Thursday, May 14, 2015

Mookse and Gripes: winsome wonsome ways

I’m so close to finishing this!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Mookse and Gripes: Nuée! Nuée!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A hundred thousand times welcome!

If you came here from the Guardian, thank you for dropping by! I hope you’ll take a look through the archive (on the left) or the index, maybe glance at the Finnegans Wake reading resources, and please leave a comment. I love comments.

I’ve got big plans in the near future involving a Mookse and a Gripes, so I do hope you’ll be back.

Also, are you a student or academic who has made use of this project? If so, I’d love to hear from you.

Friday, April 17, 2015

The Mookse and the Gripes: Moo and Gri

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Mookse and the Gripes: newwhere so airly

Monday, March 9, 2015

No Maps: Finnegans Wake and Fiction

Is Finnegans Wake a novel? This was the subject of a discussion I had a couple of weeks ago, and my initial response was perhaps a little weak: if it’s not a novel, what on earth is it?

It’s tempting to see the Wake as a complete literary outlier. I mean, let’s face it, it’s pretty weird. But it uses all the same techniques as any other novel; it’s only the way they’re applied that’s unique. That’s what makes it so fascinating. It’s like the Centre Pompidou: it’s a novel with its insides turned out.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Mookse and the Gripes: efter thousand yaws

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Finnegans Wake!

Due to extreme stupidity on my part, the site was down for the last week or so, while I was on holiday. But normal service has been restored! Tell your friends!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Some more thoughts on reading Finnegans Wake

How do you read Finnegans Wake? This has to be the single most troubling question of the whole book. In my last post I talked about the idea of “experiencing”it without necessarily understanding it, which is certainly an important aspect of Joyce’s composition, but it’s hardly a satisfying response to the question. After all, you’d have to be crazy to uncomprehendingly slog through a book of over 600 pages on the vague promise of some intangible psychic reward. So how do we read it? Or to aim a little lower, how do we define the appropriate attitude of a reader to this book in a way that I can summarise in a short blog post?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Why understand when you can reenact?

In Joyce’s day, the Catholic mass that he attended as a child – and occasionally as an adult, for aesthetic appreciation – was given in Latin. You can read part of the rite of the Eucharist at the beginning of Ulysses: “Introibo ad altare Dei,” says Buck Mulligan, as he pretends to bless his shaving soap. In theory, everyone who had done their catechism should have learnt the parts of the mass and their meanings. But, in practice, I wonder how many congregants really understood what was going on, and how many simply memorised when to stand and when to kneel?

When we read a book – or a newspaper, or a post-it note, for that matter – there’s one question that always occurs first in our minds. “What does it mean?” Depending on the complexity of what we’re reading, we might not even have time to form the question in our minds before it’s answered. When we read Finnegans Wake, we might grow tired of the sound of our own voices saying it. But in the history of human thought and writing and speaking and singing, there is a vast and rarely thought-about tradition of ritual storytelling, in which understanding is the last thing on anyone’s mind.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Page 34: a pair of dainty maidservants

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Page 33: annoying welsh fusiliers

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Page 38: our cad's bit of strife

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Page 37: ere the hour of the twattering of bards

Friday, January 9, 2015

A cry for help

I’ve been working on this project for a while, at home by myself, when I should be doing work that pays or playing with my son... and I’ve been thinking for some time now about the possibility of turning this project into some kind of graduate project, but I’ve held back from applying anywhere due to a debilitating combination of inertia and fear.

But that ends now! So I’m asking for help.

I know I get a lot of visitors from many college campuses; I don’t know why, possibly my work has been mentioned in an influential psychiatric textbook. Are you, yes YOU, an academic? Do you have any advice you’d like to give me? Have you ever used my work in an academic context that you’d like to tell me about? I want to hear it! Please email me at stephen (at)! And thanks.

Page 35: a cad with a pipe

Ah, it’s like revisiting old friends, discovering they’re hideous, and completely redrawing them.

Is that a good analogy?

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Page 36: a nice how-do-you-do

I’m revisiting some old ones right now, in preparation for a talk I’m giving in February. More to come!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Page 160: down to the thither bank

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Page 152½: his father’s sword

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Page 107: who in hallhagal wrote the durn thing anyhow?

Friday, October 31, 2014

Page 162: a singult tear

This is the last page of The Mookse and The Gripes, but not the last page I have to do.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Page 161: an only elmtree and but a stone

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Page 187: petty constable sistersen

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Page 159: oh, how it was duusk!

I’m going to finally get to the end of the Mookse and the Gripes. Three more pages!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Page 109: one more unlookedfor conclusion leaped at

Prints for sale, 10% off!

I’m finally phasing out my Society6 store and opening a new grown-up shop through Storenvy. Society6 has served me pretty well, but this way I’ll have a lot more control over what I sell (and see more of the profit from it, too!). Also, for the rest of the year you can get 10% off anything you buy there with the code 10OFF. That’s


So far I’ve put up all the Dubliners illustrations and a selection from Wake in Progress, but if there’s anything you’d like to have that you don’t see there, just contact me! The same goes for larger print sizes: Storenvy doesn’t offer size selection with variable pricing right now (though their official tweeter assured me that they will do eventually) so if you want a larger size of anything, just contact me! I’m planning to start offering postcards and other stationery soon as well. Again, if there’s another kind of product that you’d like to see here, just contact me! 

 You can even just say hi.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Page 186: the only foolscap available

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Page 185: his wit's waste

I’m not sure... but let’s press on.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Page 179: Blue Book of Eccles

I’m a little rusty, but drawing like this is like a holiday after Dubliners.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Wake in Progress on Bomb

I was honoured to have some of my Finnegans Wake and Dubliners illustrations featured on Bomb Magazine's blog today. Many thanks to editor Orit Gat!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Dubliners has been funded!

UPDATE: As of writing, the project has raised €11,110, 111% of its goal, and there are six hours left. There’s still time to order a copy!

De Selby Press has passed their funding goal for the illustrated Dubliners! Thanks to everyone who’s got involved, whether by ordering or book, sharing the link online, telling their friends, or simply sending encouragement, it’s all meant a lot to us.

To celebrate, here’s a recap of all the illustrations I’ve shared so far, in order. And don’t forget, if you haven’t ordered a copy yet, there’s still plenty of time to get one along with a lot of enticing Dubliners-related swag at the fundraiser page.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Dubliners 15: The Dead

As I write this, with five days left, the Dubliners fundraising campaign is at 89%! Thanks again to everyone that’s contributed and everyone that’s been sharing it. I really appreciate everything you’ve done to keep this campaign going. I know we can make it, but we need you to keep sharing it just a little bit more! With that customary plea out of the way, here’s one of the three illustrations that I’ve done for “The Dead”.

Since this is by far the most well-known and well-loved story in the book, I felt quite a lot of pressure to do something good here, and particularly to combine the graphic, conceptual style I’m comfortable in with an actual sense of the party.  Although this is a the very internal moment that Gabriel Conroy is having has he looks out the window, it’s important for the viewer to see that there is life going on around him. This image is a good example of how I used the black in this series, allowing them to blend together in a style that I “borrowed” from Félix Vallotton, one of the great turn-of-the-century illustrators that I looked at while I was designing this series.