Archive for the Comics Category


Posted in Comics with tags , on May 25, 2020 by dcairns

waterhouse desert

Episodes 2 and 3 of Waterhouse, the subatomic minicomic by Japa Fett. In these episodes, we get sudden, extreme perspective, and things break out of stick-figure flatland to become somewhat three-dimensional. If JF had kept drawing the strip after around 1991 it’d be virtual reality by now. Or actual reality.

waterhouse baby


Posted in Comics with tags , , on May 18, 2020 by dcairns

Comic book relief from the early nineties.

My friend, who is present online under the soubriquet of Japa Fett, created the character of Waterhouse, an actual house made of water, and astonished his friends at Edinburgh College of Art. Another friend, Garry Marshall, ran Atomic Comics, and decided to include a “sub-atomic mini-comic” featuring the wet residence’s adventures, as a free giveaway booklet in the latest issue.

I seem to be the co-star in the front cover strip.

I think Waterhouse was a way for Japa Fett to explore aspects of western culture, including the way western culture saw eastern culture, and to create humour out of his strange version of the English language and his really strange way of thinking about things. Some of the strips might not make you laugh first time round, but might make you laugh seventh time around. The punchlines may be diversions from the hilarity imbued in every word and line. Even if they don’t make you laugh they might make you feel strange.

waterhouse 1


They also get better if you read them aloud, quite slowly. They will give you the feeling of being in a foreign land, where nothing quite makes sense.

More Waterhouse next week!

Mask Up, Curtains Down

Posted in Comics, FILM, Theatre with tags , , , on May 7, 2020 by dcairns


I’ve raved about Paul Leni’s THE LAST WARNING before but this is quite an upgrade via Flicker Alley. Hey, I like tinting and toning when they’re done in a sensitive and historically correct manner, but maybe there should have been an embargo in the days of VHS because a big wash of colour makes it harder to perceive detail in the already-degraded image.

I enjoyed the film before but I could get much more involved this time. What remains of the play is a nonsense — a whodunnit where there are no clues, just sinister warnings, chases and murder attempts to disrupt the investigation — but there’s a great coup de theatre at the end, which must have been thrilling on stage. To unmask the masked killer, the fatal play during which he last struck is restaged, and at the crucial moment, all the set walls go flying into the air, exposing him. This is a movie, at last, where the stagehands are the heroes.


But the rest of the time, the film is really Leni’s, and he seizes every opportunity to pull off exciting camera angles, with striking use of height, focus, lighting, and movement. It’s highly cinematic, but very comic-book also (the story is pure Michael Kupperman pastiche material, the images maybe Will Eisner).


THE LAST WARNING STARS Magnolia; Colonel Weed; Vicomte Paul; The Woman From the City; Victor Moritz; Squire Bartlett; Big Jim McKay; Athos; The Duchess of Berwick; Tjaden; Dr. Kluck; Spirit of Christmas Future; and Sgt. Dickens.