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Tuesday, August 18, 2015


from the archives 


John Purcell Paper A5(ish) sketchbook number 4, begun Septemberish 2002



Dullsville.


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Wednesday, July 29, 2015


four quite busy sketchbook spreads 










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Tuesday, July 28, 2015


from the archives 


John Purcell Paper A5(ish) sketchbook number 4, begun Septemberish 2002




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Tuesday, June 23, 2015


from the archives 


John Purcell Paper A5(ish) sketchbook number 3, begun 25th July 2001

A race to the end of this one. Very little of any worth in these spreads. Think I must have become dispirited by it all as there are a few unused pages after these ones. Then I must have abandoned this book and started a new one. Hope there's better stuff in there (haven't looked to check yet.
















Ah ... those notes on different types of gladiators (Thracians and Murmillos and the like) date this spread as early 2002, I think, when I was doing some tryout pieces for a fortnightly magazine based on the Horrible Histories books. Nick Abadzis was working as an editor on the title and suggested I get involved. Despite my producing what I recall being a really rather iffy audition piece, the mag provided the bulk of the work I did over roughly the next four years and meant that, for a while there, I had something faintly resembling a proper career in illustration.








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Friday, June 19, 2015


blimey 


Blimey. Has it really been more than two months. That's very bad.


Tuesday, April 07, 2015


from the archives 


John Purcell Paper A5(ish) sketchbook number 3, begun 25th July 2001




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Tuesday, March 31, 2015


old business 


That old business card I just mentioned (all details -especially the hairline - now very much out of date, obviously).



from the archives 


John Purcell Paper A5(ish) sketchbook number 3, begun 25th July 2001




Apologies, that blue I use sometimes doesn't agree with the scanner terribly well so some of these spreads are losing a bit of detail.

Evidence here of work toward a business card (in a Top Trumps format) and a Christmas story, I think, featuring the polar bear.

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Monday, March 23, 2015


waiting for a train (and then on it) 




World Book Day Week - if you see what I mean - day 5, Friday 6th March: Rickmansworth 


I've been hopeful about this one. The deputy head, who's been my contact while organising the visit, has been consistently on the ball: answering emails promptly, providing a timetable for the day, but also sending me email enquiries of her own checking what I need, including me in a school-wide survey of people's favourite books, and generally being engaged and aware. She has also taken firm orders (in substantial numbers) for copies of my books well in advance so that I've been able to order them in to be delivered direct from the warehouse to the school. So plenty of sales and no lugging a heavy suitcase on a succession of trains. This is very good.

My train journey is trouble free and I arrive in good time. It's a C of E school: there's a certain amount of god-related stuff knocking about in the reception area to tip off my finely honed detective skills, though arguably the 'St' at the start of the name might perhaps have given an inkling too. I give a 45 minute talk/assembly to pretty much the entire school. I think it's gone well. In the Q & A section the first boy I point to is in Year 1 and it turns out he doesn't have a question at all he just wants to say 'I really like your book'. Which is lovely. A little later I get my second favourite question I've ever been asked: 'How do you like being partially famous?' (I figure much later that my response should have been 'it's partially good').

Shortly after I run a (rather hurried) ghost story writing workshop. I'm relatively new to doing these but I've learned that the best approach seems to be talk very little, get the kids writing early on, don't interrupt them too much except to tell them how brilliant they are. The deputy head, another teacher (Miss E) and I roam from table to table offering encouragement then the resulting stories are read out at the end. The religious values of the school apparently have not curbed the pupils' enthusiasm for violence: there are a number of grisly deaths and one group has killed off Miss E to be the ghost in their story. But it all passes off well enough.

Before the children are dismissed to go to dinner they have to say their pre-dinner prayer. When I have one of the school dinners myself I realise this is merely a sensible precaution rather than any form of thanksgiving.

In the staff room later I overhear this exchange:

Male Colleague: So I hear some of your pupils killed you then, Miss E?
Miss E: Yes.
MC: Was that the group with [pupil's name] in?
Miss E: Yes.
MC: He really doesn't like you, does he?


from the archives 


John Purcell Paper A5(ish) sketchbook number 3, begun 25th July 2001




Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. In so many ways.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2015


from the archives 


John Purcell Paper A5(ish) sketchbook number 3, begun 25th July 2001




Oh dear. Nothing to see here. Move along quickly, please.

Click for bigger, if, you know, that's what you want.

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