Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Men Only

I bought three issues of the 1950's incarnation of Men Only magazine from a second hand bookshop today (Books for Amnesty on Westgate Road, Newcastle);

"Men Only is a British soft-core pornographic magazine published by Paul Raymond since 1971. However, the title goes back to 1935 when it was founded by C. Arthur Pearson Ltd as a pocket magazine (115x165mm)."

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Torelli Brothers

I recently bought a book 'The History of The Beano' and the very first Beano, shown on the books' cover, has the Torelli Brothers' 'Tin Can Tommy: The Clockwork Boy' on the back cover. There are are a few more cartoons from the Torelli Brothers inside, including this 'Brave Captain Kipper' (the scan is awful, sorry) but there's not much information on them, either in the book or, curiously, on the internet. As the book says, their work looks very different from the rest of The Beano.

The Torelli Brothers art agency's relationship with The Beano was interrupted by the war and I don't think anything was heard from them after that. But any further information on them would be gratefully received.

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Eça de Queiroz

"José Maria de Eça de Queiroz is generally considered to be the greatest Portuguese writer in the realist style. Zola considered him to be far greater than Flaubert. Others rank him with Dickens, Balzac and Tolstoy.

... Eça worked in the Portuguese consular service and after two years' service at Havana was stationed at 53 Grey Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, from late 1874 until April 1879.

Eça, a cosmopolitan widely read in English literature, was not enamoured of English society, but he was fascinated by its oddity. He wrote: "Everything about this society is disagreeable to me - from its limited way of thinking to its indecent manner of cooking vegetables." As often happens when a writer is unhappy, the weather is endlessly bad. Nevertheless, he was rarely bored and was content to stay in England for some fifteen years. "I detest England, but this does not stop me from declaring that as a thinking nation, she is probably the foremost."

The Newcastle years were among the most productive of his literary career. He published the second version of O Crime de Padre Amaro in 1876 and another celebrated novel, O Primo Basilio ("Cousin Basílio") in 1878, as well as working on a number of other projects. These included the first of his "Cartas de Londres" ("Letters from London").

[a plaque to Eça] was unveiled in Grey Street, Newcastle, in 2001 by the Portuguese ambassador."


His books are published in English by Dedalus.

Friday, 27 November 2009

Newcastle then, and now, mainly.

I think that all of these pictures are of buildings in Newcastle that existed pre-1914, maybe pre-1900, and still exist now, bar maybe the last one, as I'm not sure where that is. The others are Stephenson Monument near Central Station, The Side, Eldon Square, Dog Leap Stairs, Central Station (from the west) and the Central pub in Gateshead.

I'm reading a bit about Victorian Newcastle at the moment but these are images I've taken from the internet. I haven't noted where I found them. Sorry about that. Newcastle Libararies on Flickris good though, as is Amber photography's website (even if you don;t give two shits about the Victorians or Newcastle).

In ruins (of local interest only, if that)

These are pictures of Newcastle in the late 19th century and, top, Tynemouth in the 20th century. The buildings (in Tynemouth, Pilgrim Street, Sangate and Gateshead Quayside) have mostly been knocked down or, in the case of Tynemouth, burned down. The elephants, on Grey Steet, no longer exist, but Grey Street does. Not that there aren't a lot of good buildings in Newcastle still. That's the next post.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Wednesday, 28 October 2009


I'm going to make these 'egg' comics into a 16 page photocopied mini-comic (there are 10 pages so far) in the next few weeks. Let me know if you want a paper copy (

Monday, 26 October 2009

Leopard slugs redux

The text is stolen from an earlier comic page of mine. It fits this story and I never printed the other appearence, so it's getting another chance.

Faber & Faber

I've been meaning to buy that Faber book cover design book for a few months. I saw it in a shop last week and it was so good-looking I've resolved to buy it when I get paid (off the internet, probably, but meh, it's half-priced) . These are the Faber books I have in the house at the minute. Quite conventionally Faber these ones.

From top; 2002, design by Pentagram, 1999, design as before, drawing by Leonard Baskin, 1985, design as before, drawing by Ian Pollock, 1968, by Berthold Wolpe, presumably.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009


If you click 'egg' on the labels you can view the 'egg story' so far.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

That's some gentle comedy

The case against Tintin

I wouldn't normally post something like this, but as I've only today taken delivery of The Art of Herge, vol. 1 (I had a post bonanza this morning) this article bristled the hairs on my back.

One of the respondees writes that to say that Herge "doesn't have much of an eye for, or interest in, design" is "patently absurd". As Steven Heller notes in an Eye Magazine review of the above book; "Hergé was an accomplished graphic designer and typographer, who spent much of his time doing advertising" and that;

It is not surprising that Hergé has been left out of most (in fact all) graphic design history books: his virtuosity was not as a posterist or typographer. Yet, while this book is valuable for examining Tintin’s origins through reproductions of original drawings and sketches, the tangential design material – the posters, book covers, and type treatments that Studio Hergé was commissioned to do – is just as key to Hergé’s career.

Moulger Bag Digest 2

I received this in the post this morning from Rusty Jordan. It's a zine dripping in drawings by Rusty and Brent Harada (and Robyn Jordan) and recalls, for me, work by Michael Deforge, Marc Bell, Seripop, Mark Beyer and Paolozzi's drawings in The Gay Atomic Colouring Book. Anyway, maybe I've spoilt it with a list, but it's like a small pink pustule of nice cartooning.

Rusty Jordan also drew the covers for Two Fast Colour 3. There are a few copies of that anthology still left.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

The Problem with Rats

The first in a series, as are the ones below that have Porfiry Petrovitch and the egg in them.