Thursday, April 17, 2014

Dubliners in Progress

As I announced last week on Twitter and Tumblr, the reason this website has been dormant lately is that I’ve been sweating over a new project: illustrating Dubliners for the new Paris-based Irish-interest publisher de Selby Press. It will include a total of 17 illustrations (one for each story, plus an additional two for The Dead) that I can’t wait to share with you! Watch this space in the next few weeks for more pictures and details.

Interview in The Honest Ulsterman

Honest Ulsterman Logo
I had the honour of being interviewed late last year by a fine gentleman named Darran Anderson for The Honest Ulsterman, a venerable literary magazine that has just been relaunched online. The interview is now up, and if you’d like you can even read it! [link]

I recommend you take a look around the rest of the site as well, because it all looks very interesting.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Page 182: the house O’Shame


Saturday, December 28, 2013

Page 176: fled like a leveret


Monday, December 23, 2013

Page 173: tarabooming great blunderguns

Some people will probably think a more Christmassy image would be more appropriate right now. Just imagine he’s playing Christmas carols.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Page 175: parsonal violence


Thursday, December 5, 2013

Discounted Prints at my Store

Christmas is coming, and you’ve almost certainly been thinking about buying illustrated passages of Finnegans Wake for all your friends and family.

Haven’t you?

Well, via this magical link [link] you can get free shipping AND FIVE DOLLARS OFF prints at my Society6 store until midnight December 8th! Why wouldn’t you do that?

If there’s a page you want that isn’t there, let me know I’ll put it up before the deadline.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Page 156: here he near lost his limb

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Big in Finland

For that Finnish-speaking Finnegans Wake enthusiast in your life, here’s a treat in time for Christmas. It might have been as much as a year ago that I was asked to contribute an essay to an anthology on Finnegans Wake entitled What Does Finnegans Wake Mean? In Finnish. Obviously I jumped at the chance. I’ve seen my illustrations in print a few times now, but I think this is the first time something I’ve written has been published. It’s very exciting, of course, but also disorienting to see my name above an essay I can’t read. I wish I could read the whole book, as the scraps that I’ve taken the time to transcribe into Google Translate have seemed very promising. Each of the essays is also illustrated with one of my pictures! Many thanks to the editor, Ville-Juhani Sutinen! If you do read Finnish, you can take a look at the publisher’s website here.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Page 155: what is the time, pace?


The Mookse and the Gripes continues. As I mentioned, this page actually goes before the previous post.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Page 158: Nuvoletta in her lightdress



And we’re back! What a warm time we were in there. It feels great to finally post something here again, and to instantly fall into my old bad habits by posting out of sequence (there’ll be at least one image before this one). I’m going to try to finish the Mookse and the Gripes this week.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Thank You For Your Patience

To be honest with you, it’s been a little daunting to return to this project after such a long absence. In addition to the time away, I’ve been rethinking my approach to the project in a way that’s forced me to change the way I work on it. Rather than tackling it a page at a time, I’m now trying to plot an entire chapter all at once.

Well, it’s been a long time (I’ve actually avoided checking exactly how long since I last posted a new image), but I’m hoping to finally get the first new page up today. But in the meantime, I’ve been gearing myself up by collecting an assortment of Wake-related music. So if you were looking for help putting together the nerdiest mixtape of all time, then your prayers are answered!

1. The Ballad of Persse O’Reilly

I looked everywhere for a version of the Ballad of Persse O’Reilly with full musical accompaniment, but in the end I think your best bet is this version sung by Ronnie Drew of the Dubliners:



2. Nuvoletta

This is a song by Samuel Barber adapted from the Mookse and the Gripes:



More Wake-related tunes after the jump...

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Book Notes Page

I’ve finally reorganised the book notes page, adding more online resources and some book recommendations, so that it might actually be useful to some of you. Thanks to everyone who suggested something! More links will appear when/if I get round to it.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Watch This Space

We’re preparing for a big move here, so I’ve been far too busy and exhausted for any personal work, and am likely to remain so until October, when (however) I will come back to the Wake full-time. (Yes, full-time.)

What time I have for drawing is going towards my tumblr of silly doodles and, more saliently, to a secret Joyce-related project (details of which I’ll begin to reveal when I’m confident enough with it to show it off). However, I should have a few exciting announcements in the next couple of months, and I’m going to try to catch up with some of the text posts that I’ve been putting off.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Waking in Oxford

I had a great time in Oxford last week. (What? The week before last? Where have I been?) Thanks to everyone who came, and thanks of course to Drs. Finn Fordham and Cleo Hanaway for inviting me. It was fascinating to discuss Joyce and Finnegans Wake with real living humans who know what they’re talking about (for the first time ever? My god, I think that’s true), and it left me feeling really inspired to continue this project.

Finn is the author of Lots of Fun at Finnegans Wake, a “genetic” reading of the way that Joyce developed four key passages from initial drafts to the final text. And it’s lots of fun, go read it! He also wrote the introduction to the new Oxford World’s Classics edition, which I recommend as well.

I was a little nervous to meet Clinton Cahill, who’s been illustrating Finnegans Wake on and off since 1997. But it turns out that he’s a charming, gracious and interesting, and I was fascinated to hear him discuss his own, very different, approach to illustrating the Wake. I recommend you read about it in his own words at the James Joyce Centre’s blog, where you can also see many examples of his intricate, surreal compositions. (You can also read his take on the event in part 8.)

This event gave me a lot to think about, and I’ll try to write some more about the way it’s affected my approach to my own project when I’ve had time to organise my thoughts a little more.

Cleo Hanaway tells us how it’s going to be.

Finn Fordham. It sounded like a bizarre idea to give a Finnegans Wake-related tour of a random museum, but it actually worked amazingly well.

Clinton demonstrates the correct way to give a talk...

...and I wrap up with a clown show. Sad to say, this is the least weird-looking picture of me. I don’t know that I get any less weird-looking than this.

At the end of the day, the attendees finally got to do some drawing of their own.

Friday, June 21, 2013

This Sunday: Finnegans Wake Illustration Event in Oxford

If there’s anyone out there who’ll be in or near Oxford on Sunday, I’m taking part in a talk and workshop at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford.

There’ll be a Wake-themed tour of the museum given by Finn Fordham, author of Lots of Fun at Finnegans Wake, followed by an illustration workshop assisted by myself and Clinton Cahill, lecturer at the Manchester School of Art and fellow-Wake drawer. There’ll also be a light lunch with musical entertainment and, for the first fifteen arrivals, a free copy of the Wake! And the whole thing is (*gasp*) FREE!

You can find all the details at the Facebook event page here. I hope to see some of you there!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

EXCLUSIVE: Ithys Press publishes “Joyce’s last poetry collection”

A Joyce scholar investigates the Ithys Press archive
Following the publication of Finn’s Hotel, which editor Danis Rose called “almost certainly the last undiscovered title by James Joyce”, Ithys Press has announced the publication of Notes to Self, which editor Danis Rose describes as “almost certainly definitely the last undiscovered title by James Joyce that I’ll publish this year.”

The collection of what Rose calls “little poems” or “poemlets” has divided Joyce scholars, but Rose is quick to counter those who describe the book as “just a bunch of random stuff.”

“It is clear from close investigation,” says Rose, “that these works were conceived as a wholly separate and united body of work. After composition, they were carefully stored together in a large, metal, lidded container alongside a collection of other important Joycean memorabilia, including a most revealing bag of potato peelings and a cache of heavily soiled underwear.”

In the book’s extensive introduction, Rose demonstrates the work’s compositional strength through an analysis of one of the pieces (quoted here in its entirety):
2 pounds tomatoes (tinned?)
“Note how the initial mathematical certainty of the ‘2 pounds’ (with all the implied associations with Aristotelian physics, the world of finance and of British imperialism) is beautifully undermined by the delicious ambiguity of the coda. Genius.”

Notes to Self will be published in a numbered edition of ten, at a price of 10,000€, as well as a luxury edition of two copies, printed on white rhino hide in a cover of solid gold, for 10,000,000€, and a super-deluxe edition, for 10,000,000,000,000€, which can be seen from space.

Says Rose: “And if that doesn’t grab you, I’ll be taking offers on the suit that Joyce was buried in as soon as I’ve finished expurgating the corpse.”

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Merry Bloomsday and a Happy New Bloomsyear!

Happy Bloomsday! As usual, I’m not spending Bloomsday in Dublin, but out of sheer bloody-mindedness, I was there last week. As proof, here’s a picture of my son having the time of his life on the James Joyce Centre’s interactive Ulysses device. I'm pretty sure it's called the Ulyssesotron.
It was the first time I’d been to Dublin since I was a child, long before I had any interest in James Joyce. I didn’t have a lot of time there, sadly, so my indulgent family and I tore through the city in a mad dash, trying to ingest as much historical and architectural information as I could in five hours. I hope one day I’ll find time to take a proper research trip.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Page 18: what curios of signs in this allaphbed!

I’ve finally been forced to revise this old one in the interests of an ULTRA-SECRET PURPOSE. An anonymous tipster informed me that I’d made numerous mistakes in the Arabic of the previous version, and in any case, I’d always intended to do it in something approximating real Arabic calligraphy. I did my best to proofread, but if I’ve made any new mistakes, it might be best not to tell me...

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Page 171: his lowness creeped out first via foodstuffs

Friday, May 24, 2013

Page 170: when he is a sham

Page 33: in the people's park


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Page 35: a cad with a pipe, version 3


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Page 88: one of those lucky cocks

I did this one last September and forgot about it.


Saturday, April 6, 2013

Page 169: Shem the Penman

We’re back! And diving straight into chapter seven! This chapter, which is a grotesque self-portrait of Joyce himself, is my personal favourite, and I couldn’t wait any longer. As usual, I expect to feel confident in this style just before I don’t need it anymore.
 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

New Domain Name

I’ve finally got around to registering this site as www.wakeinprogress.com. Let me know if anything stops working, because it’s all rather mysterious to me.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Ballad of Persse O’Reilly

The three separate pages of The Ballad of Persse O’Reilly have finally achieved their ULTIMATE DESTINY! Including faithfully-transcribed SHEET MUSIC! If you play this and upload it to Youtube, you’re almost guaranteed to become the next Rebecca Black.

If you think you need a fancy art print of it, then you can find it here! Word to the wise: the smallest size is basically illegible, but it didn’t give me the option not to offer it.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

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

More fresh inking. I’ve adorned this one with text from the James Joyce Literary Supplement, to commemorate it being printed on their cover last year. I hope they don’t mind...


Monday, February 18, 2013

Page 34: a ripe occasion, version 2

More second drafting.


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Page 47, version 2


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Page 46, version 2

Page two of the Ballad. Probably no one will even notice the difference but me.


Friday, February 15, 2013

Page 45, version 2

Doing the comic has put me in an inking mood, so I finally got around to redrawing the Ballad of Persse O'Reilly. Humpty Dumpty is the only big change.