The Swipe Volume 1 Chapter 4

Very excited. Today I’ll be spending the afternoon at Tutu’s Ethiopian Table in Palmer Park, Reading with my writing group pals, celebrating the launch of our latest anthology. The Three Bs takes as a theme the three industries which made Reading famous—beer, bulbs and biscuits. (There’s a Fourth B which also gets a mention). We’re very proud of the book, hence the meetup. There will be readings, cake and good times abundant. Late notice, I know, but if you can make it down to the park between 2 and 4 you’d be very welcome.

You can check The Three Bs out as an ebook or paperback here:

Wherever you are, whenever you are, however you are, welcome to The Swipe.

Rob is reading…

Kingsley Amis’ Everyday Drinking. A collection of alcohol-forward writings, it’s an approachable and friendly guide to building a better Lost Weekend. Some of the references are out of date, but Kingsley’s knowledge and enthusiasm for the subject shine through. Plenty of sage advice and great recipes, all delivered with wit and panache. I raise a glass to this one.

Rob is watching…

This. New art from my lovely pal Dominic Wade.

Rob is listening…

Right Place, Wrong Time by Dr John. So damn funky. It’s on constant playback in the car, I can’t get enough of it!

Rob is eating…

A simple chickpea and roasted root veg curry has saved my ass a few times this week. With rice, over a jacket spud, it’s friendly, easy and seem to taste better over time. I’m going to clap a puff pastry lid over the leftovers and call it a pie. Yay for weekend batch cooking!

Dinner theatre can be an odd experience—an indifferent meal interrupted by an indifferent production of a so-so play. The Illusionist’s Table sounds like a more interesting way to spend the night, as the two important elements are much more carefully intertwined…

Food Is Magic

It would be easy to put a link to a Vittles essay in every chapter of The Swipe—the writing is just that good. I couldn’t resist sharing a recent overview on food tattoos, and the reasons for getting them. Some great stories here.

Ink And Food

The Smithsonian Museum has opened up its digital archives, giving us permission to freely use millions of images. It’s an incredible treasure trove. Go have a poke around and see what goodies you can find!

The Smithsonian is open!

I love this collection of out-takes from the sessions behind iconic album cover images. You get the sense a lot of the time things were made up on the fly, or plans were changed in a moment of improvised genius. Fascinating stuff.

Album Cover Out-takes

Jeff Pearlman is an American sports journalist whose wisdom and insight into his craft is genuinely inspiring. This long read, in which he looks at how memory can play a major factor in how an interview or article plays out is a game-changer, in my view. Trust in your subject may not be enough when you’re looking for the truth…


Ninth Art content incoming, brace for impact. First up, a panel of writers at the recent Emerald City Comic Con chat about their work and how they do that voodoo that they do so well. It’s great when creators open up like this about their process. There’s always some useful nugget you can take away and apply to your own art.

Secrets Of Comics Writing

Comics, of course, are not just one thing. There are many ways to tell a story in The Ninth Art. Lee Lai explains more…

The Many Schools Of Comicdom

Right, one more then we’ll change subject. If you want to read more comics and have a tablet, then streaming or subscription services are an affordable way to binge. Popverse takes us through some of the options. It’s a bit US-centric but still worth a look. I’d point out if you have Amazon Prime, you can use Prime Reading as a sort of library service, and there’s a ton of great comics content in there you can read for free.

Comics Streaming

The Guardian article which landed this week about book ownership being smug and middle class rightfully got up the noses of smug, middle-class book owners like me. As Lev Parikian points out, you don’t have to spend a fortune to build a library and a book can be with you for a very long time. I like his suggestion of grabbing six books at random from your collection and sharing them. Here are mine…

Six Books

It’s rare for Jeff Tweedy of Wilco to break the music he’s creating on his newsletter Starship Casual out from behind the paywall. It’s a treat to be able to check out his two takes of Elyse Weinberg’s Houses and hear the differences. Personally, I prefer take two. What do you think?

Just Like A Circle Round The Sun

We hand The Last Word over to Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra, who offer up their favourite burger recipes.

I’m handing The Outro over to Róisín Murphy, who released a full show video last week. There are elements of the performance she laid out at festival shows last summer, but this has a bit more polish and control. Throw this on a big screen, crank it up and shake your moneymakers.

See you in seven, true believers.


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Writer. Film-maker. Cartoonist. Cook. Lover.

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