Homework assignment: building a better robot

We can do it!

Gerry Anderson Andromedan Warbot. 1979. UK.

Starlog Japan. 1981. Maximilian.

Magic Robot Quiz Game. 1983. UK.

Hulk: Baptism of Fire. John Byrne. 1986. US.

September was pretty cool. It was my birthday, and I was pleased to get Kim Wilde’s last album Here Come The Aliens after seeing Kim and her band live in concert in July. The album is ridiculously addictive, with every single one of its pop/rock/80’s-vibe songs staying in your head long after listening.

Kim Wilde Here Come The Aliens 2018 CD. Artwork by Scarlett Wilde.

I also got The Desaturating Seven CD by Primus, a concept album based on the children’s book The Rainbow Goblins, written by Italian author and artist Ul de Rico. For those who don’t know, Primus is an amazing funk/metal/progressive rock band, recording since 1989, and who composed the original TV theme music to South Park. Primus sucks 🙂

Primus The Desaturating Seven CD

In September I had a story published…

My short story The Shores We Scavenge was published in a print anthology called Secrets in the Water. This is the fourth short I’ve had published to date, as well as a fair bit of poetry. It’s my dream to publish a full length novel… something I’m working on. In the meantime, short stuff is wonderful 🙂

Detective Comics N°1000!

Finally got a copy of the landmark Batman issue, and with a very cool variant cover. Thanks to a good friend in the UK who sent this over.

Detective Comics N° 1000. May 2019. Jim Lee / Scott Williams / Alex Sinclair cover.

Pez love. Love Pez!

Plus two little Smurfs I needed to complete a Kinder Surprise Chocolate Egg collection that I’ve been putting together – look out for an upcoming post all about that! 

Robots…

They can spin!

Shogun Rocket Tops. 1979. Italy.

Robots can attack and compute! 

ATTACKING MARTIAN, battery operated tinplate robot, by Horikawa, Jaman, 1960s. ANSWERGAME, battery operated tinplate robot that executes simple mathematics, by Ichida, Japan, 1960s. From Christie’s South Kensington auction catalogue. 1988.

Robots can talk!

Power Rangers Robot Ranger. 1995. France.

All in all, September was a great month. Thanks for looking (back) with me, and remembering to love your robot  🙂


Poem:

A Quick Digital Lesson

A+ plus a teacher, Teacher-Teacher, back row cheater, front row swot (I’m a girly, girly swot and I don’t care), digital faces preach to reach, upturned calculators, speak and spell, red LCD warnings readable only in reflections, reflections of the mind and soul, hearts chopped up for lunch on a mirror, believing in youth because you’re no different and it hurts just the same and it always will, you, hey you, it’s you because… the song and the dance and the early morning impressions, lessons, torn-open depressions, bleeding hearts and knife-twisting regressions, dreams that violate night after night when you should be sleeping and resting oh my poor dear one, you, you who deserve divine and pure realignment while preparing for your homework assignment, history, history, history, repeat after me: honestly now, if you could go back and change things, would you? Would you take a shiny merit, a prefect badge, 10 points for Slytherin or Gryffindor, detention or lines, the walk of shame to the headmaster’s office – he’ll burn your books and make an example of you in morning assembly in front of the school, idiot, dunce, waster, fool, words so cruel whether said verbally or spelled out on the latest computer or the shiniest screen of the shiniest phone, yes there are Apps for that – they bring you down the moment you soar, are free to use with personalised ads, harvesting away while you study and learn in the digital school where you’re a number not a name, but then… hasn’t that always been the same even when analogue was queen for a day, along with paper and poems and song and word of mouth, and painted cave walls and the primordial grunt? Bell rings. Ring-a-ling-a-ling. Lesson over for today. School’s out. Freedom beckons but only ever of sorts… yet… listen… do you want to know an organic secret straight from the human heart and soul? My digital master, he loves it when I sleep, because he believes he can read my dreams. What he does not know is that I only ever dream in colour.


 

Chapter 29

“Write drunk, edit sober.” Ernest Hemingway.

Of course, many believe that Hemingway never actually said this. It’s more likely that he wouldn’t let anything interfere with his writing, and that includes a hangover. But in the spirit of romance, we surf on those words.

A votre santé!



Annuals adverts

Annuals are hardback anthologies published once a year, usually in time for the Christmas market. Annuals consist of multi comic stories, either new or republished, featuring characters normally seen in their weekly or monthly editions. Puzzle pages, features, profiles, facts and content not always seen in regular format may also feature in annuals. Below is a selection of annual adverts featuring some of the biggest names from TV and comics.


UK. Return Of The Jedi 31. 1984.

Popular annuals of 1984. UK. Return Of The Jedi. 1984.


Star Trek et Warlord annuals. Blue Beetle. 1986. US.


UK. Eagle. 1984.

Advert for the 1985 Battle Action Force annual. UK. Eagle. 1984.


UK. 2000 AD. 44. 1977. Advert for the 1978 edition 2000AD annual.

UK. 2000 AD. 44. 1977. Advert for the 1978 edition 2000 AD annual.


Advert for the 1983 Eagle annual. Eagle. 1982.

Advert for the 1983 Eagle annual. Eagle. 1982.


Advert for the 1984 Eagle annual. Eagle. 1983.

Advert for the 1984 Eagle annual. Eagle. 1983.


 

‘Is not the deprivation of liberty the deepest, severest of injuries?’… the lost poem of Percy Bysshe Shelley

Percy Bysshe Shelley. Portrait by Alfred Clint.

Percy Bysshe Shelley. Portrait by Alfred Clint.

The Bodleian Library has just acquired its 12 millionth book. Written by the romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley and printed in 1811 under the alias of “a gentleman of the University of Oxford”, the Poetical Essay on the Existing State of Things is a 172-line poem written in support of the Irish journalist Peter Finnerty who was jailed for libelling a politician. The ‘lost’ poem was discovered in 2006 and has now been acquired by the Bodleian library which has created a full digital copy available free to the public to read. See the link above.

Shelley-Essay-1

What may strike you when you read this poem is how little things have changed since the time of Shelley’s sentiments. The pointlessness and brutality of war, the oppression of the poor at the hands of the rich and priviliged, issues surrounding freedom of the press – themes as relevant today as they were back in the 19th century to Shelley.

I would like to say a big thanks to Shelley! Thank you for speaking up back then. You didn’t have to do this, but you found somewhere inside your spirit the voice to call out injustice and inhumanity. It’s a depressing realisation that little has changed for the better across two-hundred years, but I do draw some comfort that there will always be others like Shelley – and not necessarily just the poets or artists or actors or musician, but those who will continue to call out the corrupt politicians and rulers who consistantly try to prove to us that humanity must always come second to greed.

Note to the ruling class: you with palms greasy from money, or bloody from the sales of arms, many of us can see through your lies, and the petal-thin fabric of all your false charms.

Note to the poets, artists, actors and musicians and anyone with an amplified voice: please continue to speak out against social injustice. You are placed in unique positions, and people will listen.

1983 Star Wars Bookmarks by Random House

This Return of the Jedi bookmark set, made by Random House in 1983, is one of my favourite collectables and manages to tick three themes I love: Star Wars, books and art. I think the stylish artwork on this full set has a certain art nouveau element as well as comic book style. I’ve tried to research the artist(s) responsible but have had no luck and can only guess it was done by in-house artists employed by Random House – one of the largest trade book publishers in the world.

ROTJ Bookmark set 16. Random House. 1983 001

ROTJ Bookmark set 16. Random House. 1983 002

ROTJ Bookmark set 16. Random House. 1983 003

ROTJ Bookmark set 16. Random House. 1983 004

ROTJ Bookmark set 16. Random House. 1983 005

ROTJ Bookmark set 16. Random House. 1983 006