Monday, May 12, 2003

Not a dream, not a hoax, not an imaginary story.

Just spoke to Charles Brownstein at the Comic Book Legal Defence Fund. Some fun stuff on the way. I talked to him about things to do with Black Tee shirts, and he has many ideas. I've agreed to come up with a new CBLDF mascot -- which will be designed and made into something people can buy by Todd McFarlane, which should be fun, and it's nice to see Todd getting active for the fund. Here's the current list of CBLDF ebay auctions which includes the last of my Xmas cards for 2001 (well, there are probably a few in the basement, but this is the last of the ones I gave to the CBLDF to auction). It's a pirate ghost story called the Dangerous Alphabet.

(I found the following sitting in the blogger drafts folder. It was meant to have been posted 6 weeks ago. Now there's nothing in drafts but the start of an essay on Jack Benny.)

Hiya Neil. I brought my son to see the stage production of The Day I swapped My dad for Two Goldfish in the Ark, Dublin, last week. It really was a most excellent presentation. I really wondered beforehand wether or not twenty-something actors could be believable as young children - and size aside - they pulled it off. The audio-visuals were perfectly tied in with the live action - but the sound was a tad ropey in places. The script writer introduced a few of his own elements in to the story and expanded upon a few of the plot lines- not to great effect though. We thoroughly enjoyed it, and Conor went again the next day with his classmates and enjoyed it even more the second time round.

Roddy Doyle, author of the Snapper etc., was sitting next to us and he seemed to really enjoy it too!
I clandestinely took a few photos to send to you to see what the set looked like, but can't figure out how to attatch them!

Cheers, big ears!

It sounds really fun -- thanks for the feedback. (I think it's going to be touring, which makes me very happy.)

My friend Mark informs me that there's a new season of
Jonathan Creek starting this weekend.

How do they do that? How do British shows just /stop/ for
years, and then start up again as if nothing had happened?

Probably they assume you don't forget they existed, just because they aren't on your TV at the moment. In the US, you're on TV or you're cancelled. In the UK, it doesn't exactly work like that. And when beloved shows return, it's an event.

When I moved to the US, I couldn't for the life of me figure out why it seemed like every TV show wanted to be on all the time, like soap operas -- 26 episodes a year and enough reruns to make sure that, with luck, and if you could avoid cancellation, you could occupy that slot on the TV Guide forever. It seemed like a formula for filling the viewing time up with rubbish or repeats. "Why don't they just get in, do something good, and then stop, when they've done it?" I thought.

And while my own small series with UK TV was, in many respects, incredibly frustrating, whenever I've been offered the chance to create a series for US TV, it's always rapidly become more frustrating, because what one is asked to come up with is so much bigger and more unwieldy, and so much harder to keep under the control of a single vision. I'm not saying it's impossible -- there are some remarkable people who have done it astonishingly well. I'm saying it's a lot easier to make six good episodes of something, and then, a year later, make another six good episodes of something, than it is to make something amazing week in and week out.