A Gaiman-esque birthday

Neil Gaiman is probably my favourite author; certainly my favourite living author. Even so, I was surprised (and very pleased) with quite how much Gaiman featured on my 29th birthday yesterday.

Jen got me Norse Mythology, which hadn’t really been on my radar, despite being released this month. I was delighted with the present, of course, but didn’t know what to expect – in just over 24 hours I’m now 3/4s of the way through and thoroughly enjoying it. Essentially a series of short stories, light-weight and a bit mad, they are none-the-less engaging and a fun read.

Then my parents went and got me two Coraline prints, both signed by Chris Riddell. They are from the 10th-anniversary edition – which I have signed by both illustrator and author, and which I consider an important part of my book collection – so I’m chuffed to bits with them. They framed one, the other will have to stay unframed for now.

All this Neil Gaiman talk made me think about American Gods. When I think about American Gods, I have to read American Gods. I consider it my favourite book ever, and this time around I decided to listen to the audiobook. It is very well done. Shadow has just been busted out of train-prison by his dead wife – if that doesn’t make sense to you, do yourself a favour and read the book.

Then, to end the birthday-day, we watched the film version of Coraline – one of the few films which I consider to be better than the book (only other one I can think of off the top of my head is Shutter Island, but I’m sure there are others) whilst eating homemade red Thai curry and dumplings by Jen.

On a non-Gaiman front, I also got the final Tribe Called Quest album, which is fantastic. 

Not a bad birthday all-round.

Blark and Son

Blark and Son is a new series based around the sometimes mundane, sometimes insane lives of Blark and his son (called Son). Each episode is just 30 seconds long and is broadcast through Instagram.

I’m fascinated by animation in all its forms and I’m fascinated by social media, so something that combines them both in such a unique way is great to see.

Here’s the first episode:

MLK Day – "You know what a Jr. king is? A prince."

A post shared by Blark and Son (@blarkandson) on

It’s funny, irreverent and beautiful in its own hideous way. But for me, it is the behind the scenes process that is most interesting. Rocket Jump Film School recently did an episode on Blark and Son, which you can watch here:

Vimeo & YouTube Top Picks #2

This is the second, as the name suggests, in my top video picks series.

Nixon Faces: Aaron Draplin

First up, I love these sort of behind the scenes videos of creators. I find people that create so inspiring, and Aaron Draplin is a real character.

OK Go – Upside Down & Inside Out

OK Go are a fun band that make creative one-shot videos. This one takes it to new levels, as it is actually filmed in zero gravity.

Outdoor Photographer of the Year – Portfolio One Book Trailer

I filmed the intro to and edited this video, so putting it in my “Top Picks” list is pretty low, but I’ve done it anyway because I’m quite pleased with it, and I think that the photography in the video and in the book is well worth seeing.

Vimeo & YouTube Top Picks #1

The first of a new feature.

I’m quite lucky. As part of my job I spend a little bit of my time watching videos. I’ve found that Youtube is fantastic for information and fun entertainment, whilst for emotive and creative videos Vimeo is the place to be.

So here is my Top Picks of YouTube and Vimeo videos, edition number 1:

How to Age Gracefully – CBC’s WireTap (Vimeo)

One Shot: Brandon Semenuk’s unReal Segment – Teton Gravity Research (YouTube)

Portal Combat – Triune Films (YouTube)