- Conspiracy Night: a good success of ideas and interaction. Hoping Richard Barr will acquiesce to a spin-off podcast.
- Richard Barr: has ten to twelve minutes of polished fiction for you under ‘God’s Good Air’, at Honest Ulsterman https://humag.co/prose/god-s-good-air
- The Barbiturates: an audio-video barrage of righteous furious punk. You should check out some at Vimeo https://vimeo.com/thebarbiturates
- Edited agnostic magazine, The Universal Journey, (based on this website) – it’s out now, with an essay by me on supergods and polytheism, and some stuff about patron saints. I could probably mail you a copy for £3. Paypal to drew.luke @gmail.com
- Nice working holiday in Europe last week. Despite my nose turning to gelatine, I managed a coffee with the great cartoonist Dado Kovačević. Island exhibition in the summer!
- Oh my, oh my. I’m also planning something with ComicBookGuys, with Eurocon, and with my favourite writer of the last ten years. I shouldn’t announce it yet, I shouldn’t. OHheck. James Roberts is coming to Eurocon. No-one reads my blog anyhow.
- I’m still very much in love with ‘she who stays in the shadows’, and we both adore buttered mushrooms.
- Have started a private tutoring job over AS Level History through to the mid-May exams. Taxing, but good feeling.
- The last Mixed Jam went well. There’s a new sci-fi themed open mic event on May 4th. It’s 11am-1pm at Falls Road Library. The event listing is here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1266453733508961/
- I’m still to draw Assange, or new DUP pages for money. I’ll get around to it. Hey! There’s a queue!
- Occupied: Mixed Up Media was my 4th 24 hour comic, and has risen up on Patreon. I’m as proud of it as of ‘Absence’, so you should definitely pay for my buttered mushrooms.
Find me on:
Paragon by Rowan J. Coleman
Unicron by John Barber and Alex Milne
The House That Groaned by Karrie Fransman
Justice League 3000 by Giffen, DeMatteis and Kolins
Thor’s Day in Juno, by myself. It needs developed for the August release.
Queer as Folk by Grace Petrie (Bought at her excellent gig last night)
No-One Cares About Your Creative Hub So Get Your Fuckin’ Hedge Cut by HMHB (appropriately enough, I’ve not got a copy)
Any solo work by Cerys Matthews (As I’ve pretty much exhausted Catatonia plays)
Meantime, I need to go to the pool, learn Croatian, be engaged in some kind of communal home cleaning practice, write a poem about a pretty place (we all should), and go to the pool again. Peace and love.
Crikey. Here’s the 170th post (out of 185 maybe-score)
This is from the Arts and Disability Forum on Royal Avenue, because beginning the late night art trail at 3pm means I can check into galleries like this that shut early.
Splodged together slacker two-shots of candles, jewelery, chocolate; the members show ‘Gift’, with items priced between £3 and £300.
Lucid, spooky and in flow pencil line pieces, with YOMmiest chocolate underneath.
If I’m not mistaken Leo Devlin arranged the show (he does most of the gallery arrangements I think), has done well.
Gallery opp. Central Library opens Tuesday to Friday from 10-4pm, and there’s a seasonal celebration on Thursday 19 December from 5-7pm.
Amazing. Next, off Royal Avenue by Ann Summers, The Red Barn Photographic Gallery.
The Red Barn is clinging by finger-tips financially these few months, it will need a bolster to stay open.
These photos were taken by an unknown photographer between 1870-1920 and only recently time and technology are compatible to access them like this.
There’s a frank honesty to them which made this one of my galleries of the night.
But then: Space Craft, and those snowflakes made from wooden intersections are awesome.
Zoom in. Jenna Magennis’s baubles are filled full of Kandorian (miniature bottle resident) delights.
DUCKS, ducks, Quack Quack, Quack Wuack!
SpaceCraft: it’s the one up that escalator!
Catalyst Arts now and Fiona Larkin’s Backstory featuring collaborations from seven other writers and artists and a Ruckenfigur – this seen-from-the-back scarved woman.
We’re invited to read into this: to create stories of hypernarrative upon our interaction, “the observer to become active collaborators who construct new meaning”.
Sorry Lass, I thought it was shit, atypical of privelege. You want collab-story, there’s a few writer’s groups around the city. Get details. Future nourishment, loftier plateaus smile.
Moving onto :
‘Boycotting Cake Bombs’, concrete, string, wire, Barry Mulholland.
Photographed from different angles.
A greatest show all round actually.
And that IS over seven foot high. “Reject Indecision Construct your Own Good Fortune”, double wall corrugated cardboard by Rachael Campbell-Palmer.
Teensy wood Birdhouse Caravan by Catherine Roberts, and there’s something about the colours of this that moved into my head like rejoining something there long ago.
More psychonaut colours. A very high standard all round.
David Mahon’s Electric Organ piece was looking a bit lifeless so I got inside it.
Upstairs in Belfast Belfast Exposed I bumped into a few friends for ‘Aftermath’, Laurence McKeown and Anthony Haughey’s photographs of Northern Irish residents who fled for the border upon the outbreak of the Troubles and their own stories. The opening was a bit too crammed to get an assessment of the work but there was a beautiful speech by the outgoing gallery director about the lost mindset of our politicians and the job upon artists to educate them.
Downstairs, the continuing exhibition focussing on the lost Yugoslavia.
Black Lamb and Grey Falcon is the name of a travelogue written pre-WW2 and followed by the photographer just before immense changes re-wrote the landscape.
The exhibition is called ‘The Lost Country’ and I’ve not described it justly here. It’s eminently worth seeing.
Christ, here comes Winter Christmas Andy.
Re-cast him as that goggle eyed organ player from earlier and look at the warm rug and trails of fairy lights, ribboned gifts, snow grounded and hanging and candy canes.
Christmas grows through the walls as kodaks at PS2.
One of my favourite themes of late, re-booting Christmas – make it more palatable, relevant and meaningful.
PS2 have that atmosphere in a bottle with animations and decorations in motion, Christmas as creativity.
And a book tree. Feck. Yeah.
Graffiti in Joy’s Entry.
An absurdist game of chess at The Black Box, I’m there for Real Sketchys.
Cold, I draw this instead, inspired by a Lee Kennedy, Terry Wiley conversation last week.
PJ Holden and Aimee Downey at the final formal Belfast Comics Pub Meet, for the time being.
Someone mentions lizards briefly: it’s enough to set me off.
And there it is. Happy birthday me.
A 1986 FA Magazine (with some great commentary), BlexBolex’s graphic novella Abecederia and a big X card from John Robbins.
Blogging new art daily has been great for my creative muscle. I’m keen to keep going! I’ve learned a lot about other people coming to this point and my expectations of the world around me. Life is falling short, so aiming high I’m always going to do better than not aiming.
I probably deserve a gallery showing after all this. Catalyst, are you paying attention?
UPDATE: I forgot to mention I’ll be doing short story readings at The Shankill Library (11am) and The Falls Library (12pm) with the Belfast Writers Group this coming Saturday. Please invite people along – here’s a Facebook place-setter.
I had a lovely time at TitanCon at the weekend and I’m beginning to feel a bit like Khaleesi gathering an albeit more casual army. After four weeks of hard con promotion I’ve been swearing on a holiday, and using my half-price travel pass to stay at some hostels. Morally, as long as I keep applying for jobs I can live with this. It’s no skin off my nose, remoteness isn’t a disability to seeking employment where there’s free internet. As soon as I clean up the mess from a few dodgy editors I’ll plan out how this can work. I’ll be at the trip for six or seven weeks, that’s my best intention.
In late November I’ll be attending the Midwinter Comics Retreat, supping wine with comics chums as intended by the Debra Boyask, who I loved to bits, who I miss and has gone on to take her place at the head of the pantheon of tea gods. We’ll be heading out (maybe) to Sturt Farm in Wickwar, Gloucestershire from London. While I’m in England I may as well take a few days lapping it up. Get in touch if you want to spare bed me.
One of the effects of running two comics workshops in a row means I’ve a mass of art pages to scan up. An unfunny thing happened on the way to TitanCon in that I lost my bag of art equipment to Translink’s Metro bus. It was recovered this morning, despite explaining to staff the details and urgency early Friday afternoon. I’ve never heard of anyone recovering stuff from Translink’s lost property so I’m pleased to have got it. We managed to make do extolling the virtues of biro comics and squeezed a 90 minute session to 30 minutes. The theme was jokes. The full collection will be on the TitanCon website in time, meanwhile, here’s my own contribution.
Actually, I mis-remembered. Jimi Gherkin was the driving force behind those Alternative Press fairs, though Richard definitely brought some muscle. An upcoming documentary appears to look at the spirit around their endeavours. Here’s the trailer,
The Facebook page is up with a Kickstarter coming.
Graphically offensive images and downer text coming up. Scroll down if you’d rather not see them. If you plan to use them, please credit me as the photographer.
It’s been eight months of erosion of Unionist Northern Ireland now through the barbarism of people who claim to be standing up for that cause. It’s largely happening in Belfast. Sub-simple minded herd thugs are manipulated by, well, damaged individuals, cult brainwashed kids and a small group of bloodthirsty fuckers speaking the language of business. The worst of these is a bloke called Jim Dowson, who one suspects might be an undercover BNP man. He was certainly behind the racists’ first ventures here as a main centre for administration and electioneering for BNP candidates in Stormont. His views and activities on abortion are visually as pronounced as the Westboro Baptist Church and he’s none too fond of homosexuals either. Dowson has spent the last year playing the Jabez Bottomley, the rent-a-cause emphasiser, whipping up the mobs here under the cover of political rights activist. He’s targeted those afflicted by the troubles. Give his lieutenants Willie Frazer and Jamie Bryson some sympathy/empathy and it’s not too tough to see how he has manipulated their vulnerabilities to co-opt their followings. The photos below show a rare scene. They were taken in a street near were I live. [Belfast Telegraph link]
Northern Ireland during the Troubles has traditionally had a rather low ethnic population. There wasn’t much violence towards Indians and Chinese here, but probably because of the Troubles, I heard frequently we topped Europe’s most racist capital listings. A joke used to do the rounds about how a black man would walk down the street here and we’d be lined up the windows to look, as many of us had never seen one. Since the Troubles, there has been an influx of Polish immigrants which has been sometimes depressing but mostly refreshing. People bringing new foods, new stories. These people have seen more of the world than we have. If I never get out of here, I want to have heard these different accents, seen these different skin tones and mannerisms, I want to share laughs with these alien others and notice the things that are exactly the same. I want to know about foreign McDonalds, working men’s clubs, the good music and the painters. I’ve no problem with the Unionist-Loyalist people getting more organised, better managed, but for fucks sake, why do it by payrolling one of the most powerful men in what is essentially Britain’s Klu Klux Klan? There are lots of good local community business managers who can do the same job far better without brains bleeding out the windows of Royal Avenue shops, friends.
And don’t tell me Dowson makes no money from this. I have the figures here. He’s a rich man, and he’s two decades from living in a row house.
Right, I banged this out quick, so it’s a bit scabby.
I didn’t blog here yesterday, first no-show in over three weeks. Of course, if the dole found out I had taken a day off advertising my creative talents, well now, unemployed people are not legally allowed holidays. Still, as long as I’m showing records of three applications a week I’m justifying my subsistence.
I was out tonight to hear comrade Patrick Brown perform musical voicery. I’ve known Paddy on and off for quite a while but hearing him rip out ‘My Girl’ was a bit Who, WTF, Another Person! Sadly, I’ve no tech captures, but it was a pleasure hearing Paddy get the guitar out for ‘My Lagan Love’ and his Rat Pack duet with matching hat wearer Gary in ‘Me and My Shadow’ was immense fun. Actually, the whole programme was distinctive and muscular, less associated with people graduating a singing class (that it was), than some stunning top-league singers. There was a lot of theatrical acting too, expressionism, performance: a very shapely singer named Geraldine even sat her bum on Paddy’s back while he was bent over on all fours on the stage.
Hey, you gotta have a hobby.
At the urging of Tim Pilcher, I’m coming off Facebook and Twitter for a week in protest at the NSA’s Operation Prism. (Clue: You can read about it in the news and millions of people are talking about it) Of course, my abstinence won’t make a jot in the same way yoga isn’t really exercise, but it is good for you. It’s the practice and the principle. You’re here reading this, so you know exactly what I mean. My contact details are here.
Okay, short story time.
It was the first snowfall of the year. Eliza watched from the bay window as her bikini she held tight in a ball. You can’t see this, shedding fir, sent from a whiter place. The snow gave no evidence but the sound, it was far away at first: crispier as it would have got closer but behind the double-glazing and reptilian central heating, Eliza heard nothng. There would be no lazy day applying creams in the elements, no commune with the space around her small but rich haven. It was not until, while focussing on the white-lands of the space were her drive-way lay that she saw Bob. Screaming, she dropped the dress, but remained rooted to the spot. China’s most expensive A.I. would be destroyed in that weather.
“My tin man, My tin man, My beloved tin man my tin man!”