Tag Archives: Random Stuff I Like

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

ACG_14869864626The Folio Society have just published a beautiful edition of Neil Gaiman’s “American Gods”, illustrated by the wonderful Dave McKean. A bit rich for my blood at £75, but it is a thing of beauty.

‘Gods die. And when they truly die they are unmourned and unremembered. Ideas are more difficult to kill than people, but they can be killed, in the end’
from American Gods


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Realejo JAM, Granada 28th Feb 2017

We’re lucky enough to be in Granada, Spain – home of the Alhambra and El Niño de las Pinturas, who is described as the city’s equivalent of Banksy. His art can be found in the Barrio Realejo area.

By chance we came upon Realejo JAM, an organised event. Sadly my Spanish is poor so I couldn’t talk to the artists but it was great to watch them.



The Reapers are coming

Book Trailer for Devil’s Highway, the second novel in the acclaimed Black Road Quartet by Simon Bestwick.


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The beautiful and delicate work of Patrick Cabral

Patrick Cabral on Instagram: “Blessed are the weird and misfits ; the artists , writers and music makers; the dreamers and imagineers; for they let us see the world differently”

Patrick is a freelance artist based in Manila,  Philippines.

Patrick’s links:





Les Machines de l’île

In my previous posts, I’ve mentioned the work of Jean-Luc Courcoult’s Royal de Luxe, whose magnificent marionettes have toured the world and which I’ve had the joy of seeing in Liverpool for the centenary of the sinking of the Titanic and also the city’s WW1 centenary commerations.

I’ve long hoped to visit Nantes (north-west France) to see Les Machines de l’île (“The Island of Machines”). It’s the brainchild of Pierre Orefice and ex-Royal de Luxe designer François Delarozière, housed in a former shipyard.

Their website describes their work as Leonardo da Vinci meets Jules Vernes (who, incidentally, was born in Nantes). It was as marvellous as I’d hoped.

The site features 3 main projects, the Great Elephant, the Marine Carousel and the Machine Gallery which contains prototypes for the Heron Tree.

The Marine Carousel is on 3 layers- the sea bed, the abyss and on the sea’s surface. Each creature is designed to be sat on or in, with moving parts that the rider can work like a puppeteer.

The Heron Tree promises to be an awesome feat. It’s due for completion in 2018 and will be 55 metres in diameter and 35 metres high. It’s a steel structured tree to be sited on the banks of the Loire river in Nantes, some of whose branches will reach out over the river itself. It’ll be topped with a pair of herons and filled with a mechanical bestiary including ants, aphids, spiders and a caterpillar, all of which visitors will be able to ride.

What excites me more is that it will be a living, breathing structure with plants rooted within it, their foliage overhanging. Sixty-five botanical gardens from around the world have sent seeds. The photos below are of the Machine Gallery that contains small scale prototypes of the machines and a test version of a branch.

(Photos by Priya)

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The Singing Bones by Shaun Tan

SingingBones_247x189_CVR.inddI came across “The Red Tree” by Shaun Tan many years ago and the text and graphics resonated with me very deeply.

I saw “The Singing Bones” today in a bookshop and have added it to my massive wishlist of books.

He’s reduced the Brothers Grimm’s fairy tales to a sculpture (inspired by Inuit soapstone carvings and pre-Columbian pottery) and a few lines to accompany them that distills “the DNA of the tale, the core that haunts people forever”.


Clockwise from top right: Little Red Riding Hood, All Kinds of Fur, Hansel and Gretel, Snow White and The Singing Bone.

There’s more images here.

Bloodbaths and bad dreams: Shaun Tan’s fairy sculptures by Sian Cain

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What’s Your Superhero Name?

All My Friends Are Superheroes by Andrew KaufmanIt’s true most superheroes have funny names. But they have to come up with these names themselves. Think about how hard it is. Try it, right now; boil down your personality and abilities to a single phrase or image. If you can do that, you’re probably a superhero already. 

Part of the problem with finding your superhero name is that it may refer to something you don’t like about yourself. It may actually be the part of yourself you hate the most, would pay good money to get rid of. Certainly the Perfectionist had a hard time coming to terms with her superpower. The Gambler, One Night and Brutally Honest all spent years accepting their superpowers. 

The final stage of finding your superhero name is accepting how little difference it really makes. Okay, there’s this thing you can do like no other person on the planet. That makes you special, but being special doesn’t relly mean anything. You still have to get dressed in the morning. Your shoelaces still break.  Your lover will still leave you if you don’t treat her right.

– All My Friends Are Superheroes by Andrew Kaufman

Available from Amazon or your local bookseller.