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A PACKED WEEK
The last few months have been fairly quiet but things have started to pick up. Although subbing has been absolutely dead for me, I’ve started to make money from my photos and I’ve been doing a lot of features and writing. It’s very satisfying that the photography, something that I started doing just to get reference for a comic project, may well turn into something more substantial. It also looks like possibly one of my other book projects may become a reality and if it does, it will be an amazing book to work on. The past week has been a little bit crazy: on Monday, I went to the launch of London History Week at Kensington library, where I saw history writer Simon Sebag Montefiore talk about visiting archives in Russia to research his books on Stalin, which was fascinating. Before that, I went into town to interview director Jake West and writer/ comic artist Dan Schaffer at the Groucho Club in Soho about British horror comedy Doghouse.
On Tuesday I was lucky enough to go to the launch of the Viz 30th anniversary exhibition at the Cartoon Museum in Bloomsbury (and for the Americans reading this, this is not the manga publisher but the very British humour comic that started life as a fanzine and at its peak sold over a million on the newsstand over here). I have written a piece on Viz‘s anniversary for Big Issue In The North, which is why I was invited. I got to get quotes from BBC’s Charlie Brooker (Screenwipe) and newspaper illustrator Martin Rowson and I also got to meet Simon Donald, Graham Thorp and Davey Jones, the past and present people behind Viz, which was very cool. On Wednesday, I got to see Up in 3-D at last, which was very enjoyable as it was a film with a heart.
Thursday I got to go up The Gherkin in the City of London for a meeting with the deputy head of PR for the City of London to talk about one of my book projects. The Gherkin, or 30 St Mary Axe as it is officially known, has amazing views across the whole of London and we were lucky enough to sit in the cafe at the top, on its 40th floor. It was days like this that made me realise how lucky I am doing what I do. Then, because we had time to kill and my friend Andy Colman had not been recently, we popped to Spitalfields, where they’ve done a great job of maintaining the feel of the market while modernising what is there and again because he had never visited, we ended the day at Borough Market and took a look inside Southwark Cathedral. The day was all about London because I spend my time travelling around the country and admiring churches in places like Bath and Wells but Southwark Cathedral is easily a match for the most exquisite churches anywhere else in the UK.
Then on Friday I did an interview with Genndy Tartakovsky (Samurai Jack, Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Dexter’s Laboratory), something I’ve been trying to set up for a few months. I have three or four features I’m currently working on, a couple of book projects, some fiction (something I’ve not tried in years) and a number of photo essays, so long may it continue…











A DIFFERENT VIEW
Yesterday I took my regular lens into Jessops because it stopped working. Luckily it’s covered by insurance but I bought myself a spare lens, an 18-108mm which is really nice. I’ve just started work on another book proposal, Odd London, and since the light is really good at the moment (crisp and wintery) I didn’t want to have to wait 6 weeks until I got my lens back. So I shot a few places in the City yesterday including the Golden Boy of Cock Lane, just off West Smithfield which marks where the Great Fire of London ended. I also got a UV filter which I used on the lens on a couple of shots too. It’s amazing how a new lens can give you a new perspective. So here’s some of my photos from yesterday…



DETECTIVE FRICTION
The Annual Comica festival has started at the ICA on the Mall in London. I wanted to go to the Dave McKean talk on Sunday but I was too lagged. I did get to see Ian Rankin talk on Monday at the ICA. Rankin is best known as the creator of the successful Rebus crime novels but he’s writing a 210 page Hellblazer original graphic novel and he’s a huge comic nut. So he discussed his love of 2000AD and then talked a little bit about the Hellblazer story which apparently is about a reality TV show set in a house and the house takes on a life of its own, so Constantine is called in. He was interviewed by fellow author Toby Litt. I got to give him a copy of Studio Space and the Annual afterwards and it turned out that Orion’s head of marketing Anthony Keates is a longtime TRIPWIRE reader. He even won a Hellboy competition we ran years ago and he also got Studio Space for Christmas, which was quite funny. Rankin was a really nice guy, very down-to-earth, and if all goes to plan, we’ll have him in next year’s Annual. Comica is a worthwhile event to attend and while Rankin has already happened, there’s a Gilbert Shelton interview this Sunday, an Art Spiegelman interview from Posy Simmonds next Monday 24th November and lots of other events. Check out organiser Paul Gravett’s website http://www.paulgravett.com/comica/comica08/comica08.htm for more information. Here are a couple of photos I took at Rankin’s interview…



















DOCUMENTING A CITY
I haven’t done this in a couple of weeks so I thought I’d put up some random photos I’d taken during my lunch breaks freelancing as a sub in various places. It’s funny: even before I had a camera and before I took photos, I would enjoy leaving where I was working and wandering in one direction or the other to see where it took me. It’s a good way to find out about an area you’re working in…
So here are photos taken around Old Street/Shoreditch, Moorgate, City of London and a couple of the London Eye and on Hungerford Bridge, just for fun…