Saturday, November 29, 2008

Westivus

I thought about designing some Christmas cards this year, but thinking is not doing. This is a tradition, I have thought about designing Christmas cards every year since 1999.

Here is a little picture that is as far as I got.



Oh well, maybe next year friends.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Surf City

For one day and one day only I am overexcited about the new, new sound of Surf City. Their sound is somewhere between Animal Collective and Flying Nun NZ bands of the 80s like The Chills. I think their self-titled EP is the first genuinely exhilarating new record I've heard this year (and I've heard dozens). Listen to them in the My-space.

In other news, you now follow my blog on Facebook.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Oh wait

As it is nearly the last month of the year, I am compiling my album chart of the year and trying to listen to every notable disc released in 2008 before deciding if each is a flash in the pan or a monument to our times like Fairweather Johnson by Hootie and his Blowfish. In common with previous years I will try to work out what people see in Deerhunter (answers on a postcard) as it never sounds anything like the reviews say. I think I have spent more money trying to understand Deerhunter than I have on other bands that I actually like.

To warm up, here are my top ten records from this year that weren't released in 2008.

1 PETER GABRIEL 2 - Peter Gabriel (1978)
I only bought this because I liked the cover, having long laboured under the impression that it was full of prog nonsense and downbeat sentiments. Actually it is full of scissor-kicking synth pop and Robert Fripp and you can get it from Oxfam for £2.99.

2 DREAMS COME TRUE - Judee Sill (r. 2005)
Judee Sill was a nun, a prostitute, a heroin addict and at one point married to "Whispering" Bob Harris. This is not the record you might imagine it would be.

3 SWOON - Prefab Sprout (1983)
Their debut, produced by Field Music's dad (I think). Tricksy sounding!

4 THE BIG SHOT CHRONICLES - Game Theory (1986)
I downloaded this from a blog but if the band want royalties I will send them by all means.

5 NEVER HEAR THE END OF IT - Sloan (2007)
I bought this last year but it was 76 minutes long and impenetrable (judging by the 7 or 8 copies in Vinyl Exchange, I was not alone in feeling this). It turned out to be their best album by miles.

6 HEAVEN OR LAS VEGAS - Cocteau Twins (1990)
7 TALLAHASSEE - Mountain Goats (2002)
8 OLA PODRIDA - Ola Podrida (2007)
9 EAGLE vs SHARK OST - Phoenix Foundation (2006)
10 DOWNTOWN COCALUCCIA - Julia Hummer (2005)

The club is open

I don't have anything to write on the blog at the moment. It's entirely possible that my brain has failed. But I should mention that Titan Books were kind enough to send me this:



A sophisticated infant, I had a pretty good idea of the difference between an average illustrator and a genius even at a young age (I can remember expressing forthright opinions as such as early as 8 or 9 years old), and I can remember attempting to copy Jamie Hewlett's spot illustrations from Commodore User when I was 11. As meek and moderate youth, Tank Girl's anarchy seemed distasteful to me, but I have never stopped enjoying (and learning from) Jamie's artwork and The Cream Of Tank Girl is full of his great drawings, alongside looks back to the fertile late 80s UK indie comics scene.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thought Bubble

Yes, good news for the people of Leeds, you can meet me at the Thought Bubble Festival on Saturday, I will use the wiles of Giffen and Bonxie to trick you out of your money, then you can stumble around and wonder how I managed it with only a papier maché seabird and his "friend" of indeterminate genus.

There are lots of talented types to see there, here is a list of a few who are worthy of a look:

Adam Cadwell - "Manchester's Mr Drawing"
Chamonkee - really beautiful artwork
Oliver East - his 'Trains Are... Mint' is bucolic brilliance
Marc Ellerby - apparently he is "always tousled"
Liz Greenfield - the former Stuff Sucks impressario has developed a spectacular new visual style
Kelly Hernandez - Kelly is amazing!
Lizz Lunney - a great cartoonist with a lovely gentle approach

I have run out of time but I'll come up with some more tomorrow, leaving you to contemplate the "gentle approach". What do I mean? I DON'T KNOW

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Haim Saban presents (in Maplevision)

Based on the photographic evidence below, there is every chance that Giffen (of BONXIE and GIFFEN) will be joining me at Thought Bubble on Saturday. He will be signing autographs between 3.00 and 3.02pm. I don't know if Bonxie will be there, something to do with not knowing how much time I want to spend making papier maché paste this evening (I am a man still in the prime of life after all).

Monday, November 10, 2008

He might be a plumber

I designed a business card for reader Chris Griffiths. Chris knew that I was the man to provide a turnkey solution for him. My blue sky thinking is unparalleled. Well done me.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

You're welcome

Well, for eight years I have kept freedom safe for a nation, but as of this morning, my work is done. Following my many fact-finding tours of the USA, order has finally been restored. As I watched that hatchet-faced witch Ann Coulter feasting on crow, I knew that it was time for the Freedom Eagle to take off his crown, hang up his cape and move on to pastures new. From now on I will simply be known as 'The Horse'.

Look for me wherever the seed of TRUTH needs to be ploughed into the fields of JUSTICE.

I accompany this post with a commemorative sketch, one that proves that I have not quite mastered the art of drawing a horse.




CONSUMER REVIEW 2 - Wacom Felt Nibs

If you find that your Wacom pen skids around your tablet solution like Bambi on ice, I strongly recommend you buy a set of Wacom's felt nibs, which lend a pleasing tooth to the drawing surface. They don't last as long as the regular plastic nibs but you may find they enhance your drawing experience.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Here he is



I haven't seen kids dragging round a motheaten Guy Fawkes since I lived in Sheffield, but I'm sure that out there, somewhere, people are still burning big-hatted rascals in effigy. The exciting thing about going to the bonfire in Heaton Park is that, without evasive manoeuvers to avoid the flying fireworks and bangers let off by high-spirited youngsters, you can be burned in actuality, which I am told is better and "more authentic".

I am so worn out by the US Election that I have decided to ignore Hopey and Walnuts. It was too much election.