Friday 26 September 2014

Here's One We Made Earlier in Manchester

I had a short, mini break from the studio this week and visited Salford, last time I was here I had a look around the Blue Peter garden. Blue Peter would once again play a part in this return trip as this time we visited the Lowry’s Here's One We Made Earlier exhibition which explores the past 90 years of children's television at the BBC. Walking through the exhibit was like walking through one’s childhood with various iconic relics and photographs scattered thought the exhibition space. Familiar faces and quotes lined the walls as the sound of familiar television themes and people saying, “I remember that” filled the air, it was brilliant. During these dark times of scandalous truths emerging about a handful of our childhood heroes it is important to strengthen our memories of the ones that didn’t let us down.
In attendance was Morph, The Clangers, Bagpuss, Ottis the Aardvark, the Why Bird, Gordon the Gopher and of course Basil Brush. To be able to get up close to these puppets and see the detail and workmanship was sublime! Other highlights (for me) was seeing the Smallfilms artwork of Noggin the Nog and Ivor the Engine, the Grange Hill uniform, The Tracy Island that Anthea Turner made on Blue Peter and of course Humpty from Play School. I would have liked to have seen Pinky and Perky, Edd the Duck and the Wombles there but we can’t have everything. Not that it reflects in anyway on this wonderful exhibition that I urge you all to visit! It runs until October 12th and is free! So don’t delay!

© Arfon Jones 2014. All images are copyrighted throughout the world.

Friday 19 September 2014

The Angry Video Game Nerd

Over the years I have enjoyed the work of a handful of Internet reviewers and often have their channels playing in the background as I work and one of my favourites has to be the Angry Video Game Nerd. For the benefit of those not in the know The Angry Video Game Nerd or also known as the AVGN is a character created/played by James Rolfe who reviews the worst games that the gaming industries from back in the day had to offer. He reflects on their low quality and poor designs and looks back at the game consoles themselves and the movies that inspired some of the games, his videos provide a nostalgic look back at several aspects of gaming history. His infamous ‘sweary’ rants about how ridiculously difficult a stage or the overall game is reminds me of my own frustrations with game glitches, random objects that get in ‘your’ way and the platforms that we fall through. Then when your almost at point of tears you declare that you HATE the game but before the words even have a chance to echo you press ‘continue’ to start over again refusing to let the game win!
I had always intended to create a ‘follow up’ to my Stuart Ashen’s Poundland Peril painting and seeing as that was a cover for a fictional Spectrum game I thought the next logical console would be the NES and thought who better to feature on the cover but the Angry Video Game Nerd?!
Anyone that watches James Rolfe’s other Cinemassacre projects will know that he is quite different to his alter ego and so with this in mind I decided to base the image on one of the first games he reviewed ‘Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’ on the NES. Having drawn a concept sketch I thought I would upload it to my DeviantArt page to see what AVGN fans thought, and a they seemed to like it leaving positive comments but at that point my workload increased and I had to temporarily shelve the project. Then in May of last year, having successfully completed the bulk of my commissions and attended Wales Comic Con I decided to take a break and catch up on the latest episodes of the AVGN and to my absolute surprise I discovered my artwork featured on the opening credits! (00:16) I had absolutely no idea it had been used in an AVGN episode (never mind one devoted to the Toxic Crusader and Troma starring Lloyd Kaufman!) spurred on by this I vowed to have the painting finished in time for the Nerd’s 10th anniversary year and here it is! Happy 10th anniversary Angry Video Game Nerd thanks to James Rolfe and all involved with the show for all the entertainment!

© Arfon Jones 2014. All images are copyrighted throughout the world.

Monday 15 September 2014

Sarkylocks and the 3 Bears: The Rejected Risqué Rendering

The other day my good friend Dean Wilkinson informed me that he recently sold a boxset of The Bill to a gentleman in Ireland and that once the sale had gone through they both chatted about Dean’s writing career.
(Dean is one of the funniest people I know, writing for both TV, radio, stage, books, comics, console games and apps providing material for Harry Hill, And & Dec and Stephen Fry) they eventually settled on to the subject of Dean’s book Sarkylocks and the 3 Bears (which I illustrated). It would seem that the gentleman not only liked Dean’s idea and the artwork “by Wales’ finest Arfon Jones” (Dean’s words not mine) but he also thought Sarkylocks was very sexy… Seems this took Dean by surprise, as he said, “I hadn’t thought of her like that at all. She’s far too young for a bloke like me who’s pushing 50.” But I then reminded him of one particular image that I drew of her that was deemed a little too risqué for the book…  Dean’s response, “ Oh yeah, she’s is a bit of a femme fatale. But I ain’t climbing that Yew Tree!  I was going to suggest we send the Irish bloke a copy of the rejected picture but he’d only ruin it.” So here is that image for everyone to enjoy!

Buy Sarkylocks and the 3 Bears on Amazon
Check out Dean’s work here and find out about his latest project Sheerluck

EXTRA: On the subject of Sarkylocks and the 3 bears, back in January my dear friend Kristin Brooks in Arizona sent me this photo!

© Arfon Jones 2014. All images are copyrighted throughout the world.


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