Saturday, 23 November 2013

Card found - another 6 of spades

I just found this card in the back of my notebook. It was given to me some time ago by my friend Steve Braund who found it outside a pub in Falmouth. This is the third 6 of spades that's recently surfaced. See below.

The Card Shortlisted for 2013 WGGB Award

The Card was shortlisted for the 2013 Writers Guild Award for Best Book. It was up against Big Brother by Lionel Shriver and The Universe versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence and lost out to the latter. Never mind. It's not about the winning, it's about the taking part. Apparently. Bastards.

The Designer as...

Woman's World is featured in a new book by Steven McCarthy, The Designer As...: Author, Producer, Activist, Entrepreneur, Curator, and Collaborator: New Models for Communicating. My book is referred to as Women's World rather than Woman's World, as so often happens - the temptation to pluralise 'woman' seemingly too strong to resist. I blame the Women's Institute.
More about the book here.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

The Graphic Canon Volume 3

The Graphic Canon Vol 3: From Heart of Darkness to Hemingway to Infinite Jest (Seven Stories Press) edited by Russ Kick in New York has been out for a few months now. Publisher's Weekly have described it as the most beautiful book of 2013. I expect that's because of the chapter on my Wizard of Oz pictures. There are reviews in The Guardian here, Publishers Weekly here and Comics Review here.

Friday, 18 October 2013

6 of spades found twice

Two cards found this week. Both the six of spades. The first one was found by Tim Coles just off Station Road, Long Eaton, Derbyshire. It was very wet so he took it home to dry it off before photographing it.

The second six of spades, also very wet, was found by Mark Daniels who has recently joined the course I teach on at Brighton. The card appeared a couple of days after a lecture I gave for the new group in which I predicted that someone would later find a card. He found it in Fleet and took this perfectly composed picture.

Monday, 16 September 2013

Cards found

It's been a long time since I made an entry. Busy, busy. In the meantime, there has been a whole slew of found cards. Two found by me, several found by others.

I found the eight of clubs on my way home from seeing the degree show at Norwich, It was on the pavement on Bishopsgate, near Liverpool Street station.

My friend Judy Bieber found this queen of spades. I can't remember where now.

Here's a Joker I found outside Tesco on Shoreditch High Street a couple of months ago.

This card was found by Jim Rawson who told me,  "I found the ace of clubs on a very steep hill near the Manx Museum in Douglas, just after having my hair cut." His girlfriend Mia wrote to me with her more romantic version of the find: "Jim found the ace of clubs while walking hand-in-hand down the hill with his true love (me) on a distant island." 

This rather lovely ten of diamonds was found by my friend Barbara Smith in Banff, Canada.

And this delightful find was sent to me by illustrator David McMillan from UWE Bristol who happened upon the torn card on a Dublin street. Like me, he wonders what story lies behind the tearing and discarding of the card.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

It's A Cut Up - Exhibition

I'm currently showing work at a collage exhibition at the Flannels Gallery in Leeds: It's A Cut Up. The Art of Assemblage and Photomontage curated by Tony Baker. I have prints for sale too.
You can find out more about it, and the other exhibitors, here.

Friday, 26 July 2013


I haven't entered anything in my blog for so long. I've been busy, busy, busy getting the first draft of my new book, Overland, finished for my agent to read. It's now in his hands, and though there is a long way still to go, there is some sense of completion in getting it to this first stage.
I also have lots of found cards to post (including one I found myself), but I'm out of the country and I don't have all the details of the other 'finders' with me so that will have to wait until I get back to London.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Panel discussion - Centre for New Writing

On Tuesday May 7, I am taking part in a panel discussion at the University of Leicester to launch the opening of their Centre for New Writing. Here are the details.

3:30pm PANEL “Pushing the Boundaries of Form” is an open forum panel discussion about what is new in writing in the UK, from social media to prose fiction, small press publishing to transcultural writing. With: 2012 Booker shortlisted author of The Lighthouse, Alison Moore; award-winning poet, author, and Professor of Transcultural Literature,Graham Mort; Graham Rawle, artist, designer, and author of Woman’s World and the ‘Lost Consonants’ text and image word play series that ran for many years in The Guardian; social media expert, Ruth Page, author of Stories and Social Media, Identities and Interaction; and with author and creative writing lecturer Harry Whitehead as chair (Woodhouse Room, 4th Fl, Charles Wilson Building, University of Leicester)

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Resonance FM interview with Alex Fitch

I should have mentioned this before. This is an interview I did with Alex Fitch at Resonance FM that aired last night. I expect, like me, you missed it, so here's a podcast of it. Just click here.

Friday, 12 April 2013

Card found - Seven of Hearts

I did a short talk at Foyle's bookshop Gallery last night as part of Illustration Rules!, an AOI, Varoom sponsored event. It was a good evening. Helen Thomas from AOI, who organised the evening, found a card on her way home, right outside Tottenham Court Road station. Darn it. Why didn't I find it? - Especially since it was the seven of hearts, a particularly significant card with a long history of coincidences and story connections attached to it, (but which I don't have time to go into at the moment). It's always nice when, after talking about finding cards on the street, someone finds one.

Friday, 5 April 2013

RULES - Event at Foyles Bookshop

I'm giving a short talk next Thursday at Foyles Bookshop. It's organised by Varoom. Here are the details.
Thursday 11 April, 6.30pm
The Foyles Gallery, Third Floor, 113-119 Charing Cross Road, London, WC2H 0EB
Illustration Rules?! As illustration becomes ever more varied and diverse in its output and working methods, does it follow any given ‘rules’ or launch itself off down the yellow brick road? To launch Varoom issue 21: Rules, at Foyle’s Bookshop in London, Graham Rawle, Viviane Schwarz and Phoebe Halstead will discuss illustration work that is exploring new areas and challenging rules. Will illustrators become the future guides of our blended, augmented-reality environments? The debate is chaired by Varoom editor, John O’Reilly.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Card Find by Mags Swift after my lecture

I've been meaning to put this on my blog for ages. This is the 8 of hearts found in Brighton by Mags Swift, a student on our MA course, the day after I gave my talk about The Card and card collecting. Those are her daughters crouching in wonder at the find. I love the beam of light shining on it.

What Are They Like? exhibition

There's an exhibition from the What Are They Like? project initiated by House of Illustration at Swiss Cottage Central Library, 88 Avenue Road London SW3 3HA. (I did a picture of David Baddiel for an auction at Sotheby's some weeks ago - see earlier post). The PV is tonight, but I'm too busy trying to finish the first draft of my new book to go. The exhibition continues until 25th May.


In the latest issue of Varoom (issue 21) there's mention of Diary of an Amateur Photographer, which John O'Reilly says 'feels thoroughly contemporary' and 'uncannily of the moment'. - And he's a man who knows.

Friday, 15 February 2013

The Card - Research News

Here I am exploring multimodal literature in Brighton's latest edition of CRD's Research News. Click to enlarge.

Yet another card found by me...

I found this card yesterday outside KopyKat printers on Rivington Street near my home. It has the number 23 written on the back. This is the third card I've found in a month, which is quite remarkable. I must be looking harder these days. The three most recent cards are all spades. And for those of you who are fascinated to know how my collection is going, I can tell you that in nearly 20 years I have found a total of 38 cards, but because of duplicates I only have 26 different. Half way there, though the chances of duplication increase dramatically as I near my seemingly impossible goal. In 38 cards there have only been two from the clubs suit.

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Card found by ME. Again.

Good heavens.  I have found two cards this year - and January is not yet over. I normally go for years without finding any. I spotted this soggy one yesterday across the road from the University of Brighton on Grand Parade. How exciting it was to see it lying there.

Card found by Camberwell student

A card found yesterday by Camberwell student Chloe Greenfield. Great picture. The Queen of hearts is significantly the first card Riley finds in the book, the one the sets him off on his mission. She says this.
"You gave a talk to us last year at Camberwell where you spoke about your book The Card amongst many other things, and since then i've been anticipating the moment where a queen of hearts should fall into my path (not sure why queen of hearts, just my favourite). Today, as I was waiting at my bus stop in dulwich with a grim early-morning frown , I saw her staring up at my through the drizzle and cigarette butts. It was a special moment and my heart soared . I didn't pick her up as it's a particularly dull bus-stop so i thought someone else would appreciate her too."
Knowing she left it on the road makes me want to go over to Dulwich to see if it's still there, but I have a train to catch.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Card found - Euston BY ME!

Though other people seem to be finding playing cards all over the place (see below), it's been nearly two years since I found a card on the street. The last time was 27 May 2011. I spotted this one yesterday on my mum's 85th birthday. It was lying in the gutter just as she was getting out of my brother's car on a side street near Euston Station. The card is a miniature so is quite hard to spot, as you can see from the picture. I was excited beyond all reason.

Australian cards found in Edinburgh

This great photo was sent to me by Mark Blackadder (for whom I signed a copy of The Card some months ago). He spotted these Australian flag playing cards amongst the trash spilling out of a bin bag at the top of his street in Edinburgh. My personal rule is that if I find a number of cards, I am allowed to pick up only one of them. I'd probably have gone for the five of clubs.

Card found - Brighton

This card was found by actress, singer and synaesthetic artist Philippa Stanton ( the day after she started reading The Card. The jack of diamonds was lying on the Ditchling Road in Brighton. She did not pick it up (Aach! Dutty!), but photographed it and sent the picture to me - for which I am most grateful.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Found card - Teesside

Here's another card, this time found by Teesside Graphic Design student Arron Wilson in the Mall. Is the Mall a street or a shopping centre? I don't know. The card is a miniature so would have been harder to spot, but Teesside students have a well-trained eye for this sort of thing. If YOU find a card, do let me know.