More shirts


I’ve added a couple more shirt designs to the Skull Print page and I’ve also tweaked the ordering process a little. This was necessary when it became apparent that the PayPal purchase system no longer allows buyers to leave a note to the seller even though this option is still available when you create the code for a PayPal button. (I was surprised to discover that the button-creating area of PayPal still looks the way the site did about 20 years ago.) Thankfully WordPress allows you to add contact forms to posts so I’ve added these to each shirt design. It’s an awkward solution but the form does at least allow a buyer to send along details of their required shirt size and shirt colour. A better solution would be a shopping cart arrangement but this will have to wait for now. I’ve been so busy with work for the past few months it’s taken me all summer to even get this far.


Promethea 14, 2001. Art by JH Williams III.

The new designs are two versions of the perennially popular James Joyce design, plus the Kabbalah map which I created in 2000, and which subsequently made a cameo appearance in issue 14 of Alan Moore’s Promethea. This has always been popular as a print at CafePress but people also like to have it on a shirt. I’d suggest white shirts only for this design but the decision is for the purchaser.

Previously on { feuilleton }
T-shirts by Skull Print



This is mainly another attempt to test the reluctant connection to Twitter but it should be evident by now that my posting frequency has moved up a gear or two. Social media stopped being enjoyable years ago; this is feeling very enjoyable again. Stay tuned.

Update: And that worked this time. Thanks, Kaneda.

All change


Since I’ve decided to start writing here more frequently I’m also taking advantage of a rare lull between commissions to upgrade the blog. I’ve avoided doing this for far too long with the result that the current three-column appearance is no longer suitable for mobile hardware. I don’t look at websites on my phone but I use a tablet every day and these pages aren’t very readable on small screens so I’m looking for a more flexible blog theme. Before doing this I’ve also been upgrading some of the background software, and will probably be installing things and messing around behind the scenes for the next couple of days. Consequently, the TS Eliot testcard may be visible more than usual while I take WordPress offline.



From the Kusho series by Shinichi Maruyama.

It was February 13th, 2006, when I sat down and wrote some words from Charles Fort—”One measures a circle, beginning anywhere”—as a title of the first post here. Ten years on, and the circle has turned ten times, or once if you’re measuring in decades. This time last year I made the decision that when I reached the tenth anniversary I was going to reduce the activity a little. Writing a blog post on a different subject every single day of the week requires discipline even if it’s your main line of work. This has never been my main line of work, but I’ve nonetheless managed to rack up 4,035 posts while juggling design and illustration work, and while (somehow) writing an as-yet-unpublished 217,000-word novel. When the workload has been heavy it’s been a chore having to write another daily post yet the improvisational nature of the thing has always been fun. Writing something new every day puts you on the spot; it forces you to get your thoughts in order (or scale them back), and it also hones your writing skills. I don’t know what I expected of this blog in 2006 but I’m fairly sure I didn’t expect to be writing it daily for ten years. And yet here we are.

So with that said, I’m going to discontinue the daily posting for the time being although the weekend post will follow tomorrow as usual. One thing that’s become apparent is that the first five years were easier than the second five because I seemed to have more time on my hands. The increased visibility of my work in recent years has meant that I’ve been more in demand, and I’ve been subject to increasing periods of all work and no play. When that happens, something has to give, and not having to write something here every single day will give me an hour (or more) free time each day. There will still be posts, of course: this forum is too useful to abandon, and on the work level alone I have some high-profile projects due out this year. I’d also like to be able to write longer posts from time to time. One hazard of the daily post is that longer pieces have to be written over several days while still writing a daily post as well.

My thanks, as always, to regular readers and commenters. Don’t be alarmed by a few days’ silence. Things will continue but at a slower pace.

John x



Post number four thousand coincides with Roy Batty’s birthday, so happy birthday, Roy. Best not wish him many happy returns… It’s also David Bowie’s birthday and album release day but he’s receiving enough attention for that already.

WordPress always sends a statistics summary at the end of each year. The stats for 2015 looked like this:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 900,000 times in 2015. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 39 days for that many people to see it.

The busiest day of the year was January 18th with 3,460 views. The most popular post that day was The gay artists archive.

No surprise about the most popular section of the site which frequently gets double the traffic of any single post. Input to that section of the blog has fallen off over the past year but I do have a couple more posts lined up when I get a spare moment.

These are the posts that got the most views in 2015.

1 The art of NoBeast June 2007
2 The art of Takato Yamamoto June 2007
3 Phallic casts 2011
4 Compass roses August 2011
5 The art of Thomas Eakins, 1844–1916 March 2006

The phallic casts post had a huge spike of traffic on New Year’s Day for some reason. Some of the attention for these posts will be from Facebook but since I don’t have an account there—and Facebook also hides their referral details—you can’t be certain. As always, my thanks to everyone who takes the time to read and to comment.