22 January, 2010

Hello again.

Welcome to my blog. My new blog. That currently consists of old content. Hmm.
I had a mini-launch earlier this month, followed by the uploading of a few old (slightly tweaked) posts from the previous blog. I kept it quiet (the newsfeed was temporarily turned off) but now I should probably tell you a bit about Possibly Interesting.

Expect less waffle and more articles. There's some old articles that will reappear on this blog, but I intend to post a lot of new stuff too. What kind of stuff? Well as listed in the navigation bit at the side:

Dave (my stuff)

Anime and Manga

Computer and Video Games

Film and TV



Of course that's at the time of writing. Plans change and maybe some of those will be dropped, maybe some will be added, but that's what I expect to be writing about and I already have a few ideas for each category. For example, expect Music to contain shaky gig footage, although my laptop's not really up to video editing at the moment - which will also cause a few problems with my short film plans.

Between blogposts, I will probably be posting vague nonsense on Twitter (see box just below the blog navigation). That's all for now. There's not much on the blog at the moment, but hopefully it will soon grow.

14 January, 2010

Max Allan Collins on the Dark Angel novels


I quickly got hooked on Dark Angel when five had a complete run through of all 42 episodes in 2002/2003. At this point the show had already been cancelled, but whilst five were showing the episodes, the three novels written by Max Allan Collins were also released.
The first novel (Before the Dawn) was a prequel, but the two that followed (Skin Game and After the Dark) provided a continuation and conclusion to the TV series.

I read After the Dark in super quick time and thought it was an excellent conclusion, featuring great action, humour and wrapping up various unresolved points. I'd also enjoyed the previous two novels so decided to send M.A.C. an e-mail saying how much I'd liked them.To my surprise I got a reply, responding to the points I'd made whilst also writing a bit about Before the Dawn and Skin Game.

Hi David --

Yours is the first reaction I've received to AFTER THE DARK, and I'm relieved it's such a wonderful one.

The difficulty with doing a prequel (BEFORE THE DAWN) is trying to do something significant (like Seth) without it seeming terribly unnatural that Max would never mention Seth to Logan, later. (Imagine having to come up with a story that had both Max and Logan in it heavily, but never meeting!)
I had to get Jim Cameron's personal permission -- which he granted in record time -- to stage Seth's death and the final fight at the Space Needle, so that I could explain the Needle's significance to Max as a brooding post.

Continuity implants, as we call them in the comics, have their dangers and you have to watch out for a negative domino effect.

But I would offer this justification: May have said something to Logan about Seth, with Logan pleading ignorance, in some moment that went unrecorded on the show. We didn't spend every hour of every day with them, and things happened off-camera. This would only add to Max's rage with Logan over this "betrayal."

The prequel came about, as I have said, because when I was approached to write the DARK ANGEL novels, I had not seen the show (though I'd heard good things about it) and needed to get up to speed, fast. By limiting myself to a prequel, I could study the pilot closely and begin writing, while I was watching tapes, catching up.

When the show was cancelled, I saw the opportunity to write a significant trilogy about DARK ANGEL -- the beginning and the end, so to speak. As you noted, I set up the possibility of another novel (or series of novels), but I do have my doubts that I or anyone will be asked to continue them. A shame.

I really like these three books and in particular AFTER THE DARK, which is one of my best "tie-in" novels (and Matt Clemens contributed greatly). SKIN GAME came off well, but was very tough, as it was conceived as a second-season type "monster" story and became, with the cancellation of the series, the first couple of episodes of a non-existent "third season," with all of the baggage of the season-end cliffhangers that would have gone otherwise unresolved. The structure of the novel required Max to play the role of "mayor" of Terminal City and, while she is in every chapter, she does not carry the ball, re: action/adventure. It worked well as the story that needed to be written, but I swore to Matt Clemens that we would have Max kicking ass throughout the final book.

And I think it's a ride. I particularly like that you enjoyed the humor, which I think is strong and in the tradition of the show, without watering down the "heavy" aspects of the story.

You can share these thoughts with any other DARK ANGEL fans you might know.

Thanks again.



Originally posted 25th July, 2003
Introduction adjusted 14th January, 2010

13 January, 2010

An old friend

Pictured to the left is my battered copy of Helen
McCarthy's The Anime Movie Guide. Actually it was quite battered when I first purchased it "new" from a bookstore whilst on holiday in Llandudno. This was the first time I'd found a shop that had the book and as this was 1996 I couldn't just hop online and order a copy as I didn't (nor did anyone I know) have internet access. So I took it to the till and paid the full price of £9.99 despite the scratches and bent corners - I can actually still recognise some of the cover damage as "pre-Dave".

Anyway the cover didn't matter as what was inside seemed (to '96 Dave) to be a comprehensive guide to every anime ever released. Which it wasn't - not that it claimed to be I should note. The big clue is that "since 1983" bit on the cover. Also it only covered movies and OAV's, so no TV series. But it didn't matter because movies and OAV's from 1983-1995 was pretty much all you could buy at the time.

At first I just looked up the titles I owned or had seen (then those in the same series I perhaps hadn't) but it then became an invaluable guide to aid in my anime purchasing. I remember going in to town one day and seeing the first volume of Gunbuster in a shop. I nipped home, checked what Helen could tell me about it, liked what I read (and no, not just the mention of "bouncing boobs" if anyone has just looked it up) then headed back to town and made my purchase.

There is a glossary at the start and there are small boxes scattered throughout with further information on things such as certain creators or influences. It feels very much like a prototype of The Anime Encyclopedia which McCarthy would later co-write with Jonathan Clements. And whilst the excellent Anime Encyclopedia does include TV series, covers 1917 up until the year of publication (current version: 2006) and is easier to navigate: A-Z rather than year by year (further divided in to movies and OAV's), I still have a soft spot for the older book and will dig it out whenever I want more information on a movie or OAV that was released at some point between 1983 and 1995.

Originally posted 17th February, 2009
Image replaced 5th October, 2011 

Underwhelming blog launch

Welcome to Possibly Interesting.