Last Monday evening I found out at the last minute that the Lighthouse Cinema was doing a showing of Benedict Cumberbatch’s 2014 #Hamlet & I decided I was going to make a terrible mistake, and go.

I did not make a mistake.

Ciaran Hinds is the best Claudius I’ve ever seen. Ophelia’s death is the best staging I’ve ever seen. Cumberbatch is excellent throughout, and gets to show off his considerable acting range, which almost nothing he does in film allows him to. Everyone was very good, although I thought Horatio and perhaps Laertes were a bit of weak links, and I wish…man. I don’t know if Gertrude is just impossible to play, or if I’ve never seen her played well enough. I’ve never seen her played by anybody who was less than good, but no one ever quite reaches…whatever it is I’m looking for. I suppose I’ll know it if I see it, if I ever do.

The final scene didn’t hold a candle to the staging of the same scene with Ruth Negga at the Gate Theatre last year, which I don’t think can be topped. Nor was I as convinced of Hamlet’s love for Ophelia in this as I was in that production, which was the most–the first–heartbreakingly believable playing of it that I’ve ever seen. Neither were badly done at all; if I hadn’t seen Negga, I’d have said this was the most convincing love story I’d ever seen in Hamlet, so in fact it was very, very good. It just wasn’t quite *that* good.

I fucking H A T E D the costuming and would like to know the rationale behind it. Like. I grew up in the theatre, with a costumer for a mother. I generally can figure out what the costuming is doing, and why, even if I don’t like it, but in this case I could neither figure it out nor like it. H A T E. OMG. H A T E.

Some–most–of the set work was genuinely inspired in conception and I generally loved it. The gravedigger was brilliant, as he should be, and poor old Polonius was terrific. Overall, I am very, very glad I went.

Okay, I finished the page to the best of my…uh…patience…and I have no chill, so I’m just gonna go ahead and post it instead of waiting until next week like somebody with chill. I’m sure that in the future if I do more of these I will totally have chill and not post them to the world immediately. Probably.

I have finished the flat colors for ALL FOUR panels of my little webcomic page.

It’s been very slow going, all learning curve, because, well, I’ve never done it before. If I do more than this, of course, it’ll go faster, because I won’t be spending–for example–4 hours trying to learn to do…whatever it was I spent 4 hours trying to learn last week…or 90 minutes last night and another hour tonight trying, until I went back and tried the thing I’d tried in the first place yesterday and it hadn’t worked and this time it did for some reason. Presumably that won’t happen again (although god alone knows, so it might).

Since at this rate it’s going to take me a month to do one page, I shall downgrade my imaginary page rate to no more than one a week, assuming I keep trying. I…think I might. I need a hobby that isn’t writing, and it’s better for me to be trying to draw than staring miserably at the world burning down via Twitter or FB.

I am stuck with the fact that the thing that’s been making me think for years that I could/should try doing a webcomic was not as good, at its start, as this page is (not that this page is very good, but.), and…I don’t know what to make of that. In a way I wish it was as bad as my inspiration. I mean it’s NOT GOOD. But it’s…I either have too much ambition (well i mean have you met me) or…I don’t know. No ability to start at the very baseline, except I guess this is my very baseline. But I’ve always thought I’m just good enough of an artist to know how good I’m not, and that probably if I practiced a great deal I’d actually be quite good. I think doing this page is making me feel both sides of that VERY STRONGLY. It’s not particularly comfortable. Probably that’s good for me.

Yeah. Anyway. IDK. I should probably go to bed now, rather than ruminate on…anything else. :)

Picoreview: Dark Phoenix: not nearly as bad as I expected it to be.

Like X-Men before it, I left the theatre kinda going, “Well, that didn’t suck,” except with X-Men it was an expression of astonished joy and relief and with Dark Phoenix it only…didn’t suck. It was not a great X film. For my money, however, it was miles better than Last Stand, First Class, and Apocalypse, and probably better than both the first two Wolverine movies. That leaves it in the top 5 for me (unless you count Deadpool, which I’m not), which I’m fairly comfortable with.

It is not the fiery, blow-out finale one might hope for, but honestly it’s just a lot more solid than I expected. I happen to love Sophie Turner as Jean Grey, so if you don’t, your estimation of the film may be very different from mine, but to my genuine surprise…it didn’t suck. I wasn’t disappointed.

I mean. There are things I would have done differently. Some of them would have been contingent on, like, this not being the final Fox X-Men film. Others…would not be contingent on that. Some of them are things I’m really unhappy about. Some of them are the fact that it would have been better with a full three-part trilogy leading up to this so we could care more about the actors in these roles, but…IDK. I know “it wasn’t a travesty” isn’t the most glowing response I could give, but I expected one, and sometimes “it didn’t suck” is higher praise than it sounds like it could be. So…there’s me on the topic.

I’ve done bluelines for a 4 panel comic that could be the web comic I’ve been mumbling about for what, a decade now? I sort of think I should do about fifty more before I even try finishing the first one because otherwise I imagine odds are good I’ll only ever do one.

(6 hours later)
I could…probably do an ‘inks’ version of one of these in a day, if I don’t get any more complicated than I have here. Even rudimentary colors & shading would probably take at least another day. I don’t think I could do a page a day web comic like #QuestionableContent.

I do think working on this has been cutting into my “dicking around on twitter” time rather than writing time, so a couple pages a week might be do-able. OTOH I haven’t done any writing for the past week (unrelatedly to drawing, i’m pretty sure), so I might be wrong.

IDK. I reckon whatever I do do, I’ll post to my Patreon as I do it and then maybe to the wider world later, when I’ve got a backlog. If it gets that far.