28 August 2006

Tabatha Papworth's Talking & Tap-Dancing Tadpoles (a guest submission - chip off the old block or usurper?)

This is by my ten year old daughter. She asked me for a title and I gave her 'Tabatha Papworth's Tap-Dancing Tadpoles' as alliteration seemed to be the order of the day. Undaunted by the absurdity and stupidity of her dad's suggestion, she added 'talking' to the title and quickly produced this magical little strip. Every time I see her she fills reams of paper with similarly wonderful little stories - I wish I had her energy and a tenth of her output! This was definitely the pick of the bunch this time but there were lots of really good stories to choose from. As well as providing the title, I inked it so that the scanner would pick it up (she was supposed to ink it herself but didn't get round to it before she went home) and re-sized some of the speech bubbles so that they were a wee bit less cramped but apart from that it's all her own work. Best viewed full size by clicking on the image and looking at it in flickr (although, I've just discovered, you need to have an account and be signed in to actually see it in different sizes - sorry!)

21 August 2006

Haju-Hemmo ja Pallo-Poika rannalla, or another Finglish birthday card...

...although this is more strip than card, all Fin and no glish. The two characters shown are Pallo-Poika and Haju-Hemmo, whose reason and meaning are explained in the original Finglish birthday card and accompanying post.

Haju-Hemmo ja Pallo-Poika ranalla

Translations: Rannalla - at the beach; haukotus - yawn; EI SAA!! - literally, NO CAN!! but roughly NO, YOU CAN'T DO THAT!! or NO, STOP!! in a telling off kind of way (which I thought the energetic young lad whose birthday it is might be familiar with and appreciate).

I'm sorry I've been absent from this and other blogs for the last week or so. Guests have kept me from making art and spending much time online and what time I have had online has been spent hiding away at flickr. On top of that I've been sinking like a ton of lead, perhaps for the whole summer so far but more definitely and determinedly over the last week. I suppose it could be just birthdays which have always kicked the stuffing out of me. Well, after the age-of-toys-and-other-innocent-delights anyway. On top of everything my spacebar is either sticking or not working at all which makes typing really fucking difficult (I left that stick in just to show what I'm on about although now that I've just previewd itI cansee that the lovely helpful blogger editor hasobliterated all superfluous spaces. But not added theomitted ones...).

I will be similarly absent from this and other blogs for the next week or so while away doing my last stint of dad of the summer. See you all in September.

12 August 2006

A Tyger's Tale...







A few things I have to explain. First off this was pretty much all nicked/stolen/pinched or to use the arty term found. I mean the idea. Sandra told it to my mum and my mum told it to me probably more than two years ago and I made a first attempt at turning it into a doodle strip there and then. Except I didn't think I could draw tygers and so it didn't get very far. I may post the rough original - fountain pen on lined paper ripped from a notebook! Apart from tinkering with the odd detail (for instance I'm pretty sure there weren't actually any tygers in that Nottinghamshire wood but I wasn't there so who's to say) all I did was add the pictures. And to do so I am hugely indebted to this website (click on the photo gallery link and check out all the photo sets. I used em all, especially any pictures of tygers' skinny arses) and this photo on flickr. I was especially pleased to find that badger flying photo because pretty much all wildlife photography is face on or in profile and finding pictures of animal arses is not easy. It's also a cracking shot.

Hope this was worth the wait...

9 August 2006

Everybody's doing it...

If I was a timely sort of baby I would have been born yesterday. Well, a yesterday of yesteryear. But I wasn't born yesterday. So I didn't get these for my birthday yesterday.

I probably won't get them for my real birthday either - mainly because I'm holding out til they release the box set in the autumn. Can you guess when my real birthday is..?

5 August 2006

A Sneaky Preview...

It'll be a few days, possibly a week, before this is finished but I couldn't resist posting this hot off the scanner title page to tide you over and whet your appetite until the job's done. Well, mainly because I'm really quite chuffed with it and wanted to share.


I've been feeling a bit... well, best way I can describe it is 'not good'... about my drawing lately. It's not that I've felt it was rubbish or worthless or anything just that it was missing something. On the one hand I've been painfully aware of my shortcomings in drawing terms and yet, on the other hand, I've felt that my creations have been missing something that was just there without me having to think about it or try back when I started all this over two years ago and my comings were even shorter then (ooer missus!). I guess that's why there have been so many experiments lately.

I don't know why but for this, and the quickie I posted yesterday, I reverted to something I used a lot back at the start but haven't touched for well over two years. My drip pen.

I know exactly why I stopped using the drip pen. Because it drips and smudges and doesn't dry quickly. Because it's messy and sometimes the ink flows and sometimes the nib just scratches and sometimes it deposits a great greasy splodge right in the middle of the drawing I just spent n hours bent over til my back spasms and eyes feel like sandpits. Completely unlike the cheap, reliable, disposable, consistent 'pigment liner' (ink pens) that I started using roughly two years ago when I stopped using drip pens. Those ink pens that dry instantly, never smudge and always produce something like the line I have in mind when I touch the tip to the paper. And yet, for all the mess and frustration the drip pens conjur, there's a magical beauty to the lines they make, the drawings I construct with those lines, that is too often lacking in consistent, reliable, mess-free pigment liner lines. And while those pigment liner lines are always something like the line I had in mind, the difference between something and exactly like what I had in mind can be and often is vast. Whereas those dastardly drip pens hardly ever make the line I had in mind and yet, somehow, nearly always make the line the drawing needs.

So this was done with drip pens. I've done a lot of work with drip pens and a lot of work with gouache and yet this is the first time I've used both together. I had avoided gouache lately, fearing that I have a tendency to overpaint, carrying on because I don't know when to stop until I suddenly notice that I should have stopped a hundred or so brush strokes ago. Somehow I feel that the by painting a drip pen drawing I've cured myself of this tendency. I suppose it's early days yet - I haven't even finished drawing the story, let alone painting it. Shall I just say that I'm very happy with the way this marriage (drip pen and gouache) is going so far and leave it at that for now? Well, no because actually I want to say a little bit more. I suspect that few of you will read this far anyway. I suppose the most important thing is that this marriage has lifted a cloud and made me feel good and excited about what I'm doing again. That's priceless. Of course I'll still use those reliably staid pigment liners. There are some things in art and life that require staid reliability. They're a lot bloody quicker and less messy as well. But when I click post and turn away from the pc, it'll be a drip pen that I turn to with a smile on my face, a grumbling stomach (okay, yeah, maybe I should turn to the cooker first) and a greasy great ink smear across my forehead where I brushed away my fringe with an ink-drippy paw before.

Watch this space (or a space above this space if you're reading this after the fact) for the rest of THE TYGER'S TALE soon...

4 August 2006



I keep typing something then deleting all the while my dip pen and half done project await in another room. I'm getting nowhere. You know that slaughter is wrong and revenge is evil and pointless so please click and sign (in the virtual sense) the petition.

Killing is wrong. A killing B because B or some of B's kind have killed A and A's kind first is wrong - perhaps a greater wrong because A knows the pain such killing causes and has chosen to perpetuate it. The proverbial vicious cycle. A kills B because B kills A. Maybe if A stops killing B then B will stop killing A. If A stops killing B and B doesn't stop killing A or vice versa then at least everyone will know the lie and perhaps support for their killing will dwindle instead of being endlessly fed by the angry bereaved vengeful. I know it's easy to say when thousands of miles away from bombs and bullets but that doesn't make it any less important or true. Anyway, that's it. I want to make art and jokes and friends and love and funny stories my daughter can chuckle or blush at, not half baked angry points about too much slaughter. Thank you if you read this far, and especially if you clicked and signed.

1 August 2006

Old Stuff (almost 2000 years?)

Going through old strips, doodles, scribbles and stains to compile the book mentioned in the previous entry I suddenly realised that I never got round to posting all the crucifixion gags on the resurrected GoG. I'm going to hold some of em back for the book but I thought I'd post these two now so I've blooded August.