Friday, October 28, 2005
Copied from a newspaper supplement and pretty much another exercise in inking which, having made so much of it flat black, may have been of limited use. Dodgy hands too.
Jose Luis Agreda has a blog. Hurrah!
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
In an enormous break from the tradition of me drawing men's heads all the time here's... ta dah... a lady!
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Monday, October 24, 2005
A splendid evening out on Sunday night seeing Mr Robert Newman and Mr Mark Thomas performing their respective brands of political comedy. I'd seen Mr Newman's From Caliban to Taliban set back in 2003 and been absolutely floored by it. As comedy goes it was incredibly deeply-researched, educational and politically questioning of many of the mainstream media's accepted takes on how things are. Oh, and it was really, really funny.
Last night's set was about half of his more recent Apocalypso Now set, which apparently went down a storm in Edinburgh in the summer, and was more of the same sort of thought-provoking and brilliant material taking on such matters as Iraq, the unquestioning nature of the mass media, macroeconomics and Gaylord tennis. And it was really really, funny. And it had ukuleles in it too. The only thing that made it slightly less enjoyable as a piece of entertainment was the almost inevitable conclusion one reached that, in essence, from an environmental point of view, we're all fucked. Oh well. Enjoy the blossomest blossoms while you can.
After a brief interval, during which I managed to speak perhaps as many as three words to Mr Newman himself who was loitering in the foyer, it seemed inevitable that Mark Thomas would be something of a comedown. I've enjoyed some of his TV work in the past but often found the comedy to be in somewhat short supply in his Comedy Product shows. I always admired his anti-establishment, anti-corporate, anti-auntie (okay, maybe not) stance but it seemed to me that, for instance, the best way to protest about MacDonalds is not to make life even harder for the poor spotty oik with three stars on his badge (if memory serves, Thomas's wheeze was to turn up at a drive through branch in a tank). Anyway, happily, his stand up turns out to be another matter entirely: less ambitious and more straightforward than Newman's act but probably, if anything, more laugh out loud funny. Thomas is writing a book on the arms trade at the moment and much of his current set is about his research in this field. While, obviously, political in essence, his comedy is actually very much about the personalities of those around him: his friends, colleagues, the MOD chaperone assigned to him at the arms fair, his recently ordained sister. So it's political and impassioned but it's human and personal too. And, lest we forget, really, really funny.
Tip top all round and highly recommended (they're touring till about mid-December I think).
Sunday, October 23, 2005
Another copy of a Charles Burns copy. Something of my own again soon, I promise.
Thursday, October 20, 2005
Monday, October 17, 2005
Well it was a weekend packed full of incident and excitement. At least it was relative to most of my days which are spent sat on my arse right here.
Not one but two, count them, two trips to the allotment which I have been neglecting terribly for far too long. Pretty much everything that isn't weed is dead now (and, which is worse, my resident frog seems to have deserted the place) but it did manage to yield up the marrowgette and a decent-sized pumpkin before it came to this sorry state. If we factor in the cost of tools, rent and other bits and pieces they probably came in at a bargain 30 quid a piece (more if you want to include labour, obviously). Still, I have a half-decent plan of action now to get the plot into some kind of manageable state over the next couple of months. This is about the time of year that it's best to start working on a new plot so the half-hearted efforts I made from getting mine in Aprilish were always a bit handicapped. Now though I have no excuse not to start a) properly getting it into shape and b) keeping it that way. And to make (b) somewhat easier (a) will mainly comprise covering up about two thirds of the ground with black plastic (to exclude light and thus kill off perennial weeds) and leaving it well alone for about 18 months. Before I cover it up though I'm first hacking down the weeds and grasses that have run rampant during the dark days of neglect and then roughly digging over the soil. This turns out to be somewhat akin to hard work which is, frankly, not the usual stuff of a cartoonist's day and thus comes as something of a shock to the system.
In other news, I offloaded an unwanted snooker cue and a temperamental VCR via my local Freecycle scheme (if you don't know what that is then google it, find your local one and join now - it's marvellous) and it was a delight to see my good friend Mark Stevenson, star of stage, screen and rock video, on Saturday evening during one of his rare return visits to Cambridge. Mark and I met when we worked together as, more or less, bouncers at The Junction sometime back around 1990. We are not now, nor were we then, cut out to be bouncers but back then the management seemed to operate a policy of employing scrawny youths weedy enough that it would be too embarrassing for anyone to pick a fight with. Anyway, we drank some beers, watched Mark's lovely girlfriend, Vic, gamely performing in a limb-gnawingly awful play that I shall choose not to name, and then drank some more beers (come to think of it I also drank some beer during the play so as to numb the pain). A tip top evening for all that.
Long interview here with my good mate Roger Langridge, creator of Fred the Clown, co-creator of Knuckles the Malevolent Nun, tip top cartoonist and all-round lovely man. His latest work on a genuine Marvel comic ( written by Scott Gray), The Fin Fang Four, is either out now or will be very soon. Can't remember the last time I bought a Marvel comic - it was probably when Stan Lee and Moebius collaborated on a Silver Surfer story. I can't imagine that Roger and Scott's thing will be quite that funny but it's still bound to be wonderful.
Friday, October 14, 2005
I didn't play as much cricket as I usually do over the summer. I normally pick up maybe half a dozen games or so with the St Radegund pub side and spend a lot of time practising in between times. This year, though, there was no chance to practise as our usual nets weren't available and I was picked to play slightly less often than usual because I think they've finally realised just how bad I am. Thus it was with some enthusiasm that I greeted my mate Steve's suggestion that, as the rounders season came to an end, we should form a cricket team specifically for rubbish players. Hurrah!
And lo, unlike much talk that occurs in a pub after a couple of beers, it has come to pass (mainly because Steve was organising it rather than me). So yesterday evening saw the inaugural practice session of the newborn Maypole Cricket Club at the indoor nets at Fenner's and most enjoyable it was too. Half a dozen of us chucked balls and waved a bit of wood about and it quickly became apparent that there were those among us who weren't actually rubbish at all. Indeed young Mr Geoff Johnston was so thoroughly far from rubbish that he probably ought to have been instantly thrown out.
But then he got a round in down the pub afterwards so maybe we'll overlook it.
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Somewhat surprised to get my first bit of comment spam today. Knowing as I do the number of readers I have I reckon that, as advertising strategies go, you'd probably do better with a flyer stuck on some tumbleweed. It was on this post and, seeing as "anal gang bangs" didn't seem especially relevant to a drawing of a dalek I felt within my rights to delete it.
Still, it kind of made me feel like I'd arrived: I think therefore I am; I receive comment spam therefore I am a blogger.
Friday, October 07, 2005
Okay so this is my copy of Charles Burns's copy (from his Close Your Eyes book) of a character from some '50s romance comic. I've never been satisfied, when doing linework, with the quality of my inking so I decided to copy a few bits and pieces of work by people who do it better than me. This is my first effort (the garish colouring is all my own). Might show you some others as I do them later.
Other Charles Burns links: here and here
Thursday, October 06, 2005
Eek, my webhost has router problems and all my pictures (and all of daveshelton.com) have temporarily disappeared. Hopefully back soon but it's out of my hands (no bad thing - you wouldn't want me bumbling about trying to fix a router - I wouldn't have the faintest idea which hammer to use).
Update: ooh, the pictures seem to have gone all "now you see me, now you don't", the main website is kind of back up but veeerrrryyyy veeeeeerrrrryyyy slllooooowwwww and/or misbehaving. And my email's up the spout too.
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
Everyone should watch Channel 4 at, I think, 7.55 on Thursday (after the news anyway) when they will be showing Matt Abbiss's animated adaptation of Tom Gauld's comic, Invasion.
And if you can't bear to wait that long then you can watch in Supertinyovision online here
It's really good.
Sunday, October 02, 2005
Just drew a dinosaur for my nephew Sam's birthday card and it looks very much like this:
(But don't anyone let him see it till Tuesday).