My Friends are Fantastic #1

Hey readers! I’m still adjusting to my newborn-blog and learning to feel comfortable vomiting my thoughts out into the world. So, let’s take a break from talking about my projects and I’ll tell you about some peeps I know who are doing creative and exciting stuff.

Box Peek

If you’ve ever watched Pokemon (or similar anime), you’ll be familiar with a world in which everyone is obsessed with a single stupid game. Well, Kyle Bosman from Easy Allies has used that trope to create a web-series called Box Peek.

It is utterly charming and laugh-out-loud funny but the greatest triumph is how it was mostly created by the genius and determination of one man. The whole show is constructed with paper puppets that Kyle draws, cuts out, puts on popsicle-sticks and films in his apartment. And you won’t believe how good it is.

Watch it because it’s great, and watch it because it will inspire you to stop making excuses and just make some shit!

Also, I was lucky enough to play one of the characters and the first season is up right now.

Get Peeking!

 

Degenerate Art

If you’re reading this, you probably watched Black Sails. If you did, then you already love Toby Schmitz who played the inimitable Jack Rackham. You may or may not know that Toby is also a ridiculously talented writer and director.

He is a prolific creator and performer of theatre all around Australia, but he is very involved with Red Line Productions at The Old Fitz. Recently, I saw the closing night of Degenerate Art. Here’s the set-up:

“A twice-rejected art school applicant rises to political power through the use of charm, cunning and violence. From there, he declares merciless war on ‘cultural disintegration’, ordering an aesthetic purge of the entartete Künstler – the ‘degenerate artists’ – and their work.

As a result, between 1933 and 1945 one fifth of all artworks in Europe – valued at billions of dollars – are looted by, or have their sale coerced by, the Nazis.”

Yes, it’s about Nazis. Also, it’s written IN VERSE! (like Shakespeare). Plus, it’s a mind-blowing, captivating, delirious night at the theatre.

This is a tough bloody subject, no doubt, and there are valid arguments to say that we should leave these monsters in the past and not dignify them with continued analysis, lest it be misconstrued as a celebration.

But the joy of the play (to me) is how we are reminded that they were not monsters, but flesh-and-blood, petty, pathetic, greedy, awful fucking men. And maybe we wouldn’t need reminding if similarly well-spoken, sharply dressed, alt-right arseholes weren’t poking their heads up right now, asking to be listened to. As the play reminds us; this was yesterday.

Also, the writing is so staggeringly dense, poetic and hilarious that it’s like being beaten around the head with a sack full of classic texts. In a good way.

But why recommend it if it has already closed? Because it will be back. I have no doubt. When it does, make sure you see it.

Also, just go see live theatre. New stuff. Sometimes it’s bloody brilliant.

(And if you happen to be programming a theatre season somewhere in the world, make sure you drop Toby Schmitz a line and have a read.)

 

Die Already

Josh Weller, who just finished up being the frontman for London punk band The Kenneths has a comic called Die Already, and it is really really cool. I’m reading it on College Humor’s streaming service DROPOUT.

The art is done by Gaby Epstein, and it rocks. Get on it.

 

Paladero

I’ve promoted this series on Instagram before, but it needs saying again. It’s a Middle-Grade series (roughly 8-10-year-olds) from Steven Lochran about Dinasour Cowboys!

Three books are out already: Riders of the Thunder Realm, The City of Night Neverending and The Edge of The World. The Champions of the Blade is on the way.

If you know a young reader who would get in on that premise, check them out.

 

The Buskers Guide

My brother George and I are similar in the way that we’re willing to embark on an adventure even if we’re not sure we have the skills to succeed at it. George really put that to the test when he started The Buskers Guide. It follows George and his mate Josh as they become musicians and see how far a few songs can take them. The journey is documented in their Drifter Diaries.

The show really hits its stride in episode 3 (when my Mum makes a cameo with a cocktail). They meet some beautiful, unique characters and it also serves a useful tourism video for how to get around Australia without a lot of cash.

This was filmed a few years ago, and they’ll soon be dropping some fresh, original songs under a new name, so its a great time to see the origin story.

I show up briefly, a little into the series, but make sure you go on the whole journey.

 

Rosewater

I don’t know Tade Thompson, but his agent (Alexander Cochran) and editor (Jenni Hill) are the same people who will soon be bringing Sunder City into the world.

I’ve been reading a lot of modern sci-fi and fantasy recently, trying to familiarize myself with the genre and to get a sense of the market I’ll be entering into. Rosewater has been a highlight. It’s an Afropunk sci-fi set around an alien invasion in Nigeria. The main character of Kaaro was particularly interesting to me, in regards to my own story.  I loved how Tade has created a protagonist who can believably walk among the miraculous while remaining detached and unpredictable. Kaaro and Fetch would probably enjoy sharing a drink.

Check it out, and enjoy a new kind of sci-fi adventure.

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Well, that’ll do for now. I hope you find something here that you love as much as I do. Next time, I’ll get back to the strange business of talking about myself x

6 thoughts on “My Friends are Fantastic #1”

  1. Wow! You are throwing out alot of thoughts….. as i do….let me say i’m happy you’re working so much…. and let me say you look soooooo good i see your blindwave q&a….. and let me say once again THANX SO MUCH for the strenght you gave me beside all i had in my life…. I love you so much….

    The best friends are always the best people you could meet in your life…they could help you, they could make feel happy, they are close to you when you live a bad time. They are and will be ALWAYS. with you when you’re so far from them. I have few best friends, but they are THE BEST.

    (you’re one of them)

    With love

    sincerely Daria

    https://longdariavampysilver.net/

    Like

  2. Thanks for the reccs!

    As far as other books in the genre go, have you also read Nnedi Okorafor and NK Jemisin? Both amazing contemporary sci fi & fantasy writers. Cannot praise their work enough.

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    1. I haven’t read Okorafor yet, I shall add her to the list. But I smashed through the Stone Sky Trilogy earlier this year and loved it. Yeah, NK Jemisin is incredible. I was actually watching an interview with her when you sent this through!

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      1. Great minds! I just finished The Stone Sky this evening and can’t stop thinking about the story. Powerful stuff.

        Okorafor’s Binti trilogy is excellent sci fi, and are quick reads. She’s got some great short stories, too (check out the Levar Burton Reads podcast where he reads one of them and also interviews her–it’s a lot of fun).

        I’ll be interested to know what you think after you’ve read them!

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  3. Thanks for recommendations, Luke! I have been looking for aspiration and ideas to fill my free time. I will check this book and hopefully they are available in local bookstores. Or maybe wait for Christmas present 😉
    You’re very lucky to have them and also sharing same interest with you. Best friends always be there you, no matter what, even far away from you.

    I totally enjoy watching Box Peek and I happily to share this animation show to my 10 years old nephew (he loves playing paper puppet too!) By the way, I’d love to see more you in The Buskers Guide with your brothers.

    Cheers, from Malaysia.

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  4. Been following Busker’s for quite a while now. Always a lot of fun to watch their adventures. Enjoyed your post and links. You might check out China Miéville’s work if you haven’t run across him yet. Look forward to your new book.

    Like

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