Archives for October 2010

New Derek!

Hooray! It’s another month, which means there’s another Derek in the Beanomax!!!

This month Derek and his sheepy pals are woken from their woolly lazy world and are subjected to the raving loony that is Clarence the keep-fit sheepdog.

Here’s a marvelous sequence:

So sprawling was this story, that it’s a TWO-PARTER!!! Yep, so you have to wait a whole month to see how it finishes. And its totally nuts, I tell ya.

And while you’re busy buying the Beanomax, pick up the exciting new Dandy featuring loads of brand new strips! Shamefully I didn’t have time to contribute a strip due to my over-burgeoning schedule (including work on my BRAND NEW graphic novel coming out from Walker in about a year’s time. Woohoo!!! More on this soon. It contains dinosaurs is all I’m saying at the mo’…).

Anyway, good luck to the Dandy and all its contributors!

Ta ra!!

Graffiti Knitting

Graffiti Knitting eh, What’s that all about? Little old ladies tagging trains with bits of wool in the dead of night? Well, sort of. Apart from the “old ladies” bit. And maybe skip the “dead of night” bit too. Ok, and maybe they don’t tag trains neither. In fact, why don’t you go read this brilliant article out today in The Guardian, featuring The Fleecestation‘s very own Graffiti Knitter, Deadlyknitshade. That tells you everything you need to know about the little-known art of Yarn Storming…

Interesting to note that the first comment on the knitting article by some humourless know-it-all says, “Been done before”.

Why yes, yes it has been done before. 65 million years before in fact. Check it out:

I painted these dudes at Ally Pally Knitting and Stitching Show whilst I was selling (the soon to be completely sold out) Derek the Sheep books. I was sharing a table with fellow Fleecestation studio mates, the afore-mentioned knitting supremo Lauren O’Farrell and children’s book uber-illustrator Sarah McIntyre, who were selling books and badges like they were going out of fashion.

Trying to tap into a market that catered for both my lovely drawings and knitting, I concocted the above tiny series of on-the-spot watercolours featuring Graffiti Knitted Victims of The Jurassic. I love dinos, but I totally guessed the Jurassic bit, so someone rang their expert friend after I’d just painted the stegosaurus and I was spot on! Woohoo!

I might make these as prints, and if they take off then I might consider Graffiti Knitting victims of the Triassic. The world is my prehistoric oyster.

Independent on Sunday update

Got sent a jpeg of the print copy of Sunday’s interview for the Irish Sunday Independent!

Here it be…Ain’t I handsome.

I might publish the full unabridged version one day, which includes my fantastic beans on toast joke. I told it on twitter and it really made Jamie Smart laugh, so it must be funny.

Woohoo! I’m famous!

Yes, it’s fame at last for me! The Irish National newspaper The Irish Sunday Independent have interviewed me for their financial Q&A The Paper Prophet. I talk about baked beans, mars bars, chips, all sorts of important things for readers to think about over their morning Frosties.

This is all in anticipation of an invasion by me and fellow Fleecestationer, Sarah MacIntyre to Dublin in a couple of weeks as part of the Children’s Book Festival. In fact, I’ve just remembered we’re being filmed for a kids TV programme on RTE too! Wow. Get those rotten tomatoes ready to throw at the screen.

In other news, yesterday me and my dad had a crazy day meeting long-lost relatives. I’ve been digging around my family tree for over 10 years now (one of my long-standing uber-obsessions) and it was great to finally put some faces to names of some of my ye olde ancestors.

Check out this mean-looking dude (my Great-Great-Grandfather) on the left from about 1900…


Apparently he was a right hard fella and to be truthful, with that scowl, I wouldn’t want to mess with him. He had a tough old upbringing; his rogue sailor dad was lost at sea around 1863 and in 1883 his step-dad murdered his mum (a sad story I’ll save for another blog post).

Here he is wrestling an anchor 20 years later…

(I keep thinking that’s his hair blowing in the wind, but it’s probably a tree).

His son (my Great Grandfather), in the first picture on the right, was no different. According to an article in Island History News (all about the Isle of Dogs), he joined the Merchant Navy and went round the world three times, was iced up in Greenland for nine months, got torpedoed three times in the First World War and worked as a diver for the PLA. (And that was all before breakfast! Hahaha!!!)

And the little baby dude on his mum’s lap? He did the last trip on the Cutty Sark! So cool.

Thanks to everyone for such a brilliant day yesterday, especially Brian Lang for organising the get-together.

I’ll leave it upto my great uncle once removed for the final word. Cheers Jack!