Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Sticking Points
The latest Skwigly feature is on a brilliant chap who I got to chat to recently as part of Project Group-Hug, Canadian animator/documentarian Jeff Chiba Stearns. The piece focuses on his short film Yellow Sticky Notes, an extreme-auteur production (it was animated entirely straight-ahead, using Post-Its) that went viral in 2008, as well as its follow-up Yellow Sticky Notes: Canadian Anijam which extended the same production approach to a mass collaboration with every exceptional Canadian animator under the sun - including the likes of Cordell Barker, Janet Perlman, Paul Driessen, Alison Snowden, David Fine and many more. Check out the interview (and watch the films) over on Skwigly.
While I'm a-blogging I want to mention that on Saturday February 7th I'll be exhibiting at my first indie comics fest in a good long while. The True Believers Comic Festival will take place in my old stomping grounds of Cheltenham at the Racecourse and will be open to the public from 11:30am. Please do swing by and say hello, I'll be predictably touting my graphic novel wares in a bid to shift some leftover stock. On sale will be House Guest: The Graphic Novel (with a free DVD of the film), Brain Spillage and of course multiple versions of my 2012 labour-o'-love Throat. I also want to mention that I will be selling the last handful of copies of my 2006 comic anthology That Isn't Funny, You Stupid Child. Once these are gone, they're gone for good (I'll be pulling the eBook editions too).
Not that anyone's asking but there are two main reasons - I'm not that crazy about the overall presentation of the book and, being nearly a decade old, I wouldn't say it's dated terrifically. I'm still proud of the stories in some regard and, at the time, I felt I was being terrifically witty in lampooning all sorts of social taboos and bigotries. It seemed back then that people were getting smarter and more attuned to the role satire can play in pointing out the ludicrousness of intolerance, but I've watched with increasing despair in subsequent years as it's all gone the other way instead. It's less 'political correctness gone mad' (possibly one of the most misused phrases in the English language) than Poe's Law run amok. More to the point - especially as I'm loathe to self-censor in light of recent events - I feel like I've since moved away from my outlook and artistic direction of that time. So if you fancy yourself a Ben Mitchell relic that may or may not serve as an appropriate blackmail tool (for the shite drawings more than anything else) down the line, this'd be your last opportunity to grab it.
Check out the festival as well as the other smashing guests and exhibitors over at - hopefully catch some of you there!

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