Hi ho, hi ho, it's back to work I go.

After a week of rest my back appears to be behaving itself. The test will come when I have to resume sitting at my desk for hours on end (about nine hours to be precise). The doc tells me I need a new chair. I'd like one of these please, preferably in ivory, if they have one.
Charles and Ray Eams designed this Lounge Chair in 1956. It's a classic...AND I WANT ONE!!!

Sorry didn't mean to shout. It's just that I'm tired of sitting on this.

No, really.


Just a quick post today.

Go buy stuff (it'll make me happy) from my new store. I'll be selling all sorts eventually but at the moment it's just 'T's and shoes. Check them out.

make custom gifts at Zazzle


I made it.

The drive to Derby was...excruciating, to say the least. But you do what you have to, right? The guy's at Green Door Printmaking Studio were really nice. Anna, who runs the place, was very approachable, as was her husband (and for the life of me I can't remember his name, sorry). I also met Pan, their daughter, who was also charming and was willing to answer any dumb question that I posed to her. The facilities were just what I had been looking for so the cheque is in the post (it will be by pay day at any rate). If I understand correctly, Pan will be running the screen printing courses, so as soon as the details are in place, I'll be back at Green Door, probably learning that I actually know less than I realize about screen printing.

News on the back front (???) isn't good though. Saw the Dr. on Thursday and he has told me not to go to work for a couple of weeks and prescribed Diazepam and some other unpronounceable drug. Not too keen on the sound of those so we'll see what happens. Asked him if it was a sign of old age to which his reply was 'No'. So good news there. He blames my condition on my chair at work. One of the perils of having a desk job (other than falling asleep at it) is a propensity toward posture problems. That's what eighteen years at a keyboard will get ya.




Every once in a while my back decides it's time to remind me that I'm getting old(er). Since Monday morning it's been playing up. Giving me 'some jip' as my dad would have said. I have not got a clue why it's being such a pain (literally). I've not run a marathon, lifted a car with nothing but my bare hands, wrestled a bear or engaged in envious bouts of rampant sex (I was saving that for the weekend). Sitting is the problem. The more exercise my posterior gets the more acute the pain becomes. Which is a shame because I had planned to visit the Green Door Open Acess Printmaking Studio on Friday. They're having an open week and Friday is the last day, the only day that I can make. I'm begining to think that driving may be a problem.

It's a long walk to Derby from here. Better start now.


I'm working on a graphic novel.

Well, working on is probably the wrong expression. The ideas are fermenting in both my brain and my sketchbook, some samples of which I'll post here soon. These ideas might even evolve into a web comic, who knows?

It's not all capes and tights either. One idea involves the main character facing his inner demons, quite literally. Another is a story of reflection, redemption and a leap of faith. The second is the shorter story of the two and as such is more likely to end up on the web.

I'll let you know.
A blank sheet of paper TERRIFIES me.

No, really.

I think it's the fear of making a mistake. I have trouble with making mistakes. It realy bugs me when I 'F' things up. I live and breath art and my life would be a sadder, duller place without it. Yet when it comes down to making art of my own, that first step is always hardest. That first mark on the paper the most difficult to execute. I wonder why then, do I not suffer from this effliction when creating on the computer? The 'ctrl Z' key stroke could be the reason. Make as many mistakes as you like and this key combination will take you back a step, then another and so on until you're back in the safe zone, to the point where you actually knew what you were doing. Then you're off again until the next mistake.

I need a pencil with a 'ctrl Z' function.


What ever your political stance on the Beijing Olympics may be, you have to admit that the opening ceremony was spectacular (and, so far the Brits are doing quite well for a change). Purely by chance I found some amazing images of the opening here. They're actually wallpapers so if you fancy adorning your desk top with one of these, go take a look.

Lets hope that the persecution is worth it.


On Wednesday Helen and I were in Birmingham. It was a pleasant day. The sun shone. We took in an exhibition at the Icon gallery, said hi to our aquatic friends at the Sea Life Centre and did a little shopping. Somewhere along the way we stopped in Victoria Square to eat sandwiches that we had bought earlier. Sitting on the wall that circumvents the 'Floozy in the Jacuzzi" (see below) I noticed a guy

sketching. So, what's so unusual? Well, this guy was sketching with a marker pen. A fucking HUGE marker pen. He must have been some kind of architecture student or something (on first glance I thought he was Kevin McLoed of Grand Designs fame but that's another story) because he was sketching the buildings around the square. They way he drew was amazing. The size of the marker didn't allow him to record any of the finner detailing of the architecture. Never the less the drawings were still clearly identifiable with the buildings that they depicted. The page just held light and dark, the positive and negative of the space.

So I have to try this. I do sketch with markers, albeit ones with a finner tip, but I'm on the hunt for the chunkiest marker I can find. Watch this space.


I'd heard about this book a while ago and swore to myself that if ever i came across it, it was going to be mine. For anyone with more than a passing interest in comics then Studio Space by Joel Meadows and Gary Marshall is a must have.
Growing up reading comics gave me an appreciation for the medium that a casual interest could not accommodate. I knew the names of every top fight artist on every book that I'd buy with my meager pocket money. I'd copy over and over the poses on the pages, often blowing up a two inch frame to fill an A4 sheet of cartridge paper. I tried to learn all the nuances of the trade by visual decoding alone, often wishing that there were someone or something that would let me in on this secret world, the exclusive club of the comic book artist.

Well, it was a thirty year wait but that something has finally arrived. Joel Meadows and Gary Marshall have put together an exquisite book, brim full of secrets, not only of the comic book artists trade but secrets and revelations of those artists that I admired so much in my youth. The greats are all here; Brain Bolland, Frank Miller, Howard Chakin, Dave Gibbons, Walter Simonson et al. plus some of the modern masters with who I am now getting acquainted. This is a true fanboys dream. Yes, I used the word fanboy, because in all us 40+ comic book fans lurks a stary-eyed twelve year old.


Most folks that know me, know that I'm a comic book geek. Have been for years. Copying the characters from the books (no, I don't mean that I put on tights and a cape) was how I learned to draw. So it was pretty apt when I came across this today on the BBC web site.

"More than 1,000 superhero costumes and props are up for auction at a huge, $3m sale of Hollywood memorabilia. From Will Smith's Men in Black suit to an original T.I.E. fighter from Star Wars - they are all going under the hammer in Los Angeles. They are being sold by Profiles in History, a US dealership in everything nostalgic."

Perhaps I could put on that cape after all. Not sure that I would go down too well in the office, though.

I also came across this. Something that you should only see in a comic book.