Saturday, June 30, 2007


Have moved, which went remarkably smoothly thanks to help from a splendid man named Adrian (possibly German, possibly Dutch, studied sculpture under Anthony Gormley, came to Cambridge to live on a boat and then didn't - available for all your van needs except during festival season when he'll be sleeping in the back of it) and a splendid very good friend.

I've already received my first visitor and my first begonia.

The new place is great, though arranging and rearranging the furniture will be the work of some weeks to find the best working/living balance (should the bedroom be a studio and the living room become combined living/bedroom? Should the bathroom become the billiard room? Should I swap the east and west wing around to confuse the enemy in the event of war?) Anyway, it's light, it's well located, it's big enough for my needs and it has a number of animal skulls mounted on the wall above the stairs. And it's mine all mine (in a rented kind of way). After some nervous flutterings a few days ago wondering if this was a sensible move I am now quite certain that it is. I am pleased.

Oh, incidentally, if you're a close personal friend and I haven't sent you an email with my new address then drop me a line. It's all been a bit haphazard and I kind of lost track of who I've told and who I haven't. Don't take it personally.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


I started to write a post about how boring packing is.

It turned out that writing about how boring packing is is even more boring than the packing itself. I just couldn't inflict it on you.

I shall return when more inspired.

Obviously, this post has itself been a source of great fascination, amusement and joy to you all. There is no need to thank me. Really, no need.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

from the archives, week 6 

From A6 sketchbook number 2, 1993.

Monday, June 25, 2007

FACA round 3 

Voting in the Northern Division of Fist-A-Cuffs has begun. Those who can vote, go vote. My fighter may or may not be involved in this round (but it's not either of these).

Sunday, June 24, 2007

the elephant in the room... 

...has made himself at home.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


packshot Thursday number 5: the banana 

Cheerfully yellow; full of vitamins; minerals and comic potential*; packaged in environmentally friendly, biodegradable packaging; subject of much nerdish trivia**; realistic banana flavour.

Ladies and gentlemen, the banana.

*My erstwhile colleague from my years as a cinema usher, splendid Mr Simon Broad, once told me that he had actually witnessed the act of someone slipping on a discarded banana skin. I felt an envy then that has seldom been equalled.

**Technically speaking the banana is not a fruit at all. It is, in fact, a small rodent.

NB Packshot Thursday will be taking a break for a week, or possibly two, due to my upcoming relocation. First one back should be a good one though.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Following drawings from 15 years ago, here are some doodles from within the last 15 hours, including some shapely ladies. Crikey.

from the archives, week 5 

A spread from A6 sketchbook number 1, circa 1992.

Actually, no, come to think of it the chap with the giant pencil relates to a job in early '93. Not that it makes a jot of difference to you, dear reader, but it's memorable to me as I'd just gone part-time in my bookshop job to spend more time with my pens, so it was cheering to get a commission from an actual bona fide publisher so soon afterwards.

Next week we'll be on to book 2 (so long as I remember not to pack it into a box before then).

Monday, June 18, 2007


Bit of a piffling, whiffling, woolly, wibbly, dibbly dobbly kind of day with some rather directionless drawing - started late and going nowhere very much at present.

But I did successfully give away some rather elderly tubes of oil paint to a woman called Umpleby earlier, so that's something. Do oil paints have a best before date? These were bought about 15-20 years ago I reckon. Maybe they're whole new colours by now. I'm trying to have a bit of a clearout generally prior to moving house (again - third time in about 8 months) a week on Friday so a few bits and pieces are going on eBay or Freecycle so that there might be fractionally less to pack.

My old iMac is next to go on Freecycle (thought about trying to eBay it but a similar model just went for £1.04 so it's not really worth the bother). From past experience I'm expecting a stack of people to want it which means my methods of whittling down the applicants to a manageable shortlist will likely be more to do with petty whims (hmm, aren't all whims petty? Oh stuff it) rather than anything much to do with working out who's most deserving.

The sender of the email in purple comic sans that ended in a double exclamation mark, for instance, doesn't have a hope.

Sunday, June 17, 2007


Pleasant Sunday full of tea, biscuits, the reading of a long interview with Lewis Trondheim (a cartoonist with his name on over a hundred books but who nevertheless describes himself as lazy) and some idle doodling. Nice.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

packshot Thursday number 4: Wilkin and Sons' rhubarb with ginger conserve 

Rhubarb. Now come on. Rhubarb. Enough with your cranberries and your blueberries already. Where's the love for rhubarb, eh?

And with ginger? Genius.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

look again 

Simon Gane. Blog. Go.

©Simon Gane


For those of you interested, battle has commenced in division two of Sam Hiti's latest splendid Fist-a-cuffs tournament ("Where drawings are voted to the death and the streets run black with ink."). My own fighter may or may not be involved - I'm not allowed to say and I'm playing by the rules. Take a look, vote if you can (you need a Blogger account to do so, I think).

(The Iron Kaiser and The Masked Platypus are © their respective creators, whomever they might be).

from the archives, week 4 

More from A6 sketchbook number 1, circa 1992.

Monday, June 11, 2007


Everyone should go look at the marvellous work on Mattias Adolfsson's blog. Fabulous, playful, funny, beautiful stuff.

©Mattias Adolfsson


Apparently... if you spend two hours hacking at waist high grass with a hand scythe on a sunny June evening it can set your hayfever off big time.

Who knew?

Thursday, June 07, 2007

packshot Thursday number 3: Tunnock's teacakes 

Here's a thing. Your supermarket, not content with being your grocer, wants to be your dry cleaner, your bank, your insurer and your broadband provider. Your phone company also wants to be your broadband provider, and maybe sell you some TV channels you'll never watch too. Your bookshop sells coffee, your coffee shop sells CDs, your record shop sells books. What place in a world of such diversification and multi-pie-fingering for your honest to God specialist? What place for a company that after over a hundred years in business still manufactures only half a dozen product lines? What place?

34 Old Mill Road, Uddingston G71 7HH.

Thomas Tunnock Ltd (Est. 1890) make six different types of bad for you chocolatey treats (or eight if you count milk and dark chocolate variants of the same thing separately - I don't and nor should you). I have never seen an advertisement for any of these products. They sell bloody millions of them. They're doing something right.

One of the things they're doing right is the Tunnock's teacake. Introduced to my purview a few years back by a wise and lovely friend this is essentially an igloo of particularly soft and gooey mallow on a biscuity base covered in a thin shell of milk chocolate. It is a simple, indeed unsophisticated, confection and all the better for it. It comes packaged in gorgeous foil like this...

...and tastes of your childhood. Sod your Proustian reveries over madeleines, get a Tunnock's teacake down your neck and you'll be back in short trousers and watching Tom Baker era Dr Who round your Nan's* in no time (at least for the duration of the sugar rush). It's an indulgence, it's a treat and it's a way of regressing to childhood that doesn't involve Paul McKenna. That has to be a good thing doesn't it?

*Dr Who actors and relatives may vary according to personal experience.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

from the archives, week 3 

Another from A6 sketchbook number 1, circa 1992.

This was a private detective character called Varney that I was playing around with at the time. She would later resurface in the comic strip project I worked on as part of my MA a half dozen years later. Quite why she's wearing a bunny costume is a mystery to me.

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