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As I was walking down the street, a driver who I didn't recognise tooted their horn and called out "Jolly Jack!".
Unfortunately it was a pretty busy road, so they couldn't stop for me to ask how or where they knew me from. If they were referring to me as "Jolly Jack" it has to be a member of the internet crowd, but B3TA or DevArt? I've met many from the former and there's enough photo-evidence in my gallery for a member of the latter to easily identify me.
Well, random person, if you're reading this: Hello. You found me.

I’ve been playing the game for seven hours now and I’ve been loving every moment of it, but, wow, some people been shafted by the games industry on this one.
A friend of mine eagerly raced home from work last night to play it….and spent the next several hours waiting for it to install and update. By the time it had done so, it was too late for him to give it a shot.
I’m not sure how or why I got off so lightly. Maybe it’s because I’m a console gamer. Maybe it’s because I installed and updated the game in the morning of its release in the UK, before the Americans woke up and strain was put on the servers.
It shouldn’t have happened, though. It’s everything I hate about modern video games: they’re selling something they KNOW is BROKEN. I don’t care how large the game is, if it has bugs in it you FIX those bugs before putting it into print! The players, especially the die hard fans, shouldn’t be punished for sloppy development.

Other tales of Fallout woe stem from physical distribution. Look around on the internet and you’ll find stories of people pre-ordering the game months ago and who are now receiving messages that their copy has been delayed. Sometimes indefinitely!
How pissed off must they be?!
This is why I don't pre-order games or buy "Season Passes": unless your game is on the shelf, and I can pick it up and take it to a till, I refuse to believe it exists. I'm not giving you money for something that doesn't exist. I don’t care what kind of Pip-Boy shaped carrot you dangle in front of me.

So, the trailer for Warcraft dropped a couple of days ago:…

Wow. That looks…..reeeeallly bad. Not Uwe Boll bad, granted, but certainly as bad as any other cinematic adaptation of a video game IP.
Why the hell didn’t they go full CG? Compare it to one of the latest World of Warcraft trailers:…

See? Don’t all the visuals just gel better than the CG/Real life mash-up that the movie is promising?
Now, at its peak, World of Warcraft had about 12 million players. I think it’s down to about 5 million at the moment. This movie is going to make money, sure, but so did the first Tomb Raider film, and for precisely the same reason: the fans will go and see it.
The last time I visited Azeroth, though, was in 1995, with Warcraft 2: Tides of Darkness, so any of the characters and settings developed across the course of World of Warcraft are unknown to me. If they show up in the movie, I would neither know it nor care. To me, all the trailer is showing is a strange cocktail of Narnia, Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings. One that doesn’t tempt in the slightest, purely because it looks so very bland. It just has a bunch of stuff that I’ve seen elsewhere, with none of the visual flare that compels me to buy the occasional Blizzard art book.

Despite being the only 007 film to open with tentacle porn, it didn't achieve the highs of Skyfall (which I'll admit I didn't warm to on the first viewing, but which grew on me the more I saw it) but certainly feels like an old-school Bond flick. Lots of globe trotting, chases, a few gadgets, but a very mediocre revenge plot, the exposition of which that rather undermines the charm of certain characters.
They openly stated that they tried to make this film bigger than Skyfall, but “bigger” doesn’t usually mean “better”.

I’ll really have to try and see it again, as my cinematic experience was rather undermined by a young kid who I assume was visually impaired. When he wasn't talking over the top of the movie (probably because ANY kid that age would have NO interest in this kind of film) his headphones were ramped up so loud I could hear the descriptive audio from the far side of the room.
I'll be as kind and considerate as possible to disabled folk when out and about. I will offer them assistance, I will be respectful of their situation and dive in automatically if I think they're in trouble. But when I've paid the absurd fee required to sit in a sh*tty cinema in the hope of maybe, just maybe, seeing a good film: you will sit your crippled ass down and shut the f**k up.

The UK networks tend not to have the budget to create anything as flashy as their US counterparts, but they’re very good at working with what they’ve got: a ton of old buildings.
British towns and cities don’t seem to pull down the old structures as much as they do build over them. Why waste time and money assembling sets when there are plenty of period houses, streets and cellars available?
The latest series to make use of them is a new take on the Jekyll and Hyde story:…

I’ve just seen the first episode, which, while entertaining, did give me a bit of a fright. If you’re familiar with my super-hero comics and the universe in which they’re set, you’ll know that there’s a division of the British military called the Office of Dangerous Anomalies (ODA), who are essentially monster hunters that run around in dark coats and bowler hats.
Guess what you’ll see in the Jekyll & Hyde trailer?
Yep. Government monster hunters in dark coats and bowler hats. A branch of Military Intelligence titled “Other” (MI-O). As soon as they rocked up I found it hard to enjoy the episode as I was terrified they would be identical to my own creation. Thankfully, as it went on, it became obvious that they were taking the concept down a more predictable route: MI-O is essentially an MIB knock-off, working in the shadows, keeping their existence a secret. Bowlers aside, there’s no similarity between they and my fiction.
And, boy, did I give a sigh of relief.
Anyway, the actual show itself holds a lot of promise. It takes place 50 years after the original “Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde”, with a young Robert Jekyll, the original Dr Jekyll’s grandson, being summoned to London. Having been brought up in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) by adoptive parents, he has no knowledge of his family history until a legal firm makes contact with him in regards to the fate of his grandfather’s estate. Word spreads of Robert’s existence and other parties, who are aware of the family history, seek his capture.

It’s kind of embarrassing to be a Brit at the moment. Not because we’re now essentially just an island of mercenaries in the employ of the more wealthy world powers. No one here gives a rat’s arse about that. A job’s a job, but they were jobs that didn’t clash with national principles.
What really makes the average islander want to hide their face in shame is our government, by way of deals and military involvement, broadcasting to the world that we no longer hold those principles. We can no longer take a stand on anything without sounding like complete hypocrites.
Because the previous Labour government were complicit in the lies that brought about the Iraq debacle, we can’t criticise Russia’s action in Ukraine, and thanks to the current Conservative government, we can no longer criticise anyone of human rights violations.
Cameron and Co have put us in bed with China, whose most recent transgressions include breaking agreements made WITH Britain over the administration of Hong Kong (… ), and that’s just one point on a very long list.
China just dumped a sh*t-ton of cheap steel onto the market which has caused a number of major employers in the UK to close up shop, costing thousands of jobs.
They’re aggressively claiming leagues of ocean as their territory, threatening future conflict.
None of which we can now speak out against.
The Conservatives, who have probably pocketed a fortune of from China to greenlight this new “relationship”, are calling it a “Golden Era” (…) . One that will boost the UK economy.
There was an opportunity for us to do something similar in the 20th century. A highly industrialised nation wanted to work with Britain, to forge a “Golden Era” that would undoubtedly have led to great wealth and power for both parties.
We said no….. because, at the time, that highly industrialised nation was run by the Nazis.

A loooong time ago, Wil Overton gathered a mob of artists from Rare and produced a family-friendly, 2000AD style comic called Smart Bomb, featuring a bundle of individual little stories.
He's finally found the time to put together the next collection, with a post-apocayptic tale of mine among them.
The whole thing is available for purchase here:
It's digital-only at the moment, but there are plans to produce a hardcopy version.

As part of a promo for Rare Replay, Rare are releasing little clips featuring folk who worked on the various games, talking about their contributions.
Guess who shows up among them?

I do look a bit....rumpled, there. I didn't realise it was going to be filmed!

The other chap in the clip is Ryan Stevenson, who did most of the character concept work in the game.
Top notch artist. He still works at Rare so most of the content he produces is under wraps, but try to find some if you can! It's well worth keeping an eye out for!
An interesting looking drama is bound for our screens. The Gamechangers is the tale of video game Grand Theft Auto’s development, release and the political hysteria it kicked up.…

It stars Daniel Radcliffe and Bill Paxton as Sam Houser and Jack Thompson.
As with most characters from the video game development community, Sam Houser probably isn’t a well-known name. I certainly neither knew it nor cared. I just enjoyed the original game he helped make. Jack Thompson, on the other hand, is much more well-known, because he’s the dick who said we weren’t allowed to.
Thompson was one of those attention-seeking individuals who seemed to have trouble telling the difference between fictional violence and real-world violence, claiming that video games were creating a “nation of Manchurian Candidate video gamers who are ready, willing and able to massacre”.
He’s still around, and probably still bitching about fantasy violence and bad language, but in 2008 he had his legal teeth pulled by the Supreme Court of Florida, who disbarred him for making false statements, but not before flat out telling him to shut the f**k up, describing his filings as "repetitive, frivolous and insulting to the integrity of the court".

I'm a dunce with tech and I'm in need of some advice, should there be anyone in the know out there:
I've just got myself a new laptop but I can't plug my old-model Cintiq into it as there's only an HDMI port.
A Cintiq can plug into either a VGA or DVI, and I know there are adaptors for VGA/DVI to HDMI, but is it just a case of picking up some bog-standard cable, or am I going to need to shell out for something more expensive?
Fun new meal. I call it the "Hungry Gyro Captain".
First, buy a couple of novelty cocktail cups that look like bean tins.
Then, throw together some basic meat and gravy (or just buy a separate tin of the stuff. Stewed beef in gravy is a good one. Has the right look about it)
Serve in aforementioned cocktail cup.
Eat with wooden spoon while watching Mad Max 2.

(Guess who's been playing the Mad Max game?)

Horror film-maker, Wes Craven, has died at the age of 76…

When I think of horror as a genre, Craven is one of those names that immediately springs to mind, which is a bit of a triumph as there are only really 3 of his movies that I really hold in high regard.
But what movies!
Nightmare on Elm Street is obviously one of them. Freddy is one of the all time great cinematic bogey men. I remember being at a party as a kid, the kind where your parents drag you to one of their friend’s places and which goes on into the late hours, so you’re told you have to sleep on the strange floor of a strange house? Anyway, the adults all sat down to watch all the Elm Street movies (there were only 3 at the time) back to back. All the kids got shooed off, put down to sleep in another room, but we heard the adults screaming at whatever they were watching. For years after, I really wanted to watch the movie. Oddly enough, I don’t remember it being disappointing when I finally did.
Scream followed the same horror/comedy formula as Elm Street, and is a wonderful time capsule of the 90s. I love the closing shot in it where the camera pans back to show the lonely looking house in the middle of rural California. For years I’ve been meaning to write something with such a setting.
Finally, Cursed; a somewhat forgotten werewolf movie from 2004, starring Christina Ricci and her massive forehead. I liked it because it didn’t have any of the bull-sh*t “tribal” tropes that have come to plague such movies. It was simply about the monsters and the curse in a modern, urban environment.
I keep thinking that it’s amazing there are still lost treasures in the world, but I really shouldn’t. Human civilization, when it’s not being neglectful or forgetful, has a tendency to shoot first and ask questions later, leading to things being misplaced indefinitely. If an ancient hoard is found, it was not buried with the intent of it being hidden long term. It only remained there because everyone who knew about it ended up dead.
Take the Staffordshire Hoard, discovered in a field in 2009. This was an Anglo-Saxon trove that contained what archaeologists and academics generally refer to as a “sh*t-ton” of gold. It was most likely buried while the owners were on the run from someone, with said owners either being killed or unable to return, not because a hole in the ground was considered a bank in ancient times.
Being on the lam, you ditch what’s slowing you down, especially if what you’re carrying will give your pursuers more reason to beat the crap out of you. Which brings us to Ze Nazis.
More and more of the lucre plundered by the Third Reich is turning up thanks to modern tech. At the end of the war, they were hurriedly secreting it around Europe as armies from several pissed off nations closed in.

Turfing crates into lakes was a popular SS pastime in 1944.

Ground penetrating radar may have turned up something new, near the city of Walbrzych in south-west Poland: a buried train.
There are local legends about an armoured Nazi train, loaded with valuables, which went missing in the closing years of the conflict, and an apparent death-bed confession of one involved in its hiding led a pair of unidentified treasure hunters to the area.
The radar images apparently show a train with gun turrets, we can assume sealed up in a forgotten tunnel.
Through lawyers, the treasure hunters have been discussing the matter with the German and Polish authorities, mostly to negotiate their cut of anything found.
Though the site has not been disclosed, the Polish Deputy Culture Minister has warned the public about potential dangers that may be present. The tunnel could be booby trapped. The train might be carrying now-unstable bombs or chemicals. Maybe even Nazi zombies!
It is an exciting thought (the loot, not the zombies). Quite a few famous treasures are unaccounted for, such as the famed Amber Room. If anything like that is on board, this story and the people who found the train will become legends!…

Oh, the things I stumble upon…..
There’s a project on which I am currently working, that I have yet to make any official mention of, which involves a Naga; one of the serpentine deities that appear across several Asian mythologies.
As with all my projects, I nose around on the internet to make sure my designs aren’t inadvertently similar to existing ones. With everyone being exposed to the same content thanks to global communication, the risk of likeminded individuals with no connection producing similar material is increasingly common. This led me to the discovery of a character called Miia and cause for me to once again write: “Dear Japan. WTF?”

Monster Musume, a manga, a video game and an anime, is described on Wikipedia as a “Fantasy Harem Comedy”. The “fantasy” aspect stems from its gaggle of female characters being mostly titted versions of cliché RPG encounters. The one whose depiction led me here, Miia, is a snake woman who shared a couple of minor physical similarities with my design: elf-like ears and scaly sideburns. Details that I plan to change, because I don’t want to run the risk of people suggesting I was inspired in any way by this product.
Why? Surely the sexy character design is just my thing?
Visually, certainly, I could watch that centaur lady bounce around all day, but there’s more to a character design than that. The creatures on display here are the most 2 dimensional wank fantasies you’ll ever find.
This is the first “harem” anime I’ve ever watched simply because the concept is so f**king offensive I’ve actively avoided it thus far: a mob of females fawn all over a single, “unlucky” male, doing all they can to be what the writers perceive as perfect bride material; subservient bimbos who will cook and clean and happily pork the Master of the house whenever he’s in the mood.
Now, it doesn’t matter what you dress this up with, be it the unusual spin of the girls being monsters or it being a comedy (the Japanese interpretation of it, at least: Benny Hill meets Robert Rodriguez), it’s so devoid of dignity and insulting to the intelligence of all that the concept is unforgivable. It is beyond redemption and you’d be hard pressed to imagine a way it could be made worse.

But they give it a go.

Papi is the second monster girl to show up in the series. She’s a harpy who looks about the age of a school girl. Yeah. You know enough about Japan to know where this is going. That sinister obsession they seem to have with underage girls? It’s here, as the cover art suggests it is in most “harem” series. But what makes Papi’s presence so much more “wrong” than in other examples is that here they actually try to make an excuse for it. They try to make it sound just fine that she can be seen as a potential partner for the “hero” of the piece: Harpies, we’re told, have smaller, child-like bodies, so that they may fly. She may LOOK like she’s 12, but it’s OK: she’s the same age as her busty house-mates, so you don’t have to feel guilty at all! Continue jerking off.

I will admit to having watched 5 or 6 episodes. To start with, I thought it was going to be a self-aware parody that was mocking the genre. When I found out that wasn’t the case, I kept going as I was morbidly curious to see just how bad it was going to get. Beyond that, my main reason for hanging around was the irritatingly catchy theme tune:…
I’ve no idea what the lyrics are (probably something about how much they enjoy housework) but it’s got itself firmly stuck in my head.

I’m done with it now. I've had enough. I can't stand any more. I need to go watch a cocktail of Batman The Animated Series and X-Files to try and purge this horror from my subconscious.

The latest Demoncon, which, despite the name, is the most pleasent convention I attend, is being held in Maidstone on the 23rd.
I'll be down there, should anyone want to stop by for a natter and a sketch :)……

I did the poster art for this one, too:

The concept of "quickfire sketches" seemed to go down quite well, so I'm going to do another round of them.

10 slots are available on the quickfire sketch list. Each slot will cost £10GBP. For that, I'll produce a (single character) digital image on par with the pic of Scarlet at the bottom of this journal entry. All you have to do is let me know what you want drawn, providing reference where possible.

Should you want to be on this quickfire list, just submit a comment below, reading "Add me to the list".
First come, first served.
I'll contact applicants in sequence to discuss what you're after.
If you do not respond to my note within 24 hours or if you change your mind, I'll move on to the next person on the list (so if you're the 11th applicant, there's still a chance you might get in on this).

1. How long have you been on DeviantArt?

12 years……woah. It was 10 last time I looked.

2. What does your username mean?

“JollyJack” is the handle I used when I played my first multiplayer FPS game, Quake 3 Arena. I chose it partly because my name is “Jackson” and partly because I was really in to Victoriana at the time, and nothing said “Late 19th Century” like Jack the Ripper, who was oft referred to as “Jolly Jack”.

3. Describe yourself in three words.

Really quite busy.

4. Are you left or right handed?

Which is which, again?

5. What was your first deviation?

Mature Content

Flying Carpet by jollyjack

6. What is your favourite type of art to create?

I like to tell stories with my art, so, anything that can effectively relay a narrative.

7. If you could instantly master a different art style, what would it be?

Digital painting. I’m quite happy with my linework, but I really wish I could apply colour in the way far better artists do.

8. What was your first favourite?

P . A . R . A . D . I . Z . E by KmyeChan ……huh. I was expecting something a little more salacious.

9. What type of art do you tend to favourite the most?

I love slick, dynamic linework and colouring.….. which is a classier thing to say than “BOOBIES!!”

10. Who is your all-time favourite deviant artist?

There are 36 million artists on DA, and you want me to pick ONE?

11. If you could meet anyone on DeviantArt in person, who would it be?

It’d have to be :iconfredgdperry:. I must shake that chap’s hand.

12. How has a fellow deviant impacted your life?

I first encountered :iconfredgdperry:’s work in 1999, and both his art and style of writing/world building have been the benchmark I aim for ever since.

13. What are your preferred tools to create art?

Just give me a pen and paper and I’m a happy bunny, but for polished projects I love my Cintiq. Best bit of kit I ever bought.

14. What is the most inspirational place for you to create art?

The bathroom. Don’t ask me why, but when I seal myself up in there, I write really good stuff.
I’m not on the throne taking a dump or anything. I sit on the floor, listen to the whir of the extractor fan or I have the shower running and just seem able to focus more on what I’m doing. I can spend an age in there.

15. What is your favourite DeviantArt memory?

Reading that people have found advice which I gave them useful.
In warfare, if the Brits are known for one thing, it’s lunacy. Read the history books and you’ll see the most bat-sh*t plans and proposals usually come from their demented generals and mad scientists. Go to war with them and there’s every chance you’ll win, but not before they’ve given you several reasons to go “what the f**k?!”.
During the Second World War, the Germans had technological superiority over the entire world. They had pretty much the best of everything and the resources of Europe with which to make everything even better. Britain, by comparison, had a few shoelaces and a bit of wood with a nail in it. So, they had to be clever and/or mental. The Nazis had scientists in fully equipped labs. The Brits had crackpot inventors in garden sheds.
Aircraft carriers made from icebergs, exploding rats, inflatable tanks, miniature submarines, a flying jeep, bombs filled with anthrax-laced darts, even RADAR was born from an attempt to build a Death Ray. The general attitude seemed to be: if you can’t achieve victory over your enemy, just f**k with their heads.
And it didn’t really matter how heavily fortified a target was, the Brits would come up with some deranged plan and take a shot at it.
The U-Boat pens and dry dock facility at St Nazaire in France bristled with armaments and was watched from all angles by anti-aircraft cannons, railway guns and 5000 German troops. Attacking it would be madness….. so the Brits built a floating bomb, loaded it with commandos and ploughed into it.

One of the more famous raids involving crazy people using crazy weapons was Operation Chastise, or as it has become more commonly known: the “Dambuster Raids”.
In 1943, the Ruhr valley in Germany was an industrial hub, powered by hydroelectricity from a number of large dams. Dams which the Germans knew would be prime targets for Allied bombers, so they put in place antiaircraft guns, barrage balloons and torpedo nets. Defences to counter all known forms of attack. So the Brits made up a new one: the bouncing bomb.
They were large, barrel-shaped devices that hooked under specially fitted bombers. When rotated backwards at a particular speed, they skimmed over the surface of the water, over any torpedo nets and into the dam wall.
Sounds like genius, but British genius is always partnered with British crazy. In order for the bombs to function properly, the planes had to be flying low. Very low. Very, very low. How low? One of the planes approached its targets by way of a firebreak in the surrounding forest. THAT low. And remember: this isn’t a fighter plane, it’s a bomber.
Also, in order to gauge their exact height prior to dropping the bombs, the aircraft had to point spotlights at the surface of the water. Which the Germans probably noticed and would have interpreted as the universal sign for “shoot here”.
The raid took out two of the three targets and 11 of the 19 bomber crews made it home.

Today, Squadron Leader Les Munro, the last of the Dambuster pilots, died at the age of 96. I felt it worth making mention of both he and his balls of solid steel.……

I was never really a wrestling fan, but I love John Carpenter flicks, and They Live, in which Piper starred, is pretty much the definition of "Cult Classic".
It was also a hoot when he turned up in Saints Row 4 to assist in the rescue of his co-star, Keith David.

As tribute to both he and one of the greatest lines in movie history: let us all chew some bubblegum..... and once we're out: kick some alien zombie ass.

Lots of people have been asking for commissions lately, but I'm afraid I can only take on a handful of "full" commissions during the spare moments I have between project work.
I want to try something out, though, to see if I can't provide for a few more fans.
I'm going to make available 10 slots on a quickfire sketch list. Each slot will cost £10GBP. For that, I'll produce a (single character) digital image on par with the pic of Scarlet at the bottom of this journal entry. All you have to do is let me know what you want drawn, providing reference where possible.

Should you want to be on this quickfire list, just submit a comment below, reading "Add me to the list".
First come, first served.
I'll contact applicants in sequence to discuss what you're after.
If you do not respond to my note within 24 hours or if you change your mind, I'll move on to the next person on the list (so if you're the 11th applicant, there's still a chance you might get in on this).

This is just a test and will not impact on any existing projects or commissions.
If successful, I'll do more of them in the future.