Friday, 21 July 2017

Puritan Streak

I sometimes think I’ve got a bit of a Puritan streak, but not like this:

Friday, 12 May 2017

Bosky Kids

And, don’t forget, we’re open for another weekend of Open Studios this weekend at Piccadilly Mill West and all round the Stroud Valleys.  We’re open both days from 11 to 6. (Full brochure here). So pop in, and maybe you’ll get to find out what these people are talking about:

Monday, 1 May 2017

Open Studios, A Book Review and a Bit of Talking

The Site Festival’s yearly Open Studios is taking place over the next two weekends  (6-7th and 13-14th May, 11-6pm) in the Stroud Valleys, and I will have my studio open at Piccadilly Mill West.  I’ll be showing this sort of work:

as well as having cards and copies of The Life and Times of Algernon Swift for sale. (The brochure has full details of all 102 artists exhibiting.)
Here’s a lovely review of Algernon Swift from the Big Issue (all the better, somehow, for being written by a loather of puns!)

In other news, Miserable Malcolm will be down in Bristol on Saturday 13th May, as part of this new cabaret night (also featuring a man "smashing some crockery on his rockery"):
Image may contain: 4 people, text
And finally, here I am reading a bit of Algernon Swift at the Resound Festival Audio Lounge the other week:

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Algernon Swift at Bristol Waterstones

Thank you to everyone who came to the event for Algernon Swift on Friday at Waterstones in Bristol Galleries.  It was a really lovely event made special by the excellent performers, poet Melanie Branton, song and dance man John Mead, and Angie Belcher’s teenage alter-ego, Odious Vex. Here are some photos of the fun we had (only spoiled for a moment by the unexpected appearance of Miserable Malcolm). I particularly enjoyed reading aloud from The Life and Times of Algernon Swift, and eliciting some groans for the puns. Thanks too to Nick Lovell and Clive Oseman for reading at the Open Mic’ and to Edouard at Waterstones for hosting it!

Melanie Branton
Melanie Branton performed some of her excellent poetry, including the romantic possibilities of dating parts of speech and a very disturbing episode of Midsomer Murders.

Unusually for a poetry event, we had some song and dance from the wonderful John Mead of the Unravelled Commedia Company.  If you'd like to find out more about this sort of thing (and what's going on here) please visit their FaceBook page.

Song and dance man, John Mead

Unfortunately there was also an unwelcome interruption from Miserable Malcolm, who didn't seem entirely positive about Bill's book.

Open Mic'ers Clive Oseman and Nick Lovell (who run Swindon's wonderfully named "Ooh Beehive!" night):

After which, Angie Belcher's teenage alter-ego Odious Vex set us all straight with poems like Drugs are Bad (including Legal Highs), War is Bad and I Love Lucy.

And here I am reading (and gesturing) from The Life and Times of Algernon Swift:

Big thanks to Jodie Marks for the pictures!

Next stop for Algernon Swift: I will be reading a 15 minute passage from the book for a broadcast for the Resound Festival in Stroud next Saturday (15th April) in the Line Gallery at Stroud Valleys Artspace. This starts at 2.15 and will take about half-an-hour. If you’d like to be part of the small audience, please drop me a line.

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Hopeless, Maine, Bookshop Events, Radio and Lighthouse Keepers

This week I was a guest on the Hopeless, Vendetta, a blog off-shoot of Tom and Nimue Brown’s Gothic manga extravaganza, Hopeless, Maine, recently published by Sloth Comics.
Here is the cartoon I drew for it, featuring (as usual) two lost souls going nowhere.

Thanks to all who came to the book launch for TheLife and Times of Algernon Swift at the Arnolfini Bookshop on 16th April.  Here is a picture of me signing books among cards and artists.

Photo by Ferdie Keeling

The day after, I went on BBC Radio Bristol and talked with Richard Lewis about all things pun-related and what I was doing when I was a one-year-old. Here’s a link on BBC iPlayer (available until 15th April). The interview starts 1 hour 35 minutes in.
The next Algernon Swift  event is in Bristol this Friday (7th April) at Waterstones in the Galleries.  It’s a free event and starts at 7pm. Here is a link with some more information.

As well as me reading excerpts from the book (and describing the drawings) this will feature poetry from two of my favourite poets, Angie Belcher and Melanie Branton, and old fashioned song and dance (with a topical slant) from the excellent  John Mead (who I recently encountered at the Lansdown Cabaret in Bristol).  There may also be some mystery guests, plus an Open Mic’, so it promises to be a very entertaining evening.

And lastly, here is a podcast of me chewing the fat with Jo Leahy, Jonny Fluffypunk and Jessie James, talking about lighthouse-keepers and their problems mostly, as part of the new Resound Festival starting in Stroud this April. There is a host of excellent podcasts already gathering on their homepage here.

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Goodbye Yellow Brick Submarine

And don’t forget, the launch for my book The Life and Times of Algernon Swift is this Thursday (16 March) at the Arnolfini Bookshop in Bristol between 6 and 8pm. Please come along if you’re in the area!

Friday, 3 March 2017

Algernon Swift events in Bristol and Gloucestershire

Many thanks to everyone who came to my book signings of The Life and Times of Algernon Swift in Stroud Bookshop and The Suffolk Anthology Bookshop in Cheltenham.

Here are some more dates where I’ll be signing (and one for Miserable Malcolm, where I’ll just be sighing):

Saturday 4th March: Museum in the Park, Stroud. 
I’ll be at the Illustrator’s Fair (part of the Cheltenham Illustration Awards Show) along with other locally based illustrators including Hannah Shaw, Martha Lightfoot, Tom and Nimue Brown, Emma Evans and Helen Ambler. The event runs from 11am to 4pm.

Thursday 16th March: Arnolfini Bookshop, Bristol, 6-8pm. 
A Bristol launch for Algernon Swift, in the excellent Arnolfini Bookshop.
The Arnolfini Bookshop stocked my first hand-bound book of puns 16 years ago

and have stocked my Hawker’s Pot cards over the years, so it’s really lovely to have the Bristol launch for Algernon Swift at the bookshop.
I’ll be giving a reading from the book at this event.

For old times’ sake, here’s a joke from that first book which found its way (in a slightly different version) into Algernon Swift:

However, if everything is looking rosy, the bad news is that Miserable Malcolm makes his unwelcome return on

Saturday 18th March:
at Tetbury Goods Shed as part of “Love is in the Air”, an event to launch the newly refurbished Goods Shed, and featuring Sue Limb, Betsy Vriend, Peter Wyton, Nicola Clark and Malcolm 7pm £11
Details here.

Friday 7th April,
Waterstones, Bristol Galleries 7.00pm
I’ll be reading excerpts from Algernon Swift, alongside a roster of fine local poets. Further details here

Thursday 20th April,
Stroud Valleys Artspace, Stroud, 8pm. 
[Unfortunately, this event has now been cancelled.]

Meanwhile, for those who resolutely don’t live in Gloucestershire or Bristol (or, indeed, do, but would rather just stay at home) I am working on a podcast of the book, which is slowly taking shape.
This will be a series of 5 minute podcasts, and is essentially an audio version of a graphic novel (which seems straightforward enough, doesn’t it?) I will be posting links as soon as the podcasts are available.

And, lastly, here’s a lovely review of the book from this month’s Cotswold Life:

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

John Keats gets Stuck and the Suffolk Anthology Birthday Party

Meanwhile, Algernon, Reverend Hawker and Mavis have something to tell you:

I will be signing copies of The Life and Times of Algernon Swift at The Suffolk Anthology bookshop in Cheltenham on Saturday, 25th February, as part of its 2nd Birthday celebrations. There will also be free tea and coffee in case Algernon’s wit is too dry.

The Suffolk Anthology is at 17 Suffolk Parade, Cheltenham, GL50 2AE (and adjacent to the wonderfully-named Daffodil Street!) Hopefully see you there! 

Monday, 13 February 2017

Flowers, chocolates, puns ...

... are all anyone wants on Valentine’s Day.  

And the best thing about giving a book of puns (as Algernon says) is that if you can’t give it to your beloved, you can always give it to your shelf.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

The Life and Times of Algernon Swift is out today!

and, as you can see, Mavis and the Reverend Hawker have already got their copies.

As well as being an ordinary sensible sort of book that can be seen around town in a jacket, and which, when it takes its rest, does so under the covers, The Life and Times of Algernon Swift is also available as an e-book for one’s Kindle.

Hard as it is to imagine anyone as stalwartly stuck-in-the-mud, as retrospectively-fixated as Algernon engaging with the tidal wash of digital media, here he can be seen struggling to keep up to date with the technology:

Continuing this unwonted technological excursion, here I am (via BBC iplayer) talking to BBC Radio Gloucestershire’s Nicky Price about the book, and also choosing some records and being unnecessarily pedantic about The Clash.
(3 weeks remaining to listen)
while here I am giving a brief introduction to the book on Head of Zeus’s YouTube channel (with some dancing girls in the background).

I’ll be also signing copies at Stroud Booskhop on 11th February from 11am, and at the Suffolk Anthology Bookshop in Cheltenham on 25th February, also from 11am.