My weekly strip for the Observer News Review. Welcome to my world!
exciting news – I got my mitts on a hot off the press copy of Fable Comics last week. This comics anthology published by First Second and edited by Chris Duffy has 26 aesops fables retold by top notch comic artists including Eleanor Davis, Tom Gauld, James Kochalka and many, many more. I got in there too and am proud to be a part of this lovely book.
This stunning cover illustration is by Israel Sanchez.
The print production of the book is superb, I really like the coated paper stock that they’ve used, it feels nice and makes the colours are popping. I’ve not posted all of my pages but here are two of the five from my re-telling of the story of The Crow and The Pitcher.
The book is available in the US and there will be a very few copies available at Page 45’s extravaganza birthday party this Saturday. I’ll be there along with Hannah Berry drawing and signing and then celebrating with the loveable proprietor Stephen Holland. He’s written a blog post here with all of the information about it here
So exciting news, last year, Jane Ferguson from The Observer asked me to come up with an idea for a comic strip. And so, as part of their new design, my strip ‘Things I Have Learnt’ will be included. I’m totally chuffed to be a part of The Observer and for the opportunity to share my work, ideas and weird sense of humour with this audience.
This compliments my long term projects that I’m working on (a children’s chapter book for Walker books and a graphic novel with J.Cape). The children’s book at the moment is just words, it’s been frustrating not being able to share it with you. Writing a chapter book has been a totally new experience, Lizzie Spratt, my editor has been brilliant. We’re having a real laugh working on this, when it comes out next year hopefully readers will enjoy it too. It doesn’t have a name yet, but it’s about a worm called Marcus and his unusual friendship.
I’m also working on the sequel to Fluffy. This is a very strange writing/drawing experience because it feels like I have Fluffy living inside my brain. If you follow him or myself on twitter, you might notice that he is (unfortunately) a bit unruly. He regularly uploads onto instagram. What I like about the instagram is that I/he(?) can show you snippets of his life in real time from his perspective without having to wait for the book to come out.
I will leave you here, with a sausage. This is a brand new print for Jealous Gallery I wanted to design something that puts you in the right mood for the day. Is he standing on a shape, or a boiled egg or is it a fried egg? You tell me…
Fluffy’s return is not imminent but I wanted to give you a massive heads up about a future graphic novel that will eventually be published by Jonathan Cape! Yay! I’m so excited to be returning to my long lost friends. Fluffy is still very much a blurry dot on the horizon at the moment but we’ll be able to check in with what is going on in his life as he makes his way towards us.
For the past few months I’ve been writing, typing, thinking and drawing copious character sketches for Fluffy and also another exciting project that will be a children’s book published by Walker Books.
I want to talk about Fluffy today. In 2017 it will be ten years since Jonathan Cape published the original graphic novel. It had been originally self-published from 2003 – 2006 in parts as four chapters. When the work was completed I had no intention of continuing the series, there was nothing more that I wished to add. But now, as the anniversary approaches I’ve found myself asking what did happen to Fluffy and his Dad. Did things turn out to be okay for them? How are their lives now that they are ten years older than when we first met them? How have they changed?
In the making of the first book, I self published the story in parts. This was really beneficial in the way that it let me engage with the readers. Fluffy readers were all incredibly amazing people! There was so much generosity with encouragement and support that was very much appreciated. At that time the graphic novel world was unchartered territory and having reader feedback helped immensely in giving me the momentum to make the work.
I won’t be publishing the novel in parts this time around, but Fluffy, who is much more savvy on social media than I am, is a keen wannabe photographer. He will be posting his photographs on his new Instagram account and vocalising his thoughts his twitter and Tumblr account.
I’m sure that Fluffy would love to hear from you so please do say hello!
Love and all good things to you for 2015
That’s life, we all get older – from babies to oldies, day by day we are all getting older. It’s inevitable and us mere mortals must at some point in our lives, accept this reality.
Miraculously the ageing process does not apply to fictional comic characters. Our favourites can be frozen in time indefinitely, Maggie Simpson will always be a baby, Charlie Brown remained a melancholic boy for almost fifty years. Comics seem to have the upper hand when it comes to warping time and creating it’s own laws.
So I was expecting that the comics rule of freezing time would also apply to my own fictional characters. When I checked in with Fluffy and his Dad, I expected everything to be exactly the same. They would look, act and be thinking in the same way. I drew Fluffy, Fluffy looked the same but there was something different about the way he was thinking. I say he, he most definitely seems to be a boy now, I wasn’t so sure before. And when I drew Fluffy’s Dad, he seemed the same, just a bit balder, beardier and perhaps a little bit wider. My characters are ageing…
It’s a bit of a shock for me and also seeing that my little Fluffy is now tweeting and uploading posts with the twitter handle @fluffypulcino.
It’s been quiet on my website and twitter for simply ages! I do apologise. I’m still here and really have had my head down thinking, writing, drawing and making things in the last few months. I’m looking forward to soon be able to share with you some projects that will be coming up.
In the mean time I’ve uploaded a selection of personal projects from the last 18 months or some of it is funny and some more serious. I hope you might enjoy my domestic violence counselling story and also a recipe of my own making that I’m very proud of. My intention is to upload here on a weekly basis from now on and share with you some of the crazy things in my brain. My thoughts, inventions, sketches, comics and musings. Hopefully it will make you laugh or ponder depending on the subject matter.
Thank you for bearing with me.
So a few months ago a friend approached me to take part in a charity fund raising event of music and arts for an organisation called Life. The charity gives practical and financial help to women who are facing a crisis pregnancy and support to those suffering from pregnancy lost. I wanted to get involved for a number of reasons. One superficial reason was an incentive to make work that could be bought and given away as gifts for wedding presents and special occasions. The idea is that it is a give to give gift. You buy the limited edition print for someone and 100% profit goes to the charity.
For the show we made an installation placing the numbered heart prints on the wall so that people could choose their own print. Taking a heart from the wall also altered the look of the room so that by the end of the evening there were many gaps where hearts had been taken to give away.
Late last year I begun a personal project called Bad Mother. I spoke to parents, grand parents, barristers working in the family courts, a social worker and an MP about what the media describes as forced adoption.
It’s a controversial and emotive subject and one that has not had too much attention in the media, for the protection of the children the process is shrouded in secrecy. My desire was that by using comic art I would be able to give all of those involved a voice by changing their identities in the drawing.
The project (an extract below shown as double page spreads reading left side then right side) was not fully completed – I began it and was happy with the work but felt that a longer piece would involve too many ‘talking heads’ that wouldn’t necessarily engage an audience. Here is one of the interviews.
Recently I’ve been researching a project and have become quite fascinated with ‘youth culture’. With the internet, the way that we interact, communicate and process information has been changing rapidly, it’s also become a lot more visible. It’s not been difficult to get a glimpse into how a different generation are responding to the world. It’s interesting and a bit scary.
Youth culture has always tried to separate itself from previous generations by using it’s own language. There’s nothing new here, but it’s still quite funny. Here’s how one sentence has evolved.
Hello! I wanted to share an adapted recipe with you that I tried a while back. The original, traditional, less frightening version is here
- Send an invitation to your guests.
- Take out the pork from the freezer two hours before your guests arrive.
- Panic because the pork won’t defrost.
- Use apricots instead of figs because you bought the wrong dried fruit.
- Stick everything in the microwave.
- Take out the half frozen half cooked pork
- Gag on the smell which will be forever imprinted on your olfactory memory.
- Throw everything in the bin.
- Serve sandwiches instead.
Stand back for adulation from your happy guests?
This was made in the late summer as part of a series of drawings in South East London. This is Lewisham. Lewisham is famous for being a bit of a dive. However I enjoy it and people who dislike Lewisham, if you look closely there are pretty things to look at. In this drawing I wanted to focus on the trees and the architectural detail of the clock tower. In Lewisham the chips are magic.
I’ve been working on a range of nine cards for Blue Island Press – on Saturday I received the proofs, they’ve been printed on very handsome paper, cor. Sainsbury’s keeps popping up in my work, I’m not sure if I should be advertising them so much. If you’re reading this Mr Sainsbury and would like more custom, please reduce the price of your chickpeas – they’re cheaper in the postoffice. Thank you
I now have brand new Fluffy postcard packs available. Each pack contains 8 cards, two each of four designs. Any residents local to Brockley or Ladywell may recognise a couple of the scenes that Michael Pulcino and Fluffy are walking past. The packs are available to buy directly from me for £5.50 (includes P + P), if you’d like to order, please drop me an email via the contact button on the left and I’ll send you a link for payment. Likewise if you’re a retailer and you’d like to stock in your shop, I’d love to hear from you!
Greetings! long time no speak. It’s been too long since my last blog post, since then I’ve been to the other side of the world and back, we could describe this as a’writer’s retreat’ kind of. The surrounds could not have been more idyllic, calm or beautiful – I was lucky enough to be very well looked after and in a place where I could work with a laptop and sketchbook at hand looking out onto tropical plants with colourful birds singing melodious songs. Needless to say I didn’t get any work done. Not a bean. I did stroke a kangaroo though which was a joy and an experience that is unlikely to be repeated from anywhere near my London studio. The second photograph captures the moment that I caught whiff of my furry friend’s pungent aroma.
I’m back in London now, fully inspired after a long break and excited about new projects and happenings that will be taking place in and around London. Firstly, my collection of paintings titled Everything Is Going To Be Okay are showing at Shane’s On Chatsworth a fabulous restaurant on Chatsworth Road. The show includes my new prints that have been made by Jealous Gallery and Print Studio The work is up til September and includes an ‘Adopt A Bunny’ section.
Please do go and visit Shane’s and I thoroughly recommend that you stay for dinner and check out the menu. Shane’s cooking is delicious, he specialises in locally sourced and seasonal food. We had the pigeon for starter which was so tender – my dining companion remarked that he would never look at a pigeon in the same way after this. Poor little pigeons. I didn’t know that you could be so tasty. I didn’t think that it was worth posting my fuzzy thumb obscuring the lens photo of the starter, I did intend to photograph our mains as well but by the time the mains showed up we were fully engrossed in our food, conversation and the ambience of the restaurant.
A few weeks ago Liv Knight of Patchwork Present asked if I’d do a display for a week in her shop window for her new website venture patchworkpresent.com. I’ve known Liv for several years,she’s become a friend and I think she’s cool because she’s so optimistic and enthusiastic about life and genuinely cares about making the world a better place to live in. She describes the website (that will be launched very soon) Patchwork Present as Pinterest meets Kick Starter or as her nan would describe it it’s a whip-round love. Liv describes her concept here. Wishing Patchwork Present all success with it’s imminent launch!
Last Thursday was the private view of ‘Everything is Going to Be Okay’ my debut solo show that was hosted in Home From Home gallery in Munich. The gallery is a truly lovely, light and refreshing space which fronts the bustling studio of talented graphic designer Nerina Wilter. It’s a dream space to work in, I was a bit jealous! Here are a few images of the paintings in situ.
The show was a collection of work that is a reaction to the general pessimism and frightening world that is portrayed to us in the news and media. I wanted to make work that was bright, positive (mostly) and harmonious.
In the collection there are many references to worms and amoebic shapes. The humble worm has a simplicity that I enjoy: I like that they are literally down to earth, they do not have anything of beauty about their appearance, in fact their soft skin makes them totally vulnerable to predators and the elements. We don’t think much about the worm but they do so much good, they have an important job of aerating the soil and they do this in a hidden way. It’s these (anthropomorphic) counter cultural qualities that attract me – maybe we need to be more like the humble worm to oppose a culture that celebrates and endorses celebrity, egotism and power.
We also included an ‘Adopt a Bunny’ section some of which is seen here. We couldn’t resist dedicating some of the gallery to bunnies and flowers.
If you happen to be in Munich please do go and visit Nerina in her gallery and studio.
I’m very excited to announce that I have my first solo exhibition, Everything is Going To Be Okay at the Home from Home Gallery in Munich Germany from 22.3.13 – 17.5.13. The exhibition will showcase thirty five new works on canvas that are a collection of bold paintings that hope to gently persuade you that; everything, will be okay. There will also be works on paper that are an adopt a bunny section, affordable paintings for you to take home. You are welcome to come to the exhibition private view, you’ll find the details here
What is it about worms? I just can’t get enough of them, is it their tiny non brains? Whatever it is these humble creatures have captured my imagination with an unexpected allure. If you are have been charmed by the wriggly non-arthropod invertebrate animals, Jealous Gallery have made limited edition screen-prints of my worm thoughts. More details are here .
And for worm fans button badges are available from Stereohype who are the purveyors of the worlds finest button badges.
Every now and again I get an email from a wife/husband/boyfriend/girlfriend requesting to make a special a painting for their loved one. It’s a total joy to make these paintings and I’m always struck by the loving thoughtfulness of the gift giver. This painting was a first anniversary gift commissioned by Andrew Neely for his wife. It’s Chip and Bean at the Pulitzer Fountain in New York where Andrew proposed to his wife. The song that Bean is singing was the first dance on their wedding day.
Love is in the air at the I Love Bunnies Studio.
I’ve been getting a fair few love and marriage related commissions recently which is probably something to do with that book that I wrote recently. It’s all very interesting! This is a poster for an upcoming retreat and I’ve been asked to be a speaker at this event too. All are welcome on the retreat so if you’d like to come along and find out more please do!
This summer for me has been all about worms, not just because of the rainy weather and frequent sightings of the humble wiggler but they have become my new artistic muse. Here are the paintings from my exhibitions shown at Greenbelt Festival a few weeks ago.
Despair. Acrylic on Canvas. 12″ x 12″. SOLD
Identity. Acrylic on Canvas. 12″ x 12″. SOLD
Worm Fountain. Limited Edition Screen print, available from Jealous Gallery.
Breakdance (illustration from Please God.). Giclee framed Print.17″ x 17″.
God doing a Wheelie (illustration from Please God.) Giclee framed Print. 17″ x 17″.
Hello all! It’s been an age since I posted anything on here but I wanted to show you this – I loved this commission it’s got to be one of the most unusual requests that I’ve had. Graphic Designer and good guy Daniel Gray found out that he and his lady were pregnant. On the day of the first scan Daniel wrote me a very touching email that captured his awe of this life changing event. To celebrate seeing the little bean on the screen Daniel asked me to make this image for the mum-to-be.
There we have it, a most unusual request.
On another note, this is a delayed thank you to everyone that came along to my book launch at Gosh! and for Gosh! or hosting it. Thank you for your support, it was a really great night thanks to everyone.
Yay! My new book Please God, Find Me a Husband! is out this week. You are invited the book launch next Tuesday, see invite below. I hope to see you there.
The Guardian have made the book graphic novel of the week, Rachel Cookes funny and comprehensive review is here
2012 see’s the launch of the wonderful Phoenix Comic, the new weekly comic for children full of adventure stories, comedies, puzzles and competitions. I’m very excited to have a spot with ‘Lucie’. Lucie has two younger brothers called Dmietri and Max who are rather rumbustious. Lucie loves books and sometimes finds herself falling into the stories that she reads about, having mini-adventures with the bookish characters who have an uncanny resemblance to a certain Chip and a Bean.
I was approached by Olivia Knight of The Green Thing to work on this project to promote the ‘buy nothing’ campaign. The Green Thing are a public service that inspire people to lead a greener life and Olivia Knight who I’ve worked with in the past has always been supportive (of my various past strange ventures!) and a ball of enthusiasm and productivity, a lady who makes things happen!
The animation was made by Maya Kurasawa who understands Chip and Bean and brought them to life magically, edited by Haydn Secker who made this beautiful animation the Joy of Fix – it’s really wonderful stop frame animation. My dear friend Lee who built this website got roped in by me to be Bean’s voice. My other dear friend Minneapolis based James G Everest of Late Duster fame and various other amazing bands, made the music. I met James exactly 10 years ago en-route to a warehouse rave in Old Street, we’d been talking recently about making a little project together when Oliva suggest this, so hurrah.
So the message is ‘Buy Nothing’ which is neatly contradicted by my new website which has a button that says ‘buy things’.
Hello and welcome to my new website. I’ve uploaded new work on the portfolio page and from now on blog posts will be here rather than at blogspot. The site was put together by my dear friend Lee Allan. Follow him on here
For older blogposts please see my old blogspot site.
Book signing on Thursday evening at Forbidden Planet London with Warren Pleece, genius creators Rob Davies, Woodrow Phoenix and one of my fave artists Gary Northfield and I’ll be there too. Signings from 6!