Thursday 19 November 2009

In Herne Hill, London, I had a long lunch at the Regent pub with my old pals Ed Hillyer (top, with Hayley campbell) and Woodrow Phoenix (below, with me).

Woodrow's book Rumble Strip, first published in June of last year by Myriad, is worth your attention. It is a very human story told without the depiction of a single human, and for what seems for most of its duration to be an essay about road rage, it all comes to a potent and moving conclusion. Phoenix uses nothing but the iconography of the road, but while this is a somewhat depersonalized graphic language, I like that i always see the touch of a human hand in the artwork. Brushed black infill sometimes does not come all the way up to the holding line. Sometimes it spills over. And even though Woods has made a computer font of his own lettering, I have seen it enough in its early stages (eg. he lettered volume 4 of Bacchus), and remain fondly familiar with it, to still imagine his hand making every letter, and his voice in every word. This book is hugely underrated. It's a good solid piece of work at 200 pages and very nicely produced in black and white.

I wrote about Ed's upcoming prose novel, also from Myriad, back here. Meanwhile he's illustrated one of the manga Shakespeare line published by Self Made Hero (I realize I'm a little out of touch with the British publishing scene), King Lear. Just to compound idioms further, the story has been shifted to 18th century North America among the Mohicans.

Ed was one of the first people i knew, back in the '80s, to pick up on what would become the huge manga trend. I never feel that a book like this is aimed at me, but every now and then I enjoy seeing Ed going for a striking atmospheric effect with the grey tones and I recall how we used to talk about stuff like that a long time ago.


Wednesday 18 November 2009

For anyone who missed our 'conversation' at the ICA on Nov. 7, here are stand-up comic Arnold Brown and sit-down comic Eddie Campbell continuing it at dinner afterwards. Photos by Hayley Campbell.


Tuesday 17 November 2009

A last note about our Italian trip. A big hello and a thanks to Marco Schiavone at EdizioniBD, our host, and publisher of Bacchus in Italy. The series is now complete in eight volumes. It's funny to think now, after having enjoyed the trip so much, that I was reluctant to go, having sworn off any more traveling for the near future. It was only that the wife of my bosom overheard the word 'Tuscany' and then there was no getting out of it.
From Italy we went to the UK for a week. Here's a photo of Melinda Gebbie, Alan Moore, who became a grandfather a few days before, me and Anne in Northampton.

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Monday 16 November 2009

Last night my favourite band played its last gig after ten years together. This was their annual run at the Brisbane Powerhouse, which I've mentioned here both in 2007 and 2008. Twenty-seven musicians were on stage. I can't find any of it on Youtube, so here's a snatch from two years ago, which could easily have been last night, though I thought the playing was more sharply orgnaised than ever before, perhaps for the benefit of a video recording as I saw a camera set-up. We always get seats at a table in the cabaret area at the front. Gerry Mapstone is on Guitar, Tom Raymond clarinet, guest singer Silvia Entcheva.

more at youtube

Sunday 15 November 2009

My fellow '80s small press cartoonist Ed Pinsent has a website. Good to see some new pieces from him, such as this cover of an imaginary comic:

He also has a gallery of approximately 180 old small press comics covers from all through the decade which, although far from complete, will give you a fairly clear idea of what Fast Fiction was all about. His site should be a useful research tool.

There is also a catalogue of the thirty issues of fast Fiction magazine (with only the rare first issue missing- a lot of these things had print runs of less than a hundred) (1982-1991) including publishing notes.

Middle cover is by Glenn Dakin, who has also recently started a blog. I meant to mention this before he wrote about ME, to head off the suspicion that we're just a cosy mutual admiration society.