Wednesday, June 3, 2020

003 #blogjune - Fade to BLACK

003 #blogjune 2020

 " Stars hide your fires; let not light see my black and deep desires ” 
― William Shakespeare

Song of the Blog:
"Maybe then I'll fade away and not have to face the facts It's not easy facing up, when your whole world is black"
 - The Rolling Stones

Comic books over the years have portrayed black people in an over the top caricatural way. The question now is, should these comics still be allowed or erased from history.  Books like Tintin and other European comics that I used to read as a kid were often filled with quite exaggerated portrayals.

Should these stories be censored? Redrawn? Burned? Is it part of history? A tough topic that will have people divided, whilst as a child reading them you weren't aware of the cultural issues. What should be done about the books that do have these images that many will see as offensive and wrong.

I was reading old Suske and Wiske (Bob and Bobette) comics last month and found these images and would like to hear what sort of solutions people have to issues that they raise.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

002 #blogjune 2020 - STORM in a teacup

002 #blogjune 2020

“This world to me is like a lasting storm, whirring me from my friends. ”
― William Shakespeare

Song of the Blog:
"Riders on the storm
Into this house we're born
Into this world we're thrown"

 - The Doors

Back in 1977, the year of my 10th birthday, one of my favourite comic strips of all time was published for the first time in the weekly comic magazine EPPO. I was thrown into the world of STORM. Loved all the stories, bought all the books. A large framed STORM poster still hangs proudly on my wall and still I often look through some of the old comic books created by Don Lawrence.

This year - in the NEW EPPO magazine - they are celebrating 45 years of STORM... I am not sure if I am in some alternate world - ( it sure feels like it at times ) but 2020 - 1977 to my calculations is still only 43?! - I haven't read any articles about the how and why of 45, I can only imagine Storm might have been conceived in 1975? But it seems a bit strange when the cover of 1977 EPPO 11 clearly states that's when STORM started?!

The recent EPPO magazines have commissioned other artists like Fred de Heij and Robbert Damen to pay tribute to Storm following the 45th birthday of the comic hero. It seemed there has been some controversy about their styles and how it doesn't quite live up to the original comic. Maybe instead of a whole story, each artist could have just done a one page hommage. But hey, it is always an interesting experiment. I haven't seen the actual pages and can only judge by the covers (and we all know how that saying goes).
Back in 1980 these were some of the great STORM cover images of EPPO.

In 1980 the EPPO magazine celebrated its own FIVE year celebration and in a special edition two artists swapped styles - FC KNUDDE was drawn by Don Lawrence and STORM by Toon van Driel. I thought that was quite hilarious at the time and can still appreciate it. Even Franka artist, Henk Kuijpers had a go at portraying Storm and his partner in his style. I would have LOVED to see a whole Storm story by his pen.

Also back in 1980, Don Lawrence (the artist of STORM) created this awesome poster of THE HULK - showing how sometimes it can just be fun to see other artists create their versions of a well known character.
Even if you don't agree with the look of it, it shouldn't make you angry and turn into a negative hulk on social media. We should all learn to quiet down the storm in our minds and not let it turn into a storm in a teacup.

Poem of the day:

Not all is bad about everything
Not all is good about nothing
Neither here nor there
Everywhere, every day
People have something to say
About it all
So small
Made so big
To ignore… that is the trick
To be ignored makes me sick
To be ignorant makes you a dick

Monday, June 1, 2020

001 #blogjune 2020 - RIP Eric

001 #blogjune 2020

“If you write then you are reborn. Because by writing about the moment,
you can relive it for a second time.”

― Kamand Kojouri

Song of the Blog:
"Welcome to happy hour, blinkin' on the neon sign…"
 - Ted Hawkins

A year has passed since I first participated in the BLOGJUNE project. So much has happened, books were written, poems created, photos taken. But it all seems like one big BLUR now.
This year, the whole world seems like a smudge, left behind by a viral frenzy. So, instead of focusing on all of that in these coming blogs… I have decided to just take an image from one of the comic books in my collection and write some words to go with it.
For a few years now, I have followed fellow blogger, Michael Minneboo (author of 'My friend, Spiderman), who in the Dutch comic magazine EPPO creates a regular column called "Onder de Loep" (A Closer Look) with a similar intention. I like the idea of showcasing parts from my youth, through these little graphic windows.

With the passing of Dutch comic book artist Eric Schreurs (61) this week, I decided to pick a frame from his body of work. Most of it is probably highly offensive these days, but as a teenage boy in the Netherlands his graphic style and over the top humour always seemed to hit the right spot.
His most famous character would have to be 'Joop Klepzeiker', a one page comic about a bit of a loser,  published in a weekly magazine before it got printed in a long line of bestselling books. But the frame I have picked is from a weird wild story (with no text) about Adrian Backfish. Most of those pages I really can't show, they are from a crazy Klepzeiker special book.

The short story shows a dark future with crazy characters, like this role reversal of Tintin and his dog Snowy and in the frame next to it, a special guest appearance by none other than the spectacular Spidey!
I like these sort of Easter eggs in comics, little pop culture nuggets waiting to be found. RIP Eric Schreurs - the Jeroen Bosch of Dutch Comics - the Crumb of Holland !

Come back to eRiQ's BloQ 2moro,
for a closer look at another frame from my comic book collection.

What a great place to be.


2020 vision
A mission
To survive, stay alive
Taking closer looks
At things from books
Mixing up the truth
Lifting up the roof
Staying strong
Hidden too long,
Anxiety Magnified
Secrets declassified
Tick tock
Around the blog
In 30 days

Monday, April 27, 2020


It’s the final day of New Zealand’s LEVEL 4 isolation LOCKDOWN…
After 33 days in this ‘LEVEL 4 bubble’, it’s almost time to ‘wrap it up’.
- our new level 3 bubble ‘the recovery room’, will finally give me the option to go back to the beach!
We will still practice social distancing as a nation.

“Activities must be safe” – I will make sure to keep 2 metres away
from anybody not in my level 3 bubble – I will stay ‘exclusive’!

As a writer and an artist, who has battled with social anxiety for quite some time, the beaches, parks, gardens, and stunning mountain of Taranaki have given me inspiration on a daily basis.
Over the years I have found that art as a therapy can be so valuable in navigating the path of anxiety. It has allowed me to express myself nonverbally, moving away from personal thoughts in order to see a more visual expression of any given situation. This act of creative expression connected me as an artist with my inner sense of vitality and replenished my soul. Even though I often preferred the safety of our home and my creative space, it has been important to spend that time in nature to re-energise. Just picking up rocks on the beach, finding that piece of driftwood or taking a photo of a sunrise above the cliffs of Taranaki made life a bit easier.

Throughout my life it has been my goal to publish my first novel, having been passionate about writing since I was quite young, creating my own comic book stories and capturing my inner thoughts through journal entries and other forms of art. I went from writing for school newspapers to ACTUAL newspapers, later on in life. One other thing that has always helped me throughout my life is creating doodles!

With the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, the restrictions on not being able to visit the local beaches and parks put a further strain on my mental health. It had been hard enough to build up my confidence towards releasing myfirst novel ‘Cul-de-Shock’ earlier in the 2020, but after receiving positive feedback and reviews, I decided to use this time during this lockdown more productively and get started on my second book in the Tarquin ‘SHOCK-trilogy’.  I can proudly say that my second novel is now in the editing stages, before being released soon on Amazon both in print and eBook format.

Dealing with Anxiety in my 2020 bubble.

Alongside this novel, I decided to also write a poetry eBook "COVIDIOTIQ"; a selection of poems, plus three short stories, which I wrote during the lockdown as a way of coping with my feelings. I have dedicated it to all the people who stayed in their bubbles and saved their world and ours, as well as all the essential workers that worked tirelessly to keep us alive. It’s now available on Amazon to download. I have put it on at the lowest price they would allow, so it can be available to as many people as possible.

Here’s one of the poems from my latest eBook:

We are all in this together
No one less, or no one better
No one happier or sadder
Not much saner or any madder
All of us on an island, small
Only Together or, not at all

We are all whanau, friends or mates
No matter how entangled are our fates
How opposite some souls might seem
We're all part of the same team
So, as in sport, support your nation
While we slowly crawl from isolation.

Friday, February 21, 2020


I have covered book covers before ( Link to previous BLOQ) 
- but this year I have actually created quite a few book covers myself ...

Like the photographic poetry books; CAPITAL Q (poems about Wellington),POETREE (my poetry book about trees) and the FREE photo book (on ISSUU) about the 2019 A&P Show in Hawera.

Then - of course - (blowing my own trumpet)... there was the design for my own cover. It went through a few stages, but in the end I have chosen a collage of two photos I took. One of a tree (from our garden btw) and one of a road marking.  It's symbolic of the duality between trees and roads...  for me it's like the road to heaven, the 'road' to the Grand Old Dame, that Mickey D thought of as her own Cul-de-Sac...

It also represents the location where the 'Bowie Babies' had their first driving lesson and their first kill (oops, spoiler), shaping them into who they became.

Here is a peek at some of the earlier ideas for the book cover of 'CUL-DE-SHOCK'

Author, Illustrator/Cartoonist,  Photographer, Blogger.

Monday, February 17, 2020

The 'WRITE' time ;)

It has been a bit quiet with no writing on my BloQ for a while.
That's because I have been busy… WRITING!
I always wanted to write a novel. In the past I have written short stories, articles, reviews (books, films, games) and many comic strips and cartoons. I have created text for websites, packaging, posters, flyers. Produced poems and wrote in my journal since 1980 (okay, there was a USA travel journal in 1977). I even wrote a whole screenplay for a movie as a teeanager. Writing has always been a passion and I enjoy playing with words. So, I decided it was time to write and publish my very first novel. 

Along the way, I also created some photo books and poetry bundles. A few of them have already made it online (Amazon and Issuu) alongside my novel; Cul-de-SHOCK.

It has been an exciting process, filled with weird coincidences and life imitating art.

I am very thankful to my dear wife, Debbie, who read each chapter as it was written and was instrumental in the editing of my book. After all, English is my second language,  so there were plenty of weird grammar issues to be solved.

The book, as I wrote it, seemed to live its own life …
The way it transformed from a simple idea of a killer who targets cul-de-sacs to the 300 page first adventure of Tarquin and Maddy. The music of David Bowie (one of my favourite artists) became the soundtrack of the story and parts of my own personal experiences were interwoven into this fictional novel of twisting Taranaki tales.

Throughout this venture, we still worked on our other projects and also managed to get out into nature to achieve a work/life balance. We also worked on the layout and cover design of our friend Justine's first novel, that Debbie was fortunate to edit as well. Which raised the question, why not start our own publishing company…  eQuBe Publishing. We designed the logo, got business cards printed, created a website - and if we weren't busy enough - let's add a free online local ART magazine into the mix. 

Introducing QUBE!
An exciting new project that will be showcasing
all the local Taranaki talent in a digital bi-monthly format.

These are some of the reasons why this BloQ hasn't been populated for a while.


Click here if you want to buy my books
Click here for your FREE copy of the QUBE magazine

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Happy Doodle Diary Anniversary Day

"Do you have hands? Excellent. That's a good start. Can you hold a pencil? Great. If you have a sketchbook, open it and start by making a line, a mark, wherever. Doodle. " - Chris Riddell

"So darlin', Happy Anniversary
You've made my life for me
Once again, thanks for the memory
My darlin', Happy Anniversary."

- Roy Rogers


The 22nd of September...  a day after my birthday (gosh, am I really 52 already) seems to be the day for A LOT of things ... Car FREE day (OK, I won't be going anywhere today), Business Women's Day (congrats to all women in business), White Chocolate Day (not for me, I like mine DARK), Chainmail day (Will that be going well into the KNIGHT?), World Rhino Day (Some say they are just obese unicorns), Elephant Appreciation Day (not a lot of them around here), Ice Cream Cone Day (not for me today) and my two favourites of them all "Doodle Day" and "Dear Diary Day"!!!


I have been doodling since I could hold a pencil. Not so much on the wall, as some kids might - no, I was fortunate that my father supplied me with steady amounts of paper. At school I would always create elaborate doodles in my workbooks, which resulted in working for school newspapers, going to the Art Academy and eventually "doodling" for several newspapers and publications here in New Zealand. I still doodle - but theses days more on my digital tablet. Here are some examples:

Keeping a journal started for me in 1977, in the form of a travel journal - but keeping a everyday one began in 1979.
Wow - I have been doing this for 40 years!!! - Even in my journals I used to doodle, whether it was a map of a house or room, just some silly doodle in the margin or a breakdown of the contents at the back of the journal.  Many volumes have been filled since. Here's an entry of SUNDAY 22 September 1985. I turned 18 years old that year. 

But who cares about all those silly made-up days (Hmm... Ice cream Cone day DOES sound tempting) - the real reason to celebrate today is because it is our Anniversary!!!
That's right - our marriage turned 18 years old today. On the 22nd of September 2001, Debra and I got married at the Windrest Cottage in Te Puke. 

Happy Anniversary, Babe!
You truly are my rock in this turbulent river and looking
in the crystal ball, I can see many more great years ahead !