It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything. I’ve quite busy recently working on bit and pieces and haven’t had the chance.

Here’s something I did last week as part of Illustrator and animator Matthew Reay‘s free Zines series.

Each zine is based on a single word topic and features a range of artists and their interpretation of that word. It’s lovely stuff. Each zine is given away free at Vets In Hong Kong gigs, the band Matt drums for.

Here are my entries for the last issue, the theme was Interior/Exterior.

100 days: 45

03/03/2010

Booth.

‘Hey, hey boy!’ called the man in the booth. Kyle approached cautiously. He assessed the man’s bare emaciated arms, they resembled two clusters of broken knuckles bound together with a thin layer of cheap sausage skin, if you can imagine such a thing. Kyle considered this image and estimated a potential grab/stab/grope radius taking into account the length of the man’s torso and then stood approximately one foot outside of it. He waited silently for the man to justify his bellow, which he did at leisure. ‘You want advice?’ asked the man eventually. Kyle shrugged which served as enough encouragement.

‘Good boy,’ began the boothed stranger, ‘so, what troubles you lad?’

Kyle wiped a fleck of mucus from his nostril and shrugged again.

‘Be creative champ, come on,’ ventured the man to no avail, ‘ok, let me begin the process. This, brother, is a damned heavy world and each man, each man carries his share of the weight, it’s our birthright, we pop out, the doctor spanks our ass and the soul never stops weeping, so, what load are you carrying boy?’

It was a large ineloquently posed question for a small mind to decipher. Kyle swilled it around for a while, pulling his interpretation of a thoughtful expression (puckered lips and scrunched brow) as he tried to locate his as yet unlabelled notion of self.

‘Well,’ Kyle began, ‘I…’

‘Off load, come on, let’s work through this together, come on,’ encouraged the stranger.

‘Well…I lost my Casio driving watch last Saturday,’ began Kyle.

‘I see’ said the man leaning forward empathetically, Kyle recalculated the radius and took a step back.

‘It could go 30 meters underwater, my mum said she’d get me new one but she said she’ll only spend £20 on it, you can only get 20 meters for £20 and all my friends have 30,’ continued Kyle wistfully.

‘I see,’ said the man, ‘now, that is a pickle. It seems to me that you’re at a crossroads in your potential development. While your predicament centres around your ill fated Casio diving watch and the respect of your peers this all speaks to me of a deeper underlying problem. By begrudgingly accepting your mother’s kind offer to replace the watch with an inferior model you are in fact placing more value on the loose materialistic relationship you have with your ‘friends’ than the everlasting paternal bond you have with your mother. By subjecting her offer to scrutiny misses the central point; who lost the watch? Where does the responsibility lay? Where should reparations be sought? Perhaps you should be looking inward. We may be talking about a relatively cheap digital watch here but as your grow up you’ll find the same scenario repeating over and over and you’ll long for the day a simple Casio SGW-100-1VEF was at the centre of your troubles. Choose the right path now and you could spare yourself a lifetime of inaction and servitude.’

Kyle absorbed these words for a little while, then pointedly asked:

‘Why are you purple?’

The man appeared despondent.

‘Amazon.co.uk has got a sale on digital sportswear at the moment, you can get 50 meters for £17.50 for the next month,’ he disdainfully spat out. ‘That’ll be a quid.’

‘Fanks!’ said Kyle and ran off without paying.

‘Fucking kid,’ muttered the man as he lit his 20th cigarette osf the morning, ‘why are you blue? You little bugger.’ Kyle was already out of earshot, tugging his mother’s arm, presumably saying something about Amazon.

100 days: Day 44

21/02/2010

Balloons

Balloons

In response to the animation request on the 100 days site (http://www.hundreddays.net/) I’ve spent the day creating a mini loop-animation entited ‘Balloons’. Unfortunetly I can’t find a way to put it on my blogpage because wordpress doesn’t accept flash files, bit frustrating. So if you’d like to see it you’ll have to follow the link, there’s one up there at the top, or if you tend to scroll the cursor along as you read then here’s one for your benefit, here.

Here’s a still so the page doesn’t look empty. I’ll try and get the animation on the actual page when I can.

Thanks.

100 days: Day 43

18/02/2010

Manners.

Imagine a pub setting, with lots of nautical trinkets adorning the walls and a plaster model of a fishermen in a yellow mac that was originally created with the intention of looking creepy outside a fish and chip shop. This story is set in such a place.

An almost visibly tangible smell of over ripe fish hung in the air, the kind of smell that forces involvement from the taste buds as well the nostrils. But that’s an aside. The pub is called ‘The Fisherman’s Anchor’, they serve food and it’s mostly fish based.

The Anchor attracts two very distinct sections of society; the young (sorry to resort to the stereotype, but) studenty type, maybe even A-level students, generally they’re attracted by the kitsch value, it dominates their pub banter and the trinkets are adopted into prop-based horseplay. This angers the other distinct section of society which on reflection isn’t that distinct at all, it’s just people who live near by, locals. But they all do tend to be middle aged men, a lot of bald spots and tan leather bomber jackets, just an observation.

One evening, one such man (the local demographic type) was stood watching a game of popular sport on the television. He had a tin of rusty brown ale in one hand and the other hung by his side, the fingers parted to the exact width of the cigarette that would have once smouldered there. Another local demographic man barged past leaving nothing but static between the pair. It caused the first man, Pete, to jolt and spill some drink. The second man, Chris, offered not one word by way of apology.

Read the rest of this entry »

100 days: Day 42

16/02/2010

Toe

‘Ahhhhhhh bugger!’ garbled the man, called… Raymond, as he tripped over a clump of protruding top soil, down he went into a graceless tumble that resulted a bad knock to the knee and litany of what he’d refer to as ‘Ungodly Words’. Good thing he has no neighbours, was his immediate thought. A large chunk of mud clung to his open sandal, when manically shaking his ankle about returned no results and for fear of detaching his limp gelatinous calf muscle (which unnervingly made the sound of a half full hot water bottle being jostled about as he shook it), he resorted to kneeling to remove it by hand. As he picked the mud from between his toes it occurred to him that one of them was missing – one of his toes. It didn’t seem as if he’d injured himself, it hadn’t broken off, it’d disappeared, no blood or marks or anything along those lines, simply no toe, no toe not sitting in a void where he was convinced there had previously been an unremarkable toe. Hadn’t there? Had he knocked it into his foot? Is that even possible? Had he dreamt of the toe? Was he the kind of man that would dream of a toe? Is there a kind of man that would dream of a toe, is that even a way to categorise people? His mind was bubbling over with questions, each one moving further off topic, each one not really answerable. His head began to pound and so it was time for a sit down accompanied by the intermittent checking his toeless gap. Still no toe.

It never came back. Every so often he goes and retraces his steps, albeit with a bit of a limp, but nothing. He’s come to terms with it, but doesn’t quite know where to place it. Mentally.

100 days: Day 41

15/02/2010

Fly Catcher

The unwitting fly would never know it’s relevance as it proved in John’s own mind what he has always expected of the pattern of universe. The galaxy had spoken and it said, ‘Splik!’.

100 days: Day 40

13/02/2010

Swansworth

‘Hellooooooooo,’ rattled the chillingly familiar over-enunciation across the intercom. Margaret stopped fashioning a beehive hairdo from the shampoo suds that crackled around her ears. Bathtime had lost it’s joy.

Dripping and cold, her finger hovered inches from the buzzer as she watched the grainy black and white screen relay images of Robert Swansworth shifting anxiously from foot to foot. The perspective emphasized his already prominent forehead, it made him almost appear comical. That was a short lived novelty.

Buzzzzzzt.

‘Unwise… I notice your light is on, I’m aware of how energy conscious you are Margaret and so you should be in the current climate, both economic and literal. I suggest you reconsider your availability status. Margaret. Open the door,’ it was his nature to be long-winded, his vocal style was quick and clipped, this avoided the possibility of interruption. Also, he was so enraptured by his own intimidating prose that he neglected to hold down the talk button for half of it. Still, it had the desired effect.

‘Yes, hi, hello Robert. Sorry I was in the bath. Give me a moment and I’ll buzz you up,’ she spluttered into the intercom, regretting each syllable.

‘Hello Margaret, very well, I’ll be taking a note of the time,’ he turned from the front door, hands clasped in the style of a bouncer. Nobody likes this guy.

Margaret quickly evaluated and donned her most unattractive clothes and then buzzed him in.

‘Shit,’ she muttered.

Within a minute he was at the inner door, his spindly knuckles rapping out a hollow clanking rhythm against the thin wood.

‘Tis I,’ exclaimed the charmless husk from behind the door. Everything he uttered had no discernible depth, it was always small talk, but he managed to imbue each word with a seedy melancholy.

She clicked the latch and allowed him to slope in like a tendril of phlegm detaching itself from the door frame. Then he stood in the small hallway, his determination to enter the flat was now realised and so he became listless and uncommunicative, his back to Margaret. Margaret watched and waited for a while to see if this was a momentary thing… no, it wasn’t.

‘Robert?’ she prompted gently.

‘Mr Swansworth!’ he snapped back.

Ah, it’s a “Mr Swansworth” day today, thought Margaret. His mood-scale ran from Bob to Mr Swansworth, so this was a bad indication.

‘Tea, Mr Swansworth?’ she asked.

‘Earl Grey,’ he responded. He then walked into her lounge and took up occupancy on her favourite chair, the one in a sunspot. There he sat for a while, looking out of the window before leafing through an old copy of Grazia magazine and complaining of a musty smell in the flat.

He left after three hours and four cups of Earl Grey. That’s the moral of the tale, be sparing with the use of the phrase ‘anytime’ because he’s been coming over for three years now and Margaret can’t remember how it started, doesn’t enjoy his visits and is too polite to risk offending him. Just saying, be weary of that.

100 days: Day 39

27/01/2010

Jugs

‘And how can I be of service?’ said the little man with the little voice from behind his little counter.

‘Just browsing,’ replied Glenda as flippantly as she could muster as she perused the vast array of toby jugs.

‘Very well, I’ll be here if you need me,’ he said as he turned up the volume on the tv, Allo Allo was on, or he had the dvd.

His was a small atmospheric shop that offered whatever the heart desired, on the understanding it was toby jug related. Coincidently Glenda’s heart was longing for just that. She grasped Churchill’s hollow head and drew it to her lips as she imagined supping a beverage from the great man’s crown. She closed her eyes and fantasized that she could absorb his thoughts and acquire orally a minuscule facet of the man’s overwhelming relevance. He’d seen her type before and promptly banned her from the shop, head gluggers he called them.

The author was a bit drunk.

100 days: Day 38

25/01/2010

Giant

‘Okay, leave the room, calmly and slowly,’ Gareth suddenly announced.

‘Is he back?’ groaned Ben.

‘He is,’ confirmed Gareth as he slid his arse from the couch.

The giant had cultivated some kind of fascination with the pair and had become an almost permanent fixture at the window. They couldn’t decide whether his heavy breathing was owed to the fact that he was a giant or something a bit more disquieting, the same question hung over his puffed out, reddened features.

They sat at the kitchen table and waited for the moment to pass.

‘This has got stop,’ said Ben as he rubbed his forehead, ‘either that or we’ve got to get a tv for the kitchen.’

‘I’m going to confront him Ben,’ said Gareth, by the looks of things he meant it too.

‘Are you mental?’ responded Ben as he popped the kettle on, ‘he’s a giant, and he seems unhinged, he could kill you,’ Ben turned around holding a mug, ‘Tea?’ he asked the empty room,’shit!’

Ben ran through to the living living where he found Gareth stood at the open window brandishing the mop. The giant was still there.

‘What do you want?’ shouted Gareth, ‘Why wont you let us be?’

The giant said nothing and continued to stare.

‘What do you want?’ persisted Gareth.

‘Is Carol in?’ said the giant in an unexpectedly quiet voice.

‘Carol? No, no one by the name of Carol lives here,’ said Gareth.

‘Oh,’ said the giant before turning and walking away.

‘What just happened?’ asked Ben from behind the couch.

‘Wrong number, I think,’ answered Gareth, slightly bemused, ‘he was asking for ‘Carol’.’

‘Carol? There’s a few people been around looking for a Carol, we’re still getting her post.’ said Ben as the pieces started to fall into place.

‘Want to open one?’ said Gareth with a sly smile.

‘No we shouldn’t,’ said Ben, ‘fuck it, yeah go on then.’

100 days: Day 37

25/01/2010

Night of the livid Ned

A pale blue night hung over the town of Fistrim. The streets lay in pristine desertion with the exception of one angry man called Ned who was pacing across an estate, fists clenched, his sporadic sweary yelps breaking the cold silence.

‘Piss,’ he shouted at a passing cross-eyed cat, causing it to dart off into an alleyway. He gave the word more venom than is generally associated with it, trailing off the ‘sss’ sound, ‘pissssss’. These angry stomps were becoming habitual, many a domestic animal had fallen victim to his mild, yet heartfelt cusses. Tonight he’d eaten three Kitcat Chunkies and even that hadn’t quelled his rage. God, or whatever, help whoever crossed his path.