Thursday, 13 December 2012


Popped over to Glasgow yesterday to check out the latest exhibition by Mitch Miller at Market Gallery in Duke Street.  Mitch has spent the last six weeks making a massive dialectogram of Duke Street. Making a what? In Mitch's words:

"Dialectograms are large, highly detailed drawings of places, taken from the perspective of those who live and work there, and the person who tries to interpret those perspectives (me). I have been working on dialectograms in various parts of Glasgow since 2009.  I collaborate closely with residents, employees, owners, squatters punters and users of interesting spaces in Glasgow. From interviews, photographs, sketches and architectural plans, I try to get as much data about a placed into the drawing as possible. I invent symbols and signs to suit each dialectogram, honing and redoing the image until it begins to resemble something the people who know it best, will recognise."

The work is stunningly detailed, a mixture of technical drawings, floorplans, social history, comics and whatever else Mitch can add to make a rich, textured drawing of a place.  He is a friend and an ex-tutor of mine from Edinburgh College of Art but I would be fascinated by the work even if I had never met him. Mitch kindly let me take a few photos that I've posted below but I recommend heading to the gallery to check it out in person, but hurry as the exhibition closes at 5pm on Sunday 16th December. Mitch does hope to show the work again in the future when it should be even more detailed as he apparently has a huge amount of research that hasn't made it on to the dialectogram yet.

Just realised there is a dialectogram of a fictional place on Mitch's website, the bedroom shared by the two brothers in James Kelman's Kieron Smith Boy. It's brilliant, especially if you've read the book.

Friday, 30 November 2012

30 Days of Comics - day 30

Phew, the final strip and also deadline day for my PhD transfer. I did pass but it may not have gone quite as depicted in the first panel.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

30 Days of Comics - day 29

got a major deadline tomorrow, bit stressed

Monday, 26 November 2012

30 Days of Comics - day 26

The combination of music and art soothes the soul.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Friday, 23 November 2012

30 Days of Comics - day 23

Met up with some old pals from my Illustration MA this evening. Kasia Matyjaszek has an exhibition of her work in the golden hare bookshop in Edinburgh run by Helen Coburn. Some excellent work on show by Kasia in a lovely bookshop/gallery space. Some nice comics for sale too!

The mice are by Kasia and the hare is the bookshop logo.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

30 Days of Comics - day 22

Trying out white ink on black paper, paper was a little too absorbant.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

30 Days of Comics - day 20

Mid afternoon brain food. Two thirds of the way through now, only 10 days to go!

Monday, 19 November 2012

30 Days of Comics - day 19

20.42 Dundee to Kirkcaldy

30 Days of Comics - day 18

As I was leaving Leeds last night I did see Spider-Man and the Joker in the station and I imagined that Wonder Woman might have to get the train if she forgot where she parked her invisible plane.

30 Days of Comics - day 17

I visited the Thought Bubble convention after the Comics Forum conference, a jump from academia into fandom. Some contrasts and some similarities. People in costumes being a major difference!

30 Days of Comics - day 16

Fellow comics scholar Peter Wilkins does NOT like to cross the road until the green man lights up.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

30 Days of Comics - day 14

Nice clean scanned version now available!

I'm away in Leeds at the Comics Forum conference so no scans for a few days just photos taken on my phone. Will upload better quality versions when I get back.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

30 Days of Comics - day 13

Just in time, must do more drawing

Monday, 12 November 2012

30 Days of Comics - day 12

Not a comment on 30 days of comics obviously, only just over 1/3 of the way there, but on academic report writing. Nearly there... I do like a pictureless comic.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

30 Days of Comics - day 11

Been busy writing a report for my PhD so this is a quick photoshop job featuring many people that I have been mistaken for...

Saturday, 10 November 2012

30 Days of Comics - day 10

Day 10 and a little bit of a cheat.  Each panel is from a different strip in my autobiographical comic The Adventures of Ticking Boy but I have tried to place them so there is still a narrative. Not the original one but a new story made from elements of the others - a comics cut-up.

Friday, 9 November 2012

30 Days of Comics - day 9

This is the view from my window, which unlike Ferguslie Park, isn't in Paisley. The quote, which always makes me give a wry smile, is from Espedair Street by Iain Banks, which is about an ageing prog-rocker living in a church in Glasgow.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

30 Days of Comics - day 7

Today's strip was inspired by yesterday's and was created from photographs I took of Sol LeWitt's Wall Drawing #1136 at the Scottish Gallery of Modern Art.  If you haven't visited, do - it's on until 25th November.  It is an incredible experience to sit in the room and bathe in these bright colours, my photos don't do it justice.  I've cropped and rotated each panel to make them into a sequence that works.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

30 Days of Comics - day 6

Still going and enjoying the project so far.  I liked using the colours of these 'sticky index markers' as a sequence as well as the drawings. Remember it's #30dayscomics on twitter

and in 3D...

Monday, 5 November 2012

30 Days of Comics - day 5

This strip is the first of a few photo comics that I am planning during the #30dayscomics and is a summary of the comics events I have been involved with in Dundee in the past month or so as part of my PhD studies and also as Dundee Contemporary Arts comics intern.

The top panel shows Colin MacNeil, Cam Kennedy and Al Ewing during a signing session at DCA prior to a screening of the new DREDD movie, they also gave a great Q&A session after the movie and you can see part of it here. The chap in front of the blue slide in the next panel is Dave Gibbons, giving a workshop on creating comics at Dundee University as part of Dundee Comics Day. The inset panel is from a strip by Ulf K. which is showing as part of the Comics, Manga & Co: The new culture of German comics exhibition at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design until December 8th. The next panel is from the end of day discussion at Dundee Comics Day and shows Frank Quitely, the back of Rian Hughes head, a partially obscured Grant Morrison, Cameron Stewart, Frazer Irving and Peter Doherty. The final panel is the front cover of a 16 page comic created during a workshop with the Discovery Young Ambassadors at the Discovery Film Festival last weekend. Phew, I need a lie down now...

Sunday, 4 November 2012

30 Days of Comics - day 4

Beautiful clear autumn day today, perfect for a walk on the beach.

30 Days of Comics - day 3

This one was produced while I was running a workshop for teenagers at the Discovery Film Festival at Dundee Contemporary Arts yesterday. They made 15 pages of great strips, I managed two panels...

Friday, 2 November 2012

30 Days of Comics - day 2

Quick comic drawn while on a train, possibly inspired by Branford the Bee in Chris Ware's Building Stories. Actual size is about 3cm x 3cm. Pic taken on phone, other doodles may be included...

Thursday, 1 November 2012

30 Days of Comics - day 1

Derik Badman and others are attempting 30 days of comics again this year so I thought that I would try and see how long I last. This first attempt is from me mucking about in Manga Studio for the first time, and is deliberately aiming for the abstract. Many folks seem to be setting limitations on their comics, not sure I will but if I do it will be to keep them reasonably abstract and veer away from my regular autobiographical comics. The twitter tag is #30dayscomics

Monday, 3 September 2012

Open Studios strip

While I was invigilating for a couple of afternoons at the Central Fife Open Studios I decided to do a one page autobio strip.  The artists were encouraged to work while in the space and it's something I should be doing more of.  The hall in Buckhaven was a good space to work in and this is what I came up with on the spur of the moment.  You could say it is a strip about the Scottish summer...

RAINING by Damon Herd August 2012

Monday, 27 August 2012

Ticking Boy meets Wally Wood (Uptown)

Every few weeks I need to get my INR tested to make sure that the warfarin I take is keeping my blood thin enough so that clots don't form on my mechanical heart valve.  The valve is what makes Ticking Boy tick.  I have to go in to my doctor's surgery so the nurse can take a blood sample and they usually call the next day to inform me of the results. They also usually ask me to come back on specific afternoons when the phlebotomist is in.  I understand they want everyone to come in at the same time but most other people on warfarin are older and retired and might not have things on of an afternoon but I do!  So we go through an appointment booking dance each time and it frustrates me.  So this time I channelled that frustration into creating a little strip, it's a bit rough as I did it in about 15 mins but I think that gives it some energy and charm.  I also used Wally Wood's 22 panels as reference to put some variety into the strip as it only has one person in it, which added to the fun.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Life follows Art follows Life...

Last Friday I had the joy of watching a wonderful interaction with my art.  I was invigilating an Open Studios event at Buckhaven Beehive when a women came in the door 5 minutes before closing.  She was an old-age pensioner with a wheeled shopping trolley. I realised immediately that she looked exactly like one of my pieces from Meanwhile that I had on display.  We were in no rush to close up so we stayed open so she could wander around the gallery at her own pace, all the time I was curious to see her reaction to my work.

There was no need to worry though, as she rounded a corner and saw it she immediately burst out laughing.  She could see the likeness and was amused and bemused to see herself in the work.  I had based the piece on several old women I had seen in the Kingdom Shopping Centre during the run up to the exhibition The Space Between, she could even have been one of them!

We got chatting and it turned out she was 90 years old and from Buckhaven.  Her name was Mrs Thomson and she remembered doing handstands in the hall as a schoolgirl, when her school used it as an overflow gym hall.  It was lovely to see her enthusiasm for the work (she bought a couple of small pieces by Ana Mellon) and delight in her recounting of old memories. Bless you Mrs Thomson you made the whole exhibition a success for me, even if I don't sell any work!

Mrs Thomson first notices the work

Mrs Thomson kindly poses with the work

Saturday, 9 June 2012

The Great Glen yesterday
Just cycled . Absolutely stunning views and excellent cycling incl 5 mile climb out of Fort Augustus, great view at top though!