Sunday, 21 December 2008

alternative press fair

a couple of weeks ago i met the lovely lively jimi gherkin at the comiket small press fair that was part of the comica season at the ica. he is putting on an alternative press fair in february. i don't know yet if i'll be selling anything there but i will definitely be perusing and possibly purchasing the wares. these are the details:

Pens, Pencils and Photocopiers:


St Aloysius Social Centre,

Phoenix Road,



Bringing together the worlds of alternative comics, zines, self-produced art-books, poetry and diy/punk culture for one amazing day, like a great colourful blacmange that you can't eat. Meet the artists, see their work, buy some if you like it. THEN relax and enjoy an exciting evening of music, song and melody, starring the Singing Sensation, Mr. Trent Miller (& The Skeleton Jive) as well as an open mic session for you to let it all hang out!

This event is FREE to all good men and women everywhere.

When? Sunday 1st February 2009, 12pm to 6pm (music to late)

Where? St. Aloysius Social Centre, 20 Phoenix Road, NW1 1TA

How do I get there? Alight Euston Station, venture up Eversholt Street on your right is Phoenix Road and a modern church - we're in the basement.

For more info Contact: jimigherkin(at)yahoo(dot)co(dot)uk or peterlally(at)gmail(dot)com or check
for the latest news

Thursday, 11 December 2008

martin ramirez and friends

a couple of weeks ago i came across martin ramirez' intricate work. i find the terms 'art brut' and 'outsider art' a little strange; we are all brutes and outsiders.

ramirez' work did remind me of some of the beautiful work made by the adults with learning disabilities i lived and worked with in scotland for a some time in 2003-2005. of course they replaced the abilities they may have lacked with ones that we lack.
it was a strangely normal kind of job, where you help people to look after themselves. you care for and take care of people, and in return they take care of you without you even realizing it.
at the same time it makes you aware exactly how replace-able you are. whenever i return some of the people remember who i am and greet me warmly, but just as many people -if not more-, who i felt i developed a bond with will not recognize me, ignore me or just be indifferent to my presence. none of us are special, all of us replace-able. what a relief.

when i started work i found it difficult to connect to one of the people i worked with. she knitted and in a, successful, attempt to improve my relationship with her i took up knitting too. she would knit until her knitting had so complicated itself that she needed someone to find some order in its chaos. while she waited impatiently i would un- and re-ravel bits until she could continue. her ability to randomly decrease and increase stitches was second to none. hers is the embroidery above, which she made me as a leaving present.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008


some years ago i went to see odetta at the triptych festival in glasgow. she was tiny compared to the big strong woman i had seen singing 'water boy' in martin scorsese's bob dylan documentary 'no direction home', but her voice was impressive and her stage presence bordered on intimidating.
at the beginning of the evening she gave photographers a couple of minutes to take photos of her, telling them that was it: no photographs during the rest of her performance. when halfway through someone couldn't resist and ignored her request she stopped the show to reprimand him. i can't remember her exact words but i do remember that they were softly spoken and mortifying.
she was very entertaining; reminiscing about musicians she'd played with and making political and even sexual references. she played the audience like a strict teacher does her doting pupils.

odetta passed away yesterday at the age of 77.

Friday, 28 November 2008

the big day, exhibition

i am part of a group exhibition in clapham, london, this weekend. the theme for the exhibition is wedding and all participating artists received a word to base their work on. my word is ring and for those who won't be able to make it to clapham this weekend my contribution can be seen below. (the actual drawing is slightly smaller than the image below, fitting into a 51 mm circle)

ring, pen on paper, 51 mm

Saturday, 22 November 2008

article in 'trouw'

sketch for mini-comic

for those of you who understand dutch, today's 'trouw', a dutch national newspaper, features an article written by my sister, rozemarijn, and her friend amanda kluveld. the article makes some very interesting and valid points about why the government should mind its own business when it comes to people's sexual experiences.

Friday, 14 November 2008

comica 2008 symposium at the victoria and albert museum

i spent all of today at the comica 'archetypes v stereotypes in comics and graphic novels' symposium at the v and a museum.
there were some interesting talks, although i thought some of them were a little example rich and content low. highlights for me were charles dierick's look at racial stereotypes in art through the centuries and sina shamsavari's presentation of gay comics, which unfortunately had to be cut short. i have to confess i had no idea who pat mills was, but paul gravett's talk with him touched upon some interesting (political) themes. i will definitely be looking up some of his work.

something else that made me cycle home with a smile on my face was that i met so many interesting and motivating people, a lot of them comics artists themselves. sarah mcintyre's enthusiasm was unbeatable. she writes a comic for children called 'vern and lettuce' and she is on the panel at the 'conversations:
great british comics - past, present & future
lecture at the ica on sunday.

there is always a lot of cross-referencing of significant comics and comics artists i have never heard of in the discussions at these events, but maybe that is a good thing.

last but not least i wanted to mention that there is a 6 month comic artist in residency at the victoria and albert museum. the deadline is the 4th of january and you have to be uk based to apply, a good reason to move to london i'd say.
well i am all linked out for now...

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

death ii

photo courtesy of tom bland

another heartbreaking 'last supper', as tom put it.


photo courtesy of tom bland

talk about bad parenting. my flatmate made this sad but poetic discovery this morning. my other flatmate took the photograph.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

christiaan andriessen

my sister, rozemarijn, pointed me in the direction of christiaan andriessen, a 19th century amsterdam art teacher, who drew a diary of sorts from 1805 till 1808. the drawings are snapshots accompanied by either a short comment by the author or a quote from one of the people depicted. check out more of his work at the amsterdam city archive. the image below from 17 april 1805 possibly depicts christiaan's mother, ill in bed, having to take her medication.

"there it strikes 10, another one to take now"

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Sunday, 19 October 2008

comica season

every year paul gravett organizes 'comica' the london international comics festival which takes place at various locations in london, including the ica and the victoria and albert museum.
i had the pleasure of attending several of the events at the 2006 and 2007 comica seasons, which i thoroughly enjoyed. check out paul's site for more info.

autobiography in comics

in my first post at chicks on comics i tried to start a discussion about autobiographical comics. it seems to be the form of choice for scores of alternative comics artists, myself included. autobiography is a tough subject. there is such a wealth of material to choose from. how to choose one story from all of the incidents that make up your life? especially if you don't want to take up such autobiographical classics as masturbation, neuroticism, constipation or cancer.

i am still trying to figure out why exactly i believe the story i am working on at the moment is worth telling. it's a story about friendship, love and betrayal, issues familiar to a lot of people; and whether the story has any or not i am forcing some meaning onto it.

image above: possible opening panel for aforementioned story

Sunday, 5 October 2008

chicks on comics

my friend anna bas backer and her friend paola (whose artwork i was just admiring) started and invited several other comics artists as well as myself to join.
as i understand it the blog is supposed to be a place dedicated to the discussion of comics in comics form, we take turns in posting 7x5.5 cm comics. my first post for chicks on comics went up 2 weeks ago. check it out.
please note that to preserve the reading order of the discussion posts are put up in the 'wrong' order i.e. the oldest post comes up first, the latest post can be found at the the bottom. so please do scroll down.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

first post

this is a wee comic i drew after a party in 2005. i didn't intend the story for my mini-comic -a harmonica folding booklet-, and its format is different from the way i usually work.