Sunday, December 11, 2011


I thought it had been a while and that I should really post an update about the many projects I've been working on. It's been a bit crazy with the whole "day-job in retail at Christmas" getting more and more like Helm's Deep with every day (except the wall is the counter, the orcs are customers, and I don't have a bow), but despite all of that, I've still been writing.

My lovely wife managed to easily hit the "NaNoWriMo" target, and she's continuing until the book is finished (possibly even tomorrow). The book sounds awesome, about ghosts attached to books, unsolved murders, getting infected with ink, and other cool stuff. Hopefully, after another draft/edit we'll look into getting it out there for people to read.

And talking of getting things out to read, I've posted a blog post below about the movie Tintin. I'd originally written it for the SyFy Channel blog, but the blog is on a small hiatus and as the US audiences are about to get the movie, I thought I'd post it on here. Check out the movie, it's great.

Besides that, the first Kickstarter for Conspiracy X (the Extraterrestrials Sourcebook) finished well over its target. Excellent. The second Kickstarter for the Paranormal Sourcebook has already reached its target, but it's still running if you'd like to preorder the book and get your name in the book!

I got a little sidetracked from my NaNoWriMo attempt at around the 30,000 word mark with a couple of other projects creeping into view. No great loss I guess, my fiction was just too damn weird for public consumption...

These other projects have also distracted me a little from working on WILD, but I'm still thinking about it, researching it, and working out mentally how the whole thing will work. One upshot of this research took me back to the film SuckerPunch. I'd already looked in depth at the movie in an earlier post, but watching it again recently with Zack Snyder's "Maximum Movie Mode" on BluRay, Snyder confirmed that the whole thing takes place in that fraction of a second, and he did let slip (despite wanting to leave it vague) that he considered the other girls to be fragments of Babydoll's personality. It's nice when you have a theory about something and the creator confirms it later for you...

Okay, that's it, I need sleep. I call it "research"...

G'night all.

Tintin Review

Tintin’s latest movie outing has ditched the 2D animation and the (sometimes bizarre) live action approach and recruited some of the biggest names in film and television - but is it any good and, more importantly, is it a faithful Tintin movie?

I’ve never been an obsessive Tintin fan, but he’s always been present. I remember watching the old Hergé’s Adventures of Tintin TV series as a kid, and when I was first trying to get into comics someone printed a review of my first comic calling me a “goth Hergé”, which I took as a huge complement. My best day-job was working for a company named after a Tintin book (Ottakar’s), so I was naturally cautious going in to Spielberg’s first foray into the realms of 3D motion capture animation.

Luckily, I had nothing to worry about. From the opening title sequence done in excellent retro-style, looking just like stylised panels from the original comics - a sequence you’ll want to rewatch on DVD to spot all the references to other Tintin tales (much as you will during the rest of the film), to the brilliant Hergé cameo as the street cartoonist, you can tell that this has been carefully crafted by people with a genuine love of Tintin.

While the animation sometimes strays close to the “uncanny valley”, the design of the characters is marvelous. Tintin himself is perfect, while all of the support characters look fantastic - though Andy Serkis steals the show with his portrayal of the tormented and alcoholic Captain Haddock.

Taking elements from three of the original Hergé stories (The Crab with the Golden Claws, The Secret of the Unicorn and Red Rackham’s Treasure), Doctor Who’s Steven Moffat (who provided the initial script) and the genius pairing of Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish, have created a superb script with witty and often hilarious dialog, blending the three stories seamlessly into a very coherent whole that manages to pack a lot in. I remember looking at my watch about 90 minutes in thinking “wow, they’ve covered loads!” but it never felt long. In fact, as the last scenes played out, I would have been happy to have had the film continue for another couple of hours to continue the adventures.

The thing that you may have to do before you go to see this is dismiss your memories of Beowulf or Polar Express - this is a film that really couldn’t have been live action, though at times it’s convincingly close. The whole motorcycle/sidecar chase sequence is dazzling and will have you whooping with every gravity defying twist and laughing at the ludicrous destruction.

This is possibly Spielberg’s finest family film since Jurassic Park, and certainly should not be missed. I honestly can’t fault it, and can’t wait to go and see it again. 9/10 (maybe even a 10...)