Sunday, 2 August 2015

Books Beyond Words - A new shape to storytelling?

I've been working on a fascinating new publication by the good people at Books Beyond Words and been tested greatly by a very different way of creating the material of a story - in this case to address the problems of weight gain across society and particularly how these impact on those with learning difficulties. It is a process that sees a group of people – coming at the problem from a variety of angles and either from the sphere of health professionals or those that have tackled the issue personally – write a story and develop characters together.

There's a link here to a film showing the first editorial meeting:’t-it-time-beyond-words-book-weight-loss

And an article covering the next stage of the process here:

This is really worthwhile work, and I've been helped greatly by everyone involved. My thanks.
More on the project as it develops.

Televisuals 2: Dr Jekyll's in the house

And so was I - preparing to raise a glass of the good doctors port in the room adjacent to his lab.

This on a visit to the Three Mills Studios base of the major new ITV series 'Jekyll and Hyde' - taking the story of the Jekyll dynasty forward into the pre-war 1930s - created by my old friend Charlie Higson.
Same venue where we worked on 'Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased)', back in 1999.

Another hot summer - another day of scenic paintings, false doors and other trappings of TV mischief - another fantasy.
There are always stories to be told.

Here's to a success when it hits the screens in the autumn. Chin chin.

Televisuals 1: John Wickham Henry de Trafford Steed

An icon, a gentleman. 

Belated goodbyes to this most elegant and quietly irreverent of Englishmen - as brought to enduring life by the wonderful Patrick Macnee (1922 - 2015).
Vintage champagne or good warm beer - a man for all seasons.

"Mrs. Peel - we're needed."

And never more so.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Matt Berry - Action Man Battlefield Casualties

As mentioned in the last post, while visiting the set of 'Toast of London' series 3 (see your tellies this autumn) I talked to Matt Berry about the trio of beautifully-crafted films that he had recently completed for the Veterans For Peace UK - see

Directed by Price James and based on work by Darren Cullen - they really hit home hard.
They will no doubt ruffle the feathers of those with vested interests in the industry of war – and how it's sold to the population that provides the raw material for it – and resonate with those profoundly affected by their involvement in it, living with the devastating impact thereafter.

The films will divide opinion and spark heated debate.
This is all to the good, whether you like it or not.

Watch these films. Tell people about them.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Toasted Pt.1

A great pleasure to visit the set of the next series of Matt Berry and Arthur Mathew's award-winning comedy, 'Toast of London' yesterday.
I've been contributing storyboards, working with my old chum director Michael Cumming and creating illustration and concept visuals for the series designer, Rosy Thomas.

A long, fascinating, tiring day watching the grinding of the wheels of the business that they call show.
Stuntmen, falling masonry, illusion and smoke and mirrors, laughter and the ever-present ticking of the clock driving it all.

Toast himself, MB was very gracious and happy with the storyboards and other material (Spoilers) that I have contributed, and we discussed the extraordinary trio of films which he has worked on recently under the banner 'Action Man War Casualties' with Veterans For Peace (see upcoming post) - existing as they do at the crossroads of humour, biting social commentary and overdue truths.

Toast co-creator Arthur Mathews and I enjoyed a long conversation touching upon televisual histories like Euston Films' 'Minder', Clement and La Frenais' 'Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads', the value of the back-projection in the car chases of ITC action-adventure shows and sundry other matters of import.

On the strength of what I saw on-set the new series is going to be very funny.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

I Have Posted

To mark the International Zine Library Day 2015 - itself part of International Zine Month - I was invited to say my piece on the phenomenomenon of the 'zine' by Catherine Polley of Winchester School of Art Library, another long-time supporter of your gentle artist/author.

See what I said at:

I Have Been Posted

Just a belated note that Rebecca Lowe, long-time supporter of the Ensixteen cause and Library Assistant at Leeds College of Art, has kindly posted an appraisal of my series of editions on her blog.
The Special Collection at the college is her remit and a few years ago we established an ongoing 'complete' collection of my work, added to as they are released.
Support and enthusiasm from individuals like Rebecca is priceless, and can buoy the spirits when you occasionally feel like you are whistling in the dark.

Here's the link: