Thursday, July 31, 2008

You're The Mugs

I wonder if anyone reading this knows what "You're The Mugs" refers to. My brother is not allowed to enter this competition.

I have designed a mug for Café Grumpy in New York (visit their locations in Greenpoint and Chelsea and know that you have truly lived). New Yorkers can get down there and own some high quality porcelain. Drinking from it will cure your ills and water in this mug may turn into wine.

The design, which can kindly be described as "berserk", is a tribute to my favourite ever mug which I got from the Museum of Film, Photography and Television (as it was then known) in Bradford. In fact, I bought it twice, and would buy it again if I could. That mug featured a family misbehaving, including a baby pulling the guts out of a TV. The first one fell apart in the washing up bowl, the second rolled (how?) into the washing machine.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Reverse Mohawk Party

Peter Gabriel's first four solo albums are my favourite album covers. I don't own any of these records (or spend a lot of time thinking about Peter Gabriel to be honest!), but the covers make me want to buy them. I am thinking of hunting for them on vinyl so I can hang them on the wall. Visiting plumbers will fear for my mental health -- but LET THEM.

But which is best? Damp face, fingernails, melty mush or alien overlord? There's only one way to find out...


Tuesday, July 29, 2008


You may remember that last November I started drawing comics on A3 paper. I bought a £700 Epson scanner for the purpose! And 2 months later I stopped doing that because it was appallingly hard. I worked out that my scans worked out at £17 per comic - which is probably more than a print bureau would have charged you in 1983 when there was only one scanner in Britain (called "VALIANT 1").

For comparison I scanned about 600 comics on my £40 Canoscan. But it used to cut the bottom 1/3 of an inch of the page off, so I think Canon might actually owe me a considerable sum by now.

So to drag the average down, I scanned a page of my big sketch pad. I've been working on Shelley's diary comic style, as towards the end of the year you are going to be forced to sit through at least a week of this amateurish nonsense. Why not spend 30 seconds trying to work out exactly what I'm reaching for here. Then you can write me an email begging me not to do it.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Chorlton Fibre-fest 08 (Incorporating Macrobiotic Putsch 08)

Katie Rice has a very good tutorial for all you inkers out there. If your inks sometimes look a bit dead, follow her tips to feel better about yourself.

I know that many of you are eager to hear about the impending destruction of my bathroom. After all, it has been a couple of years since I last shoved a mangled appliance out into the yard and defaced it with Sharpies. Well, fear not. When papers have been signed, I will show you just how awful my bathroom is. It is going to give a lot of people a boost, your hovel will seem like a palace when you bear witness to the grout of 40,000 years, the improvised shower screen emergency run-off made out a piece of a venetian blind, the silly putty toilet and the AMAZING SUB-CARAVAN QUALITY SINK.

Thrills and delights await! Actually, photos of twenty-year-old cheap plastic sinks defaced with Sharpie await, but it's almost the same thing.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Painting day

Something you might not know about webcomic artist John Allison (me) is that he throws away 2/3 of paintings he does in blind fury. Here's one that made it to the blog, the foggy limbo between the wheelie bin and eBay. The price I've been able to sell things for on eBay has actually decreased steadily over the years, as my novelty declines and the market floods with the 6 paintings I have ever sold.

Yes it is painted on the bottom of a box and stands 57cm high. The exact same height as Gandhi! I would add that because I seem to do the exact same painting over and over again with only minor variations, the marketplace is right about me.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Left of the dill

Typically ornery, Paul Westerberg has released his best new songs since 2002's Stereo/Mono (and maybe since the late 80s) on a single 49 cent, 44-minute MP3 full of jarring cuts, songs played over each other and mangled cover versions. It's exactly the sort of record I want to hear! You can download it here if you like the old man's jive. More info here!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Free Blakey My Fella

I have just finished reading Westsiders, William Shaw's compelling factual book about up-and-coming rappers in South Central LA in the late 90s. Well written, human and unsensational, I would recommend it to anyone.

Now mindful of the true state of things in this deprived, gang-ravaged environment, I have designed a new garment that reflects (hopefully with a modicum of sensitivity) the daily struggle to get by in places like Watts, Compton and Bellflower.

Friday, July 18, 2008

So many trees will die in his name

I have been remiss in not congratulating my good friend Jon Rosenberg on his 'Goats' book deal. Well done Jon! Jon is a good man, he sometimes lets me come to his house and cooks food on a big flame he keeps in his back yard.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


It's been a year since my last limited A4 print so I thought I'd do another. Here are the pencils in a very formative stage. I thought they might be somewhat interesting.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Incredible journey

Today I went to Middleton tip. It was amazing. I haven't been to a municipal waste dump since the mid eighties and I now consider every day since wasted. Where else can you hurl waste wood over a 25ft precipice with the approval of a man in a hard hat? Nowhere, I say, but the finest Soho sex dungeons. I also put some old cardboard boxes in the back of a van but that was a mere sideshow to the lumber-chucking thrills.

This was the perfect antidote to shoving dozens of books into envelopes; I may be cured.

"Yes well done John you done it up right old boy"

I have put the new tshirts on sale, put them on your upper body and just look generally smarter and better than your rivals and enemies.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

You've got to get it back, Tony

I've been worried that the shirts I've come up with over the last 9 months have been too weird and esoteric and sales seem to have born that out. So I've tried to reconnect with what made my earlier designs popular. I'm not sure if I've quite got it right but maybe what I came up with today has a little more of the old magic. You decide!

This one is a purist design, I just like drawing wrestlers.

Hey America stop being so crazy ALL THE TIME (aromatherapy is the answer). Believe it or not, socialized medicine isn't the gateway to communism.

A tribute to a scarygoround classic. This can be worn ironically by you, or unironically by you, or your dad. Deadly and parrotheadly. #2 in my musical series!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Dinner with Grrrshwin

How does it feel to be back, asked Hall and Oates. The answer is, not great, if you are referring to my recent trip to the very seat of liberty. It was a time of extreme fun. At one point I was in a hot tub, there were bubbles, I realised that the future was now and I had to say goodbye to the past. We don't have bubbles in Britain, all liquids are unagitated by law.

But now I am back and thoughts turn to ripping out my bathroom. Ripping it out so good. I will provide more news on this potentially disastrous project when I have it. It's going to be thrilling.

Airline passengers, when your plane is departing 5 hours late due to a maintenance problem, don't applaud when the airline finally announces boarding will commence. You are probably idiots.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

A retraction

Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond my control, the headlining act on July 4th was not Boyz II Men but "John Leg-end", the second-rate soulman. Leg-end greeted the crowd with the words "we gonna do a lot of new ones for you tonight", the classic sign of someone cruising towards disaster. What followed was low on melody, low on groove, but extremely high on sweating and vests.

Boyz II Men played last night instead, when I was up Bear Mountain eating strawberry rhubarb pie.

Friday, July 04, 2008

So much liberty

Here I am in Philadelphia, enjoying freedom at its free-est. Apparently this is where liberty was invented, or at least so the 6-minute song that preceded the film about sardines I watched last night told me.

What I have learned about sardines
Sardines are fish that like the swimmin'. Their main enemy is men with nets.

This evening I am going to see Philadelphia's world famous fireworks, and Philadelphia's world famous 'Motownphilly' hitmakers, Boyz II Men.

I would be remiss in not mentioning that I had my first ever world famous Geno's Philly cheesesteaks. Apparently this is a sandwich popular with blue collar fellows and less popular with left-leaning liberal tea-drinking elitists. I am glad to come down on the side of the common man.

The future
In a few short days I will be travelling to Amish country to enjoy plain-living ways and wood-fired technology-free antics. World famous antics, no less.

Hopefully we will speak again soon.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The gorgon's eye

I am in Philadelphia for a week. Comics will continue because there is still magic in the world. If you see flames coming from my house, let it burn brother. Let it burn.

(What I mean is, call the fire brigade immediately and save my computer, even if it costs you your life. All my backups are, as they say, "on site".)