For a long time, well, since I stopped drawing comics & got into storyboarding for the film & TV world, I’d had dreams of being a director myself (I did manage to direct one pop promo). So any ‘spare time projects’ were always targeted towards the realms of film or TV. For a while it looked like we…(Jamie, me & the amazing Mr. Cass Browne) might get a Zombie TV series called Shoot to Kill off the ground, that was back in 2002/3 before Zombies had truly come back into fashion. And before that, I went & lived in LA for two months (I rented a room from Gilda Texter, who, in the year I was born, was starring as the ‘nude girl on a motorcycle’ in the cult classic ‘Vanishing point’ - but that’s another story) I lived in the Valley with her & finished writing a science fiction screenplay called ‘Instructions How to Die’. They liked it at Scott Free (Ridley Scott’s company) & sent it off to Fox for me – but alas they didn’t want to do anything with it and nothing ever came of that. And the thing is, I’m not very good at selling myself, or more specifically my work. So I’d just put those things on the back burner & get on with the next ‘big idea’.
So the whole thing about doing the comic book ONE was born out of that frustration, the frustration of having to get ‘money men’ on board in order to make any project happen. I was starting to think on a smaller scale again and was quite excited by the prospect.
Friends, the lovely Matt & Lucy of Beat13 inspired me further with their more homespun attitude towards their art. They live a comfortable life & the most important thing is that they’re doing exactly what they want to do artistically, without selling out to ‘The Man’. So I was stirred into action & decided to do my own screenprint. At this point the ONE comic book deal still hadn’t crashed, so as far as I was concerned I was just gonna get ahead of the game & start what could one day be a wraparound cover, or a fold out poster, as well as a screenprint that people could buy via the internet or the comic book.
So the thing that was interesting me at the time was the idea of this Japanese cult TV show I mentioned earlier. I’d already designed the godbot character & the omnipresent ‘man with a beard’ whose name kept changing (I’ve settled on ‘Nobodaddyo’). This Nobodaddyo character was to be everywhere in the TV show, an icon in fact and he was also to look strangely like Gregory Pope. At that stage we hadn’t worked out exactly why, it was just a way of linking the two worlds together.
Is any of this making sense? Sorry, stick with me… it’ll all come together in the end.
I was also interested in maps. I love looking at maps and I thought a map of this ‘imaginary TV series world’ could make a great print. Here’s the rough I did of it… then I went straight into it, knowing I was gonna add stuff as I went.
It wasn’t until after I’d finished the map, trekked up to ‘Missionprint’ in Birmingham to oversee it being printed, that I had a proper name for it. I was riding the train back reading ‘Journey to the East’ by Hermann Hesse, when I came upon this sentence…
“Our goal was not only the East, or rather the East was not only a country and something geographical, but it was the home and youth of the soul, it was everywhere and nowhere, it was the union of all times.”
This quote seemed to sum up, quite succinctly, exactly how I felt about my map… & as you can see, the map already bears the inscription ‘Everywhere & nowhere’ so I was beside myself with excitement because it felt like a fine example of synchronicity & at the same time the title had presented itself to me. So I called it ‘Journey to the East’.
When I’ve worked out how to stick a ‘buy button’ on here, they’ll be available to purchase…
Here’s the blurb - Screen printed by hand in three colours on high quality 250gsm paper, a limited edition run of one hundred, numbered and signed by the artist. Paper size 820mm x 320mm – Print area 780mm x 285mm