Sunday, 30 April 2017

Challengers of the Comics Collector

Challengers of the Comics Collector

Mixed Media Collage on MDF Board
30x42x2 (cm)
12x16.5x1 (ins)

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Friday, 28 April 2017

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Joy Four Item

New work today and for the next couple of weeks!

Joy Four Item

Mixed Media Collage on MDF Board
30x42x2 (cm)
12x16.5x1 (ins)

Tuesday, 25 April 2017


Well, we're finally here! New work to share.


Mixed Media Collage on MDF Board
30x42x2 (cm)
12x16.5x1 (ins)


Sunday, 23 April 2017

To Have and Not Have Lauren Bacall

I caught To Have and Have Not (1944) on TV yesterday. I never watch it the whole way through because, let's face reality, it's a terrible film! I mean it does have Lauren Bacall in it and she does say "You do know how to whistle ... " and she is only nineteen years old. Holy fuck! She is only 19 and completely impossible. And Bogie goes nuts at the end in his own unique way. And Walter Brennan does a great drunk act, even though I hate drunk acts. I mean that's a lot of good things in one movie ... but as a whole it still sucks. It sucks mightily. Almost as if it had been stung by a dead bee! See what I did there? Yeesh.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Black Nylons and High Heels

It's late. I'm tired. This is Bettie Page. Whaddya want? Art?

If you've not seen the movie biopic The Notorious Bettie Page (2005) you should. Regardless of the subject matter it is an excellent film. I found it a complete surprise and unexpectedly moving. Whether any of it is true of course is another matter ... but if it isn't then it certainly should be!

Friday, 21 April 2017

One Shade

Pulled my shoulder this morning so that really is one thing after another. Go pick on somebody else I say. The picture above rounds out my sixty-second collages. I'll have to think of something else tomorrow. Organisation is the key. Something that was never my forte! Never mind.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

The Grey Turnip

Must be the varnish fumes going to my head. This is the penultimate 60 second collage. Thursdays are always good when The Legacy is on. Sky's Guerrilla turned out to be a a big letdown. Good actors, nice period detail, action and incident, what more could you want? Characters, dialogue, believability, logic even, motivation perhaps! We'll put that one down to another entry from the school of  meaningful looks. Perhaps we should become terrorists? Presto-change-o and We ARE Terrorists! Hey, I remember 1971 and it was stranger than that. Thank fuck for The Legacy is all I can say. Frankly not much else on.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Make a Wish

Hey hey, it's another monster from the id brought to you via vintage photographs, photoshop layering, digital printing, paper tearing, more photoshop and a little bit of despair. Was it worth it? Of course not, but what's that got to do with anything! Take it easy or take it hard.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Just What We All Needed ...

... another bloody General Election! No. What we all need is another collage from me. And here it is. Tune in and drop out tomorrow for another one, while I make progress on some real world pictures.

Monday, 17 April 2017

That's Right

He was more cabbage than collage now. In other news though I did some damage today. With two open exhibitions looming I have to make at least six pictures to submit and today I've already made, finished, and hung five! That's what I call being ahead of schedule. I hope to make around ten more before the deadline and then pick six from those. I'm a man with a plan alright.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Victory In Europe

Ha! My ironic post title of the day. Nothing much tastes like victory these days, just one small defeat after another. Still, every cloud as they say. I think I know what my subject is now. I say now, always has been. I will be be less cryptic as time goes on. I will, indeed, aim to be totally bloody obvious in future, but for maximum impact I shall say no more.

One man's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist.

Which remind me, should I watch Sky's Guerrilla tonight, having missed it in the week? Hmm. Decisions.

Saturday, 15 April 2017


It's a sunny afternoon and I'm applying coats of varnish to three pictures. You'll see them here first but meanwhile you'll have to make do with another one of these. Enjoy.

Friday, 14 April 2017

Arrangement Sinister

Okay, time for a change. I'm working on some complicated pieces right now, but in the process and throwing some pieces of collage to one side I noticed an arrangement made all by itself. So naturally I thought to help it along. These pieces do not exist in the real world. Yet. More to follow throughout the week.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

So Many Marys So Little Time

The purpose of art? Well, I was on so many painkillers yesterday I had to do something to distract my mind. I also managed to catch up with Waldemar Januszczak's exploration of how the image (and story) of Mary Magdalene has evolved in art on the BBC iPlayer. Mary Magdalene: Art's Scarlet Woman can be found here. More than the story of the art I like his particular style of presentation. I learnt a few things too of course.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017


Art should speak for itself really.

I mean explanations are all well and good. Did you see Howard Hodgkin interviewed by Alan Yentob the week before last. I know it was a repeat from 2006 prompted by his death, but still, talk about breaking every rule. He pretty much refused to explain anything and when Yentob suggested colour Howard quoted Hockney. "It doesn't matter what colour you use!" That left Yentob with nowhere to go. Composition? "I'm not going to answer that."

"Words are the English disease."

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

The Upset

What is the relationship between Mickey and Minnie Mouse? For more information read Umberto Eco's Foucault's Pendulum and discover how repetition changes meaning. That has nothing whatsoever to do with the collage above, another of my snapshots of a work in progress.

Monday, 10 April 2017

As from a Nightmare

Sometimes I ask myself "Michael, what are you doing?" My reply is usually "just trying to work things out."  If that's not enough, I don't know what is.

I'm not doing this for the money. That's for sure. Winterbottom, Coogan and Brydon have put together a new third series of the 'The Trip - this time to Spain. This is what turning up for the money looks like. The first series was an education, groundbreaking, breathtaking, hilarious and toe-curlingly awkward. Nothing more needed to be said, but money talks and egos listen and time to cancel another show from my planner.

Sunday, 9 April 2017


Continuing this series of unfinished collages. Will the parts add up to more than the whole. Who knows. Maths was never my strong point.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Starting Somewhere

The first in a series. It's unfinished and untitled. A small part in a whole. Further parts to follow.

Friday, 7 April 2017

100 Days in Office

There are no pictures ... that could justice to the fact that there are no pictures hanging on my walls! None of mine anyway. I've taken them all down to arrange them side by side, assess them, and decide what needs to be done with them. That's 52 boards in all. Three were given away as gifts to friends. Half of these were half finished anyway, that's easy. I just have to finish them off. Of the rest about half are sound examples of the process I've been through. The others are just errors, repeating errors, out and out mistakes, and the irredeemably bad. There are a couple of pictures that will not make it through the weekend. Some might be dismantled and resurrected. All in all things ain't so bad. I'm full of confidence (smiley face)!

Captain's Blog Supplemental: They all made it through. I threw all the offending pictures into the loft. That keeps them out of my sight and safe from my fickle ways. Phew!

Update: They didn't make it after all ... hah!

Also, a completely unrelated picture added above.

Thursday, 6 April 2017


Did I forget to post something yesterday? I think I did, but due to the magic of scheduling I can write this and make it appear that I wrote it yesterday! Amazing eh? My feeble excuse this time (because I do it all the time) is that I was sooo busy making pictures. Okay, that's my excuse every time but hey it's a good one.

Also, I don't watch much telly but when I do I like really have to. So last night was the second episode of the third series of Arvingerne, or The Legacy, to you folks of limited vocabulary (no, seriously, I don't know how to pronounce it either).

This is a Danish drama about four siblings who inherit the estate of Denmark's most famous artist Veronika Grønnegaard. They become responsible for the land, the house, the money and the art which make up the legacy of the title. Naturally the children are nothing like the parents or even each other which is where the drama comes from. Veronika lived a chaotic life and left a couple of conflicting wills and springs a surprise child that no one knew about until just before her death. From the left in the picture above is the uptight family man and bread-head  Frederik Grønnegaard (Carsten Bjørnlund), the not-to-be-trusted art curator and eventual forger Gro Grønnegaard (Trine Dyrholm), the surprise outsider and newly ambitious Signe Larsen (Marie Bach Hansen), and the kind but useless lay-about Emil Grønnegaard (Mikkel Boe Følsgaard).

What do I love about this drama above all others. There is a constant tension throughout each episode, no matter what trivial thing is going on, as if any misplaced word or ill-thought out good deed could set in motion a disaster. You know something is going to happen, but what it will be and who it will happen to is a complete mystery. Who saw this week's victim? Not me. Again.

Also the art that is ever present in the background is completely convincing, as are the art-types from students to board directors. The characters top to bottom are all complex mixtures of good and bad, evil and stupid, generous and self-serving. There is a delight is cultural detail. You can't just pick this up and drop it into the UK or America. Also it's in Danish. Or maybe Swedish. Who knows! If it ain't got subtitles I ain't watching it. None that remade-for-idiots shit for me. I like my edges rough. I don't want anyone smoothing them for me.

It's not Engrenages, or Forbrydelsen, or even Bron/Broen, but it is Arvingerne.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

The Ladies of Covent Garden

I haven't gotten around to reading this yet. I have an idea it may be out of date. I dipped into it when I first found it online and remember being most amused. I have a feeling I may be using this in some manner in the future.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Too Good to Destroy

I've been busy today collaging, and that means destroying a load of old newspapers from the 1940s. Except for this one. This one I'll save because of the fine examples of both Garth and Jane, two of my favourite strips. One for the men, one for the ladies. Yes, they come from a time when there were only two options. Classic Jane in the nude! Early Garth, when he was still an heroic archetype, rather than the magnetic thug he would later evolve into. Enjoy. Daily Mirror 7th June 1944 - the day after D-Day! No wonder Jane has her kit off!

Pictures are from my phone so apologies for that. I might, might, be a good boy later and scan the whole thing properly. Don't hold your breath.

Monday, 3 April 2017

Young Tears Don't Fall Forever

I sold all my 45s a long time ago when CDs came along. Now I haven't got any. I haven't got any CDs now either for that matter. Just like I haven't got any comics. I'm sure there's a valuable lesson in there somewhere. Anyway, naturally I made a list and even photographed a couple of items I thought I'd like to listen to in the future. It took me an age to track this down via the miracle of the internet. Sometimes so much time passes between you hearing a record and finding it again your tastes have changed and you wonder why you ever spent all that time looking for the object of your desire. This one still sounds pretty good, but it's not that essential. Northern Soul was the closest I got to ecstasy.

Okay, little lie there. I have two CDs and a bunch of comics. There are less of them every year tho' :-)

Here's a link to that Edie Walker track on YouTube. 

Sunday, 2 April 2017


People who know me (is there anyone?) will know that I have had an interest in comicbooks. People who know me also do not understand the relationship I have with comicbooks. I had a collection once, sold it, built it up again and then sold it again. I only sold it when times got hard - thank goodness for hard times. The ownership thing? - I'm over that. I don't need to collect them anymore because I'm only just begining to understand my own interests. This blog will feature some comic strips, to share and discuss, but don't get me wrong. I'm no lover of comics. I'm not wed to them. I love paper, print, sequence, publication, words and pictures, criticism, iconoclasm ...

This blog is a bit like a connect the dots puzzle, the difficult ones that have no numbers, or subjects, or dots! It's a search for meaning ... where there is none, probably. These words ... for your consideration ... in the Twilight Zone.

Saturday, 1 April 2017


Graphic design has paid the bills and kept a roof over my head for the past 35 years or so. It's a game that a creative can play when more artistic endeavours fail to produce the necessities of life. When you're not working at the highest level though, when you're face down in the mud of the trench, doing the dirty work, it can seem anything but creative. War is hell, but so is graphic design. Both are a fact of life though, and it could be worse. I could work in advertising, or sales as I like to call it. Do you know what most graphic designers do? They do what they are told. They are artworkers. And the first three letters of that word exist only to make them feel better about themselves.
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