Big changes at Andi Watson Enterprises, previously Titanic PLC. I have moved from my writing desk where I do my drawing to the thinking chair, a comfortable chair where I do my writing. I know the naming system of studio furniture is counterintuitive but that’s the way bureaucratic institutions work.
I’ve gone from facing a wall of books to lounging in the thinking chair where I try very hard to think creative thoughts. It’s a good job I’m already sitting down because it’s exhausting work, I can tell you.
It’s a move of less than a foot. Space is tight in the studio (actually front room) what with me and my coterie of (entirely imaginary) assistants, countless boxes, comics, books, materials, old sketchbooks, a bike, box files, various leads, cables, chargers and the five litre plastic container of screen wash. I don’t know what the screen wash is doing here. Unwanted stuff is dumped in a corner and ends up staying for years.
It’s been a minor adjustment but has opened up a whole new vista. Where previously I had no distractions and could dissappear into my own little private world of make believe I now, with a sideways glance, can peer out the of the window and witness the doings of the real world.
I know who is having noisy building work done right now (everybody). I know who gets their food delivered from which supermarket and have made internal micro-judgements accordingly. I know who is having granite worktops installed in their kitchen.
In short, I’m pathetic.
But with government ministers encouraging citizens to inform on their neighbours I feel I am perfectly placed to help enforce future lockdown compliance. With great power comes great responsibility and I am ready to abuse it. Wearing the universally recognised uniform of the power-crazed, a high vis tabard with an ID card dangling from a lanyard, and armed with a notebook, pencil and an arched eyebrow my reign of terror can begin.
Under my rule all building work will cease. Power tools, hammers, angle grinders and strimmers will be banned. Inconsiderate parking will result in corporal punishment. Indoor voices to be used out of doors. Heavy goods vehicles will not be permitted to reverse with their alarms blaring. The dropping of cigarette butts will get you an instant jail term. Parking in the street and making an extremely loud hands-free phone call will get you dragged out of your car and your vehicle confiscated.
What a terrible, fearful, writing utopia it will be.
Of course, if it’s purely for the sake of the police state it won’t be as fun as when I’m looking for a distraction, any distraction, from writing. Plus the paperwork will be a pain. Oh, yeah, and a complete lack of personal freedoms.
I’m not so sure about the uniform either. I was constantly given demerits in the cub scouts for forgetting those stupid garter things that fitted under my turned down socks. I eventually got thrown out for refusing to go to church every week.
Much as the keening cry of a powersaw wreaks havoc with my concentration I don’t suppose it’s worth grassing up my neighbours for.
It’s probably better for everyone if I go back to my writing desk.
VERDICT Watson’s adeptness at capturing body language and facial expressions combines with nuanced dialog and a keen sense of irony to create a hugely entertaining page-turner.
The Book Tour is out in November and available for pre-order now. Mail order from Page 45 and your copy will come with a signed bookplate.
Download a free PDF of preliminary art and colour studies for my Kerry and the Knight of the Forest book. There are other free goodies to download from there such as the Glister activities PDF and last years In*tober sketches.
I have a patreon (who doesn’t) where I post sketches, behind the scenes stuff and a story each week. Tomorrow’s story will prove why I would make a terrible book critic.