25 August 2005

M. B-B in "Absinthe Makes..." final part (New Stuff!!)

(Part one, two, three, four and five)


So it all comes to a fizzled cop out end - sorry!

Tomorrow I'm off to Yorkshire with daughter and suomalainen nainen for several nights under canvas (well, ripstop nylon) and a Dales' sky devoid of the rainclouds currently cluttering the Merseyside blue. This means there'll be nowt going on here for at least the next seven days. 'Pon my return I won't enjoy the same daily, broadband access I've had for the last few weeks so updating may well revert to the sporadic, once per week-ish it was before July. Please keep checking me out though because the summer has renewed my appetite for this blogging lark and I want to keep this place ticking along with regular updates and new material. To purloin a cliche, watch this space...

Until September, moi moi!

24 August 2005

M. B-B in "Absinthe Makes..." part 5 (New Stuff!!)

(Part one, two, three and four)


(It was after this episode that I strayed from the path of pie-'ouse abstinence and it all went wrong so advance apologies for the final episode...)

Making it all look a bit more like home

I've just spent a few hours messing around with the sidebar, creating illustrated links to recent posts, archives, highlights etc. I've used the old pictures from the original GoG but when/if I get the chance I'll do some new illustrations especially for this. All comments appreciated.

(I couldn't find a use for this one and put it in here so this entry isn't completely devoid of pictures...)

23 August 2005

GoG#96 appendix i - extract from the royal archive


Painted in the year of Kevin's victory and accession, Kevin Shows Mercy to the English King depicts a fictionalised account of the surrender and capitulation of the English at Conisboro. At the foot of the hill upon which stands Conisboro Castle, the primary residence of Kevin and His successors, Kevin spares the life of the English King in return for the English King's recognition of Kevin's divine right to rule over His fatherland and its people free from English interference. Kevin is flanked on His right by the key to His military successes, the loyal and brave First Rotherham Sikh Revolutionary Raiders (later the First Sikh Royal Guard). In the centre of the picture, Kevin is joined by General Singh, leader of The FSRG, while the jubilant, newly liberated southern tykes stand to the left of Kevin. The artist was later denounced by Kevin as disloyal for depicting General Singh at the same height as Kevin and, fearing for his life, the artist (reputed to be staunchly pro-white-rose and anti-English) exiled himself to London. He later died in the notorious Sheffield Tram Incident which also killed General Singh. How the exiled artist came to be in Sheffield, let alone tied to the same tram line as General Singh at 3am on a Whitsun Bank Holiday Monday, has never been satisfactorily explained.

Finglish Birthday Card (New Stuff!!)


I did this yesterday. It probably needs some explaining. It's for the 5th birthday of a Finnish boy, the godson of my partner. When he and his family (including 2 sisters and an older brother) came to visit in July, his oldest sister (aged 9) tried to teach me a little Suomi by writing out flash cards - 'koira = dog', 'hevonen = horse' etc. To demonstrate that I understood I would combine the words into daft little doodles - lisko-mies for lizard-man was the first and best. Thus was born pallo-poika - ball-boy, the boy with the football head. Just before they left I learned that my partner's godson had nicknamed me Haju-Hemmo. The good news being that Haju-Hemmo is his affectionate name for his brother. The bad news - Haju-Hemmo means 'Stinky-Lad'. Anyway, that's what the card means and how it came about.

22 August 2005

GoG#96 chapter one - Weak Flesh

(From April 2004)


Now read chapter two, not forgetting appendix i.

This is the beginning of an attempt to transform a 'not sure what to do with it' short story (Guild of Ghostwriters Number 96) of about 7000 words into a a picture story in parts, hopefully coming in at around 120 pages. I started it in April last year but lost momentum after the second chapter and it remains stalled there more than a year later. The main problem is I that have no idea what to do with it - as I re-read the original story with a view to converting it I realised that I really liked it in prose form which removed much of the impetus for converting it in the first place. Recently I wondered about canabalising these 'picture story' chapters, adding to them and using them as illustrations for the original story. But then I'm quite attached to the work I've done on the picture story and don't want to abandon (some) of it. So perhaps I should just rediscover the momentum (when I discover the time) and complete the damn thing. But then the kind of stuff I do has changed so much in the 16 months since I started it and I wonder about starting again doing it all in colour. I dunno - too many options, too many buts, too much attachment and nothing getting done. If anybody would care to relieve me of some of the responsibility and stress of deciding (in a totally false and delusory kind of way), please feel free to chip in with your tupenorth. I'll even send you a copy of the original story if you want. All suggestions/requests/arse-kicks aimed at guildofghostwriters at gmail dot com.

M. B-B in "Absinthe Makes..." part 4 (New Stuff!!)

(Part one, two and three)


12 August 2005

M. B-B in "Absinthe Makes..." part 1 (New Stuff introducing Mademoiselle Suomi-Suolmate)



In March and April of this year, my partner took herself off to Peru and Bolivia for 5 weeks. I decided to mark every day of her absence with a piece of art which I presented to her as a gift on her return. In amongst the mostly very personal stuff was a 'sort of' M. B-B serial/GoG character team-up with the emphasis strongly on 'sort of'. In the middle of it I had a one night druggy relapse, got drunk, snorted beak, sniffed poppers and jumped on a wind-up merchant friend of a friend who called me a Nazi for suggesting you had to experience fatherhood to fully understand it. The consequential chemical and self-loathing hangover pulled the figurative rug from under me, stopping my creative momentum in its tracks (although it did finally get through to even my drunken head just what a waste of time beak is so it wasn't all bad). Please forgive spelling mistakes and the lack of sense and/or quality.


(From May 2004)


A State of Alarm!

This was the strip that introduced Monsieur Bohemian-Bumbler back in May 2004. I had an idea for something along the lines of the Mr Men for druggy/arty groan-ups but so far removed as not to piss off anybody associated with Roger Hargreaves' originals.


9 August 2005

Winning the Battle for Hearts and Minds


(From May 2005)

Look Ma No Hands


(From April 2004...)


(From April 2004...)

Encouraged by the brush and ink self-portrait in the previous post (penultimate panel), I treated myself to brush and set about testing it with ink and the following are my first (and, to date, only) attempts...



(Somebody cheekily suggested that this fellah looked a bit like George Bush...)





4 August 2005

Them Media Types

Back in April 2004 a regular on the site asked about the different media I used and this was my reply...


I use pencil a lot - pretty much everything I do starts out as a rough pencil sketch then gets rubbed out when I've inked it. Sometimes this makes me a bit sad because I think the pencil version is the best but it doesn't scan very well and of course smudges away over time.



I rarely use pastel. It leaves marks on the scanner glass. Likewise charcoal. And the various credit card companies have stopped sending me free biros so I no longer own any.



When I first started out I did pretty much everything with drip pen and ink. I considered my self a purist and the experience of drawing this way to be a spiritual one something akin to meditating. It was also very slow and messy so now I use 'pigment liners' (disposable ink pens with different thicknesses of nib, usually water- and lightproof). The drawings belows were some of my earliest efforts using pigment liners.


These days, unlike those days, I also use gouache watercolours a lot - the banner at the top of the blog is an example of gouache work, as are last year's Xmas cards and When I Was small.

How Did We Do Ours?

(More old stuff from April 2004...)






I asked "So how do you do your blog...?" and got two answers - Natalie claimed to do it with nowt on while Jeremy said she wore fairy lights, pants and a leopard skin wrap.


So I'll ask again - how do you do yours? Let me know and I'll see what I can come up with.