Tuesday 10 April 2007

The Villains in my Home Town. part 1.

I just had my the old videotape of my courtroom sketch- stories from 1997, ten years ago, converted to disc, thanks to Michael Evans. Thus I can now make jpegs and get a few blog stories out of it. I told the anecdote in After the Snooter of how My pal Pete Mullins got me involved in doing the court sketching for Channel Ten News here in Brisbane (Ten was trying to poach him fron Seven for whom he was occasionally doing it). That first one was a humdinger, with five villains on trial all at once, and somehow I failed to record it from the television that evening. The ringleader had a word tattoed on his forehead and I couldn't get close enough to read it and every time I tried he gave me an evil eyeful. I was called upon perhaps twenty five more times over an 18 month period and I found it all quite educational. We 'graphic novelists' don't get out of the house all that often, so these excursions gave me a healthy dose of reality with which to temper my fictional inventions. I don't have all of the cases recorded, only around eighteen, and I didn't go up to the station to get any of the artwork back, but there should be enough here to work with, and I think you'll be surprised by some of it. I started the work a little hesitantly as you can imagine, but before long the villains in my home town were starting to look like comic book baddies.

This smouldering hulk was out of jail for a counselling session. He missed that and instead separately abducted and raped two women. He’s back in for thirty years now. Well, twenty remaining. Ten's camera zooms...

This school teacher had sex with an underage pupil. His wife dobbed him in, as they say here in Australia (dictionary of Australian slang: dob). In my sketch he looks like he wouldn’t be out of place in the Batman animated tv show. Except I draw better shirt collars than those dudes.


I was sitting on this to see if it connected up with some other things, but my brain is heading off in another direction, so I'll menton it here at the foot of this post.
On the subject of Copyright once again, thanks to Ben Smith for the heads-up. John Lanchester covers the whole history of copyright in one sweep of the hand, takes a disparaging look at eager litigation in the USA and assesses the possibilities of Google Book Search. This article is a must-read.
It's a steal
The Guardian --Saturday April 7, 2007
"Many of us take it for granted that we can download films or music without paying. Now, new projects such as Google Book Search will make millions of books available too. What will this mean for authors and the publishing industry? John Lanchester asks who owns what in the digital age
Google never gives out figures about anything, but I was told that the Book Search programme already includes more than a million books; and the number is growing daily. Only the world's very biggest libraries are bigger than that. Ovenden said: "I think in the 21st century Google Book Search will be regarded as one of the great historical enterprises. It's not the only one, but it's up there."


If you have ever heard me talk, you know that I have a Scottish accent. It presents no impediment to communication whatsoever unless you have previously plied me with alcohol, after which all the sounds become exaggerated in their distinctive colourings. An 'E' becomes excessively E-ish and the same for all the other sounds, and such clarity is usually more than the human ear can withstand. While googling myself this morning I followed a link to a transcript of a talk I once gave where I am introducing 'The History of Ron Howard". I can only presume it was the History of Fom Hell. Given that Howard doesn't show up again for the rest of the duration one would have expected the transcriber to have questioned it. On the other hand, i was indeed improvising, which is why ah canna stand to read it all throo to see if wee Howie does turrn up agen or no.

pour me another sherry, maude.

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Blogger Hayley Campbell said...

Imagine if wee Irvine Welsh was the transcriber. Och, so help mah boab.

10 April 2007 at 05:10:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Sean Michael Wilson said...

Being Scottish also and even more removed from my 'accent home' now that Im living in Japan, I take great delight in teaching my 3 year old boy funny Scottish swear words and the like.

'YA RAJ!' sounds like the sweetest compliment in the world from his wee tongue.

(a thing I noticed is that being now OUT of the UK that I have developed a tendency to make jokes to myself in exaggerated Glasgow accents. Maybe to compensate for not hearing it around me anymore. Do you do the same Eddie?)

Hayley: Irvine Welsh isnae wee, he's a BIG MAN by the way! Must be 6 feet 2 at least.


10 April 2007 at 09:13:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Hayley Campbell said...

Right you are, but then I refer to myself as 'wee' on a daily basis and in actual fact I'm gargantuan and -- some would say -- gallumphing. If they were being particularly particular they would then go on to mention the crushed lilliputians I leave in my wake.

So, er, you see my point.

As Splinter would say, 'I made a funny'.

10 April 2007 at 11:14:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always like linking to the following talk of Grant Morrison at an event called "Disinfo":


Here you have Scottish accent (and, let's say, "eccentric" theories) aplenty, maybe aggravated by non-alcoholic but still mind-altering substance intake.

(I'm a big Morrison fan.)

10 April 2007 at 14:24:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Jack Ruttan said...

That court sketching sounds like great training for drawing villainous types for stories. I guess they'd have to let me in, according to the laws, but I can sketch in church here, and in pubs. Why not?

Scotland reminded me so much of Alberta. I even stayed at a B&B in Glasgow (I think it was, it was in the 1980s) that had pictures of Calgary, my home town, on the wall. Then, there's the name Calgary, which is Scottish, I think. Had a great time in Glasgow, even though I was warned off by paranoid people. The hardest thing to do was say my goodbyes.

10 April 2007 at 20:21:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You sure it wasn't "The History of Roning"?

For the record, I'm half Scots (the Coultharts are from Dumfries) but I've lived in the north of England all my life so have little colourful vernacular. Funny the way many Americans seem to have trouble distinguishing the shades of British accent. While in Los Angeles I stopped at a street corner place on Hollywood Blvd to buy a pair of sunglasses. The young woman there tried an imitation of my accent which came out as a form of Dick Van Dyke-style Cockney. Very odd.

10 April 2007 at 20:23:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Sean Michael Wilson said...

frf - ha, great bit by Grant. wonderful! thanks for that. A real pleasure to here such magickal stuff in a Scottish accent. Grants got me going now, so Im off to Tibet... no, what am I talking about - I live in Japan already, I'll just put round the corner to the 600 year old Shinto shrine and wait for the aliens there.

Hayley - so, like Dad and your brother, you are big person, huh. But everyone is still 'wee' inside, arent they? 'Wee' is such a great word anyway.

John c - Yes, people cant tell the different accents. A related thing which is particularly annoying is that MOST people outside the UK - in my experience - refer to Britain as 'England'. They make comments like, 'And in England today there is an national election' - when they are talking about the whole of the UK. Waa, nice way to linguistically discount 10 million Celts!

I even caught Robert Anton Wilson doing it once.

10 April 2007 at 21:36:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Och but Hayley ye're still wee tae me.


11 April 2007 at 00:06:00 GMT-5  

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