A very raw, self-knowingly OTT reaction to the general election results last week. I wanted to evoke the feeling of a 1970’s Italian horror film. Lots of abstract, jarring juxtapositions of surreal imagery. An Argento movie set in Buckingham Palace while Cameron met the Queen. It was fun, and weirdly cathartic to draw ram’s heads and crows.
On a more positive note, on the weekend after the results, I started to think about all the artists I know who were feeling angry or despairing at the prospect of another five years of a Tory government – and how there were probably loads of campaigns and protest groups gearing up soon, who would need artwork… So I set up a mailing list for artists to sign up to – so that when that art is needed, I could send out a newsletter to all the artists who were interested in getting involved and helping out. It feels good to put that energy into doing something positive and I’m excited to see what this group can do! If you’d like to sign up, click here.
You can read the full article here.
The illustrations, without the excellent context:
This was in response to the Robert Downey Jr walkout but seems to be a common trend of KGM asking famous people ridiculously private or tediously controversial questions while they’re contractually promoting movies (see: violence in cinema with Quentin Tarantino, wherein Tarantino is an arrogant douche about it but has a point about that tired question popping up again). I can understand there must be a frustration with having to do these 5-10 minute puff pieces promoting a movie with fairly mundane questions but I can’t help but think Guru-Murphy’s questions are at best, ill-timed, and at worst, opportunistic. Surely, if you don’t want to be part of a PR tour for a blockbuster movie, you just turn the interview down rather than try and hijack it to interview an actor about their past? It can’t be a surprise when someone who is contractually obligated to answer questions in a hotel all day doesn’t react well to their past as an addict being brought up.
I was sat watching the opposition debates, having the usual soul-draining feelings every time Farage opened his mouth to speak, when this idea popped into my head. Whatever the issue, whatever the topic – Farage never fails to crowbar in some immigration talk – to the point at which the word lost all meaning and I was convinced this Immigration person just really hurt Farage once. Broke his heart. And he can’t let it go.
It’s a kinder, sillier, interpretation of his beliefs than he deserves but for my own sanity and well-being, I have to try not to take this man seriously or I become depressed.
After I pitched this idea, I saw the brilliant Babak Ganjei share a couple of Young Farage comics on Facebook which come from a similar place but are very different in execution. He’s much funnier than me. Check them out here. I was terrified it would look like I stole his idea when I saw his posts, but I think we both came at the same idea in very different ways.
BAM BAM BU-BUH BAM BAM BU-BUH BAM BAM. Game of Thrones is back! The idea of juxtaposing the grim violence and backstabbing of GoT with the meaningless soundbites and petty squabbles of the UK election campaigns was just too tempting. It’s weeks like this that I wish I had a bit more room to really dig in and enjoy drawing all characters but I’m still pretty pleased with my Tyrion, Sansa and Jon Snow.
I know campaigning has only just officially started but it really doesn’t feel like it.
My friend Neil Hughes has been working on a book about anxiety called Walking on Custard & The Meaning of Life and he commissioned me to provide the cover artwork.
The book launches today so I thought I’d share a couple of early concepts I sent at the beginning to show the progress of the cover:
That first rough was my initial idea and Neil suggested we try and show a little more of the people struggling to walk on custard. That led to my second design which Neil preferred but asked if we could see a blue sky in there.
We both felt the sky worked with the basic colour scheme I started to work with and, after some tinkering with the composition, we settled on this image for the wraparound artwork.
And here’s the final design with the logo, text and barcode all added.
There are also additional articles about anxiety by Neil available at www.walkingoncustard.com.
I really liked the idea of doing a cartoon version of Monet’s Haystacks with time passing as the hotel ponders the overuse of the word “gate”. I had fun playing with the colours and trying to make the shadows work.
This was for the Easter double issue of the New Statesman (buy a physical copy here) so there won’t be a comic next week.
Treated myself to doing a fun illustration just for me earlier this week.
The Guest was one of my film highlights of last year. It was almost custom-built to appeal to me: Carpenter inspired goth-synth soundtrack? Check. A giddy, mischievous sense of humour that dares you to laugh at every ominous smash-cut? Check. A gloriously bonkers final act, coated in neon blues and pinks? Check. You can enjoy it as a fun genre-hopping horror/action film, but if you want to intellectualise it as a critique of how we treat our war veterans and as an exploration of the destructive consequences of PTSD, there’s plenty there for you.
I also enjoyed You’re Next, from the same writer/director team. Again, another genre deconstruction that would sit comfortably in a double bill with Cabin In The Woods. Looking forward to seeing what they follow this up with.
The absurd idea that Clarkson is a frustrated liberal trapped in a bigoted world of his own making made me smile. It’s completely improbable. But I wonder if there’s an element of truth to it in that he knows exactly what he’s doing when it comes to courting controversy.