the Sunday before Christmas and I am stretched upon the sofa,
relaxed, absently channel-hopping, as Channel4's snowy promo
catches my eye... "The Snowman and The Snowdog"..
and I am
stirred. I haven't really thought about the enormity
of their arrival...
TVC, returning to the magic font... And as the camera
circles and the
characters take flight, I am drawn to those shimmering figures...
my eye roving inbetween those beguiling crosshatched hues
like magic... time shifts around me and I find
myself cast back
through the years!...
I am thirteen again. And I am in love. Again. Thirteen
is an unsettled
age. I am still discovering my place in the universe
and my unstable
emotions lead me to embrace all manner of new and
affectations, from day to day. I am currently smitten with
Raymond Briggs. Not the real-life artist, of course,
for I have not
met him. But his creations, Fungus the glorious green
and that great grump Father Christmas. These creations
me almost every waking hour. They inspire me to map
of my own. To tell not comic book stories, but something
more... something altogether more sophisticated... Of
course, I am
not yet aware of the term "graphic novel", but
I am magnificently
aware that Mr Briggs' storytelling style stands apart from
else I have yet encountered...
We shift again.. And here's "The Snowman"...
a story, landing in
my lap, silently, wordlessly, with a new character to hero-worship.
And that elegant encounter, sad but not sad, uplifting and yet
very devastating... and my appreciation and fascination jumps
Another shift... a precise moment now... Christmas 1982...
and I can feel myself alighting in front of the family
my dressing gown, brimming with anticipation... "The
an animated half-hour receiveing its premiere... I am
concerned.. My precious character, my precious story ...
they hold up in the translation, for they are snowflakes, so
so very fragile... And then...
The restless beauty of it all!... And the music!.. I
recall every note
to this day... every high and every low of Howard Blake's
The exploration!... The bike ride!... The aerial flight!..
upon me and I am soaring and swooping all the way to the
Pole... only to be overwhelmed by the total devastation
of that final
Oh, yes! - The emotions surge within me, unchecked,
and just as
they engulf me I am back. I am upon my sofa once more and
has surely stood still, for the promo is only now concluding...
"The Snowman and The Snowdog", 8.00pm, Christmas
The time and date are now etched upon the screen and in my
and I know with absoloute certainty, come the hour, I shall
into a boy again... I shall become my younger self...
film to succeed...
I hope. I hope. I hope...