The last time we had Steven Appleby over was when Richard McGuire was in town. After their double-act slideshow presentation (blogged here) we all went to The Stockpot and filled the American McGuire with strange and exotic foods (sherpherd’s pie) which he was very polite about although he declined a strange and exotic dessert (treacle pudding). This time, Appleby headlines an event all on his own and whether or not he partakes school-dinner stodge awaits to be seen: Steven Appleby’s Guide To Life, the launch party. Big thank you to Guardian Books for helping us host it!
His previous book, The Coffee Table Book Of Doom with Art Lester (pictured here) was about our eventual doom and ruin, while his latest one is about… Well, it’s about everything really. It’s a guide to life and everything in it, a collection of his popular weekly Guardian strip, Loomus. “Because the new cartoon strip was to appear in a new section dedicated to everything related to family – in the broadest sense possible – it was decided that it would feature a small boy called Loomus (named after a workman who fixed the roof above my studio) and his estranged parents – a situation I had witnessed in my own extended family,” says Appleby in his introduction. “For about five months the strip stuck to its initial intention of being centred on Loomus, his parents and their friends and neighbours. However, it soon became clear that in order to reflect the widest possible range of families and include subjects that would be of interest to families – whether functioning well, passibly or barely at all – it would be better to let the strip expand to cover pretty much anything that related to people in general. After all, everyone lives in some sort of family, or grew up in one.” The book features original notes and roughs, new illustrations, and Appleby‘s insight into the art of creating the perfect cartoon.
If you’ve never read his stuff before there’s a great interview from a couple of years ago here along with photos from the studio and samples of his art. The launch party itself is on Friday the 12th of October from 7pm where there will be books and booze aplenty, plus one cartoonist willing to sign those freshly printed £14.99 hardbacks. Also, from the 28th of this month you can see a lot of the original art lining the walls of our lovely shop on Berwick Street. Treat.