Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Warm and fuzzy

The Christmas season kicked off with our very own Annual Empoverished Cartoonists Xmas Party on Sunday. Dan and I duly set off on the Oxford tube and swelled the attendance numbers by 100%. A most pleasant day was spent in the excellent company of Paul Rainey and Pete Clack, while we hatched our plan to take the comic world by storm and consumed many pints of ale. And onion rings, made with real onion no less.
Fired up with enthusiasm for social contact, I dragged Dan over to Brick Lane last night, only to find I had misread the email and Ladeez Do Comics is scheduled for NEXT Monday... I made amends with a pint of stout.
The last month has flown by with a trip to Paris to pack up Ma's belongings, Thought Bubble, the move, organising the work on the flat, and even a fair few days of proper work.
Thought Bubble didn't disappoint, definitely the best con in England for small pressers, and the bestest party afterwards. The next day I mumbled pathetically through a short presentation to the Ladeez (some of them were men) – I hope to give a better performance some time in the future if they ever ask me again.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Pubs, performances and revivals

I have been such a bad blogger. There are mitigating circumstances but I won't bore you.
I missed mentioning last month that the incredible Mr Nick Tesco performed on a stage with the Members for the first time in several years and was fabulous as always. We can but hope that the love he was rewarded with by all and sundry will spur him on to repeat the experience.
Last Sunday was Comiket in Russell Square. A most positive day, though the punters consisted mainly of trainspottery collectors ( "I only buy comics that have cricket or Fred Basset in them" was one riveting exchange). Easy to get to, convivial company, and the drawing performance thingy on the screen was a good initiative.
There have been mutterings of a pubdraw revival, your chance to sit in a pub and draw cocks in other people's sketchbooks. Or even get on with some work – watch this space.

Off to Paris today to pack up Ma's appartment as the move is imminent – should give me a couple of hours drawing time on the train.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Of sheep and monsters

Two soirees unfortunately clashed on Thursday evening. However, with some skillful time management, we managed to attend both. First up we hot-footed down to Waterloo for Sarah McIntyre's Vern and Lettuce launch at the Stamford Arms. The place was packed with sheep-knitting yarnstormers, there was champagne and cake, and great company from the comics and illustration fraternity. Clutching our signed copy, we rushed back to the London Print Studio to catch the last gasp of the launch of That's Novel, an exhibition of graphic novels on the Harrow Road featuring our good friend and fellow bastard Paul Rainey with some brand new images.
Meanwhile, back at the drawing board, with the realisation that everything I have produced of late is destined to appear in other people's collections, I am attempting to create something new in time for Comiket which will soon be upon us.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Comic health issues

The lovely Ian Williams has done me the honour of including TMNTITW and Sole Searching on his Graphic Medicine website dedicated to promoting comics associated with all aspects of medicine. Along with highlighting such classics as Harvey Pekar's Our Cancer Year, David B's Epileptic and Charles Burns' Black Hole, it features the work of Thom Ferrier whose strips give us an insight into the doctor-patient relationship from a GP's perspective. Disrepute is a beautifully handbound collection of probably autobiographical stories while Fear of Failure is also a cracking story that you can follow online.
I have been having plenty of NHS dealings recently, mostly positive, what with getting my mother back into the system after a more than forty-year absence from this country. Nick had a fall resulting in another trip to A&E and yet another fetching scar on my darling hubby, only accentuating his Oliver Reedness – I'm not complaining. My own mishap involved a tiny invisible bump on my face that I decided should get checked out. I was sent to the melanoma clinic, just in case, where the attending doctor told me it was benign and proceeded to blast it with liquid nitrogen. I attended my nephew's beautiful bucolic wedding sporting an enormous crusty burn on on my chin, giving me the appearance of someone in the tertiary stages of syphillis. After four weeks it is finally clearing up...

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Bastards, Gin and Science

Well all the copies of Bastards 2 have been distributed to the various contributors. Last Friday, Paul Rainey was up in town to check out the London Print Studio Gallery where he will be exhibiting in a couple of weeks as part of this year's Comica festival. We took the opportunity to get together with as many of the gang as could be mustered in Portobello Road, to hand out copies and drink beer.
In between the usual domestic duties, and some not so usual, somehow contributions to Solipsistic Pop 3, Paper Science 3, Gin Palace 2 and the Observer Competition got finished and delivered.

A lot of these publications will be launched at Leeds Thought Bubble next month where I will be exhibiting. For anyone impatient to get their hands on the new B.A.S.T.A.R.D.S 2 I will also be appearing at Comiket Independent Comics Fair in London on November 7th, although other contributors will be at Birmingham next week and at MCM Expo at the end of October.

Monday, 27 September 2010

Piles of bastards

Due to a surfeit of obligations, blogging has taken a backseat of late.
Boxes of Bastards 2 now sit in my hallway, awaiting distribution to said Bastards.
The finished article is a thing of wonder, a real fat proper BOOK!
Last week Ellen Lindner organised a mass Whores of Mensa comicsigning at her pad, a rather jolly affair with booze and cake.
I discovered that Richard Cowdry has moved into our neighbourhood, upping the concentration of comicfolk in NW10.
Applications have been sent off for the upcoming french comicfest and I am attempting to complete my other assignments with looming deadlines while still overseeing the rehabilitation and relocation of my mother.
All in all, busy busy times...

Friday, 17 September 2010

A comic for all ages

Okay, so it looks like Solipsistic Pop 3 will soon be unveiled, so here's a peak at Marc Ellerby's cover.
As a contributor to this august publication, I will allow myself to express immense pride at being part of such a gorgeous thing. That's enough of that, I am a miserable worm, I am not worthy, etc...
Find out more at solipsisticpop.com

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Whores and bastards

After a long hiatus in my blogging, here is some news.
Last week saw the launch of Whores of Mensa 5 at a spiffing party organised by Ellen Lindner, who also happens to be editor of said publication. The comic is a brilliant collection of party-themed pieces, containing works by the likes of Patrice Aggs, Sarah Macintyre, Ellen, Jeremy Day, moi, and a host of others. Click here for a full list and more details.
As a contributor, I was of course was invited to the event in Maartje Shalkx's envy-inducing loft/studio in Kingsland Road. The comic cognoscenti enjoyed booze and cake and were regaled by the spinnings of one Reginald Frothy. Nick noted that we were in the heart of Vietnamese restaurant heaven and we swore to return to these parts...

Meanwhile The long awaited B.A.S.T.A.R.D.S 2 is ready and in the capable hands of the printers! With contributions from such talents as Dan Lester, Paul Rainey, Rob Jackson, Oliver Lambden, David Baillie, Sean Azzopardi, Phil Spence, our favourite Norwegian, and on the girl's team Sally-Anne Hickman and my good self, you are in for a treat. Coming in at a whopping 208 pages, I can barely contain my excitement!

And another thing I forgot to post: My friend Jim Medway has created "Comical Animal" a new online comic about funny animals. It features an amazing line-up of artists , none more so than the brilliant Gary "Smoking Ducks" Northfield. I did a cartoon for it based on a fifties Tiny Tots strip called 'Jumbo Jim and his brother Tim'. Here's the preview issue. Why don't you subscribe and get on the mailing list? It's free (I think).

Monday, 6 September 2010

Coming soon

Why I've been so quiet of late.
Well, part of the reason anyway.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Hypercomics and Pumphouse doings

Been rather sidetracked of late with the business of family, but as for the business of comics, I managed to attend the opening night of Hypercomics at the Pump House in Battersea Park and (wo)man a table at Comiket last Sunday.
I am also in the process of pulling together BASTARDS 2, the second issue of the anthology that took us to Angouleme this January, watch this space for more details. And I am beavering away at my contribution to Solipsistic Pop 3, honest!

There have been other distractions, notably the visit of my good friend Nick over from LA with his family, entailing various reunions. Only three of the original line up could make it but can you spot the difference between then and now?

Monday, 2 August 2010

Chillin with the comic folk

Made it to Caption for a lovely chilled Sunday yesterday. I attended talks by Sidney Padua, animator and creator of Lovelace and Babbage, as well as Darryl Cunningham's interview about his brilliant Psychiatric Tales chaired by Sarah Macintyre.

Ellen Lindner has put up a video here in order to raise funds for the upcoming Whores of Mensa 5. Check it out!
I have contributed a story to it so I have a vested interest.

Friday, 30 July 2010

Breaking news

I've been away in France looking after my Mum. She fell and broke her hip while we were there. Been getting familiar with the french health system, but she can't go on living there on her own, so the time has come to think about the long term, and moving her back close to us.

Consequently not much comic making recently :-(
I need to get back into the swing of it now that I'm back, as I have committed to contributions to Gin Palace 2, Solipsistic Pop 3, Dan's Vomit Anthology and of course the Observer competition is upon us again.....
And that's on top of my own ongoing projects.

I will only be going to Caption for the day on Sunday as we're broke and a hotel is an expense we can do without.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Friday, 28 May 2010

Boys at school

Finally sent off my contribution to Whores of Mensa 5, Ellen Lindner, Jeremy Dennis and Mardou's rocking journal of ladies' cartoon art .

This one is the Party Issue so you can guess the theme of my strip.

This weekend is MCM expo. I will not be attending this time, but the line up of top creators looks to be as sparkling as ever.
Schmurgen Jonerhaffs is rumoured to be making an appearance...

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Naked lady and comic ladeez

Today, at a life drawing class with Sean and Sally Anne, I made some nice pictures of a lady with no clothes on. After years of pleasing yourself, it makes a sobering change to have someone look over your work and suggest how you might improve your technique. Certainly inspires you to up your game.
Last night I finally made it to the monthly Ladeez Do Comics evening at the Rag Factory. The theme was comics of a medical bent. Philippa Perry presented her excellent and acclaimed Couch Fiction, I got to meet her at last and she is as witty as her book. She was followed by Thom Ferrier who was very amusing about the pressures of being a GP in a remote Welsh valley, and proceedings wound up with a cheerful look at cancer in comics.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

How the croissant crumbles

This gorgeous weather is making sitting in semi darkness trying to conjure up long forgotten images even harder.

The past is another country, sometimes hard to relocate.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

From comic launch to comic pooch

Last week, the project Emma Price has been involved in for what seems like for ever was launched at the Book Club in Shoreditch and the gang turned out in force. I also had the pleasure of bumping into Anne Witchard there, who has published a learned tome since I last saw her.
Sunday saw Gwen celebrate her birthday at the Lexington where I was introduced to a most charming individual by the name of Bruce Lee.

And Rob Clough of The Comics Journal has reviewed several of my comics HERE . Yay!

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Free Paper from comic maestros

Don't forget today is Free Comic Book Day. Go pick up your copy of Paper Science 2 at Orbital! I am very proud to have been allowed to contribute to what should be a class act as it was put together by the same team as this next item.
Thursday night at the launch I picked up a copy of Solipsistic Pop. Once again it is a triumph. From its gorgeous cover (with flaps, I like flaps), through 64 pages of excellence, rises the smell of quality. The 12 page Funnies newspaper section kicks off with Stephen Collins' genius summing up of the internet. And it comes with a lovely tote bag. Eat your heart out Marie Claire, now I can get free goodies with something I actually want to read (and keep).
Buy your copy HERE.
Well done Tom, Matt and all involved, once again you have raised the bar for comics in this country! We can only be inspired and strive to improve.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Cartoonists do coffee

Look who was in my garden yesterday? The lovely and talented Sarah McIntyre trekked all the way from Sarf London to have a cosy chat in the sunshine among the apple blossom and the washing. It's good to hang out with the comics sisterhood, draw pictures and talk about life, cartooning and pens. I found out Sarah lived in Moscow for two years!
I am now blushing as she has posted a full report of the encounter with pics and everything. It makes my house sound interesting as opposed to just messy.

Free comics up for grabs

Richard Bruton has kindly posted a review of Striptacular 2 on Forbidden Planet.
You can read it HERE

And don't forget Saturday is Free Comic Book Day. Matt Sheret and We are Words + Pictures will be handing out a free newspaper featuring a veritable smorgasbord of the best of British independent comics with work by Sean Azzopardi, Tom Humberstone, yours truly, Joe Decie, Lizz Lunney, Mark Ellerby, Jamie McElvie and countless others at Orbital. More information HERE
Tonight I will be heading over to Kings Cross for the launch of Solipsistic Pop 2 at the Cross Kings. This one looks to be even more awesome than the first issue!

Monday, 26 April 2010

Uni comic fest

This weekend saw the first Uni Comics Festival at the University of Hertfordshire in Hatfield. I was lucky enough to be offered a table, thanks to Sean and Daniel Goodbrey and ended up sharing it with Andrew Cheverton who was premiering his lovely new hardback West: Justice. I took part in a panel about autobiographical comics chaired by Paul Rainey, along with Marc Ellerby and Phil Spence. The hour of discussion passed most agreeably, an intimate affair as the panel outnumbered the audience. Sales were slow, to put it mildly, and I was becoming positively despondent by mid afternoon, when Dan made my day by selling one of the wrestler paintings I had put on his table. Things picked up after that and after a few drinks with Sarah McIntyre, Gary Northfield and all the other lovely comics folk I headed home a happier bunny.
Hatfield is a convenient half hour drive from my bit of London, so should this become a regular event, I would no doubt attend again. I guess this was a trial run, but I would have thought there was room for at least double the number of exhibitors. A lot more promotion would be needed for the visitor numbers to increase substantially. It is off the beaten track and signposting was not clear either.
While I was there I got Doug Noble to pick out a couple of pages for his learned tome, well he is the editor after all, and I couldn't choose.
Oh and thanks to Matt Sheret I will be featured in Paper Science 2, a whole page no less! The newspaper will be handed out FREE on Saturday May 1st by We are words + Pictures for Free Comic Book Day at Orbital

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Comic artists London bash

How many cartoonists can you fit in a police station? And how do you round up a flock of comics folk? Booze and cake will do the trick. Assorted comicarati gathered Saturday night at the Fleece station, graciously welcomed by hosts Sarah Macintyre, Ellen Lindner, Gary Northfield and Lauren O'Farrell, and had a jolly old time, popping into the cells intermittently to relieve themselves. Darryl Cunningham's birthday was celebrated with a splendidly decorated cake, and I believe any disordely conduct whilst under the influence was in the main safely avoided.
We returned home to find our house full of teenagers but remembered to go and hide discreetly in our quarters, and not cause offence by our presence. After a day of rest, Monday was a beautiful day to drive to the seaside, the empty sky a bonus. We passed the airports, both closed, and traffic was blissfully light. Having dropped son off with daughter, treated them to a spot of lunch and stopped in the comic shop, we pootled along the coast to catch up with the Dawgtastic team for the night. Valerie's range of felt goodies now includes these dashing accoutrements.

Back home again and gearing up for Unicon this Saturday in Hatfield – printer don't fail me now!

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Heartwarming reviews

Gin Palace is getting some very favourable reviews. Here are links to The Comics Journal
Forbidden Planet and The Mithering Times

Monday, 29 March 2010

Thing to Shmurgencon

This year's Thing went off smoothly. Having started out in two minds about the sticker passport, I ended up getting quite competitive with Sally Anne, pretty much filled mine and scored some beauties.
Due to extreme skintness I made very few purchases/swaps this year. Everything I came home with was top notch, from Ellen Lindner's gorgeous Train Lines mini and Joe Decie's musings in What I Drew volume 2 to Dan Berry's newspaper-sized Oxford Clay. (I have slight reservations about this format – it is wonderful to have room for the artwork to breathe, it looks fabulous, but it's so fragile and difficult to store safely...)
And to keep up with some of my favourite series, I now have the final part of Rob Jackson's Gothic mystery Great Deeds against the Dead, part 11 of Paul Rainey's epic No time like the Present and the latest Sally Anne Hickman Diaries, covering Jan-March 2010, resplendently clad and sparkling with touching honesty.
Rob also traded me a Schmurgendoll for a Bog Wizards duck! Result!

After the show we went on to Schmurgencon 4 at the Globe a few doors down.
Imagine my elation when presented with an award for Fastest Penciller by the great man himself. Unfortunately my joy was short lived as an obviously jealous party accidentally set fire to it soon afterwards. Oh well half an award is better than none.
I was in good company as other luminaries included Paul Rainey, Best Writer/Artist, Dan Lester, Best Painted Cover and David Baillie, Best Scrotum...

Friday, 26 March 2010

Striptacular 2

I did it!
A brand new comic for your delectation, hot off the press, will be available from moi at the UKWebcomixthing tomorrow for the modest sum of £3.00.
Come on down to Mile End and grab yourself a copy!
There will be stickers too, and if you come later on, the Schmurgencon 4 awards are at the Globe, from 4.30 until closing time, just down the road. Uncompromising fun!

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Stickers for you

My stickers have come and will be available this Saturday for the Dino Saw Us project at the UKWebcomixthing in Mile End.

You can see a sneak preview of the almost completed Striptacular2 on the Sequential HERE.

Monday, 15 March 2010


I seem to be making progress.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Gin Palace

Look what arrived in the post yesterday: Gin Palace!
It looks lovely and contains an eight page story by yours truly as well as some splendid work by Rob Jackson, Dave Hughes, Ant Mercer, Jarod Rosello, Lee Johnson, and Simon M. There is more info here
You can buy it from Rob's website, or wait until the Webcomixthing in two weeks.
Also I have ordered some stickers in order to take part in this Dino Saw Us idea at the Webcomixthing, but also just for the hell of it as I have never made stickers before.

This what I hope they will look like.

I will also endeavour to have Striptacular 2 ready in time...

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Neddy go Russia

Ned is heading off to St Petersburg on Saturday so here's a little something from my strip that is appearing in Rob Jackson's upcoming Gin Palace anthology - to be unveiled next month at the Thing and Schmurgencon 3.
What's the connection?

Monday, 15 February 2010

Gin Palace

I've been working on an eight-page contribution to Rob Jackson's forthcoming Gin Palace anthology. Here's a sneak preview of the first page. I haven't settled on the title yet.
With a lot of different projects on the go at the moment, I just have to keep plodding on, trying not to think too much about how much there is or it gets too overwhelming and I grind to a halt.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Angouleme report

A week ago Monday I returned from the amazing 2010 Angouleme Comic Festival, but more pressing events quickly took centre stage .
Tragically, my father in law's health had taken a downward turn over the last month, and by Wednesday, a good and kind man had left us for good. Both Nick and his brother were in attendance, but the speed of Arthur's demise still left them reeling from the actual realisation that they were truly grown up. They wouldn't be able to ask Dad for advice... It's been a steep learning curve but things are now taking their course, the organising and sorting helping to channel the grieving process.
I won't be writing a full report on Angouleme, but have posted pictures on the B.A.S.T.A.R.D.S. site as well as on facebook
The whole shebang was totally awesome, I saw the likes of Robert Crumb and Aline Kominsky, Sempé, Moebius, Fred, Willy Lambil, Lewis Trondheim, Blutch, to name but a few, and even handed over comics to Ivan Brunetti and J-C. Menu. There were exhibitions, a museum, talks, we were interviewed for Chilean TV, consumed a lot of pizza and wine. We stayed in a lovely house and didn't fall out. We met some wonderful people, especially the lovely Abby Denson and Tim Fish who had come all the way from the States to the LGBT stand. Not only does Abby write and draw great comics, she's a punk musician, and writes a blog about cake!

Friday, 5 February 2010


Some sketching on the train, including some(unfounded)worries about what to expect.

Saw Ivan Brunetti and Robert Crumb