Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Me and The Biz

What with one thing or another I've not really had much time to devote to just 'straight-up-bloggin' recently. As more and more bits 'n' bobs of art-work stack up, I regrettably find myself posting not much more than the odd jpeg accompanied by a sentence or two and a hastily constructed title. Mustn't grumble though, and thankfully I've got loads more stuff coming up that I'll be struggling to find time to blog about, so I decided to spare a bit of time to construct this post for a brief change of pace, which has a respectable word count, a title that references the Masta Ace classic of the same name, and a staggeringly awesome picture that I didn't even draw..

The specific 'Biz' to which the title of this post refers, and the artist who drew this particular picture is one of my childhood heroes Simon Bisley. Back in '88 when my gran cancelled my subscription to the Dandy and Beano and signed me up to receive 2000 AD every week, I started to skip straight past Judge Dredd to marvel at Bisley's unbelievable black and white depictions of the A.B.C Warriors. If you click on the image above, you'll see a big enough version to notice that one of Tharg's droids mistakingly credited the work to 'Steve' Bisley, but you'll also be able to get a good enough look to see the incredible quality of line and tonal balance. I've been inspired by this work for most of my life.

This all kind of sets the scene as to how totally chuffed I was when I found out that one of my comics might actually find its way into the hands of Simon Bisley himself.

A couple of months ago I went up to Leeds to a Daniel Johnston gig that I had designed the poster for. The fact that I found myself backstage with Daniel signing prints of the poster is an awesome enough story on its own. I gave him a comic too and he said I should try and get a job drawing for Marvel! He knocked back a couple of hot chocolates and we got a little production line going signing both our names on the prints. The gig he played shortly after was pretty amazing to say the least, and I was able to take away a print that he'd wrote out to me as a souvenir. Here's a detail of it.. (Big thanks to Sogol by the way, who did a great job of screen printing them up. They were selling like hot cakes as everyone poured out The Brudenell, which was nice to see.)

So, back to Biz.. Before everyone poured out The Brudenell, I was stood in The Brudenell watching the show with my mate Andy and his mate (who's now my mate) James Owen Fender. James is doing pretty well with his own music at the moment (check out his MySpace HERE if you want) and he told me that someone out of his band was going out with Simon Bisley's daughter and that he could pass a comic on to her that she would pass on to her dad when she saw him at christmas.. He also told me that her dad (who is Simon Bisley) is good friends with Glen Danzig (who is Glen frickin' Danzig!) and that when Simon's on the phone to Glen, James and the band try out their best "MOTHER!" in their best Danzig voice in the background.

This is all probably highly confidential stuff, but I don't suppose there are that many people reading this.. If I didn't know who Simon Bisley or Daniel Johnston were I wouldn't have made it past the first chuffin' paragraph.

For those of you that did make it that far (and particularly to those of you that made it this far) I hope you enjoyed my somewhat disjointed account of some things that happened to me which involved some people that I really admire. I had wanted to blog about all this before christmas, as I imagined Mr. Bisley flicking through Pictorial Showboat and checking out my website to find something like this that I'd written in time for him to see. Perhaps I've missed his brief visit or perhaps he'll see this instead. I'm just pretty stoked that he might've seen my work 'cos I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but his work on the A.B.C Warriors was truly inspirational to me.

Right, I'm gonna wrap up this waffling and get some drawing done, which I'll no doubt be posting evidence of soon. I've done some more stuff for Dazed & Confused recently and I'm doing something for Moshi Moshi Records next.. Zarjaz!

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