Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Harry Potter : A Movie review

Saw Harry Potter and teh Goblet of Fire last week.
I don't read the books- they be for kids. But I do enjoy the movies. They have a lot of flaws- owing to the book2film translation and the fact they're (in the past) kids movies- but i think I enjoyed this one the most. Possibly cos it was aimed at an older audience.
It's the same by-the-numbers plot. Harry bumbles through not having a clue whats happening- especially since each year there is some new tradition that EVERYONE else knows about- except Harry. Harry has challenges- cos he's Harry Potter, but he always comes out on top. There is an evil teacher disguised amongst the faculty.
Just like the other movies.

But despite some stilted acting from the main cast of children, I did enjoy this.

I am very intrigued to see how the overall plot will unfold, and I think Professor Snape is an excellent character! He was underused in this film- he kinda just waved around in the bgd looking suspicious at everyone. I'm told his character gets even more interesting in the following editions.

Having said that, there are some major elements about the whole Harry Potter thing that rub me the wrong way.
1. I don't like magic. In terms of Fantasy genre, wizards are my lest interesting troupe.
2. I don't like the English boarding school/private school mode of education. And for that matter- the bullying and laughing at others misfortune.
3. The silly "magical" things bug me. Stuff like the quidace (sic?) game and spending so much screen time on stupid lollies and silly magical do-dads that only slow down the momentum of the story.
4. The lack of Free Will.
Only those born (by random?) with the magic can be something truly wondrous, while those others (poor pleb humanity) will only be nothing but plain "muddles"- or whatever. It's all about the class system- and there's nothing ANYONE can do about it to rise above their station.
The house selection process- The hat chooses what house they go into, right? Everyone who goes to Sliveren are evil. Those that get into Griffadore are heroes. Once again- no free will and no chance of being other then what you are put into.
These are very young children we're talking about here- who, it seems, never even have a chance......

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Style Wars 2: The Realism Strikes Back!

Heres another redo for 'da agent.

The original brief:

"Illustration: Cartoon of a burglar asleep. He should have an empty bottle of cognac in his hand and be behind the sofa in a respectable house. A little boy is peering at him from round the sofa."

Version 1:

Version 2:

(once agin, clicking on the images will reveal a larger and more detailed view)

Thanks to Tonia, Jones, Jen and Robin for your comments, advice and, well ....for.... showing that you CARE!!

(It was of great help!)

* In other news, while walking in town today with The London Girl I imagined eveyone was a zombie. The scary thing was NOT that I'm a 30 year old man acting like a zombie in public, but that it took very little imagination to believe the people around me WERE zombies!

Friday, November 18, 2005

Style Wars!

I think I mentioned previously that I'm talking to an Illustration Agent. They've been pretty positive (but a tad hard to pin down), and based on my portfolio, they're pretty keen to work with me.

While they like my cartoony-skills, it's the style I did that "Bevvies" piece in that they're particulary interested in.
So they gave me a test.
The Brief: A cartoon showing a man dressed up in a gorilla costume questioning a very perplexed smartly dressed young couple on the streets of New York: a speech bubble coming from the Gorilla with the words: "Do you know where the party is".
(this is for a kids educational manual- or something)

It's a small paying gig, so the agent told me not to spend too much time on it.
This is what I turned in:

(clicking on image will open it up in another window at proper size)

After 3 years working in kids animation, this has become my natural style- espically for a quick turn around.

But the feed back I got from the Agent was it was too cartoony. He said the market is flooded with that kind of style. So with that in mind, I've had another crack at it:

(clicking on image will open it up in another window at proper size)

I haven't sent it off yet as I'm still unsure about it. I was using it to test some photoshop textures, but I'm in two minds about it. Have I over done it? It's hard trying to get the results I want with the technology at hand.
I was told years ago by a creative director- "Don't let the software dictate what you do. Work out what you want to do first, and then use your tools to achieve it."

Feed back appreciated.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Prophets of Rage

Los hombres back in the Old Country are taking their righteous internet sedition to a whole 'nother level!
Keeping tabs on the Homeland state of affairs. Keeping it leftie, socialist and 15 shades of pink-o!


Fight the power G! And...er...D... and C!

What with me be being a Johny Foreigner- a citizan of the world, I can only read and hope that they keep the home fires burning.

Who's looking after me? A man without a country.

Friday, November 11, 2005

The Watch

A few years ago, back in 1999/2000 I was approached by Christian Read to co-create and draw his superhero story The Watch. It was to be the first book published by phosphorescent Comics, a company being started up by Christians' mate, Ben Howard.

I did the first 2 issues to mixed results. If I was to be honest and fair, everyone involved were still very much learning on the job. Sparks of brilliance and newbie mistakes!

I don't have anything to do with the book or phosphorescent anymore. (except there is a picture of me on the website). I have almost total emotional detachment from these characters that I helped create. I used to have a credit of co-creation in the books, but from memory thats gone. Both Christian and I (and the following artists) have no ownership on any of our creations. Christian has become a really close friend and one of my favorite creative-partners. The book, The Watch, has gone from strength to strength. Same with Ben's company. I actively buy their products as they're pretty rad!

But I read on C-mans lj that former Friends star Matt LeBlanc (Joey) is producing a sci-fi horror movie set in the second world war called The Watch. The name of the bad guy in the comic (Abaddon) is the same as in this movie.


Monday, November 07, 2005


Here are some of the albums I've bought recently:

Verschiedene Interpreten- A Boy Named Sue Johnny Cash Revisited

Picked up this one in a cool record store in Berlin. Cash spent a number of years stationed in Berlin when he was in the army, and I guess he has had a big impact on muso's there. This is a tribute to him from a wide variety of German groups that ranges from country, rock and electro/dance.
Highly wunderbar!

Spontaneous Human Combustion- The Prodigy

Bootleg remix album bought from Campden Markets in London. Not bad for a bootleg. The Prodigy have a new Best Of.. album out at the moment with a bonus remix/rariety disc on the special edition that I had a listen to the other day. Not bad. This is almost as good and for a fraction of the cost!

Rum Sodomy & the Lash - The Pogues

I just HAD to listen to "Dirty Old Town" and "London Girl", so I got this album. Simply brilliant. Espeicially since there are a bunch of songs about London and a few about Australia.

Teenage Mojo Workout- 5,6,7,8's

Got this one from that record store in Berlin. 3 hot Japanese chicks doing crankin 60's surf rock and soul! This is probally their best album.

Complete Madness- Madness

Needed some British ska/type rock.And this was cheap in the store. 5 quid! Reminds me of when I was young and I used to watch The Young Ones. I really dig the song "The Prince". It's about an old skool ska dj/muso (?).

Ray Collins Hot Club- Honk My Horn

Only had a quick listen to this one, but it's pretty rad! Was given this by Toby, a swing/rockabilly dj I met in Munich.

Space Cadets- Astro-billy Rockin

Also was given this by Toby. Haven't had a listen to it yet. English rockabilly group who sing about space and peform in astronaut suits!

I've also got a Stone Roses live bootleg that I've misplaced somewhere and an old skool Louis Armstrong album I picked up in a 2nd hand store in East Berlin. The Louis album was a bit scratched but came in a rad metal tin case!

In other music news I'm currently listening to some Hoodoo Guru's. Man. When they were good, they were pretty fucking good!

Friday, November 04, 2005


I can't believe this is the third time I've had to write this post! I keep on losing it! It's like trying to catch lightning in a jar!!

But fuck, I just want to get this narscism out of the way so we can ALL move on! (it's your fault for encouraging me! Or do you just enjoy watching me make a fool of myself??!)

So here is the Conclusion to the Shaving adventure. This all took place about a week and a half ago.

Here's a reminder of what the beard looked like the day before:

When shaving off alot of facial hair, it's important to play around with differant styles. It's also important to note that NO ONE under the age of 35 can seriously pull of a moustache!

To distract Duncan from the warm fuzzy feeling in his pants caused by his close proximity to a half-naked sex god, I put on a Pixies song. Note how a pinko-artskool-lefty-smackie-hippy-commo-Pixie-lover looks like a junkie on the nod when they hear a Pixie song?

It's (very, very occasionally) semi-important to try and see what the evilist minds in history were on about.
Maybe bad facial hair styling = pure evil?

(note to self- "Kraut", "Jerry", "The Hun" and "Nazi" jokes are not funny when in Europe.)

The end result:

A younger, non-hobo Frase!

But that was awhile ago. The Beard is back now.

To come: Probally some new artwork & more exciting narcism (cos I got a new laptop that has a camera! RAD!)

Thursday, November 03, 2005

"You're Nicked!"

douglas says:
how did your illos go?
scott fraser says:
not bad. Still got 2 more to go. A bit rusty on the quick draw plus had some distractions.
douglas says:
scott fraser says:
I'm out at an internet cafe. The internet at the hoe is BUSTED!
scott fraser says:
ehm, yeah. Ladies. Plus the POLICE!
douglas says:
douglas says:
interpol finally caught up with you!?
scott fraser says:
the flat I'm staying at the moment- the police were using it for a STAKEOUT!
douglas says:
scott fraser says:
they were set up with their donuts and binoculars in the living room (where I like to do my work)
douglas says:
you're kidding...what they actually did a stake out WHILE YOU WERE THERE?!?!?
scott fraser says:
yep. I was in the bedroom. They were in the living room.
scott fraser says:
they told the girls that they were there to bust a stolen mobile phone ring
douglas says:
what were they staking out!??
douglas says:
crack dealers? numbers? Money laundering?
scott fraser says:
well... they said they were trying to pin youths on bikes stealing phones from peoples hands. But the view from the window dosen't show the street, so we were all suss.
douglas says:
scott fraser says:
Then I nticed that across the road was a Criminal Soliciters.
douglas says:
scott fraser says:
I thought they might have been keeping tabs on who went in.
douglas says:
scott fraser says:
OR they might have been watching the dodgy Australian party house above the solicitors.
douglas says:
did you help them out? I've read Elmore Leonard guys i know how these things go down.
douglas says:
want me to bust some heads?
scott fraser says:
yeah! And I did a donut run!
douglas says:
jump across the table grab them by their big fat heads and say "I'm not going to jail for YOU or ANYBODY!??!"
douglas says:
douglas says:
douglas says:
cops ACTUALLY eat Donuts
scott fraser says:
krispy kremes from Tesco's.
scott fraser says:
Plus tea. The poms like tea.
douglas says:
douglas says:
YOU like tea you gayer
scott fraser says:
tea makes the morning liveable. Beer makes the afternoon livable. Scotch makes the night liveable.
douglas says:
word that
douglas says:
have you ever had Tea with scotch in it?
scott fraser says:
scott fraser says:
or was it coffee? I think it was coffee.
douglas says:
douglas says:
i used to drink tea but i decided i didn't like the warm milk aspect
scott fraser says:
you drink it black?
scott fraser says:
or hippie tea?
douglas says:
i only drink coffee now
scott fraser says:
how many sugars?
douglas says:
black as night
douglas says:
with 1 and a half sugars
scott fraser says:
Is that 1 and a half buckets?
douglas says:
by buckets you mean trucks right?
douglas says:
i should say lorries
scott fraser says:
you're not happy unless the spoon stands upright.
douglas says:
no no...only 1 and a half...jen bought some sort of nutra sweet sugar that you only need like a tea spoonful of cause it's super sweet
scott fraser says:
sounds a bit.... feminate!
douglas says:
it might be...i've started holding my mug with a pinch and my little finger in the air...is that weird?
scott fraser says:
it's a bit... non-blokey.
scott fraser says:
but that dosen't bother me. I love you for YOU!

To Come: The Shaving Adventure conclussion (with Pictures!)