Saturday, April 29, 2006

New painting

This one came out quite nice. I might sell it, or I might bury it in the back garden - you can never tell with me.

Or obviously I might paint on it a bit more. That's the painting way!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

I have bought a new refridgerator

It has only taken six years but I have bought a new fridge-freezer to replace the one that came with my house. This oil-burning pig is full of ice, rattles, and may be toxic not just to the environment but also to ghosts and outer space aliens. It lives in a cupboard.

But since I did the dirty deed and ordered a new one, I've noticed a palpable chill in the kitchen. Somehow (perhaps by collusion with the equally-damned oven) it has found out, and it is giving me the evils from its cupboard. This fridge has had a long time to develop its hatred of man - by my reckoning it was purchased in the late 80s.

As you can see from the pictorial evidence, at some point it has been a victim of fire (a fridge's most hated enemy) and it is in the grip of a pretty fierce rust. I've been waiting for it to die of natural causes, but natural causes never came. Please do not judge me as I turn to euthanasia. Just pray that I am not found by the delivery men next tuesday, flattened under its recriminatory carcass.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Providing needles for your balloons

I went to see the Flaming Lips last night and was delighted to find that the support act was the Go! Team. Perhaps it is blasphemy to say it, but the Go! Team were a lot better than the Lips, whose set is creaking under the weight of so many gimmicks that it resembles an evening out at a novelty factory.

As the onslaught of glitter-cannons, pseudo-Billy Graham prosletysing, giant balloons and dancing scientologists threatened to overwhelm the evening, I couldn't help but wonder if we weren't witnessing a. some kind of emperor and b. his recently purchased clothes.

As much as I like and admire Wayne Coyne, the band could have played another four or five songs in the time he spent pontificating, messing about and expounding at length. I saw the Lips at Glastonbury on the Soft Bulletin tour, prior to their show becoming the out-of-control carnival it is now, and it was heartwarming, silly and transcendent. Lest we forget, they have 7 or 8 albums-worth of great songs. What a pleasure it would be if they deigned to treat us to some of them.

I don't want to be completely miserable about it. But the more I think about it, the more miserable I am. Because I am a miserable man.

Yours miserably,
John Allison

Monday, April 24, 2006


I have decided to design all tshirts pre-emptively in order to stop other cartoonists making them. The only rule is that I cannot spend more than 30 seconds on each one - including "thinking time"! So to establish copyright, here are some of the shirts you are not allowed to make any more:

There's $10000 that someone is never going to see.


Have you ever wanted to see a list of all the celebrities who have appeared in Dictionary Corner on Countdown since 1982? Of course you have. And now you can. Did we really have to wait until 2002 before Pam Ayres was allowed into the hot (warm) seat? A crime!

Did they? Really? Kenneth Williams, Hayley Mills, Ernie Wise
Mental Midget Awards: Paul Burrell, Daniel O'Donnell

Have any of your friends ever appeared on Countdown? Have you? maybe you should!

Disclaimer: despite working from home, John Allison has not watched Countdown since 1998.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Guilty as charged

Friday night's post about stick-thin jazz-pop kittens was the result of my taking a cold drink. Don't rush out of your homes as if you were on fire, howling like a cat up a tree - things are going to be fine. I went to see Giant Drag on thursday and all the requisite jams were kicked out.

Ever since a wild night in East Streatham (circa 2002) wherein I completed something called "the Lewin Run" and paid the price, my body has been systematically saying no to booze. The list of alcoholic beverages I can still drink is getting really short. I reckon I can trust Guinness, gin and wine. Pretty soon I will be down the temperance society with the maiden aunts. PLUS:

Guinness: you will be waiting a while
Gin: mother's ruin
Wine: Q. Are We Not Men/ A. No we are drinking wine

The two day hangover: god's way of telling you IT'S OVER.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

On tshirts

I wrote the following on a message board in response to this article by Lore Sjoberg, but I think it is worth preserving here because I sound imperious and conceited as only I know how:


Webcomics’ dirty little secret is that most of the people who “make a living from their comic” don’t really make a living from their comic at all, they make it selling t-shirts that perhaps have some tenuous link to their strip (but not really). It’s not really something to feel guilty about, it’s just patronage in one way or another - a democratised, utilitarian form of “micropayment” far more acceptable to my mind than a Paypal begging bucket on your site.

That these tshirts have ceased to be so closely linked to their parent comics is a matter (I think) in part of natural selection - in a crowded field (and it gets more crowded every day) you need more options than your strip might provide. And if you’ve proved successful in an area, you want to develop it. The alternative is, after all, eating sawdust and drinking puddle water.

Personally, I would much rather make shirts that have nothing to do with the comic than attempt to shoehorn t-ready zingers into the strip or extract vest-centric mottos from complex source material.

As for Lore’s assertion that a backlash is on the way, I don’t think people will tire of owning short-run, attractive garments that their friends probably don’t have. I believe that’s the central tenet on which fashion is founded.

The only way to kill it stone dead would be to sell your designs to Hot Topic and have them printed in the thousands. And I believe that kind of suicide can only take place on an artist by artist basis.

Friday, April 21, 2006


Ever since my cleansing journey into Yacht Rock, I've been pretty certain that indie rock as a form is moribund and essentially dead. Don't worry, indie rock always recovers, I felt like this in early 1994 and 1998 (almost all year!) But I still have to buy records - I'm still a man, damn it. I've been too bashful to tell my gig-going friends that I've spent most of the year gorging on Erin Bode and Nerina Pallot. They wouldn't understand. I think they'd understand my Jacqui Naylor problem even less. Why did things have to get so dang smooth?

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Dear person who decided to use my rear bumper to estimate the exact position of their front bumper yesterday afternoon: THANKS. PS I know who you are.

Book 4 has probably been saved! Things might just be okay. I need you guys to buy a lot of copies so I can buy a bigger house, with offroad parking. Or if you're rich and want to marry me, that's cool too. I'm okay with that. Rich gals usually have a garage.

EDIT: I have used CSI skills to track down the scraper, this deal is gonna get fizz-ixed, we had it out at a summit chaired by Presidents G.H.W Bush and Clinton.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Book 4 problems

I just got the quote back from the printers in Hong Kong who did my last two books, both of which featured some of the best printing I'd seen. Unfortunately for a number of unavoidable reasons the price has gone up considerably (about 50%). I've asked for a couple of other quotes but last time I asked Quebecor and Brenner for prices, they didn't bother writing back.

The Scary Go Round collections are a really delicate ecosystem; they take months to break even and involve as large a financial risk as I can afford to make. I don't want to do shorter collections more often so unfortunately, this might be the end of the road. This is pretty sad so I hope I can think of something.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Apologies for blog silence...

...I have been laying out Scary Go Round book 4. There are some new hand-drawn comics pages, loads of new colour drawings, commentary from Shelley (the vainest commentary ever compiled!) and a sketchbook section. It covers the Bulgaria vampires story through to Battle of the Bands, though I did have to cut out the Oldbourne story for space reasons - it's 216 pages even without it. I've posted the front cover before so here's the back: