There is so much of this type of illustration in the world that it's tempting to write it all off as nothing more than "more of that scrawly grotesque Shrigley-ish shit", well, it's tempting for me anyway, because I'm a bit jaded.
Anyway, one of those ubiquitous Don't Panic posters showed up when I was clearing out some old boxes of stuff 'n' junk. The one with James Unsworth's name on it almost went in the bin before I'd read his name.
I'm glad I did read his name now, and then google it. His stuff is mind boggling. I don't know if it's the common motifs like the maximalist, psychedelic pen-line elements or what that makes me almost cringe at seeing 'more' of this kind of stuff everywhere (exhibit A), but on closer inspection I am often left feeling like a fool for being so quick to judge. It might just be the doodle-factor. There is a readable kind of rawness to this type of drawing, I think, like you can plainly see the oodles of blase, unconcerned talent just sitting there, dribbling all over the page, smoking a spliff, listening to weird music and not really giving a toss what you think unless it's something good and you want to pay it to be on your album cover.
Does this 'genre' or style of contemporary illustration have a name? Will it ever? Does it need one? Am I five years too late? Are there already way too many versed practitioners for the movement to even need torchbearers? Is anyone reading this? Should I go to bed? Should I start learning to enjoy drawing again?
Here is an interview with James from 2007, which gloriously and matter of factly confirms him (in as much as you (read:I) could possibly gather from a brief interview) as almost exactly the sort of dude in the sort of world that I imagined him to be. Well done him, well done his work, and well done my imagination. What a lovely little love (read:stoned) triangle.