Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Weekend, editing and plagiarism 

On Saturday, I traded in the old red Magna station wagon for a much more recent Magna station wagon.

In the afternoon, I went to my brother-in-law's fiftieth birthday party. There were a lot of Ians there, including, him, me, his father, his brother-in-law and a family friend. It's not like the name is that common! Odd seeing my sister after so long. They have a nice house within view of the sea.

Sunday was a slow day. I worked over the script for Riffin' to Oblivion, Part 3, which I'd looked at recently for the first time in a month. It didn't "flow" as well as I'd thought, so I rewrote some of the narrative captions, edited some word balloons and did a bit of cutting and rearranging (which I'd already planned).

Still, there is a lot of story for an eight page episode. With Part 2 I had the luxury of ten pages (thanks, Aaron!), all focused on the one band. This one is about a covers band and an originals band, and the latter gets very compressed.

Also, I've been stressing myself about having posted a link to a page bearing a strong resemblance to a piece of animation a well-known artist had posted on a Forum as his own, original work. As it turned out, his work was more derived from a widely available .gif, though I think this was in turn based on the Preston Blair animation book I had originally posted a link to.

I think I reacted so strongly because this artist had just reported a poster on another bulletin board for plagiarism (rightly) and then been sanctimonious in his telling off. The really odd outcome is that many people defended this artist on the basis of reputation and friendship, rather than the technical similarities (or not) of seven frames of animation. Pleasingly, a number of people have written privately who can see exactly what I meant.

Whatever, it gave me little satisfaction, particularly as I like his work. The problem for me is that now there will always be a niggling element of doubt when I look at it.

Monday, February 16, 2004

Hot weekend 

A few amazingly hot days! The weekend got off to a downbeat start, as I heard on Friday night that my best friend's father had died, and also of the death of Jill's sister's dog, Coco, who we looked after when we housesat for them for three months, a few years ago.

We had a small funeral for Coco on Saturday morning. It was an interesting experience for the children and sad all round.

Still no sign of Percy at that house. I'm hoping a neighbour will spot him and call us. Probably time we thought of getting another cockatiel. They're not all equal and finding a good one could be difficult, particularly since we passed up a goodnatured pearl one a few weeks ago, which may have been one of Percy's relations.

I finally finished reading Watership Down to J. last night, but Jill had to come and read the last page, as I felt a bit overcome and unable to continue. There are few books that can have that effect, but the ending of this one is among the most beautifully written endings I have ever read, wholly appropriate and complete. It really is a lovely book and one of the very best!

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Missed opportunities and the end of Cerebus 

Well, I've definitely missed the deadline for Oztaku but that might not be so bad if the next issue deadline clashes with other commitments. I haven't felt much like drawing.

Still no sign of Percy, and the "Found" cockatiel count is now 20 or 21. I did manage to reunite one young cockatiel with the girl who had bred him, and his relations. Amazingly, it was because someone had rung me after seeing a "Found" sign and one of my "Lost" signs, and I kept details, then happened to discuss losing Percy with a colleague. When I checked details of her daughter's lost bird, and this found one, they matched!

I am nearly finished reading Watership Down to my daughter, who is enjoying it immensely.

"Cerebus," the aardvark character who began in 1977 is about to finish, with issue 300, in March 2004. It really is amazing to think of Cerebus ending. It's been around so long! Certainly, this character was one influence on some of the style and directions I chose with Maelstrom, though I had already created (and published) the earliest adventures of my own short barbarian character.

Like many others, I've waxed and waned as Dave Sim's worst (often misogynist) indulgences have distanced me, but I've always come back, due to the quality of the work itself. I'm going to miss Cerebus.

For the future, I can kind of imagine Dave living an Edward Gorey-like existence, creating exactly what he wants, when he wants. I hope it works that way for him.

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