The clocks went back. It was pitch black and blowing a gale when I headed out to the pub at 7pm last night. Winter draws in. Yes it does, so it does. Need to buy some form of warm and waterproof jacket. I’m too old to be going around shivering for half the year. Maybe a hat of some sort. One that doesn’t make me look like a prick, ideally.
Related: Dublin Mean Time
I write this in a state of extreme lethargy and indolence. It’s 2.28 P.M. on Monday and I’ve been drinking heavily since 1 P.M. on Friday. Not able for three nights in a row any more. Not able for two. I drink Guinness. If I’m out for a night I might drink 8-10 pints of it. That means I’ve consumed roughly 27 pints of Guinness over the long weekend. That’s almost three and a half gallons. When I was in school I used to work part-time in a hardware store, we used to sell gallon drums of exterior masonry paint. I know how big a gallon is. That’s too much Guinness. And I like Guinness, but that’s too much. My guts—they’re not right at all. The acid sluicing up my throat is hotter than the sun.
Chris Askham has now uploaded 62 pages of completed artwork into our shared Dropbox folder. 62 lovely pages. That’s the next graphic novel almost in the bag. Bram Meehan will be working his lettering and design trickery over the coming weeks. The cover by Matt Soffe is complete. I’ve written a short essay for the backmatter about childhood preoccupations with the occult and Fortean—it’s called Phantasmagorical Foundations. (A little doff of the hat to the greatest kid’s tv show ever made.) We haven’t announced this book at all yet, but we’ve got a publisher and it should be out first quarter 2015. March, I hope. More soon. ‘Tis shaping up nicely.
What else? I finished up a collection of mostly new prose stories and sent them to one of my favourite publishers last Monday. Ten stories (two have been published before, eight are brand spanking new). So fingers crossed on that. Should hear back soon.
I’m halfway through writing the first issue of a new comic project. Just picking my way through the early section, trying to get the measure of it. Ideally, I’d like to do this as three 28 page issues. It’s a strong little story, I think. It saw a bit of interest from VERTIGO a while back, when I pitched it to those guys, but it was decided the project was too short to bring any further. I’m going to write the whole sodding thing and then see about getting an artist on-board. Pitch it to IMAGE.
Is it just me or does the onset of Winter always make you think of this?
It’s just me, isn’t it.
That public information film haunted my childhood. Even now, I find it truly amazing and affecting to watch. Just look at the colour palette they’ve used; the purples, the empty cosmic black of the stark, leafless trees, the intense yellow glow of the setting sun on the horizon. Even the Foley and soundtrack are haunting; the unexpected burst of static and cross-talk on the ambulance radio, the subtle, delicate sound of fresh snow being crushed beneath heavy boots, you can almost feel the stretcher bearers’ weariness as they trudge across the snow-covered field.
I think of winter. And I think of that short film. And then I think of mid-eighties Ireland and lazy sick-days off school, sitting on the floor in the living room in my pyjamas in front of the two-bar electric heater, watching that short public information film during the adverts before Superted came on S4C, in Welsh, and I would watch it anyway, because it was a cartoon, and they weren’t on much, and even though I couldn’t understand any of the dialogue, I could still kind of make out the gist of the story. And all through Superted I would feel bad for the little boy who fell through the ice and died. And I would think of how upset his mother would be when the policemen went to to tell her.
I’m sure there’s an interesting essay to be written on all this; hauntology, nostalgia as personal history, but I haven’t got the fucking energy.
I will leave you with Warpaint and Disco/Very. My new most favourite song.