The Scribblings of a Madcap Shambleton, a book of artworks by Mighty Boosh star Noel Fielding, is probably quite an accurate title.
The book comes with a qualifying introduction which says, ‘It was always my ambition to make comedy with an art-school slant, and art that could be funny instead of po-faced.’
With this in mind, everyone can relax and enjoy the bathos as we move quickly from any notion of the sublime to the completely ridiculous.
The scrap-book style is a collection of frenzied sketches and scribbled explanations, pieces hanging in situ and photographs.
Rambling narratives accompany studies, our favourite being Bryan Ferry. ‘Bryan Ferry fell on top of me like a giant foam wardrobe. I started to suffocate under his glam rock textures,’ says Fielding.
Amusing nonsense when coupled with his paintings of a hollow-eyed monolithic mask-like Ferry.
Gothic, psychedelic, Hammer Horror and surrealist ideas are all heaped into the 300 pages in the same way they might be presented in a Mighty Boosh episode.
Design and photography is by consultancy Ape. It’s been well executed with an ordered chaos, two well-placed paper stocks – a high gloss middle section shows off Fielding’s plate paintings – and a squashy foam cover, which for some reason reminds us of Bryan Ferry’s face.
The Scribblings of a Madcap Shambleton by Noel Fielding is published on 10 November by Canongate Books.