November 18th, 2008

approaching the runway

Today's morning sketch is a mixed tribute to Winsor McCay, Maurice Sendak and Fougasse. It's also me trying to gear myself up to launch into a huge pile of work today. I think I'll treat it like flying a Lancaster bomber (even though this airplane doesn't look anything like a Lancaster.) I'll do it with all the sound effects, that should keep me going. And ensure I never share a studio with anyone. Yes, I've realised, no louche comments on this picture, please...

Artwork: I'll sell the original artwork for this strip for £40 + £5 registered mail postage (a little bit more for postage if you live outside the UK) via Paypal. The image is 17x14 cm.

Latest briefing from DFC headquarters: If you haven't yet subscribed to the DFC (shock, horror!), you can buy it for one week only in 647 branches of Tesco, from Wed, 26 Nov - Tues, 2 Dec. Here's the cover, which is different from the cover sent to subscribers, but it will have the same comic goodness inside. If you live in Britain, go see if it's in your Tesco, buy a copy and let me know what you think!

I'm sure there will still be tickets for the Comica panel I'm doing at the ICA with other DFC people next Sunday, do come along!

Today is the 80th birthday of Mickey Mouse. I just heard Brian Sibley on Radio 4 discussing Mickey, and he gives him a tribute here on his blog. (You might remember Brian Sibley as the guy who co-wrote the BBC radio adaptation of Lord of the Rings with Michael Bakewell. And he reviewed the first issue of the DFC here.)

Writer and illustrator Alex Milway went along to the studio aka retrospective screening I flagged a few days ago and gave a write-up here. Interestingly, one of the animation directors turned out to be a guy he often sees on the train on his way to work, who live just up the street, but whom he had never talked to. And the guy knew Alex's work with mouse characters, but hadn't figured out who Alex was, either. Small world!

a perfect job

Often I've had jobs which involve endless meetings with clients to get a piece of work 'just right', and then more meetings, and then they slap some neon green lettering on top of it and I think, that SO wasn't worth the money.

Today was the opposite! The publicist for Rhodes Bakery in Greenwich saw the doodle I made in my sketchbook the first day the bakery opened on the blog of The Greenwich Phantom and told her boss, Paul Rhodes, about it. He ordered three prints: one to hang in his bakery, one to hang in his house, and one for his mum. I didn't have to do anything extra but scan and print, and not only did he pay a decent amount, he treated me to coffee and an almond tart upon delivery! And now I'll feel a warm glow about it every time I visit. Wow, if all jobs were like this, I'd be so very happy and so, um... fat.

Which started me thinking, if you're an artist and looking for clients, shopkeepers LOVE to have local artists draw their shops. So if you don't have any work, just go around your local area, find shops you like and draw them, and then hawk them to the shopkeepers. Solution!

When I first came to London, I was practicing drawing people on the street, but I often put local architecture behind them to give a bit of atmosphere. One day I drew people in front of a Turkish cafe that I frequently visit in Camberwell and printed off a few cards of the drawing. I gave them to one of the waiters, and the next time I visited, I noticed they were displaying the card behind the plastic of their shop front menu. And they must've given one to the next-door dry cleaners, whose shop was sort of incidentally included in the picture, because the dry cleaners had not one, but two framed pictures of it on either side of their shop! More amusingly, they had cropped off the half of the picture with the Turkish cafe in it and blown up their half to triple size on a colour photocopier. Those pictures stayed there for years, until they faded totally to white and the shop redecorated.

Hey, have a look at this brilliant video that Woodrow Phoenix alerted me to, of Posy Simmonds and her work. We both wish they would make an hour-long version.

And thanks to John Rowley for pointing me to a great parody theme tune to the BBC's Antiques Roadshow by Joe from the Adam and Joe Show on Radio 6 Music. I don't know Joe, but he lives next door to good friends of mine, and their kid's always going over to do projects with Joe and thinks he's the bees' knees. (Actually, he's not a kid any more, he's just started film school.)