Sunday, July 8, 2012


Right click the images and open in a new tab to read an adventure starring Dredger from Action comic (August, 76). Without a doubt, Dredger is the biggest bastard of an antihero ever in comics. He makes Judge Dredd look like Rupert the Bear! Poor Mr. Breed.

Friday, September 30, 2011


(pictured above: God, I wish Judge Death was in this comic)

So, I moan about standard superhero stuff all the time. I believe the preponderance of the genre is holding back the medium of comics. I don’t hate everything with a cape, I just don’t see why everything needs a cape. However, there is an alternative to superhero/action stuff that I really have no love for. This alternative is often held up as a good example of what capeless comics can be. To me, such examples risk making the comics medium even less appealing.

I call this alternative Hip Lifestyle Comics. I really can’t relate to this stuff and I honestly can’t abide it. I don’t inhabit the world portrayed in these comics and I’d really hate to.

(pictured above: remove the word ‘else’ and you’re on to something)

From what I’ve seen of Jeffrey Brown and Adrian Tomine’s work (and I’ve seen quite enough thanks) they celebrate a kind of disengaged low impact way of living that revolves around second hand stores and coffee shops. I find this profoundly numbing. I certainly don’t find it cute or true to life. I actually think it’s a dishonest attempt by the creators to present themselves as sweetly flawed yet knowingly hip individuals. To me they are neither. To me they represent jaded cultural full stops. They are as relevant to me as the supposedly witty (but actually insipid) articles you find in Sunday newspaper lifestyle supplements.

I also find these insidiously self-aggrandising ‘real life’ comics to be deeply unamusing. They could at least provide a few laughs or something slightly life affirming. But no, Annie Hall these comics ain’t. Maybe overt humour is considered crude and cheap by these creators, I wouldn’t know, but I do know that there is something bankrupt in their aspirational alternative pose. When I look around at today’s world and see all the crazy, intriguing and outrageous things going on I can’t believe comic artists that make life seem so small are so widely embraced.

If I want an engaging reflection of the human experience in comics I’ll go to Satrapi or Pekar. People who have clashed with life and engaged with it and have something to say about it with a degree of passion and humour. Pekar in particular takes the seemingly mundane and makes you see the magic in it. Hip lifestyle comics take the seemingly mundane and make it even more mundane.

And it’s not dynamism for the sake of dynamism I’m seeking. I’m a fan of many quiet and gentle comics, films, literature and art. In fact, I seek out well crafted stuff that deals with the more understated moments and aspects of life. All I ask is that the work be somehow aware and genuine, maybe beautiful. I want it to ring true. What I don’t want is a lethargic wheeze by some competent yet non-unique cartoonist whose chief concern is peddling an image of himself as some cuddly, befuddled, Charlie Brownesque soul who knows his away around a vintage clothes store. This stuff is ephemeral and insubstantial steam - you see it, maybe it’s pretty, next thing it’s gone as if never there. If this really is the life of the artists concerned then all I can say is that they must move through the world like dull and disengaged ghosts, representing nothing more than wilfully thwarted human potential.

Hip lifestyle comics could send me running into the arms of Green Lantern. At least I’ll find some energy there and (perhaps) some imagination.

Here’s a link to a pisstake piece I did on these types of comics a while ago:


OK, I’ll quit going on about it because it really isn’t important if you take a larger view. It’s a big Universe out there and there is much to discuss, like …um …stuff and like coffee and CDs and, um, stuff.

Monday, July 4, 2011


Below is a xenophobic comic I did for All Rise in the 90s:

A sequel followed a few years later and was recently rediscovered by its author (and fellow All Riser) John/Sean O'Neill. It's superior to the original and that angers me.

I now realise that the Germans have some decent filmmakers, art galleries, museums and bands like Can and Neu etc. Despite all that, I still think they should go and shove their Deutsche Bank up their arses.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


When I was a lad I got into a tussle with some rough youths. They kicked me around so much I was disfigured for a while. I stayed in then and my flatmate Antonio (who was later to become a fellow All Riser) gave me some pens. He told me to draw something and quit talking to him. That was the first time I drew the Boss Hound and he's been following me on and off ever since. Click to enlarge.

Friday, November 12, 2010


When I was 18 I thought I'd bring The Heap back to comics. It's incredible how little my shtick has changed.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Above is another comic I did with the mighty de Barra. We collaborated again for the 24 Hour comic day anthology put together by Cliodhna Lyons. I decided to put some stuff in that would be near impossible to draw, just to drive de Barra up the wall. I didn't work. Bah! I'll get her next time. As Charles Bronson said, 'this ain't over'.