Monday, November 27, 2006


You know that every 7 years your body and your mind change to an incredible degree? Your entire persona, philosophy, your little personal moral manifesto for wading through this earthly mire changes too, and that's why you should revisit that favourite book, or movie, often, because although it remains the same, the changes in you will alter the way you view the text.

Anyway, as you might have gathered I'm looking through my back-catalogue of work, published and unpublished, as it can often throw up some rewarding ideas (I found one or two full-page, full-colour cartoons from some old Fiestas and Clubs that I'll put online one day). I also came across something more recent, 'Super Guys', that I'm reworking to put on my WebComics Nation page, Leper Town (Liberton, where I grew up).

I wanted to fix the lettering, but I have had to redraw the thing because I coloured the original colour pages - some are half-tone) immediately. I drew the thing about 10x8, for a 9x6 reduction, so it's almost same size. I also drew it on Watercolour paper, and then I just got carried away I suppose and I coloured it with Acrylic inks. Despite playing with the tones and running it through Adobe Streamline I couldn't strip the original drawings down to line, so I've had to redraw. However, I do think the drawing and the script is a little better, so I may be improving with age.

I hope you're picking up the message here; if you do want to colour the originals make a good quality hi-res copy of the line drawing first, or make a copy and colour that instead of the original.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Prospect came today.

My contributors copy of Prospect came today, and I've got it on ice. I look through magazines very quickly at the cartoons, then at the snippets and headlines and then at the letters page and then I put it away until the evening when I will read it from cover-to-cover. I've always done this, grazed first and then put the material away until later. This applies to comics, books, novels, comic books, cartoon collections, even the ones I have cartoon in. The illustrator/writer, Eddie Campbell, has spoken of almost entering a different space and time for reading comic books but with me I think it's a case of delayed gratification. If I delay the full act of reading as long as I can, I can always look forward to reading the thing. I have to delay it this way because the moment I've turned the last page it's as if all the joy is sucked out of me. I visibly deflate and almost go into a state of depression, unless I have more things to read, that is.

I've looked at all the cartoons and I found one or two very funny. I can't laugh at mine (above), because it's mine and the joy went out of it when I finished it. I enjoyed the cartoons by my friends and colleagues Mike Lynch and Srini Bhukya and one that I'm sure is by one of our old friends whom we haven't seen a lot of recently, Ralph Hagen, it's about lawyers discovering America. Very funny gag.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

I just adore Ugly Betty

I heard that Channel 4 over here has picked up Ugly Betty to fill its old Friday night 'Friends' slot. This means they now understand you can't just put any old crap on at that time and 'they (the viewers) will come'.

Don't ask me how, but I'm on episode 6 of Ugly Betty, where Executive Producer (babelicious) Salma Hayek makes a real entrance, and it just keeps getting better and better. It's based on "Yo Soy Betty La Fea," the Colombian telenovela "Yo Soy Betty La Fea," but is very, very much like The Devil Wears Prada (very), but with more wit, humour and better cast.

Of course your hairdressing and fashionista community will love it, but even real two-fisted hero types like me just warm to America Ferrera's lovely smile. I think Betty reminds me a little of someone, but I can't say who.

Monday, November 06, 2006

I don't usually like 'ish'.

It's hard to avoid the odd 'ish' now and again. I think it's like 'etc' though, it's okay if it's written - though not in a formal essay or an article - but not used in speech. So I don't mind the odd 'etc' or 'ish' in speech, or on a blog, the register is usually pretty informal on a blog anyway.

So the period the teenage (remember I was about 6' 6" in my platforms and the hair colour makes the features look older) cartoons cover was around 72,73,74, so...73ish.

It would be fair to say I didn't like school, not that one anyway. I think at that time the State schools were staffed by vicious idiots with a deep hatred for human beings and little or no interest in education. I'm pretty sure you didn't need too many qualifications to teach in those days, because one of our teachers had a degree and we knew he had one and I'm sure others would have made it known they had similar qualifications.

I started Secondary at the age of 12 and left at the age of 17, and in that time 2 pupils went on to university and one of those was the daughter of a trendy left-wing professor. For some reason, meglomania springs to mind, the top three ranking teachers in our State-run Comprehensive school wore graduation gowns all the time. How funny is that?

I can now put B.A (English Studies), BA (Hons) and Dip H.E after my name, but that is entirely down to my own initiative and my adventures in further education. The State didn't even notice I could draw when I was at school so when I am invited to school reunions I refuse, but not politely.

Hi, I was in the Neighbourhood

Hi, I was in the Neighbourhood, fixing up the Cartoon Fiend blog (will fix Dave Blazek's pic's this week sometime), where I posted an interview with the ridiculously talented Tim Harries, and I thought I'd just drop in to say hello.

I will swing by again later to post another episode from my horrible late teen/Bowie-fan period, but in the meantime I thought I'd point you somewhere else, you see, while I was fixing the links on the Cartoon Fiend blog I remembered to add Chris Browne's updated blog info. I think there's a sort of magic about Chris's drawings. I can't explain it, really, you have to see for yourselves.

Chris Browne's Blog.

Chris Browne's Sketchbook.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

My God, we were weird.

More of that embarrassing teen period:

I think I came to the conclusion I was a living Art Object at about the age of 15. I had my leg in plaster for months (football/soccer injury) and spent a lot of time thinking, and I think I became unhealthily aware of myself. You know, as if my attention was split between doing what I was doing, and watching others watching me doing it. This awareness of me was not coupled with any self-enlightenment, I was very shallow, and seemed only to serve to disrupt my studies. I'm afraid that going out, and being seen, and looking good, took precedence and my schoolwork suffered.

My partner in crime throughout this period was my cousin Allan, now a Social Worker, who went to the same school and then after we were streamed was in the same class as me. I think, looking back, our antics were a little tame, but we caused enough of a minor stir in our environment to keep us amused and interested.