Thursday 30 April 2009

i found this old five-minute tv item from 2002 while I was archiving stuff on my new back-up hard drive, a procedure i have come to find necessary after the collapse of my second computer in only two years. It was stuck at the end of the VHS tape of my Court-sketching stories recorded from the tv news, which my pal Mick Evans transferred to disc for me a while back. These items always turn out to be a little embarrassing, so i won't put the video up. It's not that i didn't give it my best effort. Instead of going to the comic book store, I insisted on walking into a regular bookshop, and picked Avid Reader in the lively Brisbane West End, where I had done one of my stand-up routines a few weeks before. As it happens I'd just done a deal with Random House to publish From Hell in Australia which made it difficult for the comic book shops to obtain copies (to do with volume discounts and the fact that the comic shops only wanted the one book... when I tried to get involved to help solve the problem i found that book publishers make a rule of not discussing such matters with authors, so it was all very frustrating and everybody was happy when Random sold out the 4,500 they printed, regarded that as a reasonable success and went no further, and I took back the reins).
The tv reporter and his camera guy and I spun down to the West End and it lived up to its reputation by being suitably colourful. Outside a fruit shop, a bloke in toytown yellow pants was juggling broomsticks...

My attempt at cool however was somewhat undermined by the voice-over, which characterized me as "Brisbane father of three, Eddie Campbell," which I guess is what I should expect of an afternoon show aimed at suburban house-folk. "Even in the colourful west end, Eddie Campbell stands out, perhaps it is the glow of pride." I'm supposed to be proud because Hollywood has just made a movie of the book.

Seeing the Random House edition nicely displayed like this reminds me of my desire to put the book on 'the main street of culture' (a ref to Alan Moore's metaphorical comment, just after the Watchmen success, of being caught on the main street of culture wearing his underpants outside his trousers). In the Random House catalogue we found ourselves finally free of the associations of the superhero comic books. However our lofty literary ambitions were held in check when we saw our book matter-of-factly illustrated between the Healthy Guide to Better Breast-feeding and the Dog Owner's Manual (perfectly useful books both).

The movie was soon to be released here, so this may well have been the first glimpse Australia got of it, from my dvd.

This kind of tv item is not complete without the performing seal routine, so I accommodated the request do a drawing for the camera. I guess at least it can be dug up later to prove Campbell didn't hire assistants to do everything.

I showed this drawing here once before, in its subsequent setting in a French magazine, but on that occasion I couldn't recall the reason I had drawn it.



Blogger Nino said...

You look great in the pictures.

5 May 2009 at 08:33:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Percy Bysshe said...

Cool pos't... Great to see' the c'lose-up of all the 'art materials'... (added a few unneccessary apostrophes in honor of the previous post)...

1 July 2009 at 09:12:00 GMT-5  

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