San Diego is now a distant memory as I’ve been back a month now. In between freelancing as a sub, I’ve been trying to make progress on two novel ideas. Fiction is bloody hard. For me, it’s a lot tougher than journalism. With that you have the structure and the protagonists (for all intents and purpose) already there for you. I’m also finding that, the more I read about writing novels and talking to other people about it, the more confused I get. I do feel like I’m making progress but I almost feel that I should just sit down and write something and see where it leads…


I know San Diego ended a few weeks ago but the last three weeks have flown by. Every year I put up huge posts on Comic-Con but this year I thought I might do it a little bit differently. 2010 is the twelth year in a row that I have been there, first just as a fan and then as a journalist. In the middle of this decade, it was fantastic as I would go there, do lots of interviews and then sell them to magazines in the UK. But things have changed over the last two or three years: San Diego Comic-con is now such a well-established show that the publications who used to rely on journalists like myself to provide them with copy are now sending their own editorial staff to cover it themselves. So while this year, I did get to do interviews with people like Frank Darabont (Walking Dead), Zach Snyder (Sucker Punch) and Mark Verheiden (Falling Skies), the outlets I would have sold them too already had people there. So San Diego Comic-Con 2010 may be the last one I attend for a while, unless we can get increased investment for TRIPWIRE so that I attend it to cover just for ourselves. The show has gotten far too unwieldy for one person to cover now anyway as each year that I go, the size of the floor increases and the amount of TV and Film content continues to grow. I am not knocking it as a show as, if you’re a fan of genre on the big and the small screen, there are few events like Comic-Con, attracting people like Kenneth Branagh, Harrison Ford, Ryan Reynolds, Jon Favreau and scores of others. So here’s a few photos I took at the show of various people in costume and the hall itself. I’ve broken it up into two posts just because of the sheer number of photographs…


I went to see The Expendables last week at Empire, Leicester Square in London’s West End. I admit that I was a sucker for some of those stupid Eighties movies starring Stallone and Schwarzenegger, so I was hoping that perhaps the film may have provided a little bit of unchallenging entertainment. Stallone, while not the world’s greatest director, has made a few solid films in the past and is a competent if unremarkable actor. The Expendables of the title are a group of mercenaries who go around the world battling villains like Somali pirates and evil South American dictators. Stallone leads the group which also includes Dolph (Punisher) Lundgren, Jason Statham (Crank, Transporter and Death Race) as the humourously named Lee Christmas and Jet Li (Hero, Romeo Must Die). Also part of the group is Mickey Rourke as their mechanic, the imaginatively-named Tool. So the group is hired by Mr Church (a cameo from Bruce Willis) to take out General Garza, the tyrant who runs fictional Central American island Vilena. Even Arnold Schwarzenegger has a small on-camera appearance. So cue soft-rock and long lingering camera shots of a plane over the sea. The Expendables isn’t the worst film you’ll see this summer as it rarely outstays its welcome with a tight 90 minute running time but the problem is that it takes itself far too seriously, Stallone looks a little weird and Rourke looks stranger and more freakish with each film he appears in. Only Statham and Li work here and they’re significantly younger than Stallone and Lundgren, who is as wooden and stiff as he was in his Eighties heyday. This is a film that will come and go pretty briefly at the cinema and is only really worth watching on a Saturday night with a few beers on satellite TV.