Whether for a TV show or feature film, the title sequence sets the tone for what is to come. Like an ear/eyeball appetizer. In the age of streaming video, it’s easy to SKIP them altogether, and thus the test of a great title sequence is one that you never skip, even when binge watching multiple episodes in a row. Another tell is when you still enjoy seeing the title sequence, despite not seeing the show itself in years. Here are a few TV title sequences that pass those tests for me:

COWBOY BEBOP (1998)

Not long ago, Julia & rewatched…


I’m the oldest of 7 children, but before the rest of the brood hatched, I was an only child, and had an imaginary friend to keep me company. His name was Jerry Narkovitch.

While Mum was in hospital, my paternal grandmother came to Tasmania from the mainland to look after me while Dad was at work. Grandma often heard about Jerry Narkovitch when he was blamed for my shenanigans. Who spilled the juice? I’d say; “ Jerry Nakovitch did it!” Who changed the the telly from Grandma’s Mario Lanza movie to Warner Brothers cartoons while she made herself some tea…


14th of December 1986:
After 6 months working on Saturday morning cartoons in Taipei (and saving more money) I caught an Arimura Line shipfrom Keelung in Taiwan for a 20 hour voyage to Naha in Okinawa to connect onward to Tokyo. My long awaited trip to Japan was finally underway. With a ticket for ‘communal sleeping’ I expected bunk beds, but found a huge room of tatami mats with pillows & blankets instead. This arrangement was actually comfortable, but the room quickly filled up with passengers who turned on the TV, opened their snacks, and soon there were about 15 raucous…


When I left Australia in 1986 to go see the world, I didn’t bring a camera. Earlier, I’d cheaply acquired a 2nd hand SLR, shot some badly exposed photos.. but found my ‘photography’ so unsatisfying that I departed without the baffling gizmo. I soon regretted that decision upon arrival in Asia, where I wanted to capture all the new sights that tantalised my eyeballs.

Thankfully, Asia happens to be a great place to buy cameras, and I was working with a fellow who understood them and helped me buy one in Hong Kong. …


July 15, 1986, I left Australia for what I thought would be a 6 month or one year trip at most, but it ended up being an overseas jaunt that lasted the rest of my life.

View From the Tower Restaurant, 1986

I’d worked in Sydney animation studios since 1982, saving money for a trip to Japan. By mid 1986, I’d got my passport, bought a Japan rail pass, and after years of dilly-dallying was preparing to finally go. But before I’d bought a plane ticket, Janine Dawson offered me a job in Taiwan at a big animation studio. Despite years of saving, I was still…


The insufferably cute fictional nuns of my childhood were played by perky actresses like Sally Field or Debbie Reynolds, whereas the real nuns who taught me looked like Alec Guinness in a dress. An exception was my 4th grade teacher. She looked like a young movie nun, but her personality shifted from angelic to diabolical quicker than a twist of her rosary beads. According to that Hollywood trope whereby nuns had a shtick — the Singing Nun, or the Flying Nun — she was the Changeling Nun.

One morning after recess, several students had to go the toilet in quick…


2020My first forays into social media were in 2007, when my sister Victoria encouraged me to join FACEBOOK to find old pals. Having had this blog/website since 2001, I thought anyone who’d wanted to find me could already do so with a simple search on Netscape (or whatever the prevailing search engine was back then) but joined anyway.

Almost immediately, I found old friends, and others were able to find me, just as my sister had promised. For someone who’d lived and worked all around the world when we didn’t yet have cellphones and email addresses (and consequently losing touch…


It is strange to look at my last post and think how much has changed in a just few months. Back in January, I’d never even heard of the ‘coronavirus’ and wrote about enjoying casually drawing outside. Nowadays, we barely leave the apartment, and it looks as if we’ll all be homebodies for quite sometime to come. Any drawings I do for the foreseeable future will be done AT HOME.

Scribbling While Rome Burns
Scribbling While Rome Burns

A few weeks after that last post, in late February/early March, Several cities in the Bay Area got their first coronavirus infections, including San Francisco, and quick follow through by…


The Baker family has volatile brains. People on both sides of my family tree have suffered strokes, and on this day in 2012 it was my turn. The most recent victim of this family curse was my poor Dad, in mid 2018, and his stroke was much more massive than my own.

I used to be a plucky & frequent traveller, but dread being cooped up on a plane post-stroke. Nevertheless, I’d been planning to make that long 18 hour journey to my hometown this year for Dad’s 80th birthday (a landmark that warranted me putting on my big boy…

James S. Baker

The uppercuts keep me from falling down..

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