London

Futuristic Robin Hood or Distopian Green Arrow

Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters #1, the gritt...
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Warner Bros is also developing a film based on the classic tale, but with a sci-fi twist. Danish commercial director Nicolai Fuglsig pitched the project, and has signed on to direct. Newcomer Jason Dean Hall, who wrote the Ashton Kutcher Sundance comedy Spread and is working on a big screen adaptation of the video game Blacklight for Fox, has been hired to write the screenplay. Charles Roven (The Dark Knight) and Gianni Nunnari (300, The Departed) are producing the adaptation.

According to RiskyBiz, the story will “be set in a dystopian London and center on a band of thieves whose activities restore hope to the city’s embattled population.” The producers describe it as “a futuristic action adventure” that will be “both inspired by and pay homage to the legend of Robin Hood (/Film)."

While this might be an interesting movie, the first thing that came to mind was a distopian Green Arrow movie...

As a writer, I understand that there is nothing new under the sun.  All a writer can really do is add a new twist on old stories while trying to be be as original as possible.

My biggest problem with this idea is that it is just a "me too" from Warner Brothers that is trying to feel off the hype behind the Ridley Scott Robin Hood.  Remember that part about trying to be original?

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Watchmen: Dr Manhattan over the River Thames!

The video above shows Dr Manhattan really floating over the river Thames.  To celebrate the London premiere of Paramount Pictures projected a 70 foot tall Dr Manhattan onto a water screen:

The water screen, moored especially for this occasion in the middle of the Thames between the London Eye and The Shell Building, created an enormous vertical screen of water that extended to 72 feet in height and 100 feet across (/Film).

Review: Kaori Yuki's Manga

Kaori Yuki is, in my opinion, the greatest manga artist/author of all time. It would be an understatement to describe her as a genius. She is an excellent artist and has the best storylines I’ve read in manga. Kaori tends to stray from what society has always thought as the norm and portrays unconventional love stories with heart-wrenching scenes of betrayal, passion, and forbidden love. She is a lover of Horror, SciFi, fairytales, and Alice In Wonderland. What I love most about her is her twisted point of view.

I actually began reading her works backwards. The first series that caught my eye was Godchild. Godchild 1 has a picture of a dapper young gentleman in vampire-like threads (tux, top hat), sitting on what appears to be coffin, holding a candelabra. There also appears to be blood or perhaps red rose petals all around him. Godchild is not a vampire manga, but is entertaining nonetheless. The main character is Lord Cain Hargreaves, an Englishman in Victorian London who is fascinated with poisons.

After reading the series, I have come to one conclusion: Lord Cain exists in London to solve mysteries, catch killers, and generally be there for every damsel, waif, or orphan that needs him. His lackadaisical manner makes it seem almost effortless and as if he couldn’t care less when he has saved one of the victims of yet another plot by Deliah. Deliah is an evil secret society hell-bent on collecting human organs, creating undead clones, and generally doing “unnatural” experiments. Riff is Lord Cain’s manservant who goes above and beyond the normal servants duties. He is also the only one who Cain has shown his scars on his back. They are so close, you wonder at a love affair, though that really never materializes to satisfaction. The art in this manga is in beautiful, traditional Gothic Lolita style. There are dresses with ribbons and multiple layers of fluffy petticoats, mini hats, lace gloves, and a mass of curly headed beauties.

The Cain Saga is actually a sort of prequel to Godchild. It runs with the same main characters as Godchild and is equally enjoyable. I’ve just finished the first 2 books of Angel Sanctuary and am eager to finish out the series though it is 20 volumes long. The main character in this series is a mortal who doesn’t realize he is the incarnation of the angel Alexiel. There are many love affairs intertwined and so many angels and demons coming to earth to “awaken” or kill him, it is sometimes hard to figure out who is who. This being the least of my favorite Kaori Yuki projects, I still have to say that it’s better than anything anyone else is doing.

To find out more or purchase her manga series, check out these links:

P:S Shop for Kaori Yuki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaori_Yuki

Virtual Books Signings?

C.E. Dorsett I have really mixed feelings about this...

LONDON - Margaret Atwood has had enough of long journeys, late nights and writer's cramp. Tired of grueling book tours, the Booker Prize-winning Canadian author on Sunday unveiled her new invention: a remote-controlled pen that allows writers to sign books for fans from thousands of miles away (AP on Yahoo!).

It is hard enough to attract an audience as a Non-Booker Prize winning writer, but it would be impossible with a virtual machine. This is an invention to help big wigs sell more books... not to be selfish, but what does it do for people like me?

Over the last 5 years or so, all of the best fiction I have read has been either posted to the internet or self-published because it does not follow some predetermined formula. These writers aren't huge because they don't have the money behind them to tour and promote their books... Low budgets are hard on a writer. Why would someone stop at a booth for a writer they have never heard of?

While Margaret Atwood is tired of book tours and writer's cramp, there are plenty of writers who would gladly take her promotion budget. It is one more why for well-to-do writers to distance themselves from the rest of us.

Virtual Books Signings?

C.E. Dorsett I have really mixed feelings about this...

LONDON - Margaret Atwood has had enough of long journeys, late nights and writer's cramp. Tired of grueling book tours, the Booker Prize-winning Canadian author on Sunday unveiled her new invention: a remote-controlled pen that allows writers to sign books for fans from thousands of miles away (AP on Yahoo!).

It is hard enough to attract an audience as a Non-Booker Prize winning writer, but it would be impossible with a virtual machine. This is an invention to help big wigs sell more books... not to be selfish, but what does it do for people like me?

Over the last 5 years or so, all of the best fiction I have read has been either posted to the internet or self-published because it does not follow some predetermined formula. These writers aren't huge because they don't have the money behind them to tour and promote their books... Low budgets are hard on a writer. Why would someone stop at a booth for a writer they have never heard of?

While Margaret Atwood is tired of book tours and writer's cramp, there are plenty of writers who would gladly take her promotion budget. It is one more why for well-to-do writers to distance themselves from the rest of us.

New Mission Greatest Hits 2 CD Set Released

C.E. Dorsett The Mission has released a two disc greatest hits anthology called the Phonograph Years, Fans of the Mission or any other dark wave/gothic music have to get a copy of this and celebrate the brilliance of the Mission.

As well as writing the comprehensive sleeve notes Wayne was also heavily involved, in collaboration with Universal, in the final selection of the tracks for this anthology. Highlights being a newly unearthed gem in ‘Diamond Cuts Diamond’, a song the band recorded during the ‘Carved In Sand’ sessions that has never before been released in any form whatsoever, and ‘Hands across The Ocean’, a radically different version of the song that was eventually released as a single. A completely over-the-top live version of ‘Blood Brother’ from 1988 and a demo of ‘Belief’ produced by Mike Fraser. And a fair few versions of the more popular and more well known tunes are appearing on CD for the very first time. We think it’s something any Mission fan would definetly want in their CD collection. And released, again by Universal, a week later on March 20th, is the Mission film/documentary ‘Waves Upon The Sand’. This is the film that has only until now been available on VHS and follows the band during the ‘Carved In Sand’ album period, on tour and in the studio. This is coupled on DVD with the live film that was recorded and released, again only previously on VHS, as ‘Crusade’ in 1986. This DVD will sell at mid-price. And again, a must have for all Mission fans and available to pre-order from Amazon.com.

The Mission Anthology - The Phonogram Years


CD1: 1. Serpent’s Kiss 2. Garden Of Delight (Extended) 3. Like A Hurricane 4. Crystal Ocean (7” edit version) Never before released on CD. 5. Shelter From The Storm (Janice Long BBC session version) 6. Stay With Me (7” edit version) 7. Blood Brother (Recorded live at The Astoria, London, March 1988) Never before released 8. And The Dance Goes On….. 9. Wasteland (7” edit version) 10. Severina (7” edit version) 11. Tomorrow Never Knows (amphetamix) Only available previously on CD on Japanese import. 12. Beyond The Pale (7” edit version) 13. Kingdom Come (Janice Long BBC session version) 14. Tower Of Strength (Bombay Mix edit) 15. For Ever More


CD2: 1. Amelia (Live from the Hollywood Palladium, Los Angeles, May 1990) 2. Into The Blue (7” edit version) 3. Butterfly On A Wheel (7” edit version) 4. Deliverance (Sorcerer’s Mix) 5. Belief (Mike Fraser produced demo) 6. Grapes Of Wrath (Demo) 7. Hands Across The Ocean (Tim Palmer produced demo) 8. Diamond Cuts Diamond (Tim Palmer produced demo) 9. Bird Of Passage 10. Metal Guru 11. Never Again (7” edit version) 12. Shades Of Green (Utah Saints 7” remix) 13. Trail Of Scarlet (Sitar Mix) 14. Like A Child Again (7” edit version) 15. Afterglow (Full length Olympic version)


A short extract from the sleevnotes written by Wayne:

BLOOD BROTHER (Live at The Astoria, London, March 1988) Originally seeing life as the ‘b’ side on the ‘Stay With Me’ single, I wrote this in response to a song that The Cult had recorded for a Radio 1 session in which Ian Astbury gives me a name check. Can’t now remember the name of that song. Our first tour in January 1986 had been as special guests on The Cult’s ‘Love’ European tour. This version was recorded during our 7 sold out nights at The Astoria during the‘Children’ tour. My vocals are a little rough but I think this captures perfectly the band at this time. It’s big, noisy, confident and arrogant, melodramatic and megalomaniacal, and completely glorious. Never before released.

BUTTERFLY ON A WHEEL (7” edit) This was the first single of the new decade, the 90’s, released on 1st January. One of our more popular and evergreen tunes, this was a song that I wrote for Julianne of All About Eve. I remember when we’d finished mixing it at Swanyard Studio we played it to Charlie Eyre. He sat in the middle of the big SSL mixing desk and listened to the song blaring out of the big studio monitors and when it had ended he swung around in his chair with a tear in his eye and said, just like George Martin did to The Beatles after they’d recorded ‘Please, Please Me’, ‘Well boys, you’ve just made your first no. 1 record’. Of course, history decreed a different fate for us compared to The Beatles but the song did eventually make it to No. 1.….. In South Africa.

BELIEF (Mike Fraser version) Before we commenced recording the ‘Carved In Sand’ album with Tim Palmer again producing we tried recording with a few other producers/engineers, one of which was Mike Fraser. Mike was a lovely, genial Canadian that generally worked out of the Little Mountain Studio in Vancouver. Mike’s credits had included Aeorsmith, The Cult, and Metallica amongst others. It was suggested that to achieve some commercial success in the USA we should use a producer/engineer with a working knowledge of that elusive American ‘big rock’ radio sound. Now, I’m not particulary a fan of any of the aforementioned bands or American ‘big rock’ but the lure of the yankee dollar was very hard to resist at that time and in our pursuit of global dominance we recorded this version of ‘Belief’ with Mike. The recording took place in London, can’t remember which studio, and then I flew with Mike to Vancouver for a few days to mix the track at Little Mountain. It actually now sounds a lot better to me than I remember and working with Mike was a good experience, I liked him a lot. But I didn’t think it was the right decision to work with a North American for that album. I wanted to retain the little ‘Britishness’ that we still had left. And whilst I think Tim Palmer did a great job I used to often wonder, what if? This version has never before been released.

DIAMOND CUTS DIAMOND (Tim Palmer produced demo) This is another song that was recorded as a demo for the ‘Carved In Sand’ album and discarded. It’s very wordy and obviously a work in progress and easy to see why we did reject it but it stands testament to the wealth of material we had accumulated for that album. We ended up having enough completed material (that we were happy with) for two albums and released ‘Grains Of Sand’ some 6 months or so after the release of ‘Carved’. Actually, hearing this now again after all these years I do really like the guitars on the outro (Mission).

Get it here.

Mosque Attacked, Iraq Explodes

C.E. Dorsett Chills devoured me when I heard yesterday about the bombing of the Golden Mosque in Samarra. I was horrified. This morning's headlines are no better:

More than 100 people were feared to have been killed in a wave of reprisals and execution-style killings since a bomb attack yesterday that reduced the Golden Mosque in Samarra, one of the most sacred Shia shrines, to rubble (Times of London).

My heart and prayers go out to victims of this violence on all sides. May they find a peaceful solution.

What is the Golden Mosque?

The Al Askari Mosque or Al Askari Shrine (...) is a Shiite Muslim holy site located in the Iraqi city of Samarra. It is one of the most important Shiite mosques in the world, built in 944 [1]. The remains of the tenth and eleventh Shia Imams, Ali al-Hadi and his son Hassan al-Askari, known as the two Askaris (al-`Askarīyāni), rest at the shrine [2]. It stands adjacent to a shrine to the twelfth, or hidden Imam, Muhammad al-Mahdi. The Al Askari shrine is also known as the Tomb or Mausoleum of the Two Imams, the Tomb of Imams Ali al-Hadi and Hassan al-Askari, and al-Hadhrat al-Askariyyah (Wikipedia).

The modern city of Samarra is situated on the bank of the river Tigris some sixty miles from the city of Baghdad. The city is of outstanding importance because of its two shrines. The golden dome on one shrine was presented by Nasr al-Din Shah and completed under Muzaffar al-Din Shah in the year 1905 A.D. Beneath the golden dome are four graves, those of Imam Ali al-Naqi (10th Imam) and his son, Imam Hasan al-Askari (11th Imam). The other two are of Hakimah Khatoon, the sister of Imam Ali al-Naqi who has related at length the circumstances of the birth of Imam al-Mahdi and the fourth grave is of Nargis Khatoon, the mother of Imam al-Mahdi, peace be upon him. The second shrine marks the place where Imam al-Mahdi went into concealment. It has a dome that is distinguished for the soft delicate design that is worked in blue tiles, and beneath it is the Sardab (cellar) where the Imam is said to have disappeared. Visitors may enter this Sardab by a flight of stairs (Al-Islam.org).

This helps me understand the anger, but I hope civil war can be avoided.