November 14th, 2013


gaga over chris riddell's goth girl

Yesterday I was terribly unwell and closeted myself away - just like this - in my eight-poster bed, with potions, hankies and smelling salts. And a good book, which cheered me to no end.

That good book: have you read Chris Riddell's latest work, Goth Girl? It's lushly packaged. Look at these gorgeous black and foil endpapers. In my illness-addled state, I read this book and watched some Lady Gaga videos and something struck me: Goth Girl and Gaga's new Artpop album are trying to do almost exactly the same thing!

Gaga's new Applause video revels in wild, slightly arch, costume, and creates a mishmash of over 40 pieces of iconic artwork. She's trying to entertain, make people think a little bit and want to look stuff up. She wants to come across as very clever while being a bit tongue-in-cheek, and make some decent money while she's at it. Even the look of her, she's thin and spidery and pale. Now go through that list again, apply it to Goth Girl, and everything stands.

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the seawigs perfect prezzie pack

Hey, Philip Reeve and I have worked out a way to make Oliver and the Seawigs meet all your Christmas prezzie needs!

Gift tags! This was Philip's idea, and I've provided a variety of formats to print out, colour if you like, cut out and attach to your parcel. There's a traditional woodcut Sea Monkey and a more cheeky line drawing Sea Monkey. Hope you like them! Download the PDF here.

It's been fabulous seeing photos of people's Stitched Sea Monkeys come scampering in!

Fabulous Sea Monkeys by Holly Skeet and our the mother-in-law of our Seawigs Dutch translator, Sandra Hessels (as yet without a mouth)

Stitched by Jo Morris and writer Gillian Cross

You can download the stitching pattern (designed by my studio mate, Ms Deadly Knitshade) here on my website.

Hey, if you wanted, you could even draw your own Sea Monkey giftwrap! Or take some time on Boxing Day with the recipient of your Stitched Sea Monkey, drawing its portrait. Here's a little tutorial video, How to Draw a Sea Monkey!

Oliver and the Seawigs - How to draw a Sea Monkey from MB Films on Vimeo.

Or if you'd rather, you can print out the tutorial sheet from my website and include it with your parcel! Or download the PDF direct here. A perfect activity for a restless Boxing Day.