Thursday, 29 January 2015

Too Wrapped Up

My dears. I have neglected my blog-posting most woefully.
It is cold. I am an elder person. I am so wrapped up against the cold of the house (rural heating... bottled gas... and so on) that I just roll around the warm sitting room like some kind of fattened seal.
My room what I do blog from be very cold. What? I do not have wi-fi and tablets and stuff? This is a house full of tablets I do assure you. But not of the digital kind. And contrary to popular belief some homes of the older granity kind have problems with their wi-fi getting through the internal walls to nice, warm, comfortable spots in which one can sit and blog-post. Smart phones? Well I do not have one of course. And if I do... it has been known for people round here to have to climb up onto convenient rocks (outside) in order to get that wonderful thing known as a signal.

Anyway, as I say, I be too tightly wrapped to bend in the middle, never mind putting one foot in front of the other. If you knew what sending this communication do cost in terms of dripping nose and numb fingers.....

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Viewing "Spiral": The Old Man Dismayed

My enjoyment of Saturday Night crime thriller watching is back ....along with the excellent fifth season of the venerable French "cops and crims" flick Spiral, currently being shown on BBC Four. I am a great fan.

The Old Man, however, is unsure.
In the past he has refused on the grounds of the violence and graphic body damage. It had to be recorded - for me to watch at "another time". But he is bravely managing to watch this series, albeit remaining somewhat shocked. This time, by the (well-understood by "Spiral" fans) corruption, bribery, enticement, and general dobbing-in ..... on the part of the cops and lawyers... before we even get to the criminals themselves. (Not for nothing is the French title - "Engrenages" meaning "gears" .... otherwise translated by the English phrase... "wheels within wheels".)
But this shock has left The Old Man seated in front of the telly reverting more and more to Bunteresque phrases as the action and plot progresses:

"That's not very nice, is it."
"Are lawyers supposed to do that? I don't like him."
"Oh, I say. That's not fair. Do you mean the police lied?"
"Ouch. Gosh. Yaroo... what a rotter."

OK. I exaggerate. But the poor man have not watched a dirty cop show for a very long time.... and it shows.

PS. Have you noticed the French version of junk-food eating in this series? The fraught and nervy cop, Laure Berthaud, crams food at her desk or in the car ....of course... she be a cop. But I swear it was a croque-monsieur I saw disappear into her jaws.... then a bit later an engaging slice of flan.... not to mention the lawyers treating themselves to morsels of delicious looking small cakes. Aaah.....Vive La Malbouffe Francais.

Friday, 16 January 2015

Animated Goings On: That Head Thing

Oh No. This is dreadful. I have lost out on yet another film role. Mrs D is reverting to childhood and mucking about with plasticine... OK...Newplast .. if you want to be accurate.
She is muttering about claymation and lip-syncing.... and is playing with this dreadful "talking head" which I think that SHE thinks is her.... but of course it is not.
Mrs D is old, let's face it. She do sag in the face and have wrinkles. This is not her. She should have picked someone forever young... like I. Why did I not get this job?
Also Alan Bennett she is not.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Graphic Passions: "Blacksad" by Canales and Guarnido

I do ask The Old Man to get me a copy of  Blacksad for Christmas. I am very pleased to have it.
The Old Man scolds me for reading it too quick... but there are times when he is an old spoil-sport.... and...actually.... the artwork and writing is so good that it encourages you to linger on the pages.
This trilogy of 1950s-set Noir Crime tales by artists Juan Diaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido proves to be a dream for such a crime fiction/graphics novel fan like I.

Animal-headed (and tailed) characters inhabit the dark streets of an American city. The central character is a black and white-faced cat-man and private eye, John Blacksad... complete with trench-coat and gun.... and this volume, published in 2010, is made up of three stories: Somewhere within the Shadows, Arctic Nation, and Red Soul. Murder, corruption, and themes of racism and America's McCarthy period Communist witch hunt are visited in turn.
But the artist/authors are not American. They are Spanish... with the comics first being published in French by French publisher Dargaud - starting back in 2000. So we have had to wait some time for an English translation.

I think it has all been worth waiting for: wonderfully detailed artwork, good writing, mystery and politics... I likes it. Alright, there are some complaints at the depiction of the female characters but I have to disagree... they are not simply "passion madams" and those that are.... well this is in the spirit of hard-boiled crime noir and I can accept it in exchange for the other political themes embraced in the writing.
And as for those who say they do not like anthropomorphism in graphic novel characters ... I do say....What are you doing reading this series in the first place? Read something else and stop belly-aching!

I am so definitely searching for the next volume.... published by Dark Horse in October 2014....Blacksad: Amarillo HC .

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Hey-Ho - The Old Man Is Fully Mobile Again

Look at that. A Happy Old Man.

The car manufacturer's "roadside repair service" came out and was able to fix the car. A brake pad had fallen off which the man do say was most unusual but did mean that the car did not have to go into the dealers to be mended. The Old Man be so pleased that he do have to lie down for a little sleep.... after he have got in the car and collected his newspaper, of course.

Alors! 2015, here we come.
Full speed ahead and don't forget to apply the brakes!

Sunday, 4 January 2015

It's All Down Hill

At the top of the New Year... The Old Man's brakes fail. On the car, you understand. It can only be down hill from now on....
Most worrying for The Old Man of course... is... How to get his daily paper (four miles to the shop... bus service as functional as a trike with broken handlebars....)

The man is distraught.