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Saturday, 27 March 2010

Guardian All Ears 27th March

What sort of man has a name like 'Bear' for god's sake? Read on for clarity...
(Article by Michael Holden)
I like it when I know what people are talking about and was thus elated and frustrated in equal measure when the conversation at the next table in the pub moved from familiar to puzzling terrain.

Woman “Bear Grylls is a dick.”
Man 1 “Bruce Parry’s the one.”

Woman “Bear Grylls kills spiders. Spiders that he’s already upset.”

Man 1 “He’s no Ray Mears, that’s for sure.”

Man 2 “He pissed in his turban.”
Man 1 “Who?”
Man 2 “Bear Grylls.”
Man 1 (as confused as I was by this revelation) “Pissed in who’s turban?”
Man 2 “He pissed in his own turban.”

Man 1 (as though that made sense) “Oh, okay.”

I went outside to consider where, if anywhere, the truth might lie in this allegation, only to find two men smoking in the midst of an equally odd dialogue.
Smoker 1 “Your days as a narcissist are numbered.”

Smoker 2 “There’s a puritan backlash”

Smoker 2 “Definitely. And it’s only going to get worse.”

Back inside the backlash had already begun.

Woman “I don’t see how he can get away with it-pissing in a turban.”
Man 1 (hoping he would be saying this for the last time) “IT WAS HIS OWN TURBAN!”
Woman (after a considered delay) “That doesn’t make it alright.”

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Guardian All Ears 20th March

(Article by Michael Holden)
The baggage carousel was once the final circle of holiday hell, a last chance to consort with you fellow travellers before normality resumed and all the strange vacation liaisons faded. Nowadays, people who meet on holiday have the option to haunt one another across the Internet for the rest of time. Good luck to them. The carousel though, especially an empty one that isn’t rotating, remains an arena for strange conversation. While a plane load of people muttered and found ways to blame New Labour for their lack of luggage, two men in their sixties recalled the previous night’s entertainment.

Man 1 “Some of the dancing was quite impressive.”

Man 2 (setting him up) “Yeah, but you’ve seen one whirling dervish…”

Man 1 (accepting gladly) “You’ve seen them all!”

Man 2 “That said, the second was much better than the first. He got up to full speed right away. There was no build up. Impressive rate of rotation-relative to the others.”

Man 1 “That belly dancer…”

Man 2 (lapsing into a florid-end of the pier-grin) “Big girl!”

Man 1 “Did you stay for the singer?”

Man 2 “No-she cleared most of the room-including me. At six pounds for a gin and tonic I need more incentive than that.”

Man 1 (poking at the bags that had started dribbling onto the carousel)“It wasn’t like she couldn’t sing.”

Man 2 (channelling the spirit of Cowell) “Quite. It was the wrong choice of song. Why come out with a soppy ballad? Better to have gone up tempo.”

Man 1 “Quite.”

Man 2 “That’s my bag!”

Man 1 (forlorn) “Good for you.”

Man 2 “I’ve got another one.”

Man (visibly cheered) “Oh, okay.”

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Ouroboros dachshund

More sketchbook felt-tip bits


I always had a soft spot for old style Cybermen - all tinfoil, cardboard & silver wellies but STILL masters of the universe!

Boy Zero inside illustration

A sneak preview of some of the inside illustrations from new children's book 'Boy Zero Wannabe Hero - Mystery of the Plummeting Pants'(!) published by Faber
you can pre-order it here

Monday, 15 March 2010

Boy Zero Wannabe Hero

The dreaded General Pandemonium - super villain from a new book 'Boy Zero - Wannabe Hero' which I illustrated the cover & insides for - you can pre order it at the Faber website

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Guardian All Ears 13th March

If only tube elocution was was more like this...
...although there's a brilliant announcement at Bank station where THE emphasis is HILARIOUSLY wrong - a bit like those commercials for furniture stores sales where the shop owner has foolishly decided to do it himself rather than pay a proper actor.
Anyone of a certain age from the south east ITV region (always brilliantly shonky & amateurish whether it was TVS, Meridian or whatever) might remember the late night adverts for Folkestone Sunday market where a still photograph with some letraset was over laid with the classic slogan 'bring large bags...& little money, to Folkestone Sunday Market'- they don't make 'em like that get the idea!
Ahem! Article follows...
(Article by Michael Holden)

On a stationary plane the pilot made an announcement explaining that the aircraft must be de-iced prior to take off-hence our delay. He spoke clearly and with authority, this, combined with the implicit reminder that supersonic travel in freezing weather isn't something to be taken for granted quelled the collective sense of displeasure that had been spreading through the cabin. The couple next to me seemed impressed and reassured.

Woman: "They must go to college."

Man: "Who?"

Woman: "The Pilots."

Man: "Eh?"

Woman: "They must get training. In how to talk to people like that. So clearly."

Man: "I used to do that. Make announcements."

Woman: "When?"

Man: "I did work experience on the Victoria line."

Woman: "And they let you make the announcements?"

Man: "I think maybe they did it just to keep us busy."

Woman: "What sort of things did you have to say?"

Man: "Ladies and gentlemen, due to a person under a train at Caledonian Roadthere is no southbound service on the Picadilly line."

Woman: "And you used that voice?"

Man: "No, I used a nicer one. A sort of posh woman's voice."

Woman: (frowning, incredulous) "Let's hear it then…"

Man: (He gave her a look and then used a measured but nonetheless ridiculous tone, like a professional sportsman reduced to playing a pantomime dame, but determined to make a go of it) "Due to a person under a train there is no…"

Woman "Eugh, that's enough."

Man: "It sounds better over the PA.It comes out clearer."

Woman: "I'm glad you never got the job."

Man: "I never wanted it."

She scowled and turned back to her thick book of puzzles, as though they might prove more soluble somehow than the real world, and the man with whom she was about to go on holiday. .

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Yo' mama...

Gratuitous curse words & violent intent...

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

New face in hell...

Entrance to hell re-imagined in felt tip

Monday, 8 March 2010

Ice cream & monsters

How a Universal studios monster seaside trip might have looked

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Guardian - All Ears 6th March

Flying V's, neo Weller haircuts & a little peak at the Gallagher rhyming dictionary

(Article by Michael Holden)
I walked into a pub the other day, where two grown men were arguing at the bar about which one of them might – in theory – have been the better musician, and loitered on the edge of their spat, feeling calm by comparison, as their antagonism flowed.

Man 1 (exasperated) "You've never even heard us play."

Man 2 (malign, mischievous) "But I know you're shite."

Man 1 "How would you know?"

Man 2 "I just know. I can see you in your room now, writing all fucking lyrics and whatnot."

Man1 "What do you know about my lyrics?"

Man 2 "I know they'll be shite."

Man 1 "You talk about it like you know, but what do you do? Sit in your room and play guitar to no one. You've never even been in a band."

Man 2 "Tell us some of your lyrics."

Man1 "Who's your favourite guitarist?"

Man 2 "Whose yours?"

Man 1 "Jeff Beck. You're not gonna tell me Jeff Beck can't play guitar?"

Man 2 (doing sarcastic air guitar motions) "Jeff Beck, man? Did you never see him with that Celtic clasp round his arm? He's lost the plot."

Man 1 "You can't say he can't play because of some … jewellery!"

Man 2 "Tell us some of your lyrics."

Man 1 "I might write a song about you, you twat."

Man 2 "It'd be the best thing you've ever done."

Man 1 "Behave yourself now. People are looking."

Man 2 "Fuck 'em. Tell us some lyrics."

Man 1 "No."

Thursday, 4 March 2010


imaginary '60s girl garage groups...

Monday, 1 March 2010


Just remembered this rather duck-y illustration I did for the Art Book cover competition (rejected, but I quite like the ducks so I thought I'd share it)

I've not had a very good run on winning competitions of any form - I won an 'Anti Religious' cartooning competition under 18s section when I was 12, (prize - £20 book token) a short story competition when I was 13 (prize - paperback copy of '1984') & I got my picture into the 1983 Judge Dredd annual (prize £10) but it's all been a bit barren since then - maybe peaked too early?