March 2005
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Symphony vs Shuttle

How come no one’s really mentioned this on the blogosphere? Symphony is the new kid on the block when it comes to blogging software, and it’s a complete beauty. It looks as slick as hell and has got some great little features.

As I look at what they’ve done to it I can’t help but […]


In what shall be now lovingly refered to as my IMPULSE buy of the year, I got myself an A4 wacom tablet today. Am I not beautiful?

You certainly are.


About 3.5 years ago I was scared of computers. Well not so much scared, as just didn’t really want anything to do with them. This I guess was due to my brother, who when we brought a computer back in 93 or whenever, decided to methodically trash the thing, and install viruses on for shits […]

Fables: Mean Seasons

Fables Volume 5: The Mean Seasons
My rating: 5 out of 5

Just finished reading this volume, and it’s part of my new scheme, to write a review straight after I’ve finished reading the book. Now for those in the dark, Fables is a fantastic series by Bill Willingham and the excellent Mark Buckingham (who’s such a nice person as well).

What’s it about?
It tells the story of what happens to all the fables of children’s stories after they’ve ended, but there’s a twist. They’ve been run out of their ‘homeland’ and are now living amongst us in downtown New York. They’ve got some magic to help prevent the ‘mundies’ (that’s me and you) from seeing their true form. King Cole is the Mayor of ‘Fabletown’, Snow White actually runs the show, and well the Big Bad Wolf is called Bigby Wolf and he’s the Sheriff of the town within a city. Did you know that Snow White has a sister? Apparently this is true, she’s called Rose Red.

The main mystery here is that the ‘Adversary’ is the person that effectively drove them out of their homelands, but we don’t know who the adversary actually is. His identity is a mystery. There’s an emmense amount of backstory involved here and Willingham is adding layers to the story.

What’s great for me is that I know what his style of writing actually is. Nothing stays the same. Time actually passes, months, years whatever the story calls for. He’s not scared to off characters, or change characters. Constantly introduces new characters that you just completely forgot about, and that adds yet another amazing layer to the already great cast of characters.

This book started 1 year before the release of Shrek, so don’t think this is cashing in on that story. It’s very different with a great deal of maturity involved here. It’s a Vertigo comic book series so there’s bound to be an edge here. The covers are provided by the SPECTACULAR James Jean, who’s my favourite artist of the past 2 years, easily. Never ceases to amaze me what the guy comes up with month in, month out.

The Art.
With volume 5, Mark’s not as on form as he was in volume 4 where it showed how much fun he was having illustrating every page. Don’t get me wrong there’s nothing bad with the art but if you compare the two you’ll know what I mean. I got the feeling in volume 4 that he finally found his groove on the book. Knew every single character, and was experimenting with the page layouts every single page, and it was great. Added such a personal touch and essentially for me made it his completely. In this volume, not sure if it was something intentional (ie handed down by the editor) or due to lack of time, but that experimentation just wasn’t there to be found. Still certain ‘little’ aspects of the story were just too cute to mention (and I’m not going to because that would be a MAJOR spoiler and I hate spoilers).

I keep giving this series to friends of mine that are girls. They seem to love it more than I do. There’s something in this series that strikes a cord with female readers more than it does with male readers, but it’s a brilliant read for any gender. If you’re looking for something that will remind you of your childhood and then turn it on it’s head, I highly recommend you check out Fables. Chances are very high that you’ll come back for more.

Work Ethics

In a bit of an unusual mood for me. I was meant to do a bit of drawing this weekend. That’s not happened. Instead I’ve gone out with friends, played some basketball, done some reading and generally speaking very little creating. I think after close to three months solid of concentrating on my various projects […]

Funky Anam

I’ve got two posts in me today, one I’m going to let fester in me for a while, the other one is right here. Yesterday went out for Tracey’s Birthday. For a very brief couple of minutes I was contemplating about not going. This was after the 3 hour basketball session, and a […]

WordPress in WebDesigner Mag

I’ve got a backlog of magazines the size of a small mountain and I’m just filing though it over the next couple of days. Today I went through WebDesigner issue 103. Now generally speaking it’s a decent enough magazine. I like some of the tutorials they’ve done (bearing in mind I’ve only bought this mag […]

Broken Kode Version 3.0

I’ve decided to go for a more dynamic approach to v3 of this site. There are a number of reasons, but mainly it’s because I’ve been sitting on this design for a while now, and I really wanted to start using some of the features I’d set up for it, mainly my snippets column. I […]

Introducing Rin

Okay it’s finally here. After nearly 2 months, and 2000 downloads later, Manji2 has now blossomed into Rin. The major differences between this and the Beta version and the final release is really in the stylings. There have been some tweaks in the code, but those are just falling in line with the developments for […]


I’ve been coasting for the past couple of weeks. You know the feeling you get when things go around in a circle and you’re a slave to a certain routine. That’s been my life for the past 3 weeks. I’ve been buried in my design and writing. Not much drawing, which is annoying. I remember […]

Rin - Coming Soon

Manji2 is NO MORE. I hinted at this before. Manji2 is being renamed Rin. I’ve spent the entire evening sorting out the final release. There has been a lot of stylistic changes to the final theme. I’m currently working on the icons which will accompany it. The first flavour to be released will be Nebular. […]

Secret Identity

Superman: Secret Identity
My rating: 4 out of 5

I’ve not read a Superman comic since 1993. This was after the end of the Reign of the Supermen storyline, the one that followed Death of Superman storyline, and effectively got me into superhero comics and by extension into comics again. I say again because I was subscribed to MAD magazine, and had a massive Archie Comics collection before that.

The point is my buying anything Superman related means something fishy is going on. Oh sure I’m a smallville fan, but then again most people I talk to can find something appealing with that show. The GN (Graphic Novel) in question is called Superman: Secret Identity, and it’s crafted by the great team of Kurt Busiek and Stuart Immonen. The last time I can remember these two gents got together and actually did a story together was for the great but ill-fated Shockrockets.

I’ve read the odd story by Kurt, a bit of Astro City, the great Marvels, Shockrockets, but I don’t hunt everything he does, only stuff that I think could probably interest me.

I absolutely love Stuart’s work, and he’s elevated his game a complete level with this series. He’s on another plateau, and I already thought the guy was an exceptionally talented artist.

This book has been released a while now, but I bought it on the basis of great reviews it’s gotten both from Augie over at CBR and Randy and Don. I’ve got to say it really doesn’t disappoint in any way.

The story follows a real life Clark Kent. He lives in our world, where Clark Kent is the character from the comics. He lives in Picketsville, and his parents thought it might be a good idea if they called him Clark. The irony of course is that he does have Superman’s powers. What really shines in this book is the singular and completely distinct voice that Kurt has given Clark. He’s meant to be real, and the skill involved in making him sound real is honestly amazing. There are loads of little details that I really appreciated in this book as well, I’d rather not say them because it’s better when you read them in the book.

I absolutely love the Lois in this version as well. I’ve generally got a thing for Lois’s (except the movie version, not such a fan), and she doesn’t disappoint in this version either.

The colours are muted and yet vibrant when they have to be. Stuart’s done everything, drawn, inked and coloured this book and it’s an amazing body of work, worth the entry cost alone. Add the fantastic story and character development that’s been weaved into the story and it’s a book that is seriously deserving of your attention.

Spring in London

You know all those stories you hear about English weather being terrible, blah blah blah. For the most part it’s true. The thing is it doesn’t rain all day. That’s not true. The standard however is for a constant white cloud to be above your head 70% of the year. That’s what we call in […]

Shuttle Developments 04

I thought I’d give a small update on the progress of this little project as I’ve not spoken or said anything about it since Joen joined the team. It’s been nearly over a month since we started working on this little project in ernest. The first 2 weeks were spent discussing options, thoughts, design […]

Broken Kode Version 3 - Brewing

Allow me this moment to take a second and thank EVERY SINGLE person that’s ever given any time to WordPress. Be it in the help forums, helping out with the Wiki, sorting out a theme, sorting out a plugin or generally trying to get people to use WordPress and Open Source software more.

I’ve been slogging […]

Manji2 Development

Like a butterfly Manji2 is going to evolve into something more, and the name, well the name will have to change to reflect that. After a few nights of thinking, I’m prone to saying things and then going back on my word, I think there might be a theme for the Alex King Competition coming […]

Houston. We have a problem

Hmm seems like we’ve been heard. Larry’s posted on his website about the True Facts review. That’s pretty cool. He checks out what people have said about his books across the net good and bad and presents them. He’s done this for a while now, so it’s nice to get mentioned.

Seems Larry’s also read […]


Finally got around to sorting this out. All I wanted was a holder page. It’s been on my mind for like 1 month, but I always found other things that took preference in completing. Now that a date for it to go live has been set I’ve got my work cut out for me. I’ve […]

Randomness Part 2

As some of you will have noticed I went back to my one coloumn jobbie after toying with a sidebar. I wasn’t 100% convinced that my previous re-design was the way to go forward, so I sat down and wrote a list of things to do/complete for this here site. I was really surprised at […]

Self-Publishing for the Masses

My rating: 4 out of 5

A few weeks ago I picked up Larry Young�s True Facts collection of internet articles, around the topic of how to publish your own comic book. The articles were originally published on the now defunct Savant Mag website.

The book is a pocket guide, so you can guess the size of this thing, and it collects twenty-one articles and an introduction from Matt Fraction.

Since there was a bit of time between when the articles were written and when Larry finally got round to compiling the book itself, he�s gone back in and offered commentary on various topics he raised at the time, giving the news after the fact.

As an aspiring comic book creator, that will probably have to self publish my wares to the world, books like this are basically essential reading. If I come out with even a nugget of information that I deem useful it will have been worth the cover price.

There were a couple of articles in there that were exceptionally useful to me. Some articles where very amusing to read, while others went no absolutely nowhere.

I guess this isn�t exactly a detailed guide of what you have to do to write, draw, letter, colour, distribute, promote, sell your comic book work. What this book essentially is a checklist of sorts. It�s meant to bring certain topics to the fore for you to remember that your job as an independant creator of work does not end with the writing and the drawing.

It�s a light read and I guess that was the point, but if you�re interested in publishing on your own I guess True Facts is a nice primer on what you�re getting yourself into.

Personal Information Managers and Lists.

Seems everyone and their dog is trying to come up with ways to maximise their productivity. I can sympathise completely. I’ve been searching for the past year for software, (open source generally) that might fit the bill. The route to go I guess would be using a Personal Information Manager, or PIM.

I’ve downloaded and installed […]

Gmail Problems

Now see this is weird. I’ve been having some issues getting gmail e-mails to get through to Lebanon. Seems it’s really random whether or not the e-mails I send or receive on my gmail account get through or not.

I know it’s gmail related because I used my work e-mail address and it all went […]

May 1st Reboot 2005

Five years ago a handful of designers decided to band together and relaunch their sites on the 1st of May. It’s a nice idea and keeps things fresh and gets a target into people’s heads. Everyone needs a target and this date is as good as any really.

The 2005 version of the website is live […]

Thirteen Senses Concert

I just got back fron the Thirteen Sense concert. It’s been years since I’ve been to a gig I actually wanted to go to, much less actually enjoyed. I’m not a gig person in general, simply I guess because I’ve never been organised enough in that department to actually do anything about it, and I’m […]


While on the DO forums (that’s Designate Online), the topic of recommended design books came up. The one that caught my eye straight away was this little book called Freewave. I read the amazon review, thought about it for like 10 seconds and quickly ordered. Yes Amazon is very lucky to have people like me, […]

Design and Redesign

Ok so I’ve finished the design for the site, would you believe I’m getting itchy again. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. It’s taken me soo long to get it the way I think I want it and now I’m having second thoughts. This is not normal. There are sites that haven’t had […]

Manji Update - WordPress 1.5 Version

Manji is finally prepped and ready for WordPress Version 1.5.

First of all I’d like to thank everyone who’s taken an interest in Manji. It’s been an absolute joy watching all you wonderful people who have taken the code made it your own and come up with some fantastic designs. I’ve got to setup […]

Building Letters - Tsunami Relief Update

About 2 months ago I sent out my flower for the Building Letters edition for the Tsunami Relief effort.

Seems the flower was accepted which is nice, because I’ve given money and this is something I actually did that I’m proud of giving, since nothing I create is lost, just archived waiting to be used later […]