Albert J. Petron

Albert J. Petron worked in a top secret bunker, monitoring the private communications of his fellow citizens and reporting them to his superiors in an un-named intelligence agency. He had no idea if anything actually happened as a result of his reports, but figured he should probably continue filing them if he wanted to keep his job.

He was only allowed out of the bunker one day a year. Ordinarily, he chose to take this on his birthday, but as this fell in December, he usually spent it being cold and miserable. This year, however, Albert didn’t take his one special day in the bleak midwinter and waited until early April.

As he stepped out through the blast doors, Albert he felt a light breeze run through his hair and caught the faint scent of apple blossom. Taking a deep breath of fresh air, he turned to face the sun, the light of which – magnified through his coke-bottle glasses – concentrated into two white-hot beams and burned his fucking eyes out.

Open Source Design Software Workflow

  • Identify software for task
  • Download
  • Attempt install
  • Download dependencies
  • Install dependencies
  • Install software
  • Start software
  • Use just long enough to gain confidence
  • Begin chosen task
  • Re-attempt task
  • Re-attempt task
  • Google reasons for software failure
  • Read 3 year old forum post detailing solution on previous version on completely different OS
  • Google barely understood concepts like “bash scripts” and “compile from source”
  • Look at clock
  • Contemplate mortality
  • Torrent Adobe
  • Complete task


Scrap that. I hate Linux. But I am seriously thinking that the Chromebook has to go. I’m fairly happy to trust Google with the trivial stuff, like my calendar, contacts and email (hmm…) but I think I’m going to draw the line at the things I actually create. The idea that all my work – drafts, notes, concepts, roughs and all the things that lay somewhere in between –  might suddenly disappear for some arcane violation of their Terms of Service doesn’t sit well with me.  Need to find something else.

As for doing something more meaningful…

I’m trying.


Saw this. Liked it. Michael Keaton now justifiable as favourite actor, which takes the shine off him a little bit. Loved the long takes and seamlessness of it all. Technically, it’s one of the most accomplished things I’ve seen in a long time.

But it’s another film that uses another art form to prove its intelligence. Theatre is fine, but I don’t think it has any more or less validity than moving images. Maybe that’s part of what the filmmakers were saying. I don’t know. But that fetishisation was sort of disappointing.

Great performances, though. Agree that female cast great without exception. Even liked Edward Norton, although he did play a prick so that meant he had a win-win situation with me, as I’ve never really liked him as an actor.

All drums on the soundtrack. Good. Again, though, jazz as shortcut to “proper art” art. Haven’t seen “Whiplash” yet, but am a little disappointed that it’s another work lionising Jazz. While these studies of professional obsession could be about anything, they seldom are. It always seems to default to high art: Jazz, ballet, painting, classical. All fine, but covered extensively already. Where are the films about zip-makers, garden gnome painters or death metal accordionists? I’m not saying these films would be better, but they would at least be different and give us insights into something other than the same old bollocks.

Anyway. “Birdman”. Liked it. Probably didn’t love it. But admire the ambition and the fact that they pulled it off.

Why I Left Squarespace

When I had no money, I pined for Squarespace. It seemed to be everything I was looking for – well designed templates with an interface that meant I didn’t have to get my hands dirty with HTML or Php.

After a year or so with it, I’ve moved away and am turning to a self-hosted WordPress system. This was probably what I should have done from day one, but that’s neither here nor there.
Squarespace has its merits and I think for a lot of people it could be a really good solution. But it’s not for me. Using it felt like I was wearing a tight white sweater: constructive and so immaculate that I was terrified of making a mess. But I’m a messy guy. I like a bit of mess, particularly in my work. It’s probably not a very mature outlook, but my inner teenager still equates mess with freedom. Slopping things together is very much part of my process and Squarespace’s tidy aesthetic goes beyond design and into the heart of their product. I found that I couldn’t fit into its template of what a good website should be and that a lot of its choices were either/or when I wanted both.

Squarespace offers a 2 week trial and I found it was great in that time. It was only as time went on that I found it unworkable. Some things were unsuitable for me and part of that’s down to tangibly frustrating technical things (their handling of blog excerpts, for example) and then there are other, less definable things. I never liked the drag and drop interface, and it felt as if things never dropped quite where I wanted them. More than that, though, I found I never wanted to write use it to write. It was like one of those luxury notebooks that seems too good to spoil. No good for a working writer.

I get the impression that it’s better for catalogues and photography than stories and weird papery things. If you do any of those things, then give it a whirl. It felt a little like Apple in that it provides one way of doing things and if that way suits you, maybe you’ll never need anything else.  After a long trial period (including a cancellation and re-subscription) I think I’m going to stay on WordPress.

At least until I get sick of it.

Between The Frames #0

This is a test book knocked up in a couple of hours to try out some ideas for an experimental comic. All the artwork used is from the Steve Ditko Comics Weblog (apart from the pencil scrawls on pages 7-8, which are all mine).

There isn’t any story here, but the idea of cutout panels is interesting. I liked the notion of giving things new contexts on the other side of the page, or using holes to reframe stories.

There’s also an explicit use of frames like those in a gallery. The idea of connectivity between them has a kind of sinister power all of its own. They are disparate characters, thrown together by circumstances beyond their control, particularly when talking about portraits by different artists from different places and regions. A collection making connections by being placed together has potential. I’m not sure what the communication between a Warhol, a Vermeer and a Kandinsky would consist of, but it’s interesting to speculate on.

The other thing I like is the page just of text from word balloons.  really can’t compare to that lettering done by hand. Unfortunately it seems to be a dead art form.