Monday, March 19, 2007

A Couple from Craig Atkinson
Craig Atkinson is the man behind Café Royal. I try not to offer crazy advice here, but I’m departing from that policy. Take $50 or $100, visit Café Royal, and start ordering things. Order pretty much anything, and then simply wait for your package to arrive. After your package arrives, whisper a silent thank you and enjoy.

Café Royal reminds me of a British version of the online shop USS Catastrophe mixed with the sensibility of Paper Rodeo.

As an introduction to Café Royal, Craig sent a couple of his own books.

Book 1 is a 100 page square bound paperback collecting drawings, makeshift signs, Spanish napkins, and a few images of street art. Craig’s style is that lovely, loose, sketchy line that gives everything a touch of the crumbles. In one section, he sketches a succession of radios and electronics. They look like they could either work flawlessly or fall apart at the first human touch.

Social Club, a 150 page square bound paperback, continues where Book 1 ends. Like Book 1, Social Club collects drawings, sketches, and assorted ephemera. In this volume, Craig concentrates a bit more on human faces and figures. Love these wrestlers.
If you’re a fan of the work of Mark Todd, Gary Panter, Mat Brinkman, or Brian Chippendale, you’ll find much to like in Craig Atkinson’s work. Book 1 is 10 pounds, the larger Social Club is 12 pounds. If that’s too steep for you, pick up a copy of Craig’s Happy Birthday for a mere 2 pounds.

Café Royal’s website has work from several artists available. Check out all the preview samples and go spend some money. You'll be happy you did.

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