As a big fan of Spaced, I was very hopeful for Shaun of the Dead, and was not at all disappointed. Perhaps you could criticise it for being too close to the TV comedy by the same creative team (Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg), but that didn't matter to me - it's a style they've made their own, and the format deserved a turn on the big-screen. I really like Edgar Wright's style of cutting, and just hope he can move onwards and upwards with it from here. The film was funny but actually incredibly dark, particularly when Pegg's character finds himself faced with having to shoot his own mother, a scene I found almost unwatchable, but it added an unexpected weight to the film. Another notable scene is the line up of British new-comedy talent on show when the two bands of survivors meet, mid-suburbia, one headed by Simon Pegg, the other by his Spaced co-star, Jessica Stevenson. Matt Lucas hardly grunts but it gets a laugh. Go and see it!
Another slightly, possibly, odd thing, is that when I was 13 and 14 I really liked the name 'James', for no obvious reason, and changed my middle name from Cameron to James. All my school work in those two years bore the name of Garen James Ewing. I soon missed Cameron so took it back. It's only been in the past couple of years I've learned that, with only two exceptions, all the first born sons of the Ewing line were named James Ewing (at least back to 1824). My father and I are the two exceptions.
It's of no consequence, but there you go...
Paul, Joe and I worked together on a number of projects, mainly for Blue Comet Press on 'The Devil's Workshop' and 'Zorann Star Warrior', and in the past few months we were to collaborate again on 'Snowstorm' for Bulletproof Comics. I hadn't actually been in direct contact with Joe for a little while, but when I saw his profile on the Bulletproof website, he'd included some lovely comments about my Rainbow Orchid work. Looking at the letters he wrote to me he was always friendly and encouraging, without being at all condescending, and I looked up to him as he fostered a professional attitude to whatever work he was doing at the time.
This is from Paul:
"Joe contributed the Sindrome strip to the fanzine Amalgam before doing illustrations for Fantazia magazine. He did work for the small American publisher Blue Comet Press and assisted James Hodgkins on a number of projects for major publishers. The last 12 months had found him forging ahead, taking on clients of his own. He was very talented and not enough people knew that. More importantly, he was a loyal friend who loved nothing better than a good chin-wag."