Blog No. 42

I’ve just got back from my week’s teaching at the Arvon Foundation’s Lumb Bank.  Either side I did book signings at independent bookshops.  On Saturday the 11th as Evelyn said me and my mother did a joint event at News from Nowhere and this Saturday I did the Big Green Bookshop in Wood Green, London, we sold 115 books in all.  Now if I could only get to every bookshop in the country I’m sure I could get Stalin Ate My Homework into the top ten. I’ve taken to obsessively checking the Amazon top 1000 every ten minutes to see how the book is doing which is pretty stupid as its only changed every hour but I notice  there still aren’t any reviews yet, so maybe if any of you have an inclination you could do one.  
More importantly I’ve done an interview for Your Cat magazine about Wilf  M’Banga for the Celebrity Cat section.  I suppose he qualifies twice, once because he lives with me and secondly because he turned up in John Humphries garden as a stray.  I hope he’s not one of those cats who only wants to hang out with other celebrities, a sort of feline Kate Moss.  I wonder if when the article comes out he’ll get his own agent and PR, if he does I’m cutting down on his fishy treats.


"Here's Wilf's photo that will go with his interview in Your Cat"


Blog No.41

I have nearly finished the Stantas drawings.  As Dan says I am doing every one by hand and I have to say they do vary a bit which is I suppose is what you want in something that is handmade.  Some look  exactly like Stalin, a few look a bit like Frank Zappa or the owner of your local Turkish restaurant, I hope those of you who pre-ordered the book enjoy them.  I had to relearn a few of the skills I haven't used since art school.
My friend Mandy pointed out I forgot to put in the listings that on the 11 th of September I’ll be doing a signing at News From Nowhere, Liverpool’s wonderful independent political bookshop and as an extra incentive for those who have read the book or the extract in the Sunday Times, that “great comic creation” as Frank Cottrel Boyce called her-my mother Molly will also be there.



Blog No. 40

As well as the extract in the Sunday Times I've just had a look at the finished copy of Stalin Ate My Homework.  Which looks great.  So great I thought I'd run a special offer.  If you pre-order the book by the 27th of August and send some kind of proof to the email address that comes with this site I'll send you a signed drawing.  In the book I talk about how my parents were always remarkably keen to take me to see Santa in his grotto at Lewis’ department store, I suppose they felt that Santa was a lot like Stalin.  Their names were sort of similar and they were both, kindly-looking,  rotund gentlemen with facial hair and red uniforms and ther headquarters were located in the Northern snowy wastes and were based upon a system of slave labour.  So I thought I'd do a drawing of "Stanta"  a cross between Stalin and Santa for all you lucky pre-orderers. 

p.s.  Evelyn why are you in China and what is is it you're asking me about?


Blog 40a.

Well in response to your question Evelyn I would say that its generally accepted that the era of the Main Battle Tank (MBT) such as the T90, M2 Abrams or Challenger 2 is over and the North Koreans are going down a blind alley in building their own (apart from all the other blind alleys they are going down).  There is however an account in "Stalin Ate My Homework" (which you have very sensibly pre-ordered) of how I came to be obsessed with military hardware.


Blog No. 39

There will be a big extract from my memoir in the Sunday Times Magazine this Sunday the 22nd.  Apart from extracts from the book there are also family photos of me as a child which even I find perplexing as to how that sweet looking infant grew up into me .


Blog No. 38

In the run-up to the launch of the memoir I don’t have that much to do and I was thinking of getting back into doing a bit of volunteering.  (By the way  this is my advertising tagline for the memoir “If You buy one book this Christmas then please buy mine as well.”) years ago I used to garden once a week at an eco-park near my home, then later at another place in Greenwich.  However the last time I tried it didn’t go so well.  About four or five years ago I began gardening with a group from a homeless charity I had worked with.  These hostel dwellers were being eased back into society by fulfilling contracts for councils and urban parks, mostly filling flower baskets and preparing bulbs for planting on roundabouts and roadsides.   On my first day I put a great deal of thought into what I was going to wear and when I arrived all the homeless men congratulated me on getting my street sleeper look just right, bomber jacket, big boots, baseball cap.   Then a little later on in the day, by accident I was left for a while in a polytunnel that had just been coated with some highly noxious chemicals.  Once the the guy in charge had found me and let me out I imagine that a passersby seeing me reeling about, shouting and falling down in the park  must have thought to themselves: “Poor Alexei Sayle, a few years ago he was on the telly and now  look at him homeless and drunk at 11.30 in the morning.” 

Russell I’m glad you’ve found out the difference between a Mac 10 and an Uzi.  The Mac 10 of course is connected with my greatest triumph.  I’m  sure I’ve written about it before but  in 1993 I was in a Showtime movie called “Deadly Currents”  Starring Bill Patterson and I think the last film of George C Scott.  I recorded it a while ago when it was on in the middle of the night on the TV and I’m actually not that bad in it.   In the end I get to fire a mac 10.  As there was no armourer on the film, one of the producers was doing the guns and when we came to do the scene he didn’t know how to cock the Mac 10 so I had to show him!  Which made me feel really good.

It’s interesting to hear about “Selling HItler” being released in the states.  For it I had to learn to forge Hitler’s signature as in one shot the director wanted me to do it on camera, in a scene when I was forging the diaries.  For a long time it was my party piece to produce Hilter’s signature with a flourish.