Thursday 11 December 2008

LUC Christmas party

This Saturday will be the culmination of an extraordinary year for comics in London and the Camden crew along with many other creators and their friends will be exhibiting art (click for full listing), selling comics, partying and generally having a good time all day in this central location.
Come on down and start celebrating Christmas in a sequential art stylee and rub shoulders with the likes of Oli Smith, Dan Lester, Sean Azzopardi and Oliver Lambden!
They might draw a picture! And let you buy it! How cool is that?
Or you could simply have a few drinks and enjoy the scintillating company at the LONDON UNDERGROUND COMICS CHRISTMAS EVENT.

Sunday 7 December 2008

Mexican wave and suds wash the blues away

Another week of extremes. From a couple of days of pressure on the work front, to being ripped off by my dentist, to Ned landing in hospital. The midweek drama came as an utter shock, and Ned's twenty four hours on a drip have shaken up everything we believed safe.
We will be needing to take a long hard look at ourselves and probably make some changes. Thankfully we were able to bring Ned home on thursday evening.
On friday we were joined by Krissie as we set off for Brighton to enjoy a performance of Caryl Churchill's Cloud nine by the Sussex University Drama Society (SUDS) and starring among others LUCY TESCO playing a lesbian, a sexy widow and a governess (also lesbian).
Drawing a parallel between colonialism and gender and sexual oppression, the play manages to examine the issues with humour. Both direction and acting were excellent, and the laughter a welcome diversion from recent events. To be reunited as a family however briefly was a much needed bonus.
By saturday Ned was off to a poker night, and Nick and I repaired to the Roundhouse to boo and cheer along with Lucha Libre, that I would dub the most fun night out in town!
Midgets, transvestites and musclemen in tights and masks throw themselves and each other around the ring and out of it, in a hilariously exciting display, part pantomime, part acrobatics, cheered on by a taco and margarita-fuelled audience.
We were seated ringside, surrounded by little (and some not so little) boys in masks, shouting abuse and encouragement at the rudos (baddies)and tecnicos (goodies) wrestling up a sweat just a couple of feet away.
Imagine how thrilling it was to have EL MISTICO thrown over the barrier virtually into my lap, spilling my frozen margarita and landing in his lycra clad glory at my feet...

Wednesday 26 November 2008

Of mice and matter

Last night we went to the Soho Revue bar to catch the splendidly tuneful and musically eclectic
Oh Atoms whose catchily poppy Sugar Mouse should be huge.
And I finally got round to reading Matter from Philip Barrett.
I swapped a couple of mine for issues 1 and 7 with him at Leeds, both very accomplished in terms of storytelling and art. Issue seven has a Daniel Clowes vibe, a kind of Twilight zone story, creepy with a twist, and brilliantly drawn.
I have now produced four canvasses for LUC's Christmas do at the Alphabet Bar.

Monday 24 November 2008

Comica Comiket

Saturday at the ICA. What can I say? GOOD DAY. Lovely venue, fantastic tablemates and shifted some stock.
Not so good that Lucy got her phone jacked by some pikey on her way out of work, but then Nick brought her to the after show pub and a couple of G&Ts put a smile back on her face.
Managed a few sketches – a couple of which I'm quite pleased with, and picked up a handful of comics I haven't yet had a chance to look at.
Last night we went to The Soho revue bar to catch the splendidly tuneful and musically eclectic Oh Atoms whose catchily poppy Sugar Mice should be huge. And I finally got round to reading Matter from Philip Barrett. I swapped a couple of mine for issues 1 and 7 with him at Leeds, both very accomplished. Issue seven has a Daniel Clowes vibe, a kind of Twilight zone story, creepy with a twist, and brilliantly drawn.
I have now produced four canvasses for the Christmas do at the Alphabet Bar

Sunday 16 November 2008

Leeds Thought Bubble

Leeds was fun. I shared a table with Jake, Oli and Emma. On Friday night I had been to the Royal Academy with Jackie and taken in both the Byzantium and the Magritte/Braque/Giacometti shows but stayed mercifully sober as I had to be up at 6am Saturday morning. Nick was a hero and drove Richy, Dan and myself the 200 miles up North.
Didn't sell much but enjoyed the company and the atmosphere, watched the usual convention weirdos in costume waft around, and did a few swaps. I traded a copy of my new one for rather a lot of stuff from Rob Jackson including the excellent Bog Wizards, with its accompanying booklet deconstructing the ducktastic adventure, and Train to Shanghai, another warm and funny slice of Rob's travels in the far east, full of the bewildered observations of a westerner in an alien society.

We bought a Green lantern comic for Ned and after a few drinks at the Novotel with some of the gang we set off back down the M1 to London, the journey unremarkable but for a strange encounter at a motorway service station. On seeing a young woman flagging down cars, and worrying for her safety at such a late hour, we slowed down on approaching her only to be vehemently shooed away with some choice words. She wasn't hitchhiking and we were apparently obstructing business...
Oh and I didn't win the Observer competition AGAIN.
My submission is above (2 pages this year)

Friday 14 November 2008

Titillating tomes and monkey business

Last week I was in Paris yet again, where I visited the very strange but brilliant Musee de la Nature et de la Chasse, choc full of dead things, weird installations and talking trophies. In this country there would no doubt be a bunch of animal rights protesters stationed outside.
Across the road from the hospital where I was visiting my friend, for a few euros, I picked a copy of Tijuana Bibles, a compendium of racy mini comics from the 30's and 40's. Popular characters, movie stars and cultural icons like Aunt Jemima get down and dirty in these tiny eight page porno strips.

Since my return, the Tesco household has been graced by the presence of a fellow cartoonist, currently between residences.

And, no, this is not Dan Lester waiting for his turn in the bathroom at my house but the aforementioned museum...

We're off to Leeds tomorrow, so look out for my new tome if you're there...

Thursday 6 November 2008

Publishing sensation

The complete edition of TMNTW is FINALLY ready and I am holding it in my sweaty hands.

It is already available on the LONDON UNDERGROUND COMICS stall in Camden Market, I will be at LEEDS THOUGHT BUBBLE on Saturday 15th and at the COMICA COMIKET at the ICA on the 22nd.

To purchase your very own copy CLICK HERE!!

Wednesday 29 October 2008

Overworked and over here

It never rains but it pours.
I've been juggling jobs for a week now, putting in twelve hour days to keep up with the volume. But I'm not complaining.
It all contributes to financing that rather expensive habit of mine – no, not the drink or the drugs, and most definitely not the gambling (never saw the point of that one) – but the producing of ilustrated pamphlets for the amusement of a rather select public. And trips to Gay Paree. My collected edition of TMNTITW is at the printers as we speak, and I would love to get something new out for Leeds which is only two weeks away.
Had a most excellent night out at the Barbican last week grooving to the exotic sounds of Africa Express, a star studded extravaganza of some of the top musicians from that continent, from Toumani Diabate through Amadou and Mariam and culminating in the godlike Rachid Taha, who can do no wrong in my eyes ever since I heard his version of "Douce France" with Carte de Sejour.

The highlight of this weekend will be Halloween; my little nieces are coming over from Paris for the express purpose of a spot of trick or treating in the spooky neighbourhood of Kensal Rise.

Monday 20 October 2008

8 Stories by Rob Jackson

Rob Jackson's latest looks great on the outside and doesn't disappoint. As it says on the tin, there are eight stories here. The tone varies agreeably throughout; the quite poetic opening tale, written by Shonah Ingram, of the City by the Lake, and a couple of sketchbook/diary type pieces – one of South Korea, another covering a night out at a gig – are interspersed with more obviously humorous strips. All are shot through with Rob's warm, wry, self-deprecating wit.
My personal favourite, if I have to pick one, has to be the tale of adventure and horror entitled Blood and White Water as it rings quite a few bells in this house.
Rob's words and pictures complement each other beautifully. In the more linear stories, his drawings illustrate the action in a wonderfully clear fashion, while elsewhere raw jottings translate thoughts and mood.

Publishing news, Paris and a party in a pub

Listen up all you good people in blogland: my collected edition of TMNTITW is at the printers as we speak and will be available shortly!!! I will be updating my website as it is no longer available in its original format as four comics as I have completely sold out.
Having safely despatched the files to the printers, I skipped over to Paris again for a few days last week to attend to some family business and catch up with an old friend. My friend unfortunately had been taken seriously ill so I ended up catching up with him in intensive care (I have since my return received some more optimistic news).

Along with some other more serious activities, I fitted in a visit to the Museum d'Histoire Naturelle in the Jardin des Plantes with my brother and nieces, a wonderfully old fashioned collection of dinosaur skeletons, pickled organs and two headed piglets in jars, all crammed into a quaint late nineteenth century building and refreshingly un-jazzed up. The larger dinosaurs hadn't been dusted for so long they appeared snow-capped.


I returned in time to head straight to a pub in Euston where London Underground Comics were celebrating a year of success and good times with their usual exhuberance. Lots of testicle grabbing and a good time was had by all.

Wednesday 1 October 2008

Planes, trains and communication

Getting to and from Paris by air was a bit of a pig, involving a lot of sitting around in Terminals. Good for sketching but Eurostar gets you there so much quicker!
Check out this fantastic review of Most Natural Thing on Forbidden Planet. And only a couple of weeks ago Rob Jackson posted this about Nasty Habit on his excellent blog.
It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside to know that people out there are reading my comics and getting them.

No, I didn't pay them and they're not even related to me or nothing...

Oh and look at this picture of ME. So young and already so talented.

Thursday 25 September 2008

Emotional rescue

This year has indeed been extraordinary. As a key player in my life left the building, another I thought lost forever reappeared. My trip to Paris turned into a different kind of journey as ancient wounds were reopened and examined and long buried feelings reawakened.

Wednesday 17 September 2008

Coming soon

I am now Dan Lester's bitch having done the artwork for a 3 page story which should appear in the next anthology, hopefully ready in time for Birmingham.
Here are a couple of preliminary sketches.

I shall be attempting to reach Paris once again this weekend, this time by air...

Friday 12 September 2008

Fire in the hole

A truck bursting into flames inside the Eurotunnel has made it impossible to get over the channel so I'm still here. That's the third time in the last nine months that fire has touched my life in some capacity.

Once again I deny any involvement, but does this all mean something?
Have I developed uncontrollable superpowers like in Heroes, and one day I will learn to harness them and take over the world, MWAH HA HA HA!

Er... got a bit carried away there.
It's coincidence. Definitely.
Either way I'm not really much cop at this superpower lark or I would be in Paris now.

Wednesday 10 September 2008

Once more into the breach

Hello my brethren! I'm back on top of things as I'm busy beavering away on my entry for this year's Observer competition. It's a good feeling after a summer of being blocked. Admittedly there were extenuating circumstances but I always feel that bit more alive when I'm creating something new. It may be shit but it's MY shit. And here's a sneak preview.

There has been some pretty disturbing stirring up of ancient history of late which has been occupying a lot of space in my little brain, hence the creative block, but I seem to have got to a place where I can compartmentalise.
I'm back off to Paris for ongoing family business and catching up with some more of my past.

A quick word to express how much I enjoyed The Dan Lester Mysteries "Marked for Death". That man can certainly tell a tale, and if even half of it is true I will keep my kids well away from him, after all he is sleazy Dan Lester and has been known to bandy words like balls about. The cover is gorgeous and the lovely Oliver has done a stirling job of the artwork.

Tuesday 2 September 2008

Low Energy Day

Another brilliant day out with all the London Underground collective and all those other fab creators who made it to Camden on Saturday. A bit lighter on punters than the last one, no doubt due to the very warm weather (phew what a scorcher), so consequently not so lucrative. Not having any new product to push may have had some bearing on the matter too...
CLICK HERE to see more pics of the event.

Just finished part 7 of Paul Rainey's There's No Time Like the Present, a dystopian fantasy set in a Milton Keynes not a million miles from now, where time travel exists and the future is accessible online via the ultranet. Not normally a great fan of science fiction , I find this tale utterly gripping, as the story is just as much about two average blokes dealing with their frustration in an ordinary world and their inadequacy communicating with the opposite sex as it is about time travel. The characters and dialogue are written with a deadpan wit and Mr Rainey's beautifully clear drawings make it a pleasure to read.
Also got my hands on the new Bedsit Journal Issue 3 hot off the press, as well as the Dan Lester Mysteries.

Thursday 28 August 2008

Back on track

Back at work and looking forward to LOW ENERGY DAY in Camden on Saturday. It should be a fantastic day with even more creators than at No Barcodes, more punters than ever what with it being summer, and all those people who missed out last time not wanting to make the same mistake twice.
Unfortunately due to events beyond my control, there will not be any addition to the collection of titles I will be hawking but others have been more productive. I'm looking forward to the Dan Lester Mysteries along with several other new releases.
Popped down to the stall to see the lads briefly last week and everyone is gearing up for LED. David Baillie is gathering portraits of and by participants in a gallery. Check out all the contributions HERE, including a Jake Harrold by yours truly.

Friday 15 August 2008

My Dad

London 03/10/24 –
Courtonne les deux eglises 08/08/08

Tuesday 15 July 2008

Summer Madness

Not been massively creative of late, been a bit preoccupied organising the logistics of a large family spread out in several countries taking turns spending time over the summer with parents in varying states of health in separate houses at opposing ends of France. Aaaargh.
Did however get round to creating a logo for the next London Underground Comics event, LOW ENERGY DAY at the end of August. Which should be a hoot even if it's half as successful as No Barcodes.
A toast to Oli's new abode in Camden last Friday night with Sean and Alex and a few others made a welcome distraction from the tedious business of getting things together for friday's departure.
And the best news today is the arrival of little Johnny,the cutest baby in comicsland. Congratulations to Ma and Pa Medway!!!

Monday 30 June 2008

Food, drink, comics

Last Tuesday Alex Fitch organised a most pleasant evening of food, beer and chat about comics at the Stockpot. An excellent idea. I hooked up with Richy Tempolush and we headed down to the West End to join Alex, Sean Azzopardi, Dan Lester and Jimi Gherkin and meet some new faces. Dan Berry is launching a BA course in graphic novels in North Wales, and brought along two very talented students, David Procter and Alec Parry Jones. Gemma writes an intriguing fanzine while Sarah Lightman makes diary art and recently curated an exhibition on the theme.

Last night I met someone who told me about new research into brain function that reveals that the frontal lobes which control planning and thinking through the consequences of our actions don't fully finish developing until early adulthood. So I guess teenagers really are acting their age when they keep not thinking ahead.

Oh and Lucy passed her Baccalaureat! With a "mention bien"! School's out forever!

Wednesday 18 June 2008

It's a small world

I have joined Smallzone, a new online group that describes itself as the ongoing virtual convention. It's a wonderful idea to be able to keep in touch with the comics brethren, but typically I'm still working out what to do with it. Never having had a facebook I'm not quite as au fait with chatrooms as some.

In between stints of paid work, I'm currently working on my contribution to Jim Medway's Garden Funnies while jotting down some new stuff as it comes out in the raw. One can never have to many ideas lying around. Nothing is wasted in the long run.

I've been extra lovely to Lucy all through her exams and caught the Sex in the City movie with her and Lola. The film doesn't disappoint; it's like a good episode but longer and they haven't all had plastic surgery which is refreshing.
But this month so far seems to have been dominated by various extended family concerns – aged parents and summer and stuff.
Thankfully there are comics... and friends... oh and the sun has been making the odd appearance...

Thursday 12 June 2008

Another event announced

Here's a link to Pens, pencils and photocopiers!- A comics and zine event organised by Jimi Gherkin due to take place on Saturday 19th July 2008 at The Plough in Museum Street WC1

Sign up now for table space.

Monday 2 June 2008

No barcodes pics

Eagle award-winning
Tom Humberstone
Richy K and "Smurf" Murphy
leering at the ladies

For the rest of Saturday's pics click here

Oli Rocks!

Did you have to eat that kebab, Oliver?
NO BARCODES was a resounding success. Between forty and fifty exhibitors showed up and mingled happily in an atmosphere of bonhommie and camaraderie, meeting old friends and new faces, checking out each others work, and even selling comics to passers by. I shared a table with the charming Marc Ellerby and sparkly Sally Anne Hickman who did very well with her very tactile productions - fur, flock and glitter certainly draw the punters in, there's a lesson for all of us here... Sean and Oli were on our table too but spent the day being mine hosts, introducing people, recording the event and running the regular stall round the corner.
Due to being stuck in the middle of a row, I had to squeeze past Jake H quite a few times as he beavered away inking his magnum opus. He never complained once and put us all to shame with his cheerful industriousness.
I met Paul Rainey whose excellent No Time Like The Present I had picked up in Bristol, I bought a copy of Tom Humberstone's My Fellow Americans, and sweet Mikey made me sing on camera (view the shame here) .

The very low table price meant there was minimal pressure and I imagine everyone will have recouped their costs,and made a profit, unless they travelled a very long way. The weather was clement and the rain held off and we all wandered round to the pub and downed pints by the canal feeling all warm and fuzzy from the good vibes.
And Ned finally got to meet Gary Northfield.

Thursday 29 May 2008

NO BARCODES approaching fast

Been a bit remiss, not done much posting recently.
A few things to report. Dropped by the stall saturday morning. Went to the theatre in the evening to catch Mr Phill Jupitus' fine performance in Life Coach at Trafalgar studios, his first venture into straight acting in the West End. He was excellent as was the whole cast and the play was both amusing and quite touching.
Been beavering away for the last three days in readiness for the big event this weekend. Caught up with the lads at Tom Humberstone's book launch in King's Cross last night. Had a couple of beers with Oli, Sean, Oliver, Dan, Alex and met Sally Anne Hickman.
David Baillie has done a grand job interviewing some of us exhibitors and posting the results. You can read mine here
Looking forward to seeing all you fabulous people in Camden at NO BARCODES this Saturday! Click here for info and map.

Monday 19 May 2008

Nice review

Things are already looking up: I found this nice review from Andy Luke here. Thanks.

Sunday 18 May 2008

From bad to worse

This last week has evolved from bad to catastrophic from the moment I got back from Bristol.
The Lucy hospital incident, followed by the Nick job termination (not exactly a surprise), were trumped later in the week by Hugo's flat being gutted by fire, leaving my brother and his family homeless although mercifully still alive. And to top it all, when he went to see our mother to tell her the bad news in person, not wanting to shock her over the phone, he found her so unwell already that she had to be rushed to hospital.
Sorry about the downbeat tone. Hopefully next week will bring better tidings.
P.S.: Turned out not to be as serious as originally feared and she's back home on antibiotics after a night of tests and investigations.

Tuesday 13 May 2008

From Gay Paree to A&E by way of Bristol

Returned from Paris on Thursday night after a couple of days visiting the folks. A spot of stapling on Friday night after work and I was set for my first ever Bristol Expo.

My day trip turned out just fine. The company was fab and I made the right call for once and dressed appropriately as it was somewhat oven-like in the convention hall.

Digging the nerdfest
... Above: David and Jake; below: Oli, Sean, David and Oliver

Managed not to miss my train and got there in time to meet up with the LUC gang and their hangovers for kick-off. There was a massive queue waiting to get in even before it opened with a large sprinkling of daft buggers in superhero garb – those stormtroopers and Darth Vaders must have been cooking inside their costumes. Or maybe it was some kind of sponsored slimathon...
The stall was heavily manned with seven or eight of us sharing the two chairs in rotation. Did a fair bit of circulating around the hall and bumped in to a few familiar faces. And I dared Sean to steal an apple at the Ramada. We're so rock'n'roll.
By the end of the day my feet were killing me and Richy and I managed to lose Jake on our quest for food with the help of Sean's crap excuse for a map.
It all turned out OK. We eventually stumbled upon the Weatherspoon by accident and everyone gradually drifted there including, finally, Jake who was most pleased to have found not only a branch of Subway in his wanderings, but also the car he had lost earlier that morning.
Had to leave before the Eagle Awards to get my train back to town.
I arrived home at midnight just in time for a whole other drama to unfold.
Suffice to say that not a lot of sleep was had as I fielded calls from Nick from the hospital until he got home at 6am. I brought Lucy home on Sunday afternoon, thankfully with no lasting damage, but we were all pretty shaken by the incident.
And so relieved that I had decided to only go for the day.
Everything happens for a reason.

Tuesday 29 April 2008

Neither shipshape nor Bristol fashion

Feeling a bit bummed as Bristol is looming and I had hoped to have a new mini comic for it and instead I keep having to do WORK!
Still shouldn't complain. After all I do like sleeping in a house, eating decent food, wearing clothes and stuff like that but why oh why must the pesky details of real life like paying mortgages and bills and shit have to interfere with the joyous business of comic making.

Although if truth be told I mostly like my paying work - it's just there's never enough TIME!

Anyway, Sean has done a splendid job and produced a poster for The Camden Con and Oli dazzled us with his brilliance on Radio 4 yesterday (you can hear it here).

Bristol is only ten days away and it's pissing down with rain.

Tuesday 22 April 2008

Nice remarks

I just found some nice remarks posted about ME by the very talented David O'Connell, creator of Tozo, here.
How nice is that?

Monday 21 April 2008

No Barcodes announced

Things seem to have got busy again, with regular strips and recurring freelance jobs fitting in and around subbing shifts.
Met up with Oli, Sean and Dan on thursday for a little reconnaissance mission in Portobello for a future convention site.
That one will be taking place later in the year,
but the exciting news is the official announcement of NO BARCODES, the London Underground Comics convention on Saturday May 31 2008 at Camden Lock Market.

Should be a fantastic day with all the jolly crowd from the stall plus all you lovely small press creators out there who want to come along and join in the fun. It will be free to punters and only about £7 to exhibitors – much better value than your average convention!
Check out the fabulous trailer video and further details of how to take part at

Sunday 13 April 2008

Artybookshoppy party

Persuaded Nick to come and enjoy a couple of beers at the launch of the fabulous London Underground Comics window display on friday night and very jolly it was too. And ended in a Brick Lane curry.
Took Ned to the stall Saturday where he knocked off a few likenesses of the guys (for less blurry pictures of friday night and Ned's pics look here).
Then went home and cooked couscous for ten people.
Got up this morning and knocked up a few flyers for the upcoming Camden Comics Mini Con. Damn I'm good!

Sunday 6 April 2008

Brighton breezy

Popped down to the seaside for a lovely outing yesterday. Didn't actually see the sea as we spent a leisurely afternoon in the pub at the Gladstone Mini Con, meeting other creators, drinking beer and even selling the odd comic. Managed to bag the last half table and shared it with groovy Jimi Gherkin. Had the pleasure of meeting Dr Parsons and the Sound of Drowning among others but headed back to town before the evening's musical entertainment. All in all a very convivial event and, I would venture, a successful format.

Woke up this morning to find that it was snowing. A thick white blanket lay over the garden and the cemetary behind and more was coming thick and fast. Ned rushed out to the park for some winter fun with his mates. By mid afternoon, it had stopped and melted away as quickly as it appeared.

Tuesday 1 April 2008

Spring is sprung

Tulips appearing in my garden and a little ray of sunshine to make everyone more cheerful. So far have been fortunate enough to have avoided the bug that has been striking people down left right and centre.
Been catching up with old friends and sorting out work as well as thinking about contributions to publications.
Camden again on Saturday. Spent some time on the stall in the afternoon then back to Chalk Farm in the evening for a few drinks with the Egan clan ending in slightly disgraceful behaviour (i.e. dancing) with Maire "Eileen" Fahey and Anne Witchard.

A few pics from the stall at various times:

Sean's new gloves

And the award goes to...

Dan the man

More fun and games last night with the aforementioned Egans plus Heva and the chichiraras.