Fence's Flamin' Hott Loggz Poster

Fence's Flamin' Hott Loggz Poster

Again I am delighted to have been allowed to help out the Fence Collective with another poster design. This time it's for a Guy Fawkes shindig up at their Anstruther HQ. Johnny 'Pictish Trail' Lynch asked if I could come up with something suitably silly to illustrate his 'Gunpowder, Treason and… Plop' Bonfire Night theme.

My time was quite tight but, thankfully, the brief kinda suited something being a little rough around the edges. Taking a cue from my What I Wore Today drawings, I cranked out this pair of beardy fellows and a titular hott-logg and things just came together. This is actually my first ever fully hand-drawn poster design, which took me a little by surprise. The colouring was added digitally but apart from that, it's all pens and paper. Getting text to sit well with my drawings is something I've always struggled with.

As with all Fence events, I wholeheartedly recommend you get your arse along to the Hott Loggz party if at all possible. Fence Records consistently put out some of Scotland's finest music and their live gigs are a joy to witness. Recently I've caught a little sneak-listen to some upcoming releases and, honestly, if you follow what they do, you're in for a treat. Here are the details:

Fence's Flamin' Hott Loggz
An all-day (2pm - 1am) event of music & excitement
Saturday, 5th November
Anstruther, Fife, Scotland
Featuring a yet-to-be-announced line-up of Fence Collective members + friends.

Tickets are available here.

I'm gonna try my best to head up for the show. Despite the promise of a bonfire, a Scottish seaside in November will be damn cold, so wrap up warm.

Stoppit & Tidyup Character Design


Stoppit and Tidyup is a cartoon I remember fondly from my childhood. Created by Charles Mills and Terry Brain, the guys behind one of my all time favourites - Trapdoor, S&T was a short-lived series that followed the lives of the weird and wonderful inhabitants of Do As You're Told. It ran in 1988 for 13 episodes on the BBC.

I didn't love Stoppit and Tidyup the way I loved Trapdoor or Portland Bill or Mysterious Cities of Gold, but it definitely had something that kept it with me. The introduction used to fire up my imagination - the weird music, the Terry Wogan narration and, most of all, the seemingly endless (to a 5 year old) parade of fascinating characters just made me want to grab a pencil and paper and draw some monsters.

The characters, that was it. I couldn't get over how cool they looked. At that age, I knew a little about how animation worked and understood that they were drawings that someone had sat down and thought up. How could someone draw something so good? They were perfect to a little kid like me. Clean Your Teeth's teeth were so white. Hurry Up was so fast. As for I Said No, well, he was just the biggest thing in the whole wide world. I loved him the most - the way he completely filled the screen and looked so utterly pissed off all the time. You can check out all the characters in the intro to this episode:

As an adult, rediscovering the show through a YouTube nostalgia trip (best thing about an Apple TV btw - can't beat watching Raggy Dolls on the big telly), I've got a new appreciation of the brilliantly inventive character design in Stoppit & Tidyup. So many great monster ideas. The stressed-out Take Care is great - forever flapping his tiny wings to stay in the air, the aforementioned Clean Your Teeth too - all swaggering by like he's the man.

The best, though (and by best I mean creepiest), is Go And Play, who I've posted above. My new favourite. A silent man-child of a thing dressed in tiny white shorts (pants?) and carrying a toy-train. He skips everywhere, his too-adult looking legs move him around slow motion, his dead eyes and blank expression make it seem like, for a guy called Go And Play, he doesn't much care about having fun or, well, anything at all. He's all spaced out and weird. I love him.

I tidied up a screen grab of Go And Play to illustrate this post. If doing so is against a copyright rule of some kind, I'll happily take it down. The idea and original drawings belong to the creators and I only use it out of love and respect for a great bit of character design. It makes me want to draw monsters again.

The List Student Guide

If you're a student, and in particular, a student in Scotland, keep your eyes out for the new Student Guide magazine by The List. They should be around in all sorts of campuses (campi?), unions and other student-friendly places. I was asked to provide a few drawings for the issue, including that fella above.

I've not actually seen a copy myself but I've heard reports that it's out there now. Inside is all sorts of useful information about student life and stuff to do in Scotland (wear a kilt, play bagpipes, smoke heroin etc). I think it's free but don't quote me on that. Check before you stuff it in your bag and end up in the jail.

I now have an updated page showing both character illustrations.

Oh no, I played some computer games!

I've been playing a couple of my favourite games again recently and thought I'd give them mad props. They're not totally rare or anything but as far as computer games go they're pretty much the tastiest dishes by the best chefs and served by the politest waiters. If you've not done nothing but shooting or racing for a while then get your grubby mits on these.

Shadow of the Colossus was out last year maybe. It's a sad, stripped down, silent affairthat'll blow you away. It's the gaming equivalent of the elephant at the zoo being put to sleep because it's too old and it's for the best.

I'm not gonna start a gaming blog here so I wont go into mad detail but damn, just buy the thing. The character design is some of the best I've ever seen and it's got more atmosphere and depth in its slight story than any corny RPG epic.


ICO, made by the same folk a few years back is a related game and maybe my favourite ever. Again, it's all vague and atmospheric and seems to come from a very different place from every other game cutting about.

You play a boy who escapes from being left as a sacrifice in a massive castle and all you've got to do is find a way out. Along the way you meet a girl and pretty much just move from puzzle to puzzle trying to keep her safe. It's ruddy-bloody brilliant.

Both games are out on PS2 and ICO is even a re-release that you can get for like £20. Get the nice box for Shadow of the Colossus with the postcards and such. You can get the first edition of ICO on ebay maybe but it's cost you a pretty penny.