The featured image at the top is from my 1976 comic, Applehead Lives which i used to sell on markets and all but had to give up on to tek a ‘day job’ to survive in the rough old werld out thur.
Necessary disclaimer note- I did not have time to gain permissions for the illustrations below that are not mine. Actually I have not included any yet, gonna aks permissions. All mine are of course (c) pete kennedy 2014. I hope you people I have borrowed them from don’t mind as I am using them to advertise you. IF anyone objects get in touch and I shall take them out.
I felt like Owlsley at Kesey’s place when I was at the British Library Comicon market on Saturday 16th august. Owlsley was a chemist who had made millions of & from LSD tabs in the mid-sixties. When he turned up at the Merry Pranksters, (upon whose escapades in their magic bus and on various hallucinatory drugs the Beatles film Magical Mystery Tour was based), place nobody recognized him. But they soon realised he was the real ting. I felt like he must have felt when he first showed up. Like him I have spent years working in a vacuum creating magic. Now I am back with my work in what is now called ‘artists book’ form. I showed my ApulGold book
to a few stall holders and they all seemed to love it. But originally, mid-70’s I wer publishing my own ‘graphic novel’ and comics in the shape of Applehead Lives and Happy Apulhed.
I stood selling them on Camden market and down Earl’s Court at the Stones’ concerts In 1976. I had faith that by ‘doing my own ting’ I would ‘make it’ but I had to retract for a while (28 yearns) to gerra ‘day job’ to keep the wolf frae th’door.I was a pie on y’ear back in the day when not a lotta people were doing that. Now there’s hundreds on ‘em. And they’re doing fine, on cloud nine. Next year I shall start bringing out my new set of ‘books’ based on my working titles, ‘Don’t Give Up The Day Job’ and next month am bringing out my new publication, Six Earthen Vessels. I must try set up a shop here so yez can perchance purchase them.
The standard of art and quality of publications now is incredible altho like Peter Stanbury said to me there’s something really nice about the old comics we did on cheap paper which was all we could afford. Nowadays with modern print we can have our work printed at a fraction of what it cost me to produce Applehead Lives in 76.
black&white images were all we could afford back in the 70’s!
And colour is no longer astronomical. So, I may soon make some of my earlier work available in ‘full colour’ as colour was always my ting and I could never afford to produce my stuff in colour. So when I flood the market with my work from the past, blame Paul Gravett for inviting me up to see Comics Unmasked! Thanks for your kind hospitality Paul, the show were gud.
I know you shouldn’t have ‘favourites*’ but I am choosing ten from so many I saw and met and squawked to at the Comicon market on Saturday. Cos I couldn’t possibly cover all of em.
In reverse order (but that’s not a value judgement folks) here is my most favouritest folks what I met Saturday:
10. Gareth Brookes the Black project . Gareth is a man and woman after my own heart. The man in him does lino cuts and his female side does embroidery. His startling combis of the two old fashioned methods has led to quite a magnum opus. http://appallingnonsense.wordpress.com/2013/07/19/the-black-project-now-exists/
9. Vincent Hunt (Red Mask). Here is a young man after my own interests, extra-terrestrial possibilities. His red mask is an alien what lives on his main characters face. My aliens were just visiting, not living on my face. Altho I did transmogrify into a Squidgerat in my First Squidgerat Show at Brentwood Theatre in the mid 90’s where I wore a mask, but it didn’t live on my face.
8. Christian Jelen does stuff close to my art with a lovely little book about the thoughts of the Dalai Lama which was picked up by DL’s team and printed in India fer dissemination to all of his fans. He also does lovely characters what are sitting in lotus positions, reminiscent of Robert Crumple’s Mr Natural in a moment of meditation. I luv all that and I too do yoga and tai chi and all them tings too.
7. Seeing Poetry twas lovely to see Louise Crosby’s work much of which seemed to be in answer to the poetry of Clare Shaw. Good collaborations here. Then I found that Louise comes from near Hebden Bridge, one of my most favourite-est haunts in the whole of England. http://www.lindenartstudio.org/artists/louise-crosby/
6. Yi-Miao Shih http://serrashih.prosite.com/93592/1030542/portfolio/a-tale-of-a-disappointing-truth I liked Yi Miao’s rather quaint drawings and in the link above she even draws an apple like what I first drew the apple what became Apulhed! And in fact if you look at her work in her tumblr site it is as if she has stolen hundreds of my drawings from the 70’s and put her own slant on them. We must have been sawn from the same block(head?) http://astudyincharacter.tumblr.com/
5. Geeked Mag http://www.geekedmagazine.com/ Just shows how silly I am. I really loved the magazine and chatted up the ladies what runs it giving them all the patter about my being a real good artist and writer and all o that saying why don’t they ask me to contribute and they played along with this old fella and said maybe they might and then I see their website and see it’s a feminist ting? Can I still play if I bring my feminine side girls?
4. iella http://iellas.tumblr.com Iella does wonderful stuff. She shows me how I can bring together all my differing sides because that’s what she has done with stunning effect. Love the murals. Love the mixing of say pencil sketch with acrylics.
3. Amber Hsu http://tinypencil.com/artists/hsu-amber/ what an astounding and unassuming woman! Such phenomenal talent and it says on her site- Amber Hsu is a Chinese-born, US-raised, UK-based writer and artist. She is a graduate of Central Saint Martin’s College of Art & Design. She also has a degree in Biophysics, a minor in Classical Studies and a Masters in Comparative Literature. I would love to have just some of that talent and track record! And she thanks me for the postcard swop, wow. I wouldn’t have dared suggest a swop if I had known how good she was.
2. Atlantic Press do some of the best artist books I have seen by any publisher. They have a keen eye for originality and give the artists’ work beautiful presentation in lots of differing ways. http://www.atlanticpressbooks.com/shop_book_store.htm
I tried to send a link to this to Philidda but it failed. Tell her I told DJ about her quoting him and he were happy about that.
1. Andy Barron is making simple but beautiful little books called ‘om’. I see them a link to the profoundly wonderful work of rick Griffin in the 70’s. http://andyillustrates.com/The-Feeding He has put loads of ‘comics’ up on the net foe all to see. It seems that is the way to go nowadays.
this is Andy’s lovely screen printed cover
Thank; I must thank Qeurstret for all her advice on setting up shop, one day I shall do it.
And all the lovely folks I met, including Dr Martin the inventor for all their observations and suggestions. Oil Bee Bach!
*In teaching we all learned not to have favorites, treat em all the same they said at St. Lukes, and I did try all my teaching life to do that though usually it wer kids at the two ends of the ability range I (secwetly) favoured; the best and the least best, particularly if they were trying their best. My next blArt is not so much abArt art as about bad teachers a kind of part 2 to my blArt before this and it’s got some negative stuff in it, so don’t look at it if you believe evriting should have a positive take. That’s just a warning.