These books are self-published in zine format, 21 x 15 cm and saddle-stitched with illustrated paper covers in single brilliant colours. All are new additions to Mike Nicholson’s personal and thoughtful Bio Auto Graphic series, each a visual diary filled with animated line drawings and hand-written text.
Mike Nicholson writes:
This series began tentatively, with my attempt to insert myself – or at least a version of myself – into a narrative combining my existing illustrative skills and a desire for writing that had existed since I was a child. After several parallel professional careers as illustrator, storyboard artist and designer in 2004 I first tried to say something in a more personal voice. I was 42 years old at that point and it was time to clear my throat, put my cards on the table and make a few things clear.
Making the editions continues to be a source of great pleasure, I’m glad to say; challenging, thought-provoking, surprising.
When the connection’s made with an appreciative reader it is a very sweet moment. (M. Nicholson 2015, pers. comm., 26th May)
Bio Auto Graphic edition 22 is A Glass Half-Full / A Glass Half-Empty. Eight years on from the first edition, this has poignant memories and reflections, fears and dreams on approaching the age of 50.
Londonaut! Footfalling Down a City: June & July 2013 (no. 23) is a book full of journeys, maps and histories – of the city and the personal observations of walking and remembering. There are recollections of the Kray twins in Evering Road and The Ladykillers in Ealing, sightings of post Olympic “gleaming towers of status & division” and loft apartments where once were brick warehouses (Nicholson, M. 2013). There are meetings: with friends and former students, with Peter Ackroyd, biographer of London and with Roy Hudd, dressed as a comedian’s ghost. All this against a vast, ever-shifting backdrop of familiar shops, East End streets, libraries, memorial gardens and bandstands.
Mike published Another Month of Sundays (no. 24) in two different coloured editions, appropriately reminiscent of spring. I am glad we have it in both deep, rich cadmium yellow and pale lilac.
Maria White, formerly Chief Cataloguer at Tate Britain and now at London Metropolitan University, described reading Another Month of Sundays at the Contemporary Artists’ Book Fair in Leeds:
Mike explores his Sundays in February 2014, from a glorious description of Michael Gove on “The Andrew Marr show” to the celebration of the end of “The Bridge” with a “faux Scandi feast”, plus a visit to his parents. Mike’s wonderfully personal and touching take on life, his own, but also ours. (White, M. 2014)
The Power of Small (no. 25). There are three beautiful sketches working towards the cover image on Mike’s own blog here.
Finally, A 3rd Month of Sundays is the 26th and latest edition in the series:
Twice before I’ve done this, used the Sundays of February as markers in the sand. Way stations & processing points for the incoming mind food. (Nicholson, M. 2015)
I love this description of the diary-like book, which traces illness and loss, and intervals in a single month as “way stations” forming, as they do, processing points for both writer and reader.
White, M. 2014, Artists’ book at The Tetley, Leeds, 7-9 March 2014, Maria E White London, viewed 19 May 2015, https://mariaewhitelondon.wordpress.com/
Ensixteen Editions in the Artists’ Book Collection
A 3rd month of Sundays. (2015)
Another month of Sundays. (2014)
Bio auto graphic: issue zero. (2004)
Bio auto graphic: lettering from America issue, part 1. (2006)
Bio auto graphic: lettering from America issue, part 2. (2006)
Bio auto graphic: scar issue. (2005)
Bio auto graphic: sitting ruminations issue. (2006)
Common senses, part 1: see. (2008)
Common senses, part 2: hear. (2008)
Common senses, part 3: smell. (2008)
Common senses, part 4: touch. (2008)
Common senses, part 5: taste. (2008)
Every man is an island. (2010)
A glass half-full / a glass half-empty. (2012)
I, in the sky issue. (2005)
In a single bound volume our hero is free. (2008)
In the air… (2011)
Londonaut! Foot falling down a city: June & July 2013.
A month of Sundays. (2011)
Night and day / day & night. (2010)
On the margins. (2012)
The physics of violence, part 1: cause. (2011)
The physics of violence, part 2: &. (2011)
The physics of violence, part 3: effect. (2011)
A place of interest: mapping myself. (2010)
The power of small. (2014)
The power of ten. (2011)
Seasonal range: a winter’s sale. (2008)
Seasonal range: autumn almanac. (2007)
Seasonal range: special summer. (2007)
Seasonal range: spring breeze. (2007)
Sensed place: a Locus Project sample. (2007)