Specializing in Cartography

“The first rule of geography is that everything is related to everything else. Today’s cartography reflects exactly that: It combines design, geography, anthropology, human impressions and ideas within spatial contexts. It’s a connector, an aggregator. And, increasingly, it’s a way of telling stories.”

— Chelsea Nestel


see also:

“I’ve come to regard comics as something like a song.”

Notebook: Ethel
Spread 2.
First drafts, mug drawing, rough mind map, comics and a quote from Lynda Barry.
It’s along the lines of:

“I’ve come to regard comics as something like a song. It can be about anything. We can address all sorts of things in a song, love gone wrong, truck driving, Daddies, smoking, boots, birthdays, cheating, space travel, big butts, revenge, war, a turkey in the straw, regret, genders, hands, purple haze . We can this way we can make comics about anything.”

– Although I did write it down in a hurry!

Bits from Deep Winter.

Ah, January, with your sobriety and need for useful activity. I suppose we better do you.

I have a list of overlong posts to make, I got backed up a little with various things happening towards the end of the year, I’ll make it easy for myself by starting with a Round Up Of Things type post.

WolfandFox posted this clip from Judex. We got shown this film at art college and it had a profound effect on me. This sequence stood apart somewhat, it’s like film from another planet, doesn’t try to explain itself too much. I like that.


This clip from Paul Mason, an off the cuff rant on his frustration with another banking corruption story, from someone who follows world finance as closely as he does. It won’t stop happening, despite what they say.








I spent a bit of time in South Shields during November. It’s a lovely place.






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South Shields

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South Shields harbour from last week. #latergram

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@tkoola is tweeting the entirety of Joyce’s Ulysses, they’re on their sixth go round:

Also interesting:


This quote from Rob Horning:

Social media offer a single profile for our singular identity, but our consciousness comprises multiple forms of identity simultaneously: We are at once a unique bundle of sense impressions and memories, and a social individual imbued with a collectively constructed sense of value and possibility. Things like Facebook give the impression that these different, contestable and often contradictory identities (and their different contexts) can be conveniently flattened out, with users suddenly having more control and autonomy in their piloting through everyday life. That is not only what for-profit companies like Facebook want, but it is also what will feel natural to subjects already accustomed to capitalist values of convenience, capitalist imperatives for efficiency, and so on.

The magnificent Billie Whitelaw past away, Samuel Becket’s Perfect Actress. How can you not watch this and be transported to another place. (#FilmFromAnotherPlanet)









via edgarwrighthere
via edgarwrighthere

Nice post on Brain Picker about Lynda Barry and her new book, Syllabus.



Bill Kartalopoulos wrote a great piece on why comics are more important now than ever, in which he refers to Professor Maryanne Wolf‘s idea of the bi-literate brain. It includes an interesting breakdown of this classic page by Windsor McCay.

via Huff Post
via Huff Post


Robert Frost famously described poetry as the thing that gets lost in translation. It’s not hard to imagine the story of Little Nemo’s galloping bed adapted into full blazing CGI, and certainly much would be added. Digital texture artists would show us what kind of wood Nemo’s bed is made from (oak? teak? cherry wood?); the wind would ruffle convincingly through Nemo’s hair as his face registered every gradation of delight and terror (the recent cgi Peanuts trailer suggests some possibilities). But what would be lost in this translation from one form to another would be the poetics of comics: the aesthetic experience of simultaneously experiencing a comic’s form and content so harmoniously that the contours of the comic’s theme can be read in its architectural blueprint.” (via)

Matt Fraction wrote this about why he is easing off Twitter. It’s a sobering read. Encourages me to want to post on here more.

I have been keeping a Winter 2014 playlist. It’s already quite long as I feel I have been catching up with autumn. (There’s a more comprehensive version on Whyd, but that doesn’t seem to embed here.)





Adam Curtis made this chilling short film for Charlie Brooker’s round up of last year. It definitely should’ve gone out instead of the Christmas speech.







Not sure how the embeds are coming across in different reading applications, but to be honest I don’t really have that many readers that it matters. If it does, and you’re missing stuff let me know.

Hope you enjoy your year.



Lynda Barry: 2013 National Book Festival

“Cartoonist Lynda Barry appears at the 2013 Library of Congress National Book Festival. Speaker Biography: Lynda Barry is a writer and cartoonist who lives in rural Wisconsin. She’s authored 19 books and received numerous awards and honors for her work, including two William Eisner awards, the American Library Association’s Alex award, the Washington State governor’s award, the Wisconsin Library Association’s R.R. Donnelly award and the Museum of Wisconsin Arts Lifetime Achievement Award. Her work has appeared in many publications, including The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Vanity Fair, Esquire, Newsweek, Time, Salon, Mother Jones, Poetry Magazine and Tin House. She is currently assistant professor in interdisciplinary creativity at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Discovery Fellow at the UW Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery. Her new graphic novel is “The Freddie Stories.” For captions, transcript, and more information visit http://1.usa.gov/1shC4TC

Although comics can be funny, they can also be used to tell the most serious stories we know…

“I’ve come to think of a comic as being something like a song. It can really be about anything. We can address all sorts of things in a song —- love gone wrong, truck-driving daddies, smoking, racism, boots, birthdays, cheating, space travel, big butts, revenge, war, a turkey in the straw, regret, grandma’s hands, purple haze or mountains majesty —- in this same way we can make a comic about anything. In this class every kind of story is welcome. No matter the subject, it is welcome to find its own way into comic form.”

Lynda Barry


“Some people use their sketchbook/notebooks to help them work things out. We use them to imagine things, figure out how to make something, help us see and listen, and to help us lay out certain problems we are wondering about in a way that lets us know more about them. I like this kind of sketchbook/workbook best the kind that’s more of a place  to mess around than a place to make skillful pictures. Although it turns out that spending a certain amount of sincere time messing around in your notebook it just seems to lead to some beautiful pages anyway.”

Lynda Barry

thenearsightedmonkey:”Drawing tips from the great GARY PANTER!”

reblogging thenearsightedmonkey:

From the “Unbored” website: Drawing tips from the great GARY PANTER!


Get a book-size (or paperback-size)d sketchbook. Write your name and date on an early page and maybe think of a name for it — and if you want, write the book’s name there at the front. Make it into your little painful pal. The pain goes away slowly page by page. Fill it up and do another one. It can be hard to get started. Don’t flunk yourself before you get the ball rolling.

You might want to draw more realistically or in perspective or so it looks slick — that’s is possible and there are tricks and procedures for drawing with more realism if you desire it. But drawing very realistically with great finesse can sometimes produce dead uninteresting drawings — relative, that is, to a drawing with heart and charm and effort but no great finesse.

You can make all kinds of rules for your art making, but for starting in a sketchbook, you need to jump in and get over the intimidation part — by messing up a few pages, ripping them out if need be. Waste all the pages you want by drawing a tic tac toe schematic or something, painting them black, just doodle. Every drawing will make you a little better. Every little attempt is a step in the direction of drawing becoming a part of your life.


1. Quickly subdivide a page into a bunch of boxes by drawing a set of generally equidistant vertical lines, then a set of horizontal lines so that you have between 6 and 12 boxes or so on the page. In each box, in turn, in the simplest way possible, name every object you can think of and draw each thing in a box, not repeating. If it is fun, keep doing this on following pages until you get tired or can’t think of more nouns. Now you see that you have some kind of ability to typify the objects in your world and that in some sense you can draw anything.

2. Choose one of the objects that came to mind that you drew and devote one page to drawing that object with your eyes closed, starting at the “nose” of the object (in outline or silhouette might be good) and following the contour you see in your mind’s eye, describing to yourself in minute detail what you know about the object. You can use your free hand to keep track of the edge of the paper and ideally your starting point so that you can work your way back to the designated nose. Don’t worry about proportion or good drawing this is all about memory and moving your hand to find the shapes you are remembering. The drawing will be a mess, but if you take your time, you will see that you know a lot more about the object than you thought.

3. Trace some drawings you like to see better what the artist’s pencil or pen is doing. Tracing helps you observe closer. Copy art you like — it can’t hurt.

4. Most people (even your favorite artists) don’t like their drawings as much as they want to. Why? Because it is easy to imagine something better. This is only ambition, which is not a bad thing — but if you can accept what you are doing, of course you will progress quicker to a more satisfying level and also accidentally make perfectly charming drawings even if they embarrass you.

5. Draw a bunch more boxes and walk down a sidewalk or two documenting where the cracks and gum and splotches and leaves and mowed grass bits are on the square. Do a bunch of those. That is how nature arranges and composes stuff. Remember these ideas — they are in your sketchbook.

6. Sit somewhere and draw fast little drawings of people who are far away enough that you can only see the big simple shapes of their coats and bags and arms and hats and feet. Draw a lot of them. People are alike yet not — reduce them to simple and achievable shapes.

7. To get better with figure drawing, get someone to pose — or use photos — and do slow drawing of hands, feet, elbows, knees, and ankles. Drawing all the bones in a skeleton is also good, because it will help you see how the bones in the arms and legs cross each other and affect the arms’ and legs’ exterior shapes. When you draw a head from the side make sure you indicate enough room behind the ears for the brain case.

8. Do line drawings looking for the big shapes, and tonal drawing observing the light situation of your subject — that is, where the light is coming from and where it makes shapes in shade on the form, and where light reflects back onto the dark areas sometimes.

9. To draw the scene in front of you, choose the middle thing in your drawing and put it in the middle of your page — then add on to the drawing from the center of the page out.

10. Don’t worry about a style. It will creep up on you and eventually you will have to undo it in order to go further. Be like a river and accept everything.

Thanks to our pal, M.A.G. for bringing this to our attention