Archives for category: personal jibber

 

Its impossible to understate the effect that David Bowie had on the world. Its impossible to understate the legacy that he leaves and the pathway he cut for the modern world.

Being one of the most important cultural influences of the modern world, the Picasso of pop, a constant engine of reinvention and not so much a reflection of the zeitgeist but the active ingredient in it, there will be hundreds of articles and eulogies written by people closer to and more educated on the man himself. So I will talk mostly about the relationship I have with him, a man born 43 years before me who I never met or even saw in the flesh.

David Bowie 1

For my Seventh birthday I wanted a CD player, which was interesting as I had very little interest in music. I think I wanted to be my father, who had an insane amount of albums and a large black stereo system that stood monolithic in the corner of the living room, out of bounds, untouchable unless it was one of the odd occasions that under strict supervision its magic could be shared. My Father’s musical obsession was overwhelming, and living in a household where both your parents have an astounding passion for music, (my Mother laying somewhere between flower child of the sixties and eighties eye liner stained New Romantic has always had a firmer grip on modern music, whilst my father liked the more obscure sounds) meant that it was common place, and therefore I was spoiled and didn’t appreciate it. I had no passion for music.

That was until I bought the 1997 Children in Need charity single “Perfect Day”, a suitably embarrassing first single, but featuring contributions from Lou Reed, Courtney Pine, and Suzanne Vega it was a great tasting platter for future interests. But the man who stood out the most, was David Bowie. With only two lines, the way he sounded was enough to get me hooked, an instant grab that I would never experience again until I fell in love with Ian Curtis in my teens. His voice was powerful, alien, charming and alluring. My mother fed my addiction and bought me two Best of collections (David Bowie best of 1969 to 1974, and Best of 1980 to 1987) albums from the musical mail order company Britannia music. These, and a CD of Cajun music given to me by my Grandfather, were the only three CD’s on my CD tower left over from the redecoration of the living room.

It was from the age if Seven years old that David Bowie started telling me things. Through music, and later style and culture, Bowie has had messages and statements that I’ve taken to heart. Experimentation and reinvention are two concepts that Bowie has always played with, and things I aim to copy. In his music he was constantly juggling with pop and outsider art. Space Oddity is a perfect pop song and a bleak song about the futility of Space exploration, Starman is a catchy tune and a song about extraterrestrial space gods, and Ashes To Ashes was a new wave song embracing the full force of the technology of the time. One of my favorite albums has arguably the best intro in the form of Station to Station from… well Station to Station that with its radio signal static and steam train drone feeds directly into the post rock music of Godspeed you Black Emperor. Stylus magazine once stated that ‘Had the album [Low] been released twenty years later, this would have been called “post-rock.”‘

david bowie 3

David Bowie was the outsider king; bringing the weird into the forefront of the public eye. In the early seventies, a world still steeped in stoicism and post war male posturing Bowie was unafraid to step on stage at 25 years old, dressed as an alien deposited on Earth to play music. He sang of Armageddon and Hallucination, anti-capitalism and anti-establishment, and he was on television, and in magazines. A contradiction of terms, and to me, looking back on this man an inspiration.

He experimented with the roles of Gender and sexuality, appearing on album covers in a dress, gender swapping clothing with his wife out and about in London, putting his arm around his guitarist dressed androgynously on Top Of The Pops. His close relationships with Iggy Pop and Mick Jagger were the cause of much rumor and in my teenage years he was a real support for me and my blossoming Bisexuality. His style in clothing and album art is next to none, even down to the 2000 Glastonbury appearance  where he proved that even as a man standing looking back on a career of characters and roles he was still master of them all.

david bowie 4

The most important message David Bowie ever gave me was “You are not alone”. The last song from The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust, Rock and Roll, builds from quiet introspective introduction to bold crescendo ends with Bowie’s voice singing bass to his high pitched vocals, and he sings:

Let’s turn on and be not alone (wonderful)
Gimme your hands cause you’re wonderful (wonderful)

And in that moment he is giving the most important advice, the single most striking message, that you can be weird. You can be emotional and expressive, you can be gay and flamboyant, you can be who you want to be, and you’re not alone, because we can all be who we want to be, who ever that is, and that person is wonderful.

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This book is a masterpiece and cannot be overlooked

The folks at Comics Crusaders said some nice things about Funk Soul Samurai. They also said:

at first it looks like something a 9 year old child drew

Which, you know…

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+++++++FUNK SOUL SAMURAI IS HERE RIGHT NOW++++++

I’ve been having a very productive week, written several short comics and laid out the plot for six issues of an idea that I need to get out of me. I won’t say much about it yet because I’ve learned my lesson doing that over the years but if it gets made it’ll be pretty cool. I got Mike Sambrook, the man without a website, to look it over and we had an little conversation about it, but it mostly drew attention to the differing ways in which we write. I have a tendency to carve a story out of a vague outline, plotting the whole thing over and over, this serving as draft after draft and then

eventually I have a finished script.

madness

I know that Rob just writes things. I wish I could. I get all… complicated, as pictured above.

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I have not listened to it yet, but Games and Graphics podcast did their reviews of Funk Soul Samurai and 50Signal 2, and I value their opinions quite a lot, they’re big supporters of my evil empire and I’ve appeared on their podcast twice now (only once published to date) and I’d go one every week. I don’t feel like I’m pushing anything with them  I’m just talking with friends. Listen to their reviews here.

I don’t listen to a lot of podcasts, as I’ve mentioned before, but I’ve been listening to Spektrmodule which is Warren Ellis’ list of sleepy/haunted/drone music. Its 30 minute bursts of gloomy atmospheric songs, perfect for going through the police infested streets of 2015 to. Listen to that here.

Its only been Three days since my last blog, so the KILL JOHN REPPION’S WALLET section of the blog will be short. I started reading Mark Kermode’s book Hatchet Job which is all about the effect, life and responsibility of the film critic, and its a delight to read. The intro along is worth the cover price wherein he writes some of his favorite short pieces of criticism. I also read D4VE from Ryan Ferrier and Valentin Ramon, published by IDW which was a fun comic about Robots kicking butt. I like the idea of stuff being set AFTER the interesting thing has happened, and D4VE follows on from that as its set AFTER the robots kill all the humans and deals with that. It’s a lot of fun and the art work has a beautiful texture that reminds me of a less busy Geoff Darrow.

Finally finished Mass Effect, the level cap got on my nerves as I got to 50 with a whole planet left to do, and the money cap was too easily reached. But the final set piece was very cool and the space lore of Mass Effect is really something I can get my teeth into. I loved learning and discovering things about the Mass Effect universe and look forward to playing more of it, after I’ve finished with The Last Of Us and stopped crying.

++++++++50SIGNAL2 AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE NOW++++++++

Finally, I mentioned this on my twitter, but I cooked something that I really really liked, that I sort of made up so there is a recipe incoming.

Creamy Garlic Prawn Pasta (serves 2)

What you need:
2 decent sized cloves of Garlic
An Onion (Diced)
A couple of handfuls of prawns (shelled)
AMPLE PASTA
3 eggs
A large amount of cheese
Salt and Pepper
Couple of knobs of butter
A big glug of Olive Oil

I boiled up the pasta first of all, I was using Fusilli because I had it laying around. Whilst that was cooking, I grated the cheese, broke the eggs into a bowl and whisked. Then I put the grated cheese into the eggs, seasoned with a lot of pepper and salt and stirred it to make a big mess. I put a decent amount of olive oil in a frying pan, chopped up the garlic and put that into the frying pan with the prawns and onion, so that the prawns cook and the garlic and onion softens. Don’t burn anything.
Keep an eye on the pasta and when that’s cooked to your satisfaction, drain it and run the butter through the pasta so it gets a nice coating of butter. I then seasoned the pasta with the salt and pepper again because this is based on a Carbonara style sauce so it needs a large dose of pepper in it.
Take the buttery pasta and put it in the frying pan with the prawns and the garlic, and just stir the lot of it up so that the butter and the oil and the garlic gets all over the pasta. After that, slosh the egg and cheese mess over the pasta. This bit is important because whilst I have suggested many unhealthy things in my life to people that I enjoy, nothing, no one, no enjoyment at all can be taken from eating raw eggs. The other thing is that you don’t want to over cook the eggs otherwise you’ll be eating a pasta omelet. Keep stirring over and over making sure that the egg mix coats the pasta, and keep doing this until you’ve got a white creamy sauce clinging to the pasta. It’ll turn white and will become a gooey sauce as it mixes with the cheese. The sauce will coat the pasta, it will not create a huge amount to like dip your baguette into or anything.
Anyway, there you have it, turf it out onto a plate, sprinkle some Italian Parsley over the top and furnish with more cheese if you are that way inclined.
I served it with a glass of red wine and had a little too much pasta and felt over full.

There are the dangers of food my friends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Sup,

Its been a week since Thought Bubble 2015 ended. Its a weird return back to reality, especially after such a good show. The Madius table was utter madness for two days as we sold far more comics than we expected. 50Signal issue 1 is now sold out. I will have to get a third print run. When I ordered the first lot of 50Signal I ordered a huge amount of a comic that I honestly thought no one would buy. The reaction to this comic that I thought no one would ever read is staggering.

At the convention I got to meet some great people. It was good to catch up with Brian Burke who did the art on my new project The Perplexity. He’s from Ireland so we never actually met before. Because we’d talked for quite some time it was like meeting a guy for the first time who I’d met many times before. I also got to hang out with Farel Dalrymple who was a serious dude and we got to talk about music and watercolour paint and he did some great sketches for me. Thanks to everyone who came by.

Our next con is Digicon 2, in Doncaster, in February.

digicon

50Signal 2 is now available to purchase, hence this new bar;

++++++++50SIGNAL2 AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE NOW++++++++

Isn’t it lovely.

Now 50Signal 2 is the difficult second album, because with all art people take in on-board and when you leave something on a cliff hanger like I did people make assumptions as to where the plot will go and its probably not going to be the direction you think it will be. So I hope that its good enough to no disappoint.

AND IT IS, so sayeth Comic Bastards:

It seems like there will be more of 50 Signal. I wouldn’t be upset by this, but I do think that these first two issues are pretty wonderful on their own.

There will be more, so pick up a copy if you like original, creative works.

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+++++++FUNK SOUL SAMURAI IS HERE RIGHT NOW++++++

For those playing along at home, I just finished Carrie Brownstein’s Memoir Hunger Makes Me A Modern Girl. Its a really frank and expressive biography about the creative process and the history of Sleater-Kinney. Sleater-Kinney are a band that I’ve been listening to for years but after hearing the story of how the band got made and the struggles involved in it it really hits home the emotion and the savagery of the songs. My favorite albums of theirs are Call The Doctor, The Woods and No Cities To Love. But back to the book, its lyrical in its writing and touching and funny. Really funny, considering its quite a sad book. It really made me think about the nature of performance as well, the act of getting in front of people and opening your art up to them and seeing them react. Its not something as a comic book artist you get to experience very often.
Hunger Makes Me A Modern Girl (Amazon).

I’m also dipping into Discovering Scarfolk by Richard Littler, the book of the blog Scarfolk Council. I expected it to be just a collection of the blog articles put into a nice hard back collection that is perfect for reading on the toilet. Weirdly its a collection of the blogs articles wrapped around a narrative involving a man lost in Scarfolk, a town in the North of England where the Seventies never ended. It has the scent of hauntology about it, and the narrative unfolds in this demented vision of a past that keeps on happening through the guys journal. It reminds me a of light hearted comedy version of Cyclonopedia. More on this story as it develops.

My greatest achievement to date is getting John Reppion to buy Weird Realism: Lovecraft and Philosophy from Zero Books, so hopefully he will start reading this blog and I will kill his wallet. Kill it dead.

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Hopefully I will write more here soon, but I PROMISE NOTHING

Yeah, totally started a blog post mid-May, and got so involved with it, it became an essay, and then, its still not written. I hope to push it into your face soon.

So much stuff is happening right now, so much stuff, that I need to do a blog post to remind you I am alive.

I AM ALIVE

Hello from the Moon.

++++++++50SIGNAL AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE NOW++++++++

Please if you haven’t, do buy a copy of 50Signal. We are so close to selling everything we have in stock, and when we do, we are going to re-letter the dialogue of one of the characters because its been pointed out in enough reviews that it disrupts the story the way it is currently written, so we will bow to their wishes, because they’re right and I’m being a luddite.

So why am I encouraging you to buy it now when its going to be re-lettered?

Well because the version we have for sale now is my favorite one, and the one I believe to be the best, and even though it will be easier for people to read it, it won’t look as good. It won’t be as I intended it. I know the idea of a Directors cut of a comic is madness because there is no such thing as a director in comics, but for lack of a better term, this is my directors cut. The harder to understand director cut.

I thoroughly understand the need to create a great product, and an understandable product so that the world can share and enjoy with me my Baby thing, so I’m really happy to have it re-lettered. But I like this one.

Buy it from the link above, or email me directly and for the cost of £5, which includes the postage within the UK, I will send you a copy with a sketch I did in the back.

EMAIL ME AT nickgonzo@outlook.com

++++++++PAPERCUTS AND INKSTAINS VOLUME 2 IS AVAILABLE NOW++++++++

I appeared on a Podcast recently, and they released not one, but TWO recordings of my voice as I chat stuff about comics and the universe. The lovely, friendly men from Games and Graphics had me on their podcast and I give an apt description of why Batman is a drink driver.

The first one is the proper, REAL interview, and the second on is a short collection of my babblings on Rob Jones’ plan to conquer the universe and how Arnold Schwarzenegger is an abomination. SO MUCH MUSCLE. They did remove my speech on how the more muscular a man gets the smaller his bum gets… so there is a small glory there.

You can hear the proper interview HERE and the random Ramble is HERE

In other news the Leeds based production company Sakerco are making a documentary about me, that I think has a working title of simply; GONZO, which was also the title of a great documentary about Hunter S Thompson released a few years ago (Just googled it and HOLY SHIT it came out in 2008 so I feel old. I saw it at the cinema, loved it, don’t know if you know but I am a massive Hunter S Thompson fan.)  Because the initial trailer has been uploaded to Facebook I can’t share it with you embedded in this post, so, I can link to you here.

My work with Kevin Pospisil on a project called NO LOVE that hasn’t been announced yet has had some concept work posted on line so here it is, enjoy:

no love

More about that soon. Looking forward to a SKYPE session with the man about how we move forward. And I am working on a print that will be for sale soon through the Madius shop, as well as hurtling on with 50Signal 2. Here is the work in progress image I took on my phone from my computer screen in order to tantalize people.

godzillaSome times its hard to be in Madius comics, all I get is Mike Sambrook and Rob Jones sending me messages day and night:

“Oh, I’m working with this great artist on a thing”

“Oh, I’m getting paid to do lettering for a famous comic company”

“Oh, I’m getting funded to piss my name in huge letters in the dust of the surface of the moon”

“Oh, I’m co-writing a version of the Bible with the newly resurrected Mega-Jesus as he rides the great beast from the sea in judgement of Man”

I get to work with myself mostly, and that guys a dick.

To be fair, I am working with two astoundingly talented artists RIGHT now on two comics I am very proud of so I should stop whining.

++++++++I REPEAT 50SIGNAL AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE NOW++++++++

Have you picked up Island from Image comics?

Its an anthology comic with long stories with no shared theme just being what they want to be and I love it for its adventurousness and creativity. It features work by Brandon Graham and Emma Rios as well as work by Ludroe and an essay by Kelly Sue DeConnick. Worth a read and a monthly release schedule and a thicker, glossier print makes it feel like an object to collect and treasure.

It makes me think more about the collaborative nature of the anthology and the THINGS an anthology can achieve. Papercuts and Inkstains is an Anthology comic that Madius does, but the real purpose of it is to show off Rob Jones as a writer. That’s why Issue 1 was made, in all honestly, to piece together a bunch of shorts that Robin had written and then put them in one place, and then Mike Sambrook has had work in it and then I’ll have a short in issue 3 hopefully. We are sneaking our stuff into his house really.

I’d like to create something like the anthology I was doing a bit back, it was called My World Is Clouds, and it was all about the collaboration betwixt poets and artists, presenting an artist with a poem and seeing what they create. Back in those days I didn’t have the creative network or the money to get something off the ground so it lasted one issue and then went no further. If I didn’t have a billion things to do I’d release it as a PDF.

I think a future plan for Madius would be to be even more experimental with our output and create a title that is just platform to do really weird and original things. Comics have so few limits that you can do almost anything, but with an Indie title you have to be marketable otherwise its your money going out the window. Its a bit of a sad truth, because if you tank as a small press guy you’ve just lost your cash and you have to create that balance between adventurousness and self expression. Sort of like with the Big 2, if no one buys the singles then the story ends.

So yeah, further down the line, I’d like to do something crazy.

Then again these stories really don’t always go as planned. 50Signal was going to be an old style panel a day web-comic, like a newspaper comic, now its a book.

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Encourage your friends to do so to. Such as, by sending a tweet like the one I prepared below:

Like @Nick_Gonzo on Facebook because he needs all minds to be linked to work his Cosmic Laser https://www.facebook.com/thenickgonzo

For all you playing along at Home, I just finished reading John Dies At the End by David Wong which is a staggeringly good Horror book which also has the added feature of being organ-rupturingly funny. It is a long book and I read it so quickly because of its palatable blend of fear inducing prose and absurdity. I think that it doesn’t have the swing that other combination genre books have, the fact it can be funny and terrifying on the same page, in the same paragraph, and describe scary things with a familiarity that makes it quite as creepy as it is.

I have now started The Thing by Dylan Trigg which is all about the Phenomenology of Horror, and more specifically, body horror. I haven’t read much of it yet, because I have been distracted by the collected editions of Jonathon Hickman and Nick Pitarra’s The Manhattan Projects which is one of the finest comic series I’ve discovered unaided. No one told me about it, I found it alone and its all the better for it. Anyway, I haven’t read much of Trigg’s book but it is a framing of Phenomenology as that of the Unhuman, adding an alien element to our understanding of our-self and our consciousness. I will write n more about that next week.

Anyway, talk later. I went to a wedding later and ate too much food, so the only logical path to take is to spin a cocoon and come back out as a winged creature.

Hola,
We now live in a word where the Utopia series 2 soundtrack is available for purchase. I mean it was released on December the 15th 2014, but this is the first time someone has brought it to my attention.

++++++++50SIGNAL ISSUE 1, AVAILABLE NEXT WEEK++++++++

I was stunned by the music for the first series, it was unlike anything I’ve ever heard before, adding to the show as well as compliment it. I think that Utopia received a lot if stick for going with its own aesthetic but that’s something I admire.  There are musical cues we here all the time now which are all absent from Utopia. Steering towards a Dub style with a heavy emphasis on samples of weird instruments and vocal sounds, it mixed up the format you expect from conspiracy theory/spy action media. Then to do a whole new suite of music for the second series which developed it’s tone as the plots focus shifted was a master work. Its much darker, much more disturbing, and in some instances is barely music, but its a fantastic apocalyptic collection.

ANYWAY

++++++++PAPERCUTS AND INKSTAINS VOLUME 1 IS AVAILABLE NOW++++++++

image

Went to see Jon Ronson talk at Waterstones Leeds yesterday. The PowerPoint heavy original presentation had to be abandoned after the computer failed to work in any way or form so we had a mighty question and answer session. The main focus of evening was discussion about his latest book So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, a book about people who whether or not by their own hand, have been publicly shamed by us, the mighty public.

As Jon puts it; “We’ve sleep walked into a surveillance society, and whilst we’re all frightened of the NSA or the government but the real monster is people like us”. I’ve been on twitter since 2008 and I know exactly what he means, and I’m not talking about the shambling terror that is Gamer Gate that is you besmirch its name it will come down on you like a tonne of hammers made of solid shit, but its the warriors of the public world that want to cut the biggest slice out of those who offend. For example, one of the people Jon talked about was Justine Sacco who made a fairly ill judged joke on Twitter, which in her mind was meant to be social comment on White privileged, but due to the wooden nature of 140 characters it read like a racist statement and in the space of an 11 hour flight the woman’s life was unpicked by people calling for her public destruction because of this one joke. It can happen to any of us. It could happen to you that anything you say could ignite and having been taken the wrong way will become the stick people beat you to death with. You can lose your job, lose you friends and have your life thrown through a blender because you’ve said something that may be wrong, that may just be ill judged, but does the punishment really fit the crime?

I’ve done it, and if you’re honest you’ve probably done it, where you join the raging crowd tearing at someone who did something bad. Sometimes it feels good, like taking a bite out of a Daily Mail journalist for being a homophobic twat, or holding a political party accountable for what it says and does, but when that rage machine has no target it can turn to anyone.

Its practically a Black Mirror episode.

The Tweet, a new novel by Franz Kafka.

I also got to ask him about going through the Kubrick family boxes. Way back when Jon made a documentary called Hotel Auschwitz, all about the tourist industry surrounding Auschwitz. People would visit, but no one wants to stay. He got a call from a member of Kubrick’s people who wanted to procure a copy of it for Stanley, and he sent it and heard nothing, until after Kubrick’s death where the same Member of his people invited him to the Kubrick house hold for tea. There Jon found that every room was filled with boxes and boxes of stuff, a life’s collection and research for films that sometimes never got made. There’s a library of books at Kubrick mansion all of them biographies of Napoleon collected for a film that was never completed. Spurred on by his wife during his investigations into the Men Who Stare At Goats, a book about Psy-ops and shadowy government military research, Jon asked to look into the boxes and eventually made a movie about their contents.

He found photos of scenery for films and location shots and books and the severed head of the Sniper from Full Metal Jacket, oddly a character who makes it all the way to the end of the movie without ever being decapitated…

I’d love to do something like that.

It was a pleasure to meet Jon and I can’t believe I didn’t get to ask him about his time with Frank Sidebottom.

Are you reading Nameless from Image comics? Its absolutely batshit comic about the journey to Space to stop a huge Asteroid from crashing into the Earth, an Earth in the grip of a psychic sickness driving people into murderous frenzies. Its filled with deeply odd magic talk that can only come from the mind of Grant Morrison, and it has a gritty brutality to the art that could only work in their comic. Its on my pull list at the moment and is hugely deserved of a place in yours. I’ve been buying a lot of single issues, I buy the first issue and then judge whether I want to get the rest of the series, or get the trades, or just ignore it because its a piece of shit. But there are a LOT of strong titles out at the moment. It really is a good time to be a reader. Here are some other things to check out:

The Surface (Image Comics)

Help Us Great Warrior (BOOM! Comics)

Casanova (Image Comics)

Curb Stomp (Boom Comics)

Howard The Duck (Marvel)

Still reading through the weird history of North Korea at the same time. Its a well crafted and easy to read book, and I’m flying through it. As a finalé to this blog post, Eliza Gauger has made a playlist of space related tunes that is the sort of thing that makes me thing of 50Signal plot details and development. I love writing 50Signal.

Google: Von Neumann Probes

 

See you later, Space Cowboy.

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Borderlands 2 is cool. I now know why so many people won’t shut up about it.

I go through wet hot streaks of playing the game, at first after you leave Claptrap alone and make your own way in the frozen tundra I thought it was going to fall into the Final Fantasy VII hole, where the first bit is cool and then its all down hill from there. But once I got back into the roll of things it really is an amazing game. I’m currenty playing through as Zer0, the stealthy cowardly type, and I have a sniper rifle that sets people on fire. Sorry, had a sniper rifle, I remember that I hot-swapped it with a shotgun I found randomly and threw it off a ledge into infinity. Whilst most games would send me into a fit of rage with this feature, it was my fault and I admit it, and a game like Borderlands regularly gives you insane weapons of quality. Previously I had a Sniper rifle that fired 4 rounds at once, that homed and spat acid.

What I really love about the game is the variety and the humour. Often ploughing through factories and tunnels, killing identical guys can become stale very quickly, but with the pop culture references, insane weapons and unique touches like the set dressing and characters, its hugely playable. And the PS4 version is pretty as hell.

Oh yeah, and Brett Ewings died, which is a killer shame. Bad Company was a comic I loved as a kid, and even though I never read it in its entireity, it was something I really loved the look of.

IMG_20150218_115202

papercuts real

Papercuts and Inkstains is now a real thing, marking the start of the Madius Comics print initiative. First this, then 50 Signal, then some other things we can’t talk about just yet. Things that will look amazing and blow minds. Modesty is a lost thing now. No one is ever modest anymore.

I prefer to say: we will publish some things which we are proud of, and I hope you’ll like them.

50signal cover50Signal has been reviewed already and its been nice and positive. I’d entrenched myself into a doom-bunker in preparation of a nuclear wave of negativity to flood over the land, tainting the soil for future generations, “nothing grows here that isn’t bad” they would scream on the surface as deep in my bunker I’d eat stored beans tearfully and blame myself for the comics maelstrom, “The dark shadow has come to this land,” I’d sob “The pale rider named death stalks my people because of me”. But luckily, that is an eventuality that wil never happen. Even if from now on the reviews are all shocking, I have got these pillars of light to rest upon.

Comics Bastards say:

Gonzo builds it as this light carefree space exploration story about this wonderfully simple spaceman that’s full of excitement. But by the end it’s beginning to develop into a complex story and that carefree opening isn’t what it seems to be. It’s not a bait and switch though it’s just a changing of perspectives which is incredibly hard to get right.

Comics Anonymous says:

Nick writes a great opening issue that sets up the background of the space program and the crucial ending that leaves us guessing what the hell could happen next.  Nick’s art is simplistic but it’s charm suits the cult vibe for this issue #1 and while this won’t be to everyone’s taste…..I thought it was pretty much perfect for the story.

So there you have it. I will tell you if there are anymore, but other than that, here are a few pictures I took on Holiday in London. I love the city of London because it isn’t ashamed of its art. It doens’t hide it like an ill advised tattoo up its sleeve, it wears it on every street corner.

IMG_20150219_120126 IMG_20150219_115035 20150219_133408 20150219_133617 20150219_140028 20150221_114149 20150221_114350 20150221_120213 20150221_155236 20150116_163416

Did you know that Warren Ellis took the name for Transmetropolitan from a song by The Pogues?

Yup there you go. Lesser know fact out of the way. Also, I don’t think the above lyric is right, I think the backing vocal just says something like Yip-aye-AAAY! but I like the title so there you go.

Ohh look, I finished a new thing.

Page Four

Its a short tale from Papercuts and Inkstains, an anthology comics we are doing for the Madius Initiative. Three short comics with different focuses and settings, because after all we are children of 2000 AD and want to copy them. I know that two people equally batshit as myself, Brad Holman and Rob Jones are doing a floppy format magazine with short episodic comics in. They haven’t announced it yet so I won’t say who but I am super excited about some of the ideas they told me about.

I’d like to do that in Inkcuts and Paperstains… do a series of stand alone comics that tell a big continuous story. I have sent a script to an artist of amazing talent for a comic called PROJECT MASK that will be the realisation of this goal. 8 pages that will within the confines of Cutstains and Ink Papers will tell a dissection of power and philosophy in Super Hero comics. I liked the idea of Dr Manhattan in WATCHMEN. A man who is a God that people turn to as a Superhero, but can never be a hero as he thinks beyond the realm of human thought. Someone with huge amounts of power, seemingly infinite power, could never connect with ordinary people as its understanding of the confines of reality are far beyond ours. Looking at the universe in terms of quantum construction and the infinity of space and time the individual wouldn’t matter. With PROJECT MASK I want to look at someone who has such power he cannot understand humanity, but wants to save it. The Artist will be Brian Burke, whose work I present to you now:

Brian BurkeI am working on my best albums of last year, I’ve just not been in writing mood recently.

Still raising money for Cancer Research by not being a screaming alcoholic. Please donate not because not drinking is worth anything, its not, lots of people do it all the time. Some people don’t drink ever, its more that its a good cause.

Currently I’m reading Straw Dogs: Thoughts on Humans and Other Animals by John Gray. Its a anti-humanist look at the things we believe make us important as a species. Its an interesting read serving a a whirlwind tour of Philosophy, through the Ancient Greeks right through to more modern philosophers, including a few quite mean passages about Neitzsche, blasting apart the idea that as a species we can transcend our role in the natural world via technology and science. It says we can never be the masters of our own destiny as we aren’t masters of our own drives. We are animals with animal needs therefore everything we do will be in service of those needs. As an optomistic sort, I don’t agree with it full, but its ideas on the sense of self, the illusions of morality and the arrogance of Western Christianity versus Paganism and Eastern religion is interesting. I’m looking forward to finishing it, not just to shake off its sense of Morbidity, but also to start reading Weird Realism: Lovecraft and Philosophy by Graham Harman. Whist Lovecraft was a collossal Xenophobe, his mythos and richly span interspacial realities are unlike any other writer before him and am excited to look into it in more detail.

My reading pile is huge. Got a stack of books to read, mostly non-fiction. I have been gripped by a huge need to learn more this year. I boguht a copy of The King In Yellow by Robert W. Chambers because it was mentioned in an article I was reading about Weird fiction in preparation for my Love Craft book, and as I bought it the cashier asked “Are you a True Detective fan?” and I told him I hadn’t watched it, and he looked puzzled. Apparently the book is quoted directly in the show and the villain is called the Yellow King. This has lead to massive sales of the book, and it striding merrily up the Amazon best sellers list. So there you go. Read an article where someone accused the shows writer of plagarism, and I find it hard to believe that you can be accused of plagiarizing a 100 year old book by directly quoting dialogue from it out of context.

Also on its way to me, AMERICA MASTODON by Brad Ricca.

Anyway thats me done, I’ll leave you with a few sketches I’ve done. Working on an Akira piece at the moment, and will soon start work on formatting 50Signal for Print, which is always laborious. I’ll enjoy this while I can.

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I was sat on the sofa at my good Friend Joe’s house after a huge Japanese banquet at the Canterbury based restaurant Tamago (Which has a fucking Saki tasting menu. We got well balls drunk and I got confused about Song genres and called Foghead Shoegaze, because I thought it was a song by Slowdive, rather than a band that did a song called Slow Drive. Oh-ho-ho) when I turned to my other friend Christopher Moore (Who is a poet, blues musician and current in a Shoegaze duo) and said:

“Its unfair to every other band when Alt-J release an album, because no matter the quality it’ll be top of my albums of the year list”

And then I realised that the SEASON OF THE END OF YEAR LIST is upon us. Its almost the end of the god damn year of our Lord Two Thousand and Fourteen, which is quite frightening to me. I have two more months left, a full sixth of the year left, so there will be plenty of time for me to write things retrospectively capturing a period of time we all lived through, and also for me to enjoy the end of year treats that come my way, such as the Annual Charlie Brooker Screen Wipe, and I think we will be having a Black Mirror special this year too, so huzzah.

Throw up your limbs its Brookertime.

But I cannot help but compare myself this year to last year. It was about this time last year I threw down my Anti-depressants and decided to go it alone. I have been more or less a year unmedicated, meaning I probably could do medical testing now if I wanted, and it’ll be a year next Monday that I got the full tissue burn on my leg from a broken radiator on a coach. In the space between then and now I think the greatest thing I have learnt is to value to power of just being. Not happy or sad, but that rested place at their center where you simply are content. As a result I am the most stable I’ve been in years, I won’t say I’m the happiest I’ve been because there’s no happiness like that you get when you are wired up the arse on Anti-depressants.

Have I done everything I wanted to do? Is that the right question to ask?

I wanted to do a comic every month this year, and I haven’t done that by anyone’s standard. I’ve created probably 12 quick comics, but I’ve done 8 different comic book projects this year, four of which are yet to reach light but will be out before the end of the year. Eight comics is more than I did last year. Lots more, and I wanted to do more than two Harvey Spig comics this year, but again I just did two, but (Another BUT)   these ones I did do were much longer than their counter parts from last year, so perhaps its not the number of the individual comics but the page count. Maybe its the quality. Who cares I suppose.

Am I proud? You’re damn right I am.

Life did try to piss down my throat again at points of the year but I stood up and told it to get to fuck and kicked through to the other side. I have outright refused to be weighed down by the mini-avalanches that life throws at you (By the way as I wrote ‘mini-avalanche’ I thought of the “Song Avalanche in Apartment B” by Cold War Kids, that is just beautiful on so many levels and I think I GET the song after having listening to it countless times. Loyalty to Loyalty is one of my favourite albums of all time and would be one of the few I’d put into my own personal space probe to introduce humanity to the creatures from the great beyond. That particular song explores the idea of that sudden feeling of loneliness that can only be compared to being caught in an avalanche, coming home to a cold house that used to be filled with the warmth of someone now gone, or just the sudden chill of isolation, of remembering that theres something wrong. I used to get that all the time, when you’re out laughing in company and in the small breath just after the jokes faded some bastard voice in your ear whispers to you that everything is not right. Then; Avalanche.)

I don’t want to get all introspective, and I’m not doing to lie I don’t ever shut up about my personal life on Twitter, but you know I feel that if I’m happy to talk about all the shit that goes on in my mind the world might become more comfortable with discussing issues of mental health and we will all grow as people. Helping ourselves to get better is essential to fighting off the shapeless beast of mental disorder, at least I always found it to be, I was always improving best when I was making sure I was doing it for me (The reliance on the opinions of others and the need for their approval was the most damaging hang up I ever carried with me) but this is only possible with a strong support network, a network of friends and family and people who are there if you need them, who understand you are doing this for you, and then there’s the extended net of a society of people who should be able to say “Peoples problems are their own, and I am prepared to empathise with their condition”. Acceptance that people have their own shit helps everyone deal with their own thing. If we can talk about it, if we know people won’t point and laugh, we can get on with it better I suppose.

Psssh, Anyway,

Something that really bothers me is people using the word Random. “Oh you’re so random”. What the fuck does that mean? I think you’ll find I am meticulously planned.

Hello,

I always feel weird writing the first words of a blog post. I always want to say something like “Hey Gang” or “Hello Chaps”, but its the most contrived thing to do. I don’t like it when I read it, why should I start my blog posts with it?

Anyway Images:

hamster

That’s my sisters Hamster, possibly the most tame thing on Earth.

So what have I been doing recently? Well, I’ve been doing writings with Robin Jones of Average Joe fame on Project Truncheon, which I think has had its full name released with a logo, but for me, for now, its still code name: PROJECT TRUNCHEON until I stick it up here. I like working with code names. I am also working on writing a graphic novel with the forementioned Mr Jones about the North of England and myths, legends and monsters. My input so far seems to be writing crazy essays on history and ancient religion and then doing nothing with them. I’d better send them over to him soon. When I’m done I’ll have so many pages of mad waffle, might put them together into an ebook or something. Mad Nick’s History of things.

My English teacher in college ended an essay he wrote to demonstrate HOW to write an academic essay with a Bob Dylan quote. In my first essay in University I included a picture of Robbie the Robot.

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I like to do a warm up of something other than what I’m working on before committing to the real work because it gets my hands and eyes moving properly. The most literal sense of a warm up. I also like to do Life Drawing classes every so often in order to loosen up my figure work. Stop people from just being a series of boxes when I draw them. Oh yeah, back to Rob for a second, Average Joe is being promoted at Nottingham Comic Con, and they’ve got free stuff and a competition, so if you are there keep your eyes open for them.

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And the endlessly Talented nicest guy in comics that is Nich Angell is starting a new kickstarter campaign to get 7String into peoples hands. Its the second volume and the first blew everyones minds, so you know, when that happens give him all of your money.

Heres a picture of him after leaving the rest of the boy band and on the verge of releasing his solo hip-hop album.

Look at him, couldn’t you just eat him up with a spoon?

Yeah, well done me for cementing my weirdo reputation just a little bit more. I do not want to be known as the creepiest bloke in UK comics. FORBIDDEN PLANET INTERNATIONAL have written a thing anyway about the next Volume of this amazing series.

One day I will do a blog post where I don’t mention how much I love Nich Angell’s comics.

One day I will do a blog post without mentioning how every blog post mentions Nich Angell.

Nick Gonzo’s Blog: The premiere location for Nich Angell News.

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Robin Jones is watching Utopia. Every couple of hours I get a text saying “Thank you for making me watch Utopia, I didn’t need all this time to do things and live my life. Thank you for delivering me from a social life into the hands of this TV show”

Luckily there are only 12 episodes.

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Aside from a few last minute washes to do Harvey Spig will star in WHEN THE CIRCUS COMES TO TOWN very soon. It was meant to have an october release date for its print version but that didn’t happen. I don’t always work reliably fast. So it’ll be in digital soon. Funk Soul Samurai awaits me to finish a cover, as does 50Signal, so the last part of the year will be awash with me doing comics for you.

Stu Perrins will be at Leamington Comic Convention with print copies of Prime, his Super hero comic, so go to that and buy them.

I will not be at any comic book fesitvals or cons, except Thought Bubble, where I will be a guest and we should all go for a pint and be friends. I’m going to quit the booze again for October, not to raise any money, just to lose some weight and that, but I will probably blog lots about it, because blog posts and Hot Chocolate are my alcohol replacement.

The new Alt-J album came out, and it was amazing. I was worried that it would be a steaming dog turd, seeing as their bassist left them between albums. The first album was so amazingly Bass lead, that I thought having him leave would be like removing Mick Jagger from the Rolling Stones, because whilst all the elements are really strong there is always something just a bit exceptional. As it turns out they’ve experimented a little bit more and found a nice strong direction for their difficult second album. Its got some great singles and musically is probably the stronger of the two albums they’ve released. Its not as original and haunting as the first, and how could it be the first was so out of the blue, but its certainly a good continuation.

Speaking of coninutaions, I watched Kick-Ass 2 the other day, and aside from the fact its not a hugely great movie, I was interested by the way there was a huge divergance from the comic. When Kick-Ass 2 the comic came out there was a little stir because THE MOTHER FUCKER (well done Mark Millar) rapes Kick-Ass’s then girlfriend NIGHT BITCH (award winning writer Mark Millar everybody) and its just another case of a guy bandying rape about like it ain’t no thing. But in the movie, when that moment comes, THE MOTHER FUCKER can’t get it up, and just physically wounds her. To comedic effect he tries to get an errection to go through with it, but instead fails to achieve lift off. I thought it was much better done that way. You can’t jam a rape scene into the middle of a dark, yes, but ultimately fantastical comedy. Its too serious a subject matter.

Its almost Monday now, I am going to go to bed. I’m cutting this a bit short, I want to talk about how awesome Aphex Twin’s new album is too, but I’m just too tired and my neck hurts from staring down at the computer balanced on my knee.

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Nick

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***A brief edit***

I cannot get this out of my head.

Hey, I drew these;

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Super Zombie and Zombie, Sold for £10

They were done on  commission for £10 a piece and posted off to a happy Purchaser. As part of my drive to earn some money for Legal fees, I’ve launched a new £10 SKETCH INITIATIVE! wherein you can buy from me a Black and White sketch for only £10. These aren’t just off the wrists pieces of crap either, I want to create a proper piece of art for you to won and cherish and feel warm thoughts about me when you look at it.

If you don’t want to read a long bit of waffle skip to the next pictures. But suffice to say, I really want to draw zombies.

When I say legal fees, I want to explain what that means. I burnt my leg on a coach last November, causing a large burn on my leg. I would include photos but honestly, who want to see that. Its horrible. It has caused me an incredible amount of pain, discomfort, and inconvenience as I’ve been back and forth from the Hospital and the Doctors seeing plastic surgeons, nurses for dressings and also suffered three separate infections in the leg because that’s what happens when you cart an open wound around with you for months.

I’m seeking compensation from the Coach company for the suffering and the damage its done to me income, its been hard to get up and do my job and I’ve lost out on overtime at work, but the Solicitors I’m working with need to maintain their cash flow. They’re paying out for admin fees and information requests and I have to put back in so they can keep working for me.

So if you want a sketch it’d be super helpful to me, and you get a cool sketch.

dreamDeath

Dream of the Endless £10                               Death of the Endless £10

You can either buy one from me that I’ll be posting up here, or you can email me and request one from me.

Email me at nickgonzodraws@gmail.com

All sketches cost £10, and I will draw anything for you, as long as its not too over pornographic or horrifying.

If you want a piece of original art, or know someone who does, or want a cool gift for a friend or family member, then please, don’t hesitate to ask me, or just drop me an email.

Tuskan Raider

SAND PERSON! £10                                      

Rabbit

   Bunny Rabbit, sold for £10

Postage is like 90p for the UK and £1.50 for Europe and anything above that I’ll have to check, but it’s probably around £2.00

Every little helps, and it would really help the cause if you told people about this. Tell friends and co-workers, because just one commission would help me with the payments. Reblog, retweet, repost, reply, repeat, recycle.