Friday, January 09, 2009
This time next year, Rodney ...
The week started with snow and ended in a blizzard of alcohol, curry and the warmest of reunions. The snow was a surprise and while there was barely an inch of the stuff, it caused chaos as usual. We simply don't know how to cope with it here in the South-East of England. My road hadn't been gritted at all, so those drivers brave enough to head for work soon compacted it to sheet ice. I actually saw a people carrier drive past with both rear wheels locked and unmoving. The car - obviously front wheel drive - was dragging itself along as the numpty behind the wheel had forgotten to take the handbrake off. But that's how slippy the road was. But three days later it had gone, to be replaced with the usual January drizzle and fog.
Then last night, I met up with James Murphy - artist and professional ginger, Joel Meadows - writer, journalist and editor of Tripwire magazine, and Sarwat Chadda - a name you'll soon all know as the author of the Billi SanGreal books, starting with The Devil's Kiss, being published later this year.
I've mentioned the lads before on this blog several times but, for new readers, I will explain that Murphy, Sarwat, myself and a couple of other chaps had a damned good go at launching our own comic book company back in the 1990s. We published two titles, had a third ready to go, had terrific reviews and we sold well; so well in fact that we were one of the bestselling independent British comics in the USA for 1998. However, finances folded on us and we had to quit. We've all moved on to other things but have kept in touch. And last night was the first night we've all been together for ten years. Frankly, it felt as if we'd only been apart for a few weeks.
I should also explain that Joel was very much a part of that huge British indie movement at the time and has remained a close friend too. His then infant Tripwire has since gone on to become one of the industry's most respected magazines. It's also expanded its content to include genre film and TV too and if anyone is worth interviewing, Joel's stuck his microphone in their faces at some time or other.
We enjoyed a good night at the Spice of Life pub at Cambridge Circus before moving on for a fine Indian meal at Mela in Shaftesbury Avenue. The discussion ranged far and wide but was dominated by the fact that all of us see 2009 as a challenging year ahead. For my part, I need to consolidate my writing and artistic career so that I can step permanently out of the old police helmet and boots in 2010. Not easy with the financial crisis all around us and book sales down by around 20%. But heigh ho, we struggle on.
It was a grand night out, wonderful to catch up with good friends and, as you can see, for a short while at least, we were all in our 20s again. And yes, I was wearing a pink shirt. Only real men wear pink. At least that's what the chap in the shop told me ...
See you tomorrow for the Saturday post!*
*Note that although I did say that I'd be reducing my output to Saturdays, I did also state that I'd post the occasional piece as time permits. Like this one. So there.