A bonus ‘Artist’s Corner’?
After Friday’s stunning portrait of Mrs Proclaims and me, surely I’ve given enough art to the Blogosphere for one weekend?
Well, yes, frankly I have.
Yet I have been moved once more to display my formidable talent in the prestigious realm of the doodle.
Ladies and gentlemen of the internet, I present to you, arguably one of my finest creations, the noble ‘Upside-down-head Duck’.
It is, quite literally, a picture of a duck with his head on upside-down.
And he is here to serve two purposes today.
FIrstly, one of my favourite bloggers, and semi-professional hobbyist, Haylee, of the brilliant blog Aloada Bobbins, has come up with a new concept – the Moodle Army. Below is an explanation of what it’s all about:
Doodle: A little drawing.
Moodle: A drawing to change your mood.
Moodle Army: A group of people who draw their way to happiness!
Anyone can join in – you don’t need to be a blogger. Just doodle your way to happiness and send the results to Haylee – click one of the links above for details. This week’s challenge was to ‘draw the upside-down’, and my interpretation of that is to draw a duck with an upside-down head.
The second reason for my very specific choice of an upside-down headed duck is because, ‘Upside-Down-Head Duck’ is a character from a series of short stories I wrote many moons ago. The stories came under the collective umbrella of ‘Magic Penguin’. ‘Magic Penguin’ was both the main protagonist of these stories and the name of a project that was a collaborative effort between me and my friend Andrew.
You remember Andrew don’t you? I wrote about him in this post.
Anyway, back in our teens, Andrew and I had dreams of stardom. Originally we were going to achieve this through music. We were going to ride the coat-tails of the Brit Pop movement and we collaborated on several attempts at song-writing. I’ve written about that before too. You can read an excerpt of one our efforts here.
A lack of talent (and fellow band-members) put paid to our dreams of headlining Glastonbury, but our other ‘sure-fire’ way of achieving stardom was comedy.
We spent quite lot of our teens coming up with various skits, and then school was over and we parted ways. Andrew went off to university and I began the period of my life, which can justifiably be referred to as my ‘wilderness years’. We stayed in touch and got drunk together during the holidays. I eventually ended up moving to Paris, which is where I went to university and which is exactly as cool as it sounds. I should definitely write more about that on this blog.
While in Paris I started writing in earnest, mainly in the form of long, unsolicited emails, that I would send to my nearest and dearest whether they liked it or not. But on one stop-over back in Cardiff, Andrew and I came up with the concept of ‘Magic Penguin’ over a few beers.
We realised that the Internet was going to be the main form of media consumption moving forwards (seems obvious now but was quite perceptive of us back then) and we wanted a piece of it. ‘Magic Penguin’ was a website that we set up, and it featured a range of stuff that we thought people would find funny. Obviously it didn’t make us millions and after a year or so of really putting quite lot of effort in, we gave up and focused on actually getting careers that would at least mean we could pay our bills should fame not come a-knocking. But, for a while at least,it was all-consuming and you couldn’t fault our efforts.
Among the content were the aforementioned ‘Magic Penguin’ stories along with other stories of both a satirical and surreal nature, but there were other things, like our ‘hilarious’ take on Roger Hargreaves inimitable ‘Mr Men’ and competitions, which required people to ‘name mystery objects’ (the joke being that it was entirely obvious what the objects were).
Looking back now, much of the humour was the kind of stuff that two perennially single blokes in their early twenties would find funny, but perhaps it was less funny if you weren’t us. Some people liked it but I’m not sure how much of it would stand up today – some of it is definitely not as funny as I thought it was at the time. However, I am quite fond of it all and I think, with a little re-writing, there may still be merit in some of it.
So today I’m launching a new feature on ‘James Proclaims’ with the help of the above malfunctioning mallard. Except it’s not a new feature at all but rather the revival of a long forgotten project. And lets be honest, much of the best entertainment around these days is just a series of reboots of ideas from previous generations.
Ladies and gentlemen of the blogosphere, I present to you:
It’s going to be brilliant.
Or maybe not.
But it’s definitely going to be something…