Monday, 3 October 2011

Messrs. Fowler, Bryant and May

Author Christopher Fowler – amongst a prolific writing career continuing beyond the novel into theatre, interactive media and a marvellously labyrinthine blog ( – has created the splendidly ideosyncratic detective duo of Arthur Bryant and John May.

Determinedly applying old-school sensibilities of 'copper-ing' to the unfolding madness of the 21st century's weirdest criminal cases these two ageless sleuths, colleagues and friends offer a window into the past, present and future of the metropolis.

The books - as does Chris's site – burst with the accumulated detail of London history, human hopes and despairs.

They're a charming, intelligent read.

And funny, too.

Folding back upon myself – flashbacking to my career as an illustrator of other people's words – I asked Christopher if there were any B & M short stories for which I might create new images.

He emailed me a draft of 'Bryant & May in the Soup' – set in the crippling, claustrophobic smogs of 1952.

Here are the results, as concurrently featured on Chris's site.

As usual, click on the images to see them at a larger size.

This is for me like taking down an old and familiar jacket from the peg – revisiting the bold style of my magazine illustration days for the likes of 'Time Out' and the 'Guardian' newspaper.

Same bloke, different line.

'In the Soup' features in his new 'Red Gloves' two - volume short story collection.

His newest novel is just out: "Bryant and May and the Memory of Blood".

It's their ninth outing and I feel you may enjoy it.

Chris duly featured the images at his website after what was an enjoyable launch of the latest book.

What a nice man.

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