Thursday, December 18, 2014

Found In An Old Blue Folder #2

Also found in the blue folder was this piece of comic book memorabilia.

Its an original sketch by Bob Burden, creator of Flaming Carrot and of the Mystery Men.

It was drawn at the London ComicCon in the fall of 1989. Interestingly we can see, in the picture above, that some years later this is still a popular subject with Bob.
 It was a different world back then. This was drawn free of charge on the artists own pre-printed card stock.
When Banished Jr wanted his Adventure Time print signed by the artist at Tidewater ComiCon this year it cost him (meaning cost me) $10.00 for the privilege
I'm happy to see Mr Burden is still working and was going to be a guest at one of the North Carolina Cons this year.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Found In An Old Blue Folder #1

I was sorting through some old folders and boxes at the weekend. Most of it was stuff that came over from the UK 10 years ago. And most of it hasn't seen the light of day in all those years. There was one blue card folder with a selection of oddities that covered lots of old enthusiasms and old friends and collaborators. Amongst them was this:

Bombardments #2 a graphic score for percussion by Robert Moran from 1965. It was given to me by a long ago mail art collaborator, painter John Upton. The score is suffering now and one quarter had become entirely detached at the folds. It lived for many years in a frame on the wall of my house in Gloucester. It ought to go back into a frame again I think if I can repair it.

As for Moran he's  happily still around. 

Alas John Upton is not having died in 2005 but happily at least a little of his art is available online

I should perhaps consider a raid into my own mail art archive to post some more of his work. He was a marvelous correspondent and raconteur. He was also wonderfully generous both with his art and just...stuff. On discovering my interest in improvisation and chance operations in music he presented me, in addition to the Moran score, with a programme from a Royal Albert Hall concert by John Cage and Davjd Tudor in 1972 and a copy of Michael Nyman's book Experimental Music; Cage and Beyond. The latter came from a book sale of excess stock at Ayr County Library and was declared surplus to their requirements in February 1993.
So yes as winter approaches I'll add a couple of posts more on the contents of that old blue folder and then dig into the mail art archives for John's work, other correspondents and perhaps some of my own less embarrassing items.

Friday, October 31, 2014

In The Details

My step-daughter is moving into a new apartment downtown. Most apartment buildings here appear to be built in a week from MDF and plastic siding. This one is on High Street and dates from the 1940s. It's made of brick and the little architectural pleasures are in the details of pediment and tile work.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


Turning these...

Into these ...

And Mrs.B's comes out on top like every year.

Scary clown in honour of Twisty the scary clown in the latest American Horror Story.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Post Office Post

I had a bunch of over sized, extra postage required halloween cards to mail out today so, it being a beautiful fall day I thought I'd drive 20 miles to Smithfield to mail them in the Post Office there. Now there is a Post Office half a mile from my house but it's manned by the rudest surliest bunch of jobsworths it has ever been my misfortune to meet. For the last 3 years I've mailed Xmas packages there and paid through the nose for the pleasure of being insulted by an entire team of unmitigated assholes. So, rant over,  it seemed worth a shot to combine a little trip out with my mail run. 
Now when I got there they were closed for lunch but what the heck I went 4 doors down and got lunch myself. A crab cake BLT (hold the T) with home made potato chips. And when the Post Office and I had both eaten I went to mail my cards. The lady was  as nice as pie and I wasn't given the third degree by some ex military asshole who is suspicious as to why anyone might want to mail something outside the USA which isn't a military base and/or currently under US occupation. In and out in 2 minutes if I hadn't paused to admire their mural.

Captain John Smith Trading With the Indians was painted by one William Abbott Cheever in 1941 as part of Roosevelt's New Deal cultural improvent scheme, the Public Works of Art Project. The PWAP ran from 1934 to 1943 and produced thousands of public artworks across America. Post Offices in particular were singled out as the most commonly visited of public buildings. Interestingly to me the scene looked to be set on the shore of the James river below the site of Fort Boykin just outside of Smithfield a spot where Jr. and I photographed Tiger Beetles back in the spring.
A better image of the painting follows not from my phone.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Night Visitor

Now the evenings are finally cooling into the low 50s it's remarkably quiet outside. Best time of year to sleep, with the windows wide open. Until last night there were still various night bugs to be heard, mostly various crickets. As the weather cools then the frequency drops but last night...silence. But we were visited by:

Nemora bistriaria the Red Fringed Emerald. A pretty little moth I think.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Nerd Fest

Just returned from escorting Banished Jr to his first Comicon in Virginia Beach. He insisted on going dressed as Batman and he seemed to enjoy himself. He bought toys, he bought signed Adventure Time comic art and he even bought some comics. 
Now he's getting into comics it makes me regret having sold my collection back in the mid 1990s. Whole Neil Gaimen runs of Sandman, the entire Alan Moore Swamp Thing, Dark Knigh Returns. Watchmen, Frank Millers Daredevil run, Claremont/Byrne X-Men. To name but a handful. What a disastrous decision that was.
Raven, Cyborg and Robin 
Junior with Catwoman. Apologies for the picture but my Hipstamatic decided to go into random mode at that moment.