March 29, 2007
IMAGE THIEVES AT LARGE: BEWARE !
UPDATE April 19: I took the matter up with Yahoo and my photo has now been removed from the offending website. However that site is still operating their illegal business and apparently nothing has been done to prevent them continuing to rip off unsuspecting sites all over the net.
A casual look at my stats tonight made me curious about a Yahoo URL which was browsing my Paris photos. Lo and behold, a snap I took of a nude statue in the Jardin des Plantes in June 2005 is up for sale on Yahoo, part of the "photo album" of fashla2002 who, as far as I can tell, is ripping off every image they can copy from private and public sources, including museums, and blithely selling prints of them via Yahoo. Yes, the names of the artists or photographers are shown below the pictures, but no permission is sought or given for this blatant breach of copyright. I failed to find a way to contact the offender, unless I placed an order for my own photo (75p - is that all I'm worth? - plus post & delivery total £2.62) but I'll be damned if I give my credit card details to Mr. or Ms fashla. Yahoo is cagey about giving their own contact address so I finally filled in one of their Report Abuse forms and gave details. I got one of those automatic Yahoo responses saying they'll deal with it but not saying if they actually read what I complained about.
Now I'm wondering how many photos or graphics have been "borrowed" from my site without my knowledge and are being sold somewhere? Have you had this happen to you? If so, what if anything did you do about it? All you photographers and artists out there: unless you don't mind somebody including your work in their rip-off business, go after the thieves, name & shame them!
I'm still taken up with PR stuff for the forthcoming book launch so a bit more delay before I can get back to autobiographology.
March 23, 2007
COME AND SEE THE SLIDE SHOW
I've just posted The God Interview pages here and also on my blip.tv page . I was going to add a soundtrack but that made the file even bigger than it is so it's a silent movie. Any animated film makers out there want to do lunch with me?
All I seem to be doing these days is pushing this book. Apologies to those who are bored hearing about it but that's what happens when you join the race - not the rat race, as far as I know rats don't write/illustrate/publish books and if they did, no doubt they'd be best-sellers - but the Please-Notice-My-Newly-Published-Book race which has more runners than the marathon. Hang in there with me and I'll shortly, very shortly, return with more autobiography, the interesting stuff.
March 19, 2007
COMIX THING REPORT
It went well apart from too heavy baggage and too exorbitant taxis but I sold a lot of books and met a lot of good people and was pleasantly dazed after a good day amongst the comics. I was glad to see Paul Gravett who came by to say hello and I note that my book launch at the Cartoon Museum is now listed on the events page of his website.
All the photos I took were blurred but that fits perfectly with my impression of such events where I am always overhelmed by the abundance of material and information and unable to focus clearly on any of it. The bottom two pictures in this composite are of Lucie Pereira, the charming and hard-working representative of Lulu.com in the UK, with the American cartoonist/animator Eric Knisley whose stand I'll be sharing at another even bigger thing, the Comics International Exhibition in Bristol in May. Busy busy, where is all this busyness going? I just want to sit at home drawing and writing.
March 16, 2007
SHAGGY BLOG STORIES: and on the seventh day he rested
Whatever your opinion of charity fund-raising and associated celebrity shenanigans, the money will definitely help those less fortunate than ourselves and this particular project is as grass-roots as grass roots can be. Conceived and edited by Mike Atkinson ,100 funny blog-posts from UK bloggers were selected from all those who instantly responded to his invitation to participate (I'm in with my story about boots not made for walking, posted on December 5, 2004).
If anyone needs proof that collaboration between bloggers can happen and that a book can be created and published in seven days, here it is. The cover is by the prolific and ever-inventive Lucy Pepper of Blogzira fame.
Go and get it, now!
March 14, 2007
IT'S OFFICIAL: GOD LAUNCHES IN APRIL
and if you are in London at that time you are cordially invited to
on Thursday, April 12, 2007
6:30 - 8:30 pm
for the launch of The God Interviews
And this Saturday March 17 I have a stand at the
Queen's Building, Mile End Road, London E1 4NS
10am - 5pm
I'll be very happy to see you there, whoever you are.
March 13, 2007
VERY GOOD PLUS SLIGHTLY BAD NEWS OF THE DAY
Let's get the bad-ish out of the way first.
I am not on the Blooker Prize short list announced yesterday. The GivingAnOrderToTheUniverse technique is humbug bullshit and malarkey even though I did the visualisation and everything. I was so sure that The God Interviews would be on the short list that my acceptance speech was all ready, thanking everyone in the known and unknown universes. Am I dejected? No. Merely discomfited. What "comfited" means I do not know but in French confiture is jam, so what it means to me is that there is no jam on my bread. However I have the bread (not the money but the talent) so who cares? I'm even wishing good luck to those who are on the short list. That's the kind of magnanimously cool character I am.
And now for the good.
1. There's a wonderful review of The God Interviews in the SoMa Review (March 10) by the editor, John D. Spalding. SoMa stands for The Society of Mutual Autopsy (inspired by the Kierkegaard quote: "All faith is autopsy"), a review of religion and culture. This online publication is produced by and aimed at intelligent, eclectic, open-minded people and I'm chuffed (really really delighted) to be in it. Go and read the review and browse through their backlog of excellent articles.
2. I had a great weekend in Bath where I went for the graphic novel event on Saturday night: Paul Gravett, the UK's foremost historian and writer on comics, asking probing questions to Simone Lia, Bryan Talbot and Paul Wright. Fascinating to hear these three very different artists describe their way of working and ideas. Afterwards there was time to talk to Paul who is the most supportive person imaginable and who was enthused about Augustine from way back in the 1980s when she first appeared in the Augustine Adventures. I met Simone Lia, whose book Fluffy (don't be misled by the title: it's not a fluffy book) I had fallen in love with at first sight in its original Cabanon Press edition. It's a most unusual, deeply touching graphic novel, impossible to describe without actually handling the book because it has so many subtle layers beneath its apparently simple, innocent story and drawings. We found we had a lot in common and, what's more, Simone bought a copy of the Gd book and has emailed me so movingly about it I am speechless.
3. Another potentially brilliant news item may be in the offing as a result of the Bath trip but I'm not doing anymore universe-ordering. What will be will be. Inshallah.
4. An ideal venue in London to hold my book launch is available. Will announce when a date is fixed.
Bath is beautiful. A few years ago I thought about moving there but nothing came of it. One of its many attractions is that part of the city centre is for pedestrians only which makes walking so much more relaxed and enjoyable. Around the Abbey and the Roman baths there are always street musicians and performers, probably my favourite kind of public entertainment. This time I was entranced by a raggedy bunch of musicians passionately playing a mix of bluegrass and Irish jigs that made the staid old Georgian architecture rock right down to its foundations. The group, with their flying hippy hair and slept-in clothes call themselves the Huckleberries and their music Reelgrass. They had some of their CDs on sale and I bought one but listening to it back home was nothing like hearing them live, out in the open in the midst of crowds of Saturday afternoon shoppers and tourists. Some performers only come alive in such a setting and another one was the lone player respectfully accompanying Mozart and Bach on his xylophone as the light began to fade on the honey-coloured stones of Bath.
Here are some shots I took over this weekend, including one of my Van Gogh-ish top-floor room at the B&B in Bath.
SEND IN YOUR FUNNY BLOGS NOW
Mike, the sometimes Troubled Diva, has had a great idea for a bloggers creative collective contribution to Red Nose day.
It's all explained here so go and read the rules and if the shoe fits, send yours in before the deadline which is: 6pm Wednesday, March 14. I've already sent mine in.
See you later.
March 9, 2007
ERNESTO PRIEGO READS ME
The aptly named Never Neutral blog is known on several continents by connoisseurs of finely-tuned poetry, prose, photos, observations, critiques and lovingly selected links to music, comics and videos and I had the joy of a visit this week from Ernesto Priego, the never neutral blogger par excellence. There he is, reading Augustine's True Confession and drinking tea as we talk of many things. Sometimes, not often, you meet people for the first time who are familiar, in the sense of family rather than familiarity. I could see within the first few minutes of talking with him that Ernesto es mi hermano. As a matter of fact he looks not unlike my own brother, who is quite like my father, who was quite like... etc. etc. While I have no actual blood-links to Mexican or other Spanish-speaking culture, it feels more like home to me than almost anywhere else and being able to speak Spanish with Ernesto was an added bonus. He is a true, never neutral, appreciator, the kind that every creative artist hopes will one day discover their work. He has written a blush-making appreciation of his visit to me and of The God Interviews. If Ernesto is not yet on your blogroll, what are you waiting for?
For the interval, until the curtain goes up again on the next autobiographical act, I've made another video thingy which you can see either on my blip.tv page or below. I still haven't learned how to keep video image quality high without needing to post huge files but I'll get there eventually.
Self-portraits, accompanied by me (and Bryan Ferry) in The Way You Look Tonight.
March 6, 2007
Here's another soundscape, this one nostalgic for Paraguay and Mexico: my version of the famous Cucurrucucu Paloma with background sounds I built in Garage Band).
I've also put this sound clip on my page at blip.tv, in case you can't open it here.
March 2 and 3, 2007
FIRST, A COUPLE OF ANNOUNCEMENTS
Qarrtsiluni has a new theme this month: Ekphrasis which means " poetry in dialogue with visual art" and you are invited to submit words inspired by images which will be posted on the site, or images to inspire someone else's words. Three images by me are currently on view in the gallery .
Elsewhere, Nicolas MacDowall of the Old Stile Press has been creating some marvellous visual presentations for many of their books, among which is my version of the sombre and action-packed thriller known as the Apocalypse or, if you prefer, the Book of Revelation. I have no theory about what it all means but the language was inspirational and demanded strong imagery. It's up on this page of my artists books section, in advance of Nicolas posting it on the Old Stile Press blog, which you should be visiting regularly to keep pace with these indefatigable makers of beautiful books.