The Droids – The Force

In 1977 (the Year of Star Wars) Yves Hayat was in the record industry, working for French label Barclay Records. With all the hysteria and hype surrounding the cinematic blockbuster, Hayat felt suitably inspired to make his own musical tribute to the quasi mystical space opera. A keyboard player called Richard Lornac  (who was a musician on Barclay Records rare Afrobeat LP Tumblack) and drummer Jean-Paul Batailley completed the band. And the name of said band? The suitably derivative ‘Droids’ no less. A first single from the band, with the in-no-way-a-cash-in-of star-wars title ‘The Force’ was released, and fans of Space Disco were treated to a performance of the band on French TV, accompanied by a lady dancer/droid.swinging her legs with abandon and not displaying typical droid behaviour. I do not know what C-3PO would have made it. I have a good idea what Daft Punk would have made of it though – wonder if this was in any way an early influence on them?

They followed this up with an album, called Star Peace (see image at the top of the post) which is on Spotify;

For more on the Droids and their Star Peace album, see here

For more on Space Disco – see here and here.

Scarfolk Council

Scarfolk is a town in North West England that did not progress beyond 1979. Instead, the entire decade of the 1970s loops ad infinitum. Here in Scarfolk, pagan rituals blend seamlessly with science; hauntology is a compulsory subject at school, and everyone must be in bed by 8pm because they are perpetually running a slight fever. “Visit Scarfolk today. Our number one priority is keeping rabies at bay.” For more information please reread.

You really should be reading this – the Sex Education post is incredible;

Rabies – Don’t smuggle Death (1970’s)

At the tender age of 7, I found myself on an unexpected adventure one Sunday night / Monday morning travelling in a hired small truck, zipping around lockups and warehouse storage areas at Heathrow airport. Besides the obvious thrill of staying up later than I ever had before, the locations were also exciting. Cold, dark and mysterious places full of goods loaded on pallets or in boxes. The place was also pretty much deserted as well, which gave the place a slightly spooky edge. I remember going with my Dad (whose idea this trip was – lest you think this was a solo adventure) into a building at Heathrow, going down a dimly lit corridor, and seeing this;

 The disembodied skull with the rictus grin  was pretty disconcerting. However, this paled in comparison with what waited for me around the next corner of the corridor;

DON’T SMUGGLE DEATH. The DEATH and RABIES in blood red lettering. The snarling wild eyed beast with it’s slavering jaws. The innocent victim. prone and defenceless. There is shock value in the image, and the use of the colour red emphasising the 2 keywords in the advertising. It is a hard hitting image, and a powerful message being conveyed. It affected me, especially in the context of being young, being in a slightly alien, dark and deserted environment. The bitter sweet memories of childhood terror!

Britain had some of the toughest quarantine laws in the world in the 70’s, following an outbreak of Rabies across Europe. With the UK Borders under attack from this unseen menace, the British Government began a poster and TV campaign about Rabies awareness. As you can see, it’s message was stark and uncompromising, with thed TV campaign being arguably the most unsettling;


Fascinating article on how the UK responded to the threat of Rabies;

Poster Images courtesy of the Wellcome Library

Review – The Walking Dead 107 (Image/Skybound, 2013)

A typically misleading / playful (depending on your mood) cover shot for the latest installment. Is Carl really dead this time?


No, of course he isn’t – though he doesn’t look too good without the face bandages. How would they work that into the TV show?

Meanwhile, Kirkman continues to confound with Negan. Or maybe exasperate. The guy is a conundrum. You want to hate him but at the same time Kirkman throws in a new side to his character so that you might possibly end up respecting him a little. He still forms sentences with Tourettes levels of bad language, but his reasoning behind cooperation over conflict worked for me. Rick, as usual, leads with his head (butt) and his one good fist when faced with the threat of his sons safety. The fact that his attack on Negan is met with minor amusement  then slight annoyance suggests that to Negan, Rick is no threat.

So we get the idea that The Saviors are aptly named – they work with all the neighbouring communities, the proviso being cooperation means bending to Negan’s will and surrendering good and services on demand. But as long as that is maintained, Negan’s ‘army’ keep order and the undead at bay. Saviors indeed.

Which brings me onto the next point of note (Negan’s ‘army’). Carl was not just being an impetuous pre-teen who decided to take on a group of well armed adults with psychopathic tendencies. Well, in truth he was that, but a happy benefit of that rash decision is the intel that Carl has on the inner workings of  Negan’s fortress. When quizzed by Jesus and Rick, it seems that the ‘army’ may not be as well manned as previously thought. Which brings us on to the conclusion of issue 107, when Jesus (who gets better and better and is probably my favourite character right now) suggests a meeting with ‘Ezekiel’. Ezekiel, you may know, or may not, is this guy;

Fun times ahead. Looks like there may be a new Revolution coming to the US in the months ahead.

There were also a couple of sub-plots worthy of discussion. One good, one bad. The good was Eugene and his factory find. Despite all but disappearing in the slipstream of Abraham (RIP), he may now have a chance to shine and actually prove to be useful, providing he can walk the walk as well as he can talk the talk (i.e. produce ammunition to specification and that is fit for purpose). If that is the case, then we may see a tipping point and the odds swing towards Rick in his struggle against Negan.

The bad sub-plot involves Michonne and Heath. Michonne hits on Heath, with no prior warning. Her grab at him is as unsubtle as this new plot development and just begs the question why? It served no purpose and made Michonne look foolish. If it looks like filler and feels like filler, it probably is filler. Not good.

Overall, the issue is another success. No great drama, but layering on the intrigue, fleshing out Negan and Jesus a little more, with the promise of a new character next time round. Apart from that one blip, this continues the comics good run of form.