Don't Be Late For The Poster Parade

Ok Hondo, here's a new poster I've just finished for the lovely boys/Belfast based - Omagh bred band Colenso Parade. Check out the new single on their myspace and 'ave a bluddy dance;

The Best Laid Plans of Mark Albert Fowler and Stephen Maurice Graham

Mark Fowler leaned over the expletive scored table to whisper in my ear, his leather jacket lightly pressed against and tipped his half full pint glass on its edge as he talked, I couldn't take my eyes off it, worried it might fall at any second and ruin our peanuts. We'd already had a bit of hassle from Peggy Mitchell this afternoon for splashing our pish all over the Queen Vics toilets in the frivolous way only drunks can muster.

"It's foolproof innit?" He gushed down my lughole, at which point I snap out of my pint pot piss reverie and looked him dead on in the eye, tuning back into the world around me.

"But you're dead" I said, searching his eyes for a soullessness, something inhuman, but he seems at this point very tangible. "You've been dead for years, Pauline was so worried when you left, it destroyed her - she eventually became a caricature of herself."

Mark ignored me and popped a peanut in his mouth, crunching it round his mouth, savouring the spicy prawn flavour. I had to admit they were pretty good, each time I had one I fell deeper into a surreal fug trance that rattled my head and left my stomach a scorched desert which could only be tempered with more of these pints of alcoholic Orangina. The more I had the more sense Mark was making. I watched his tongue flicker over his wonderful grin, it was very rare to see him this happy and I was glad for him. At one point he took off his mole and let me try it on.

"Keep it mate! Suits ya!" He blared into his pint before sinking the citrus dregs.

"It does look good, but I can't take this from you Mark, it'd be like stealing your indentity." and then popping it back on his cheek delicately, I said sincerely; "It really adds a European balance to your face - without it you'd no longer be the Serge Gainsbourg of the East-end." He looked up and gave me his trademark doe eyes and sad-smile-that-says-it-all and I felt that we had achieved a closeness not felt since last we shared a peanut all those hours ago.

"I'm serious Steve, this plan, it's foolproof." He grew dark, his eyebrows knitting in huge semi circles around his watery pin light eyes. "We loan ten grand from Phil Mitchell, reinvest it in a business of our choosing, perhaps a..."

"Cake shop" We both said simultaneously. Yeah, this plan was getting good.

"Yes mate, a cake shop is perfect." He continued "We set up and run the cake shop ourselves with Phils money, but we don't pay him back, we just tell him to fuck off" I was elated, I'd never heard Mark swear before and it made the plan seem daring rather than foolhardy.

"Won't Phil beat us up for stealing his money?" I said, before popping another prawn peanut in my gob.

"Nah, he's a pussy now without Grant to help him out, we can take him."

"Yeah I guh hess houuurrr aiiiiight" I slurred. My jaw was melting off again, couldn't chew these damned nuts, I was on my way out.

At that moment the doors of the Queen Vic flickered open like an eye lid and before us stood Mr Puffy-jacket-puffy-face himself, Phil Mitchell. Time was beginning to condense. Everything that Mark had said seemed to have already come into being. We had made a cropper of Phil Mitchell. Blimey.

"You've bleedin' ripped me orf" He growled at Mark. He cast a withering glance at me holding the foam of my jaw in my lap before slowly working his disparaging gaze back to Mark who still seemed buoyant despite this turn of events.

"What're you gunna do Phil? Go to the Police? Beat us up? You're pathetic." Mark was standing now, right up in Phil's podgy idiot face. "You. Can't. Do. A. Thing." with each word he prodded Phil harder and harder in the chest. As he glared at Mark his face went a deep shade of pink, he looked like a prawn who'd dressed up to go to a Right Said Fred concert.

With the last prod Phil bubbled over and exploded in Marks face.

"OH YEAH?! Listen Fowler - If you and your fizzy mate there think you've got the best of me you're dead wrong. I know your game, a bleedin' cake shop?" He laughed a grave chuckle and wiped the tip of his nose with his thumb. "If you fink that you'll use my cash for a cake shop round here you're seriously mistaken mate. You know what they say about cake shop tables don't yah?"

"What's that?" Mark spat, in an effort to seem composed.

"You saw off one leg, then another, and then maybe another and the laws of physics bring the table crashing down ruining all the cakes on top."

It was a laboured, bewildering threat to be honest, but effective, Mark was now ashen with fear. The cake shop dream was scuppered. Mark looked to me for support but I was losing my grip on this reality due to the slow sound of drums which began to pummel the scene, making everything resonate. Phil turned to look at me now, followed by Peggy at the bar and then the rest of the patrons swivelled round in their chairs. Even the bust of Queen Victoria turned to stare as my form turned to foam jelly.

"Gut Booer Gheaddd" I said to Mark before half of my head slid into the ashtray and everything went black.

Killer Prawns and Hot Vimto

I love prawns, slimy little curly wurlys with their souless coal eye pocks and knobbly white innards that put up a meek, juddery janky resistance when biten into. I must've eaten scores of them over the years, in curries or stir-fry or sandwiches. I've pushed it too far though, yesterday I had a thai prawn sandwich, and have felt ill ever since.

I've spent the last 19 hours in bed, the illness being the main reason, but closely followed by a maddening descent into despair over my masticatory future with the humble prawn. Is this it for us? I don't know if I can face a life without shellfish.

To distract myself I've been thinking of my pal Simon S Misra and how we used to laugh and joke about prawns together. I'm not even pissing you here, we really did, but I can't remember any of the jokes since we were probably drunk. I'm going to post an old story I wrote about our time together and hopefully it will illustrate to you the wonderful, gentle, ruddy funny nature of Mr Misra and take us all away from thinking about sickness and prawns..

Vimto Afternoon

I get on my bike and free cycle down the hill through Paletine and then onto the dual carridgeway into city centre where I always go past this bit which is blocked off to cars but bikes can go down and on a sunny day you'd swear you were in L.A, or at least the parts of L.A which you see in movies or sitcom stock footage seques with its spagetti junctions and billboards and the like, and for one very brief instant you could forget where you really were.

Today though, its raining again, the drops feel like tiny barbs on my gloveless hands, my knuckles tiny white lslands surrounded by a sea of angry red and frosted pink. I pop one hand, Napoleon like, into my coat making a mental note not to do this when cylcing through the estate in Hulme as i'm liable to make some poor soul thnk they're about to get shot.

There's no rush on to meet Leonard, he already texted before leaving that he was going to be late so I take my time, peddling slow and sloshing through dishwater puddles.

Eventually buildings hove their way into view through the thick grey grease fog and suddenly i'm at the bar without even really thinking about where I was headed.

Pulling at the wisps of his thick black beard, giving his best faux mournful look to the outside world, Leonard is sat at the bar nursing a barely touched pint, although to be honest it's likely to be his second.

I slosh my way over and he turns to look for the source of the squeaking sound my trainers are making on the pockmarked marble floor.

"Hot date with poseidon?" he heckles as I near, great white teeth snaking out between the strands of Wile. e. Coyote beard.

"I may not look it but I'm gasping for a drink" then getting the attention of the barmaid I order a matching pint.

Leonard puffs his cheeks together and pops his eyes wide following the girl the length of the bar till she starts pouring the Stella. He slowly turns his pufferfish gaze back onto me and then exhales a cool jet of air in my face. He must fancy her.

"I've been trying to make moves with her for a while now. Shes quite fit."

I've seen her about here before too and when you look at her properly, she is beautiful, her hair is dyed deep cherry red, pulled proudly back revealing very charming sticky out ears and perfectly khoaled eyes. You have to catch her when she's scowling though or else the effect of placing your hopes and desires upon her isn't quite so devastating.

"I tried to do the same a few weeks back' I say, turning my gaze back to Leonard finding him still tugging on his hair. "I couldn't think of anything else so I just talked to her about the flowers"

Looking unimpressed Leonard pointed to the now empty blue vases set amongst the debris of the bar which usually contained a fresh bouquet. I nodded ruefully as his face lit up with his galactic smile. As the barmaid did another lap he quickly caught her attention;

"''Scuse us, me and my mate were wondering, whatever happened to them flowers from the other week then?"

Simon has his own new blog here

ISSUE #1 - Part One: Dedicated to people of Rutherglen

I've just noticed that I'm big in Rutherglen, just outside Glasgow, gettin' a lorra views from there. I don't even know anyone in Rutherglen but I'm sure it's full of lovely, sexy and vital folks.

Well done Rutherglen, I'm going to come over there to live and as I walk down the street you can shake my hand and say 'Great blog Steve!' then pull me close before chanting 'I always knew you could do it Steve' and then later 'This is your baby, aren't you even going to acknowledge your own child? Look at me, LOOK AT ME'.

Also today is the day that 400 Facts marks its debut on these pages, without further ado lets get stuck in.




Tomorrow, Sunday 21st March is the Black Books market hosted by the lovely folks at Trans in the beatific Black Box and I'm going to be down there selling comics and pumping my fist at all customers who purchase one, also I'm hoping to have a limited run of postcards with a few of my prints on it and maybe posters too if I can get that sorted in the next few hours - whups!

Anyways, c'mon down have a pint or a coffee and a bun - there'll probably be vids on zine making in the main cafe and in the main hall all the book sellers will be chillin' with their leather bound copies of Fitzgerald and Trollop. It'll be wheaker pal.

Facebook group here


Here's a comic I made in work, its a stream of consciousness draw stream of puerile nonsense but read it up anyway for your tea. A funny thing just happened, I turned to my housemate "Rodin Gaugin" and asked him what I should title the blog and he replied "BLOGPUSS" to which I splurted with punning excitement "Brillo!".

Turns out he had just misheard me say 'Blogspot' and was repeating what he thought I'd said. We're now discussing how to write this in the blog itself and its all getting a bit existential. Bye!

Don't Cry For Me Ballymena

Tonight, after sitting out my window ledge balcony thing with a smoke and a glass of vino, I looked to the stars and was struck by their radiant incandescent beauty which immediately made my thoughts turn to the plight of Cheryl Cole and just a tiny bit about poor wee starving orphans in places like Darfur. Here is a pie chart to illustrate:

Soon after a drunk homeless man called me a cunt and threw a pen at me and I scarpered back in a little the worse for wear. He was right though - my ethos is all wrong these days, my priorities back to front. I took his pen and wrote myself a new mantra and also made a note on a post-it to remind myself to get my old mantra lasered off ASAP.

Dearest reader, although these incidents seem completely irrelevant to what I'm about to say they both helped usher in the new eon of 400 Facts PLC - the comic is going to be made free on this-a-here blog. Just for you.

To those of you who have bought a copy, please get in touch with angry emails and I shall offer you a special prize for having bought an ish that no one else will get. The first issue will still be for sale and the second issue will also be collated into a hard copy once its done but it will simultaneously be available online fer free like. A new page of the comic will be posted every Tuesday so you'll have to be spry, eagle eyed and piquant of mind in order to follow along.

This way I think I'll be fully realising the potential of both the blog and the comic. Now if you'll excuse me I have to go practice my mantra before work tomorrow..

The Pedant

And again with the potentially litigious comics. I gotta go do proper drawing stuff now..see ya champ!

A Wrist Led Development

Changing the format up again this week, read it and weep.

(Once you've clicked this image, if you need to make it bigger hold down Ctrl and press the '+' key or use your mousewheel - but then you're not an idiot you already know that)

Smoke gets in your pies

It's been a dreadfully quiet week, I've stayed in, drawn a few things and ate a really nice Pieminster pie which I found when I took myself out for a late night cycle trip to Forrestside. Upon getting home, I slobbered it up with mushy peas, brown sauce and a cold tinny, probably burping as I went, which provided my weekly dosage of overtly masculine behaviour - I then retired to the living room, put my feet up and patted myself on the crotch and told myself I was a good lad.

The fact that I haven't gone out anywhere socially in the past few days has had a weird repercussion in other, usually more innocuous areas of life which I've tried to spice up in lieu of hanging out with friends. I went out for a burrito tonight (this week is evidently rich food treat week) and as I was ordering found myself repeatedly asking the girl serving me a lot of inane questions.

The conversation faltered repeatedly when she insisted that we stop having it and suggested that I order something instead. "What kind of beans are those?" I said languidly, in my best Masterchef drawl, my tone suggesting that I knew exactly what they were, but didn't quite understand what that specific type of bean was doing in amongst the sweetcorns, guacamole's and salsas, as if their presence was an offence to my attuned bean sensors.

I don't think she picked up on my clever, suggestive, conversational nuances as she just replied simply; 'Pinto'. She didn't even say it with an accent, just her normal Belfast cadence. I know if I worked there I'd put a bit of pizzazz into the word and maybe follow it up with some kind of wicked cool hand gesture. I just nodded sagely before moving on to proffer my opinion on differing salsa strengths ("Y'know baby, medium isn't medium anymore, it's more like mild, and strong is too strong - don't even get me started on people who go for mild its not a sauce it's barely even a flavour more gas than liquid y'get me love?") which she looked vaguely depressed by as at this point I still hadn't ordered anything, and quickly after she looked like she was choking back tears. It may have just been the mild salsa gas getting in her eyes or she may have realised that she was wasting her life talking to condiment pedants like me.



Changing up the pace of the blog this week with a short story. What's that? No! Of course plenty of interesting things have been happening in my life this week, it's a constant fucking rollercoaster man!



Barry Purt stirred violently from a rich slumber. ‘BOOF’ went his head on the angled attic ceiling as he shot up poker straight from his bed. Minutes later as he woozily stuttered down the staircase he could still feel the reverb from the knock whizzing around his teeth and gums, making his pudgy cheeks flush crimson. Putting a hand to the banister to steady himself he decided that a spot of breakfast could put paid to the degenerative effects of an early morning head trauma.

Barry was fond of butter. Intensely so. He would huff and wheeze about its virtues, textures, colours and tastes to anyone polite enough to listen. He would elucidate further on regional varieties, rare breeds of butter-bred Friesians and elaborate churning methods used in the Netherlands. And, if you still managed to somehow remain enthralled by Barry’s inane whitterings by this stage, his hot, sour butter breath insinuating itself into your ear canal would inevitably begin to make your stomach churn in giant revolving tumbles of acrid gas and acid, bubbling up in an innate reaction to both Barry’s grandiose tales and repellent physical appearance. It was due to Barry’s freakish passion that he rapidly became known in social circles as the ‘Knob of Butter’

Barry loped into his small kitchenette, resting a portion of his gut on the breakfast bar whilst spreading his thick fingers into his matted brittle hair in search of the rapidly forming new lump amongst all the old ones. His head was beginning to resemble a sort of half cooked potato, slimy and viscous, pock marked and bruised with a sprouting of unevenly shod mud coloured bracken coming out of the top in place of hair.

Eventually giving up on his futile search, he commenced on hoving his quivering bulk towards the fridge, his bare feet collecting the detritus from a graveyard of crumbs which littered the untended floor. He swung the door to and it opened with a sticky pop. To watch Barry survey the myriad golden treats before him was reminiscent of the futile wealth of Croesus, his tongue lolling and clucking as his beady sunken eyes swept over the amassed gold bars which radiated with the light of a million buttercups. There were mountainous ranges of ochre cream, cleft and sculpted over time by lukewarm butter knives. Delving deeper you could find balled rolls of foil tucked near the back, foreign in origin with impressive lettering denoting flavours or regional characteristics. There were even big beige supermarket tubs causing a rabble in the bottom drawers where space was limited. They all had a place in Barrys fridge, mini deities who would see such frequent worship upon altars of toast like little butter Buddha’s.

Barry grasped at a particularly indulgent butter from the back of the fridge, coating his entire forearm in smears from the jostling assembly in the process, literal elbow grease the kind of like which had never been mustered in a less literal sense either personally or professionally. A butter from the Alsace region in France, this particular brand had been coveted by Barry for years, he scoured websites for insight into the creators near alchemical prowess in butter-craft, translating by hand anything he came across, even going so far as to attempt conversation with the master creamer in a stilted and rudimentary French patois over an expensive and not particularly informative phone call. When at last the day came and the consignment of butter from Alsace arrived, Barry eyed it lustily, it was such a small package really, one golden bar ensconced in delicate foil, that it would be it for the entirety of the fickle butter season that year. If it perhaps underwhelmed him in size, it more than compensated in taste, in many ways it was the finest butter he had sampled. It yielded slowly to glance of a knife, if at first it seemed resist it then gave itself over wholly to manipulation once inspired by heat. On the tongue it flirted tenaciously with your taste buds before revealing sweet undulating waves of sensation which pulsed and danced and quivered before sliding down your gullet leaving trails of sunset and salt and eyes bulging at hidden orgiastic delights. This was why Barry had rationed and not squandered it unlike many others whose fate lay in the coagulated mess of arteries buried deep in Barrys fat fortress.

Today would be different however, Barry needed succour, something to ease his lump and appease the lump himself, he resolved to consume the entirety of the remaining Alsace.

Peeling back the foil a large nub of Alsace greeted him, slowly beginning to shimmer on top as the powerful morning light started to motivate it into golden life. Barry salivated and licked the corners of his mouth to prevent frothing.

Reaching instinctively towards his favourite butter knife he stopped short, retracting his meaty appendage as he noted that all along, right up to his elbow, was still coated in a fine lacquer of butter from before which now swam and dripped from arm hair and off fingers and wrist as it congealed with porous sweat in the baking sunlight.

Barry had lived forty-five indolent years, mainly alone, spurring friendship and camaraderie in favour of spunking his life away into meaningless and abhorrent pursuits, which is mentioned only now so as to provide at least some justification to the events that follow.

Barry began to lick and tongue at his arm, slopping wadges of half sweat, half butter into his greasy maw, at first tentatively - casting furtive glances at no one in particular, and then ferociously, voraciously yelping as it gurgled through his gelatinous passageways. Everything that happened next occurred in such a frenzy that no one is still sure of what abnormality of physicality resulted in Barry being flung from the safety of his kitchenette into the wilds of his weed infested garden and beyond.

At some point during his frenzy he loosened his dressing gown and underwear and began to massage the famous Alsace down his gut and thighs and feet. Inertia failing him as he worked it between his toes he felt himself fall head over heels, the crumb encrusted floor rushing up to meet his face, a constellation of delicious abandoned stars as his podgy head crashed into them.

After that, deep dark black nothingness washed all over.

And then, a feeling of déjà vu, Barrys eyes sparked open just in time to see that he was once again about to swan dive into the kitchen floor. He stuck out his hands to break his fall closing his eyes instinctively. When he reopened them a few seconds later he found himself midway up the kitchenette wall whizzing past a dusty picture of him and his mum at Pontins some years previous. Before he could rationalise what was happening, his naked body was careening across the ceiling seemingly freed of both friction and gravity. His ears were filled with the most dreadful screech, not from his own lips however (for the gravity of the situation had not yet kicked in) but from the folds of his sweaty, buttered, juddering mass which recoiled and snapped and propelled in a most terrible and indescribable motion.

It was impossible for Barry to navigate in his condition; he was at the mercy of his body which now no longer obeyed any natural law. Barry had pushed it too far. He tried to lodge himself in the sink as he passed on one rotation of the kitchen and even managed to snag himself on the door handle on another but at each juncture his sopping body would interject and free him from any solace that he aimed for. Strange to relate then that at some point at the end of that first day, at some unknown moment in Barrys infernal kitchen spin cycle, he managed to fall asleep.

The next thing he became aware of was a large mollusk camped out on the bridge of his nose as the sun danced in a circular motion directly behind, searing and blinding with each revolution. He tried to lash out at his new found friend but found his limbs no longer carried any weight. In fact, had Barry been able to look at himself from above at this point he would see not a man, but a fleshy corpustule, smooth and plump yet bilious, covered in butter, breadcrumbs, twigs, crockery and slugs. From afar he probably resembled a deep fried bollock, spinning in his garden, baking slowly in the noon day sun.

As alarm and panic grasped him once again he cried out but no one came to his aid. He found that as he yelled he began to propel faster and faster and eventually he found himself spinning as if in a centrifuge around the fence of his neglected garden. Suddenly he slammed hard against the garden gate. It gave way from its corroded hinges and sent Barry into the cobbled alleyway to the rear of the house. He found he felt no pain as rusty nails and barbed wire atop fences couldn’t pierce his batter. His friend the snail had unfortunately long since passed having been flung off into the ether.

He bounced into the street. Across a car. Up a lamppost and down again. People began to take notice at this point, calling out, taking photos, jumping out of the way of the gargantuan butter bag. He flew through a Tesco Metro leaving a trail of wet creamy slime in his wake. As he passed through the butter aisle he picked up even more speed as if his body was absorbing the now hated substance via osmosis. He was beginning to blur around the edges as he sped through the streets.

Reaching town, he flushed down escalators and coated young mums with prams. He made polite gentlemen throw up in the street and helicopters began to follow him through their special lenses. He thrudupped thrupped thrupped through an entire Topshop and upset a dog.

The police tried to set up barricades and predict where Barry would slither off to next but it was completely futile. The more they chided him through their megaphones the more huffy Barry got and thus the faster and more corpulent he became. As a last ditch effort for rehabilitation they even put Barrys doctor in a helicopter which flew next to him shouting advice as he went “Have you been having your Five-A-Day” he squawked impotently. At this point the police just decided to shoot Barry. They reasoned with themselves; they'd given it their best shot, right?

Scuppering their plans as the snipers took aim, Barrys body took a hard left toward the train station, onlookers diving one way and the other, all instantly regretting how mawkish they had previously been as parked cars and dustbins came flying toward their face. Once on the train tracks, Barry was funnelled on a one way trip, headed toward Brighton, the coast.

He was so fast now the cameras couldn’t keep up. There are some photographs of Barry hurtling toward Brighton pier. And then off it. And then a huge splash.


Barry is probably the reason why Anglo-French relations are so terrible at the moment. They assumed he was the first wave in a terrific new kind of biological assault. The French president called up our Prime Minister to enquire as to why a seaweed encrusted scampi with the head of a potato was seen assaulting the peak of the Eiffel Tower with a massive Union Jack trailing out of its arse.

It was a moot point however as just as quick as Barry had scaled the formidable icon than he had launched off it at light speed toward the stratosphere, into space, into unimaginable gaseous colours beyond our conception, leaving only a streak of yellow across a cloudless azure sky.