Monday, May 24, 2010
A PRAGMATIC BUNCH (2010 European Tour)
As you already know, this blog is mainly a cash-grab to try to capitalize on the Marc Bell-Craze currently sweeping the nations (I kid: it is mainly for me to keep track of the things I am doing), but I am going to back off on the BIG BUSINESS for a moment and put up some dazzling pictures of my recent (and first) trip to Europe. Well, they are mainly of the Netherlands since the camera never seemed like it was charged in France. Also, France became a bit of a chore as Amy Lockhart and I were stuck in ash cloud delays (you really don't need to see us there in Bordeaux, sitting and waiting on the terasse).
I almost never buy these rock nerd mags but this seemed fitting (gabriel is referenced several times in my award-winning book HOT POTATOE). But more importantly, mags must really be in trouble as this issue included a remote control in addition to the free cd. Great for international flights.
"Welcome to the Fuzzy Netherlands," says the famous and underappreciated Marc Bell, "Are you sick of this jacket yet?" This was after I almost fell in the canal washing the bike chain grease off my hands. Their bikes are very well-designed BTW. The Dutch are a pragamatic bunch and I must say I love their pann-a-kooks and syrup. Later, Amy Lockhart and I became lost in a whole other city that I forget the name of. About a 30 minute bike ride away from Amsterdam. That's two years by European standards. At a certain point we stopped asking children for directions and switched to nice old men on bikes (and found our way back).
Well, there, that photo turned out, didn't it? Here's Boris Kousemaker (son of the late, great Kees Kousemaker) helping me sort out my MODURN MITHOES show at Lambiek. Those are good dudes at Lambiek. Plus, they have these amazing old Mark Beyer posters. They are one of the few places to ever host a Beyer show, I believe.
What is that Amy and Boris are looking at?
Why, it's a building designed by the great Dutch cartoonist Jooste Swarte! Like my old friend Gert Jan Pos says, walking around the streets of Amsterdam is like walking through a museum, so it was interesting to see this in the mix. Say what you will about their disdain of marijuana, the Dutch really do respect their gutter arts.
Here is a diagram of the building by Swarte. It is funny because I had just seen a printout of this very drawing a few days before at a printer where Swarte brings some of his work. This printer makes his own paper if you can believe that and Lambiek created two different limited edition prints of my work there.
Of course, this one goes out to Devlin. We were sad to admit we didn't take pictures of the fantastic balsa wood Moomins in Japan so hopefully this makes up for it?
Oh, ok, here we are in France. In the offices of Éditions Cornélius. I was there to sign some Ex Libris for my Shrimpy et Paul and they were kind enough to supply Amy with some volumes of Kitaro (pictured here in 3-d form).
Oh yes, and we had to get a pic of this dude in Bordeaux. A green pepper M & M.
And this is a picture of Amy Lockhart and I living in one of those tiny fishing villages on the coast of France where they serve those oysters fresh-outta-the ocean with white wine and all that jazz.