When I was a kid, I was completely obsessed with Marvel comics. There was little else to capture my attention – TV was crappy in the seventies, the cinemas were closing down or situated in foreboding city centres.
Saturday morning was my fix. I’d head up to the local newsagents where my comics awaited. I had filled out a form and ‘reserved’ my copies (it’s what you did, honestly). I started with The Avengers and then it blossomed from there.
Here I find myself many years later reacquainting myself with the superheroes I idolised. And guess what, in order for these characters to remain relevent and compete with the modern world, they’ve given artists and writers carte blanche to reinvent the superheroes of my youth.
One of my favourites was always Daredevil. A blind lawyer who swung around Hell’s Kitchen in New York using his enhanced senses instead of his sight. He always seemed such a far fetched idea, but I have to say after just reading the latest Anthology of his most recent stories, they have taken his world to a whole new, and crucially, believeable level. It’s like a cross between the Wire and Batman.
I think it’s time for them to take another look at a Daredevil movie too.
Those of you that know me reasonably well will know that I’m kind of working at the moment, but not really. It’s a very weird situation to be in, as I’ve always had a job since leaving college and never had more than two weeks off for holiday in my entire working life (although we did take a three week holiday in California in the eighties, that doesn’t count as it was before children).
So I find myself biding some time and getting my life (and the garden, promise) into some order after some twenty years running full tilt at the coalface of the design industry. It’s an interesting time not just for me, but for the industry in general, and I’m expecting to be back in operation with a renewed vigour and super clarified focus on what I’d like to achieve in the next phase.
Someone who’d been through this phase said it’s incredibly valuable in determining exactly what the next thing is going to look like, and although it seems a little early for me to say too much about that just yet, I am beginning to see what they mean.
There’ll be a lot more to say about this interregnum in due course. In the meantime, there have been many simple pleasures I have enjoyed that, to be honest, would not have happened if I were in full time employment. So I’ll take these and enjoy them – they will help inform the next step forward in some way.
One of my oldest friends arrived at lunch today with a scrap of paper scrunched up in his pocket with four key questions he wanted to make sure we covered. At Jacob Kramer College of Art in 1980, he was always an odd combination of diligence and waywardness with an enviable talent. He’s still the same (hence the note). He could, and still can, draw better than I can.
Great to catch up then: old friends, new thinking, our music, Leeds Savages and New York experiences. All over a pint in The Vic. Lovely.
And yes, we did cover the four questions. If you want to know what they were, you’ll have to ask me yourself.
Once in a while I see something where I say ‘I wish I’d done that’.
The guys at Music in Manchester have down just that, producing their own promotional book. Every one in agency land out there knows how hard it is to get something done that’s for yourself. There’s always client deadlines and insistent account managers who scupper it. The analogy of the cobblers children being the worst shod is never more true than in our industry.
So when someone produces a piece of self promotional work that is exceptional, it really is hats off to them. The book (and it is a weighty tome) they have produced is based around all the things they love from Noggin the Nog to The Six Million Dollar Man – from dingy Manc pubs to baking bread, it really is a thing to behold and a proper piece of work.
Try to get hold of a copy if you can – I’m sure every designer in the country will be desperately trying to get their hands on one after it was featured recently on the Creative Review blog.