Monday, December 31, 2007


Sometimes, someone else say's something so it sticks on the wall when thrown.

Case in point; Mr. Bill Nelson speaking of music and art in modern times.

One of those, "gee wilikers, I wish I'd said that moments.

"In that case, if everything and anything 'matters' equally, then nothing can be said to be any more valuable than anything else. It's all relative, I suppose, but I live in a personal world where some kind of intellectual, aesthetic and artistic excellence is there to be aimed for, if not always attained. It's the striving to transcend the blandness of that idea of everything being of equal import that powers the creative engine. It's the quest for something higher, more refined, sophisticated, deeper and broader, rather than an acceptance that one thing is just as valid as another. I adhere to the notion that there are people who have attained higher standards than others in terms of their creative potential and who have worked towards a more insightful and complex realisation of their lives and who reflect this in creative terms. And, on the other side of the coin, there are those who take a casual, uninformed, uninterested and oafish attitude towards these concerns and produce work of a shallow and superficial nature. Work that does little to challenge either its maker or its audience. Now, whilst today's 'politically correct' rule book says that everyone is entitled to enjoy whatever they choose, and that it's all of equal importance, I reply by saying:-Fine, but MY choice is not to waste precious time on work that aims low. Instead, I'll seek out and encourage work, from myself and from others, that frees me from the mire of mediocre thinking. (Something that generally lurks beneath the surface of a great deal of popular music.) Forgive me, but I can't go along with the idea that because a lot of people like something, it somehow makes it culturally valuable, important or whatever. Discernment of an informed nature is needed. We wouldn't, for instance, accept poor quality education in our schools as being as of equal value to something clearly of a higher standard. And, in that sense, music has been a terrific process of self-education for me. It's transformed my mind and imagination in ways that I could never have personally experienced without exposure to the more challenging aspects it presented to me. For me, music matters and it matters that the highest aesthetic and cultural benchmarks should become a point of attainment, a target for me. If those goals are never achieved, the value of trying, of aiming higher than we can reach, is nonetheless undiminished by failure...for the very act of trying, of attempting to stretch ourselves, is capable of switching on circuits of illumination. Our popular culture isn't just a fun, entertaining reflection of general tastes but a sometimes damning expression of our status as aware and thinking human beings. It's a meter capable of testing the health of much more than the music industry marketplace. It reveals more about who we are, (or who we THINK we are,) than many people realise. So, whilst we are all free to listen to unintelligent, lazy and unimaginative music, we are also free to pull ourselves up by the bootstraps and aim for something that will help our personal development move forward, rather than drag it back. To pretend that a more refined state doesn't really exist or 'matter,' that everything is equal.... Well, it's like saying that there's nowhere further to go, that we're all at the end of our progression, that there's nothing else to aim for. The modern malaise seems to encourage, or promote a reduction of values, reducing everything to a common denominator. What a dull state of affairs. My own experience, gained through years of listening to music and creating it, is that some music indeed DOES matter more than others. And some music serves only to hold us back from something greater. And that we need to make educated and informed choices, whether artist or audience. There ARE great divides, huge gaps between states of understanding, between levels of achievement. Whilst the utopian concept of all things being equal might have tremendous egalitarian appeal as a theortical goal, the hard facts show that, before that ideal can be realised, there's much work and education needed. As we are now, throwing in the towel, running away from the challenge of higher attainment, accepting the status quo, decorating ignorance with platitudes of acceptance, seems, to me to be asking for trouble further down the line. But I suppose that, at the end of the proverbial day, we each get what we deserve from our cultural uptake (or lack of it.) It's all there, but good choices are increasingly hard to come by."

Ah, the more it seems to change the less anything does.


Sunday, December 30, 2007



The very stuff of my life. I have an almost addictive need for film, music and books. On my budget however, the every popular eBay and a few select thrift stores are my main sources these days. Whatever works I suppose.

With this in mind, as the year winds down, here is a bit of what's impressed me these last twelve months. Remember, these may not be "current" as they might be, just new to me. The thrift store thing ok?

The top of my list for film this year goes to Sir Ridley Scott's "Kingdom of Heaven" directors cut four DVD package. A more beautiful, human, and detailed film I can't imagine. Utterly lovely.

The next would be "Bug". Months after I saw it, it still sticks.

Very much worth mentioning would be, "The Fountain". In my opinion, a miracle of a film.

As far as music goes, I'd have to pick Robin Guthries,(Hi Robin.) "Continental". Guthrie in fine form.

Ulrich Schnauss's "Goodbye" a close second.

Of course, Bill Nelson with "And We Fell Into a Dream" Bill is truly finding an original path all his own. It's a deep, arabesque of an album of work. Bravo Bill!

Honorable mention to "Richard Butler's first solo effort, rather aptly titled, "Richard Butler."

Mercan Dede's "SU", rounds out my music list.

For books this year, the standouts are, Clive Barkers, "Mr. B. Gone." Far to clever for his own good is Mr. Clive. A really great read.

Dan Simmon's "Hard as Nails". With his Joe Kurtz, Simmons impressed the hell out of me. The character is new to me, so thanks be the person or person's unknown that saw fit to donate it to ye oldde thift shop.

"Awakened Dreams" ( Raji's journeys with the mirror dede) buy Ahmet Hilmi practically glowed in the dark.

And last but not by any means, the least, the first book of R.Scott Bakker's trilogy "The Prince of Nothing: The Darkness That comes Before" was another thrift store find. Jaysus marynjoseph but I'd love to get my hands on the other two. Maybe I'll stumble across them this year coming.

That's what's so great about a new year......the possibilities are endless.

Everyone, a fine new year to you all,

with much love for the support and dedication.


Friday, December 28, 2007


I spent most of yesterday working hard to ward off an heavy sadness over the death of Benazir Bhutto. There are days that for one brought up first hand with the great assassinations of the sixties when I truly fear for the people of this world who simply want to live in peace and worship life and love as best they can. It really hurts when I realize that the madmen who flew those planes hijacked an entire religion. It hurts nearly as bad when i realize that "the powers that be, in search of a new enemy,( we are still on a war economy, a leftover from world war two) have convinced so many that Islam equals madness.

So, this is for the Bhutto family and the people of Pakistan.

There was a Persian king Who wanted to know

What he could say on Every occasion

That always would be so true


circles and changes Illusions,

always changing

Like the wind and the rain

He summoned three wise men From his eternal throne

One from each border Gave them his order

To write words always true

The wise men thought so hard

For a night and day

Found these words to say

on Every occasion,

These things too shall pass away .

Reading the responses to the news on AOL i was dismayed to read the vitriol and inhumanity that passes as comments on the barbaric murder of a former head of state. Bhutto was not perfect by a long shot, but that being said, no one should pass away in such a moment of sensless hate.

So, here is a tribute to all those people, both great and small who've been the victim of two rights making a wrong. and two wrongs making it even worse. A song by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan adapted by Junoon.

play it loud. pray for peace.


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Seasonal things, etc, etc........

Before I get to the basic "big book" news, I'd like to just say a few things publicly about birthdays, (mine.) and Christmas in general.

I've had this wish for nearly as long as I have been painting. I'd really love to paint an altarpiece. A big classic altarpiece. Huge even. Granted, it would probably be a bit unorthodox as far as the genre goes, and it would take a very open minded church, but it's a dream of mine that's never left me. It's traditional to make a wish while blowing out ones candles on the cake at ones birthday, but since I prefer pie, ( a perverse streak a mile wide.) ( wink) and since I'd rather not have aforementioned cake anyway, I'll simply blow out an imaginary forest of candles and make my wish in public. I wanna paint an altarpiece. That's ok with you guys?

If that wish seems a bit demanding for you all, I would give my second place wish that Fracture of the Universal Boy be picked up by a publisher that "gets it' and would believe that really good production is it's due. I'm more convinced day by day I've hit my marks on this one, and with the end in the foreseeable future, very proud indeed of the work and it's quality.

Now a special thank you to my dear Karen, aka: Fhionn. She is my hearth and home and the very best thing to happen to me in the now strange long saga of my life. Where she is, is home.

And, my list of major thanks go out to Neil Gaiman, who's always seemed to understand the time warp me and my work comes from. That kind of aesthetic sympathy means the world to me.

To Barry Windsor-Smith, a better friend and at times mentor has been beyond price to me. He's also a true gentleman and one of the truly great storytellers of the modern age.

These thanks go also to Dr. David White and his family for a tough Irish tenacity in putting up with my nonsense for as long or longer than I've been online. I simply couldn't have done it without him.

Thanks and friendship go to Mr. Phil Lawton of Birmingham England for his wit and understanding during some of the darkest days of my life......A truly incomparable mind and talent. Here's to you Mr. Bass-man. PUR-DANG BABY!.

Also, many, many thanks to Stephen Murphy for the beginning that never stopped being one. The man is simply one of the most unique minds in the business. He IS the zeitgeist.

To Dave Sim, my utmost respect and thanks for taking a chance and saying "yes" when "no" would have been far less trouble.

The list could go on for a very long time if I were of a mind to spend next to forever remembering and writing, but you all must surely know who you all are......and just because I have not said your name here, that by no means says you all are not far from my heart.

To you all who care about my work, and to those who've supported me over the months and years, my profound gratitude.

Blessed season to you all.


Friday, December 14, 2007


In days of yore, before any knuckle dragging moron could download talent, before irony disguised merit, ( Oh! you're and artist? my aunt Brunhilda paints too!) there actually were people with talent.

I'm really terribly busy right now. Twenty more pages of "the big chapter" and it's all a nice slow power glide home. So, i thought I'd leave you with something I stumbled across: it's dedicated to Steve Murphy.....I have no idea why, except to say it always tears me up in much the same way a new Puma script used to. Big ideas. Big heart.

Enjoy. Those were the days my friend.









Tuesday, December 11, 2007


My apologies for the cranky ironic post yesterday. I'd had a rough day in the studio. Not work related, rather the studio itself. I kept blowing fuses for hours, causing yours truly to melt down and blow a few of my own. Heating the place is getting to be a nightmare. Finding an electrician out here is like finding an organic farm.

To Matthew K., thanks for the offer, but VHS is a no go. Bless you for offering though.

Time to throw a few more bison chips on the fire.


Monday, December 10, 2007

The horrible holiday post

Ok, I'm a brainwashed American idiot. So, here's the aweful Christmas list if any of you big spenders wanna slip me a gift. No? Didn't think so. I can't get you anything but sell art cheap.

Hey, at least I try.

1. A Murshid that wants to deal with my cracked head.

2.A letterer that will work for free and put up with my cracked head.

3.A copy of "Mahler" by Ken Russell staring Robert Powell.

4. A graphite Bose wave CD/radio. Used will do nicely.

5. Everybody to just calm the fuck down and breath.

I'm fully aware how shallow this is.....but hey, it's Christmas. Oh, promise I won't return anything and buy and ipod or something.

Peace baby,


Oops! almost forgot! silly me. the photo is a new piece : "The Unknown Dervish #5, oblivion and gratitude." I should have it in the gallery for all you to steal shortly.