Posts Tagged ‘Clitaclysm’

Thing Report

Monday, March 30th, 2009


On our (late) arrival at this years UK Web & Minicomix Thing, an errant “N” caused us to be renamed “Flying Mo’key”. I think this sounds better. It’s a good job our image has always been shambolic and self effacing rather than one of slick professionalism, especially when we had to resort to using the same tatty old red tablecloth we’ve had since 2005 and having to give out flyers with the wrong url on (although to be fair, that’s Lycos’ fault. Damn you Lycos!)

And so to our traditional convention report. Most people will have tales of schmoozing with other talent, and reviews of new groundbreaking work discovered. This will have none of those. It will however feature me pontificating in a long winded manner. No change there then.

These pics, drawn by me and inked by Andrew, remind me of Evan Dorkin's work. This should come as no surprise as we both idolise him.

These pics, drawn by me and inked by Andrew, remind me of Evan Dorkin's work. This should come as no surprise as we both idolise him.

My strip for the Convention Anthology, Godiva Jones: Warrior Princess of Mars, turned out quite well, even though I forgot about it until the last minute. I was going for a kind of Frank Frazetta/pulp magazine style illustration, which is of course completely at odds with everything I was selling, but hey ho. It’s the only new comics work I’ve done in ages, as was pointed out to me a few times by punters who had bought all of my stuff years ago. It’s a fair cop. 

Chimpanzee Democracy:  A collection of Andrew’s strips from the Flying Monkey site was certainly a hit with “The Kids”, which led us to badger him to do more for most of the day. When we weren’t doing that we were planning our next collective masterpiece. After our trailers for Flying Monkey Comics and Hope for the Future issue 10, not to mention our Halloween Special Musical Zombietacular and , we decided to use our combined skills to craft another multimedia extravaganza. Now all we need is an idea, so let us know if you have one. 

Lots of people we spoke to mentioned Watchmen, unsurprisingly enough, so I thought I would attempt to capitalise on the general interest in squid

Last year, there seemed to be about 12 people, and 9 of those were exhibitors. This year the attendance was much higher, a fact borne out by the fact that our first sale was pretty early, whereas we usually have to wait a couple of hours and go through several stages of depression. 

Some hastily drawn portraits, done so we would have something to stick on our wall

These hastily drawn portraits were done so we would have something to stick on our wall

When I wasn’t pimping for Spotify, I was still unable to explain to semi interested punters what Hope for the Future is actually about. “Like Buffy but not as good” is probably the most accurate (and effective). Of course when you are trying to engage with the public (and draw stuff, to prove that you can), you don’t really get a lot of time to check out everyone else’s work. From what I saw, there was some excellent work around, but not being willing to fight my way through the hordes of studenty girls and men who resemble MJ Hibbert, I ended up not really networking. Of course I don’t expect any fabulously talented artists out there would want to draw my scripts rather than their own stuff, but you never know. It may be the only way you’ll get to know what happens.

My new character, Tungsten Dude

 We sold quite a lot of stuff this year, and even met a few people who described themselves as fans (and asked why we didn’t have any new stuff). However, if you were the bloke that bought the copy of Hope for the Future book 2, and asked me to do a sketch in it, you forgot to come back, so let me know where I can send your book. That’s a stone cold collectible now!

Greg, looking peeved

Greg, looking peeved

Although we didn’t have enough time to look around too much, and we weren’t drunk off our asses like we were at Thoughtbubble, we had a great time. I’ll write another post linking to some of the stuff I was given and what I liked in the anthology. Thanks to everyone who came up and said hello. Superthanks to anyone who bought stuff. Can’t wait to do it again. Next time we’ll bring the ukelele.


Got Wood

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

Clitaclysm are, sadly, fictional, but fans of obscure 80s glam rock will no doubt be able to recognise that they are in no small part inspired by a couple of real life bands, Malfunkshun and Mother Love Bone. Both bands were fronted (and without a doubt, led) by Andrew Wood. Wood called himself L’Andrew The Love Child, and he claimed to have come from “Olympus” with the intention of bringing “Love Rock” to Earth. So you see, Clitaclysm could be said to be a complete rip off, I prefer to see it as an affectionate homage.

Wood’s heroes were Bolan, Bowie, Mercury and, particularly KISS, and while this is not particularly remarkable when it comes to 80s American metal bands, he joyfully embraced the inherent sense of the ridiculous in rock music, which many rockers of that era seemed unaware of. Truthfully, while they had a couple of good riffs, Malfunkshun were fairly jokey, and are more an idea of a band than a real one. The whole enterprise was created around the rock star persona that Wood had created.

It’s Mother Love Bone that were the real deal though. Mixing funk, glam and the nascent sound of grunge (flange?), they also had a clutch of terrific pop songs. Many metal bands were either trying to appear to worship Satan, or to be hard drinkin’ groupie shagging misogynists, but Mother Love Bone stood apart as being full of positivity and humour. Many songs were based around words that Wood just found appealing, like Mindshaker Meltdown and Stardog Champion (one of my favourite lyrics of theirs was “Bloodstains on my gazebo”).

Sadly Andrew Wood died from a heroin overdose, just days before their first album was to be released. He may have been apart from the angst ridden tortured rock stars that were to become the norm, but his death was depressingly cliched. It’s often said that if he’d lived, Mother Love Bone would have been massive. I’m not so sure. While they were head and shoulders above the likes of Poison and Mötley Crüe, a first time listener would doubtless have lumped them in with all the other hair metal bands, all of whom were on the verge of being swept away by grunge.

Ironically, MLB guitarist and bassist Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament went on to hook up with a frontman who was equally charismatic but diametrically opposed to Wood, Eddie Vedder, and  formed Pearl Jam, and they became one of the next era’s biggest bands. As a young fan of Ten back in 1992, I was quite taken aback when I heard Mother Love Bone, with their wide eyed, brash and funny take on cock rock (to quote Capricorn Sister: “Got my mama in the kitchen, She always bitchy, bitchy, bitchin’, So I made my proclamation, To control my masturbation, babe”). However I soon found that there was an edge of melancholy that ran through their music, albeit often under the surface, that got fully expressed in the later band (here they are performing MLB’s Crown of Thorns).

There’s a terrific essay on Andy Wood and Mother Love Bone in Mick Wall’s collection Appetite for Destruction, which I can wholeheartedly recommend, as well as the band’s history in their own words from the video The Love Bone Earth Affair.