good news and… oh, bother

First, the good stuff! Morris the Mankiest Monster is Scholastic Book Club’s Book of the Week! (Which is rather spiffing of them as Scholastic don’t even publish it.) You can get it through them for the amazing price of £3.99.

And for my tea break, I’m bookmarking Matt Badham’s interview with Jim Campbell about the art of lettering in comics.

Now the not-so-good stuff. Recently my landscape sketches have been going rather poorly. I was getting up a bit later because Stuart had two weeks off work and wasn’t booting me out of bed at 6:30, so I didn’t do my early-morning dashes to Greenwich Park. Here’s a sketch I made on a cycle ride we took around the Thames Path. I rushed it quite badly because my fingers went numb with cold and I was feeling guilty because Stuart wouldn’t park himself in the nearby warm coffee shop and insisted on standing 20 feet away, reading the newspaper and freezing. Cycling is a great activity to do with someone else, but sketching’s a bit dodgy that way.

You can catch a glimpse of Java Wharf and loads of other places where we ride our bikes along the river in the boat chase sequence in the Bond film, The World is Not Enough. (Java Wharf appears at the 1:33 mark on this extended version clip.) In real life, it’s a dead end – the river doesn’t go through – but the film editors did this nifty trick of joining up all these unconnected waterways and making it look like one good, long stretch. Stuart had several friends working in the MI6 building at the time the film was being made, and they were specifically told not to stand out on the balconies to watch the filming. (But, of course, they all did anyway.)

The World is Not Enough boat chase scene YouTube link
(If you click on my Shad Thames tag, you can see a bunch of other posts from the area around Java Wharf. Here’s my made-up Spot-the-Wharf Game.)

Here’s a sketch I had to abandon this morning on top of One Tree Hill when the rain got too heavy. The raindrops kept causing my pencil to make unexpected dark marks or stop marking altogether, not much fun. I’ve ordered my electric eraser pen, I’m looking forward to seeing what I can do with that.

Right now there’s a film crew downstairs shooting a reconstruction of a violent rape in a police station and I’ve been warned not to do anything when I hear horrible screaming. Nothing as fun as a boat chase going on here. Sounds like another day for music and headphones.

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