Monday, 31 May 2010

Banner adverts - unveiling the Socks latest

Every year the Edinburgh Fringe comes around, and we take great pleasure in making a new poster, flyer and banner advert. The banner ad mostly only appears on our own websites, though we'd be delighted for anyone else to stick it somewhere prominent. Here is the latest (click to see it full size):



And just for the record, here are some previous triumphs:


2007


2008


2009 version one...


...and version 2


2008 mini ad


Socks tour 2009

Comic Art Masterclasses for the public

Hi comic fans, Kev F here, writer and artist for The Beano, Marvel and many more (see website for details)

Most of my Comic Art Masterclasses, where I can teach anyone how to write and draw comics, are in schools, open only to the pupils, but occasionally they are open for the public to attend. Most sessions last a morning or afternoon, if you're really lucky they can last all day. By the end of each session you'll have learnt all about comics and will have produced a comic to take away, containing a strip by everyone in the group, plus a caricature by me. The following dates are open to the public (minimum age 7, some events may have a maximum age):

Sat 19 June 2010 = St Barbe Museum, Lymington Hants
Sat 3 July 2010 = St Barbe Museum, Lymington Hants
Sun 4 July 2010 - Jester Festival, Hampstead
Mon 12 July - Denny Library Falkirk, am
+ Bonnybridge Library, pm
Tues 13 July - Larbert Library am + Falkirk library pm
Weds 14 July - Meadowbank Library am + Slamannan Library pm
Thurs 15 July - Grangemouth Library am + Bo'ness library pm
Sat 17 July 2010 = St Barbe Museum, Lymington Hants
Fri 30 July - Oxhey Library WD19 7AG
Wed 4 - Fri 6 Aug, Balerno High School, Edinburgh

Please Google and contact the above libraries, museums and schools for details.

On Sat 26 June Kev F will be speaking at a conference of the School Librarians Association on the subject of comic art in education.

To book Kev F to appear at your school, library, art centre or event, please email or ring 01275 872111. Details, including video demonstrations and example comics, at comicfestival.co.uk



Sunday, 30 May 2010

Scottish Falsetto Socks, Harrogate and more

Hello Socks fans,

For your delight and delectation, the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre will be returning to Harrogate for two nights, 9th and 10th July, in a double bill with Ali Cook.

Details here on Facebook and here direct at Harrogate Theatre.



Other gigs to put in your diary are:

June 16 - Southend Fringe, The Sunrooms
June 17 - Leicester Preview, Looking Glass
June 24 - Clowns Pocket, Neath
June 25 - Helmsley (+ Ali dbl bill)
July 8 - New Greenham Arts (+ Ali dbl bill)
July 9 & 10 - Harrogate + Ali dbl bill
July 11 Traverse Edinburgh
July 21 - Bristol Hen & Chickens £8
July 30 - Bromsgrove Artrix
Sat July 31 - Bedford Fringe 8.30 £7.50

Aug 4 - 29 Gilded Balloon 9.15pm Sportsmans

Friday, 28 May 2010

Doctor Who free CDs review

Can I just mention up front that it's my parents who get the Telegraph, not me. And the Telegraph recently gave away free Doctor Who CDs which Mum & Dad kindly collected up for me. The other day I had a particularly long car journey (gig in Castleford, Yorkshire, now you ask) which gave me the opportunity to listen to almost the lot. And what a delightful mixed bag they were. In no particular order they were:

Mission to the Unknown. Ostensibly a William Hartnell episode from 1964, this is famously the only episode where the Doctor himself doesn't appear. Surviving only as a soundtrack, with all video long since erased, the pictures are filled in with a description by Peter Purves and it's jolly good fun. I mean by that that sod all happens and people and Daleks spout nonsense in very silly voices, but imagining the pictures makes it undoubtedly a lot better than it originaly was, and a great thing for a childhood fan to hear, about 30 years after he first heard of it.

Exploration Earth. A brilliant brilliant rarity "unheard since it was broadcast in 1976" and with good reason. It's rubbish, but brilliantly so. Made for BBC Schools Radio, it features Tom Baker and Lis Sladen reading dialogue that's clearly written by someone who's never written dialogue before. Hear words put into sentences that should never be read by someone even pretending to be a human with English as their first language. Tells the story of the creation of the earth, and is silly, but not in any deliberate way. Baker & Sladen were very generous not to refuse on the grounds that someone might someday actually hear it.

SlipBack. A Colin Baker & Nicola Bryant radio play that's actually rather good, made back in the 80s it hasn't really dated. It remains hard to see CB's Dr as likeable, but this story is fun and shows what the TV series could have been like if it had had a budget, confidence and a sense of humour. Of course it's not a patch on...

Pest Control. This is the best of the batch. A two-CD story, read by David Tennant, rather than dramatised. And it does show off the strength of a fully written text as opposed to a dramatisation, especially when there is strong imagery to conjure up. Unlike Slipback's "look at that monster it's huge and slimey" technique, this adapted book is able to describe both the fantastic monsters (everything from giant robots to centaurs come to life in a way that would test even the most expensive CGI) and the thoughts and feelings of its characters. Tennant is so versatile with voices and accents that this also reminds us of how great his stint as the Doctor was. Whereas...

The Runaway Train. Another book, this time read by Matt Smith, contrasts unfavourably with Tennant. It still comes across very well, and is a good story well visualised in the mind, but Smith's reading is less confident than Tennant's, his characters less clearly defined, and his impersonation of Amy Pond frankly rubbish. He's still a good Doctor by the way, but his voice alone doesn't demonstrate that.

The final CD was Genesis of The Daleks which I have yet to listen to. If these babies are still available from the Telegraph website I'd recommend them. To the sad Dr Who fan with a long car journey ahead of them.

Kev F

Monday, 24 May 2010

Top 10 Most Influential Edfringe shows

Got into my first Edinburgh conversation with acts at last night's gig and we started listing what we thought were the most influential Edinburgh Fringe Shows ever. Here are a few we came up with, what would be on your list?

(in no particular order):

Dave Gorman - Reasons To Be Cheerful (1998). Began the tradition of Doing A Dave Gorman, ie setting yourself a novel task or project, then describing it for an hour on stage, ideally with slides, video, and props. Or Hostages To Fortune as many have discovered to their cost. (See also Simon Munnery)

Harry Hill (1992) - The Perrier Newcomer category was created (allegedly) so Harry Hill could win something that year.

Peter Buckley Hill's Free Shows (since 1996?) - Began what has now become a proud tradition of the free show.

Cambridge Footlights (1981) - First winners of the Perrier. Put the competition on the map while launching Fry, Laurie, Thompson & Slattery, then getting on the telly and setting template for godawful sketch shows ever since. (See also Cambridge Footlights 1962, 63, 84, and random others)

Writers Inc (1982) - Established tradition of the Perrier being won by people who you SO don't remember having existed you're sure someone's been screwing around with the Wikipedia page. (See also The Brass Band, Avner The Eccentric, Lano & Woodley)

Arthur Smith's Guided Tour (80s onwards?) - An early combination of street theatre, situationism and comedy travelogue which started at midnight and probably spawned more Ghost Tours than it has comedy imitators. Used to end with Chris Lynam letting a firework off out of his arse. This and Arthur Smith's Arturart exhibition undoubtedly influenced site-specific works like Mark Watson's Hotel (09).

Any other suggestions?

Kev F


PS: Beyond The Fringe wasn't a Fringe show.

PPS: Thinking about it, there's more to the Fringe than just comedy shows, sorry.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Dr Who The Hungry Earth reviewed

Just watched Doctor Who, The Hungry Earth. The first episode of this series that I've been able to watch at my own home, live as it was broadcast. (Ep 1, backstage at comedy gig in Bath; Ep 2 hotel room in Chorley before gig, Ep 3 hotel room in Inverness, Ep 4 next day after gig in Wolverhampton, Ep 5 after show on iPod in hotel room in Eastbourne, Ep 6 late after day out in, ironically, Cardiff, and Ep 7 late after gig in Chippenham) My verdict? 8/10 v good.

Had the best of the Moffat techniques:

1) The If such-and-such has happened, then how come...? technique ("how come I can still hear drilling?")
2) the Small Child
3) the taken-for-granted time travel, which is then forgotten about until we get the...
4) Reincorporation (but that comes next week)

And the return of the best of the RTD techniques:

1) Ensuring every character is well-rounded and sympathetic, even if they only have a very small part, so that when they are put in jeopardy we actually care about it.
2) er, that's it. That's what RTD always made sure his writers did, which the Moff sometimes doesn't.

For good measure included resonances of my favourite Who period, the Pertwee-on-earth years, and was also a good fast moving adventure that made Matt Smith look the best he has so far. He really is a great Doctor.

If I have a criticism, it's more of a question: why has so much of this series been filmed in churches? This episode, okay, the church was supposed to be a church, but in the Beast Below we had a church pretending to be the bridge of a star ship, and in Time Of Angels it was supposed to be a museum in the future. And we've had our share of churchyards in The Eleventh Hour and Amy's Choice. It's as bad as all those yellow railings that used to appear in every alien factory, spaceship and newly-terraformed planet environment a couple of series ago.

Apart from surfeit of churches, I'm happy.

Friday, 21 May 2010

The Eyjafjallojokul Volcano Song

New from the Socks, the Eyjafjallojokul Volcano Song. Enjoy. The Socks comic will be available, in a limited edition 3rd edition printing, at the Bristol Comics Expo this weekend, on the Comic Creators Guild table. See you there (or at the very least, in the bar later).

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Mark Millar's Clint comic submissions

Has anyone else been reading the submissions to Mark Millar's Clint comic?

They are of such a high standard that it gives one great hope for the future of comic talent. The artwork is routinely better than the writing (which gives me some hope, ranking myself as a writer more than an artist), and the colouring really is impressive. Having rarely done more than fill-in with colour and never having mastered the potential of Photoshop, I'm put to shame by these wannabes who really know their stuff.

As for where any of these creators are going to get paying work, that is the big question. Having read their submissions online, where every piece of colour art is shown in higher definition than is likely on a printed paper page, I can't see a lot of point in then paying 3 quid an issue to have a hard copy of it.

But I look forward to this weekend's Comic Expo in Bristol giving me the picture of where profitable comics publishing is still going on, so these very impressive talents can go onto the success they deserve.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Brian Bolland's art ripped off in name of art

Anyone who is a comic book fan will be familiar with the name and the work of Brian Bolland. He was one of the original artists on the UK's Judge Dredd comic strip and has spent most of the last 20 years producing outstanding front covers for US comic books.

Now the work of an exhibition artist, ErrĂ³ Gudmundur, has caught his eye. Because Erro has been ripping Brian, and other leading comic artists off. Erro either repaints or photomontages pictures by these comic artist onto his canvasses and sells them for much more than the original artists ever received. Here is a recent Erro canvas, with Brian Bolland himself stood in front of it in the Pompidou Centre:



And here is the original cover art from Tank Girl comic by Brian Bolland:



So, the question is where does Brian stand as far as copyright is concerned, and is Erro perfectly within his rights as an artist to reappropriate the work of another artist without crediting them?

I am torn over this issue, having studied Fine Art, been raised on Roy Lichtenstein who, 50 years ago, did precisely the same thing with the work of such comic artists as Russ Heath (Whaam) and John Romita. And I have had two exhibitions of my own canvasses on a very similar principle, taking minute snippets from comic strip frames and blowing them up to reveal their imperfections. One such canvas by me is currently on sale on eBay:



The £25 I'm likely to get for my canvas means I'm hardly doing a Lichtenstein or Erro by earning hundreds times more than the original artist, but the principle remains the same. I have reappropriated the work of another artist, although in my exhibitions the original artists including Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko are credited when known.

So, is it art? (Well yes, obviously it's art, that was a facile tabloid way of putting it). But who is in the right? And should Brian simply accept being ripped off in this way? Or should there be some recompense for artists whose work is reused so?

Discuss.

Socks t shirts, auction & new gigs news

Good morning Scottish Falsetto Socks fans, some goodies for you,

A small number of Socks t-shirts, brand new 2010 design, are still available (only cos we over-printed the last batch). The sizes left are Small (1 left only), M, L, XL, XXXL, Ladyfit S, Ladyfit M and Ladyfit L (1 only).

Paypal £18 / $28 to sockpuppets@sitcomtrials.co.uk and remember to say which size you want.
It looks like this:

If you want the older 'classic' Sock shirt, in any other sizes or colours, and any other merchandise like mugs, clocks, pants etc, you can get them any time at cafepress.co.uk/falsettosocks

SOCK AUCTION

To help raise funds for our Edinburgh Fringe show we've put 10 items on eBay. The sale ends tomorrow, Sunday, and most items are still at low, low prices. Remember, it all helps us take the show to the Fringe and some of the items are actually rather collectable.

Batman canvas
Dr Who drawing by the Socks
Socks props
Beano page framed
Weeping Angels
Bash St flip page
http://i40.tinypic.com/s4uxkk.jpg
Self portrait flip page
Bowie painting
Hot Rod Cow canvas
http://i44.tinypic.com/20rogap.jpg
Dr Who Daily Express

GIG DATES FOR THE DIARY

Some new dates for the diary to make a note of:

May 20 - Blackwood Miners, S Wales

June 24 - Clowns Pocket, Neath, S Wales

June 25 - Helmsley N Yorks

July 21 - Bristol Hen & Chicken Edinburgh Preview (new date)

July 30 - Bromsgrove Artrix NEW DATE

July 31 - Bedford Fringe

and if you're planning your September yet, our post-Edinburgh London performances of The Socks On The Telly is at the Leicester Square Theatre on 6 & 13 Sept, on sale now:


Have a good weekend everyone

The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Save BBC 6 Music say the Socks

Lest anyone forget, in the wake of its success at the Sony Awards, BBC 6 Music gets the musical and moral support of the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre:



Bearing in mind I wrote a blog about how Gordon Brown would stay leader of the Labour party until September two hours before he offered to resign, then the Socks uploaded a video all about Hung Parliaments and Rainbow Alliances 90 minutes before Gordon resigned properly and the Tories took over, you can expect this timely video to coincide with either BBC 6 Music getting a total reprieve, or exploding or something equally unforeseeable that will render this video, or some part of it, instantly redundant. Whatever, enjoy it while you can, and we hope it does some good.

Remember, Socks auction runs till Sunday, so you can bid on things to help the Socks get to the Edinburgh Fringe in August.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Hung Parliament explained by The Socks

The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre explain the complexities of a Hung Parliament, as only they can.



And don't forget we're raising funds for our Edinburgh Campaign by selling rare and valuable trinkets that you really really want on eBay right now (auction ends May 16th).

Weeping Angels statues
Doctor Who drawing by The Socks themselves
Framed page of Beano comic art, ultra rare and unique and all that

Lab-Con Alliance

Having confidently predicted in yesterday's blog that Gordon Brown would hang on until the Labour Party Conference, only for him to resign a couple of hours later, I realise I am as hopeless a pollster as pretty well everyone else.

Except for Alan Moore. He knew the score. Way back in 1981, in the 2000AD comic strip Chronocops, he predicted the Lab-Con Alliance:



Read the full strip here.

Meanwhile, the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre have put 10 items on eBay, aucion ending May 16, to try and raise funds to take their show to the Edinburgh Fringe. Details here.

Here are the 10 items:

Daily Express
Bash St flip page
http://i40.tinypic.com/s4uxkk.jpg
Self prt flip page
Bowie painting
Batman canvas
http://i41.tinypic.com/8zfm14.jpg
Hot Rod Cow canvas
http://i44.tinypic.com/20rogap.jpg
Weeping Angels
Dr Who drawing
Socks props
Beano page framed
http://i40.tinypic.com/rtiy3o.jpg

Socks vs Weeping Angels

The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre take on their most feared foes, the Weeping Angels off of Doctor Who! And why? Because we're trying to raise funds to take our show to the Edinburgh Fringe in August and have put 10 items on eBay. And one of those items is the ten "weeping angels" statues used in this video.



Bid for the 10 "weeping angels" here

Details of the other 9 items on eBay

Monday, 10 May 2010

Election: Why LibDem 4 Tory is A Good Thing

Well, my predictions for the election last week were not so wide of the mark that I can't allow myself another quick stab at it. And here's my thought - A LibDem Tory coalition will be A Good Thing.

Bear with me. Let me remind you I'm a Labour voter traditionally, and a leftie at heart. I voted LibDem tactically in my rural South West constituency in the vain hope that we might unseat the uber-safe Tory Liam Fox (in the end he held his seat with a 7% pro-Tory swing, the bugger). So why would I want the hated Tory party to take power propped up by the LibDems whose more left wing policies (scrapping Trident for example) are the first things they'll drop?

Because the power they're about to seize is shit. It's Shit Power. It's Power, but to the power of shit. A more polite way of describing it is a Poisoned Chalice. The chalice from the palace has the brew that is shit.

The economic situation this Tory/LibDems will be taking over (NB I predict the Tories will insist on a less "street" pronunciation, LibThem) is rubbish and, if whatever's going on in Greece is anything to go by, it's not about to get better. The bankers who ripped us off and who get richer every time there is any transaction in the markets good or bad keep pretending that this uncertainty is A Bad Thing, hoping none of us will notice that bit about them getting richer every time there is a transaction, good or bad. So they love uncertainty, they love turbulence. Bankers love, more than anybody else, the complete collapse of the market, because they make money at every jolt, shake, slide, tremble, or other earthquake like metaphor that occurs.

So the economic situation is going to get worse and worse for quite a while and every attempt to make things better for normal people will be fought against by the rich people who make more money the worse it gets for normal people. It might even get so bad that a large enough number of normal people see through how bad the rich people are allowing it to get so that they can make more money off it that they revolt and start smashing things and rioting in the street. Which will be bad. (Unless you're a banker, etc etc see above).

And all this turmoil will be presided over by the Tory/LibThems, while the Labour party, still led by Gordon Brown, sits back and says "see, not as easy as you thought, is it?" They can do that in not so many words or, my preferred method, they could say it in those actual words. Every week at the start of Prime Minister's Questions. "See?" Gordon will say, "Not as easy as you thought, is it? Posh boy."

And the summer will rumble on. With something really bad and unexpected happening in August. Don't know why, but something always does. Either in August or September (by the 11th at the latest) something big, international and nasty will happen. You can set your watch by it most years.

And then will come the Party Conferences. At which point Gordon Brown, the Beloved Leader of increasingly fond memory, will be able to say, a fortnight before the conference, "Do you know what, sod this for a game of soldiers, I'm off." And he'll resign as leader of the Labour Party, leaving on a high, having not totally lost his General Election, and having proved himself categorically to have done the job better than his immediate successor, and Labour can devote their Conference to electing a new leader.

In the face of the new Labour leader, who will have all the popular support and moral authority that an Opposition who is right all the time has - and you can only be properly smug when you are the Opposition leader watching a Prime Minister in deep deep doo-doo - the Tory/LibThem alliance, which will by the autumn have more cracks in it than Clint Eastwood's arse, will delay and delay the inevitable new General Election, bickering about what method will be used for the voting, and probably ending up with the most complicated, least intelligible and inevitably more time-consumingly crap method, until finally they call an election possibly sometime like March 2011.

Then in the spring of 2011 the country will go to the polls again. This time their choice will be much clearer than in May 2010. Do they go for the Tories, who just spent 10 months cocking everything up? The LibDems who've spent 10 months as footstools and doormats to the hopeless Tories and now stand for nothing except occasionally to have a piece of bread clamped between their buttocks and stood in front of a fireplace so an old Etonian Tory can have some toast?

Or the Labour party? Who, after 10 months of saying "we told you so" can step forward proudly, confidently, majestically and say "Okay, now let us show you how it's really done."

Of course spring 2011 is when things start to turn around anyway. The recession will be into its 4th year and good times will be just around the corner.

(Oh, then there's the Big War. But shush. We'll worry about that when it happens).

Kev F

10 items on eBay to take Socks to Edinburgh

The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre are returning to the Edinburgh Fringe this August and right now have a mountain of expensive bills to pay. So, in an effort to raise those elusive funds, we've put 10 unique items on eBay. If you're a Sock fan, we'd appreciate your bids. Some of these items are particularly collectable and valuable so if you know any collectors of comic art, exhibition art, memorabilia or trivia, it would be lovely if you'd alert them to this stuff. Here are the items:

Batman canvas

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=290433854079

A large canvas based on Batman, a photomontage collage from Kev F Sutherland's exhibition first shown in Bristol in 2003 and kept in the personal collection since.

Beano original art - Hot Rod Cow does Fantastic Four

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=290433890673

A page of original art by Kev F, as published in the Beano in 2006. This page comes in a wooden frame, along with the original page of script, a foamcore board-mounted caption card giving details of the work, and images of the influences on the work and similar homages. This page, from the story Hot Rod Cow (starring Plug and the Bash Street Kids) is a pastiche of the front cover of Fantastic Four number 1, one of many such homages and references I include in my Beano work. This is the first time one of my Beano pages has gone on sale.

Bash Street Kids flipchart page

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=290433820889

From my Comic Art Masterclasses in schools, a large illustration of all the Bash Street Kids, produced as part of one of my classes. Signed as part of the artwork.

Hot Rod Cow canvas

http://bit.ly/aeU2Bg

Blown up from the first panel of the first appearance of Hot Rod Cow in The Beano as part of a Bash Street Kids Adventure, a large canvas photomontage collage.

Also up for auction for the next 6 days only are:
David Bowie painting from 1980
Ten 'Weeping Angels'
Doctor Who meets Honda illustration, as produced live by the Scottish Falsetto Socks in one of their videos
A newspaper with exclusive Doctor Who cover story
Kev F self portrait flipchart page
Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre props

Thursday, 6 May 2010

New Socks material, very sneak preview

Last night at the Thunderbolt in Bristol The Socks gave a very sneak preview of potential material for the new Edinburgh show. The audience was so small that I didn't even bother turning the video camera on, knowing that a clip without laughter can sound very naff. However Alan Holloway, the other act on the bill, decided to film the Socks with his camera anyway and has uploaded some bits to YouTube. That makes this a doubly sneak preview as there was no-one there to see them on the night and I never expected to see a clip myself, added to which this particular song is highly unlikely to make the final show. So enjoy, if you can, a proper rarity:



Socks Facebook Fan Club
Socks best videos
Socks merchandise

I've rsvp'd maybe cos you don't want to seem rude

Last night The Socks did their very first pre-pre-preview night trying out all new material and it didn't go badly at all, there's lots of work still to do, and the one thing that would have helped judge how well it's going would be if there'd been more than 10 people in the audience. Yes we arranged this at short notice, at the brilliant Thunderbolt in Bristol, and most people couldn't make it. Those that did were lovely, so thanks all.

Which makes my Facebook-rejecting this morning all the more galling. I wish I could support everyone who's doing an Edinburgh preview, or running any other events of any sort. But, with the greatest and humblest apologies, these are the Facebook invites that today I had to rsvp Maybe or No to (actually I said Yes to one which I'm actually going to be at). Sadly the rest, from London to Edinburgh, Bristol to New York, take place when I'm doing something else or am in the wrong city, or country, or washing my hair. I wish every event well, though, especially those of you doing Edinburgh Previews.

Today I spurned, as I would spurn a burning zombie, the following:

You may be attending Brand new show - Kevin Dewsbury In...Sane.
You may be attending Ariadne the WAG's Comedy BAG is BACK!!
You may be attending "NEXT!" Edinburgh Previews.
You may be attending Laughing Lasses May Comedy Night.
You may be attending Phil Cornwell Preview Show.
You may be attending Highly Strung feat: Lauren Pritchard (Island Records).
You may be attending GORDON SOUTHERN headlines Good Ship with funny funny friends. Awesome.
You may be attending UKEAOKE 10!
You may be attending COMICS AND COMICS.
You may be attending Underground Festival - A New Music Festival for Gloucester.
You may be attending The Blue Cat Cafe Comedy Night.
You may be attending Signs and Portents: Chris Lynch vs. The Sidekick Cast.
You may be attending The Communicators @ The Tunnels Bristol.
You will not be attending Video Blog.
You will be attending National Not Voting Conservative Day.
You may be be attending gary colman is... very rarely rong.
You may be attending "NEXT!"
You may be attending Heat 4.
You may be attending Tiff and Roisin do a preview.
You may be attending Chris Corcoran Edinburgh Preview Shows - May.
You may be attending Songs From The Shed Presents Evening Chorus & Support.
You may be attending The Honeys at the Sitcom Mission.
You may be attending Gladiators @ Semi Finals of The Sitcom Mission.
You may be attending Hairy Mary@The Brighton Fringe Festival.
You may be attending The Great Big Comedy Picnic.
You may be attending Hairy Mary@The Old Police Station.
You may be attending 13. International Istanbul Puppet Festival.
You may be attending Creased Comedy Election Day Special @ The Trent House TOMORROW.
You may be attending BRIAN GITTINS star of Ricky Gervais' CEMETARY JUNCTION.
You may be attending Tiernan Douieb - Solo Show At The Brighton Fringe.
You may be attending MEGA MOUTH PROMOTIONS PRESENTS.
You will be attending Comic Book Outsiders - BICSPE Panel.
You may be attending MAT HORNE presents SESSION14 feat THE BIG PINK+PAUL EPWORTH.
You may be attending Rob Rouse - My Family... and the dog that scared Jesus.
You may be attending If When Why What. Pop quiz, numero 22.
You may be attending Little Dark - Sketch Comedy, 2nd Week BT.
You may be attending Springtime Follies.
You may be attending Nick Harper returns to Edinburgh with special guest Darren Poyzer!
You may be attending 10th May - Last LAASoc with Terry Saunders and special guest MC...
You may be attending CABARET GOLD.
You may be attending SESSION with Mat Horne.
You may be attending CLEARING THE FOG.
You may be attending VOTE FOR SPIEL! Vikki Stone + Renata Muss + Andrew Bailey + Dave Russell.
You may be attending NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD: REANIMATED @ Hudson Horror Show.
You may be attending Sam Avery - The Art of the Scouse Insult.
You may be attending Knock2bag Comedy Night - Notting Hill.
You may be attending No Offence But...
You may be attending East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention.
You may be attending Pop-Up Variety - A Special Night of Spectacular Cabaret.
You may be attending Stiffed!
You may be attending Dan Clowes & Chris Ware Signing at Gosh! Comics.
You may be attending Mat Horne & Nine53 presents The Session @ Cuba Lancaster.
You may be attending Gonzo Moose Present Is That A Bolt In Your Neck?
You may be attending TONY'S 40th BIRTHDAY BASH!
You may be attending JunkMales Live! The Midlife Crisis.
You may be attending Bonobo (Live).

Monday, 3 May 2010

The Bash Street Election

How does the comic-lover in me see the election? Obviously, working most memorably for the Beano, I'm in the arena of the pre-political. I certainly had no understanding of politics aged 9 and I dread the idea of any kid who has. Even aged 20 I was pretty clueless and spent most of the last 3 decades calling the result of every election wrong.

It is interesting to think how the characters in the Beano might vote once they grew up. And obviously it would make a difference when they grew up. If Leo Baxendale's Bash Street Kids had carried on growing from their inception in Britain's industrial north in the 1950s, then by the time they'd been first eligible to vote they would have all voted Labour, with the exception of Cuthbert Cringeworthy, Conservative, and they'd have ushered in Harold Wilson with a landsllide in 1964. (Thinks: voting age may have been 21 in 1964, so that may be slightly optimistic. Whatever, thru the 60s they'd have been solid Labour).


(above, part of the election sequence from Invasion of the Beano Snatchers by Kev F, click to see strip archive)

By the 80s, if the Bash Street Kids aged like humans, they'd be in their late thirties and they'd have seen many of their jobs lost to Thatcherism. The more self-interested, like Spotty and Roger The Dodger, might have turned Tory and be running small businesses to employ the rest of the gang. Cuthbert would be standing as the SDP/Liberal Alliance candidate and still losing to the Labour candidate, Toots.

So to today. The Bash Street Kids are all 65 years old and mostly still vote Labour as they've always done. Councillor Spotty and Roger The Mayor spend most of their time in Spain and don't bother to vote, and Cuthbert's political career never recovered from the rent boy scandal 15 years ago. Toots is standing down as Labour MP at this election. So it's the Bash Street Grandkids who'll be swinging this result. Spotty Junior went from boarding school to Oxford to the City & Roger's kids are facing a House Committee for fraud after their involvement in Goldman Sachs, so they're no longer local. From the success of Plug junior's chain of beauty parlours to Wilf junior's success as a pundit on local TV, to the Toots family's dominance of local politics and Danny junior's garage staying occasionally out of the red, the next generation are mostly aspirational and doing okay. Which leaves them torn between Labour and the resurgent LibDems. (Teacher, by the way, is still clinging on in his twilight home and has already filed a postal vote. His vote has remained, as always, a secret).

My call for the Bash Street constituency on Thursday? A slim Labour win. As we all know, the rest of the country very rarely resembles Bash Street.

Kev F out of The Beano

Brighton Rock - Socks at Brighton Fringe

Big thanks to the great people of Brighton. The Socks just enjoyed two nights at Komedia, performing ...Goes To Hollywood, our touring show based on last year's Edinburgh show, but with a couple of new bits of material squeezed in (thanks for bearing with those, Brighton). The second night was a sellout, the first was nearly there too, so a fine way to spend a bank holiday.

Among the new material was Brighton Rock, specially written for our Brighton visit and still taking shape. Here's its world premiere (or the first few minutes before it started crying out for a rewrite):



Star spotting while in town: saw David Walliams Saturday and on Sunday a presenter off kids TV whose name I can't place. So not as starry as star spotting gets, to be honest. And we can heartily recommend the artwork 77 Million Paintings by Brian Eno which is showing at Fabrika in Brighton. I watched it for a good 20 minutes and it is riveting. Go see. And enjoy the rest of the Fringe everyone, it's only just begun.

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