I first met Nick in a dive bar near to Rupert Street, Soho in the February of 1981. He was sipping a gigantic Hemingway Daiquiri, wearing a cravat and a fedora. He was surrounded by the great names in the London art scene and venting about the cruelty of Thatcher’s government on the financing of abstract sculpture.
As I walked into the lounge bar of the Glassblower pub I witnessed Francis Bacon fetch him a clean bar towel to pad his perspiring brow.
‘Of course I chinned him!’ Were the first words I heard Mr Prolix say.
I knew then that we would become firm friends.
We have literally fought our way through the streets, pubs, alleys, strip clubs, jazz dives and punk clubs of old London Town since. The eighties and nineties were the bad old days, when rock and roll ruled, when nobody cared that a thing called ‘Social Media’ would arise like a sticky toffee present in the back of the pants of the world. We were rebels of the medium.
Drugs, sex, art, murder and taxes were cool. The country ran full pace, never stopping to tell anyone they were ‘offended’ or ‘triggered’. Art was art, it was everywhere and everyone shat their pants when it’s true lords entered the room.
Nick has a depth of rich knowledge that flows effortlessly out of his pen nib and onto the page. He is one of the greats in the UK indie comics scene and his work should be shouted about! His work is at once cartoony yet insightful. He provokes thought and also manages at the same time to throw energy and action onto the page with cool lines and hip dialogue.
His work on Cockney Kung Fu over the last year has been a fucking joy. I’ll often get a text at midnight or later from Nick showing excitedly the progress he is making on a page or asking what I thought about a change of panel or a tweak of dialogue. It literally felt like I’d lost an arm when volume 1 ended and I realised I wouldn’t be looking forward to that art arriving in my phone for a while at least.
Nick’s ongoing story beyond the pages of Cockney Kung Fu is the always inspiring Slang Pictorial. I have loved every single page of this ongoing story of wide boys and girls in swinging London.
I had this to say about it when I reviewed the last issue:
‘But there is a real edge to the characters’ journeys in this overarching narrative. We see the growth of worker’s rights and the lack of tolerance regarding sexual and personal freedoms. You feel the early days of the mixing of religious and ethnic diversity in London and also the problems that came from this mixing. Nick takes the time to make these issues a reality for the reader and for the people he populates his comics with. There are some harsh terms thrown around but they always come with the authentic backdrop of the gritty London streets and pubs of the time. A post war land that was undergoing a revolution. A place of flagrant street crime, wheeler dealer barrow boys, old school factory workers, closeted actors, hard drinkers ex soldiers and a growing feeling of racial and sexual freedom.’
Seriously! You really need to pick this series up. It’s going to be something that people will remember for a long time.
So.... what has Nick got ready for True Believers.
This is the cover to the new sketchbook from my wrestling tag team brother. I’d highly recommend it as it is full of the cool characters that Nick loves to draw. Make sure that you pick a copy up from his table.
He’ll also have some original art along with him that you can invest in for a snip of what I’m sure it’ll be worth in years to come.
I tell ya now - this geezer is going places!
Find out more about Nick by following him on Twitter @Nick prolix or head over to his site and have a look at (and buy) some amazing art!
Here’s the link http://thesheepandthewolves.com/
Many thanks for reading.