Time Traveller’s Ball poster.
Fun gig; this poster for a night out in Newcastle commissioned my mate Lee Fisher,
Go cut a rug! Looks to be fun.
Will be risographed in two colours. intrigued to see how it turns out.
Fun gig; this poster for a night out in Newcastle commissioned my mate Lee Fisher,
Go cut a rug! Looks to be fun.
Will be risographed in two colours. intrigued to see how it turns out.
Alrighty, the London launch for Lip Hook is this Friday at Gosh, 7-9pm, so I thought I’d share some more odds and sods from my files. Above is an early cover concept, created long before the book had taken proper shape in either David or my head. I was into the idea of making it look like decidedly foxed old horror paperback for a while, which also explains this one below , with an early version of Falcon before she was falcon, hiding from something in the murk. Note the headphones, at this stage it was possibly going to be set in the present day, or at least have a thread about technology that didn’t work in the village:
Next up; some carnival/festival characters from my sketchbook that didn’t really happen in the finished piece, not looking like this anyhow. I found this page after I’d finished the book and remembered those floating paper sculpture beasts. Wish I’d found a use for them. Ah well…
And here’s some townsfolk and houses. I wanted to give most of the villagers a similar look, like the gene pool down there is pretty shallow. A lot of jug ears and potato faces and wide spread eyes, but when you’re actually doing the pages and making sure the readers can tell the sodding characters apart the emphasis changes and it doesn’t really work out like that.
Okay, here’s an early sketch page where I was trying to find Cal and Falcon and Sophia, (though she might have been Magdelana at this time,) all those Sophia notes hold true for the book, save for the animal prints. That’s a scribbly pass at Vincent in the bottom right corner, when he was essentially warren Oates in ‘Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia‘ and before he became Klaus Kinski in ‘Fitzcarraldo.’ It’s all about the white linen suits. :
Right, this one’s a cemetery scene I pictured happening between Cal and Falcon. Doesn’t occur in the book, but everything in it does, somehow. Cal’s striped jumper and photography habit ended up migrating to Jenny’s boyfriend in The Bad Bad Place somehow. Though you can still see a camera ’round Cal’s neck in his introductory scene.
Aaand last one: this is actually from our Arts Council application, and shows our ‘pitch’, as it were. The lower left displays a lot of ideas for the insectoid sculptures that Cal’s mother obsessively makes, I wish we’d made a bit more of them.to be honest. Or rather, I want to make them myself, now. And lower right in colour is a dream image that i badgered David about endlessly that just had nowhere to go, and will probably become a print sooner or later.
That’s it for now, here’s a link for the launch on Friday, with David and myself and the wondrous Rachael Ball (with Wolf,) and the wonderful Ian Culbard (with His Collected Lovecraft novellas) in attendance to sign and sketch. Do come if you can; https://www.facebook.com/events/610586749339531/
Also a reminder that Meanwhile#9, featuring the penultimate chapter of the Bad Bad Place amongst other goodies has just hit the shelves and is available from Soaring Penguin directly: http://soaringpenguinpress.com/product/meanwhile-9
Reviews for Lip Hook have been great so far, but I won’t link to them here yet, through a combination of modesty and laziness. This interview Olly MacNamee did with Dave and me on Comicon.com is pretty damn good though; http://www.comicon.com/2018/11/15/talking-to-david-hine-and-mark-stafford-on-folk-horror-pagan-cults-new-gn-lip-hook/?fbclid=IwAR3AQzWtG_6qgvN1rd1D3EZH20Vj70OL4fbHpSni7EoyhkaJ74LEWOTNJTo
Aaand there may be news on the Korean Komik front. Next time, next time.
Update: Lip Hook has been printed and looks and feels damn fine. after the Lakes events there will be a London launch party/signing, with me and David Hine attending, alongside the splendiferous Rachael Ball, whose new book Wolf I’m very much looking forward to getting my paws on. Tell you the date when i know it.
Other irons are in the fire.
Alrighty there. David Hine and Myself, along with talented buggers Dan Berry and David Gaffney, will be on a panel about artistic collaboration in comics, Sunday 14th at the Lakes International Comics Art Festival, Link Here;
But we’ll be there from the Friday, signing and sketching the freshly printed Lip Hook at the Self Made Hero table, on and off over the weekend. do seek us out.
And while I’m here, I recently uploaded a new design, ‘meet me at the crossroads’ to my redbubble page, here ye go;
go spend money.
Sooo… as of a week or so back, Lip Hook, my latest collaboration with David Hine, went off to the printers, it’ll see shelves in October. That’s after 14 months or so of frenzied work, and, especially in the last couple of months, serious doubts on my part that I’d make it over the finish line. It’s complete now, 161 story pages, hardcover. Much praise needed to Emma, Guillaume, Dan, Txabi and all at Self Made Hero who helped us get the thing done.
It will launch officially at The Lakes festival, Mr Hine and myself will be in attendance.
Here’s a page of bits that might have been on the back cover, the last one made it:
It’s an odd thing, but once you finish a book, you’re occasionally haunted by the ghosts of the book it might have been. David and myself have been knocking ideas for Lip Hook back and forth for years now, some went in, some didn’t, and many mutated alomg the way. It started with the case of Magdelana Solis, as read about by my teenage self in Colin Wilson’s Encyclopedia of Modern Murder. I’d long forgotten the exact details, but the idea of a two con-men, a pimp and a prostitute convincing half the population of a small, isolated Mexican village that they were, in fact, Incan Gods or thereabouts* stayed with me. What, we wondered aloud, some time after The Man Who Laughs had launched, if we took the basic set up of that case and relocated it to … somewhere in England? To go a bit folky and Olde and Weirde and Nigel Kneale with it, have a bit of a psychedelic religious apocalypse happening surrounded by hanging baskets and tutting old ladies?
What we’ve ended up with is, inevitably, different from where we started, the actual business of telling a story demands that some elements stay in and others fall away. Page space demanded that I could only render so much of the world that filled my head and my sketchbooks, whilst Mr Hine’s imagination meant that I created so much more. I bloody loved drawing these characters, and would have happily rendered another twenty, thirty, forty pages, but sanity and scheduling prevail. Lip Hook is what it is.
That said, here’s some bits of other Lip Hooks;
First up- two credit pages, unused, but originally planned as part of a kind of ‘title sequence’ that would lead into the story; one has been repurposed as the endpapers.
And here’s a couple of sketches of the church that is a major setting for the story, quite liked the idea of the reverend gloomily peering out at the village from the scaffolding that permanently surrounds its crumbling tower, patching trowel in hand…
Two views of the village, that’s the character that would become Cal, our teenage protagonist, in the Dennis jumper. Transport links from Lip Hook leave much to be desired…
More village scenes. The insectoid scuptures would turn out to be the work of Cal’s mother in the story. It’s not a David Hine tale unless those bugs worm their way in… My gig at the Cartoon Museum has played a massive role in the art produced for the book. A fair amount was actually drawn there, but above that my concentrated exposure over the years to the works of Searle and Giles and Pont and such really paid off. Comics culture in the UK tends to skew heavily towards American and Japanese influences, the Perishers and St Trinians and their like seem to be disappearing in the rear view mirror. part of that vanishing world of British cartooning that belonged in Punch, a magazine that I only encountered as a child in dentist’s waiting rooms… It’s a whole school I simultaneously cherish and despair of, and found myself channeling with every wobbly stroke of my dip pen.
Scenes in the Bug Factory, which became Huxley’s domain. The property of the lord of the manor. Sometime, early in the preparation of the book, I saw an extraordinary series of monochrome pictures showing the interior of an old Russian submarine that was just a mass of pipes and gauges.. I almost immediately lost them , and no amount of google searches has since turned them up. Still, they were in the back of my mind whenever we strayed inside Huxley’s gates…
I’ll show you more later.
That’s enough for now.
*rereading the entry to write this, I’m struck by how weird and sensational the facts of that case are. If it had happened in the US I have no doubt that it would have been filmed numerous times by now. But it happened in Mexico, and seems to have been lost amongst dozens of other spectacularly grisly crimes. Seriously, look it up. It has everything, drugs, religion, tragic absurdities aplenty, even a climactic shoot out/massacre. It was Manson before Manson, though thankfully without a tedious prick like Manson at it’s centre.
Alrighty there, long time no update, sorry about that. Had a lot on. So here goes:
Lip Hook is progressing, loads more to do, but I’m thumbnailing and pencilling and inking and colouring and lettering all the script that David Hine can throw my way, and will be for months to come. If you don’t see me, that’s what I’m doing. Pretty happy so far, really getting into creating our own odd little world somewhere down the road from Nigel Kneale and Angela Carter and Algernon Blackwood and Scarfolk. Good thing too because I’m not going to be doing everything else.
Still, I’m sure a man can survive on green tea and no sunlight. It’ll all be fine. Just fine.
Above is a non-spoilery page.I refuse to explain it.
Golden Thread- there will be a show of the artwork from the Golden Thread project at Cecil Sharp House from the 14th March-29th July , including (deep breath,) work by Aidan Saunders, Beau Brannick, Bette Belle Blanchard, Billy Mather, Daryl Rainbow, Drew Webster, Fiontan Fitzgerald, Fran Colomb, Gary Northfield, Hannah Dyson, Hunt Emerson, Jim Stoten, Jonathan Edwards, Jonny Hannah, Kim Fountain, Lesley Barnes, Lord Hurk, Marie Morelle, , Nick White, Orson Coupland, Peter Lloyd, Rob Nicol, Soju Tanaka, Stephen Fowler, Tommy Brentnall, Woodrow Phoenix, ZEEL. …and me.
Also, the fundraising efforts were successful, (with no great effort on my part-yay!) and so we will see a book at some juncture. I’ll tell you more when I know more.
Adventures In Science: There’s going to be a signing at Forbidden Planet on the 31st March, with Krent Able, Geoff Senior, Shaky Kane, Matt Fitch, Chris Baker, Joe Totti and myself. Be lovely to see you there.
The Bad Bad Place is, as ever, coming out, bit by bit in the pages of Meanwhile, last issue on the shelves was #8, great issue, really like the Darryl Cunningham strip, amongst other things. Two chapters to go!
That’s about it.
I will, snow and ilness and bad timing permitting, be at the Cartoon Museum every Thursday afternoon working on Lip Hook, should you wish to come in and poke me with a stick.
The title page above shows the Grandmother Goddess of Yeongdo-Ju, or at least, as I imagine her, hair in rollers, a cigarette and a bottle of wine on the go…. She is the goddess looking over Yeongdo-ju, in Busan, South Korea, and within it the area where my story Kangkangee Blues is set. From the stories I heard she could be a little possessive and wayward in her affections. (Anybody moving away from the island, for example, is advised to do so in the dead of night in hope of avoiding her disapproval.) I paid a visit to her shrine atop Mount Bongnaesan this summer. Woefully unfit, I just about made it to the top of the mountain, and made damn sure to pay my respects and offer her a little rice wine before descending. She can clearly carry a grudge…
Kangkangee Blues is a sad little love story in 21 pages (22 with that ‘cover’ ) Which I produced at the behest of the British Council as one of their collaborative artistic endeavours, similar to the Shakespeare Lives! event I was involved in last year in Seoul, (must post that sometime…) My brief on this occasion, given to me by the Kangkangee Project when I first took on the gig, was to create visuals to accompany a piece of music by a Korean singer/songwriter, but that idea fell through, essentially because he didn’t feel like collaborating much, and I was left to come up with …something else, something about the area where the Arts Village is based, which they are engaged in various attempts to artistically celebrate, decorate and map. My contribution was to be just part of an initiative by the Village to raise the creative profile of the district. Muralists, painters and installation artists were also there during my visit, with bigger budgets than mine…
It was suggested by Director Seung that my ‘something’ should be about the Kankangee women, who have long had the thankless task of ridding ship’s hulls of rust, barnacles and the like. Decades back they did this by the simple method of hitting the thing with hammers (the ‘kang kang kang’ of the hammers hitting steel is where the area gets its name,) these days they do it with power sanders on sticks, but it has always been dirty, insecure, dangerous work, largely undertaken by middle aged women on up into their 70’s.
So I got flown out to Korea in late July, and once there visual inspiration was easy to come by, the Kankangee area is extraordinary, a wonderland, if your idea of treasure is rusting maritime junk, (Mine is. So woohoo!) Its function, in a shipping port, is to be the place to go to return your vessel to seaworthiness. It does not manufacture ships, but anything your craft needs can be cast or constructed or worked there. The legend is that if a man knows his business he could go to the right seven places in Kankangee and build himself a submarine. Walking around I immediately saw images that I wanted to draw, and I fairly quickly came up with a simple idea for a story around which to hang those images, a simple tale of love lost and possibly regained told over 5 decades. It’s not wildly complicated, but it’s one in which I could squeeze a fair amount of what I experienced and learned in two heady, delirious weeks in Busan, from food to history to landscape to architecture. I took hundreds of photographs and made a lot of notes and climbed a lot of steps in a lot of heat. I tried to work in everything and have it work within the story, always aware of so much more that I missed, barely glimpsed, or failed to understand because of woeful ignorance of the Korean language. I think that lack lies behind my instinctual decision to make the strip ‘silent’ save for the repetitive ‘kang kang kang’ which the old KKG women swear still haunts their dreams. It is not a realistic picture of Busan, it’s one seen through the eyes of a bedazzled cartoonist from other shores, it’s not true, but I hope there’s truth in it. It’s a love story, but also a love letter to the city, and everybody I met whilst I was there.
I can only offer deep thanks to all the fine folks at the Kangkangee Arts Village, the Brtitish Council and Arts Council Korea who helped make this happen, and especially to the lovely Bomin Bom who was my long suffering guide, translator, researcher, and agreeable dinner companion. Mingjung Jung who, beyond the call of duty returned to me a precious memory card I had managed to lose in Hyundae (I blame the Soju.) Director Seung for introducing me to so many new foods and flavours.Yeji Shin for organizing the McLuckie-Jeon hook up, amongst other things, and Yeoju, who corralled the strip into readable shape into shape as we sent message after message back and forth across the world….. You are all bloody marvelous.
The strip will be posted online from the Arts Village site and see print in Korea in 2018. I have the rights to publish a british print version at some point, and am exploring options….
Here’s a link to a piece on the Arts Village site: http://kangkangee.com/index.php/ukkorea/
Been a while, and I have been busy…
Ok, there’s this:- the art I did for a theatrical production of Eric Bogosian’s play Talk Radio, which I was only familiar with through Oliver Stone’s film from twenty-something years back. This version stars my mate Matthew Jure and starts on August 29th at the Old Red Lion Theatre. Looking forward to it. Here’s a version of the art minus most of the text:
And here’s a link to the theatre: http://www.oldredliontheatre.co.uk/talk-radio.html
Also myself and Mr David Hine have pages in The Corbyn Comic Book, it’s a 48 page anthology coming on September 25th from Self Made Hero. here’s the cover, by Jake:
And it’s getting press-
Bit in the Guardian here;- https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/aug/21/jeremy-corbyn-comic-book-hero
And the Bookseller here:- http://www.thebookseller.com/news/extraordinary-response-call-corbyn-inspired-comic-illustrations-620886
Not linking to the NME article, because it was shit.
You can pre-order the beast here:- https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-corbyn-comic-book/martin-rowson/steve-bell/9781910593516
Aaand lastly there’s Kangkangee Blues which is the provisional title I’ve given to a thing I’m undertaking through the British Council/Arts Council Korea. I got an email a couple of months back asking if I wanted to collaborate with a Korean singer songwriter, producing some kind of visual accompaniment to a piece of music commissioned by the Kangkangee Arts village on Yeongdo-gu island in Busan. The deal involved going to Busan for a couple of weeks. I said yes.
The whole thing has gotten more complicated and more involved and a whole lot more fun since then. I’ll write more when I have more to show. But I’m now creating a twenty-odd page melancholy romance which is to be just a part of a range of cultural projects (including murals and installations and the like,) which will launch in late Autumn this year. It’s all very exciting. Everybody’s been great.
And Busan is frickin’ awesome.
Lip Hook‘s progress currently stands at eleven inked pages. Onwards and upwards.
More when I have it.
Righto, just got a copy of Zone 1 through the post. It’s an anthology title by Guernsey-based cartoonists apparently galvanised into action by meself and Dave Hine’s appearance at the Guernsey Literary Festival a couple of years back. Aw shucks. There are bits to see on contributor Mikal Dyas twitter: https://twitter.com/mikaldyas , and publishers Black Moor Press have a facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/blackmoorpress/ . Worth a shufty, if you can find it, not least because Dave wrote an intro, and I drew a cartoon to open the book:
Next up: Happy to be part of Adventures In Science, the Dead Canary comic that I’ve got five Matt Fitch- scripted pages in. It also includes art by some pretty fast company, including amongst others, Krent Able, Shakey Kane, Caspar Wijngaard, John Aggs and Jacen Burrows! Blimey. This fine looking SF anthology is Kickstarting right now. So go fund it! More money equals more stories, people! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/deadcanarycomics/dead-canary-comics-presents-adventures-in-science?ref=nav_search
Also, in a fit of capitalism, I have created a Redbubble page where you can buy my art, or some bits of it, anyway, printed on mugs, T-shirts, dresses and duvets. I’m not kidding. This is gonna be beautiful, (*sucks cigar, coughs a bit*) so drag your scintillating money over to https://www.redbubble.com/people/marxtafford70 and buy yourself a miniskirt and a pair of leggings.
I heartily endorse this product or service.
On the drawing board; clearing the decks for Lip Hook, mainly, which is going to take over the next year of my life, I’m creating lettering fonts and designing characters and settings and titles. But i’m also finding the time for a few Bad Bad bits and pieces awaiting that story’s eventual compilation….
Oh, and there may be fancy prints in the offing.
But that’s all for now.
Here’s what’s occurring.
I’m currently colouring the last couple of pages of my contribution to the Golden Thread project for Cecil Sharp house, home to all things Brit-folky. Various cartoonists have taken on the task of adapting folk tunes that originated in the UK and emigrated to the United States. Mine is ‘Pretty Polly’ aka ‘The Cruel Ship’s Carpenter’ a tale of foul murder and ghostly vengeance. Since the work will be exhibited, I decided to work on A3, and have spent a lot of time and spilled a lot of ink on this. For no financial reward. I am clearly an idiot. A book of the work will be available, details when I know them. Here’s page four:
Also, not sure when this will hit the shelves, but I’ve rendered 5 pages of art for a forthcoming Dead Canary science fiction anthology. the story’s called ‘Holiday of a Lifetime’ a tale of time travel and the Titanic, written by Matt Fitch. Love to show them to you, but it’s not out any time soon, so you’ll have to wait. Details when I know them.
I will have a guest pass for the Brighton ICE on june 10th. It’s ‘Britain’s Coolest Comics Convention’ apparently, so I’ll be putting a stop to that, doubtless flittting from table to table to sign and scribble on stuff, whether you want it or not. Tickets here; https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/ice-brighton-2017-tickets-27784105006
Oh, and I’ve created some bits for Riddim!, Stagger Lee Fisher’s ongoing DJ concern, which sounds like a fine night out if you’re up Newcastle way. Here’s a piece on the event from Narc magazine: http://narcmagazine.com/news-riddim-ernest/
And here be a frog :
Aaaand, hitting the shelves just about now should be Meanwhile #6, featuring the latest chapter of David Hine and meself’s The Bad Bad Place, amongst other delights. it’s 96 pages, and finishes on a laudably offensive/baffling Krent Able piece. Link here: http://soaringpenguinpress.com/product/meanwhile-6
Aaaand last minute update: our Arts Council application has been accepted! Whoop! Lip Hook is, most definitely, go! This being myself and David Hine’s new book from Self Made Hero. More information when I get it, but this is very, very good news. Thanks to all those who’ve helped out in the application process. you know who you are.
Righto. other things are in the offing.
But that’s your lot for now.
Quick update; Save Our souls #3 is now out! With a two page strip ‘The Metaphor’ by me in there somewhere, here’s the site:
And I’m a bit excited that the HOAX project, poet Ravi Thornton’s ongoing multimedia exploration of her brothers mental illness, is now in touring musical form, playing in Barnsley, York, Grimsby, Liverpool and Salford, April through to May, I drew a chapter of the graphic novel, HOAX: Psychosis Blues, which comes as part of the ticket package. Go! Here’s the trailer:
Also The Bad Bad Place is now complete! Barring a little tweaking here and there, it is a done deal and will be slowly arriving chapter by chapter in Meanwhile, from Soaring Penguin, and eventually in a collected version. I’ll keep you posted.
Aaaaand I’m currently working on an adaptation of a folk song, ‘The Cruel Ship’s Carpenter’, for The Golden Thread project, early days, but it will result in an anthology book of cartoonists interpreting songs that have travelled from the UK to the US and mutated along the way, as well as an exhibition of the art at Cecil Sharp house in Camden, home of all things folky: https://www.cecilsharphouse.org/
That’s about all for now,
I’ve just recently received my copy issue #5 of Meanwhile, now back as a handsome 100 page beast, featuring, of course, part 5 of David Hine and mine own’s The Bad Bad Place, amongst good company. RRP is a stiff £17.95 from your local inky emporium, but it’s avalable for a sweeter £10.95 if you get it direct from publisher Soaring Penguin.
Go here. Purchase! : http://soaringpenguinpress.com/product/meanwhile-5
Aaand a reminder that I’ll be signing copies of it at Orbital next Wednesday 15th February, with a host of other contributors. be lovely to see you. here’s the Facebook page:
And here, because you’ve been good, is a possible cover image for its eventual collection that I’ve been playing with recently. Possibly a little too abtract, and we’ll probably go with something else in the end, but at least it doesn’t have a Victorian china doll with a cracked face on it, which seems to be some kind of legal requirement for this kind of thing…
Alrighty, that’s all for now.
Righto, here’s what’s occuring at Stafford towers:
Lip Hook Teaser: Well, David Hine’s posted this on his site, so I guess it’s OK to link to it: http://www.waitingfortrade.com/2017/01/lip-hook-teaser.html
Knee deep in preparation for Lip Hook, our new book for Self Made Hero, and very excited about it. It’s going to be a long while before you see the finished beast, but the nature of financing a graphic novel these days means that a production blog is going to happen along the way. I will keep you posted.
Meanwhile signing: I will be signing the relaunched Meanwhile, featuring the Bad Bad Place part 5, on February the 15th, at Orbital, in Great Newport Street, from 5-7pm, in the company of Gary Spencer Millidge, Laura Trinder, Nick Burton, Sarah Gordon and Matthew Dooley. Be lovely to see you.
Alisik cover: Won’t post it here yet, but I’ve rendered the cover for a bit of Euro-gothic whimsy called Alisik, coming from Titan Comics.
with the possibility of more covers in the offing. Whoop!
the Bad Bad Place: Blimey , this last chapter has been like pulling teeth, but it’s drawn, and inked, and half-way coloured, so we’re on the finishing stretch….
Aaaand whilst I’m here, I’d highly recommend the new show of 2000ad art that’s just started at the Cartoon Museum. It’s an embarrassment of riches, with some extraordinary pages on show. Most fans have their favourite era but most of the vital stuff is represented. And oh, those Mike McMahon’s…
That’s all for now.
Well, I’m back from a whirlwind visit to Seoul, South Korea. Four days is nowhere near enough time to familiarise oneself with such a huge and multifaceted city, so spent much of it in giddy culture shock. I was there as part of the British council’s Sonnet Exchange event, part of their 400 years of Shakespeare celebrations. Basically, my part was to collaborate with a Korean poet, Bo seon Shim, on a graphic adaptation of one of Shakespeare’s sonnets, whilst a British poet, Ben Wilkinson worked with a Korean artist Sung Goo Won on another. Last Thursday saw us onstage at Kaos Hall in the extraordinary Book Park ( a combination arts gallery, bookshop and performance venue,) reciting Shakespeare’s sonnets and the poets reactions, on English and Korean, whilst my and Sung Goo Won’s art was projected behind us. Compere Sarah Olive, a Shakespeare scholar, then quizzed us about our work together.
It was a strange process, at least as far as I was concerned, made up ofSkype calls and emails and not a little panic. After we settled on Sonnet CXLV I came up with a basic idea of a couple visiting the cinema, falling out and reconciling, whilst their actions are mirrored and contrasted with the onscreen action, the conclusion of James Whale’s Bride of Frankenstein. I sent roughs of this to Bo Seon, who rightly pointed out that I had left him nowhere to go, and little space to fit his contribution in. And , y’know, why Frankenstein? With the deadline approaching, I started to sweat a little, until we were rescued by politics, Brexit and the Trump election, which had begun to take prominence in our email exchanges. Bo Seon had flagged up a dark interpretation of the Sonnet, centering on broader hate speech and divisiveness rather than simple relationship dynamics. I started to render the couples part of the pages, leaving the cinema screens blank, partly because I needed to work on something. And the day after Trump’s victory a poem was delivered, born of anger, as it were. Bo Seon suggested I fill the cinema screens with scenes of political apocalypse, and a week of late nights later, here we are.
I will post our collaboration soon. Meanwhile here’s the Ben Wilkinson/ Sung Goo Won collaboration:
And here’s Sarah Olive and myslf doing our best to plug the evening on morning radio:
And here’s some of my art in the Chosun Daily newspaper about the project:
Aaand there are some photos here:
Whilst there, I learned a lot about the Korean cartooning scene, visited the spectacular Manhwa Museum in Bucheon, and hopefully made the beginnings of more collaborations to come. Deep thanks to Rebecca Hall, William Kemp, Misun Seo, Juyoung Jeon and all at the British Council for their trust, patience and consideration. And the food. Good god! The food!
Back in 2014 David Hine and my good self were guests at the rather splendid 22 Panels comic art festival in Falmouth. As part of proceedings we were interviewed on stage by Chris Thompson, then of Orbital comics shop, now of Titan books, who has just released this podcast version of the event. Obviously you’ll have to imagine what Dave’s referring to in the slide show, but it’s a pretty fun chat overall. Thanks to Chris, and to Nicholas Heartland, who put the festival together. Enjoy!
How are you? Mmmm great. Now shut up. this is about me.
Above is a sketchbook thing I might devlop into something. It is not symbolic of anything. Definitely not crippling debt. No sir.
Workwise there’s quite a lot going on, here goes…
The Bad Bad Place; I’m currently working on the last chapter, part ten, and I’m happy to report that you’ll finally be able to pick up part 5 when Meanwhile magazine returns to the shelves in January of 2017. The magazine has changed format , and is now a quarterly 96 paged beast with a price tag to match. Highly recommend that you get to the Soaring Penguin site and subscribe, when the option arises. It’ll save you a chunk of change. Here’s a link to Meanwhile #1, should you have missed out the first time… soaringpenguinpress.com/product/meanwhile-1
Lip Hook; Dave Hine and Myself and Self Made Hero have talked, and we’re in the middle of working out funding. Forms are being filled. plans are being drawn up. Secret code rings are being issued to the relevant parties. It will happen. I am psyched.
The Sea: Have rendered poster art for this Bournemouth based puppet theatrical thingie, featuring selkies and the like. It’s the work of Carnival of Objects, for whom I produced art before, when they were doing a stage version of Gogol’s the Nose. I’ll also be designing the programme. But the show’s on next year, so it’ll be a while. Here’s a link to the relevant bit of Carnival’s site: www.carnivalofobjects.co.uk/the-sea/
Aaand, oh go on then, here’s a first pass at the poster:
the Laughing Baby; Have produced a sample illustration for this book by infantologist mate Caspar, waiting to see what publishers Unbound think of it. A non-fiction pop science/guide book interpreting the behaviour of babies. Quite like the idea of drawing something sweet and helpful, rather than odd and upsetting. We shall see.
Save Our Souls; produced a two page strip for SOS#3, not heard back from editor yet. fingers crossed.
Oh, and the big one, for me at least;
South Korean Sonnet; In a lovely surprise, got contacted by the British Council, who want me to collaborate over the next few weeks with a South Korean poet, turning a sonnet into something graphical, and then I’m being flown over there in November to run some workshops about the process. That’s as much as I know at the moment. But as with all of the above, I will keep you posted when I know more.
Enough for now, I believe…
All the best,
Ok, here’s what going on in my tiny world;
Just did this little commisioned painting for Julia round. she requested a romantic situation between Lucifer and a donkey. I took the high road and eschewed the filth. If you want a lil’ acrylic canvas for £95 go here: http://www.hocus-baloney.com/commissions
Moose Kid 3!
It’s out! I’ve got a half page in the latest issue of this fantabulous free downloadable childrens comic! Go here to get yourself a PDF:
The Bad Bad Place:
David Hine and myself are cracking on with the last few chapters of the Bad Bad Place, have just finished off part 8, and starting on part 9. It’s getting alarmingly epic and widescreen, and I can’t show you much for fear of spoilers, but here are the first couple of panels of page one;
I don’t know yet when the Bad Bad Book will emerge. Stay posted.
Up and coming: Possible new stuff for Save Our Souls (by which i mean i’ve got the idea for something and a couple of pages of sketchbook scribbles…)
And it looks like I’ll be doing a bit more Theatre poster/programme design.
Really want to set up a store selling old artwork somewhere on line, anything and everything up for grabs. Annoyingly this looks like it will actually require time and effort that I’d rather spend drawing and writing, but, y’know, needs must as the devil drives..
All for now.
Above is an unlettered page from the Bad Bad Place part 7, figured it’s alright to show you this, because it doesn’t give much away, and because it was part of our slideshow at the Wonderlands in Sunderland panel me and Dave Hine were on a few weeks back. On the boards at the moment; pencils for chapter 8.
Also out, and making me happy, is Shots magazine #164, with a six page strip ‘The Lion’s Den’ by Christopher Spencer Baker and myself, which has turned out nicely. And this cover. Just got my copy through the post. Blimey, ’tis a pleasure to be so beautifully printed, and at a hefty size, too. Not sure how you’d secure a copy, but the website’s here: http://www.shots.net/
Lastly, I’ll be in Gosh, in Berwick Street, Soho this Saturday the 9th, as part of Small Press Day between 1 and 2 signing copies of Save our Souls #2, which is just out, and in which i’ve got a couple of pages. Be lovely to see you. Here’s the Gosh event page: http://www.goshlondon.com/2016/06/small-press-day/
Righty ho, that’ll do for now.
Been a while. I’ve moved house. Now located North of the river in …uh… vibrant Seven Sisters. Getting used to the area, getting my workspace sorted out, getting scared at the amount of rent I’ve got to pay. So here’s what’s up, work-wise…
The Bad Bad Place; Part 7 is complete and me and Mr Hine have been given the go ahead to finish the beast, so the next couple of months will be all about the last 30 pages.
Shots magazine: I was approached recently by Christopher Spencer Baker, of Dead Canary Comics, about rendering a 4 pager script he had about the experience of attending the Cannes Lions Advertising Awards and surrounding festival. Said strip to appear in shots magazine, a periodical about the advertising industry. They liked it, and my stuff, so it expanded a bit, and the issue of the magazine #164, cover dated July 2016, will have a 6 page strip ‘the lion’s den’, including title page, a lil’ portrait of the editor, and the freakin’ cover all drawn by me me me. Won’t post anything here until after publication. But pretty damn happy about the gig, and the experience.
Wonderlands in Sunderland; I’ll be a guest at the second year of this event, on a panel, and sharing a table with Mr David Hine. It’s one of Bryan Talbot’s babies. Looking forward to it. Great guests. Looks spiffy.
site here: http://www.wonderlands.org.uk/
On the drawing board as we speak; My contribution to the next Moose Kid. A couple of commissioned paintings.
Aaand for your viewing pleasure: a thing that I developed from a sketchbook page for the hell of it. An experiment in coloured shadows…
That’s all for now.
Well alrighty there. Much of my recent time has been taken up with moving hose, I’m now North of the river in shiny Seven Sisters, but did get some stuff done:
Happy to have produced a couple of cartoons for Animalaid highlighting the harmful, not to mention deadly consequences of the Cheltenham Races. Here they are:
Here’s the bit on their site, with info and links: http://www.animalaid.org.uk/h/n/NEWS/news_horse//3402//
Was great working for Animalaid, have already produced another piece for them, (see future posts,) and hopefully going to do more in future.
The Bad Bad Place Part Seven is almost complete. Bit of colouring to do. Gawd knows when you’ll see it.
My review of Ben Wheatley’s Ballard adaptation High Rise is over here: http://www.electricsheepmagazine.co.uk/reviews/2016/03/16/high-rise/
Have a couple of pieces in the second issue of Save Our Souls magazine, apparently. Whoop!
Yet to do my bit for the next Moose Kid. Most remiss.
And will be something to do with the ballyhooed Missed Deadline project. Exactly what is yet to be decided…
That’ll do for now.
Alrighty, the Image above is RTFM, Hope ye dig it. Another one of my would-be prints. I’ll sort that out sometime…
Save Our Souls magazine is out! And it features a four pager which may be one of the best things I’ve done. Get a copy here: http://www.samu.co.uk/ It’s got a fantastic roll call of creators on board, and is well worth your money.
Next Up, S.M.A.S.H. is coming up soon, Saturday 6th in the Barbican Centre library, I’ll be on the panel talking about Art, it’s the middle one. Been to a couple of these before, really smart events, always loads to chew on, and great pub conversation afterwards, hope you can make it. Here’s the facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/461338790726043/
Progress report: inking the Bad Bad Place Part 7 at the moment, my god it gets….messy. The script calls for a victorian child portrait of one of the characters to hang on the wall in a couple of panels, so I did this, his name is Aleister, he may be a bit wrong:
Aaand after the sad news earlier this month I doodled this in my sketchbook, which has ended up in the Spindle magazine gallery of tributes http://spindlemagazine.com/2016/01/illustrators-pay-tribute-david-bowie/ :
That’s all for now.
Seasons greetings. Here’s a thing, my card for 2015, Enjoy:
And a warning that I’ll be speaking about Art at this, in February 2016: http://www.comica.london/event/smash-2016/
Hope to see you there.
Have a good one.
I am woman, hear me roar… Another A3 piece. Might become a print. looks like my lovely green lady is having more fun than the title character in ‘The Attack of the 50 ft Woman’ who ‘ if I recall correctly, just stropped about a bit looking for her crap husband Harry. C’mon, honey, life gives you lemons, make lemonade. At least pose for amusing photos with the statue of liberty….
Taking advantage of a deadline free week to have fun working with some random ideas. First result is this. No clue what it’;s about, but if there’s a band out there with the name ‘Nine League Boots’ ,well, …..do you need any art done?
Hmmm, been a while since I last updated, how are you? Really? Now SHUT UP! This is all about me. December 2015 update:
The Moose Kid christmas special is out, with a page by me, all great stuff, all free! Get it here: http://www.moosekidcomics.com/
And also there’s a genius campaign to get printed Moose Kid comics into hospital childrens wards here: https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/moosekidcomics , because, y’know, they haven’t suffered enough.
Also, I’m deleriously happy to have a page in the gallery bit at the back of the Hot Jazz book, a collection of Hint Emerson’s Max Zillion and Alto Ego strips, Hunt is one of my inky heroes, and the gallery has me in pretty cool company. Buy It! Buy it Here! : http://largecow.com/shop/books/hot-jazz
And David Ziggy Greene (Private Eye, Charlie Hebdo) is trying to launch a magazine of cartoons and commentary called Save Our Souls, in which my stuff should appear. Sounds great.but the indiegogo campaign was below target before deadline, so I don’t know what’s up with that.: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/save-our-souls–2#/
The Bad Bad Place: just finishing chapter 6 now, but it’ll be while before you see it, Meanwhile #4 should be on the racks. Here: http://www.soaringpenguinpress.com/publications/periodicals/meanwhile-4/
Lip Hook is still somewhere between my sketchbook and David Hine’s first draught. It will happen.
Oh all right then, here’s my Hot Jazz lick:
That’ll do for now, though I am working on some things which might end up as prints, keep you posted.
Well hello, been decidedly lax about updating this blog recently, so here are the headlines:
Moose Kid 2: It’s out! It’s Free! And there’s two bits by me! Go here for your downloadable version: http://www.moosekidcomics.com/
Might have another bit in the upcoming Christmas special, but that relies on me coming up with an idea. And writing and drawing it.
The Broken Frontier Anthology: Raised its Kickstarter target money, to our assembled delight. I’ve just finished our (Me and Dave Hine’s) bit, Quin Returns, a 10 page existential noir beast. Very happy with it, worked larger than I normally do, and I think it paid off. Here’s the title/credits page:
And here’s a voyeuristic moment from page 5:
The Kickstarter page is here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/tylerchintanner/broken-frontier-the-boldest-comics-anthology-in-th
Guernsey Literary Festival: Me And Dave will be appearing at this spiffy event on the 19th and 20th of September, we’ll be running a workshop, and being interviewed about the Man Who Laughs, which, as you all know, was written by Hugo on Guernsey whilst he was in exile. A show of art, including a fair few pages from the book, is already up and running. Here’s the poster for our strand:
Really looking forward to this, missing out on meeting fellow guests Bryan and Mary Talbot, as they’re up the week before us, ( but caught up with them after the Alice In Cartoonland launch at the Cartoon Museum, and got to see their upcoming book on ipad, damn, it looks good.) not sure if we’ll meet Will Self or Neil Innes, who are also scheduled guests, but will definitely be visiting Hugo’s house whilst I’m there. Our bit at the site: http://www.guernseyliteraryfestival.com/index.php/2015-04-07-09-45-00/8-the-line-up/53-david-hine-mark-stafford
Hot Jazz: Happy as happy could be to be in the gallery bit at the back of a new collection of the bloody marvelous Max Zillion strips by one of my cartoonin’ idols, Mr Hunt Emerson, which will be printed in October, I believe, coming out through Knockabout. The Kickstarter page here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1436027074/hot-jazz
Dominion: Rendered another label for the fine folks at Dominion Brewery, meet Amber, she’s a porter, here’s the pump clip:
and just in the middle of creating another for their Mad Trappiste brew. Will post when done.
The Bad Bad Place: Drawing part 6 right now, Meanwhile #4 due out soonish, look for it on the racks.
Lip Hook: Will happen, we’re in the ‘let’s have a meeting’ stage…
Some Prints: I quite fancy drawing some prints. Got some ideas. So that might happen.
Think that’s about all for now.
Alrighty, it’s the last few days of the Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for The proposed Broken Frontier anthology, in which myself and Dave Hine wil tell the tale of Quin’s Return, an existential murder mystery. Lots of other fine contributors are in there too, see here:
aaand there’s a pretty damn fine interview with me here, questions asked by the splendidly hatted Andy Oliver:
So pony up yer dough, folks! and to whet yr appetite, here’s a little picture of Quin, the lead character from our story. Donate! Donate! Donate!
Okay, this is happening, so pony up your dough, because if it happens Myself and Mr Dave Hine will be contributing a little existential murder mystery. Looks like a damn fine package and all. Check it out.
Aaand update: Currently rendering a couple of pages as my contribution to a new Moose Kid anthology comic.
Annnnd The Bad Bad Place chapter Five has been Inked, with Chapter three hitting the shelves in the pages of Meanwhile.
Aaand I will most likely be attending this years Guernsey Literary Festival as a guest, with David Hine , to talk about The Man Who Laughs, which was written on that fair island. There will be an exhibition of art from the book and everything. This sounds bloody great. tell you more when I know more.
The French Institute asked me to contribute to their blog on the Charlie Hebdo atrocities in Paris, so I did. Here’s my response in situ;
And here it is here:
All told, a bloody awful start to the year, hopefully have something more cheerful to report soon. Wouldn’t bet on it….
Ok, Dave Hine and myself are confirmed guests at the 22 Panels event in Falmouth, Corn wall October 24th-25th. Not been to Cornwall in yonks, and it looks like a great little thing, other guests I know about include Donya Todd, Henry Flint, Tiny Pencil, and, I think, David Roach. I’ll add more when I know it. Be lovely to see you there.
Quick word to say I’m in this new book, The Mammoth Book Of Skulls!:
And That over this weekend I’ll be at this:
I’ll endeavor to make some prints up for the NICE event, where I’ll most likely be sat near Dave sketching and signing anything you place in front of me. Anything!
Oh, and also, you’re now able to set up subscriptions for Meanwhile magazine, saving you money on buying the single issues, people! It features Me and Dave Hine’s The Bad Bad Bad Place, just go to the Soaring Penguin site, first issue should be out October 17th. Here ye go…
That’s all for now,
Alright, this is happening this Saturday. It’s a beautiful book, and those are some fine scribblers, hope to see you there. All whatsits to a good cause etc etc.
A few yonks ago, kid’s cartoonin’ wunderkind (Beano/Phoenix, other things,) Jamie Smart asked around the inky community if anybody wanted to participate in a fun new comic. I, and a whole heapin’ helpin’ of talented buggers threw our hats into the ring. And it has finally arrived, for FREE download, and, on a cursory read, is bloody marvellous. Really happy to be a part of something this fun.And be in such fine company
Get it here:
Ok, it’s been a while, sooo, updates:
Currently about twenty pages in to The Bad Bad Place, my new collaboration with Dave hine, to appear in Soaring Penguin’s Meanwhile anthology comic.
HOAX; Psychosis Blues is out! By poet Ravi Thornton, with art from Bryan Talbot, Hannah Berry, Karrie Fransman, Rian Hughes, Rhiana Jade, Ian Jones and more,(most of the heavy lifting by Leonardo Giron,) and six pages by me. It’s a beautiful thing, and you need it. So get it here http://www.ziggyswish.com/
Bob Fingerman’s Minimum Wage No.6 has a pin up by me in the back there. I’ve smuggled filth into a filthy book, and it feels good. From Image. So I’ll be racked amongst the proper comics.
Russell Wall’s documentary: The Graphic Novel Man the comics of Bryan Talbot, has bits of me yacking away about Cherubs! and much else. Well worth watching. Though I felt the need to hide behind the sofa whenever my huge face popped up on screen
Diary, I’ll be signing the Man Who Laughs in the afternoon at ELCAF, With Mr Hine, on the Self Made Hero table on the 14th of June, and there will be a HOAX signing at Gosh on the 19th of July
I’ll tell you about the beer later.
And the piece at the top is, well, just for the hell of it, I’ll try to get prints made.
That’s all for now.
Alrighty, quick update, I’ll be at this thing over the weekend:
Mainly signing and sketching at the Self Made Hero table. and assisting in portfolio reviews. But me and Dave have been nominated for the British Comics Awards in the Best Book category for The Man Who Laughs, the ceremony is part of the event, so there’s that to look forward to * laughs nervously*
Aaaand Work update: I’ve finished my bit of the poet Ravi Thornton’s HOAX: Psychosis Blues project, a bit of which was rolled out at the Lakes festival. My bit’s 6 pages, and I’ll tell ye and show ye more when I can. Details here:
Aaaand I’ve also rendered three pages for Jamie Smart’s Moose Kid Comics project, which will see the light of day next year sometime, with work by many hands, including Gary Northfield, Roger Langridge, and, of course, Jamie himself. Should be a blast. Site here:
That’s all for now, I believe, Oh, apart from all the bits I wrote about the London Film Festival which can be found hereabouts:
Right, that’ll do, honestly, I’ll post after Leeds with more, hopefully good, hopefully new book news.
Cheers for now, me lovelies.
Long time since I last updated. Bad, bad me. Anyhoo, there’s this:
-which can only be good. Reckon it’s between Nao and The Gigantic beard, myself, but great to be in this esteemed company.
And there’s these, dream gig really: beer labels for some limited edition Brixton brew, all profits to charity. Details here:
Imagine these ice cold beauties in your sweaty hand. Launched tomorrow night at the Kaff bar on Atlantic Road in beautiful downtown Brixton (Of course!) Come! Buy! Drink! Ignore the instructions on the Brixton Buzz, unless you don’t want to.
Did this painting for some good friends wedding recently, really happy with it. Think the bride and groom liked it, well, I wasn’t ordered to leave, anyway……
Okay, people , anyone of taste and discernment over the next month or so be aware that The Man Who Laughs, my, and writer Dave Hine’s adaptation of the Victor Hugo novel is coming out on the 18th, on Amazon and in all halfway decent bookshops and that I’ll be doing the following promo:
On Saturday the 20th April I’ll be part of the Drawing Parade at the always fantabulous Comica Comiket (this year at Central St Martins,) come see my pock-ridden drawing hand blown up to alarming size on a big screen whilst I attempt to sketch some thing suitable, and I’ll also be at the SelfMade Hero table all day with Mr Hine signing and scrawling over copies of the tome, site here: http://www.comicafestival.com/
Then there should be a launch of some kind, maybe on the 25th. Up in the air at the moment, I’ll keep ye posted.
Aaand on the 2nd of June I’m a guest at the BD and Comics Passion event at the Institut Francais, on a panel with Ian Culbard and Dave Mairowitz yakking about the trials and tribulations of adapting literary classics into graphic form. Book yer tickets here. doubtless I’ll be sketching and signing at this also. Been a lover of the French Institut BD events for yonks now, really happy to be a part of one. http://www.bdandcomicspassion.co.uk/whats-on/from-classic-to-graphic/
Later in the year I’ll try to make it to the Lakes festival, have no idea if that’ll work out but it looks magnificent so I’ll plug it anyway: http://thelakesinternationalcomicartfestival.wordpress.com/
Aaand I’ll most probably be at Leeds Thought Bubble, never been before, hear good things. http://thoughtbubblefestival.com/2012/08/2012-competitions/
WhenI know more, I’ll let ye know.
Attend! Buy stuff!
Well, it’s out there finally, Cherubs! is available from Dark Horse comics in a lovely lil’ hardcover, from all good comic and book emporiums: http://www.darkhorse.com/Books/21-562/Cherubs-HC
and also a digital version for the less tactile amongst you: https://digital.darkhorse.com/profile/2474.cherubs-hc/
Really happy with it, as are these people:
Aaaand also happy to report that I’ve just finished art duties on the Man Who Laughs for Self Made Hero, it’s in their catalogue here, for an April release: http://www.selfmadehero.com/catalogue.php
Right then, better find more work to do!
Finally! From the E-mails flitting back and forth it seems that Cherubs! will come out as a hardcover book from those lovely people at Dark Horse later this year, probably around October. The book will collect the Desperado volume and 100 odd pages of new Talbot/Stafford material under one cover, completing the tale as Armageddon is realised on the streets of New York, the dead walk and the cherubim literally go to Hell. With dancing girls.I’m busy creating a cover for the beast at the moment, I’ll let you know more when I do. In the meantime here’s a suitably apocalyptic scene from chapter 3 of the new stuff.
Ahoy hoy. Long time since I posted. Awfully sorry about that. Update: I’m currently scanning and toning the last couple of chapters of Cherubs! , and it looks like the whole shebang will be published by those lovely people at Dark Horse next year. Whoop Whoop!
Also waiting on confirmation that Me and Dave Hine will be collaborating again for Self Made Hero, on a literary adaptation, don’t wanna curse it by blabbing too much. Watch this space
And lastly, I’m in the messy process of moving house, and in a bid to raise the necesary funds and slim down the sheer amount of stuff I’m lugging about with me I’m going to sell off a load of my art, haven’t prepared the full list yet, but if ye see anything you fancy on this site, make me an offer at email@example.com Most of the art from Cherubs! book One is available, as is the Lovecraft adaptation. Most pages will come in the form of A3 pencils +A4 inks+ a digital print of the finished page. Go on, give a home to some inky splendour.
Here’s a gallery of sellable stuff on Bleeding Cool: http://www.bleedingcool.com/2011/11/25/one-of-the-greatest-comics-creators-youve-never-heard-of-mark-stafford/
strips for sale, if ye know my stuff;
In the Days of the Beer Jesus, A Hard Day’s Death, all Glyph pages. Promotion, Fine Art Funnies, If I Stumbled Fron your Party at Three in the Morning…., The Prick, Well, That’s All Right Then, Beertalk, Graham’s Lousy Day,Those Darn Cops, Great Moments In Dope History: Isaac Newton & Archimedes and more…
Great anthology from Paper Tiger, with an impressive line up of cartoonists. I provided sleeve and disc art for the accompanying CD. Buy it.
the End, an anthology about cinema for the end times, and such, has been published by the lovely people at Strange Attractor press. Fine collection of new writing in a good looking book, and I’m not just saying that because it’s got a couple of my illustrations in. details here;
Another piece from the Orbital show. Sold this one to me mate Stagger Lee Fisher of Randy and Earl’s Old Record Club, it’s one of the first of my Hocus-Baloney series, depicting artwork from non existent films and books. Think this one’s the cover to some kind of Mexican Narco comic produced by the CIA for strange reasons circa 1978. Probably…
Another piece from the Orbital show, dig it.
Dead Hillbillies; A series of unhealthy paintings
The Fate of the Black Oak Minotaur
Acrylic on canvas, 2008, 300 x 240mm.
Dan’s story was that the blasted thing just came out of the woods whilst he was out hunting with his brother Matthew, and that the both of them just opened fire without thinking twice about it.
He denied actually searching out the beast or bearing ill will towards it. But by the number of shells involved they must have reloaded those rifles a couple of times apiece, and damn sure nobody forced them to drag that corpse back into town and string it up for all to see whist they posed away and that photographer took his pictures.
Everybody cast knowing glances at each other and nobody said what was on their minds, but nobody was surprised when Matthew broke out in boils and came down with fever the very next day. And no-one was surprised when he died the day after that, about he same time that Dan, his wife and children and their whole damned house was swept away by a flash flood that came out of nowhere on a clear day. If they hadn’t known before then, the people of Black Oak sure as hell knew now that you don’t do nothing to piss off your mythical creatures.
Just scanned the canvases from my Largely Unseen show at Orbital, so here’s my first Dead Hillbilly work to reach the web. Enjoy.
Dead Hillbillies; A series of unhealthy paintings
“Damned if she didn’t raise that thing like one of her own.”
Acrylic on canvas, 2010, 300 x 420mm
If any of the O’ Keefe’s knew what it was or where it came from they weren’t saying. Luke pretty much climbed into a bottle after it turned up, the first son Joseph just didn’t talk anymore , both avoided anybody’s gaze, just moped around with their sad moon faces looking more and more unfed and neglected as she spent more and more time with the thing she called her “moonchild.”
If Hilary was aware that that thing was anything other than the most beautiful baby in all the world she kept it well hidden. Anyone who cared or was supposed to care tried to make her see reason, tried to take the damned thing off of her, but then the headaches and the bleeding would start in on them and they had to stop trying whatever they were trying and get the hell out of there, whilst it sang that chittering song to itself and laughed at them with it’s one good eye. Soon everybody stopped visiting,. The O’Keefe house was left well alone for near enough a year. Until finally curiosity overtook horse sense and a posse of well armed concerned citizens went to call.
The place was devoid of life, Luke had clearly hanged himself in the workshed some months before, whether he had taken Joseph’s life beforehand, or whether the poor little bugger had starved or died through other means was impossible to discern, given the condition of his body. Of Hilary there was no sign, and the house was in good order, save for an overturned chair, and the presence of several foul smelling glistening trails, like those of a slug or snail, but measuring from one to four feet across, that covered the walls and floor of the back porch and kitchen . Rain had washed away most of the trails after leaving the porch, but with hounds they were tracked to a sinkhole near 100 yards from the back of the house. The sinkhole was dynamited in short order, and the house burned down a week after that. As for the O’Keefe’s and the “moonchild”, well, Marthasays that’s what you get when Baptists marry Catholics, but don’t you pay her no mind.