November 28th, 2002

2020 lack of vision

gold nib - missing the blue - mtv has dropped below the threshold

When I finally remembered to go shopping for nibs I found a weird-looking gold-plated one with a flexible neck and a soft round point and thought OK it might be an interesting experiment and (of course) tried it for a moment before getting on with this week's strip, tracing over one of the outtakes (I have outtakes this week!), and it just moved so smooth and sleek and responsive that I thought, get on with it, get it done ...

[ Interrupted by a phone call from my boss; as we talk about objectives, unit plans, and the crucial Transforming Youth Work all-day meeting on monday, I'm seized by cramps and my vision briefly dissolves. I lose the chair and hunker down on the floor, but keep the juggle juggle of the conversation going (apparently my detailed plan was "brilliant" but she's generally effusive, which is one of the things which makes her a good communications worker) and as I stare up in pain I notice the sky has gone a fabulous, luminous twilight blue and that the pot plants are shiny lime-green in the office lights and the two of them are contrasting so well, and I even have some 1800 in my bag that might be able to handle that, and if she would just get off the phone I could try and catch it, but she's doing that galaxy-conversation thing, where she keeps spiralling round and round some unknowable central topic without ever quite reaching it and while with most people I can spot the centre and cut straight to it her centres are just too abstracted (or is it obscured?) to get a fix on, so I talk round and round with her, at her pace, stopping off to settle this brief errand, fix that date, smooth that issue, all the time watching the blue fade from the sky, cringing, silent groaning, rolling down into the nausea black and wondering what it is she's trying to get to until eventually I just have to explain to her that I'm feeling sick and I can't carry on (even though I'm trying not to let the migraines interfere with my work at the moment) and even then she's not really happy stopping talking and as I put the phone down I can feel the threads of whatever it was she wanted to talk about still tugging at me, as I raise my camera and find that I've missed the blue and night has fallen. ]

things... it was a really nice nib and I hit a serious groove, which I'm not supposed to do on a work night. So, I thought, I won't colour it, but then I looked at the big monster in panel three and thought, but he's pink. So, back in the groove. Where I'm not supposed to be on a work night. But I really enjoyed it ... Maybe I should switch back to the smaller, faster steel nib next week. Or try spreading the work over two nights. If I can find another night.

I drew the strip to The Life of Mammals (this episode was shrew-bothering and invading the privacy of bats), Headf*** and The Invisible Man (old episodes). I tried drawing to my usual favourite wallpaper Night Videos but could feel my drawing physically getting worse as I listened. Now MTV has bled off all its interesting music (and presumably all its presenters) to "specialist" channels to make more space/money for "reality" television, the amount of effort actually going into showing a current selection of interesting videos seems to have plummeted, and it's not just a case of them only showing chart vidoes or commercial videos or dumbass pop videos, they don't even have a good selection of those, it's just the same old five swing songs followed by the same old five rock songs followed by the same old five of everything else and two old videos somebody thought was cool once, on loop, all night, every night, and even with the fast forward button under my thumb that's dropped below the threshold.

God, I feel grim. I suppose it's pill time.
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