Friday, September 30, 2005

It's based on a very good comic you know

I want to see History of Violence tonight. But it’s not going to happen, I won’t see it tomorrow either, or all of next week because it’s not on at the local cinema. Yes the great city (not a town, oh no) of Lancaster has one cinema with 2 screens and doesn’t concider HOV with it’s masses of excellent reviews and star of LOTR to be worth putting on, lets have Pride & Prejudice for a 3 week running. Okay, I’m glad land of the Dead (excellent) is still on but the usualy spread 3 films across their 2 screens. The local arthouse cinema is pretty rubbish too, everything comes out about 2 months late and it’s either the same big budget bollocks the main cinema had on or it’s as left field alternative as possible to prove the places arthouse credentials.
There is actually a huge multiplex in town, but the funding was pulled after it was built and it now stands empty - does this make sense to anyone?


Coming home for lunch from work today I have the distinct pleasure of not having to go back for the rest of the day. How did I manage to wangle this half day treat? Simple, I went in on my day off for half a day. Back before I entered the haloed halls of management I could never understand why they would stay back at work when they weren’t paid overtime. Now I know, because work needs doing and once you signed the contract saying you’re an idiot you’ve got to unhold your part of the bargin.
The management ethos is becoming so ingrained that I actually feel bad about having a week off (I’m still having the week off, but at least I feel bad) because I know there’s a lot to be done and not many people (oh, okay, there’s no one else - yes I run things single handed, I have the power, I rule the kingdom and all bow down before me) to do it.
So, one more day at work (tomorrow) and then I’ll just have to put it out of my mind and hope that I don’t go back to a smoking crater a week later.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Linky linky

There's another link on the right. I've been following Andi Watson's work for a long time now, and am a huge fan of his artwork (and writing) The elegance and simlicity of it is it's power and something I aim for myself. If none of you have seen Watson's work click on the new link.
A really cool thing about Watson's site is the blog which has plenty of lovely pinups, and more importantly some samples from his new up coming comic, 'Paris' which he's only writing. Why am I so excited about this comic when Watson's not doing the art? Easy, Simon Gane's doing the artwork and he is a cartooning giant. Gane's incredible work is hard to describe, but that's okay because you can go and look at it on Watson's site.

Monday, September 26, 2005


Finally got round to updating the bit on the right to add a few new names. Garen made a good point that the links are something he uses to go checking friends stuff and that seems like a good idea, I already do it with Danny, Liam and Paul so putting up the new regular visitors seems like a good idea, hope you all don't mind. Garen's probably new to the rest of you as he doesn't use blogger, so here's a little info on him. His blog is mainly, but not exclusively, a news site for his excellent comic Rainbow Orchid, which is easiest described as H Rider Haggard meets TinTin but there's more to it than that. The webcomic version of Rainbow Orchid is designed and executed with Garen's customary care and skill, so take a look.

A sign from the Dandy

Still mopping around somewhat, but I think I figured it. Work is definitely a main cause, but it's the usual thing of not getting any of my own stuff done. When I can't write or draw I get miserable, so the trick is to just start working again. I'm at work for the rest of this week and then I've got a week off which I plan to use productively. The other thing I'm going to do is to do some overtime (which I don't get paid for) when I get back, which might sound a bit weird but I reckon it might be the only way to get a lot of stuff sorted, which'll be best for me.
One of the stories I want to try and write next has been an idea I've been kicking around for years now and one of the things that inspired it was a dopey barely remembered story from the Dandy. Yesterday at work I had a look at the new 'Best of' the Dandy and Beano annual and there's a little sample of the old story. I've decided this is a sign to actually write the thing for myself.
Oh yeah, if you get a chance go see Land of the Dead, I heard a few grumblings that it wasn't all it could be. Bollocks to that! Maybe it isn't as good his other films, but that doesn't mean it isn't excellent. There's something more than a little annoying about fans who prove their credentials by running down the most recent offerings of their heroes.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


I’m in a rut. It’s still warm from the last time I was there actually. Work’s probably the main reason, it’s hectic, it’s exhausting and it’s frustrating. When I get home there’s no energy left in me for the things I usually enjoy. Writing and drawing are the first things to go when I get like this but then I don’t exactly enjoy them as such, I mean I enjoy what the need to write and draw makes me do sometimes but it’s a struggle so they’re the first things to suffer. I stopped reading halfway through a book I was enjoying, the comics I’ve been rereading are really good but I’m only rereading them because I’m familiar with them. I’m not making choices about what I eat, in other words I’m eating a fair bit of crap but mainly what I eat is uninspiring and it’s boring eating it and I’m eating more of it because I’m bored. Am I exercising? Am I hell. I like exercising. Still not doing any though.
Blaming work is probably only part of the story of course, but I can’t put my finger on the rest of it, other than habit, or stupidity.
The most annoying thing about all this is that it’s pathetic. I just want to slap myself and snap out of it. Of course the only thing that gets me doing stuff again is just getting on and doing stuff, but that’s really really hard. It’s hard until I do it, then I become unbearable going on about how it’s really easy and I should have done it earlier.
Sorry for the self pity, normal self obsession will be resumed as soon as I get over myself.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Off again

Yes I just can't get enough of Oldham. This time it's for a wedding though so it should be much better than last weekend.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Danny finally pulls me in


What Amazing Woman Are You Most Like?
brought to you by Quizilla

Apparently this is the famous woman I'm most like. No idea who she is, but I must find out more, I mean look at that picture, I think I fancy me.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Hello face

I shaved my beard off. Okay you didn't know I had one, but I did, and now it's gone. The great thing about shaving a beard is when you do it in stages and get to experiment, strangely enough I don't suit a handlebar mustache. The other great thing is that you look all fresh and new.
In other news I was in Oldham this weekend. As no one who visits this blog is from Oldham, at least not that I'm aware of, can I just say how much I hate it. If you enjoy getting angry at drink culture please pay the place a visit.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Yet even more special stuff

Okay, the Village Person below probably needs a bit of explaination. About a year or so ago there was a competition to do a redesign of Judge Dredd (70's punk icon from 2000ad and iffy Stallone film adaptation) as if he came out now. I decided to do it for a laugh and send up the mean leather biker tough guy thing. Needless to say no one was impressed.

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This one was from back when I was posting some of my sketchbook stuff, still quite like it.

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As was this, but I don't like it as much - sorry, not much to pick from!

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Finally my most up to date art (about 2 months old?) that's online was an attempt at doing comics again after ages. I quite like the drawings but the 'story' doesn't really make sense. Sorry about the lame scans to, doesn't capture the look of the originals I'm afraid - it was inked with a brush on watercolour paper and had a really nice texture that my crappy scanner didn't pick up very well.
..... and that's it. Simian art will folllow as soon as I get paid and can afford a new scanner.

Special stuff

This will be a special moment in your lives, for you will be about to read an excerpt of Simian Smith! Unless you decide to look at another site, in which case I never liked you anyway.
Simian's now in the hands of people who might actually make things happen (unless they think it sucks) so who knows what'll happen with that.
BTW for anyone not aware, Simian Smith is aimed at somewhere around the 9 year old market but hopefully can be enjoyed by older folk.

PAUL HARRISON-DAVIES (and totally copyrighted to him, okay!)


There was nothing on my desk that day, other than a pair of feet, my feet. I was taking it easy. I’m a Private Detective, people come to me when they want something or someone found, but lately no one was coming to me for anything. Which was fine by me, there was money in my bank account from my last case, there was food in my fridge and I like the easy life. Although more money would mean better surroundings to relax in. My office is not what anyone would call fancy, hovel is a much better description. It was in a building called ‘The Cahuenga’ on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles. The building was in better condition than my office, but that’s not really a compliment. Wallpaper peeled off the walls here and there, little bare patches showed through the carpet and the office furniture had been second hand before I’d even bought it. But the couch in the corner was more comfortable than it looked and you could maybe get three people in here as long as everyone breathed in and no one moved around too much. But I’ve put up with worse and I like being my own boss.
I reached into the top drawer of my desk where I keep my bananas. Anytime is a right time for a banana, but somehow they taste better when you’ve got absolutely nothing to do. I’m crazy for bananas, but then most apes are. That’s right, I’m an ape, a talking one. Trust me there’s stranger things, maybe I’ll tell you about them sometime. It says Simian Smith Private Detective on my office door, ‘Simian’ means ‘ape’ and some folk call me ‘Primate Detective’ which I kind of like. Occasionally people have a problem with me being an ape, I always tell them same thing, ‘Tough!’ I like to growl and show some teeth when I do it just to show them I mean business. Back to my bananas. I took one out of the big drawer, which wasn’t quite as full as I’d like it be, and slowly peeled it - a good banana should never, ever, be rushed. As the banana peel came away revealing the beautiful pale yellow fruit inside the smell hit me, I can’t get enough of that smell. I closed my eyes, opened my mouth and was about to take a bite when there was a knock at the door. Through the frosted glass window section with my name on it I could make out a peculiar silhouette. Most decent offices have receptions and receptionists who say things like, “I’m sorry Mr. Smith is seeing an important client at the moment and cannot be disturbed. He’s not eating a banana or anything like that, please come back later.” But I can’t afford all that so clients get to come straight to me. Maybe more money would be helpful. The silhouette knocked again, whoever wanted me wasn’t giving up. With a deep sigh I carefully put the banana down on my desk and covered it with a newspaper. Then I fished around in the desk drawers and found a small mirror to see if I was presentable. My hair was sticking up in tufts, I had a bit of banana inspired drool on my chin and my clothes looked like I’d slept in them - I had, but it was only a nap. I tucked my shirt in, rolled down the sleeves, wiped my chin, flattened my hair and straightened my tie. “Looking good,” I said giving myself a little wink.
The silhouette had no patience, it was knocking again, “The door’s open, come in,” I called.
Kind of funny looking is the best way to describe the man who stepped cautiously into my office. He looked like a clown, with his big curly hair and silly clothes. His shoes were brown suede and his feet were long and flat. Dark green baggy corduroy trousers, a brown waistcoat with a pattern made up of lighter and darker brown diamonds, a reddish jacket and a deep purple shirt with yellow spots made me think my visitor was colour blind. But the best bit was the tie, which instead of being in the shape of a tie was in the shape of a fish. This turned out to be important, it also made me think my visitor wasn’t colour blind, just tasteless. Wearing this carefully selected outfit was a short skinny man with a long chin, large ears, big eyes and a big nose. All together the result was a little amusing, you could even say he had a certain goofy charm, if you wanted to be generous.
“Good afternoon Mr. Smith. My name is Cetera, Lionel Cetera and I desperately need your, er... help.”
I assumed Cetera didn’t mean help with his wardrobe, which I would have gladly given him, free of charge.
“Typical,” I said, “people only ever come to see me when they want something.”
Cetera’s prominent brow wrinkled in alarm making his fuzzy mousey hair wobble. He blushed and stuttered, “M.... Mr. S... Sm... Smith I assure y.... y.... you I... I.... I....”
Deciding not to wait for him to finish his sentence, I raised my hand in a calming gesture, “Don’t worry Mr. Cetera, it was a joke. Please take a seat.”
“Oh, ha, a joke. Yes, yes I see. Oh. Ha ha!”
Cetera pulled a chair up to my desk and sat down, he was still giggling with relief. My banana still sat patiently waiting for me, wanting me to eat it. I tried my best to ignore it, “Tell me, Mr Cetera, what can I do for you?”
“Yes, um, well,” said Cetera, “my passion…. or, ha…. poisson, if you prefer, ha ha, is fish.”
There wasn’t much to say to that, so I didn’t bother. Cetera carried on chuckling to himself until he realised I wasn’t laughing with him.
“Ahem,” said Cetera clearing his throat, “It was a joke. Poisson, it’s, um, French. For fish.”
“Is it?” I said. We sat in silence for a few uncomfortable seconds as I wondered if I should have let Cetera into my office.
“Please Mr. Cetera,” I said figuring it couldn’t hurt to hear him out, “continue.”
“Oh, well, um, I am a collector of rare fish. Fish, the most beautiful of God’s creatures, sublime in their elegance,” Cetera was on his favourite subject now, and it showed, he was all beaming smiles and gesticulating hands. “Oh beautiful lovely fish, God’s gift to the sea and mankind. Fish, Mr. Smith, fish are very much my passion. Now, once a year my fellow fish enthusiasts and I meet at the Annual Fish Enthusiasts Convention where we attend talks, look at the latest in fish collecting equipment and memorabilia. But the highlight of the day is the Fish Show where, from a shortlist of ten, one fish is judged Fish of the Year. It’s a great honour, and can be quite, ah, lucrative, if I may be so vulgar to bring up money. But it really isn’t about the money Mr. Smith, it is about man and fish taking part in the show in perfect harmony”
“I see,” I said, which was a little bit of an exaggeration. I was wrong, it had hurt to hear him out, “and why is it you need me? Worried the fish are taking bribes or on steroids?”
“Oh no Mr. Smith, no, no of course not,” replied Mr. Cetera, oblivious to the sarcasm, “I believe someone is trying to kidnap my fish!”
“Shouldn’t that be fish-nap?”
Jumping out of the chair Cetera slammed his hands on the table and shouted, “Mr. Smith I don’t think you fully appreciate the seriousness of the situation!”
He was wrong, I appreciated it fully. There was a lunatic in my office.
“Well,” I said, slowly getting up from his chair so not to excite the possible psychotic opposite me, “that certainly is a problem.”
“Yes, it is Mr....”
“A very serious problem,” I interrupted, walking over to Cetera and putting an arm around his shoulder.
“Very serious Mr. Smith, which is why…”
Gently guiding Cetera out of the chair and towards the door I talked over him again, “Kidnapping is very serious. Very serious indeed. Hope things work out for you. Sorry I can’t help. Too busy you see. Very busy. Busy busy.” I said, and with a quick push Cetera was out of the door.
Putting all my weight against the door I waited for Cetera to stop knocking on it and leave the building and my life.
Feet back on the table and back side once again on my chair I put Mr. Lionel Cetera and his crazy talk out of my head and picked up the banana that had been patiently waiting to be eaten. I didn’t even get to open my mouth when I was interrupted by another knock at the door.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Arrested Development

The episode on BBC2 last Sunday was great but I loved the repeated used of Christmas Time is Here everytime a character got let down. Genius. Schulz would have been happy I'm sure. Just had to acknowledge that.

Friday, September 02, 2005

The weekend (nearly) starts here

In a few hours I’ll be getting the train to York for the weekend. I love York and it’s been years since I last went. Its’ going to be nice meeting up with a few friends too.
Bad news on the artwork front is that my scanner’s died (and the PC it was attached to, thankfully Ihave my lovely iBook - sound like a real computer whizz don’t I? I’m not) so I’ll not be able to put anything up on the blog for a while, hopefully I’ll get a new scanner soon, in the meanwhile I’ll just pretend the artworks amazing and you’ll have to believe me.