Monday, September 29, 2008


A couple of totally different things: from the ridiculous to the sublime.

First and foremost on the sublime side just a heartfelt and very profound wish of happiness and contentment to my friend Lauren Hoffaman on the occasion of the birth of a daughter.

A seriously fine musician with more shear guts than nine tenths of those who claim the title, and one of the best listeners this sorry old fart has met in many a year. I have no doubts she'll be as wonderful a mother as she is an artist. Blessings my friend.

Now to the truly stupid.


The Eight Hundred Pound Gorillas

a rare breed as there are only three or four of them. it's difficult to tell as this quarters numbers aren't in yet. it can vary.

they get all the best and most of the bananas mango's pineapples tasty roots, shoots and the like.

approach with caution. outwardly placid they are utterly voracious.

The Chimps.

quiet a few of them actually, though not as many as it may seem as they tend to hoot, whistle, yap, stomp and generally make a scene. it can be hard getting your share of bananas and whatnot after the "big guys" have been in the area. be careful of them in close quarters, as they tend to hold a grudge.

The Wee Little Squirrel Monkeys.

a sad lot really. they are quiet shy and subsist on the leavings of both the Eight hundred pound gorillas and the Chimps. Clever little monkeys though. they tend to be really resourceful and proud of just squeaking by. yeah, they have their heads up their asses a lot. But, they do make do.

The Lemurs.

they don't count. they had a brief moment of flourish in the sixties but hey, all that midnight madness, and the population dropped off rapidly.

This delightful group is surrounded by a lot of parrots, brightly colored and really stupid as they just, well, parrot back what they hear from the various goings on in the jungle. They also have a tendency to get it all wrong. "Biff Bam Pow" anyone?

Ok, just a little bad's my blog. *wink*


Now, finally, I think I'll have part three of "endlessly" over at the working blog later.


Be kind.


Saturday, September 27, 2008


Do you wanna know a secret? Sort of a nonsense question because in this age of mass voyeurism and the fact that at any given moment hundreds or thousands,( if I stretch my ego far enough.) could be sharing this selfsame "secret".

Wanna know why I really quite working for the big, and possibly the small (new boss same as the old boss) publishers?

I grew a spine. I quite dragging my knuckles when I walked.

I stood upright and didn't think the banana's and occasional pineapple thrown at me for good behavior was good enough to live behind emotional bars.

If ever the time comes when artists, illustrators, design people of all stripes and persuasions ever stand up straight and demand an end to the manipulation and merry pranks......the world as well as the monkeys behind bars will be better off.


And hey, come on, while we're at it, howsabout fessin up yourself.....You say, "Bravo" and cheer me on, but in your heart of hearts, you really wish I could just get back to work in the paper mill and give you those 'ol Sandman books again......the sales numbers prove it.

I could do little sandman paintings for a hundred bucks a pop and be busy until I fell over dead in my chair.

Sorry about the was inevitable.

be kind, if possible you post modern, no history, electron poppin cool cats and kitties,


Wednesday, September 24, 2008


So far, the time away from my tools and rituals has been good for me as I hoped it would be. A nice sense of the fast approaching season has settled into my routine of the day, leaving me as calm as I really ever get.

With Soma radio set to ambient music and a good book, occasionally pausing to let my mind drift through long lace curtains at the sun dappled trees. As much as I always need to do, politely set aside for a bit, I can't help but wonder what the return to the studio will be like. Ah, well, best not to dwell.

In the mean time, and not just to toot my own horn, but to really encourage you if possible to attend the Sandman exhibition at Gallery Nucleus coming soon in early October. Here's the link if you're interested. It promises to be really special, with a vast array of art in as many mediums as there are interpretations of the universe that Neil and I as well as many, many other gifted artists could *ahem* dream up.

The images at the top are shots of the large piece I did exclusively for the showing.

Please, participate in any way you can.........

Now, I'll get back to my private little space out.

Be kind,


Sunday, September 21, 2008


I've just left part two of a three part post in "Working". I hope, if you're interested, please stop by and give it a look.

These last four days, I've taken off to, well, simply stop for a while. I've been at the "Fracture of the Universal Boy" for nearly three years now, along with a seemingly endless parade of commissions and various things for sale on eBay. I'm frankly, beat up. I really needed some space to well, space. I've been reading a lot, mostly Patricia Cornwells stuff I've missed over the years. Along with Andrew Vach's stuff.....yeah, I love detective slash crime fiction a great deal. A great way to unwind if I do say so myself. It's been great to just wake up, stare out the window and read until my head's full. So, back to work for a while tomorrow, at least just to take stock and swat the spiders that have, no doubt left a mess on the drawing boards.

No rest for the driven, eh?

Be well and read more.


Tuesday, September 16, 2008


This is just a quick note to say that I've posted a new thing over in "Working" and that I have about fifteen pages to go before all the art for "Fracture of the Universal Boy is finished.

Well "finished" in the sense that the main body of drawing is over. I still have to go through it, paginate again and make corrections and add special effects. But still....*sigh*, you have absolutely no idea how tired if this monster I am.

Really. There is just a massive amount of drawing. So far I've destroyed twenty to twenty five pen nibs at least, and close to half a gallon of india ink. No assistants, no outside funding, no overlords save my own sense of story, and content. It's as much a true work of art as anything in this medium can be. And it's mine. Fall or rise, it's what it is. The truth.


Friday, September 5, 2008


Ayeda Naqvi, "Through a glass darkly" - Daily Times - Lahore, Pakistan Tuesday, September 2, 2008

What if we made a conscious effort to stay in that state of mind, to retain that level of alertness, of being present in the moment, to remain offended by what we saw?Would that force us to be more proactive?It happens each time we step off that airplane. It happens, each time, on the way home. If you have been away for a long time, it’s even worse. But it’s inevitable: no matter how much you love your country, how happy you are to be home, everything looks dirty and broken. And let’s not fool ourselves: it is.From the roads to the smog to the shabby, unfinished construction, all that we see offends the eye. But then something happens. After a few days, something shifts, something clicks back into the place it has been in for decades. And all of a sudden, all that was offensive is now acceptable.

Have you ever thought about this shift of consciousness? Have you ever wondered why the graffiti that was once vulgar is now invisible, the grey flaking cement walls a pure white and the pot-holes filled with sewage water an inconspicuous detail? Are we reacclimatising ourselves with our culture? Or are we simply lowering our standards?“

There are adjustments one must make if one comes here from America”, writes Mohsin Hamid in his book, The Reluctant Fundamentalist. “A different way of observing is required...I recall the Americanness of my own gaze when I returned to Lahore that winter...I was struck by how shabby our house appeared, with cracks running through its ceilings and dry bubbles of paint flaking off...our furniture appeared dated and in urgent need of upholstery and repair...But as I occurred to me that the house had not changed in my absence. I had changed.

I was looking about me with the eyes of a foreigner.”As Hamid’s protagonist struggles to readapt to life here in Pakistan, he touches upon a critical question — is it better to have the “eyes of a foreigner” or the eyes of a local?For while the foreigner continues to question, the local switches off his critical faculties, desensitising himself against what would otherwise be a barrage of assaults on his sensibility.

Maybe it is a survival mechanism.But after a few days, even the burn victims who thrust their mutilated body parts in your face at traffic lights stop upsetting you. You start looking for signs of paint, of make up, around the wounds; you get irritated with their dishonesty. In just a few days, you have hardened your heart. In just a few days, you have found reasons not to care.But what if we didn’t? What if we made a conscious effort to stay in that state of mind, to retain that level of alertness, of being present in the moment, to remain offended by what we saw? What if we held onto what Hamid calls the “eyes of a foreigner”? Would that force us to be more proactive? Or are we destined to shuffle between the extremes of horror and apathy?

Mystics have long described the ideal state of being as one which is lived in full awareness. A Sufi, or Islamic mystic, is often described as the “son of the moment”. Even today, a large part of the training for Sufis teaches them to be present in the moment, not scattered in the past or the future. So if our aim in life is to be present to reality, then the dulling and desensitising of our senses, which we seem to have adopted as a survival mechanism, is the least desirable condition.And yet it is convenient. For if we stop noticing, we stop feeling. If we stop how we feel, we override our guilt. And if we override our guilt, we are not obliged to change reality. Yes, this attitude is convenient. But it cripples our actions, helps turn a blind eye to reality and causes alienation.I am reminded here of a scene from one of my favourite movies, Good Morning Vietnam. Based on the career of a disc jockey for an American military radio station in Saigon, this film shows the indifference of the American soldiers to the suffering of the Vietnamese. In this particular scene, Louis Armstrong’s song, What a Wonderful World, is blared across American radios in Vietnam as innocent civilians are gunned down.

It has been more than twenty years since I saw this film. And yet this scene remains engrained in my mind as a scathing reminder of man’s ability to separate himself from reality.Last week, however, I saw something on the streets of Lahore that made me cringe. In a large Land Cruiser, a group of teenagers were cruising down the streets of Lahore, windows open, blasting “Mojaan hi mojaan”, while the back seat functioned as an impromptu disco.I looked at the garbage piled up on the side of the street, the beggar without any legs lying on the sidewalk and a nearby bus, wreathed in diesel exhaust and scarred with broken windows. Traffic police stood in the scorching heat with blue masks protecting them from the fumes swirling around Kalma Chowk. The teenagers in the Land Cruiser may not have had guns but they were no less removed from their surroundings than the soldiers in Vietnam.Maybe too much reality is harmful for us as individuals. But as a society, too much unreality is certainly not good for us.

Ayeda Naqvi is a journalist and a representative of Sufi Order International.

Well.......I'm sort of back here. Sorry to have been so "away", but it's just been difficult to either find the time or the will power to do this lately. Maybe it's just burn-out or something, who's to know? I certainly don't. I guess one can only stay in survivor mode for so long without getting a strange sort of PTSD.

I could go on about all the nonsense that's happened, but I detest complaining about things...I much prefer to try and change the situation. The glass is neither half empty nor half's just a glass, it's simply water.

I DO however have a nice, three part blog planned and waiting to go up very soon in the "working" section . I really think you will enjoy it. I've documented a commissioned piece from start to finish......I'll be writing about my methods and ideas as it progressed from blank paper to finished painting. And lots of pictures so you don't go all cross-eyed.

See you there?

be well my friends, and please think things over with an open heart,