Archive for February, 2008

Beyond the Creative Industries

Just published by NESTA, Beyond the Creative Industries: Mapping the creative economy in the United Kingdom (PDF link, 6.8mb) “The creative industries are one of the most important contributors to the UK economy. So it is important that we accurately measure their contribution to economic activity. Doing so can help both policymakers and industry professionals […]

The British Leyland of art

In today’s Observer, “Low morale devastates art colleges” (all across London, one finds on reading the article). Who knew? Classic quote… “I don’t think the comparison with British Leyland is helpful” Related: Grayson Perry on London arts schools; Saatchi on London art schools; Irit Rogoff at Goldsmiths talking about what’s happening inside London art schools; […]


Released on CD at long last, Bachdenkel’s Lemmings (1970) album. Bachdenkel were a psychedelic rock band from south Birmingham, who Rolling Stone called “Britain’s Greatest Unknown Group”. The entire band went to live in France once the UK scene started to reach the “selling hippy wigs in Woolworths” stage, to tour and work on their […]

‘Zine Symposium

The 4th Annual London ‘Zine Symposium, 27th April 08… “Bringing together ‘zine, small press, comic and radical writers to celebrate DIY and ‘zine culture.”

Public opening

It seems there’s finally to be an arts gallery at the ill-fated £51 million c/PLEX The Public building in West Bromwich, to open 28th June 08. The website for The Public Gallery, to be sited in the building, has just launched… “Public Gallery will be located in the landmark Public Building, due to open in […]

Rare jobs

So you’re a young graduate who’s just heard that Microsoft bought Midlands videogames developer Rare for £238 million, and you think they’d like a job there. So how exactly do Rare recruit graduates? Do you just show your face at IGDA Midlands and get into some social-niceworking, or wot? Senior Rare developer Nick Burton talks […]

A day in my life

A day in my life — a community which is posting large 40 to 60+ photo sets, each documenting a complete day in someone’s life. The ‘soft branding’ embodied in the masthead is rather effective, even if it is possibly from a template and not intentional. This sort of ‘day blogging’ has huge potential to […]

Bham City Centre Shopping Guide

Just launched, a new website with a free 8Mb PDF guide to shopping in Birmingham city-centre to download… “This is the first time a city centre shopping guide has been created for the city and [ it ] has been very positively received by the users. The guide is available ‘free of charge’ in […]


Fabness; Time Out magazine brings news of a London exhibition of Jarman’s dark paintings and sculptures, which blends neatly with the gothic revival. The article offers an enthusiastic but slightly mis-informed potted profile, and throws in a Tilda Swinton interview and other tributes for good measure. The Serpentine Gallery show (23rd Feb – 13th Apr […]

Margaret Drabble in Stoke

Novelist and scholar Margaret Drabble has revisited Stoke-on-Trent, in the spirit of J.B. Priestley’s famous English Journey. She can’t avoid the drab January ugliness (unavoidable by car, largely avoidable on the 100-miles of off-road bicycle paths in North Staffs) but manages to find the mass of “intensely quirky” detail that’s born of the insular-and-divided nature […]

Jack Kirby at the ICA

Everyday superhero Chrissie Harper sends news of the Jack Kirby ICA event she’s planning, in honour of the greatest of superhero comics artists. It coincides with the launch of the new book Kirby: King of Comics. The event’s on April 15th 08, and Paul Gravett now has more details of venue and time and guests… […]

Digital Media event

There’s to be a one-day Using Digital Media in Marketing and Communications event at Alton Towers theme park in North Staffordshire, 18th March 08. It aims to introduce innovative West Midlands businesses and research teams to the idea of using digital media to promote their ideas. Hosted by the University of Warwick and Maverick’s […]

‘What if New York…’

‘What if New York…’; photoshopped images and architect renderings of ideas for post-disaster housing design for the city. With a more positive twist, there’s the seed of an idea in here for a competition that asks Midlands culturepreneurs to Photoshop and render their way to imaginative visions of a possible future West Midlands.

1,539 new jobs forecast, to 2014

An interesting new document from the Learning & Skills Council: LSC West Midlands Strategic Analysis 2007 — Appendix 3: Creative & Media (Dec 2007). It has some informed forecasts for creative employment growth in the West Midlands to 2014, giving figures for jobs that creatives might recognise as being creative. The figures given below are […]

The Chinese fake art industry

In this week’s BBC podcast-only documentary, a 27-minute MP3 (direct link) programme on the Chinese fake art industry. The Atlantic has pictures.


The new Animation Forum West Midlands website is starting to carry some excellent interview/profiles.

Reg Bunn

The major history-of-comics blog Bear Alley had an article on the Birmingham comics artist Reg Bunn a few days ago, profiling his earliest works. Bear Alley also points to Titan’s 2005 reprint of Bunn’s anti-hero The Spider, collected in the book King of Crooks . According to Dave Gibbons, The Spider was “arguably the greatest […]

Septic Isle

Birmingham comics artist Mick Trimble blogs that he’s just finished drawing 52 pages of art for the graphic novella Septic Isle (Moonface Press, May 08). According to the writer Andy Winter… “It’s about the dirty, nasty, shitty stuff that secret service agents do to defend the state. They go up against some astonishingly nasty bastards […]

Andi Watson

Ooops; yet another cultural bon-bon that I missed over the summer. Paul Gravett has put his 2006 Comics International article on the graphic novels of Andi Watson on his website. Andi lives and works in the city of Stoke-on-Trent in the West Midlands, and is one of the finest storytellers working in comics. His site […]

Friendly Brummies

From the horse’s mouth. Well, actually, from the blog of Joe Craig, London author of the Jimmy Coates series… “Birmingham. Ever been? I was there today. It’s such a friendly place! I knew that already, but it was confirmed for me today, because I was wandering about an industrial estate, basically lost, and in an […]