Month: January 2014

Yellow Zine #6 Kickstarter goodies are here!

I may or may not have written about illustrator and artist Roman Muradov on my blog before. Anyway I first came across his work last year, I can’t recall exactly where but since I am an avid New Yorker reader, I have seen his illustrations have come up time and time again in the magazine, rarely failing to delight and occasionally perplex. A gorgeous blend of Cubism with Kandinsky and some Miro thrown in, his work is visually a joy to behold. I shelled out some money to buy a print from him (‘9 Writers’) last year and when I came across his Kickstarter project, to fund his latest ‘zine, I jumped at the opportunity. I’ve never funded anything on Kickstarter before so it was an interesting experience. $25 US didn’t seem like a huge amount of money for some original doodles from one of my very favourite artists.

And now, finally, it’s here – a slim package mailed through my front door yesterday morning caught me off-guard. It was raining incessantly, so the envelope went into my backpack and was clumsily slit open by tremulous, excited fingers while I was esconced in a warm, dry cafe.

My Kickstarter goodies from Roman Muradov!

My Kickstarter goodies from Roman Muradov!

So there was at least one postcard, two cut-outs of original work (one in ink and the other a mere rough sketch in pencil), a whimsical graphic short story called “Fountains and Russian Men”, one of the more coherent (but still surreal) pieces from the mysterious Mr. Muradov. And there was a delightful booklet of illustrations based on Italo Calvino’s “If On A Winter’s Night A Traveller”, a book that I read many years ago and have since forgotten. Receiving this in the post has inspired me to re-read it, since I was just savouring Calvino’s “Difficult Loves” a few weeks back.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yellow Zine #6

Of course the centrepiece was “Yellow Zine issue 6” which was a collection of little stories, all drawn in his characteristically elegant, elliptical style. While one can often barely make sense of many of the stories, I don’t think making sense of them is really the point. I am just content to relish the artwork, seemingly simple flourishes but so incredibly difficult to do well.

Which brings me to the idea of Kickstarter, where one can find funds for printing a large consignment of books by taking pledges from the general public. It’s another way of fundraising on the web, except that I suspect one has to have some credibility and a fan base to start with to get the first 1000 dollars or so. This is another reason I will probably always self-finance my own publications… they are only small print runs and I can easily afford them, I don’t want the pressure of having to meet anyone’s expectations! However, they are a great idea for projects like these, and of course when you’re someone with a reputation, raising funds can be like shooting fish in a barrel, no? For those of us across the pond, a Kickstarter project like this was really the easiest way to get ahold of some original art.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If On A Winter’s Night A Traveller

There was also this lovely pamphlet with the artist’s illustrations based on the quirky chapter headings taken from the book. It has certainly inspired me to look into the book again, which will be a pleasure since I am a fan of Italo Calvino’s writings anyway.

Each page is stunning to behold, the compositions are gorgeous. This may well be one of my favourite pieces of art from this collection.

And last but not least, a little piece of original art, an ink drawing from the master himself. It’s a little too small to frame but will always be cherished! And yes, so true…. all one can do is just to try and make ‘decent things’ and learn not to be bitter.

Please go on making decent things, Mr. Muradov.

A little original ink drawing

A little original ink drawing

A new year and fresh opportunities on the horizon

Happy New Year to anyone who reads my blog! It has been a little while and so I might post some updates about my new book here. I’ve succeeded in stocking my books in Foyles – the Cabaret Voltaire II is on sale there for £6.50. If you happen to be in Foyles on Charing Cross Road, look in the graphic novels – Indie section on the ground floor by the information desk, you can find them under J, along with my older books. The books are also displayed in another indie comic shelf for better publicity. So far, I suspect it might take a review or two to shift the books, but we will see. I will be taking some of these books to Gosh Comics as well, so stay posted.

Anyway, while we’re on the topic of wordless graphic novels, there’s a new show touring NYC that looks very interesting.

Do check out the video preview!

I would most definitely go if I were in NYC. I don’t have any more details about the show but anything that showcases artists like Nuckel, Ward and Masereel can’t go far wrong in my books!

As far as stocking my books in the Far East, I have approached a Singaporean independent bookseller and am hoping we can work out a deal to stock my books there as well. It certainly can’t hurt to spread one’s wings… although none of my books have any particularly “Asian” flavour to them at all, which might confound people who pick up my book, expecting something a little different from an author with my name.

As for working on a new story for CV III, that’s still up in the air somewhere. While I have a couple of ideas brewing, I’d also like to see how well CV II does in sales before I embark on yet another project and fill my spare room with boxes of unsold books…