On Monday night I went out with my old friend Steve, who lives in Burnley – of all places – but was in London Town for some capitalist gangbang or other. Steve works in IT. Which is a shame because he is capable of drawing things like this:
My housemate Laurel (surname Affs) finds many of Steve’s drawings rather repulsive. She is not alone in this. So do I. This one for example:
But then I rather like being repulsed. A lot of people don’t. (Especially the ladies.) Here’s one for the ladies:
In my not enormously humble opinion, Steve is a hugely talented artist, so when I became possessed by Stan, it seemed only natural that he should supply the visuals. So I gave Stan a friend called Keith. Keith was a composite of a number of real-life friends, including Gee (from whom he took a predilection for taking drugs and a blueberry-shaped aneurysm in his brain), Alan of Spain (from whom he took his mild MS) and Steve (from whom he took, rather more directly, his artistic talent).
When Steve first started drawing from Keith’s point of view, I was very excited by the results, especially as I was kind of steering him. It was an honour for me. ‘You’ve just been told you have an aneurysm,’ I’d say, ‘and you might die at any moment. How does that make you feel?’
Like this, he said:
‘You’ve just been told you’ve got mild MS,’ I said. ‘You could be totally incapacitated by the time you’re 40. What do you see?’
He saw this:
And um… this:
One of the best things about working with Steve on Bête de Jour was bringing his sick skills to a slightly wider audience. Of course he has a wife and three fine children to keep him happy so he doesn’t really rely (as some of us do) on the validation of mercurial internet strangers, a sizeable percentage of whom are mentally unkempt. But still, we all like a bit of praise now and again for the talents that we have. And although he may not need it, I know he gets off on it. Of course he does. Plus, he sold a couple of pictures, and validation that you can actually see in your bank account is never, ever to be sneezed at.
I met Steve in Liverpool, by the way. We were students together, sharing halls of residence and later, a flat in Toxteth that was so toxic and repugnant, it was like the inside of a child molester’s lung. Steve and I became close friends and he told me dark secrets – darker than a 5B pencil – that I swore I would never share with anyone. However, I never said I wouldn’t vaguely allude to them decades later on a thing that would come to be known as ‘the internet’.
Do you know, he once went out with a girl who refused to kiss him after he’d gone down on her. She made him go and clean his teeth first.
I never said I wouldn’t tell anyone that. I’m sure that’s fine.
Anyway, I just wanted to pay tribute to my friend’s talent.
His blog is here.
There is a portfolio here.
And here he is on Twitter. You should follow him and say hello. He’s a lovely chap, even if he is from the North.
Hello, Steve! It was great to see you on Monday. You should come down again soon. Before one of us dies.