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The BBC has decided to drop Jeremy Clarkson from Top Gear, following some sort of altercation between him and a producer over food being served at the end of a days shooting.…

Very little information has actually been released about the incident. It’s only ever been referred to as a “fracas” in the media and “a bit of a dust-up” by Clarkson’s co presenter James May.
I’m a huge fan of the show and Clarkson’s style of presenting, but if he punched a member of the crew because his food wasn’t hot then axing him is the right decision. There’s a huge difference between an unbroadcast, antiquated, school-yard rhyme (one of Clarkson’s previous “offences”) and physical violence.

Will Top Gear be the same without him? No it won’t. Will Top Gear survive his departure? Yes it will.

Another very popular BBC show is “Have I Got News For You”, which has been running since 1990. For the first 12 years it was hosted by a chap called Angus Deayton, but he was dropped in 2002 because he ended up IN the headlines in a scandal about prostitutes and illegal drugs. There was a question as to if the show could continue without the dead-pan presenter. It’s still running, 13 years on. They just altered the format so that the presenter is a different guest each week, rather than a set anchor.

Provided they don’t do something stupid and start recruiting children to present it (minimum age of 40, please, BBC. Grumpy men in fast cars are funny), Top Gear will endure.

They’re taking another stab at adapting the Hitman videogame into a movie. The trailer looks kinda snappy, with the eponymous Agent 47 appearing to be slotted into a more neutral/villain role rather than the antihero we saw in the 2007 flick (which I have watched a number of times and which still makes NO sense AT ALL).
I think the chap playing the character seems a bit young. I’ve always seen 47 as more well-travelled. This guy looks like he’s just turned up for his first job interview
They’ve also draped the story with some “genetically engineered being” tripe, which suggests it will not break the “curse” of using games as a basis for movies.…

We are unlikely to see a GOOD video game adaptation anytime soon simply because, at the moment, there are always too many cooks in the kitchen. The average “summer blockbuster” always suffers because of studio interference. Adapt a game and you have to deal with a second group of unimaginative businessmen: the publishers who own the IP. They’ll have their own demands as they want their property to be seen in the best light possible.
Try to squeeze a movie through this corporate mangle and the result is always going to be a bland, forgettable piece of crap that does nothing daring, original or even true to the source material.
This also scares off any halfway competent directorial talent. Who the hell would WANT to work under such conditions?

A good videogame adaptation is going to require all parties involved to adopt the same mindset as the creatives behind the recent Marvel movies: serve the audience, not the IP. You serve the audience and THEY preserve and popularise the IP for you.

Just before the doors opened at London Super Comic Con 2015, Neal Adams walked around the entirety of the Artist’s Alley, shaking the hands of all the creators currently seated at their tables.
He stopped at mine, pointed to my price list and said I wasn’t charging enough.
Now, when a veteran of the industry in which you are currently operating at the very fringes of gives you advice, it’s generally in your best interest to listen. On this occasion, though, I’m hesitant to follow it.
I charge very little for on-the-day convention sketches: £5 (about $7.50 USD) and all I’ve been hearing for the last three days, from fellow artists and other parties (SHUT UP, MA!!), is how I’m crazy to ask for such a piffling amount.

It’s starting to grate.

I charge £5 for a pic for a few different reasons:

1) I do not go to conventions to make a profit. If I cover the cost of transport, accommodation and the table, that’s great. No loss if I don’t because I’m there for the atmosphere and interaction, not the coin. If I was purely interested in profit, I wouldn’t go to conventions at all! I’d stay at my desk and work on material that I know sells.

2) I think a convention is where you should be able to find a bargain. Instead, it always seems to be the other way around. The focus seems to be on bleeding the crowd rather than cultivating it. I don’t like that. If it weren’t for the masses, I’d have to get a REAL job. The least I can do is offer SOMETHING at a lower than normal price.

3) I charge what I would be willing to pay for a similar piece, and I don’t think the pencil sketches/drawings I scratch out are worth more than a fiver. If I asked for more, then I would feel obliged to spend more time on them, meaning fewer would get done, meaning fewer people would take something unique home with them. A higher price means more pressure on me and less satisfaction for the audience, making EVERYONE miserable. How is THAT a good thing?!

I respect the old guard immensely, but even if I do become some big name like Neal Adams, my convention prices are going to stay low.

After much fretting over the potential ramifications of making use of the Patreon service, I have decided: f**k it. I'm going ahead with my plans.
Might be a mistake, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.....and then jump off to make a daring river-escape should things go south.

Assuming I haven't ballsed anything up (I'm new to using Patreon), my page can now be found here:

Content is much the same as you'd find in the "Beasts and Babes sketchbooks" that have appeared in the Apsara Portfolio previously, so if you've no interest in that kind of material, save your time and coin and don't bother with it.
I'll be adding a new sketch roughly every day, along with sneak peeks at new Apsara comics that I'm working on.

Nothing will be 100% exclusive to Patreon, it will just show up there first. Eventually all content will become available via the channels I usually use, so don't get in a twist if you don't want to use that service.

Let me tell you a little bit about the House of Wisdom.
It was founded in the 8th century, eventually becoming based in Baghdad, and was a major intellectual centre during the Islamic Golden Age. Scholars there made it their business to collect as much information as they could, from all corners of the known world. They would collect books and texts and return them home for translation. It made the people of the Islamic world among the most culturally advanced on the planet.
They constructed astronomical observatories, they forwarded the science of medicine, mathematics, chemistry, zoology, geography and cartography. They drew upon the work of both those who had come before, and their contemporaries, and then advanced it. Many inventions from the Islamic Golden Age have had a legacy that lasts up until this very day:…

So, what happened? If the House of Wisdom was such a fountain of knowledge and invention, we should be flying around in starships by now, right?
Well, if the Golden Age had lasted, we might have been.
In the 9th century a new Caliph came to power, one who had no interest in science or rationalism, and who demanded a more literal interpretation of the Quran. The spread of Greek philosophy was seen as anti-Islamic and the House of Wisdom fell into decline.
What remained of it was destroyed in the 13th century when the Mongols rolled in from the East.

Religion ruins everything once again.

Aaaaand, they’re still at it:…

The killing and the murder that IS are currently engaged in is terrible, but the systematic destruction of past human achievements just seems to cut a lot deeper. Vandalism like this really makes me see red.
The general attitude of IS seems to be one of revenge. They blame the rest of the world for the sorry state in which they find themselves, and fingers can certainly be pointed on some issues.

But if you only ever read one book, if you preach anti-intellectualism, if you don’t study the triumphs and failures of the past: your country will always be a shit-hole.

It's a more or less a week away, now.
I had a blast last year. Lots of fun, doing sketches and chatting to readers for two days!
Hope it's as good this year!

They've assigned us our tables......and put a typo in the name I gave them. "Solo Endeavours"?! C'mon.
Solo ENDEAVOUR (me) can be found at A110.

Check here for a full floorplan: www.londonsupercomicconvention…

Dear Rest of the World,

Our rodents are better than yours.

Kindest regards,
Great F**king Britain.
I’m currently looking at Patreon from a new angle. I generally don’t like the concept of crowd-funding, which is how I’d always seen it, but as a different avenue of distribution it might actually be useful. Especially now that so many other artists have already gone before me and built up an army of patrons. I wouldn’t be asking people to sign up to yet another webpage purely for my own purposes. Chances are; you’re already there.

My original idea was to start dumping content onto Patreon that would otherwise have been distributed via The Apsara Portfolio under the “Beasts and Babes Sketchbook” title, but then I read the user guidelines and they seem just as squeamish when it comes to smutty content as everyone else.
Guy getting torn apart by bullets and exploding in a shower of red gore? Fine.
Male and female genitalia coming into contact with one another? Oh my god. Think of the children.

A revised approach is to post content there, along with selected elements from the sketchbooks, which is probably a little too smutty for DeviantArt, but not to a level where people start trying to shut my account down. Essentially just very suggestive pin-ups.

I have no plan on thinning out the content I post here on DeviantArt, nor do I intend on forcing people to start paying for content that has thus far been free to view.

There’s still a bit more I need to read up on before I push forward on any new plans. I always approach new things with caution. In the meantime, I’d love to hear what people (especially existing Apsara customers) think of the idea.…

I had a feeling it would happen one day.
Battle Chasers ended 14 years ago, after a mere 9 issues. I would say “suddenly” but their release schedule was almost as sporadic as mine. It just sort of fizzled, stopped and then everyone involved wandered away.
The artist, Joe Madureira went off to make video games and was involved with two studios…both of which closed. The most recent was Vigil, who made the rather pleasing Darksiders, which is probably where the non-comic readers out there will recognise Joe Mad’s western-manga style from.
Unfortunately, Vigil went bye-bye because its parent company, THQ, crashed and burned. All the IPs and studios under its wing were sold off. No one wanted Vigil, but the Darksiders brand was nabbed by Nordic games, who have yet to announce anything involving it.
This all left the remnants of Vigil having to rebuild, and obviously has provided motivation for a return to Battle Chasers by Joe Mad. It’s coming back, not just as a comic, but as a game.

Battle Chasers is one of my fave comics from that period. It was very slick thanks to Joe Mad’s art style and the fantastic colouring work (done by a group called Liquid!, if memory serves) and still remains a real benchmark.

And, of course, it had Monika: a mix of classic 90s bad girl and Jessica Rabbit.
She....uh....might have had something to do with me picking up the comic in the first place.

If I don’t understand something, I try my hardest to learn more about it. Thanks to the internet, that’s easier than ever and leaves people very little excuse to remain wholly ignorant on a subject.

I’ve only posted a handful of images and journals voicing my increasing unease at recent Russian behaviour on the world stage, but within the comments section of each have been very lengthy debates and arguments.
A popular response from the Russian side of things tends to be “You just don’t understand Russia”. They just love saying that, but they never try to explain it, even when you flat out ask them to:

SO, with the heartfelt belief that the more people talk, the more ideas and concepts you share, the better the world becomes:
“You just don’t understand Russia”
“Then explain it to us until we do.”


The great Leonard Nimoy has died, age 83.…

There’s not really much I can write about the chap or his impact on sci-fi culture that you’re not already aware of. We all knew and loved him as Spock from Star Trek. Hell, I named one of my webcomic’s characters after him.
Nimoy never forgot about his fans, either, and how it is they who ensured his lasting popularity. It’s telling that it was he who cameoed in the recent Trek films and not Shatner.

Being the awesome man he was, his final words to the public (by way of twitter) were “LLAP”.

“Live Long and Prosper”.

Any time I pass comment on world events, especially if that comment is negative toward the actions of a foreign country, I get the same replies: “Your media is lying to you”, “It’s all propaganda”, etc.

I promise the people that said all that: I’m just as paranoid and untrusting of the world as you guys, which is why I question everything before opening my mouth.

There is constant talk of conspiracy and media manipulation, and I believe that it does occur, but it is not as long lasting as it was prior to the dawn of the digital age. In the past, information could be controlled very easily, but now, with everyone who owns a phone being a potential source of news, the truth will surface much faster. Lies are now exposed within hours, not decades.

Within the comments of a recent deviation I made mention of how I assess information, but it probably go lost so I shall repeat it here: I don’t just look at one news source, I study three. The BBC, RT and Al Jazeera. With each coming from a different part of the world and with their own agendas, my theory is that if information across at least two of those networks match, it’s as close to the truth as an average civilian can get.
From that, I draw my own conclusions. Conclusions which I feel I can confidently share and debate, should I feel strongly enough about them.

Should you read one and have a flash of anger as a result, rather than simply spitting “No, that’s not true. You're a fool for believing it”, try asking “Why do you think this?”

Taking a known hero of fiction and altering their gender and/or race is a stunt. A gimmick. They do it for the sake of “shock” advertising rather than out of any real desire to add variety to the predominantly white male pantheon.

There have been a few news articles to stoke my irritation over the last couple of months. First there was word that Thor of the Marvel universe was to become female, then there was a rumour James Bond was going to be recast with a black actor and now there are mumbles that the Spiderman who may/may not show up in the cinematic Marvel universe will be a black kid:…

Personally, I think all this crap is side-stepping the issue of diversity rather than addressing it. If the likes of Marvel were really serious about it, they’d invest time and capital creating new heroes who are a different gender/race from the get-go. Building up a new mythology for a female or black character would be so much stronger than if a different gender or ethnicity were shoe-horned into an existing character’s spandex suit.

Idris Elba was the actor being pegged as a potential “New” James Bond.
Why the f**k would you want to take an actor who is that good and lumber him with the baggage of Bond?! It would be such a waste!
For god’s sake, if you’re going to rope in the likes of Elba, come up with a NEW spy franchise that has a black guy at its core. Something to COMPETE with Bond and forge its OWN identity so that when you say the title it conjures up a specific image in the same way that “007” makes you think [insert white actor’s name here].

The script for the comic this person is referring to was written months before the material they’re claiming I ripped off was posted here on DA. I have emails that confirm it.

I’m rather irked that anyone would think that, after all this time, I would actually plagiarise anything. Parody for the sake of comedy, sure, but not flat-out copy.

Let me tell you what I know: the creative process grants you access to infinite possibilities. As such, I have never, ever felt the need to copy someone’s work. If I am aware of something that exists, I veer away from it. Partly because it would just feel wrong to steal someone else’s ideas, but mostly because….it’s boring! I get a kick out of devising new things. It’s one of the most enjoyable and satisfying endeavours you can pursue.…

How the hell did I not know about this?!

TV series Spooks (known as MI-5 in some parts of the world), which ended in 2011, is returning as a feature film, titled Spooks: The Greater Good.

Spooks started during the same, post 9/11 years that spawned 24, but unlike the Kiefer Sutherland Whispering Hour, Spooks was actually rather scary and often very brutal. It was one of the first series I remember watching and just not knowing if every member of the main cast were going to make it to the end credits. The scenarios it played with were also worryingly plausible, dealing with very realistic threats rather than Hollywood-level, OTT absurdity.

I’ve harped on about this before and I’m going to do it again…..and again and again…..until people stop doing it.

I do not fave pictures that have watermarks right across them.

This isn’t me being monumentally arrogant and thinking that I alone faving a piece of work bestows upon it some kind of greatness. This is just me having an artistic eye.
If you’ve slaved to create the most astounding piece of work to have ever graced the galleries of deviantart, something that puts all your peers to shame and will remain a benchmark that others aim to match for years to come…..and then across the middle of it you decide to slap a watermark that you spent 5 minutes farting out: you just f**ked up your artwork. You have added something that detracts from my enjoyment of the piece and I’m not going to fave it.

There are a number of brilliant artists out there who I’m on the verge of unfollowing, simply because it irks me so much to see a tacky watermark (or worse, the default DA skidmark) ruining what would otherwise be a beautiful image.
I was really debating whether or not I should mention this, but it's cringingly funny, despite my not coming out of it well AT ALL.

I listen to Hollywood Babble On, a thoroughly puerile show (probably one of the reasons it’s on my playlist) which is hosted by Ralph Garman and Kevin Smith. A little while back, a teacher of Garman’s kid was said to be in the audience and Garman joked that he’d better be on his best behaviour otherwise the teacher would call child protective services ‘round.
Smith’s jokingly sexual humour over the course of the show didn’t help out with this at all, AND it gave me an idea for a quick pin-up to draw….. which I did….. and which I thought, at the time, would be really funny to send to them….. which I did…. along with a gag about me drawing smutty comics…… which has come back to bite me…..

Oh, god, there isn’t a rock big enough for me to hide under.

Miss Dwyer by jollyjack…

It was revealed earlier this month that CNN had in place an “ultimate closing message” in the event of the apocalypse actually arriving (and there being enough time to change the tape). It was footage of a military band playing “Nearer My God to Thee”:…

This.... would have been a really crap thing to permanently sign out on.

The BBC obviously thought so, too, as in light of that story they asked their readers/listeners what they would like to hear played across the service, should doomsday occur.

Most responses were musical numbers, such as REM’s “It’s the End of the World as we know it (and I feel fine)” and Queen’s “Don’t stop me now”, but other’s were a little more deranged, such as the final clip of a Warner Bros cartoon, with Porky Pig saying “That’s all folks!”.

One chap just wanted to hear the shipping forecast.

The ultimate suggestion though was Monty Python’s “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life”, which is probably a suitable representation of how most Brits hope to check out: looking at the approaching end and sticking two fingers up at it.…

I will be at a couple of conventions over February and March this year.

First is the ever-lovely Demoncon, on February 15th -…

The second is the London Super Comic Con, over March 14th & 15th - www.londonsupercomicconvention…
(I'll provide a map of where I can be found at this one closer to the date)

At both, I'm on the table with the big Denizen pic behind it :)

Unless I somehow perform a minor miracle, Little Victory: Chimera #5 will not be available at Demoncon. Though the content will be ready by then (and a digital copy available via my website), the hardcopies probably won't be. 2014 was a reeeeeally sh*t year and production on all my projects was slowed up.
Hardcopies of the comic WILL be available at LSCC.
Unsurprisingly, after the murder of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists last week: media hysteria is higher than normal, with news networks reporting on virtually nothing but counter terrorism plans.
Joke news network Fox was clearly so caught up in it all that they went into full reality meltdown, claiming that parts of Britain had become no-go areas for non-Muslims, and that “Muslim Religious Police” were patrolling parts of London, attacking anyone who did not conform to Islamic law.
Birmingham, they said, was a city populated purely by Muslims, and people not of that faith just didn’t go there…..which was news to me. I live just outside it, I venture in on a weekly basis and, as far as I am aware, I am not a Muslim.…

The, clearly bat-sh*t, journalist that made these insane accusations was immediately pointed to and laughed at by, well, everybody, and went on to apologise for his “terrible error”.
Weirdly, this apology felt more insulting than the fantasy he was originally spouting. It makes you think he believes any claim of Muslim presence in a city is an immediate black mark upon it.

Having a keen interest in history, I generally hold a dim view of all major religions, but I’m certainly not automatically afraid of anyone who follows one of them. If I was, I wouldn’t live around the corner from a mosque.
The media are keen on stirring up panic over the recent movement of Muslims into the west, claiming that it will be the end of western civilization, but there is no difference between what is occurring now and what happened 100 years ago. Between 1880 and 1920, millions of Jews fled from Russia because of persecution. The newspapers in Britain claimed their arrival would be the end of all things, but one century on, as any updated atlas will tell you: the island has not sunk into the Atlantic.
People are moving from the Middle East to the West because the Middle East is currently on f**king fire and a rather unpleasant place to live, not because they’re invading. There is no “war” against “terror” because “terror” as the media like to play it simply does not exist. “God told me to do it” has been a cliché motive for decades and a handful of petty individuals using it now as an excuse to kill innocent civilians does not equal an all-out assault on the West by foreign hordes.
Perspective needs to be maintained.

Let’s list the “terror attacks” in the west since 9/11. Not attacks on embassies in Middle Eastern countries or attacks on soldiers operating in war zones, but attacks HERE. The attacks that panic-mongers like Fox News claim to be the reason why we all need to cower in our homes::

Madrid 2004 (Train bombings)
London 2005 (4 bombers attack London underground)
Birmingham 2007 (Foiled plot to kidnap/behead British soldier)
Little Rock 2009 (Lone gunman, drive-by shooting at a recruiting office)
Fort Hood 2009 (Unstable serviceman. No connection to terror groups)
New York 2010 (Car bomb attempt)
Stockholm 2010 (Suicide bomber)
Frankfurt 2011 (Mass shooting at airport)
Toulouse/Montauban 2012 (Shootings targeting French soldiers and Jewish civilians)
Boston 2013 (Marathon bombings)
London 2013 (Lee Rigby murder)
Melbourne 2014 (Counter-terrorist officers stabbed)
Brussels 2014 (Jewish Museum of Belgium shooting)
Quebec 2014 (Attempt to run-over soldiers)
Ottawa 2014 (Shooting at Parliament Hill)
New York 2014 (Hatchet attack on subway)
Sydney 2014 (Hostage crisis)
Joué-lès-Tours 2014 (Knife attack)
Dijon 2014 (Ran over pedestrians)
Nates 2014 (Ran over pedestrians)
Paris 2015 (Charlie Hebdo murders)

That’s 21 attacks. There are 1.2 billion Muslims in the world. If there really was a war going on between they and the west, I think we’d have seen one or two more incidents. I also think the attacks would be a little more sophisticated than just running people over with a car while shouting “allahu akbar”.

Now let’s list the (major) mass shootings in the US alone across the same time period:

Meridian 2003 (Lockheed Martin shooting)
Wisconsin 2004 (Chai Vang killings)
Tacoma 2005 (Tacoma Mall shooting)
Red Lake 2005 (Red lake massacre)
Brookfield 2005 (Terry Ratzmann killings)
Goleta 2006 (Goleta postal facility shootings)
Indianapolis 2006 (Hamilton Avenue murders)
Seattle 2006 (Capitol Hill massacre)
Omaha 2007 (Westroads Mall shooting)
Blacksburg 2007 (Virginia Tech shooting)
Salt Lake City 2007 (Trolley Square shooting)
Crandon 2007 (Wisconsin shooting)
Tinley Park 2008 (Lane Bryant shooting)
Knoxville 2008 (Knoxville Unitarian Universalist church shooting)
Kirkwood 2008 (Kirkwood City Council shooting)
Los Angeles 2008 (Covina massacre)
Henderson 2008 (Atlantis Plastics shooting)
Lakewood 2009 (Police officer shooting)
Pittsburgh 2009 (Collier Township shooting)
Carthage 2009 (Carthage nursing home shooting)
Binghamton 2009 (American Civic Association immigration centre shootings)
Oak Creek 2010 (Wisconsin Sikh temple shooting)
Huntsville 2010 (University of Alabama in Huntsville shooting)
Kennesaw 2010 (Penske shootings)
Manchester 2010 (Hartford Distributors shooting)
St. Louis 2010 (ABB plant shootings)
Irwindale 2011 (Southern California Edison shooting)
Seal Beach 2011 (Seal Beach shooting)
Carson City 2011 (IHOP shooting)
Copley Township 2011 (Ohio shooting)
Rochester 2012 (Webster, New York shooting)
Minneapolis 2012 (Minneapolis workplace shooting)
Aurora 2012 (Theater shooting)
Brookfield 2012 (Azana Spa shootings)
Washington DC 2013 (Washington Navy Yard shooting)
Saylorsburg 2013 (Ross Township Municipal Building shooting)
Los Angeles 2013 (Los Angeles International Airport shooting)
Hialeah 2013 (Hialeah shooting)
Spring 2014 (Spring, Texas shooting)
Marysville 2014 (Marysville Pilchuck High School shooting)

40 incidents. So, purely based on numbers, Americans have more to fear from other Americans than migrants of a foreign faith.

According to Fox, though, that’s all the fault of video games.