Category Archives: watchmen

strange days

This fucking blog is late again due to the network collapsing at work. My boss sent me home as I can access my work mail from here. So, an hour after cycling in I cycled back home, and here I am again. Cool huh.

Yesterday I’d just finished off Piqued, called Myfwt and was deciding whether to have a bath when my phone rang, the number was anonymous and, despite my usual self, I answered it with a morbid ‘What?’‘Hey cock-knocker’ came the cheery reply, I recognised the American drawl instantly, though his accent is due to his education at American Community Schools, in reality he’s half Italian and Australian and woe betide anyone who calls him a ‘yank…’‘Fuck me, Thrax?’ ‘Sure, wanna hang out?’

It was lunchtime, the wind and rain had been replaced by glittering autumnal sunshine, I mentally binned the afternoon’s plans of writing in favour of this fateful coincidence. I’d seen Thrax maybe once in the three years since we hooked up in Madrid, despite not seeing him much these days (we used to work together) it’s always the same bloke I have fond memories of.

We arranged to meet in a town in the south-west of London for 3.30. This gave me enough time to eat and change out of my yukata into something more suitable for biking. At 3 I hopped onto my black bitch, the journey through London at that time was punctuated by herds of school kids of all ages. It seems weird but because I don’t have any children, my work hours miss them coming and going to school and obviously, don’t see them hanging around in bars, I had sort of forgotten that they exist in such vast numbers. There were fucking thousands of them loose on the street, gathered at busstops, hanging outside shops, all manner of colour, size and shape. On the whole they seemed a cheery bunch, a world away from all these little asbo cunts we hear about on the news and I regarded them all with a sort of avuncular wish that all was well with them.

It was a stunning afternoon, the sun hung low in the sky and I arrived at my destination feeling charged with life. Thrax met me at the station and we got coffee in a rather snazzy bar on the high street. We caught up and as usual our conversation ended up on our favourite topic, Metal. We discussed the new wave and realised that we’d pretty much shunned it in favour of filling in the gaps of the old school shit we’d been listening to since kids. The conversation then turned to comics, I’m no expert but enjoy the odd graphic novel. Thrax told me that he found it hard getting hold of good stuff in Madrid when it suddenly dawned on me that my mate Rob, who I’d spent Saturday night with, ran a comic store right round the corner (even stranger, on that Saturday night I’d shown Rob the video a friend made of us having a ball in Madrid with Thrax).

Within minutes Thrax and Rob were introduced and the latter helped the former catch up on recent publications and advised him accordingly, I found myself leaving with Frank Miller’s Batman Returns, which I decided to give to Myfwt on the condition I could borrow it after. We hung out there for half an hour before I was forced to make the trip home as it was approaching dusk and my black visor would soon become a serious hindrance to my journey. I said a fond farewell to my mates and mounted my ebony steed.

Back at home I made a chicken and mushroom pie and was joined by Myfwt in time for University Challenge, she fucking decimated me. It was followed by an excellent and moving documentary on Factory Records during which I presented her with my gift; ironically, the following programme was all about graphic novels. It was so strange how everything seemed to add up, I pondered this and then it hit me.

How about Piqued becomes a graphic novel? I have artistic skills but as a cartoonist I have to step back, so, if anyone is interested in following this up send me some artwork to my e-mail. You never know, it could be the start of something.

This is for Thrax.

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