Monday, 30 September 2013

Unda's Spassky and Kampagnola biscuits!

Unda Vebicka was a Latvian lodger that stayed at The House of Hatch from March 2011 to until February 2012. She came to the UK to work here and improve her English. Her background was in architecture and she was a very talented and creative person. I showed her copies of my Oddsock comics and gave her a copy of original Stare-out bag of fun and she kindly baked a couple of biscuits of the two finalists which I foolishly kept to one side thinking they were too good to consume. Unfortunately, when I took the photo below of her baking mastery the biscuits were on the turn which was a real shame as they looked far better fresh from the oven.


Bite size portions of Kampagnola v Spassky

Unda also did an excellent portrait of me. I did a couple of pictures of her. We went out drawing a few times together and she showed me how it's done on each occasion.


Portrait of Paul in pencil by Unda Verbicka 2011

Unda is now back in Latvia working as an architect but she still does lots of excellent drawings and you can see them here click on 'Illustrations' on the right hand side of her website for the full show of freaks and geeks. Whilst staying at my place she made a wonderful lampshade for her room out of grey packing paper and it still on view today.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Hi Honey I'm Home!

I found this pile of cartoons in a dusty old file a few weeks ago and thought they were a tiny bit on the amusing side. They were conceived in October 1993 in the northern city of Leeds, when I hitched up from Wellingborough to visit my dear old chums Dan Bartlett and Sarah Keeble before they became Mr & Mrs Bartlett a couple of years later. The cartoons were our attempt to break into uncharted territory within the medium of spot cartooning and expand the boundaries of what is comedically possible in direct response to the already high standards illustrated by the regular cartoonists in the bi-weekly satirical periodical 'Private Eye', who were clearly having a ball at the time banging out numerous variations on the "Hi honey I'm home!" theme. Alcohol no doubt had a large part to play in this display of unwanted and unneeded creativity.

Obvious really. By Paul
I said 'Obvious really.' By Dan
Miniature mirth in La casa del 'Little and Large'. By Paul
Fingers, er, crossed with modern TV unit. By Sarah
Hitler + Bugs Bunny = Hilarity! By Paul
A topsy turvy tickler from Dan
Ha Ha! A clown! By Paul
JUST SAY NO! By Paul
He's hard and aroused. She doesn't seem impressed by either fact. By Paul
Grandma clearly enjoys sampling the good stuff. By Sarah
Harold's had enough of Plato 'not strictly adhering to early Pythagorean interpretation.' By Dan
Who would draw someone humongous smaller than someone who is not? Dan Bartlett of course!
Never trust a hippie nor Dan Bartlett.
I would be hopping home too if my honey was sitting naked with a miniature seal on her head. By Sarah
Click your heels applauding the emptiness of your life. By Paul
Amusing animal antics abide! Why knit a scarf for a donkey? But then again, why not? By Paul
Hitler had a son? By Paul
You haven't mended the shed! By Sarah
What on Earth is she supposed to be?  A brush?! I have no idea. By Paul
...and what is that shiny thing on the Rhino's chest? Why does the creature coming in have sunglasses on? Ask Dan.
Same joke as above. Different visual interpretation. By Paul
The reversal! By Paul
Just look at the size of that guy's plonker! By Sarah
'He gave me water!' By Paul
Biting political satire from 1993 with former Prime Minister John Major and his wife Norma. By Paul
I have no idea what is wrong with me. By Paul
Fresh from composing another intergalactic battle-chant, in comes Dave Brock with his audio generator. By Paul
...and extraterrestrial excitement ensues. By Paul
Ask Dan who will have no idea either


I wonder what their wedding night was like? By Paul
Homework imposes itself on Edvard Munch's 'The Scream'. By Sarah
Frank Bruno had just gotten beaten up by Lennox Lewis. Topical. Look it up. By Paul
Ooh er indeed! Ham-fisted honey-coated comedy by Dan
The door's ajar! By Paul
SURPRISE!!! By Paul
Enter a triple-breasted-fish/snake-thing. By Sarah
 'LICK PRICED' ?! What the hell does that mean!? By Paul
It's all about me. By me
'He Boney I'm M' goldfish and printer error. Ladies and Gentlemen, the one and only Dan Bartlett!
More scathing social commentary from the pen of Paul Hatcher
I said I have no idea what is wrong with me. By Paul
Another cartoonist did exactly the same joke and they published it! By Paul
And The Gold Medal... GOES TO SARAH!!

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Sigmund Spassky CAKE!


My birthday, not Spassky's

Way back in 1998 I had my 29th birthday. I was sharing a house at the time with Claire O'Leary and together with her friend Ann Aveling and my former-next-door-neighbour (her then boyfriend, now husband) Dave Everett, decided to uphold the tradition of presenting a birthday cake to the person celebrating the addition of another year. The cake came in the splendid form of a white-iced masterpiece with an iconic image of the immortal individual himself, World Stare-out Champion, Sigmund 'The Eye' Spassky, presiding on top.


Back row from left to right: Ann Aveling, Claire O' Leary. Front row: Sigmund 'The Eye' Spassky, Sigmund Spassky's sister Selina Spassky, unknown.

Dave, Claire and Ann, all had a practise run at replicating stare-out's most famous face in coloured piped icing on white paper as can be seen in the above photographic exhibit. As the reader will no doubt notice, there is a real sense of Gold, Silver and Bronze in the 'Sigmund Spassky likeness reproduced in piped icing' medal places. So with his gold medallion safety ensconced in his pocket, Dave got on with job in hand and surpassed even his own previous high standard, furnishing The World Stare-out Champion perfectly in black on white icing on top of a magnificent edible sponge infrastructure.


The birthday boy and stare-out scribbler about to slice a substantial section of Sigmund Spassky.

What a nice birthday surprise to say the least, as evidenced in the above photo of the author in more junior years, supporting a big smile and a rather dangerous looking cutting implement. A very delicious and very happy day it was with the cake being rapidly consumed over the following 48 hours. But that wasn't quite the end of the edible stare-out story. Unbeknown to the author at the time, stare-out biscuits were to follow nearly 15 years later from Latvia. A hearty and sweet toothed thanks to Claire, Dave and Ann.

All photos were taken by photographer-in-chief and supreme icing piping maestro, Sir Dave Everett.