Friday, August 11, 2017
Wednesday, August 9, 2017
Monday, August 7, 2017
Back when people actually cared about what happened in Cerebus The Aardvark, just before Dave Sim nuked most of his audience from orbit with a view of life and the universe that was breathtakingly sexist and offensive, Sim offered comic creators a tiny platform in the back of his comics, giving artists exposure to an audience eager for new alternative comics.
This would evolve into multi-pages previews of comics from other self-publishers, but at one point he offered up a single page, with no rules about what could go on that page. Anything goes.
And for a while, the Single Pages were some of the best value comics available, with one page offering up a wide variety of styles and techniques from some established pros like Evan Dorkin and eddie Campbell, and lots of enthusiastic amateurs who nobody ever heard of again.
There were a few dozen of these Single Pages, and instead of providing some actual goddamn content, I'm going to share some of them over the next few days. (There would be more, but I recently traded up up bunch of Cerebus bi-weekly comics, which had the addition, for the earlier original copies, which didn't, and oh fuck I'm boring myself to death...)
They vary greatly in actual quality, but this Jim Henson tribute from Jim Aubry, published in Cerebus #162, is always my favourite, and the saddest bloody single page story I've ever seen. That look on Ernie's face as he fades away...
Tuesday, August 1, 2017
It was exactly 10 years ago, and we were somewhere near the monastery on the pillars of Meteora, when I realised what my name was.
The lovely wife and I had just got married, and we celebrated by heading off around the world for six months. At this point, we were 30 days into a 46-day tour around Europe, and disaster had struck: I'd run out of things to read. The scenery around Europe was mindblowing, but a lot of the travel was along anonymous highways, with just grey walls and straight lines of trees to see out the window. We were on a tight schedule to get around the continent, so there were hours and hours on those dull roads, with nothing to do but sleep, drink or read. (Or all three.)
This was before the ubiquity of e-books, so almost everybody else on the tour had their own dogged paperbacks, and they'd all get handed around. I'd already burned through Robert Fisk's 1200-page History of Civilization in less than a week, and got through my Carl Hiaasen omnibus in two days, so was desperate to read anything, and there were no Enlish-language bookshops about. So I read the only Harry Potter book I've ever read, and even choked down a James Patterson novel. I got five books into Steven Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen saga, and never actually finished the series, which isn't much of a problem, because I can't remember a single thing about any of those books.
What I do remember is this - staring out the window because there was nothing else to do, and deciding at some point that I needed to get a lot of the bullshit about comics and movies and other debris of pop culture out of my skull and into some sort of online journal, right about the time blogging became terminally uncool.
It was always going to be called the Tearoom of Despair, but I couldn't use my real name, because I couldn't bear the endless jokes about The Cure. I needed a fake name, and as we were traveling through the Greek countryside, and I saw these giant pieces of rock stabbing into the sky. And while I felt so fucking far from home, I knew that wherever I went, or whatever I did, I was always going to be Bob from Temuka.
It took another 18 months before I actually started publishing in the Tearoom, but that was where it really started, and I haven't stopped since.
This is the 1000th post at the Tearoom of Despair.
A thousand posts of ill-thought comments, and ridiculous opinions about the dumbest shit. A thousand posts of trying to convince the world that Love and Rockets is as good as it ever was, that Doctor Who really is the best TV show ever, and that Frank Miller still has something worthwhile to say. A thousand posts of bullshit, and half-arsed opinions, and desperate pleas for attention.
I've spent countless hours writing this out, and have posted every single thing with a 'fuck it, that'll do'. I still lie awake at night wondering about the next post, and have now racked up nearly 700,000 words on the dumbest subjects.
It's been going a lot longer than I thought it would last, but I'm hardly going to stop now. I feel like I'm still just getting started.
Still, real life is a right arse sometimes, and the Tearoom is in a semi-low content mode at the moment, and that will continue for a couple more weeks, with the help of The Single Page.
It doesn't mean I don't care. I still love you all. Here's to the next 1000 posts.