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Saturday, 29 January 2011

The Guardian - Michael Holden's All Ears 29th January

I've still got the scars from my '80s teenage years (but have burned most of the photos!)

- wish I'd left the 'studioline' text off the illustration but I like to present it as printed - one of those cases of 'funny-at-the-time' (like mullets? Conceptual hey?)
Original article here
(Article by Michael Holden)
Walking down a side street I was suddenly overtaken by two young men making quickly toward the main road and kicking around a conversation of sufficient merit and volume that I found myself having to speed up in order to keep abreast of it.

Man 1 (pressing for an answer) "What do you call him, the guy with all the hair down the back?"

Man 2 "Gandhi?"

Man 1 (irked) "No – he's bald! The other one?"

Man 2 (getting the picture) "Him! He's out there – we don't even have a proper nickname for him. He's just 'him', innit?"

Man 1 "We said to him, you can't have hair like that!"

Man 2 "It's the proper mullet."

Man 1 "Nobody wants it!"

Man 2 "But he won't listen!"

Man 1 "He can't hear!"

Man 2 (making snipping motions) "I go up behind him and do the scissors thing – everyone laughs."

Man 1 "We said to him, 'What happened? Did your mum freeze you in the 80s?' Everyone laughs at him! Even the general manager's on to him about it, saying, 'I think it might be better if you didn't have that hair.' But he's all, 'No no no – it's my thing.'"

Man 2 (shaking his head in recognition of a lost cause) "And he's proper slim, innit?"

Man 1 (sad and angry – as though he had great plans for the man's hair that might never see the light of day) "It just doesn't suit – doesn't suit him!"

They laughed loudly though, as they reached the high street and jogged away into the crowd, who all looked much the same as them.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Cartoon Kid in The Times Monday 24th January

A little promotional piece in today's Times newspaper featuring characters from Cartoon Kid by Jeremy Strong published by Puffin - available in all good etc. etc.
(I would direct you to the article but Mr Murdoch's paywall may deter you...)

Saturday, 22 January 2011

The Guardian - Michael Holden's All Ears 22nd January

(Article by Michael Holden)
Beyond the humidity, the other thing you can hope to get at the local steam baths is a climate of silence. Not always. Some people will talk, as though stranded on a boiling bus. This time it was a wiry young woman (Woman 1) and her larger friend (Woman 2). The contrast between them was considerable – they looked like a broken exclamation mark.

Woman 1 (nodding toward the gym, looking serious) "You have to go every day."

Woman 2 (downcast) "Yeah but there's work.

Woman 1 "What's your shifts?"

Woman 2 "Earlies."

Woman 1 "Change them 10 'til 6, wait for me for half an hour then we can park round here for free from seven."

Woman 2 "Ain't gonna happen."

Woman 1 "Unless you make it happen."

Woman 2 "I'm all right when I'm with you, I can't do it on my own."

Woman 1 "You cheat when you're with me, if I just look away you start loafing!"

Woman 1 (turning to the men in the room as though appealing to a jury) "She's the fittest person I know. Look at her. Ain't she hot?"

Man 1 "It's a sauna, we're all hot."

Man 2 "What sport do you play?"

Woman 1 "Nothing. I just come here."

Woman 2 "I wanna lose two stone by my birthday."

Woman 1 "You're dreaming."

Woman 2 (plaintive) "I don't drink tea any more."

Woman 1 "Don't worry about tea. It's the Ribena."

Man 1 (back for more) "I like to exhaust myself."

I took that as my cue to fade into the mist.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

The Guardian - Michael Holden's All Ears 15th January

That Brian May (no relation) made his guitar out of a fireplace he did...etc.
As a real-life guitar hero(!) I find the whole concept of Guitar Hero rather puzzling, read on...
See the original article here
(Article by Michael Holden)
For a swift antidote to the optimistic platitudes of new year, there's nothing quite like hospital waiting rooms, where any rogue act of exuberance is swiftly countered by the collective frowning of the preoccupied majority. It was here that I saw a woman standing up in a room full of seated people, typing on her Blackberry and looking up occasionally to see if she had stopped acting like she shouldn't be there. An elderly woman and her adult son sat by my side.

Son (reading a text) "Guitar Hero, I wonder how he's getting on with it?"

Mother "You got him playing it?"

Son "Yeah, he's sent me a text saying he's gonna kick my arse."

Mother "Oh."

Son "Of all the versions I've bought – and I've bought five – there's no Jimi Hendrix on there."

Mother (diving deep into her own past) "Burt Weedon? Duane Eddy?"

Son "No. Stones, a lot of Bon Jovi. That's some frantic playing."

Mother (updating) "Brian May?"

Son "Yeah, Queen are there."

Mother (excited – relatively speaking) "Killer Queen?"

Son "Band On The Run – that's good to play."

Mother (eyeing the standing woman with disdain) "I dunno what she's playing at."

Son (holding thumb and forefinger together to indicate the woman's lack of long term illness) "I saw the size of her file – it was stick thin."

Mother "I've definitely gone deaf in this ear."

Son "I'll get you some shopping later."

Mother "Why don't she sit down?"

Son (most assuredly) "She will."

Thursday, 13 January 2011

comic strips for Cartoon Kid

Some of the original strips I drew for Cartoon Kid by Jeremy Strong published by Puffin.
These were really fun to draw (I love a Police elephant!) & was nice to be given pretty much carte blanche on the design & layout

New children's book Cartoon Kid

Puffin have just published the first in the series of Cartoon Kid by Jeremy Strong which I done lots of pictures for. There's lots of elephants & superheroes in it so anyone who knows me will realise it's right up my street.
You can buy it (preferably) from your nice local book shop & support small local shops or else be a lazy arse & get it from t'internet

Monday, 10 January 2011

Headbutting horses...

Drawn from an overheard conversation in a pub while a group of middle class, middle aged men attempted to 'out-street' one another by recounting dubious tales of neo-football hooliganism from their pasts.

Dog coat

The view from my pub table - I'm always slightly peturbed by clothes on dogs*

(*see 'Things I Hate')

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Penguin Dunces

Referring to previous post I can't help feeling Penguin books might have missed a trick with this line of titles for the 'less sophisticated reader'

(PS has anyone ever seen seen a real dunce's cap apart from in the Beano? Guess it's politically incorrect to humiliate the divvy kids now?)

The Guardian - Michael Holden's All Ears 8th January

Happy New year - after a couple of weeks of festivities I'm climbing back into my (slightly ill fitting) Freudian slip - possibly my favourite undergarment - couldn't resist the dunce penguin in the corner either...

(Article by Michael Holden)
I became surrounded on a bus by three ladies whose lunch had evidently escalated into something more sustained, causing them to abandon their cars for public transport.

Woman 1 (the most drunk) "Where does this bus go?"

Woman 2 (not drunk) "I'll tell you where to get off."

Woman 1 "When do you qualify as a psycho-whatever-it-is?"

Woman 2 "Psychotherapist. I've only just started. This is my first term."

Woman 3 (medium drunk) "Where are you doing it?"

Woman 2 " In town. The youngest person there is 21, it's quite daunting."

Woman 1 (slurring over the distinctions) "But what's the difference between a psychiatrist and a psychotherapist."

Woman 2 "A psychiatrist has more of a clinical background."

Woman 1 (delighted to have grasped that) "Right!"

Woman 2 "With therapy that's not always the case."

Woman 3 (not helping) "So at the end of the day, you'll be doing like, cognitive?"

Woman 2 "That might end up being part of it. Freud is the real distinction; he had been a medical doctor, so the psychiatrists …"

Woman 1 (interrupting) "So you can give out drugs, or is that the other lot?"

Woman 2 "Well, it's more psychiatry, the idea that the problem has a pathology to it. Therapy is different, to a degree in that …"

Woman 1 (not listening) "Well Edmund sees someone, and he's on drugs. And Peter sees someone, and he isn't on anything."

Woman 2 (bracing herself for a long journey, in every sense) "I see."