Sunday, 28 February 2010


So This Saturday I headed over to the Japanese Art Festival in Richmond. It was my first visit to this con and it's a cute little one if I do say so myself. I didn't stay that long, however, as I had a meeting with one of my elusive and mysterious scriptwriters who happens to live in the area. Previously, at the Japanese embassy a couple of weeks ago, Sonia had cruelly and drunkenly tricked me into agreeing to accompany her to the Lolita in Wonderland event in Bethnal Green. Feeling I needed backup to avoid being torn apart for my lack of wildy-expensive imported frills, I cruelly tricked Kaz into tagging along. Bethnal Green's not the best place in the world to get a drink if you're dressed in full evening wear and studded rhinestone boots, but I managed to remember the existence of Bistrotheque, a very (very) groovy artists-cum-indie rockers hangout in a warehouse down a dark alleyway. So we all went for cocktails and discussed the artistic merits of Ero manga while Sonia regaled us with the stories of her sexual exploits that I really didn't need to know.

The Lolita show was actually much less terrifying than I had imagined. Annoyingly, Blondedebates had already skipped town by the time I staggered in, so I had to lean on Sonia and Kaz for moral support. We got into healthy debates on corsets, dungeon photography and the joys of nurses outfits with various people, defaced nearby walls with soon-to-be-priceless artwork and admired solid gold bespoke knee-high boots that I can't afford.

At that point my companions were forced to take their leave, so I walked to Brick Lane to indulge my bagel fetish. I thought i'd phone up Temujin and try and drag the evening out. Temujin had been drinking since eleven in the morning and could now barely talk, let alone come out to play, so I returned! And was very glad I did. I was able to witness Boykitten demonstrating the art of Japanese self-suspension bondage and had the finer points of the Lolita lifestyle expertly explained to me by Wing and her friend in wonderful tartan print Metamorphose (whose name escapes me). Finally I was utterly terrified by Wing's Ball Jointed Dolls. But then they always terrify me.

All in all, a magnificently weird night.

Monday, 22 February 2010

Of Late.

Okay so, first of all, Public security notice - R4ggs lost her phone on a bus. Again. No, I don't know where she is. Stop asking. Madrid, I think.

Lately I've been terrible at keeping up my new years resolution to be dull, stay in and draw comics. I noticed the Ambassador's Secretary taking photos in the Japanese Embassy Jiman reception, but I guess that comes with the diplomatic immunity. Suffice to say, I didn't take any- but the free wine was flowing and I was wearing the worlds worst skintight leather pants. So that was probably for the best.

I then headed out to the Phonogram Wake, which rolled on in tremendous style. I believe several people had to be carried home by their significant others. A quick recovery and i'm off to the Drop in and Draw event at the Notting Hill Arts Club with PhoenixBlue, again forgetting my camera. How JabberWorks does this stuff, I'll never know. I met her and Emma Vieceli (whose name I can now spell correctly on the first try) for way-too-much-sushi too, but more on that later.

I met up with Nana Li in Cambridge the other day to see the Sargent, Sickert & Spencer exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum. It's a good show, if a little on the small side- and with a somewhat tenuous link between the artists.
We also went Life Drawing, but I was wildly distracted by the Cambridge architecture dept's ceiling. That's going in a comic, for sure.

And Finally, Nick Abadzis is, as of Sat, a resident of Brooklyn NY! I dragged myself (all the way) over to Richmond to wave the good ship Abadzis on it's way. I met some of the old and new owners of TWAU and some very groovy Italian animators.

Right, I'm out. This week I will get some work done.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Mile End.

I recently moved into a house supplied by the Bow Arts Trust. They take old council flats where the tenants are moving out, and fill the empty spaces with artists. This keeps the squatters at bay, and also provides cheap housing in London for those crazy enough to make art for a living. (like me!)

Most of the flats are boarded up, there's great 70's graffiti all over the place and the whole thing looks like it's been made out of a single block of gray concrete. Seriously, It's like living in the Barbican.

Anyway, when I took the property on, the cleaners hadn't been in to clear out the stuff left by the previous tenants. As I entered I heard one of them shouting down to his colleagues; "Don't worry guys, doesn't look like there's any needles!"

I was planning to post up some before and after pics, to show the amount of work we've done on the place to make it our own, but it's not quite done yet, so you just get the "before". I'll put some after pics up soon, or none of you will want to come around for tea! It's not fantastic now, but at least if any of you ever see it when it's done, you'll at least know what we were working with at the start!

Since we're only in the house for a year, and we can do whatever we want with it, I want to get all my cartoonist friends to come over and paint one of their characters on the walls. (that means you, by the way) then it'll really be a home.

Also, When I first saw the house it was full of boxes and boxes of strange African on VHS drama shows , and porn. O_o

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Play Catch up.

I haven't blogged in a while.

This is because lots of cool stuff has been happening, I've been working on some heavy projects, my mac exploded, and I've moved house (twice). Anyway!

First things first, it's Angouleme baby!

Yes, it's that time of year when me ( and mum) run off to france to spend more money than we make in four months on beautiful comic books, drink our body-weight in bad lager and have slurred and pointless arguments with someone we later find out was the editor of Dargaud, or something. As usual, it's impossible to really explain Angouleme, so i'll stick with the highlights.

Cent Pour Cent:
In the new(ish) museum space the Cent pour Cent exhibition pitted 100 current masters against 100 greats, in continuing or accompanying a single page of comic artwork. I didn't really take it all in, as they had originals by Vaughn Bode, Posy Simmonds, Jack Kirby, Will Eisner, Chick Young, Moebius, Hérge

, Uderzo, Frank Frazetta, Winsor McCay (winsor McCay!

!) and loads more i've forgotten. Seriously, Winsor McCay! Outside was the statue of Hugo Pratt's Corto Maltese. I didn't even know this existed, but apparently it was there last time. He stands on the bridge connecting the old and new BD museums, defiant face to the wind. Awesome.

Also, me and mum got papped outside for a street style mag in Paris called "The Glam Attitude". Win.

One Piece /Makoto Yukimura:
I'm sure there are other places to see original manga artwork in Europe, but Angouleme is mine. It's always great to see real manga artwork up close as, unlike originals from US or Uk publications, I imagine they're pretty hard to come by. I missed seeing Makoto Yukimura talk by about five minutes. On the other hand I then wandered up the hill to one of the main areas and bumped into...

Barbara (goddamn) Canepa!:
When you're actually in Angouleme, you have to pretend you don't like things like SkyDoll. Otherwise the Art-comics aficionados peer over their reading glasses at you with barely concealed scorn. "Soleil!? A Quoi?" Don't really have much to add to this other than it was awesome, and that I saw her painting and you didn't. Ha Ha Ha.

Brits abroad:

Of course, the chatting to your friends and a million inspirational artists is really what the convention is all about, and it was fantastict to see the B.A.S.T.A.R.D.S represent'in. Angouleme is like a yearly shot in the arm as you're surrounded by great people who.... nope, can't keep this up, it's all about the Canepa.

Tomorrow I shall be talking about my scary new house.