Posts Tagged ‘2 Music’

Out Damn Spotify!

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

Spotify is a rather wonderful online tool with which you can listen to an ungodly amount of music, FREE*. You are all no doubt aware of its existence, and I have no illusions that I am anything other than a late adopter. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, but if we had put our comics online back in 1998 we would now be hailed as some kind of trailblazers, rather than the blip on the webcomics radar that we currently are.

The problem with being obscure is that there is little to no chance of there ever being a Hope for the Future TV series (I always saw it as being on BBC2 at 9pm on a Thursday evening, with a cast of largely unknown but staggeringly charismatic and attractive actors. Sad isn’t it?). By extension, that means that there won’t be a soundtrack album. 

However, with Spotify we can sort of pretend there that is. I have created The Hope for the Future soundtrack, made up of songs that relate to the various episodes, and a lot of songs that inspired the comic in the first place. And some stuff I think is cool.**

Of course, a lot of stuff I like, particularly the late 60s/early 70s creepy, creaky acid folk rock is absent. A bit esoteric, no doubt, although with Vashti Bunyan being used to sell mobile phones I have no doubt that in a couple of years the largely forgotten likes of Comus, Mellow Candle and the Water Into Wine Band will be chewed up by the corporate machine.

In addition, and with a view to fostering a sense of community, there is also a collaborative playlist, for readers of HFTF to suggest suitable music, recommend bands and show off what cool music taste they have. Here’s some nice songs to start you off. No rules, just go crazy (although if you add entire albums people will think you are stupid). In a recent survey it was found that HFTF readers are amongst the most intelligent, discerning and goddamn sexiest people on the internet, so this is your chance to prove it.


* It’s a bit jarring to have an ad for Take That popping up between Gentle Giant’s Mister Class and Quality and Three Friends, but what are you going to do? Listen to Roberta and pay a tenner a month? I think not!

** Hopefully it’s at the very least original. I never really understand why people put together soundtracks of songs that everyone already knows. I’m not saying they should be wilfully obscure, but what’s the point of using  Misirlou if everyone already associates it with Pulp Fiction? There should be a few surprises in there.


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.