Friday, February 24, 2006


Another trip to smelly London yesterday. My main purpose, this time, was to retrieve about 120 copies of Sentence, an anthology comic that I contributed to a few years ago, from the premises of Red Route Distribution (as they're closing down). But before heading out to their picturesque offices, situated in a leafy glade under the Westway, I went out (by bus - a rare adventure!) to Dalston to call upon noted illustrator, writer, multi-instrumentalist and beard wearer Mr Joel Stewart. I've been reading Joel's blog for a while now and he interests me strangely so I asked if I could come a-calling and, kind and foolishly, rather than set dogs or lawyers on me he said that that would be fine. And a very pleasant hour or two was whiled away in his studio with only occasional moments of the particular modern awkwardness of transforming virtual acquaintance into its real life counterpart. Indeed, once I had got over the initial disappointment of his not, after all, being a busty blonde nymphette called Helga all went pretty swimmingly (save for my faltering attempts at playing simple chord progressions on his uke while he demonstrated all manner of whizzy cleverness on banjoes and guitars). Mr S, I thank you again for your generous hospitality.

Thence it was onwards to Red Route to pick up the books and chat briefly to the lovely Mr Tony Bennett (of Knockabout Comics), thence offloading some books at a location in South Kensington before heading on to tea (for by now it was, indeed, teatime), chat and a couple of shortbread fingers at m'good friend Ruth's place in Finsbury Park. And then home and an evening of doodling and quiet regret that Joel never turned his back long enough for me to steal all his drawings. Curses!

Helga is never, not ever, allowed to interact with guests.


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