Tuesday, August 28, 2012

And now a word from our sponsors..... Page 45!

Hello art monkeys!

You will no doubt have noticed that for the past couple of shows our prize table has been positively groaning under the weight of the very generous donations from our newest sponsor, Page45. An institution in Nottingham's city centre, they are a Mecca for lovers of not only mainstream graphic novels, comics and manga but also independent and self published works and are a font of knowledge on all things related to comic books and comic book art.

Having recently won an award as Nottingham's best independent retailor (a truly well deserved accolade) they have also been given a monthly column in the Nottingham Post's Weekend supplement, in which to wax lyrical about whatever comic goodness they see fit. I hope you'll find a copy and give it a thorough going over!

We asked one of Page45's creators, Stephen L Holland, some probing, arty related questions......

1. What is the best thing about running a comic book shop?
You'd think it would be the comics, wouldn't you? Opening up boxes and pulling out presents as though every week were Christmas? Fishing out the latest instalments of personal favourites, exhuming a long-lost treasure now reprinted as a graphic novel or - most 'mazing of all - stumbling upon something completely new that blows our collective minds! That, let me tell you, is reward enough. Our eyes shine like marbles!
But it's not the best thing. The very bestest thing is sharing that joy with the customers which we call friends: celebrating diversity and introducing the most brilliant books to the readers who'll love them.
We've built a community out of mutual enthusiasm fostered down the pub after signings. It gives me so much glee to interact on the shop floor by providing extemporised show-and-tell recommendations. It's enormous fun, just ask! Much better than moping around and muttering, "You might find something over there".
Now Twitter has enhanced that whole community aspect exponentially. I cannot believe we have so many sympathisers already (we don't have followers, we have sympathisers: hierarchy is an anathema to me), but I should in all fairness confess that I'm a merchant of mischief and a complete liability to boot. Sorry.

Eddie Campbell with his readers after a signing session at Page45

2. Who is your favourite artist working in comic books/narrative storytelling?
Oh, I can't do that. But I can tell you that Terry Moore draws some of the most beautiful, sensuous women in the world - and I do mean women, not scrawny little models. I think your particular artists would relish those forms. RACHEL RISING currently has me on the edge of my seat and STRANGERS IN PARADISE was for a long time here so many women's first introduction to comics.
I can tell you that my favourite comic so far this year is ST. COLIN AND THE DRAGON by Philippa Rice who will be filling our window with wonder and wonkiness come this very September in time for October's GameCity! The craft there is crazy: she is right up there with Lizz Lunney for utter absurdity and I love them both to bits.
But my favourite creator of all time has to be Derby's own Nabiel Kanan whom I head-hunted to illustrate the Page 45 website. He did so with an unequalled empathy. He recreated from memory so much that is us, even down to the sticky-taped messages we leave ourselves and each other behind the counter! Alas, so much of Nabiel's work is now out of print, but don't give up hope. Tomorrow I will chase up more DROWNERS.

Nabiel Kanan - draft of Page45 website

3. Who do you think is the comic book world's best kept secret at the moment?
Luke Pearson. He's already huge on the continent and well respected in England, but only where he is sold. SOME PEOPLE is the best two sterling pounds you will ever spend in your life, while EVERYTHING WE MISS will make you think long and hard about your own daily life. And about your past: about everything that you miss... and every thing you missed.

4. What/who hangs on your walls at home?
Am I allowed to brag? I'm surely going to. Original pages of comicbook art given to me with ridiculous generosity by Bryan Talbot, Eddie Campbell, Marc Laming, Jeffrey Brown, Bryan Lee O'Malley, and a wittily constructed portrait by DRAGONSLIPPERS' Rosalind Penfold. I have signed prints by Hope Larson, Bernie Wrightson's utterly Byronic FRANKENSTEIN, and an original page of CEREBUS by Dave Sim.
I've also a much treasured, signed and limited edition print which was sent to me by Molly Crabapple (your patron, I believe) in compensation for not living in London. Basically, Molly was in the UK, loved our review of A WEEK IN HELL, and so wanted to sign here. Alas, she hadn't realised how far from London we were, and so couldn't make it. I got very excited, then wept.

Outside the sphere of comics it's 23 Envelope's Vaughan Oliver, the great Huw Feather, Arthur Rackham, lots of Dave McKean and a massive recreation of my favourite-ever work of art, one of Caravaggio's 'David With The Head Of Goliath's.

Best of all, though, are two exceptional pieces by our very own Mark Simpson, given to me on my birthdays. Both feature me as the drunken demi-god Pan, cavorting 'cross town to The Birthday Party's 'Release The Bats', or with three cigarettes lit between my lips and adorned with "Don't question me, sweetie!" Seriously: don't question me, sweetie. More realistically: I really am a baboon.

5. If you could own any piece of art by any artist what would it be?
Haha! I already do own it. It's the original to this, a portrait of Mark Simpson, co-creator of Page 45, by Nabiel Kanan. My best friend drawn to perfection by my favourite comicbook artist? Doesn't get better than that!

Nabiel Kanan - draft of Page45 website

6. Do you create your own artwork/comic?
I used to. The shame of letting it lie!
My first job ever was as the in-house artist for a company called Ralawise, and for many years afterwards I continued freelance under the name of Pan. That's something I have never revealed before in public. Never!
All those Pan prints that went on sale during Page 45's early years...? That was me. But I wanted real purchases, not sympathy purchases, so I kept it to myself. Their reception was ridiculously rewarding, and we may re-release those eventually for we have a few copies left. I may eventually get around to the graphic novel too, but I wouldn't hold your collective breath.
In all honesty, though, I have always preferred free-form sketching either from life or from my head. I love that immediacy. But my paintings... they're a bit colour-by-numbers, aren't they? Sorry!

"Joie de Vivre 1" by Pan. The original painting

7. What advice would you give to any aspiring comic artists out there?
Draw, draw, draw, draw, draw!
Everyone can draw. Everyone can and should draw!
Sketch like crazy! It's so much fun and creativity is cool! The only way to improve is to practise, and you're infinitely better than you think.
Go to Dr. Sketchy's, the Not Up Its Arse Art Class, and enjoy the dazzling diversity of the life models they celebrate. You could not be in more loving company. Cliques for them are like hierarchy to me - utterly monstrous! Instead you will be embraced, cherished and very well looked after.
As to comics in particular, you really do need to study sequential art where you learn how to tell a story in stages. There are some brilliant books like Scott McCloud's MAKING COMICS, Will Eisner's series and for the more ambitious there is Jessica Abel and Matt Madden's DRAWING WORDS AND WRITING PICTURES.
On the other hand, some comicbook creators are entirely self-taught through reading the comics themselves and working out how it's being done: deconstructing then reconstructing. Our own Jamie McKelvie's amongst them, and he totally triumphed with PHONOGRAM: THE SINGLES CLUB, which is the same several hours down one single nightclub as seen through several different perspectives. It's about music as magic. Which it is.

8. What big plans are in the pipeline for Page 45?
Oh, you don't get all the goss. I'm going to bed.
But I did give a big clue or two above.

Also: have you read this blog? Page 45 done won an award, and the benefits are only beginning! ;)

Thanks Stephen!  Remember our next show is on Saturday 13th October and will be hot, hot, HOT. Starring fire performances from Vivid Angel and Fifi Fatale, plus modelling from Mimi Libertine and all the usual competitions, prizes and more! Have a peek at our website for full info and to buy tickets. See you there!

Scarlett & Charlotte

Sunday, May 6, 2012

New Sponsor!

We are very happy to annouce that Dr Sketchy's Nottingham has a new sponsor, Nottingham's fantastic independent book store Page 45, the only place to go for comics if you want superb choice and extremely knowledgable staff. They have very generously donated goodies for our prize table for the rest of our 2012 shows!

Check out their website for reviews, previews, recommendations, comic of the month and online shop!


Our next show "Von Vaudeville" is on Saturday 16th June and stars Beatrix Von Bourbon, currently through to the semi finals of the latest season of Britain's Got Talent, and Velma Von Bon Bon, one of the rising stars of the UK Burlesque scene.

Tickets are on sale via our website www.drsketchynottingham.co.uk

Monday, March 28, 2011

Social Networking

For those of you who indulge (waste your life away) in a spot of online networking on sites like Facebook and Twitter, here's a couple of links to keep you bang up to date with all of our bi-monthly shows, mini events, performer and model info and dastardly plot hatching at Dr Sketchy Nottingham HQ.



Join, Like, Follow.. you get the idea!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Sponsor Special - Miss Rain Photography

For those of you who have been to one of our events you will no doubt have seen the gorgeous blonde behind the huge camera, sneaking around the venue snapping away while you scribble. Her name is Emma, aka Miss Rain Photography, and I wanted you all to know a little more about her.

Emma has been a sponsor of Dr Sketchy Nottingham since the very beginning and we are very grateful for the hard work she puts in and the fabulous images she takes of our performers, models, audience and artwork.

I had a little Q and A with her the other day.....

Scarlett - How old were you when you first picked up a camera?

Emma - I’ve always had a camera in hand for as long as I can remember but it was more for taking pictures of things I thought were interesting or that I wanted to remember rather than for art. The first time I did something artistic was when I was 16 and studying for GCSEs with my best friend at the time. I had bought a black and white film for my camera and I think we were in the mood for procrastinating! I made her dress up in a white dress and fairy wings and took photos in my parents’ garden. I asked for a good digital camera for Christmas, (all 2 megapixels of it!) and started taking pictures of my friend’s bands.

S - What made you decide to become a professional photographer?

E - I always wanted to work for myself but knew how difficult it was and worked my photography around a full-time job. I lost my job and made the decision to move to Nottingham. I searched for jobs but couldn’t find anything that I felt connected to apart from photography. I decided then that I would never be happy if I wasn’t working in Photography so I contacted the Prince’s Trust about setting up my own business. The rest, as they say, is history.

S - What is the best "accidental" photograph you've ever taken?

E - I was thinking really hard about this one and then I did a shoot a couple of days ago in a hotel. The model, Millie Dollar, stood up on the bed and said “Would it be cool if I swung off this chandelier?!” So she did! Luckily Tim, who was assisting me, grabbed the light out of the way and I shot from the hip. Funnily enough we didn’t do another shot after we realised the chandelier was coming away from the ceiling... ;)

S - Have you ever "papped" a celebrity?

E - Not for professional but I have for personal! Me and my other half went to see my favourite band Gaslight Anthem in Birmingham. We got a little lost and parked a little way away from the venue and walked round the back towards the entrance. As we were walking down on the other side of the road, I spied Brian Fallon, the singer from the band walking towards us. I freaked out and ran across the road, narrowly being missed by a passing taxi, just to talk to him and have my photo taken with him. So kind of papped, kind of awesome start to our night!

S - Do you prefer studio or location shoots?

E - It depends really. I love the control that you get over a studio shoot, as sometimes with a location you don’t know what you’re getting until you get there, the light might be different or something has changed. I have had the benefit of working in some amazing locations though and without the kindness of the people running these locations some images just wouldn’t be the same. I just wish I could have a studio big enough to build sets, that would be amazing! Locations without having to leave my studio!

S - What lengths would you go to for a good location?

E - Hee hee. I think the question should be what lengths have I gone to for a good location! I was doing a steampunk style shoot with Rayna Terror for Lovechild Boudoir and had found an old abandoned train yard to shoot in. Two days before the shoot all the trains had been moved that were there a week earlier! There were a couple left but they were behind a 6 foot spiky fence. So we turned up on the day of the shoot and there just so happened to be two step ladders and a roll of carpet there to use to get over the fence... How convenient! (Scarlett - hmm..... I wonder who put them there!)

S - What's the strangest prop you've ever used in a shoot?

E - I think when we use glitter it tends to get a bit messy! Myself and Sali (Ms Moo Makeup) have put glitter paint on a bald models head and also mixed glitter with golden syrup for Anna Fur Laxis to drip from her hands. I’m sure Scarlett will remember that one! (Scarlett - yes I remember being very sticky that afternoon!)

S - What is your equipment of choice?

E - I currently own and use a Canon 7D with a 24-70mm f2.8 lens and Bowens 500w lights. I used to work for Calumet so having all of that equipment around me all the time was very tempting! Although I’ve used Canon cameras for years I’m comfortable using Nikons too so I’m not too biased! Hee hee!

S - Who are you inspired by?

E - My favourite photographers are 666 Photography, Julian M Kilsby and Perou but I tend to be more inspired by models, performers, make-up artists, hair stylists and art.

S - Who or where would you love to photograph that you haven't yet?

E - I would love to photograph Ulorin Vex. I think that she was one of the first models that I looked up to and it she is a benchmark for my photography. I would love to go over to America and shoot the models there. Maybe LA.

S - What goals do you have for 2011?

E - I think just for my business to grow and to be recognised for the work that I’ve put in. I don’t ask for much in life, just to be healthy and happy but if my business takes off then it would make my year.

Emma has also started a joint venture with Ms Moo Makeup called Flashes and Lashes, offering photo shoots with full hair and make up. "Whether you want a photo shoot to boost your confidence (lost weight? new haircut?), as a sultry pre-wedding boudoir shoot for your fiancĂ© (cheeky!) or to start building a modelling portfolio, Flashes and Lashes are able to create what you need with ease. Having known each other for over 5 years, they work exceptionally well together and will do their up most to ensure you are comfortable and bring out the very best in you for your photos." I would highly recommend them!

Emma will be back behind the lens on Saturday for our "Ladies of Comedy" event at the Glee Club. Say hello and make sure you get her attention if you'd like your artwork photographed for our web gallery!

Tickets are still on sale and are now cheaper only if you get them in advance from the website http://www.drsketchynottingham.co.uk/

See you on Saturday!

Scarlett  x

Friday, January 28, 2011

Photoshoot for Dr Sketchy Sponsors My Old China

December saw us take part in a very incestuous Photoshoot for our sponsors My Old China who provide vintage china and linen hire for weddings and tea parties throughout the East Midlands.

I say incestuous as it was a rather Dr Sketchy affair! Myself and Scarlett modelled, alongside Dr Sketchy Nottingham Regulars Betty Jane, Emerald Ace and Jody Capuano, and if that wasn't enough the photography came courtesy of Dr Sketchy Birmingham host Candee Handful, I think you'll agree she did a marvellous job. The theme, as you can probably tell was the Mad Hatters Tea Party! We had such a great morning shooting, what a giggle!

There's always show stealer, I don't like to point fingers but like her name-sake, none of us could outshine Dita the Cat! 
x Charlotte

Photographs all Copyright of Candee Photography 2011, do not download or copy without permission from Candee Photography.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Nightmares before Christmas

With just over a week to go before our December event, the last show of 2010, things are gearing up nicely. As Christmas is just around the corner we thought we'd celebrate in our own special way, with a little nod to the dark and twisted soul that is Tim Burton. Who said this time of year has to be full of carols and candy canes!

We've scoured the country for acts that would do our theme justice and oh boy have we found a couple of corkers! I've had the pleasure to perform on the same bill as both of these lovely ladies, strangely at the same show but on different nights, The Wet Spot in Leeds, which is without a doubt one of the best burlesque and cabaret shows in the UK so go along if you can.

So..... onto the performers.

Bringing us the character of Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas we have Suzie Sequin , a "burlesque performer, actress, singer, dancer and international pin-up model made up of classic rock n roll and vintage pin up glamour, with a bohemian streak!"

And for those of you who remember the Metz adverts Sherry Trifle's act The Judderman will be very familiar. She's a "truly scrumptious recipe for a little bit of fruity burlesque ........a whole lot of calorie-filled yummy naughtiness with lashings of cream and cherries on top." and quite fitting with a description like that she will also be bringing her giant trifle dish along to pose in as well!

This show will be at our usual venue Escucha on Fletcher Gate in Nottingham. Doors open at 12:30, the show will kick off at 1:00 and we'll be all wrapped up by 4:00. Tickets are on sale through the website http://www.drsketchynottingham.co.uk/ .

There will be competitions, prizes, cocktails, cupcakes and fun and we really hope to see you there!

Scarlett x

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Happy Birthday to us!

Saturday 14th August 2010 is Dr Sketchy Nottingham's first birthday!! What a year it's been! We want to thank the amazing line up of performers and models that have helped make our Sketchy branch such a success so far...

Diva Hollywood
Mysti Vine
Des O'Connor
Ryvita Von Cheese
Emerald Ace
Leyla Rose
Missy Malone
Anna Fur Laxis
Fanny Divine
Frankii Wilde
Zara Ann
Khandie Khisses
Lola Pops
Betty Jane
Jody Capuano
Malificent Martini
and Dee Christopher (sorry to anyone I've forgotten!)

So what do we have to offer you for our big birthday "Kiss me Quick" Summer Seaside show?

Here's a little taste of what's to come. Introducing.... Miss Leggy Pee!.... (and Charlie)

And that's not all.

As well as the lovely Leggy we have a bathing beauty all the way from Grimsby, Snappy O'Shea! Bringing her very fetching inflatable....

So if that's enough to tickle your fancy get your tickets from the usual place http://www.drsketchynottingham.co.uk/ dig out your buckets and spades, knot your best hankie in place and get down to Escucha for 12:30pm on Saturday!

See you there!

Scarlett x

What is Dr Sketchy?

Dr Sketchy's Anti Art School. Where Cabaret meets Life Drawing! With over 100 branches worldwide this is the blog for the Nottingham UK branch.