April 12th, 2007


It's not been a good week for interesting people

I've found out over the past few days that Johnny Hart, Dave Martin and Kurt Vonnegut have all died in the last week or so.

I have fond memories of "The Wizard of Id" and, particularly, "B.C." back to my first introduction to the comics some time back in the 1970s through those little paperbacks of the comics that used to be everywhere. I've got a small selection of them around... really must try to find some more. Apparently he went a bit weird in later years, but in its heyday "B.C." would have been one of the best comic strips of its time. I've seen a couple of reports that Hart's family are planning on carrying on with the strip. I'd actually rather they didn't... "Hagar the Horrible" was never the same after Chris Browne took it over.

Dave Martin (with Bob Baker) was one of the regular second-string scriptwriters for Doctor Who back in the 1970s. Their stories generally had a lot of interesting ideas but in some cases, for one reason or another, didn't hang together. (Apart from "Underworld", which was just plain bad). But one of their serials ("The Invisible Enemy") had an interesting idea that ended up being my fondest childhood memory of the show: K-9, the robotic dog with an Attitude. (It was just so much fun to see him return in last year's series).

Kurt Vonnegut was big enough news that he got a mention on the National Radio news tonight. I've read a handful of his books... "Cat's Cradle" was interesting, "Breakfast of Champions"... wasn't... but the book that made the most impression was "Player Piano". A chilling portrait of a soulless corporate society of the future, even more chilling fifty years after its publication for the accuracy of its prediction.
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