For a few years, now, I've been writing articles about bande dessinée for Vingt Paris - an online, English speaking magazine about the French capital.
Most recently, I got to pick up my dip-pens for them, and draw the kind of people you'd meet in and around various arrondissements. Some of my favourites are above (which you can also check out on flickr). But why bother with that, when you can head over to the newly-revamped Vingt Paris site?
Last month, the guys at Water Aid asked if I would draw an image to form the backdrop to their tent at Bestival - a four day festival that's held on the Isle of Wight each year. They were there to promote 'The Big Dig' - a campaign to help 'bring
clean water and sanitation to communities across Malawi, transforming
their lives forever'. The drawing I turned in is a bit more sober than my usual stuff, as the last thing we wanted to do was 'cartoon' such an important issue. I was (and still am, if I'm honest) a bit unsure about it - but Water Aid liked it and the tent was a great success for them. So who's arguing.
Here are a few pics.
The banner (held up by the printers. I'd like to think that the hand on the far left belongs to the guy on the right, but no).
Some festival goers, posing in front of the banner at the Bestival tent.
A few months ago, I overheard an obnoxious, whiney cyclist complaining about her lot. So, when the guys at the Tooting Free Press asked me if I could draw something for their first issue, I drew her.
I did it back at the beginning of the year and I think it's clear from the style that I some of Searle's 'New Mayhew' drawings kicking about. It certainly looks a lot more considered and 'traditional' than the stuff I've been doing in the last month or two. Still quite like it, though.
If you want to find out what she was complaining about, then you'll need to get hold of a copy of the paper.
As I mentioned the other day, I've been drawing from life so much (what with the public transport pictures) that I'd forgotten how much fun drawing without thinking was. Here's a few pictures from the past day or two.
The last one was immense fun, drawn onto A1 black paper with a white pencil crayon. It took about an hour, I suppose.
Here it is 'in real life', weighed down at the corner
with a book, a notebook and a box of R. Crumb postcards. Without them,
the paper would snap back into a tight tube and roll off onto the floor.
I feel like I've spent too long drawing from life recently, what with the public transport pictures. So, to recharge, I've been doodling without trying to think too much about what I'm drawing. It's been a lot of fun. I fancy doing a bit more of it.
Yes. Even if I'm drawing chairs.
For the third drawing, I was on the train listening to Bongwater. The speech balloon's from a track on their Power Of Pussy album. I hadn't listened to it on headphones since I was about 16.
Ashleigh Young is a New Zealander living in London.
On her blog, she wrote a lovely little piece about travelling on the tube, and she included a bit about my 'public transport' drawings. It's great to see that the drawings strike a note with people like Ashleigh. And what she's written about 'tube etiquette' is, I feel, exactly right.
While in Paris, I got to hang out with Gilbert Shelton, creator of The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers. I've been a fan of his since I was about thirteen or fourteen, I would think, so to sit and chat and eat and drink with him was a real treat. And what a lovely man Gilbert is.
And so, with those heady heights in mind, I told Laura I was game, she sent through the lyrics to a song called 'Never Was', and I set to drawing. Of course, I didn't manage anything as eye-busting or memorable as the stuff I mentioned above but there you go.
On Saturday, my copy of the album showed up in the post, and here - in the lyric book - is my drawing.