When John Harris saw the swastika, his hand clenched until the knuckles turned white. He imagined some jumped-up little gobshite coming here in the dead of night, giggling while he drew this monstrosity. The sheer disrespect made his teeth grate. Salford Lads Club used to be a place of hope. Windows were now cracked or faded and the brick work was rotting. The painted roses that once hung proudly above the door were chipped away. The Dangerous Building sign completed a tarnished picture of childhood memories. A place of gymnasiums in the evening and choirs in the morning. Knitted scarves and free meals at Christmas. Eighty years of breaking his back and he’d returned to a miscreant paradise. John gripped the railings, took a breath and turned away. Continue reading “Bluebirds”
When it comes to improving mental health, people have their own coping methods. Some might choose to exercise, while others may like helping others with their issues. As someone who experiences anxiety, I’ve found wrestling to be a positive influence on my mental health. Not only has the WWE inspired me to pursue things I’m interested in, but it’s enabled me to build closer relationships.
It’s a common theme in comics for superhero teams to be linked together, with different members appearing on other squads. UK-based Excalibur started off as an offshoot of the X-Men, but eventually developed their own identity. The team was created by Chris Claremont and Alan Davis, first appearing in 1987 in the pages of Excalibur Special Edition. In the modern day, superheroes like Captain Britain, Black Knight and Pete Wisdom are associated with the team. But this wasn’t always the case.
We live in a world where convenience exists at our fingertips, due to the amount of phone apps that carry out various functions. The best kind of apps combine practicality with a worthy cause, and one of the best apps I’ve come across is called The Dealer. The UK based app provides recreational discounts at a variety of restaurants and cafes in different cities. The money saving idea is paired with a charitable approach, as you can donate a portion of what you save to helping the homeless.
For anyone who lives in Manchester, or plans to visit, there is a great pop culture scene to be involved with. You have the Forbidden Planet and Travelling Man stores within walking distance of each other. Further up the road in the Northern Quarter, there’s Fanboy 3, which caters to fans of board games and RPGs. But if you’re looking for a place to geek out and have a drink, the best place to go is the Fab Café.
Marvel has plenty of popular American characters, from Iron Man, to Captain America. But the Marvel Universe is full of awesome characters from different countries as well. One of my favourites is Pete Wisdom, a mutant from England and the head of the British Intelligence Service M1-13. He has the ability to form ‘hot knives’ from his fingers and use them as weapons. Yet there’s a lot more to Wisdom than just his power set.
Waves lapped at the shore while rain fell from a slate grey sky. Half of Brighton was still asleep. Niamh found she preferred the quiet. She wandered down the beach, hands in the pockets of her grey satin overcoat, her shoulders hunched against the cold. The salt spray in her face was a bitter reminder of days long past. She owed it to herself to make the walk, to hold on to the good it would do. Wind swept through her chestnut hair as she strolled along the shore, pebbles crunching beneath her feet.
The crowd was large, but it didn’t stop me getting to the front. (The thing I’ve noticed about this generation is your obligation to step aside for anyone who looks over the age of 60. We’re not all three steps away from a heart-attack I’m pleased to inform you) I shuffled in between a young lady with spiky blonde hair and a man holding a little girl high on his shoulders.
The blank page mocked him. Not for the first time Josh found himself glancing at the alarm clock that read 3:00 in luminescent digits. He’d thrown out all the regular clocks, ticking, tocking, buzzing nightmares. Time was usually on his side, but tonight it goaded him as much as the words that refused to form on the page. Josh tapped out a couple of sentences onto his laptop, trying to exercise his creative muscles. He came as far as ‘the cat prowled through the night like greased lightning. Its tail swished like the whip of some errant god.’ Josh furiously deleted all traces of contriteness.
Manchester is known for having the world’s most famous football team, but it’s not what I think of when I think of my home. For any comic fan who’s thinking of visiting the city then you’ll want to check out Forbidden Planet in The Northern Quarter. It has two floors of pop culture goodness that will keep you occupied for hours.