Friday, August 31, 2007

mistaken identity 

Had an email yesterday from someone at Out In The City magazine asking me my permission to reuse in print the images I had supplied three years previously for an online article about "the issues facing disabled LGBT people". Strangely I had no memory of such a thing (I also had to think for a moment about what LGBT stood for). It doesn't sound like something I would have entirely forgotten doing, wretched though my memory is. Luckily, jpegs of the illustrations in question were attached and the dark corners of the bean's interior were illuminated as I recognised the style. That'll be David Shenton, erstwhile housesitter for Steve Bell's If in the Grauniad, they'll be after then. I duly pointed the fellow Mr Shenton's way.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

from the archives, week 14 

S.O.B. A6 number 3, circa early '94.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

reading matter 

While also reading Elizabeth McCracken's wonderful The Giant's House and almost all of Tintin, I've just raced through an advance copy of Stephen Davies's The Yellowcake Conspiracy, a tale of high adventure and dodgy dealings in radioactive materials in Niger. It's proper exciting. Stephen seems to have effortlessly slipped up a gear in both sophistication and pace following his brace of Sophie books (as illustrated and front covered by me) for younger readers (Yellowcake is, I think, aimed at what children's publishing calls the Young Adult market, whereas Sophie was for somewhere around the 8 year old mark. Hopefully he'll correct me if I'm wrong).

I enjoyed it so much that I felt compelled to write him more or less a fan email when only three chapters into the story. Almost posted about it then too but held back in case it tailed off (in which case the follow up "actually the ending's a bit rubbish" post would have been somewhat embarrassing for all concerned). Happily, it retains a breathless pace throughout, kept me utterly gripped for the duration and actually made me say "Ooh!" out loud when something unpleasant happening to the hero is described with suitably shocking brevity. Very nicely done.

Anyway, out on September 6th and thoroughly recommended.

finally some real art 

Happily visited by big brother and nephews Ellis and Sam yesterday. The nephs ably demonstrated how much easier it is for young folk to learn new stuff than us old gimmers, whizzing away drawing and colouring on Photoshop and adapting to using a Wacom graphics tablet with remarkable ease.

Young Sam produced this meisterwerk in no time:

and Ellis this:

(both drawn on paper, scanned by the work experience guy and coloured in Photoshop).

But only as they were leaving did I notice that among their prolific output - sheets of A4 carpetting the front room - was Sam's reinterpretation of this:

which looked like this:

The boy's a genius.

Though, obviously, I shall regrettably have to sue him for breach of copyright.

Finally finished writing some children's comic scripts that I'd been rather dithering over after they'd gone. If they're approved then I shall largely be drawing lots of aliens for the foreseeable future which would be, you know, all right.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

from the archives, week 13 

S.O.B. A6 number 3, circa late '93.

Oh dear, this spread contains a rude word. I do apologise. Obviously, while I used to use such language 14 years ago, these days I have cleaned up my act entirely. And darn you to heck if you dare to suggest otherwise.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

from the archives, week 12 

S.O.B. A6 number 3, circa late '93.

Quite a bit that I don't much like here but a few points of interest: the recurring umbrella motif, the occasional use of dramatic chiaroscuro, the genitals...

Monday, August 13, 2007

succulent knees 

Spent a weekend in Happisburgh (pronounced Haze-borough), in Norfolk, with my oldest friend in the world, Tim and his family (wife, four children, sister-in-law, brother-in-law, their two kids) who are holidaying there. I swam in the sea (good), played with the kids (good), drank beer (good) at the pub with the surly - and possibly racist? - barman (bad) where, sitting outside, and having chosen not to spray myself with any of Tim's military grade insect repellent, my knees were feasted upon by winged beasties of the night (bad). And I generally basked in the warm quiet patient love of dear friendship (very good indeed).

I've known Tim a touch over thirty years now, was Best (hah!) Man at his wedding and am Godfather to his eldest son, Sam. This last position involves me ensuring the young man's spiritual well-being. This I achieve by remembering approximately one birthday in three and mostly getting his name right on the rare occasions that I see him.

And the misunderstanding with the horse's head in his bed has been more or less forgiven now I think.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

from the archives, week 11 

S.O.B. A6 number 3, circa late '93.

Monday, August 06, 2007

stuff I have done 

In recent days I have:

Submitted three (somewhat, ahem, sketchy) story proposals to a forthcoming children's comic.

Played cricket moderately badly and scored 10 runs (somewhat modest by most people's standards but a massive achievement for me).

Celebrated the team's victory by drinking some beer. Woke to find a sizeable ink stain on my duvet cover though the only pen in the vicinity was safely capped (and underneath my back). Mysterious.

Eaten a more fabulous Scotch egg than I ever would have believed could exist.

Played cricket badly and scored 5 runs.

Celebrated the team's victory by drinking some beer. Witnessed members of a stag party, in the latter stages of their evening, talking very earnestly together, by this stage utterly oblivious to the antlers they were wearing.

Got too hot.

Cooled down by swimming in the River Cam.

Reread several Tintin stories.

So - mostly pretty good just lately.

Now I am trying to draw a monkey.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

life of a pen part 2 - page 9 

Click image for larger version.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Fujiya & Miyagi 

Echoes (in a good way) of Gondry's Lego video for the White Stripes in this video by my friend's friend's brother's band, Fujiya & Miyagi. Painstaking isn't the half of it.

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