Saturday, 27 June 2009

On MJ.

1958 2009

Total Legend.

Monday, 15 June 2009

On Jeeves and on Wooster.

As I've worked this week I've been listening to far too much P.G Wodehouse. Most notably, the Jeeves stories. I find the two characters especially interesting. Here are two people who, in an almost Buddhist way, have found their path; their calling in life.

As Jeeves repeatedly exercises his intellect and supreme cunning we are forced to wonder, as does Bertie, why he spends his time pressing the young master's trousers. Similarly, we find ourselves with mixed feelings about Bertie. He is, without a doubt, a "good egg", but the lazy, foppish upper class twit he is jarrs with our modern ideals.

I find it interesting that the modern capitalist in me frowns upon Jeeves, for possessing such potential- and ignoring it in favour of Bertie's trifling problems. Nowadays we are judged on our position, achievements or wealth- and those who do not choose to climb the ladder, despite obvious skill, rub us the wrong way. As Master Wooster himself remarks; Jeeves should be prime minister by now.
In the same vein we (as modern Wodehouse readers) frown on Bertie Wooster for "not doing anything" with his vast wealth. Despite his admirable, yet stupid, character we resent all those who have not earned their money - and especially those not spending it on something appropriate.

I find both these characters very comforting. Jeeves does not "know his place" in the world- he is not forced to be a valet, he simply enjoys it. Despite intellect that could have him heading multinationals, he spends his time serving tea and mending socks. This is because he likes mending socks. He likes tea, and he enjoys serving. Similarly, Bertie likes lunching at the Drones Club, smoking cigars and having the odd whiskey and soda brought to him after dinner.

For various reasons this pair should be distasteful to our eyes- but Wodehouse forces us to see them differently. Who are we to complain if Jeeves wants to waste his talents on Bertie, and who are we to complain if Bertie wants to waste his money on Cigars? Who were we to complain that a valet should not get above his station, and who were we to moan that a young master should be a captain of industry, or a regiment.
Our modern, or dated ideals of how the world should work are all totally lost on Jeeves and Wooster, and so much the better.

Carry on gentlemen!


Ps: I had a dream last night that the cast of Harry Potter met up again when they were 35- now being divorced, bankrupt and/or addicted to crystal meth. It totally rocked.

Saturday, 6 June 2009


I've been messing with screen print-esque images lately, for a graphic novel pitch I'm (slowly) preparing at the moment. I had all the layers and textures already prepared, so I made fun of poor Garen Ewing while I was at it. Everyone else is doing it, I blame peer pressure.

Friday, 5 June 2009


Now, see, why don't the rest of my comics look like this? Probably because I can't draw for spit when i'm not working from life or a photo? Discuss.
Anyway, ink. I recently had what the cool kids call an "epic facepalm" moment when I realised that I should probably be using my world-weary crowquill (try saying that ten times when you're drunk) like a feather duster rather than a sledgehammer & chisel. Not to say that carving isn't useful when drawing, but somewhere along the way I seem to have skipped the subtlety that should come with ink. While I was inking this I was reminded of old Punch pen and ink illustrations. I don't know if you can find any collections of these wonderful etchings and drawings but they're well worth hunting for. I found four volumes of the Punch Picture library in an antique bookshop in Cornwall. Cost me a bloody fortune. Worth every penny. Also, while we're on the subject of ink and tone- all you manga people should do yourselves a favour and look at the etchings of Francisco Goya who, using copperpoint etching and aquatint (one of the most satisfying and deliciously poisonous art methods ever) in my opinion made better use of "screentone" ( and quite possibly ink) than anyone since.
Shouldn't have posted that etching up. Now my drawing looks totally crap. How big is that ear! Ugh!

Monday, 1 June 2009


I've been designing logos lately. I hate designing logos. Like, with a fiery passion. Logos for other people is even worse.
On the left you'll see the fun process I went through to carve out a Logo for the "John Blake" comic. Each one of these revisions had to be run past the publisher and further "tweaks" had to be made.
On the right you can see some of the logos i've made for myself over the years. I like big, iconic logos generally. The stronger the silhouette the stronger the logo, in my opinion, but that's a pretty uninformed opinion.
I wonder what it is that makes a good logo in the end? Obviously memorability, but how do you achieve that nowadays when we're bombarded with branding at all times? Also, the idea of riding alongside established branding has always confused me. "Apple white" is probably a good example of this. Slap enough translucency and reflections on your site icons and you can conjure up an image of crisp minimalism which is already established in the viewers mind thanks to other products.
It's all very psychological. I'm torn between wishing i'd studied graphic design, and being very glad I didn't.