30 Before Thirty (Comics & Graphic Novels)

Congratulations Mr Trump (3).png

I’m going to be thirty in just over 2 years and at this moment in time I’m OK with that (how I feel about it in 10 minuets is up for debate) but one of the things that I realised is that there are a fair few things I still want to accomplish whilst the career and social goals are somewhat out of my control things like films I want to see, albums I want to listen to and books I want to read are very much in my control, especially as I have 25 months to accomplish it. Here is a list of the Comics and Graphic Novels that I would like to have read by the time I’m thirty.

Grant Morrison’s 18 Days

25611652

Camelot 3000

61q2xJpcvhL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

Miracle Man: A Dream Of Flying

51yGXnCbYtL._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_

All Star Superman 

51aj58tawbL._SX318_BO1,204,203,200_

Preacher: Gone To Texas

95431

The Crow

The_Crow_comic_book_original_cover

Sandman Preludes and Nocturnes

51GG3FKAR4L._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_

Alan Moore’s: Saga of The Swamp Thing

51WJwR8QmnL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

Marvel 1602

Marvel_1602_Vol_1_1

Saga: Volume 1

81+Sf+bNqUL

 The Order: Die Mensch Machine

download (1).jpg

The Complete Scarlet Traces 

download (2).jpg

Button Man

2902281-button_man_1

Ronin 

51cErSDhkDL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

Superman: Whatever Happened To The Man Of Tomorrow 

51ynXz0DmPL._SX336_BO1,204,203,200_

The Infinity Gauntlet 

Infinity_Gauntlet_1

Amazing Spider-man: Kravens Last Hunt

512UYljUNrL._SX321_BO1,204,203,200_

Promethea Book 1 

Promethea

Jack Kirby’s Fourth World Omnibus 

511O7BCCEyL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

Multiversity 

3788807

Son Of Superman 

Son_of_Superman

Hellblazer: Original Sins 

81IQpmRpRHL

The Authority: Relentless 

download (3).jpg

Hellboy: Seed Of Destruction 

51rsvrgxK-L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

Doctor Who: Emperor Of The Daleks

download (4).jpg

Death: The High Cost Of Living  

200px-Death-_The_High_Cost_of_Living.jpg

JSA The Liberty Files 

JSA_Liberty_File_1

Alice In Sunderland 

51JbqqPdUnL._SX353_BO1,204,203,200_

Daredevil Yellow

81Nk9wThhYL

The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Mr. Punch

Mr_Punch_cover.jpg

How many of these do you think I’ll get done before July 21st 2019?

30 Before I’m Thirty (Films)

Congratulations Mr Trump (2)

I’m going to be thirty in just over 2 years and at this moment in time I’m OK with that (how I feel about it in 10 minuets is up for debate) but one of the things that I realised is that there are a fair few things I still want to accomplish whilst the career and social goals are somewhat out of my control things like films I want to see, albums I want to listen to and books I want to read are very much in my control, especially as I have 25 months to accomplish it. Here is a list of the films that I would like to have read by the time I’m thirty.

How Green Was My Valley 

MV5BMjE1YWRmMWEtYTQ0Yy00NGEwLWFmNzAtZDkwOWNjMzkwYzJmXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNjc1NTYyMjg@._V1_UX182_CR0,0,182,268_AL_

Gentleman’s Agreement

Gentleman's_Agreement_(1947_movie_poster)

From Here to Eternity

From_Here_to_Eternity_film_poster

Gone With The Wind

Gone_With_The_Wind_1967_re-release

Cat On A Hot Tin Roof

Cat_roof

West Side Story

West_Side_Story_poster

Lawrence of Arabia

220px-Lawrence_of_arabia_ver3_xxlg

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf

5183CT06SGL._SY445_

Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner

guess-whos-coming-to-dinner-movie-poster-1967-1010267936

Funny Girl

large_4b5ZtYmVtwz5R0UDavj3rvQJrBj

Fiddler On The Roof

fiddler_on_the_roof

All The Presidents Men

MPW-60749

Milk

milk-movie-poster

Kramer Vs Kramer

220px-Oscar_posters_79

Terms of Endearment 

MV5BMTk0ODM4NDk0MF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMTEzMDUxMDE@._V1_UY1200_CR90,0,630,1200_AL_

The Cider House Rules

cider_house_rules_xlg

An Education

education_xlg

The Wolf Of Wall Street

wolf_of_wall_street_ver3_xlg

Guardians of the Galaxy 2

download.jpg

Moonrise Kingdom

moonrise-kingdom-movie-poster-2012-1020750674

Saving Private Ryan

MV5BZjhkMDM4MWItZTVjOC00ZDRhLThmYTAtM2I5NzBmNmNlMzI1XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNDYyMDk5MTU@._V1_UY1200_CR93,0,630,1200_AL_

Going In Style 

going_in_style

Wall Street

MPW-76145

King Ralph

king_ralph_xlg

Planes Trains and Automobiles

A70-12393

O Brother, Where Art Thou?

51Z2g-KN03L

The Monuments Men

Monuments-Men-poster-2

Good Will Hunting

Good_Will_Hunting_theatrical_poster

Good Morning Vietnam 

large_7gxvvzBj5dAIiTbGItX3V48YPMb

This Is Spinal Tap

5f688539c8ca40399076d1b7b1d869e5

How many of these do you think I’ll get done before July 21st 2019?

Coming Out Of The Bat Closet (LGBTQ Themes In Batman)

Practical yet Affordable Gift Ideas for Teacher Appreciation (1).png

HOLY HOMOSEXUAL URGES BATMAN!!!!

Have you ever stopped to think how gay Batman is. There is a lot of subtext if you read between those thought bubbles. Lets look at it in stages.

  1. Batman/ Bruce Wayne’s relationship with women. As both Batman and Bruce Wayne, he seems incapable of maintaining a healthy long term relationship, such short term things seem fraught with tragedy, looking at his relationships with women as Batman such as Catwoman, Wonder Woman, or Talia Al Ghul, they all seem to be some sort of overcompensation. His relationships as Bruce Wayne however are quiet simply as a beard, they go a long way to setting up his persona as Bruce Wayne, millionaire playboy, whose to say heterosexual millionaire playboy isn’t also part of it.
  2. His relationship with Alfred: Alfred Pennyworth, Bruce Wayne’s butler and one time legal guardian and full time enabler. Alfred took on the role of father to Bruce Wayne after Bruce’s parents were murdered. Instead of getting little Bruce some serious grief counselling and psychiatric care he let him drop out of school to pursue his career as scourge of the underworld. Their relationship is more complex than just that however. Alfred genuinely does love Bruce like a son, however Bruce’s feelings are somewhat different, he begins to project on Alfred during his teenage years, and because he can’t act on these feeling internalises them and it feeds his depression and anguish, not to mention giving him cause to focus on ending crime on Gotham.
  3. Batman’s relation ship with Robin: Anyone who has ever seen the Adam West/ Burt Ward depictions  of Batman and Robin will have no illusions that they are a gay couple. The whole relationship is odd on the face of it. Now single men can make great parents, (dad’s can do it too etc) but it does seem a little strange that a single man in his 20’s/30’s would adopt a teenage son, it may be cynical of me to think that anything untoward was taking place, but when the man doing the adopting forces the child out on to the streets in a pair of green briefs, alarm bells start to ring, and it isn’t because the joker is robbing a bank if you know what I mean.

Batman is one of those characters that will never be outed in mainstream comics continuity (why else would you have characters such as Midnighter if Batman was out), but there are a lot of themes within the comic books, the TV shows and films that are definitely a bit on the queer side.

The Lazy Ramblings Of A Lazy Man (On Being Shy)

The Man Down My Local (10).pngI was recently introduced to the Idle Thoughts Of An Idle Fellow by Jerome K Jerome. The book consists of 14 essays on 14 topics

  1. ON BEING IDLE.
  2. ON BEING IN LOVE.
  3. ON BEING IN THE BLUES.
  4. ON BEING HARD UP.
  5. ON VANITY AND VANITIES.
  6. ON GETTING ON IN THE WORLD.
  7. ON THE WEATHER.
  8. ON CATS AND DOGS.
  9. ON BEING SHY.
  10. ON BABIES.
  11. ON EATING AND DRINKING.
  12. ON FURNISHED APARTMENTS.
  13. ON DRESS AND DEPORTMENT.
  14. ON MEMORY.

Jerome K Jerome is pretty much me down to a tee. He’s lazy and just writes whatever comes to mind. He doesn’t care who he offends, and I often felt that he may have been somewhat high when he picked up the pen. But Mr Jerome has inspired me, so I am going to be writing a series of posts on the topics that Mr Jerome turned his hand at. (I know I’m ripping the guy off, but quite frankly I don’t care).

On Being Shy

You wouldn’t think it to look at me now, but I haven’t always been the confident, handsome, outgoing person that I am now. I used to be a fat, spotty teenager with the confidence of a flaccid willy. I couldn’t even look a girl in the eye, let alone talk to one above some pathetic mumble.

Confidence is something I’ve had to work on throughout my life, to the point where I can now address a well lit room full of hundreds of people without even breaking a sweat. I’m told I even manage make it look easy. However small talk and meeting new people is something I really suck at, I mean, I never know what to say in these awkward social situations, its something that really has been apparent over the last few months, due to the increase in civic duties, it means a lot of talking to old people whilst trying not to be offensive.

usually at those sort of events I just stick to neutral topics live the weather or whatever it is the event is in aide of, “x does such great work”, “we really need to do more for y”, that sort of thing. It does get a little tedious, but it is definitely better than talking about anything controversial, especially with old people.

This is the ninth in series of posts ripping off the work of Mr Jerome K Jerome and his seminal piece The Idle Thoughts Of An Idle Man.

Postnatal Depression In Men

Postnatal Depression In Men.png

Postnatal depression is something that affects as much as 10% of new mothers out there, however what they don’t tell you is that it doesn’t only effect women, it can effect men just as badly. It may be difficult to tell if you are suffering from Postnatal depression because some of the symptoms are just symptomatic of life, especially when you’ve just had a child. symptoms such as tiredness, trouble sleeping at night and feeling tired during the day seem like par for the course when a new baby comes along, and this would go hand in hand with problems concentrating, making decisions and a lack of energy and feeling all the time seems like it would again be part of the lack of sleep. The common symptoms of PND (postnatal depression) in men are:

  • a persistent feeling of sadness and low mood
  • lack of enjoyment and loss of interest in the wider world
  • lack of energy and feeling tired all the time
  • trouble sleeping at night and feeling sleepy during the day
  • difficulty bonding with your baby
  • withdrawing from contact with other people
  • problems concentrating and making decisions
  • frightening thoughts – for example, about hurting your baby

What causes postnatal depression in men is not entirely clear from a sociological and an anthropological standpoint factors could include

  • a history of mental health problems, particularly depression, earlier in life
  • having no close family or friends to support you
  • a poor relationship with your partner
  • recent stressful life events, such as a bereavement or job loss
  • financial difficulties

however from a biochemical standpoint however childbirth does some pretty crazy things to men’s heads studies in animals and people show that new fathers experience an increase in the hormones estrogen, oxytocin, prolactin and glucocorticoids, according to a recent review of studies by psychologist Elizabeth Gould and colleagues from Princeton University.

The research shows that contact with the mother and children seem to induce certain hormonal changes in fathers. In humans, fathers who show more affection toward their children also tend to have higher levels of oxytocin (the hormone responsible for bonding with children), the effects of this change in the chemical soup that makes up a human being could lead to hormonal imbalances that in turn could lead to depression.

If you do feel that you are suffering from postnatal depression as a dad there are many things you can do about it.

If you want someone to talk to anonymously you can call the Samaritans free on 0117 983 1000 from any UK mobile or landline.

Alternatively you can speak to your doctor who will recommend various forms of treatment for you such as antidepressants or counselling based on your needs. Most importantly you should talk to your partner, tell them what you are going through, they may be feeling the same and you can act as a little two person support group for each other, or by simply unburdening yourself to them they be able to help a little bit while you try to get your shit together. It is hard work and I speak from experience, I suffered through the sleepless nights and lethargic days (to the point where I had to have a sit down half way through washing the dishes), I suffered the mood swings, the obsessive behaviour and the constant tiredness. It got to the point where I barely recognised who I was as person anymore, and then finally it hit me, that moment of clarity, that I needed help, I went to my doctor and asked for a big pile of antidepressants, I started taking my daughter out more and more, seeing friends and just doing small things until now over the last few months (bearing in mind my daughter will be two next month) I have finally started to feel like myself again. I give a shit about how I look again, I care that my house is a mess, I do occasionally go out and have fun with my friends. And a big part of that is because I asked for help.

The mother of my child would joke that our roles were reversed after the pregnancy. I was the one who had the baby brain and the sleepless nights, I could drive a tractor through that bedroom and I wouldn’t have woken Jessica up, whereas Marianna farting in her bedroom will often wake me up to this day (even if I fall asleep on the sofa). But this made me think that if I were going through this sort of thing how many other men were out there, going through the exact same thing and not getting the help that they needed?  Men and mental health issues can be tricky minefield to navigate at the best of times, because by admitting that we need help, we are wired to believe that we fail as men, that we should be the strong silent type, but this sort of thing is not healthy, yes I know that there is a stigma around mental health, but there shouldn’t be, especially at a time when we as men really are at out most vulnerable. If you need help get it, if you had a broken leg, you wouldn’t leave it untreated (at least not for longer than it takes to sober up), if you had cancer you would get chemo, if you caught the clap you would take some penicillin, if you were stupid enough to mess around with power tools while under the influence, you would go to the emergency room. So why on earth wouldn’t you take the necessary treatments to combat depression and make your self well again? If not for your sake then for your child’s. They deserve a father, not just the shell of one.