To promote the book, I'm releasing a (very) limited edition portfolio containing 16 high quality prints. Each one will come housed in a custom designed 7" record mailer and will be signed and numbered by me. Get it here.
I received an email from The Nightingales' lyricist/singer Robert Lloyd yesterday. He's going to self publish a book of his lyrics and wondered if I could offer any advice.
Back in 2008, I produced a 68 page book of Robert Lloyd's lyrics (complete with collage illustrations) and sent it to him. I heard nothing back. Until now. At last, he's given me the go ahead to sell and distribute the book and I've ordered 40 copies to send to him to sell at future gigs.
The last page is now completed! All I need to do now is tweak the covers a bit and upload the whole thing to the publisher. I'm hoping to have a proof copy in my hands by this time next week, although there's bound to be something I missed that will need correcting!
Okay. Tomorrow evening, after a long and gruelling day at work (including a staff meeting that I have to run) I shall come home, sit at my drawing table and carefully, painstakingly ink the final picture for this momentous book. I can't wait!!!!
Perfect timing! With the book due to go to the printers on Friday, I was worried that I may not get the Cuban Boys' intro in time, but I received an email from Skreen last night so everything is now ready (apart from the final two pictures needing to be inked - The Delgados and the Sex pistols) Woo-hoo!
Only two and a half pictures left to ink! The Damned (below) seemed to take forever! I started it on Friday night then tried to carry on with it on Saturday morning but seemed to be getting nowhere. The reason? MUSIC! For some strange reason I'd failed to carry out my usual practise of playing albums by the band I was drawing . Each portrait has taken me between three and four hours from start to finish, usually encompassing a listening session to most of the band's recorded output in the process. This morning, as soon as I put on the Peel Sessions by The Damned, it was easy! I finished up The Beatles today too (the first four albums being my company) and I'm half way through the Beach Boys (although listening to the Beach Boys is not my favourite way of passing time, as you'll see when you read the book) I 'll be done by Wednesday next week (all being well) and if Skreen of the Cuban Boys comes through with their introduction it'll be off to the printers at the weekend!
I pencilled the final three pictures this evening, which means I now only have five pictures to ink and I'm done! Also, Skreen got back in touch and The Cuban Boys are still on for the B Side introduction - I just hope he can get it to me before the end of May! Here's one of the pencilled pages (The Delgados)...
...and here's my work space. I'll be inking The Damned at the weekend.
Whenever I go to see The Fall play, I’m always reminded of going on family holidays to Swanage with my parents and younger brother. The drive there seemed to take forever, but after what seemed like hours of ‘Are we there yet?’s, my Dad would say ‘Who’s going to be the first to see the sea?’ At this point, my brother and I would crane our necks over the two front passenger seats, looking intently at the horizon for that first glimpse of blue water, until eventually one of us would excitedly shout ‘There it is!’ and all the travelling was made worthwhile.
Mr Smith kept us waiting for over an hour before the band shambled onto the stage and began the riff for the opening (and title) track of the brilliant new Fall album You’re Future Our Clutter. All around me, people were craning there necks and looking past the person in front of them to get the first glimpse of the legendary Mark E Smith. After only a few bars, our patience was rewarded as he walked nonchalantly between the musicians and, wonder of wonders, treated us all to a beaming closed lipped smile! I’m sure I heard somebody shout ‘There he is!’
It was a great performance by a band I’ve been going to see since 1985!! Okay, it’s not exactly the same band, but it’s still The Fall and, as MES once pertinently pointed out: ‘If it’s me and yer granny on bongos it’s a Fall gig.’
The wrinkly one was quite playful tonight, giving us a great display of ‘onstage mixing’, cranking the guitar up to full blast during a couple of numbers, then cutting it out altogether during parts of others. The sound was good at the Academy and MES made full use of the acoustics. Poor Elena was left without a mic as the band thundered into Theme From Sparta F.C. but carried on regardless until her husband noticed he’d removed it and quickly replaced it with a cheeky grin on his face. In fact, I don’t ever remember seeing Mark E Smith smile so much during a performance, even playfully taunting the guitarist with his own mic when it was time for him tos sing backing vocals. We were even treated to a blistering rendition of Psykick Dancehall and a final encore of Strychnine.
On the way into the gig, my girlfriend and I were astonished to see a little cat outside the venue, milling around the throngs of punters outside. Even stranger, he looked exactly like the cat we had who died back in February. When we came out of the Academy, the cat was still there, so I scooped him into my arms, hailed a taxi and took him home. We’ve called him Spooky.
The first part of the book is now completed, formatted and ready for the printer!
I'm off to see The Fall tomorrow night and, on the strengths of their brilliant new LP Your Future Our Clutter it should be a bloody good gig! I'll let you know what I thought of it on Wednesday night and maybe post a picture of MES too!
I shopped around for a different printer, but the only one I could find that does short print runs gave me a quote of £1,071 for 100 books (working out at over a tenner to produce each book!) Although it would be printed at my preffered size of 7"x7", I'm gonna stick with Lulu and print it at 7.5"x7.5", otherwise the price will have to be hiked up higher than anyone would be willing to pay!
As it's voting day, I find myself with the day off work (yipee!) so I've drawn four of the remaining 8 (yes, 8!!) pictures in one morning. I usually don't start a new drawing until the previous one is completely finished, but I didn't feel like inking today for some reason.
This will be my last post until the book is completed. I've not had any comments for weeks and I feel like I'm talking to an empty room at the moment, so goodbye for now, I'll be back again in a month or so.
I'm currently thinking of switching printers. Lulu don't do the 7" x 7" format (it's actually 7.5" x 7.5") so I'm getting a quote from another short print run company who can do the size I need. Maybe I can even bring the price down!
I've heard back from Jello Biafra (via a third party) and it seems like he's still interested in contributing (woo-hoo), but The Cuban Boys and Neko Case haven't responded to my last two messages so it seems like they've dropped out of the project (boo!)
I wasn't going to post any more inked pictures on here ('buy the book if you want to see them' being the idea behind only posting the pencilled versions), but I'm really pleased with how this one turned out. I'm breaking in a new brush and it finally started 'working' properly whilst inking this. Ironically, the same thing happened with the last brush on the Ian Curtis picture I drew in January. Spooky...
Saloon inked. Velvet Underground pencilled and inked (and very good it is too, even if I do say so myself!)
And, finally, the last of the New Order pictures. I shall ink this tomorrow as I feel the need to get wrecked on white wine on this glorious bank holiday evening...