Saturday, 26 December 2009

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Crumby crimble crush


That Christmas feeling is starting to make itself felt, as festive activity steps up a gear...
Popped into the Scream gallery on Thursday to catch the Crumb show before it folded; it was fantastic to be able to examine his artworks up close and personal, without the crowds there had been at the Whitechapel back in 2005. I was both pleased and disappointed at the prices (pleased their value is being recognised, but disappointed to be so out of reach of even my wildest dreams).
Friday night saw us totally knocked out by the fancy footwork and tonsil action of the cast of Hairspray led by Phill Jupitus resplendent in petty pants and frock. Not a fan of the West End musical genre as a matter of course, I was completely bowled over by the way the John Waters film had been so perfectly adapted as a stage show. Truly uplifting fun.
And now we have a tree, so let the miracle happen...
Oh and it has. We have a place to stay in Angouleme and it's not too shabby. Nice one Sean!

Friday, 4 December 2009

Punk pub and outsider art : weekend win!

Went to Fulham today for Ned's rugby club lunch.
We spent a lovely afternoon in the Wheatsheaf on Fulham Road with excellent company and food, and to top it all the pub happens to be run by the son of old mates of Nick's from the punk days. The framed vintage posters on the walls led to conversation with the manager - turned out they were his Mum's!
Whilst on the subject of punk, Nick has handed me the next installment of the memoir, so need to get on with drawing...



If you have the chance, I heartily recommend you get over to Primrose Hill and check out the Museum of Everything. Tucked behind the Library off Regent's Park Road, enter a wonderful space filled with all sorts of strange and brilliantly mad outsider art. It's on until Dec 23rd, it's free (donations gratefully received) and it is quite extraordinary.
Meanwhile Angouleme is becoming more and more of a reality. Well obviously it IS a reality as we have booked a table and now we have train tickets and we have ALMOST got our accommodation sorted.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Thoughts on the Bubble


Leeds is definitely the best convention experience. Good size hall, good facilities, good attendance, and GREAT AFTERSHOW.
Drove down a carload of assorted comicsfolk to the sound of much hilarity. Richy K. ended up with a whole table while Sally Anne and I ended up with bigger space than we'd planned for, and the new tablecloth looked awesome: RESULT! Left it a bit late to check into our (very reasonable) hotel and got soaked walking back, hence the dodgy hair in the pic ( I know I look it, but I'd not had a drink yet, honest); also meant I managed to miss the panel game I was supposed to take part in (sorry, Ade).
Then the partying got under way. There was beer and pizza and burlesque sketching (Dan won the prize), and vodka and more beer and then there was DISCO! I'm not naming names but suffice to say that no one escaped the power of the turntable. As Sean so succinctly put it, now we've all broken the ice by exhibiting our moves, there's not much more we can do to shock.
Oh and I sold some comics, and badges too.
There's a proper review of the convention on downthetubes.com with a mention and a pic of yours truly.
Also more pics to be seen HERE. WARNING: may include dancing

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Goodies for you


With Leeds Thought Bubble coming up, here are some more goodies that may be up for grabs.
Form an orderly queue.
Actually I've just discovered something I'm quite rubbish at.
This clay modelling business is HARD, man.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Me and Dave Comiket 2009


The lovely Dan Berry from the Glyndwr Uni­ver­sity took this and lots more great pics at the ICA on Sunday.

Monday, 9 November 2009

LOSER

It's that time of year.
When I don't win the Observer Graphic Short Story prize again.
I've only just started checking out a few of the other entries as they start to appear online, but I can't understand why Jim Medway's didn't win. Although I understand Schmurgen Jonerhaffs was in the running...

Here's my entry:




Saturday, 7 November 2009

COMICA 2009


A glimpse of some of the fantastically collectible goodies you could get your hands on at this year's Comiket at the ICA today 1.00pm to 6.00pm.
COME ON DOWN!

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Mark Smith 1960-2009




A thoroughly decent chap






Dedicated musician
Exceptional human being
Always good company.





We miss you.
X

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Sexy norwegians


With two down and two more to go this convention season is picking up pace. Next up this Sunday is Comiket in one of my favourite settings, the ICA, such a gorgeous building, but also the place where I first made contact with a lot of my comic buddies.
Handmade and bound last Sunday was pretty successful. It was also the first outing for my new Tshirt and minicomic Foreign Bodies combo, as well as premiering my friend Schmurgen's venture into merchandising. I will most likely be promoting his wares at Comica, as he forgot to book space there. Drop by my stall and get your hands on you very own cuddly Norwegian to love and fondle. More info HERE

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Halloweentime


It's my favourite festival of the year again! And to mark the occasion I will be unveiling a new minicomic and Tshirt at Handmade and Bound this Sunday. If you want to see the whole thing, I've posted it on the Sequential HERE.
I hear there will be plenty of other goodies on offer including something quite surprising from the uncompromising Schmurgen Jonerhaffs.

I will be celebrating fully with my little nieces who come over from France especially. Friday night, the V&A is putting on a special evening under the heading In the Dead of Night, Saturday we will be indulging in a spot of your good ole trick or treating, while Sunday offers up the unbounded joy of THIS. I think I might die of excitement!!!
Luckily Handmade and Bound is just up the road from the British Museum, or I might consider giving it a miss.....

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Cos I'm worth it



Well, that was different. I felt decidedly underdressed as an uninterrupted flow of ninjas, monsters and nymphets filed past my table. The beating drums and inane singing made my head throb as I sweltered in the heat generated by thousands of bodies encased in lycra, fake fur, pvc and cardboard. And that was before downing the five cocktails – electric lemonade administered a much needed shock to revive the system after two days of being ignored by the manga buying fraternity.

Highlights of the weekend, pub with fellow small pressers not included, were the visit from Annie and Joe (who enlightened us philistines on some of the costumes on display), purchasing a gorgeous little watercolour from Gary Northfield, and a rare appearance by the elusive Schmurgen Jonerhaffs, promoting his new material. Check out more PICS HERE

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

The bastards are on their way


Finally got word of imminent arrival of printed comics! In time for MCM at the weekend, yippee!
My printer is playing up as usual. Does it to me before every convention, probably nerves. I'm getting quite excited as I'm gearing up for a run of events over the next month starting this Saturday, and taking in Handmade and Bound on November 1st, Comiket on November 8th and Leeds on November 21st.
Printer don't fail me now!

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Epic soundtracks


Despite the distractions of the last couple of weeks, I'm back in harness on the Members epic tale, slowly growing, page by page...
London Expo is looming and Leeds will soon be upon us, so the printer will be put through its paces over the next few days.


Meanwhile other projects are bubbling under.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Serge Clerc's Le Journal


On my trip to France, along with a couple of other titles, I picked up a copy of Serge Clerc's Le Journal, his frenetic story of Metal Hurlant magazine. The perfection of Clerc's line always takes me back to the golden age of the NME when they had decent writers. I would devour it cover to cover week after week, and marvel at the composition of his retro illustrations. I now find out that this rigourous stylist, whom I could only dream to emulate, was creating these formally impeccable images out of what appears to be turmoil and chaos.
Plucked from the provinces when barely grown to collaborate with the sophisticated Dionnet and Manoeuvre, he is bombarded with culture and has to absorb a lifetime's knowledge of scifi, cinema, comics and rock n roll at an accelerated rate, while at the same time trying to get to grips with alcohol and women (and I'm only half way through).

I had been slightly disappointed by the narrative quality of those Clerc albums I had read up to now, finding his style to dominate over content, a certain glacial distance.
But here is a work that gives me a sense of the man wielding the pen, of his struggle for perfection, of his fear of being sidelined by rivals, of his feet of clay.
Clerc will always represent an unattainable summit of graphic excellence, but with this book he has managed to make me warm to him. He reveals his self doubt, his relentless desire to learn and improve, a kid trying to keep up with and impress the adults around him.
The contrast between the fautlessness of his line and the disjointed insanity of his storytelling has turned my admiration into love.

Friday, 2 October 2009

Shmurgen is BACK!


I'm off to France again tomorrow so gutted that I will miss THIS!
Anyway pop along if you're in the neighbourhood and grab a sandwich and a comic from our friend Schmurgen, I understand he has a new one out.
The lovely Sally-Anne Hickman and I met at Gosh to get our books signed by Joe Sacco, author of Palestine, on Wednesday. We stood in line and were impressed that he took the time to talk to everyone. Also he is far smarter than me, as he draws himself in his comics much uglier than he really is, so one is agreeably surprised on meeting him.
I have just listened to Sally-Anne's Thursday interview on Resonance FM. Listen to it HERE to find out what she's working on. Oh and she gives B.A.S.T.A.R.D.S a mention too.

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Good vibes

Some very kind words from Rainbow Orchid maestro Garen Ewing HERE and another plug on Down the Tubes HERE. Thanks!

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Launching the assault


And we're off. The fastest anthology in comicdom has come together in record time from glimmer in Dan's eye to finished printed artefact in 30 days, not too shabby eh?
76-pages of comictastic goodness from the likes of Paul Rainey, Sean Azzopardi, Phil spence and many more to take to Angouleme and a comic convention near you.
B.a.s.t.a.r.d.s are GO!

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

And so to bed

Finally got my entry to this year's Observer competition completed. Phew!

Friday, 18 September 2009

Bassic instincts

Was taken to Shepherd's Bush Empire last night by my lovely Lucy to see Alela Diane perform. Though they played and sang beautifully and the sound was great, the totally static nature of the performance meant that the experience didn't add much to the pleasure of listening to her albums. Only the presence of her rhythm section, notably the crutch thrusting antics of Tom Bevitori on bass, for some of the show added a compelling visual element and humour to the proceedings. Wonderful how nappy changing and spoon feeding goo eventually grows into mother-daughter bonding over a pint of Guinness...
I have my space booked at London MCM Expo next month thanks to Richy Tempolush's organisation, yippee!

Monday, 14 September 2009

Saturday night at the nick


After an intense week preparing our secret weapon to take on Europe, headed down to the the police station for an excellent party to launch Fleece Station Studios , Gary Northfield, Sarah Macintyre and Vivian Shwartz's fabulous new space. The only thing that stops me from being totally consumed by my jealousy is that it is in Deptford, which would be a tad inconvenient ...

Thursday, 3 September 2009

On your radio


Guess what? Today I am on the radio being interviewed by Alex Fitch for resonance FM!
It was recorded back in March at Schmurgencon, so no mention of my more recent work, but I was agreably surprised by the lack of cringeing it occasioned on hearing it. Obviously a sterling job of editing as I recall having had a few drinks and babbling somewhat.
It will be broadcast at 5pm. Click HERE for more information and links to the podcast.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Stirring stuff


Back from our travels to find that the cats have survived, as has Dan, possibly on a restricted diet, judging by the packets littering the kitchen.
Plenty to get on with, what with school starting tomorrow, anthologies to be organised, competitions to be entered, wine to be drunk...
With all our strenuous sporting activities, the swimming, the karting and the canoeing, I can't think why we haven't returned toned, tanned and rippling.
Surely the occasional soup├žon of foie gras and confit is permitted...

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Goin' South


Will be heading South tonight, for Tex Axile is at his European residence. The drive to the foothills of the Pyrennees will us take two days, with a stop somewhere near Limoges.
We will be making a not so small detour on the way back in order to fill our boot with wine.


Meanwhile back at the ranch, exciting developments may be taking shape, Dan manning the fort and taking the initiative to rally the troops.

Monday, 17 August 2009

Punky reggae comic party


My first visit to Caption was a resounding success. After the usual shouting match, we headed off down the M40 on Saturday, Dan in the back and Richy K's stock in the boot. 45 minutes later, we rolled up outside the East Oxford Community Centre. The location was lovely and funky, run by a couple of sweet guys to the wonderful sound of classic roots reggae.
The communal table system worked very well: free to hang out with old mates, meet new ones, draw (a bit), and drink. And be really envious of Karen Rubins' position as Comic Artist in Residence at the V&A (couldn't have happened to a nicer person).
Garen Ewing's inspirational long journey to mainstream publication and Sarah Macintyre's look at children's picture books were the other two talks I made it to.
Nick got to chill out , drink beer, read the paper and get invited back to DJ there in October...

I got my hands on Paul Rainey's gem of a Book of Lists, laugh out loud funny and gleaming like a little jewell in glorious gorgeous glossy full colour. This is far more than some one-joke humour book, this is a portrait of a very engaging character, built up through an accumulation of little snippets of information, a judicious use of repetition, warm and wonderfully candid in its revelation. Above all it is human, I may not be a bald single middle-aged male, but I can identify with his anxiety, his anger, his embarrassment and his joy. Get youself a copy HERE.
And to cap it all, had we not stayed in such a ridiculously overpriced hotel, my sales would have covered our expenses...

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Caption coming up


The boy is off to Majorca tomorrow. Will send him off with a mixture of joy and envy.
What will we do with ourselves in his absence? Oh, I know. RELAX!
And go to Caption of course. Booked a nice hotel.
I will be flashing around previews of the magnum opus, it's astounding how time consuming colour work can be....

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Great Deeds Against the Dead


The prolific Rob Jackson has treated us to yet another superb comic.
Issue One of Great Deeds Against the Dead is a ghost/mystery story involving a painter, a dead wife, an eerie house and a couple of creepy looking psychic adventurers. It is wonderfully drawn – I particularly love the depiction of the storm – Rob's style is very precise and totally legible, and keeps the story going at a cracking pace. My only slight criticism would be that he crams so many frames on to each page that my failing eyesight occasionally has to strain to make out the background detail. And I'm going to have to wait a while to find out what happens next...
The second part of the book, Colonial Amusements consists of a series of outdoor scenes and landscapes, presumably of Bolton and its surroundings, rendered in the style of Jackson's travelogue epic On the Banks of the Mighty Croal. My favourite page has to be the underpass, featuring the best grafitti ever!
Once again, Rob Jackson has delighted me with a warm, gentle and brilliantly silly comic, and on the back page he even tells us why he does it. Get yourself a copy HERE, especially as he's offering FREE postage throughout August!

Check out my website, it's got new stuff on it.

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Challenging concepts

More vintage Tesco taking shape:

Today I found this very complimentary review of Rob Jackson's Pasty Anthology which mentions my contribution HERE. It's American and they seem to be struggling with the very concept of Pasty but managed to enjoy the oeuvre none the less.
I am planning to go to Oxford and attend Caption this year. I only discovered yesterday that they have a brochure one can contribute to. I have until tomorrow to come up with something. And draw it. I like a challenge! Especially with a theme like AWAY WITH THE FAIRIES.

Friday, 24 July 2009

Up and at 'em


I'm BACK from France and I've found I've got a fantastic review on Forbidden Planet for Striptacular HERE and I've been working on a new project with Nick, so let's go baby...

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Prolific or what?


I have just received Rob Jackson's marvellous Pasty Anthology through the post.
Jam packed full of mouth wateringly hilarious material from Rob, Jim Medway, Dave Hughes and more!
And did I mention that I contributed a few pages? get yourselves a copy here, you won't be disappointed!
At this moment I have newly published work in an astonishing number of comics, namely Richy K Chandler's excellent Bunch 2, Jim Medway's Garden Funnies 2, my own Sole Searching and now the Pasty Anthology bringing it to a total of four.
Ubiquitous, moi?
At 176 I picked up Part 9 of Paul Rainey's wonderful graphic novel There's no time like the Present, which keeps up the top quality of the series' storytelling and artwork. Get yourself a copy here.
And I finally got my hands on Undertow, Ellen Lindner's masterful, and beautifully drawn tale of delinquents, drugs and redemption set in sixties Brooklyn.

Friday, 26 June 2009

Stepping up to 176


All done printing and stapling my brand new 24 pager!
Put your best foot forward and stride on down to 176 for a fab day out in Camden and pick yourself up a copy while you're there.

A sneak preview of a tale of treacherous footwear.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Spot the difference


Dan is overjoyed at the sight of his birthday cake.


Dan is sorely disappointed and wondering why a scantily clad lovely hasn't jumped out.

See Dan with all the gang at 176 on Saturday!!!

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Garden Funnies finally bears fruit


Hurrah! I just received a parcel of Jim Medway's Garden Funnies 2 hot off the press, packed with such great talents as the Medway himself, Alex Potts, Liz Lunney, Banal Pig and MYSELF, and boasting an ace cover by Gary Northfield!
It's been long in the making but worth the wait...
Go order a copy from Jim HERE,or mosey on down to 176 next week and pick one up off my stall.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Power to the people


Another first for LUC: convention costs have henceforth been abolished. Well for this one anyway.
The blessed Oli has announced that 176 will now be completely FREE for those lucky exhibitors who have boked a table. Details hereWhat will he come up with next?




Just over two weeks to get a new comic ready.
Will she do it? watch this space.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Our glorious leader


Back to business at last as Oli, finally freed from the tyranny of exams, reconvened the weekly pubdraw.
It was a select gathering and, along with the good doctor, topics such as 176 and comics were discussed...
Read Oli's interview about LUC conventions here.

Saturday, 30 May 2009

Manics at the Roundhouse


Great gig last night, the Manics are a powerful live act, James Dean Bradfield all over the stage as Nicky Wire, unfortunately nobbled by a slipped disc, stood rigid at the other end. The trio delivered an empassioned set in two halves, a moving rendition of the new album of Richey Edwards' lyrics was followed by an hour of greatest hits culminating in Design for Life, bringing back memories of a nappy-clad Ned singing along in his car seat.

Friday, 29 May 2009

Sole searching

Lucy went down with a nasty bout of flu last week. While she was on the mend, in an idle moment we looked up swine flu on the NHS site. Instead of a list of symptoms, they have a questionnaire. Having replied No to all of the questions she ticked Yes to feeling some aches and pains (a pretty normal flu symptom) and was immediately directed to this screen!
We ignored it. The next day she felt much better.
Been putting recent experiences into strip form.
With a bit of luck (and less slacking) should have a new mini out for 176 which will be upon us before we know it - only four weeks to go!
Oh yeah and for the first time ever I did a quiz on facebook only to find out that I am a manic depressive. Five multiple choice questions, some of which didn't offer any appropriate answers - it's got to be true innit??

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Bubbling under


Last weekend a most uplifting installation by William Forsythe soothed the spirit in a disused train shed behind King's Cross.
Other than a drunken episode and a pubdraw, very little else to report as I try to pull some ideas together for another mini before 176.

Thursday, 30 April 2009

Website ongoing revamp


Nick had only just started uploading the new website when he fell and broke his shoulder hence the rather sparse amount of stuff up there. Yesterday he one-armedly got back into it.
It is not finished and it may take some time but we will get there in the end...
In the meantime I will try and absorb some of his Dreamweaver knowledge so I can add to it independently.