Last night the BBC, as part of its Ramadan season, broadcast a programme entitled She's A Thoroughly Modern Muslim. I mention this because I was in it. For all of one second. Maybe a second and a half. The programme featured four Muslim women from around the country and how they're getting on in 21st Century Britain. One of the women was a member of the Midlands Comics Collective and rising star in the world of cartooning Asia Alfasi. The programme showed her at one of our meetings and I was in the background in my rather cool Silver Surfer T-shirt looking all handsome and talking to fellow MC2-er Mikey Ball (possibly also looking handsome, but you couldn't tell, as you only saw the back of his head). For all of one second.
Anyway, none of these thoroughly modern muslim women were quite as thoroughly modern as the lady I saw the other day. She was wearing the hijab headscarf, and she was also wearing quite revealing denim hotpants! Nothing illustrates the east meets west melting pot that is Brum better than that!
Maybe they should do another, similar documentary about another misunderstood minority in this country called He's A Thoroughly Modern Nerd, where I could talk about how society stereotypes me and thinks I'm oppressed, and think I'm forced to wear strange clothes, clothes like my rather cool Silver Surfer t-shirt. (NB. said garment was bought way before the Hollywood travesty FF2 came out and made Norrin Radd a bit rubbish. It depicts the cover of Silver Surfer #19 and has groovy John Buscema art on it. I love John Buscema's art.)
Anyway, us thoroughly modern nerds have something to shout about, as BBC4 are currently having the Comics Britannia season, the Comics Britannia show itself was quite good, focusing on the history of the Dandy and the Beano and all their spin-offs and imitators. It was good as I found out what Kevin O'Neill looks like, and he surprised me as he doesn't look like his drawings. People say the characters in my strips look like me (although, looking at my strips, I've yet to draw a fat four-eyed bastard, so maybe they're wrong), and a lot of the fairly well-known artists I've met over the years look like their drawings. Especially Bisley! But Kevin doesn't. That would be quite difficult though,as Kev O'Neill's characters are a lot more abstract than most other mainstream artists. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't expecting them to be interviewing a real-life Nemesis The Warlock on his love for the Beano, but that would've been cool, though, wouldn't it? My main problem with the documentary was that a lot of the original creators and fans said that political correctness had ruined the D.C. Thompson comic books, but I'm sick of this notion that all P.C. is bad and restricts any kind of freedom of expression. You can't have a comic book aimed at kids (or anyone, really) that's as full of racial stereotypes as the Beano used to be, especially as a fair number of the readers of these books are now from a non-white family. And having bullying and corporal punishment used as entertainment just can't be right. Despite this, I enjoyed the documentary, and I'm looking forward to the next part. Also, on Sunday is a show called In Search Of Steve Ditko, in which Jonathan Ross interviews the Spider-man co-creator. Also fab, are the re-runs of the old '60s Batman TV show, which are great. The sight of Batters disco-dancing with Jill St. John is fantastic and gives me an excuse to re-post this clip, one of my YouTube favourites:
See you all again soon.