Posts Tagged ‘6 Degrees of Francis Bacon’

6 Degrees of Francis Bacon: Day 1

Friday, July 17th, 2009

In the interests of drawing a broader range of subjects than I would ordinarily (my comics generally consist of people wearing t shirts swearing at eachother) I am embarking upon a project that I have given the  unwieldy and slightly nonsensical title of 6 Degrees of Francis Bacon. This is inspired by various Facebook groups where artists have drawn an illustration for each letter of the alphabet,  taking suggestions from groupmembers, blogreaders and twitterers (notably Neill Cameron’s A-Z of Awesomeness and Garen Ewing’s A-Z of Comic Strip Characters).

6 Degrees of Francis Bacon

I’m not going to tackle an A-Z (because that means I would definitely have to do 26 pieces, and this way I can pretend that I was only ever going to do three pieces if no one’s interested), but I am taking my cues from The Chain, a regular feature on Mark Radcliffe & Stuart Maconie’s BBC Radio 2 show, a “never-ending list of records, with every new track somehow connected to the last”. And like The Chain, your connections can be as direct or convoluted, as clever or stupid as you like, as long as it’s an interesting character from the world of Movies, TV, books, comics, music, art etc.

I suspect the vast majority will be from the area of Sci-Fi/Fantasy, as most people who read this, like me, are undoubtedly geeks (I have a theory that everyone has a geek inside them – you can write your own punchline to that). So with the geek centric nature of this project established, here is 6 Degrees of Francis Bacon: Day 1 –


Bossk is a reptillian bounty hunter, briefly seen in The Empire Strikes Back, hissing irascibly at Admiral Piett, hired, among several others, to find and capture the crew of The Millennium Falcon. He’s probably better remembered for his action figure, back in the days when being immortalised in plastic was an honour only afforded to a (relative) handful of background characters. Now of course even Ackmena has one. Obviously common sense suggests that I should have started this with an interpretation of one of the paintings of the eponymous intense and cage obsessed Irish artist, but my initial plan was to do an A-Z of minor Star Wars characters. I scrapped this when I a) kept mucking up “A” for Aayla Secura, and b) realised that there’s a gazillion pieces of Star Wars fan art out there (and even some pretty damn impressive A-Zs too).

So where do we go from Bossk? It could be anything, from Masters of the Universe character redesigns, to an hilarious mashup of Hellraiser and Archie Comics,  or Flowers For Algernon fanart. The possibilities are endless, well, not that endless, I won’t draw that Twilight shit. Stay tuned. And be sure to make your suggestions, along with your connection, for future pictures in the blog comments, on my Twitter feed, or at the Facebook Group.


6 Degrees of Francis Bacon: Day 2

Saturday, July 18th, 2009

So, last time we had Bossk, a reptillian badass from a sprawling SciFi franchise. Today we have another reptillian badass from a sprawling SciFi franchise. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome The Gorn


The Gorn appeared in the Star Trek episode Arena, in which Captain Kirk was stranded on a remote planet that resembled Vasquez Rocks with only his cunning and his FISTS. Of course, in reality James T would have had his ass handed to him by the lumbering loincloth wearing space pimp, but William Shatner had it written in his contract that if he was to go mano a gorno on a distant Californian planetoid he would always emerge victorious. That and all the green skinned venusian babes his tongue could handle.

This pic is clearly a T Shirt design, based on a popular idiotic theme. Yes, some of these illustrations will be in different styles. Feel free to print this off, wear it with pride, and no doubt get sued by Paramount.

Join us again in a few days for the third installment. Oooh what’s it gonna be? Actually I know. But feel free to guess. And after that, I am at your mercy… make your suggestions, along with your connection, for future pictures in the blog comments, on my Twitter feed, or at the Facebook Group.


6 Degrees of Francis Bacon: Day 3

Sunday, July 19th, 2009

So from The Gorn, who was best known for fighting William Shatner, we have another creature that had a tussle with The Mighty Shat: The Gremlin from The Twilight Zone episode Nightmare At 20,000 Feet.

Nightmare At 20,000 Feet

Now, in the original 1963 episode, the creature that liked to hang out on the wings of 747s and terrify passengers looked more like a romper suit wearing gorilla crossed with Susan Boyle (now there’s a contemporary reference that will be incomprehensible in a few months time). The episode was remade for the 1983 Twilight Zone movie, and it’s this more demonic version of the creature I have gone for.

What next?  Make your suggestions, along with your connection, for future pictures in the blog comments, on my Twitter feed, or at the Facebook Group.


6 Degrees of Francis Bacon Day 4: Otto

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

Congratulations to a young man called Jason Cobley for suggesting Otto from The Simpsons, here joined by the Jethro Tull loving swot Martin Prince.


Otto is of course the heavy metal loving, license eschewing, school bus driving burnout for Springfield Elementary. He likes books that are from the vampire’s point of view, “double guitars” and exclaiming “Zeppelin Rules!” when apparently facing impending death. Otto is voiced by Harry Shearer, is the son of an Admiral, and once hired Cyanide (a loving tribute to Poison!) to play at his wedding. Plenty of possibilities for connections there then…

What next?  Make your suggestions, along with your connection, for future pictures in the blog comments, on my Twitter feed, or at the Facebook Group.


6 Degrees of Francis Bacon Day 5: Doc Ock vs On The Buses

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

…or Roy Orbison Vs Hitler.

Doctor Octopus On The Buses

“Thanks” to Jeremy Marshall and Neill Cameron, who suggested the subjects for today’s pic. I can honestly say I never thought I’d see a crossover between classic Marvel Comics and 70s British sitcoms. Certainly never thought I would be drawing it. Of course, the entire cast of On The Buses would have been a little too much, so apart from Blakey, some of the others are just alluded to in the background. I could have gone into more detail (and added that show’s protagonist, Reg Varney, who was apparently the 1970s equivalent of Justin Timberlake in terms of popularity and heart throb status), but sanity prevailed. Incidentally, devotees of that particular monolith of 70s culture will notice that I went for a green bus as in the original series – in the movies (which are, amazingly, not canonical with the TV series) they were red. I like to keep it real.

You may have heard that the BBC are making an Only Fools & Horses prequel series. If ITV ever decide to go for an On The Buses: The Early Years, then the kid that plays Jay in The Inbetweeners is a shoo in for the Bob Grant role.

What next? Surely the possibilities for connections to Doctor Octopus and On The Buses are endless. Make your suggestions, along with your connection, for future pictures in the blog comments, on my Twitter feed, or at the Facebook Group.


6 Degrees of Francis Bacon Day 6: The Doctor

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

It used to be true that if you want to know how old a British person is, just ask them to describe Doctor Who (yes, yes, I know that’s not his name). The unprecedented popularity of the new version may have changed all that however, with most people looking to the current incumbent of the role  – many people have played the part due to a mysterious Gallifreyan process known as “recasting” (gag nicked from TVCream).

“My” Doctor, like that of many others who grew up in the 70s and 80s (seeing as he held the role for the longest time) was bone fide Great British Eccentric Tom Baker, now probably best known for his narration on Little Britain (on which he seemingly reprises his role of Lionel Nimrod). I spent many Saturday evenings being absolutely terrified by his inexplicable antagonists – like that woman made out of shells that grew out of a disembodied hand, or that big penis shaped thing that lived in a lighthouse and sucked the life out of people. It’s possible that I don’t remember some of this stuff exactly.

I think it was all so scary because I didn’t have a hope of understanding it. It was a show full of horrors, unfathomable alien presences appearing like ghosts out of the darkness, and generally fucking with powerless human idiots. Many years after it had traumatised me as a child I came across an episode called City of Death, which featured Julian “General Veers” Glover tearing off his face to reveal a tentacley Lovecraftian monstrosity. It was a bit of a disappointment to rewatch that scene and see him very nearly pulling off the monster face along with the human one.

I have a bit of a theory about Doctor Who. His look is generally inspired by stuff that was going on a few years previously. OK, William Hartnell was just this old professor dude, but Patrick Troughton had a Beatle cut and Jon Pertwee looked like he could’ve hung out on Carnaby Street with The Pretty Things and Tomorrow. Tom Baker’s look is totally 70s, all hair and natural fibres,  actually in a certain light he’s a dead ringer for Orinoco. Peter Davison’s Doctor is all a bit Brideshead Revisited, and the Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy incarnations both look like ghastly multicoloured 80s childrens’ entertainers. Of course the theory falls down a bit at this point when we get to Paul McGann, though I’m not sure “Whovians” even count him as canon? The boys over at MMM/Fantragic would be able to tell you. David Tennant is pure Britpop though, he looks like one of The Bluetones.


The idea behind this picture, as suggested by Mr Jeremy Marshall over at the 6 Degrees of Francis Bacon group on Facebook, was to draw The Doctor in the style of Peter Blake. All well and good, except that I’m not the John Sessions of comics, so the best I can hope for is a picture with some vaguely Blakeish pop arty 60s references. Although Tom Baker was the 70s Doctor… ah well, enjoy.

So that means I need something cool to draw that connects in some way to Doctor Who, Tom Baker, Peter Blake or anything else suggested here. Suggestions are very much appreciated here in the blog comments, on my Twitter feed, or at the Facebook Group.



Monday, August 10th, 2009

Those of you who have wondered what happened to the Mon- Wed- Fri updates will no doubt be relieved to hear that this hiatus is only temporary. I intend to have what some people call a “holiday”, and as such will be going into cyber exile – a weird hinterland where I will not be able to use Facebook or Twitter, and I won’t be able to check my Google Analytics stats every five minutes. How will I cope, eh readers?

Normal service will be resumed in about two weeks, when I shall begin posting Hope for the Future 8, which as some of you know was one of the more awesome issues.

For those of you who are awaiting the next slice of delicious Bacon, you can continue to post suggestions on my Twitter feed, or at the Facebook Group. I shall get right back onto it when I return, but for now, get thinkin’. If no one suggests anything suitable, I have a brilliant idea, connecting to a (pretty awful, but strangely entertaining) movie in which Tom Baker made an appearance.

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6 Degrees of Francis Bacon Day 7: Venger

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009


From Tom Baker, we go to his role in the, let’s be honest, not very good film version of Dungeons & Dragons, and from there we go to the let’s be honest, not very good cartoon of Dungeons & Dragons, and that series’ half Vader half David Warner out of Time Bandits villain, Venger.

The D&D cartoon is fondly remembered by many people, and nostalgic reminiscences about it always lead to the same question. No, they never got home. Actually it was a bit of a weird spin off. A bunch of American teenagers, including Ralph Malph from Happy Days find themselves in a surreal not-very much like D&D world where they are given orders by a grinning Yoda like homonculus , the self styled Dungeon Master. I reckon he was the evil genius pulling the strings, seeing as Venger and Tiamat couldn’t get much done between them.

A backstory for Venger was hinted at, that he was DM’s “fallen apprentice” or son or some such, but in the style of most 80s US cartoons, there wasn’t a lot in the way of character motivation or development, but I like to think that this is a tribute to the big V as it sounds so much like him.

So what next?  Suggestions for something cool to draw can be made here, on my Twitter feed, or at the Facebook Group.


6 Degrees of Francis Bacon Day 8: Test Card Girl

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

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The subject for today’s picture was suggested by Chris Doherty on Twitter, who notes the similarities between the Dungeons & Dragons cartoon and Life On Mars , the BBC’s time travel/The Prisoner referencing psychodrama/70s nostalgia fest. As terrific as the performances by John Simm and Phillip Glenister were, the reality bending appearances by the Test Card Girl fascinated me the most. Anyone who grew up in the 70s has this image burned into their brain, so it was a stroke of genius for the creators to bring it to life. And creepy kids (not to mention creepier clown dolls) are always a winner.

So where next?  Suggestions for something cool, related in some way to Life On Mars, The Test Card, creepy kids or anything in between, can be made here, on my Twitter feed, or at the Facebook Group.


6 Degrees of Francis Bacon Day 9: Ulysses 31

Saturday, September 19th, 2009

No one else can do the thing you do...

As suggested by Flying Monkey Comics‘ very own Andrew Livesey, we go from a picture featuring a telly, to Telemachus, and his dad Ulysses 31. This was a cartoon in the early eighties, chiefly remembered for having a kickass theme tune, which is awesome. If you can ignore the Countdown bit. Weirdly enough, no matter what language it’s in, it’s always strangely reminiscent of Journey’s Steve Perry.

Unlike most cartoons when I was a kid, Ulysses 31 was actually good. It was weird, creepy, atmospheric and had a definite conclusion. Of course, Greek Mythology is a terrific source for a sci-fi makeover, and both France and Japan have pretty distinguished credentials with regards to surreal sci-fi/fantasy, so a combination of the two is always going to be a winner.

In The Odyssey, Telemachus is at home on the island of Ithaca, no doubt developing a raging Oedipus complex, whereas in Ulysses 31, his dad takes him along on his suicidal cosmic adventure. You may be a Groovy French Space Jesus, but that’s just bad parenting, dude.

This picture makes specific reference to Steven Spielberg’s War Of The Worlds , in which Tom Cruise gets his daughter to sing to herself so she doesn’t hear him beating special guest wacky cameo Tim Robbins to death. That, along with the incongruous use of John Williams Trade Federation March from Episode I, was probably the best bit of that movie. The worst was undoubtedly the part where the schlubby single parent everyman, played by The Cruiser, manages to single handed destroy an Unstoppable Martian Killing Machine. If I burst out laughing during what is clearly meant to be a tense moment, then you know a film has problems.

So where next?  Suggestions for something cool, related in some way to any of these auspicious subjects, can be made here, on my Twitter feed, or at the Facebook Group.