Merde in France small press book

Aside from writing Hero Culte, hero worshipping and collecting “stuff”, I sometimes have other projects on the side.  I have another blog Tinynoggin which I started recently because I’d just completed my first small press book.

Merde in France is my “learn French the pop culture way” book:

Merde in France covers

It all started years ago when I realised that the French phrase J’en ai marre was actually nothing to do with the guitarist from The Smiths.  Although, to be fair, he probably was a bit fed up from time to time…

Anyway, I taught myself French by listening to French music (anyone who regularly reads Hero Culte will know it’s my thing) and singing along with it and I still conjugate verbs and remember vocab by going through song lyrics in my head.  But not everyone would want to learn French that way.  So, if you prefer, you can learn French the Tinynoggin way and do it with word association.  What I’ve done with Merde in France  is to draw some pop culture icons who remind me of French words for one reason or another.  So if you want to say “I’m fed up”, you just think of the guitarist from The Smiths and say his name with a French accent: “J’en ai marre!”  There you go, you’ve just learnt your first French phrase.  Easy peasy.

There are 28 illustrations (or should I say drawings?  I’m not what you’d call an illustrator by any stretch of the imagination!) and here are some examples below to give you an idea of what kind of thing you can expect from Merde in France:

Merde in France samplesI have to say I’ve been a bit slow on the uptake sorting out the marketing / selling of things but it’s gradually coming together – so if you think you’d like to learn French the pop culture way you can find it here:

Tinynoggin Etsy Store (it’s £5 plus p&p from Etsy)

Orbital Comics in London (a great comic store, you should go there if you’ve never been before – if you have been before, go again anyway!)

Rough Trade website (prestigious or what?)

And if you want to buy it in person you can find me in the First Publications Corner at this year’s Takeover event, run by Alternative Press and The London Radical Bookfair, which is on 9 May at 47/49 Tanner Street, London, SE1 3PL.  For more details see their website where you can also find a list of all the exhibitors.


They will be running workshops and holding talks, so there is plenty to do from midday to 7pm.  Being a newbie I will be in the First Publications Corner, not surprisingly with my first publication Merde in France, but I am also hoping to have at least one other item ready by then – maybe the Morrissey comic, here’s a taster image from that:

Morrissey taster image

Anyway, buy Merde in France if you like – no pressure.  That’s my little advert over.

1960s drawings of pop stars

As someone who grew up reading Look-In magazine in the 1970s, I love drawings of pop culture figures.  In the Teen World and Movie Teen Illustrated magazines I bought recently in America they had loads of drawings of bands – and not just all mainstream bands, some totally unexpected.  Some are good, some not so good.  Here they are and I hope you’ll enjoy them as much as I do:

Comic Music018

The Box Tops

Comic Music017

The Troggs

Comic Music016

Mick Jagger

Comic Music015

John Lennon

Comic Music014

Paul McCartney and Jane Asher

Comic Music013

Paul McCartney

Comic Music012

Herman’s Hermits

Comic Music011

George Harrison

Comic Music011 Donovan


Comic Music010

Bob Dylan

Comic Music009

The Human Beinz

Comic Music008

Jim Morrison

Comic Music007

The Bee Gees (look at those teeth and the evil guy lurking at the  back right, shiver!)

Comic Music006

Um, this is Mick Jagger!

Comic Music005

Mick Jagger

Comic Music004

Cream (another evil looking guy lurking around at the back…)

Comic Music003

John Lennon

Comic Music002

The Rolling Stones

Comic Music002 Dave Clark 5

The Dave Clark Five

Comic Music002 Byrds

The Byrds

Comic Music002 Beatles

The Beatles (but look at Ringo’s tiny legs!)

Comic Music001

Herman’s Hermits

Comic Music001 Sonny Cher

Sonny & Cher

Comic Music001 Ringo Maureen

Ringo & Maureen Starr

Comic Music001 Beach Boys

The Beach Boys

Comic Music001 Animals

The Animals

Comic Book Heroes: Seth

As per my last post, I was at ELCAF in June and I managed to meet Seth and see his “in conversation” session.  Seth is so cute, they should make dolls of him!

CNV00029Seth goes for a wander in East London


Seth with Chris Ware at the Drawn & Quarterly stand


I have to mention the lovely lady above in the turquoise dress – she managed the Drawn & Quarterly book signings really well as it could easily have been chaotic in such a small venue. Thanks, lovely lady!

Seth did two signing sessions at the Drawn & Quarterly stand and he spends so long talking to people and doing sketches when he signs that he might as well have stayed there all day.  He’s very different to Chris Ware (although they obviously get on really well too) in that he’s very chatty and asks where you come from and what you do – I bet he’s a very good people watcher.  Anyway, he’s a delight to talk to and very stylish.  He did a great sketch in my Palookaville book and coloured it in with pens from his Asian knock-off Peanuts pencil case!

Seth sketch autograph

When they make Seth dolls, put me down for one!

All photos of Seth by Hero Culte (Raechel Leigh Carter), taken using an Olympus Trip.  If you’re going to link to these photos elsewhere on the internet, please be decent and credit me – I thank you!


Comic Book Heroes: Chris Ware

I went to the 3rd East London Comic and Arts Festival (ELCAF) on 14 June 2014 – it was a great little festival, too little as it happens because it seems a lot of people were left outside waiting even though they were ticketholders.  Lucky for me I got there early enough to get in and I managed to get a book signed by Chris Ware at the Drawn & Quarterly stall and later saw his “in conversation” session.  He’s a lovely chap but perhaps I should have read what it said in the book I asked him to sign because I rather excitedly started chattering and telling him how I’d seen and met him before with Dan Clowes and he looked really shy.  Afterwards when I looked at the book, suddenly I understood!

“The mating ritual of the North American Midwestern cartoonist is mysterious and largely undocumented.  If, for any reason, you (1) are a girl and (2) should happen to encounter the author publicly, please approach him carefully, open the book to this page, place it in his hands, and retreat to a safe distance after asking him to inscribe.”  (Excuse the  quality of the photo, I really didn’t want to fold the page down too firmly or scan it because I don’t want to ruin the book).

Chris Ware autograph

Ha ha!  Too late, I’d totally ignored his instructions but he did a cute little sketch too so I didn’t have to note his behaviour in the space below the dedication.  He’s lovely anyway and funny with a very dry sense of humour.  Here’s a couple of my snapshots of him from ELCAF:

CNV00019Chris Ware with Seth, doing book signings at the Drawn & Quarterly stand


Chris Ware screening his Quimby the Mouse cartoon during the In Conversation session

Chris Ware sketching in my book

Chris Ware sketching in my book

If you’ve not seen the Quimby the Mouse cartoon, you can watch it here.

Anyway, like I said to Chris Ware, I’d met him before when he and Dan Clowes did a joint “in conversation” session in London in 2010 – now that was an excellent session, the two of them clearly get on really well and have the same sense of humour.  Here’s a couple of photos from the Foyles session at The Cochrane Theatre from 24 May 2010:

Chris Ware Dan Clowes Cochrane Theatre 240510Chris Ware Dan Clowes Cochrane Theatre 240510 B

Poor Chris Ware – he looks so unhappy in front of a camera!

One final thing to add to this post, whilst in San Francisco recently we were told (thanks to the lovely chap at Isotope) about this Chris Ware mural above the pirate supply store (!) at 826 Valencia.  It’s very difficult to photograph as it’s quite a busy road, here’s the best shot I could manage:



All photos by Hero Culte (Raechel Leigh Carter), taken using an Olympus Trip and a Lomography Diana F+.  If you’re going to link to these photos elsewhere on the internet, please be decent and credit me – I thank you!