Saturday, February 28, 2009

Book Review - Sempé

Here's a review for Foghorn I wrote back in 2006.
Scroll to the end for the chance to WIN the book! Whoo Whoo!!


You may be familiar with the work of Jean-Jacques Sempé, famed for his Paris Match and New Yorker covers. If however you are, like me, not a regular reader of those fine publications, Sempé would perhaps have remained an undiscovered gem.

To help us catch up with what the rest of the world has long enjoyed, Phaidon Press recently published a bundle of Sempé goodness in English for the first time, including the graphic novel Monsieur Lambert, four cartoon collections entitled Nothing Is Simple, Sunny Spells, Everything Is Complicated and Mixed Messages. A Sempé Journal, and two postcard sets are also available for those who require everything Sempé.

Monsieur Lambert by Jean-Jacques Sempé

Having been unfamiliar with Sempé’s work, (cartooning philistine that I am), I wondered at first glance if this graphic novel would be to my taste, with it’s gentle, typically French feel. One or two pages in and my inital thoughts were soon swept aside as I was drawn into the world of a small Parisian bistro and it’s everyday inhabitants. Sempe’s loose, seemingly effortless drawing style is a visual treat. Despite drawing what is ostensibly the same scene again and again, Sempe captures the details and mannerisms of cafe life perfectly - the eye is constantly finding something new to enjoy in each illustration.

The story itself, (translated by the award winning Anthea Bell) concerns the whereabouts of one Monsieur Lambert, who’s lateness at the bistro leads to much speculation amongst the diners on life, love and women. Past romances are revealed, amorous advice is handed out and everyone has an opinion to share. One caption reads “We at the bistro realised Lambert was leading a rather exotic life, but we never referred to it, avoiding the subject with the delicacy of true friends” while the wonderfully drawn illo above it shows the entire bistro talking about nothing but Lambert! Ah, such is life ...
First published in 1965 and now finally available in English, Monsieur Lambert is a beautifully put together book, well worth visiting.

For a chance to WIN 'Monsieur Lambert', simply send an email to Competition closes in a week (March 7th), first one out of the hat wins the book. Mark your email 'Monsieur Lambert'

Remember, you've got to be in it to something or other...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Strange Looking Bloke Wednesday

Wednesday already!

Here's another celeb special. I wrote Elton on there in case I forgot who it was supposed to be.
His mood: about to whistle 'Candle in the Wind' between the gap in his front teeth.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Books that should have been written

Here's another curio. If this book existed, I like to think I'd read it...

I was tempted to just post the image on its own, but some sort of garbled explanation is probably for the best. A few years back I was reading a thread on a forum I occasionally frequent where a poster with the username Johnny Vodka complained of his missing toenail. I decided the whole saga would have made an excellent Harry Potteresque novel and drew the cover for no other reason that my own amusement.

J.K.Rowling, if you're reading this, let's talk...

Friday, February 20, 2009

No anchovies

Here's an oddity from around 2002. I never got round to starting this franchise, but I sense a definite gap in the market! (Click on image to enlarge)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Thing thomething thimple

Just booked my train ticket for the UK Web and Mini Comix Thing 2009 (or UKWaMCT2009 as I've often never heard it called). I don't really know that much about the web/mini comix scene - it's not an area I've dipped into myself, so I'm going as a visitor, not an exhibitor. It'll be a good chance to take notes, browse, mooch and generally loiter around.

If you're going to be there, let me know and I'll say hi (and possibly buy something)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Rings a Bell

So, Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival will soon be upon us. Lots of drawing to be done, workshops to be taken and plenty of socialising to be .. socialised.

I took this photo at the 2006 festival.

Is it me or does it look like Steve Bell is carrying a spare minature Steve Bell in his shoulder bag?

Just me then...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Friday, February 06, 2009


So I've been messing about with stencils and spraypaints in my spare time - makes a nice change from the Wacom and PC. Not going to pretend I'm the next Banksy but it's been fun trying to reproduce my cartoon style with a different technique.

Here's one design entitled 'Bouncer'

And here's another canvas with one of my old characters on.

Will attempt a few more designs when time permits - keeps me amused at the very least!

Monday, February 02, 2009


Really, really enjoyed this video - inventive and funny stuff.

Bubblicious from Rex The Dog on Vimeo.

Ewe must be joking

Here's a rejected rough for a 'funny side of sheep' calendar I did. I really liked the silliness of this image, but alas, no-one else did. Baaah!