For a muckle great lad with a big black beard, he’s remarkably shy.
— Morag (@DrMoragKerr) September 2, 2015
That’d be me, Al Harron. On the internet I go by the handle Taranaich. And I do indeed have a big black beard.
I’m an artist and writer by trade, most recently in the realm of comics: I’ve published a few small-press comics, contributed to a local press anthology, and I’m currently working on a graphic commemoration on the Battle of Bannockburn, which I’m hoping to have finished some time before the 800th anniversary. I was a member of the Robert E. Howard United Press Association for a few years, contributed to the award-winning fantasy scholarship blog The Cimmerian, and run The Blog That Time Forgot.
In the run-up to the independence referendum campaign, however, everything took a back seat to the most important poll in our country’s history. I started this blog specifically as a forum for my own political thoughts, as I was well aware of how temperamental politics can be in literary scholarship. The site’s views flourished in the final week, and continued to grow following the referendum and the 2015 General Election.
My politics are a bit all over the place, but there are some constants: generally I occupy the southwest quadrant of the political axis. I have voted SNP in every election since I was elegible (the 2003 Scottish election), though I only joined the party on the 20th of September 2014. I’m an active and enthusiastic participant in the Greenock & Inverclyde brand, and hope to continue the referendum’s success in fostering engagement, encouragement, and hope in the people of my home. I think Scotland should be an independent country.
As for other interests, I remain a great fan of Robert E. Howard and fellow adventure writers; maintain a lifelong interests in dinosaurs and other prehistoric life; listen to music as diverse as heavy metal and electronica; play games both board and video; and enjoy good science fiction, fantasy and horror of all media. I shook off the Scottish cringe and embraced my Caledonian quirks by learning the bagpipes, memorising Burns poetry, celebrating Scottish Gaelic, and finally got over the historical inaccuracies to see the appeal of Braveheart. I even recognise Roddy Piper, Connor and Duncan MacLeod, and Montgomery Scott as honorary countrymen.