About Me: Five Favourite Comics and Graphic Novels

I’ve been writing this blog seriously for almost a year now, so maybe its time we got to know each other a little better. So here are some of my favourite comics and graphic novels:

Watchmen

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Alan Moore’s best known work and what is heralded as the birth of modern comic book industry. Its dark, its gritty and its probably the first american comic that was written for grown ups.

The Boys

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Garth Ennis series that posits the theory that if super powers really did exist, people with them would probably be insufferable cunts. Its rude, its crude and its really powerful, it makes light of the superhero genre and will be a classic for years to come.

Superman and Batman Generations 

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A tale that takes superman and batman back to their origins in the 1930’s and ages them in real time. It looks at their relationships and the strains that their choices put on their lives, and the lives of their families.

Judge Dredd: America

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Judge Dredd is a wholly unrelatable and unsympathetic character, what makes the world of Judge Dredd such an amazing and lasting institution is the characters that surround Dredd, and America is a story about freedom and how people are willing to let go of liberty in exchange for security, and like all good stories is makes you think, think about the important issues, the issues that should be important to us at any rate.

Annihilation

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It kick started Marvel’s space renaissance and gave birth to the modern Guardians of the Galaxy that have now been immortalised on screen. Its a space opera that unites many obscure areas of the Marvel Universe, shakes some up, kills some off and it generally an amazing story.

 

About Me: Five Favourite TV Series

I’ve been writing this blog seriously for almost a year now, so maybe its time we got to know each other a little better. So here are some of my favourite TV series.

Doctor Who 

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This is a no brainer, it will always be my favourite show, the thing with time travel is that it can be anything, a period drama, a historic epic or a sci-fi masterpiece and Doctor Who manages to be all of them at once.

Shogun

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A fictional account of the first Englishman to come to Japan you get the costumes and the customs that you would expect. and you’re made to feel lost in this strange land yourself, because as the use of the Japanese language, without subtitles, goes on, you begin to pick it up for yourself, all while you get swept up in the intrigues and intricacies of feudal Japan.

M*A*S*H

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You would think sarcastic doctors drinking on the front line of the Korean War would grow thin really very quickly, but what M*A*S*H did, was probably the first sitcom to marry drama and social commentary in a wartime setting, whilst another, war was being waged, and managed to do it for over a decade.

The Thick Of It

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Political spin, British style, its something that I can relate to, and most of the way through I actually find myself thinking, this is so accurate. Not to mention Malcom F Tucker.

Downton Abbey  

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I’m not really a fan of period dramas, so I don’t know why I like Downton Abbey so much, except maybe for the biting wit of Dame Maggie Smith.

About Me: Five Favourite Books

I’ve been writing this blog seriously for almost a year now, so maybe its time we got to know each other a little better. So here are some of my favourite books:

Sideways- Rex Pickett

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Two buddies on a stag do in wine country, this witty look at a final bacchanal before taking the plunge which is only enhanced by wine and women, blend all these fruits together and you come up with a smooth and funny tale for the ages.

Thank You For Smoking- Christopher Buckley 

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This was the book that got me into politics, the shear absurdity of it all, the way special interest groups have all the say on government policy, it was what made me want to be right there at the heart of it all, and its because of this book that I’m now the vice chair of the Policy and Finance Committee on one of the largest town councils in Wales.

Orcs- Stan Nicholls 

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It twists the fantasy genre on its head, and makes a band of orcs the heroes. And whilst I’m cheating by picking the omnibus edition, but while it is three books it is one continuing narrative so cheat I shall. Nicholls writing is of someone that understands fantasy and the English language, but isn’t afraid to play with either and which makes Orcs something that I reread at least once a year.

Night Watch- Terry Pratchett 

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Terry Pratchett is without question my favourite author and to narrow down one of his books as a favourite is an almost impossible task, but Night Watch was the first one that I ever brought with my own money, and to this day it remains the standard by which I judge all other writing.

The Family- Mario Puzo 

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One of my interests is history, I studied history, and always loved the court intrigues of renaissance Italy, Machiavelli remains on of my key influences throughout all of time, and his writings of his time with the Borgia court are things that have stuck with me for years, so you can probably guess that when I discovered that the author of the Godfather had written about the Borgia’s and their conquest of most of the Italian peninsula and the influence they had on Europe, you can bet your backside that this would be a permanent part of any bookcase of mine.

About Me: Five Favourite Films

I’ve been writing this blog seriously for almost a year now, so maybe its time we got to know each other a little better. So here are some of my favourite films

 

The Godfather

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Pacino and Brand at their finest bringing to life Francis Ford Copala’s vision of Mario Puzo’s seminal work.

Sideways 

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Sideways is a buddy comedy of errors looking at the mistakes of life and how friendship will overcome them through the bottom of bottle.

In The Loop

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Armando Iannucci’s comedic take on the criminal attitudes of government spin doctors in waging a war in the middle east. Having done my fair share of political PR I can tell you that the characters are actually pretty spot on, and seeing Malcom Tucker take on the yanks is just a treat.

Empire Strikes Back

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I had to put one of the Star Wars films on this list, and to be honest I very nearly put Rogue One, but on reflection Empire is the best of all Star Wars films because I always root for the bad guy and lets face it Darth Vader and the Empire won Empire Strikes Back.

Frost/Nixon 

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Michael Sheen and Frank Langella recreating the fateful interview which relaunched David Frost’s career and put the final nail in the coffin of Richard Nixon’s. It looks at these two men and the story behind the legendary war of words.

 

About Me: Five Favourite Albums

I’ve been writing this blog seriously for almost a year now, so maybe its time we got to know each other a little better. Here is a look into the twisted world of my musical tastes with a showing of five of the best albums that I have come across in my nearly three decades of existence.

Bruce Dickinson- Tyranny of Souls 

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Iron Maiden were one of the first real bands that I ever got into but for me the stand out was always the lead singer Bruce Dickinson. And the first I heard of Mr Dickinson’s solo career was the song Abduction, from the above album, which I actually at first mistook to be an Iron Maiden song. But when I listened to the Album, it is one of the few that I always have to listen to from start to finish.

The Rat Pack- Live and Dangerous 

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Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis JR and to a lesser extent Dean Martin are all fantastic singers. But even more so they are all fantastic performers, and on the album Live and Dangerous, you are treated to two live shows, one from the Sands Hotel in 1963 and another Hosted by Johnny Carson from St Louis. And you really see, or rather hear, what The Rat Pack were really all about, a group of friends having a laugh and having a good time, and doing it in style.

Roger Waters- The Pro’s and Cons of Hitchhiking 

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Roger Waters will be remembered as the experimental one from Pink Floyd. And the Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking is just that, an experimental concept album with a lot of balls. It takes the moody introspectiveness of the Wall and then shoves a rocket up its arse, then lights the fucker before bringing it all to a close.

Nightwish- Once 

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I’d just finished school at the tender age of 16, and I’d never really strayed beyond what was on Kerrang (music TV channel in the early 21st century) although I did like classical music and even a bit of opera by this point as well. So you can imagine how my mind was blown by this melding of an operatic soprano and fast Finnish power metal. This was the last studio album to feature the vocalist Tarja Turunen before her departure and I do feel that the band has suffered massively since her dismissal.

Raoul Jobin- I Pagliacci 

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This is a live performance of my favourite opera and it is one that I still will listen to regularly from start to finish. Whilst the recording quality isn’t the best, you still get to hear the immortal Raoul Jobin playing the original sad clown.