Archive for the Deep Thought Category

RIP Blanket Man

Posted in Deep Thought on January 19, 2012 by brunswick

Blanket Man’s public memorial service took place in Waitangi Park’s most exposed corner. At 10:15 a grey hearse trundled up and parked awkwardly on the lawn. A few family representatives and a selection of Wellington’s street community clustered around the open boot and brightly-decorated white coffin containing the earthly remains of Ben Hana. They were flanked by nearly two hundred mourners (definitely more than reported) and a small squad of cameras from the press. A few TV reporters stopped preening and looked suitably solemn: one of the camera operators never stopped chewing gum.

The wind rendered most of the short speeches inaudible despite amplification. Many of the speakers weren’t used to holding a microphone, and their words were lost. Hana’s older brother, who looked his neater, healthier twin, told a few anecdotes about his childhood. His lawyer, Maxine Dixon, gave a powerful speech which ended with her requesting that he now be left alone.

There was no noise apart from the fierce wind and the flapping of what I thought was a flag, but proved to be someone’s tracksuit pants. Several people approached the hearse to take close-up photos during the service. The crowd was a fairly good cross-section of Wellington, a mixture of dark corporate suits and substance-happy teens. The service over, the boot was closed and the car trundled off to Makara Cemetery, to bury a human being.

The crowd, impassive but tense, began to disperse. There was a terrible sense of sadness in the air. I wish that everyone who had commented on blogs saying good riddance to Blanket Man’s death could have seen it.

More Auckland highlights

Posted in Cartoon stuff, Deep Thought, Shameless Namedropping on August 28, 2011 by brunswick

Dunkin’ Donuts. We forgive you for your missing ‘g’ and ‘ugh’.

Selling two pieces in an exhibition where only about one in six pieces sold, very few of them from the cartoonist section.

Seeing Dylan Horrocks and Ant Sang at Auckland Museum’s Storylines Festival, looking at some of the beautiful A2 original pages of Shaolin Burning and meeting Katz Cowley, illustrator of The Wonky Donkey, every NZ toddler’s favourite picture book.

Visiting the Gucci store on Queen St to specifically check out their new kids clothing range. $500 coats. $165 sock sets. Caps fit for flinging onto the school roof during playtime. ‘G’ logos on everything, disproportionately huge on these tiny clothes. Within any context, even one as simple and direct as standing on the street outside and taking a look around – an obscenity.

Donating old Brunswick books to Auckland Library’s new zine collection, and discovering that the librarian is Tim Kidd.

The International Food Court. Down an unprepossessing flight of stairs on Queen Street is the ugliest, cheapest and most satisfying food court I’ve ever eaten at. Huge, inexpensive portions of world comfort food.

Long, hot hotel baths, with bath salts and a towelling robe. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Getting out of Wellington long enough to appreciate it, while realising that some things in Auckland – public transport and cafe beer – are actually cheaper. Also not freezing my ass off for a couple of days was nice.

Woodtastic

Posted in Cartoon stuff, Deep Thought, Lovely pictures on July 21, 2011 by brunswick

I thought I should photograph this before I paint over it, in case I ruin it. This isn’t something that occurs to me before I ink a cartoon, but woodcarving is actually hard work – cartoons require the same amount of concentration, but not as much physical effort.

Auckland Grammar School Art Expo

Posted in Cartoon stuff, Deep Thought, The Rake's Progress on July 13, 2011 by brunswick

Here’s the website for an exhibition at Auckland Grammar School in August that I’m involved with. I’m approaching this seriously, but at the same time I’m finding it desperately hard not to take the piss*. It’s a commercial exhibition, so the pieces are designed to sell. Some of the biographies** are quite pompous (keeping in mind that the artists wrote them themselves) and some of the prices shocking. Also note how the cartoonists all have (Cartoonist) after their name, to distinguish them from the actual artists.

They’re expecting a bunch of original cartoons, but many of the “favourite cutting edge editorial cartoonists” (spot the oxymorons in that description) are sending prints because they do all their work digitally. How are you supposed to price those? They’ll have been paid for already by whoever commissioned them, and a good-quality print costs under $10. How can we honestly sell that for $300? I suppose if I have to ask the question then I don’t understand the art market.

I’m sending them four pieces:

The original ‘Awful Flatmates’ drawing from Bristle #10.
A woodcut titled ‘Stress Bunny Panics About the Future’ which has nothing to do with the catalogue image.
What was going to be a canvas based on a cartoon about a magpie, but might turn out to be a combination woodcarving and acrylic painting on a big chunk of plywood.
Either a digital print of a new Rake’s Progress about Auckland celebrities, or a poster based on that alphabet I did a while ago.

* I may not be alone… I suspect that at least one of the profiles is an utter pisstake. It’s hard to tell with modern art.
**They edited my biography to say that I “enjoy” painting murals, which makes it sound as though it’s something I dabble in for the lulz, instead of something I do for money.

Pluses and minuses

Posted in A Good Whinge, Deep Thought on July 1, 2011 by brunswick

Things I’m going to miss about this flat:

Looking out the laundry window anytime at night and being able to see the green traffic light all the way over on Chaytor St.
Having an entire room just for sleeping in.
The absolute quiet in the evening.

Things I’m not going to miss about this flat:

A winter room temperature of 7 degrees.
Running the dishwasher at eight in the morning for me and my flatmates, and having to empty it myself 16 hours later.
Flatmates who think housework is beneath them because they go to university.

Desert Funnies #211

Posted in Deep Thought, Lovely pictures on May 9, 2011 by brunswick
Vodpod videos no longer available.

To Pink Batts or not to Pink Batts?

Posted in Deep Thought, Utter Trivia on April 13, 2011 by brunswick

Today we had a landscape gardener, two builders, a painter and two roofers come through my flat. I’m not sure what my strategy should be – they’re going to tart the place up so they can sell it, ignoring the fundamental structural problems with the Victorian frame and foundation. If I can stand living in the house while they renovate it, presumably at the end I’ll be living in a nicer house, which will probably still take some time to sell.

I’d be surprised if they didn’t put the rent up a bit, but it might be worth it if they do a proper job and install some insulation, a mere fifty years after the invention of Pink Batts.

On the other hand, is it possible to live in a house while it’s being renovated on the inside? During winter? Our landlords don’t seem the type to put us up somewhere else while the work is done. I’m going to have to look at our residential agreement.