Monday, 16 July 2018

The Book of the Enemy

...and there's another one, this time a collection edited by the excellent Simon Bucher-Jones and featuring written contributions from myself, Andrew Hickey, Philip Purser-Hallard, Lisa Sarah Good, Helen Angrove and others. It's available, as usual, as a proper printed book like God intended or as a series of zeroes and ones from Obverse Books, who still seem to have the first version of the cover on their site, for some reason.

My contribution incorporates material recycled from an earlier draft of Against Nature, in case anyone cares, whilst being otherwise autobiographical because that seemed like the only way to write it which would make sense. My other contribution was the cover, of which the natural history is as follows - in the event of anyone wishing to save or repurpose any of this material for whatever ends. It began with a series of descriptions of bizarre creatures or objects written by Simon, which actually reminded me a little of the sort of things we used to see in Doug Allen and Gary Leib's Idiotland comic book; so I sort of took it from there, without worrying too much about the realism, or lack thereof.


 ...and then some highlights:

This image was used for the back cover, but was only ever intended as something I would paint over as a wash so as to have these vague images half-seen beneath the main one. Once I got started on the main figure, I got so much into it that I forgot to take photographs, so I only have an image of the finished thing. Never mind.


Wednesday, 11 July 2018

More of This Sort of Thing!

In the unlikely event that anyone should be keeping track of this shit, I've contributed to the first issue of More of This Sort of Thing!, a traditional print fanzine sporadically produced by Careful Now Promotions of Kent, England. Careful Now is a vast multinational conglomerate in the style of ICI or Rio Tinto Zinc who organise live gigs in the Medway area. One of them used to write for Brian Moore's Head and I think the other bloke may have had something to do with The Donkey's Tale, although I could be getting my wires crossed there. More of This Sort of Thing! is done mainly as something to be given out at said gigs, and I think this issue accompanied a performance by Stuart Turner & the Flat Earth Society, amongst others. Admittedly, it's kind of thin at twelve pages, but there's a lot in it, considering, and I can think of worse ways to spend half an hour. When I say I've contributed, what I actually mean is that they reprinted the thing I wrote for my blog about the late Alun Jones of the Dentists, and I drew a picture of himself to accompany the article, which they used as the cover. They asked me if I wanted to draw a cartoon, just like in the old days when I drew stuff for Brian Moore's Head, and I tried but it turned out rubbish, so I suggested they use the tribute to Alun instead. For what it may be worth, I'll probably try to write something for the next issue too.

More of This Sort of Thing! is an analogue publication, it says here, meaning it is not available electronically, digitally, or on any social media platform. If you would like a copy, either show up at one of the monthly Careful Now events at either the Oast in Rainham, Kent or the Billabong in Rochester, or send fifty pee with a stamped addressed envelope to 2c, Broadview Avenue, Rainham, Kent, ME8 9DB, England; although I've a feeling they may already have run out of the June issue.

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Spinning Jenny

There be another book for which one didst paint the cover. It actually came out last November but for reasons too boring to go into, I've only just got hold of a copy. It's available from Obverse Books in the usual formats, and as it's become my habit to share earlier versions of the cover painting before the titles were added by the excellent Cody Schell - just in case anyone feels they really need to see what it looked like - here you go. First, the rough version illustrating my attempts to work out what the fuck I was doing:

Then a lesson in the perils of selected background music drawing too heavily on records from Adam Ant's pantomime phase - Stand and Deliver, Prince Charming, Spank Me Widow Twankey and others...

Not sure what was going on here...

Then I decided that the novel almost certainly featured President Obama in some capacity...

Then it made it to this stage, but our lass had developed an expression suggesting she didnae really gi' twa shites about the events of the novel or whatever was on the other end of that rope, so obviously something had to change...

And finally, Cyril?
Finally, Esther, I am indebted to Mr. Johnson of Basingstoke who sent me this photograph of a carrot resembling a hampton, and here's the finished cover. I'm still not sure about it. I think it works. Bits of it work, but all I can really do is push the paint in a certain direction until it looks like pushing it any further would be a bad idea.

So there you have it, or rather them. Feel free to save and repurpose in any non-commercial capacity should you feel the need to do so.

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Pamphlets of Destiny

Two whole years later than intended, I have extruded another self-published book, yet another pulse-pounding agglomeration of stuff you can already read for free on the internet. Pamphlets of Destiny is the second volume of Crappy 1970s Paperbacks, this time named after the blog for which most of the reviews were written and covering 2013 through to 2015. There's some material which was never posted for one reason or another, and a few of the reviews are slightly expanded, but otherwise it's pretty much the same, just reproduced in a more civilised form suitable for reading at bedtime or while doing a poo. There's no eBook because I dislike eBooks and I've got better things to do than format the fucking thing yet again when, as I say, it's already online more or less in its entirety.

Lest the Lulu blurb appear too cryptic and you object to taking a look at the Pamphlets of Destiny blog on religious grounds, I'm trying to sell you a fat six-hundred-ish page book - proper traditional paperback size, but just a bit fat - of reviews of science-fiction novels, non-science-fiction novels, comic books, and one song I hated so much that I just couldn't hold back. I've had a few stabs at vaguely literary discourse, but it's mostly sarcasm and swearing. It would make an ideal Birthday or Christmas present for a friend or relative who enjoys some of the above, or for a friend or relative you don't really care about so they get what they get and should be glad of getting fucking anything.

Buy it here.