Tuesday 19 December 2006

Let me Outta here!

These guys fell off the shelf while I was looking for something else and reminded me that Christmas is less than a week away. The fashioning of these little chaps owes something to the same impulse that guided Michelangelo. It is said that when he carved the Dying Slaves for the tomb of Julius II it was 'a process of highy symbolic direct carving which consists in freeing from the dead stone, the raw inert material, the beauty it imprisons'. As the great artist himself said in a sonnet "The marble not yet carved can hold the form/ Of every thought the greatest artist has..." Well, it was exactly like that when, at the end of one of our Christmas parties here at Castle Campbell, I was gazing at the champagne cork after the delicious liquids had all been consumed, and I was certain I saw my pal Evans in there, asking to be let out. "let me outta here!" I heard him yell. So I immediately took to the cork with my acrylics and my scalpel and in short order there was Evans on the table. Well, a miniature version of him I mean. And then this became a tradition here at our house. Neil Gaiman recently said that you can make anything into a tradition. Just do it and name it a tradition, but make sure you remember to do it again next year. And remember we did. Every year at the end of our Christmas bash, and after other mid-year parties, the cork would be retrieved from the floor and one of those present, or even not present but dear to our funny bone, would request to be let out of it. There were a dozen of them at one stage. I know this because our lad Callum used to get them off the shelf and put them in a 12-size egg carton, standing room only, and, pretending it was a bus, drive them all over the floor of the house. He even took them to school for show-and-tell once, introducing them as 'the cork people'. Looking at them now, the sheen has gone off them and their paint is chipped, and only four of them remain. It should also be mentioned that they once had necks, but champagne corks find their way back to a cylindrical shape if you don't tie string around them. In the foreground above is my pal Mullins, my right hand nib thorugh From Hell and Bacchus, and on the left my father himself, giving me a stern look. I don't think he knows about this tradition.

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Blogger Kelly Kilmer said...

Those are really cool and quite clever!

19 December 2006 at 01:30:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Kelly Kilmer said...

I usually just keep the corks for my bookbinding awls (ouch!) but I'm going to have to get out a bunch (um, we don't drink yet we have wine corks in our home...I guess that's the sign of an artist-you have weird stuff that you don't even remember getting lying around).
My son will LOVE seeing the painted faces when I show him the pictures (and trying them himself)...He's almost 10 and got quite the kick out of Hayley's drawings especially "Death by Torture" with the feather and feet.

19 December 2006 at 01:33:00 GMT-5  
Blogger spacedlaw said...

Do you mean to tell us that your fine tradition has gone rusty and your dear friends are not let out of the bottle anymore ?
Shame that...

19 December 2006 at 03:24:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Faff said...

Well if Mr Gaiman says you can make anything a tradition, I'm getting my acrylics out and making cork people a tradition in Casa Bangs. Thanks for the idea.

Enjoying the blog by the way, it almost makes up for my failed attempt to meet you back in 86 or so at UKCAC. I spent chunks of the weekend shuttling back and forth between the Escape Table and the bar trying to get my books signed by you and always managed to be in the wrong place every time.

19 December 2006 at 05:26:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's the Festivus for all of us!

(sorry, can't help myself..)

19 December 2006 at 06:56:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Andrew Phillip Smith said...

Peter Bangs wrote, "Enjoying the blog by the way, it almost makes up for my failed attempt to meet you back in 86 or so at UKCAC."

Aha! I was at the very same convention. Mr Campbell signed the first two Alec collections for me and I still have them. Eddie had just been told that the new collection was being sold in sealed bags by some comic shops because of the picture of the fella wearing a Batman mask while pounding the parson.


19 December 2006 at 14:37:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Faff said...

Congrats Andrew, you were either luckier, more determined or less distracted by beer than I was. Whichever it was I'm envious. I made the mistake of lending my copies out about 12 years back and never saw them again. I had to wait until 2001 when I got my hands on "The King Canute Crowd" to reread those magical words about "a mammoth on ice".

I Recall a dark haired young woman behind the table who told me the best place to find Eddie was the bar. Would that have been Myra Hancock,? I seem to recall picking up one of her books at the same convention table.

19 December 2006 at 16:52:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Eddie Campbell said...

thanks for commenting, Tita, Kelly, Nathalie. You are swiftly joing the pals of Eddie Campbell society.

Peter, Andrew, you might have been luckier not meeting me. Nowadays I stay clear of the bar during show hours and I tend to business.

Those damn British shows, though...
how did we ever achieve anything (British Invasion? jeez..)

21 December 2006 at 01:42:00 GMT-5  

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