I first came across the work of today’s Fri-llustrator, Jonathan Edwards in The Guardian’s Guide section, but he’s drawn for a wide roster of clients including Radio Times, Time Out, MAD, Mojo, The Big Issue and The Telegraph to name but a few. He’s one of those illustrators that I absolutely adore – OK, I’m biased ’cos he draws comics, but his design, colour palette and wonderful funky drawings give me a grin so big, both corners of my mouth join together.
Again, I had a real struggle picking images to illustrate this post, but I whittled it down to the three you see here. Top, is my composite of Mr. E’s character designs for Capital Crimes game, above is Alan Moore for Paranormal magazine and below, a wonderful illo of the mighty Serge Gainsbourg.
Check out the Jonathan Edwards website to see more illustrations plus comics and sketches. And there’s even a shop, if you feel like treating yourself.
Oh, dear – so much for being thinner this week… well, it was my 50th birthday, wasn’t it? I didn’t eat or drink much at all at my party, but we had my Canadian relatives staying with me in the week surrounding my big day, and we were having it large every night with them (we havn’t seen them for five years), plus there was Mrs K’s birthday meal at Pizza Express, which didn’t do me any favours. And that is why, gentle reader, I have gained a whopping four pounds this week!
However, I am now back on the bike and eating salads at work and like I said last Lardwatch, now the big five-oh is passed, it’s time to kill the flab. Good news next week, promise!!
Just over a week ago, I turned 50. I would’ve posted this on or nearer my birthday, but I suffer from such an acute case of time poverty, Sting is thinking of organising a benefit concert for me (‘Make Some Time For Steve K’ is the provisional title) – you see, once my special day had passed, the 50th Party Army assembled to create my birthday bash. Once that was over and the medics had treated the wounded (or hungover as you civilians say) I had one more mission to complete. Yes, Mrs K’s birthday. Being five days after mine, I had to make sure her birthday was special and not too overshadowed by my birthday extravaganza. Unfortunately, everything went a bit fubar, and it wasn’t quite the celebration for my lovely wife that I had planned. However, I am now nailed to the wall in the garage, wearing a hairshirt, occasionally thrashing myself with a thorn bush, which has given her some comfort. And that’s why I havn’t posted this until now – phew!
So, what did I get for my birthday? Everything, dahlinks, everything!! (*chink of Champagne glasses*) My brother-in-law bought me a mountain of comics/graphic novels, my mother-in-law bought me Beatles Rock Band and my boss Mat bought me the most bonkers Batman dressing gown that has to be seen to be believed. My other friends and relatives showered me with a whole slew of amazing presents and vouchers (including some extra special ones from the Apple Store – thank you, you know who you are) and nobody bought me any socks, hooray!! And of course, Mrs K landed a helicopter on the lawn groaning with golden goodies, of which I will still be thanking her for when I’m sixty.
My birthday itself was lovely, although I should’ve taken the day off, but it was great to spend it with my colleagues in the Virgin Money Studio. And in the afternoon everyone in Marketing gathered around me and presented me with a bottle of Champagne, a new Apple Magic Mouse and a brilliant birthday card created by Big Paul. At night, back at Kirkendall Towers, we ate Toad-In-The-Hole accompanied by industrial quantities of Rioja with Dave and Gill, my Vancouver-based Aunt and Uncle who had come all the way over to Blighty for my 50th birthday party.
Ah yes, the party! It was one of the most raviest of rave ups I have ever been to – I was so touched because people had made the effort to come from far and wide to be there and it was great to see them all. Especially some of the Boston, Lincolnshire contingent, who had driven west to Telford, Shropshire for a funeral that afternoon, before heading all the way back east to Norwich for my party in the evening – amazing! And what an evening – everyone feasted on the fab food from Clive, danced to Barry T on the decks and got sloshed at the bring-your-own-booze bar. I think though, it’s fair to say that the highlight of the evening was the short set played by the best band in Virgin Money’s Marketing department, The Marketing-Tings (or Marketing-Ting-Tings, depending on who you were talking to) of whom I am the bass player. And the highlight for me was when my ten-year-old Number One Son joined us on stage for a rip-roaring verson of ‘500 Miles’ – he played beautifully, singing away, lost in the music. Andy, his guitar teacher was there and he said he’d played a blinder. Magic.
So how does it feel to finally leave any pretence of youth behind? OK, actually. I’m busier now than I have ever been (hence the time poverty) with lots of plans for the future. There are musical instruments to be mastered, programming languages to be learnt, drawings to be drawn, comics to be read and lots of fun to be had. And I’ll let you know how I get on with all of that right here, dear reader.
Also discovered via @glinner (and no, I’m not stalking him) is Pathetic Geek Stories, web comics created by Maria Schneider. Ms Schneider illustrates stories sent to her by er, geeks, usually about some incredibly humiliating experience. The stories are in turn painful, cringe-making and very funny. And the drawings are brilliant.
Amazon sent me an email a while ago, telling me that I might like to pre-order the hardback collector’s edition of Mark Millar and John Romita Jr’s Kick-Ass. Being blissfully ignorant of this strip, I didn’t think much about it – until this weekend when I came across the red band Kick-Ass trailer via @glinner. Even if you don’t like superheroes, you’re going to love this!
Great news – I’ve lost two pounds. A bit of exercise (power-sliding about in the snow), a little less to eat (no chocolate) with no booze means I have a nice little start to my serious attempt to sort my weight out this year. And once the snow is gone and my 50th birthday this Thursday (along with the accompanying knees up next weekend) is over, I can get down to some proper exercise to kill all of this lardage I’m carrying.
Even though snow covers fair Albion, choking roads, closing schools and turning the UK into the third Pole, I can, through the magic of the interweb, transport you to Brighton where we will crunch up to the studio door of the first Fri-llustrator of the new decade, Mr Allan Saunders. As you can see from the illustration above (’Superheroes’, a personal project), this is a man after my own heart.
I absolutely love his illustrations as do people like The Guardian, The New York Times and Time Out. Why not thaw yourself out by having a chuckle at his fab gear at Loopland, his online home which features sketches, prints, animations and illustrations (including rejected versions of illo’s like ’Bad Breath’ below).
So, how have the Christmas holidays affected my weight? If I tell you that there is now a faint booming sound (à la Jurassic Park) everytime time I take a step, that I need a small crane to lift me out of of bed and that all of my clothes are as tight as a drum skin, that should give you some idea of how much weight I’ve gained over Christmas. To put it bluntly, I have gained a whopping five pounds! As Daffy Duck would say “…of course, you know this means war…” As soon as my upcoming 50th birthday bash on January 16th (and Mrs K’s birthday meal three days later) is over, I am seriously going on a diet, with lashings of exercise. As you’ve probably gathered, time and motivation weren’t with me last year, and even though I don’t mind being a pound or two overweight, I can’t let this slide any further.
Happy new year, dear readers! Well, here I am, back in the saddle, completely relaxed and recharged after one of the best Christmases I have ever had. 2009 was a really busy year, both at work and at home. Number One Son and The Daughter now attend more clubs, parties, sleepovers and concerts than any celebrity or member of the Royal Family I can think of. And Mrs K and I have been ferrying them around like a crazed tag taxi team while trying to fit in our own hobbies (cleaning, walking the dog, breathing) so the last six working days of eating, drinking and watching the telly have been bliss.
Accompanied by my brother-in-law, the guest of Christmas present, we kicked things off on Christmas Eve with a fabulous curry at Shapla, before returning home to investigate the digestive/sleep enhancing properties of different liqueurs. They worked very well as we went to bed very relaxed and sleepy. On Christmas morning, we started a marathon two and a half hour present opening session (no kidding, we actually broke for coffee twice), after which we brunched with bucks fizz. While the younger members of the party played with their new gifts, the grown ups were busy starting the preparations for our Christmas dinner (Mrs K cooked, I opened several bottles of wine). We had beef wellington this year, which was a bit more traditional than the mexican food we ate last year (but Mrs K did look nice in her sombrero). The rest of the holidays floated by in a dream while lazing about, watching TV and more experimentation with liqueurs. We went to a fabulous new years eve party over at our neighbours, where I single-handedly ate half of the buffet before coming home to Marmite on toast. On new years day we cried as David Tennant said his goodbyes as the Tenth Doctor, but welcomed Matt Smith, who looks to be a fantastic replacement. Yesterday we went to the pantomime at the Theatre Royal, Norwich, to see ‘Robin Hood’. As usual, we laughed and sang (oh yes we did!) and were in good company as we noticed lots of our friends from our village in the audience too.
And if you’re wondering what all of this lazing around, eating and drinking has done to my weight… read tomorrow’s Lardwatch!
A designer at Virgin Money, Steve Kirkendall does lots of luvverly creative stuff, when he’s not doing amends. This site is about graphic design, illustration, comics, animation and web design. But mainly, it’s about Steve Kirkendall.
If you want to say "Hi" mail him at:– steve at kirkendall dot co dot uk.