Friday, 9 May 2008

i've drawn a new set of bookmarks for Bent Books here in Brisbane. This is my fourth set of six of these little portrait drawings of well known authors. They've printed well, with the subttleties in the greys showing nicely where I've used gouache.These are Truman Capote and Alice Walker. Sean doesn't have the new set online yet, but you can see the previous three sets here, eighteen portraits, and the new set when it goes up will make a total of twenty-four. A couple more rounds and there could be a book in it. (click label below for previous samplings)

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Thursday, 8 May 2008

since it's Neil Gaiman week here at campbell.blogspot, and we showed a glimpse of the unpublished Callum's Alan Moore anecdote a month ago, here is his Callum's Neil Gaiman anecdote, from After the Snooter.

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Wednesday, 7 May 2008

department of stuff found in pocket:
one beermat, Squires' Amber Ale. I just love this piece of design. And the beer's not half bad either. You may not be like me, a fellow who could be persuaded to choose one airline over another based on something as inconsequential as the beer they serve inflight. If you are, note that Qantas now offers both the Amber and Golden Ales from the Squires range, in the can, and on most flights I think there's a charge. But then again, you might crash anyhoo, in which case money will be of no use to you.

Before I leave the subject of my sojourn in Melbourne. On the plane, Dan in Real Life (from last October, but released here in feb 2008), a great movie, starring Steve Carrel, with a set of bloody brilliant songs by a fellow new to these ears, Sondre Lerche. Now, I don't mention music here much because the current lot of it bores me to tears with all its falseness of phrase and pose and dress, but I'm climbing on this guy's bandwagon. Here's an interview from last October and here he is singing 'Modern nature.' He also sings it on-screen in the final scene of the movie, but don't go looking for that or you'll spoil the ending.

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Tuesday, 6 May 2008

last time I was in Melbourne I was quite taken with some humorous statuary around the footpaths (or sidewalks as they say in the yoo ess) (or 'the pavement' as they say in the yoo kay) . Here's another:

Passenger 'moons' at speed camera- BBC News- 1 May- (with photo)

A front seat car passenger was photographed baring his backside at a speed camera in Northumberland.
The "mooning" man was snapped by the mobile camera as the black BMW X5 drove past on the A1171 Dudley Lane in Cramlington last month. Safety campaigners have labelled the man as a "fool"
(via our bare botty correspondent)

I feel a yearning to hear once more Mike Harding singing his song 'Manuel'.
Manuel dances
Manuel dances,
He sambas with no trousers ON
I may have misremebered the lyrics, but that's the way I sing them at the dinner table. I'd love to hear anyone confirm, deny or send a video link as I can't find one..

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Monday, 5 May 2008

at last a photo of Gaiman and Campbell. It's out of focus, but the other one Anne took made me look like the grim reaper.

I arrived at the Children's Book Council of Australia's Annual Conference just as several people on a panel were explaining what a graphic novel is (Graphically Speaking: the challenge of 'reading' graphic novels.) I wanted to give it a miss, for as any one who has followed this blog from its early days knows, I have exhausted my tolerance for that subject. But then Anne noticed that we seemed to know almost everybody on it (the blogs of Neil, Nicki Greenberg and Zoe Sadokierski are all linkable from my sidebar.) Neil was up, emphasizing that 'The Important thing about comics is that it's a medium and not a genre.' He explained the same thing earlier in the profile interview in Junior Bookseller and Publisher May 2008, and I'm sure all the four hundred trade people at the show, the librarians and bookstore managers, all knew what he meant. The problem is that the hundred thousand or so who read about him in the Melbourne Age the same day got the garbled version:

"Neil Gaiman is relieved the comic book genre now has wide acceptance, writes Frances Atkinson".
And further down it says: "He agrees that the line between comics and graphic novels has blurred over the past two decades..." the journalist, on her own authority, giving us to believe 'comics' and 'graphic novels' at some time in the past were distinct entities (or genres if you prefer to continue with the befuddlement.) If one is invited to go somewhere and explain what a graphic novel is, then it would sure seem like a good idea, on behalf of the creative community and for the benefit of readers everywhere, to perform the offices to the best of one's ability, but since my debacle with the Sunday Arts tv program last year, for which they shot forty minutes of me explaining it and then decided it didn't fit with what they already understood and threw the whole lot out, I avoid the situation.
It was a treat to see me old pal again and to experience the marvellous hospitality of Peter Nicholls and Clare Coney (see Neil's own post from yesterday)

(If you've arrived here from Neil's link, click the Neil label below for update)