I feel like I might burst with pride. Several people I know have been publicly recognised by their peers for their extreme talent recently, and I want to tell you about them.
1. My friend Sandy is one of the most creative people I know, and creative in a really interesting and intimidatingly clever way. He programs by day, and comes up with amazing stuff like robot kits, 3D-printed jewellery and concertina lamps in dedicated spare time. There is nothing he will not turn his hand to (you should see his Christmas cards.) Sandy entered a competition on Instructables recently, and quite rightly won a prize for his Linear Clock.
2. James Wallis, games consultant, designer and publisher, put a game idea in for the Spots ‘n Stripes chocolate bar competition that’s been taking place over the last year. James’s “Flick Racer” game has made it through to the last round, and is now up against just one other finalist, Eggomatic. Cadburys have MADE and distributed TWELVE THOUSAND prototypes of Flick Racer, before choosing who gets to be the official game for the campaign. It’s clearly a very exciting thing for James, and it’s lovely for his pals to see his idea do so well. I know him through mutual geeky friends, he’s a great games designer and very into his stuff. He’s also very generous with his time and ideas, and we had some fun chats about D&D while I was working on EOC. You should consult with him.
3. When I was a student in York a long, long time ago, I stalked a company called Stone Soup, because they were behind the most eye-wateringly funny free magazine I’d ever seen. It was distributed through the bars and cafes of York (of which there are loads) – so it was always around.
Every page was packed with fresh ideas. There were pages dedicated to amusing truths – like “Goths walk more upright than normal people,” (quite possibly an early inspiration for my WF site). There was funny, incredibly local stuff about York, with an attention to detail that just made it all the more hilarious. An audit of park benches. A dreamily romantic Mills & Boon-like short story that always took place on the patch of filthy detritus under the bridge which the magazine dubbed “York Beach”…
So one day I met up with the editor, Tom (in a pub, after a surprise power cut struck down their entire office building) – and ended up writing for and working on various things they produced over several years, including a whole comedy festival. They’re the reason I was photographed wearing a ‘Smoke crack, lose weight’ T shirt for a kids’ magazine, and they’re how I met both the Red Dwarf Hollys in one week. Wow, and that was… eight years ago? Where has the time gone? A White Hole?
Anyway, Stone Soup are brilliant, and they’ve just been voted the best advert for this mock-up baby lotion picture, which is ace, and sums up their whole thing of fun and funniness, I think. And check it out, after some regeneration over the winter they’re just about to emerge from their chrysalis, this time as The Beautiful Meme.