she makes war

Towards the end of last year, my friend Laura passed my details to her friend Laura, who records under the name She Makes War. Laura’s idea (that’s the second Laura, keep up) was to ask a few people to submit drawings, each illustrating a song from her forthcoming album, Little Battles. That sounds like fun, I thought. I remember poring over the illustrations that came with The Who’s Tommy LP as a kid (and being terrified by half of them), and Gary Lund’s illustrated insert to Harry Nilsson’s ‘The Point’ is one of my favourite things in the world, ever. Oh, and the cover (and insert artwork) from ‘Tricks Of The Shade’ by The Goats is bloody marvellous, too. And so, with those heady heights in mind, I told Laura I was game, she sent through the lyrics to a song called ‘Never Was’, and I set to drawing. Of course, I didn’t manage anything as eye-busting or memorable as the stuff I mentioned above but there you go. On Saturday, my copy of the album showed up in the post, and here – in the lyric book – is my drawing. Other people who took part include: Emma Carlisle Morgan Gleave Alex Milway Marnie Pitts (who also drew the cover for the album) John Riordan (who has blogged about his drawing here.) Viviane Schwarz Frøydis Simonsen Rebecca Strickson … and you can buy the album, which comes out next Monday (9th April)...

mocata

Charles Gray’s hypnotic, Satan-worshipping character from 1968’s ‘The Devil Rides Out’. Drawn for James Howard’s ‘Draw Hammer Horror’...

world toilet day

  Shockingly, one in three women worldwide face incredible risks (such as rape, or disease) simply because they don’t have access to a proper working toilet. To support the work that Water Aid are doing on the issue, I drew this short comic strip. It accompanies the film they made for  ‘World Toilet Day’ last November. You can find a copy of my strip in the latest issue of Oasis – Water Aid’s supporter...

mindless scrawl

As I mentioned the other day, I’ve been drawing from life so much (what with the public transport pictures) that I’d forgotten how much fun drawing without thinking was. Here’s a few pictures from the past day or two.   The last one was immense fun, drawn onto A1 black paper with a white pencil crayon. It took about an hour, I suppose. Here it is ‘in real life’, weighed down at the corner with a book, a notebook and a box of R. Crumb postcards. Without them, the paper would snap back into a tight tube and roll off onto the...

Memory Drawings

A poster for Memory Drawings‘ upcoming gig in Newcastle. Have a listen to them here, and buy tickets for the gig...

Stupid people

A couple of illustrations from a book pitch about the idiots around us, and how dumb we all are. Women who subject themselves to painful hair removal... … and people who still believe that cupcakes are, like, a...

three

  Ed Tudor Pole type at New Cross, 28th August.  St Pancras, 25th August.    Herne Hill. 9.20am. 27th...

shelton

While in Paris, I got to hang out with Gilbert Shelton, creator of The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers. I’ve been a fan of his since I was about thirteen or fourteen, I would think, so to sit and chat and eat and drink with him was a real treat. And what a lovely man Gilbert is. I’ll write up the interview properly sometime soon, but in the meantime, you can read a short piece that Matthew Rose wrote about the meeting (and other things) over on Philadelphia’s ‘The Art Blog’.  You can also see more photos (including the drawing Gilbert did for me) over on my new facebook page. Did I mention that yet? I...

cyclist

A few months ago, I overheard an obnoxious, whiney cyclist complaining about her lot. So, when the guys at the Tooting Free Press asked me if I could draw something for their first issue, I drew her. I did it back at the beginning of the year and I think it’s clear from the style that I some of Searle’s ‘New Mayhew’ drawings kicking about. It certainly looks a lot more considered and ‘traditional’ than the stuff I’ve been doing in the last month or two. Still quite like it, though. If you want to find out what she was complaining about, then you’ll need to get hold of a copy of the paper....

personagges

  For a few years, now, I’ve been writing articles about bande dessinée for Vingt Paris – an online, English speaking magazine about the French capital. Most recently, I got to pick up my dip-pens for them, and draw the kind of people you’d meet in and around various arrondissements. Some of my favourites are above (which you can also check out on flickr). But why bother with that, when you can head over to the newly-revamped Vingt Paris...

Radio silence

I haven’t blogged in an age, have I? Sorry about that. I am drawing. Honestly. But until they’re ready for you to see, here are a couple of other things. Telephone doodle.   Unused character...

the big dig

Last month, the guys at Water Aid asked if I would draw an image to form the backdrop to their tent at Bestival – a four day festival that’s held on the Isle of Wight each year. They were there to promote ‘The Big Dig’ – a campaign to help ‘bring clean water and sanitation to communities across Malawi, transforming their lives forever’. The drawing I turned in is a bit more sober than my usual stuff, as the last thing we wanted to do was ‘cartoon’ such an important issue. I was (and still am, if I’m honest) a bit unsure about it – but Water Aid liked it and the tent was a great success for them. So who’s arguing. Here are a few pics. The banner (held up by the printers. I’d like to think that the hand on the far left belongs to the guy on the right, but no). My drawing. Some festival goers, posing in front of the banner at the Bestival...

not drawing from life

I feel like I’ve spent too long drawing from life recently, what with the public transport pictures. So, to recharge, I’ve been doodling without trying to think too much about what I’m drawing. It’s been a lot of fun. I fancy doing a bit more of it. Yes. Even if I’m drawing chairs. For the third drawing, I was on the train listening to Bongwater. The speech balloon’s from a track on their Power Of Pussy album. I hadn’t listened to it on headphones since I was about...

glossy

Woman with a patent leather jacket, and (it seemed) patent leather hair. East London Line, between Dalston Junction and Whitechapel. 16th...

tube etiquette

Ashleigh Young is a New Zealander living in London.  On her blog, she wrote a lovely little piece about travelling on the tube, and she included a bit about my ‘public transport’ drawings. It’s great to see that the drawings strike a note with people like Ashleigh. And what she’s written about ‘tube etiquette’ is, I feel, exactly...

three

Circle Line. 25th April. 9.30am ish. London Cannon Street. 9th May. 9.20am ish. Southbound Victoria Line. 6.30pm (ish). 14th...

the middle class

I was contacted the other week, to see if I’d pitch to illustrate a book about ‘the middle class’. I was shortlisted with a few others, but in the end, someone else got the gig. Never mind. It certainly sounds like a lot of fun and I’ll try and remember to link to it once it’s out. Anyway. Here’s a couple of little roughs I put together for the...

drinkers

I went to the pub last night with Jacob. We sat and nattered, and I drew a few of the other people in there. These two sketches are the best of the bunch. Both drawn at Westow House, SE19. 12th January, 2012. (That second woman was on a date, we...

nautical

Poster for Fieldhead’s Canadian tour in...

dave

My old mate Dave, for a laugh. He said that I’d made him look...

mike mignola's hellboy

I decided on a quiet night in last night, and had a stab at drawing Mike Mignola’s Hellboy. I came to the character late; seeing the film before ever reading the comics (sorry, fanboys) – which may explain why I’ve drawn too many fingers on his ‘big hand’. Apparently it’s meant to have three fingers, not four. Like a Disney glove. Anyway. This was fun. The most fun I’ve had drawing in a while, in fact (and with a touch of serendipity, James Howard – on twitter – was about to suggest that people ‘draw hellboy’, so I submitted mine. You can see the rest of the submissions here). Initial sketch. Finished line art. Colour...

seaside fun

A friend was telling me how, next week, she’s off to see Rihanna, at the O2 in Greenwich. She last went along to see Beyonce, and the time before that, she’d also been to see Beyonce. But the time before that was eleven years ago, and she was visiting the O2 in its previous incarnation: The Millennium Dome. What was it like? I asked. Rubbish, she said, all of the stuff inside was just dreadful. Oh, I said. I did some of that stuff. At the time, I was working for a set building company in South London and, as a break from the work we were doing with Disneyland Paris (more here) a few of us began work on something for the Dome called (dreadfully) ‘The Living Island Zone’. The idea was that we would replicate a kind of candy-striped, end of pier, seaside look. And then we’d contractually plaster it with incongruous messages about the environment. A quick google turned up a couple of things I’d made with my friend Greer, in a warehouse in Woolwich. It all looks pretty ropey and amateur now, twelve years later. To be honest, it didn’t look that amazing back then. The mermaid’s right hand is on backwards, for God’s sake. But it’s still funny to think that someone has a family photo of their daughter, beaming away under a sign that says ‘24,000 deaths are linked to air pollution each year’ (I’ve no idea who the kid...

joker

A few days ago, the brilliant I.N.J Culbard posed an online challenge – to draw Batman’s arch-nemesis, the Joker. As is always the way, I’m late with my attempt. It was fun taking part,...

triptychs

Blimey, it’s been a bit quiet on here. Sorry about that. There are two reasons, really: I’ve been busy with other things, but most importantly, I’ve been unable to draw anything I really like. What’s the cartoon equivalent of writer’s block again? I’ve got a bit of that, I think.Perhaps I’m just rusty; so I’ve resolved to try and get something down on paper every night. Even if it’s awful, and I don’t like it, I’ll at least try to turn in a ‘completed’ drawing. The pictures above are from the last couple of nights; done for a friend who’s pitching an idea for an online game. They took far too long, but at least I finished...

you can serge that again

A big thank you to Jonathan Edwards for putting my second attempt at Serge Gainsbourg on his wonderful ‘Draw Serge’...

unfinished street scene

I found some pictures (from the tail end of 2007) that I hadn’t seen in a while, the other day; pictures that I’d zipped into folders and then burned to CDs. That’s one of the things about working electronically, I suppose; there’s no physical piece, and it’s all too easy to mislay what you’ve done. Anyway… This was one of them. It was an exercise really, and wasn’t really heading anywhere; rather, it was an excuse for me to try out a simple colour scheme and to mess about with ‘layers’ option on Photoshop. I quite like it, though. It’s nice to have a bit of a break from a drawing sometimes; and to be able to come back to it with fresh eyes and a bit of perspective. Only when what I’ve done isn’t complete bloody rubbish, of...

angoulême

A short piece I wrote about the Angoulême Bande Dessinnee festival for Vingt Paris.

Mike McMahon

In the early nineties, Jim Boswell and me walked into a Macclesfield pub with photocopied, stapled issues of ‘Weird City’, our first self-produced comic, and amazingly – they sold. If I ever get around to it, I’ll scan a few copies and put them up here. My contributions dwindled to nothing almost immediately – leaving Jim as editor for the rest of the five (or was it six?) issue run. And as I buggered off to University, he started attending ‘graphic narrative’ courses (or whatever they were called) in Manchester. Soon, a whole bunch of brilliant new people were contributing. Weird City ended up being called ‘a potential jewel in the small press crown’ in some review or other, and, by the time the thing folded, Jim had even managed to convince Glenn Fabry to draw a cover, gratis, after interviewing him about his work. I’ll transcribe that interview another time, but for now, here’s an interview that was printed with the fantastic Mike McMahon – a huge influence on many of the cartoonists I’ve spoken to who, like me, had religiously bought 2000AD as a kid. (The interview was by Peter Walker, by the way. Some time in ’93). Weird City: How did you first get into comics? Mike McMahon: I sent some samples to the War Picture library editor, and he thought they were alright, but he didn’t want to use them. So he sent me round to an agent, who was a nice middle class guy who assumed my name was Mike. Everyone really calls me Mick. I didn’t want to upset him so I said...

eat drink and be merry!

What you’ll needSome thin card, scissors, paper glue and a colour printer. And maybe an adult to help. Step onePrint out the image below, and glue it onto the thin card. Step twoOnce the glue has dried, use your scissors and cut along the dotted lines. Take the piece you have cut out, and fold it in two. This is the main part of your card. Step three Now to add the greeting. Print out the image below and cut along the dotted lines. Step fiveTake the main part of your card, so the inside is facing you, and glue the message onto the right hand side. And there you go. Happy Christmas from me to you. Have...

Gainsbourg

Un grande merci à Jonathan Edwards for including my ropey submission on his wonderful Draw Serge blog.

influence map

(I’m a bit late to this, but) I’ve seen a fair few of these ‘influence maps’ on other cartoon blogs and fancied a go myself. Of course, it’s not exhaustive (how can it be) but it’s fair to say that everyone on there has made want to pick up a pencil and have a go...

jarvis #2

As news of Pulp’s reformation is all over the web, I’ve had another crack at drawing Jarvis Cocker (not the modern bearded version, as such, but certainly a more recent version than this one). It’s just pencil and a quick bit of photoshopping at this stage, but I might work this up into something more...

hallowe'en 2010

A drawing for Sunday. Have a spoooOOOoky week, everyone. Here’s a Spotify playlist to get you even more in the...

Alice Neel's 'The Family (John Gruen, Jane Wilson and Julia)'

I saw this 1970 painting of Neel’s in the flesh on Sunday, and loved every inch of it. Exaggerated, beautiful and full of life. And I like the way you can work out the character of each subject from their shoes; the ones on the left are stylish as hell, but could probably kill you dead. It (and other pieces in the show – all the 1970 onwards stuff, anyway) made me realise how one-note my drawings are; and inspired me to get some more observation into the stuff I’ve been doing, really. Not that I’d ever be this good, but I’ve realised how much I rely on tricks; and how I seem to draw the same three or four characters over and over...

Goodbye, Cleveland

Sad to hear that Harvey Pekar has died. I first remember coming across him in the ‘Harvey Sez’ column in some reprints of Weirdo, when I was about fifteen or sixteen. Since then, I’ve read tons of his stuff (and taken in the excellent film of ‘American Splendor’ of course).There’s a real sea of autobiographical comics around, and the majority of them are introspective twaddle. Yet another illustration student talking about yet another unrequited crush? Boring. Pekar could certainly be self-obsessed, but he was obsessed with the other characters in his life, too. It made you care, and it’s what made his writing so interesting. RIP,...

motorcycle

I can’t believe I haven’t posted this already. Some CD promos for Keith John Adams from last year? It must have been. Anyway. Have a listen to Keith...