Wednesday 31 August 2022

Book Sales August continue to tail off

 Looks like I need to do something to boost my book sales. The existing titles are continuing to decline in sales, from July's 59 to this month's 42. Slightly more than a book a day, but not setting the world alight.

August Sales (Amazon)

1980s Pop  - 13
Eurovision 1 - 12
Tales From The Bible - 3
1970s Pop - 2
1990s Pop - 2
Blank Colouring Book - 2
Dr Who Colouring  - 1
Midsummer Nights Dream Team - 1 paperback + 1 Kindle
Xmas movies - 1
Eurovision 2 - 1

2022 to date looks like this:

Eurovision vol 1 - 204
1980s Pop - 75
Comic Book of Esther - 33
Punk - 27
Tales From The Bible - 26
2020s Pop  - 26
1970s Pop - 24
1990s Pop - 21
Scottish Pop - 18
Top 20 80s - 18
1970s (old ) - 17
Eurovision vol 2 - 17
Bowie - 12
Doctors Who - 11
1960s Pop - 10
Findlay Macbeth - 9
Rom Com - 6
Xmas Movies - 5

Monday 29 August 2022

Announcing All Request Pop Star Colouring Book

 The Kickstarter is live now!

I'm producing a brand new book: The All Request Pop Star Colouring Book. A colouring book, in the style of my previous books, but where you get to choose the acts that go in it!

Who's your favourite pop star or rock act? You name them, and they can be drawn and included in this the ultimate Pop Star Colouring Book. No act is too obscure, too cheesy, or too popular to be included.

You even have the chance to write the article that goes with the picture which Kev F will draw. As long as you're not libellous, inappropriate or offensive, your words and opinions could be part of this book.

And as if that weren't enough - you can be in the book too! Yes, a limited number of people will get the chance to turn themselves into pop and rock acts and be drawn by Kev F. You just need to send me a photo and name & describe your act, and you or your family could be in this book, rubbing shoulders with the actual superstars. If that's not the perfect seasonal family gift, we don't know what is!

Join the Kickstarter now

UPDATE Sept 25th:

Hi, and thanks so much to everyone who supported the Kickstarter for the All Request Pop Star Colouring Book.

Sadly it turned out not enough people are that interested in the project, so the Kickstarter failed to meet its goal, and I won't be going ahead with producing the book.

It was interesting to dip my toe in the water of crowdfunding for a colouring book, and I've discovered that, though there is an appetite for supporting original graphic novels (the three that I've launched on Kickstarter did well, each better than the previous), there's not the same for a novelty like a colouring book. Though, interestingly, over on Amazon where I sell these as Print On Demand books, the colouring books far outsell the graphic novels. So let's think of this as a research project, from which I've learned a bit about different audience on different platforms.

I look forward to reaching out again in the future with one of my creative projects, till which time thanks again and see you soon.

Kev F

Sunday 28 August 2022

Guns Don't Kill People, Teachers Do - more comics by kids

A fabulous range of comic titles, dreamed up by kids in Nottingham, Oswaldtwistle and Belfast, rounding off a spree of two blogs worth of Comic Art Masterclasses, all done when I would usually have been at Edinburgh. And, going by the sounds of widespread mithering from acts whose last two weeks up there have been a lot harder going than the first, it sounds like I made a good decision to do half a dozen days of classes rather than another fortnight of shows.

This week of classes saw a few early starts, beginning with me setting the alarm for 4.30 on Monday morning, in order to leave the house by 6am and get to Nottingham in order to do a class at Clifton Library in the morning and Wollaton Library in the afternoon. This "dad getting the milk" thing is some sort of meme they've not been able to explain to me.

I then, rather than drive home inbetween, stayed two nights at a hotel in Bury and spent Tuesday working (emailing schools and Socks tour venues, and editing Socks videos for TikTok, one of which seems to be getting views, see earlier post). Then on Wednesday it was a day at Oswaldtwistle Civic Theatre doing two classes. The dad/milk memegave me the chance to do an homage to John Ford's The Searchers. Which, now I think about it, I don't think I've ever actually watched. It's basically a meme for old people like me.

Then on Saturday morning it was a case of setting the alarm for 3.30am in order to get to Bristol Airport, not as close as it used to be, to check in at 5am for my 7.05 flight to Belfast. Had my classes been on Saturday I'd have been in plenty of time. But sadly the flights weren't so obliging, and this was the flight I had to take to make my classes on Sunday. Meaning I had a day to fill in Belfast, which I did with a visit to the Ulster Museum followed by the Ron Mueck exhibition at The MAC, where my classes were to be, and a walk around the Titanic Quarter. Also quite a bit more Socks video editing. I've now finished putting as much of Eurovision Sock Contest up on Youtube as I intend to. The classes on Sunday were great fun, and were supposed to be themed around the Ron Mueck exhibition, something that was much easier to get the afternoon's 11-15 year olds to be, as opposed to the morning's 7-11 year olds, who preferred to do toilets, as is their wont.

The celebrities these six groups chose to appear in my demonstration strip were Dwayne The Rock Johnson (twice), Tom Holland, Ed Sheeran, The Queen, and Billie Eilish.

Graphic novels:

Comic Tales From The Bible - 90 pages, colour, only £8.99 paperback

Findlay Macbeth

Prince of Denmark Street

The Midsummer Nights Dream Team

Saturday 27 August 2022

Socks Tik Tok gets 20,000 views

How the hell do the algorithms at TikTok work? I've been uploading a few Socks gags as one-liners and, while most of them level off at about 200 views, suddenly one of them gets 20 thousand views. Then the one after it is back to chicken feed.

Still this should put lots of bums on seats. For my show that closed two weeks ago. D'oh.

UPDATE: As of Sunday night, that Iceland video has levelled off at 24.5k views. The Batman gag has got 1698 views, but all the others linger between 250 and 350. 

Weds Aug 31; Iceland has 25.8k views, Batman 1854, UK 428, Strongman 357, Joker 322, Circus Owner 285  Facebook  Twitter  Instagram  Tiktok  Youtube 

Tuesday 23 August 2022

Socks on tour - dates tba

 Here's the letter that's going out to all theatres, art centres, festivals, and likely venues. If you are one, get back to us quick and you'll go into the tour schedule.

Well hello again,

Hoping you managed to get up to Edinburgh this month, I can only apologise if you missed us (we were only on till the 13th).

During which time we managed to notch up 4 x 4 star reviews (see below), which can’t be bad. So now we’re taking the show on tour and we’d like to come to you.

The Scottish Falsetto Socks: Eurovision Sock Contest is an hour long comedy show that does what it says on the tin. You get a bunch of new songs, representing countries from all over Europe, plus improvised song based on the audience’s suggestions, all wrapped up with the Socks usual brilliant gags and sketches (see clips below) and the audience voting for their favourite at the end.

It’s been a crowd-pleaser throughout the previews and our Edinburgh run, and I know it’ll do the same for your crowds. It’s for ages 12 and over (not a kids show, but no strong or offensive content, so Parental Guidance advised).

We’re coming out for a guarantee of just £x against a door split. I provide tailored poster and flyer art (for you to print) see example below. 

We’re touring this show from now through Spring 2023 and would love to find a date we could come to you. Looking forward to comparing diaries.

All the very best

Kev F Sutherland



Edfringe 2022 Reviews:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Everything Theatre "The finest, funniest fringe comedy you will see in Edinburgh"

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Starburst "a National Treasure, by any reasonable definition"

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️  EdFringe Review "Beautifully up-beat, energetic, and absurd"

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 4 Stars - Mervyn Stutter's Pick Of The Fringe

"Ridiculous, hilarious and totally silly" Squirrel Comedy (reads like a 4)

Video clips from Eurovision Sock Contest live at Gilded Balloon, Edfringe 2022:

Ireland gag 

Scandinavia song

Poland gag

East Bloc song

Germany gag

German song

Saturday 20 August 2022

Last Breath From Hell - new comics by kids

I'm quite pleased with this little batch of comics, produced both during the Edinburgh Fringe and back home while the Fringe has been carrying on without us. I say back home, this involves a fair bit of driving. 

Newington Library in Edinburgh was the only class I did during my brief run at the Fringe, on the Saturday morning before our final show. As is so often the case with these summer holiday classes, they're free and they allocate the full 30 tickets, and only a dozen turn up. It makes for a cosy and fun class.

I was back home for little more than a day before I set back up north to Darlington, two thirds of the way back to Edinburgh. During which journey I had Hev on the phone in a bit of a state as the thunderstorms had finally arrived and we had water coming from our newly-replaced gutters into our lounge. I, for my part, saw no rain on all of my journeys, and there was she with rain falling from our ceiling onto our TV set. Not good.

The following day's classes at Edgware Library (where, once again, I missed the rain. The previous day the flooding on the nearby North Circular had made the national news, by the time I arrived it was bone dry again) led to two of my favourite covers. The first using reference from Night Of The Demon, which was great fun to draw, and the second homaging a comic cover that some might recognise and some might not. It was of course...

The celebrities these five groups chose to appear in my demonstration strip were William Shakespeare, Billie Eilish, Stephen Mulhearn, Elton John, and Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson.

Kev F's Comic Art Masterclass - make a comic in a couple of hours. Suitable for kids age 7 and older, Taking bookings now

My Books and where to get them:

Findlay Macbeth - Paperback - Kindle - Etsy (signed)
Prince Of Denmark Street - Paperback - Kindle - Etsy (signed)
Midsummer Nights Dream Team  - Paperback - Kindle - Etsy (signed)
Shakespeare Omnibus Collection (all 3 books) - Paperback

Tales From The Bible - Paperback -  Kindle -  Etsy (signed)

Bowie By Robot - Paperback -  Kindle
Eurovision Colouring Vol 1 Amazon -  Lulu £10.94 - Etsy £6.99
Eurovision Colouring Vol 2 - Amazon £15.32 - Lulu £10.72 - Etsy £6.99
Doctor Who Colouring - Amazon £11.84 - Lulu £9.98 - Etsy £6.99
Punk Colouring - Amazon £15.61 - Lulu £10.98 - Etsy £6.99
70s Pop Star Colouring - Amazon £10.98 - Lulu £10.98 - Etsy £6.99
60s Pop Star Colouring - Amazon £12.69 - Lulu £10.98 - Etsy £6.99

Friday 19 August 2022

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Starburst "a National Treasure, by any reasonable definition"


A smashing, and unexpected, 4 star review from Starburst Magazine of all places. Many thanks.

The Socks (aka artist for The Beano  Kevin F Sutherland ) have been a consistent part of the Edinburgh Fringe since 2007, and their geeky credentials are well-established, they can even be found in the DVD extras for various Doctor Who discs. The Socks are a National Treasure, by any reasonable definition.

In case it’s not obvious, the Socks are a comedy act in which two sock puppets argue comedically with each other for about an hour. Along the way we get some very silly word-play, a whole load of daft gags and hear some silly songs. And before you ask, yes, socks can play guitar, even though their arms don’t actually seem to move.

As the Edinburgh Fringe triumphantly returns to its various venues, it’s lovely to see The Socks return to their spiritual home of the Gilded Balloon and unleash their latest piece of nonsense, Scottish Falsetto Socks: Eurovision Sock Contest.

As you might expect, this is a show with even more songs than usual and is very heavily influenced by one of the world’s most beloved (and most ridiculous) events, Eurovision.  The show is essentially an hour of very silly jokes,  just the right number of puns and a spot-on pastiche of Euro-pop in all it’s glory. There’s also a light bit of improv, which just about works (and the fact that it’s two socks doing improv is part of the gag.)

There is quite a bit of fun poked at our European neighbours, but an equal amount of humour directed toward the UK and our attitude to the whole thing. And in case you’re wondering where the show lies on the question of European Union, one of the songs is called ‘Stick Your Brexit Up Your Arse’.

Scottish Falsetto Socks: Eurovision Sock Contest is very Scottish, very silly and very European.  Given that the Socks are such a main-stay of the Edinburgh Fringe, can you really claim to have been to the Fringe if you haven’t seen the socks?  Go see this show, either at the fringe or when they tour later this year. You will laugh out loud, a lot.

You can find out more about The Socks via this link.

Reviews | Written by Ed Fortune 17/08/2022


Aug 3 - 13 - Gilded Balloon Billiard Room 4.30pm  Facebook  Twitter  Instagram  Tiktok  Youtube 

Monday 15 August 2022

Edinburgh Report - half run, short report

It seems very strange to be back home from Edinburgh in the middle of the month, but here we are. We thought we were to be driving home on Monday 15th, and it was only on the Saturday night (13th) after my final show that I chanced to look again at the email from Dickins the estate agent which said, quite clearly, that we were to be out by 11am on Sunday 14th. Of course we were. Why on earth would we think we were staying an extra day? (I think this may have been a throwback to a previous year when we had to buy an extra day of accommodation because I had, again absent-mindedly, agreed to play on the final Sunday)

So we set the alarm for 5.30 on Sunday, fetched the car from the Long Walk (of which more shortly), packed and were away by 9am. After dropping the key off at Dickins and choosing the pretty route south, we were home in Chepstow a little after 4pm. 

So how was our shortest Edinburgh ever? It was brilliant and, inevitably, I wish I was still there. There is one element that was outstanding - the weather.

It has been hot and sunny every single day, since we arrived on August 1st to when we left on August 14th. This has simply never happened before and will most likely never happen again. Edinburgh was experiencing its hottest and driest summer since records began, and we were delighted to be there taking advantage of it. Apparently the rains have already come, the day after we left.

Another thing that was a delightful change from previous years was my venue being air conditioned. The sales pitch "did I mention: Air Conditioned Venue" was, I'm sure, a contributing factor to the sellout we had on the final night, and the good figures we had throughout.

This year's room, The Billiard Room, which I last played in 2013 with Socks In Space, is a 105 seater, so was hard to fill (in contrast to last year's 60-seater at Patter Hoose, which I sold out a record number of times). But that said, the 644 tickets I sold over 11 shows is an average of 58.5 a night, which would equate to a 100% sellout last year.

Oh yes, I'm not the only person to refer to 2019 as "last year". It's been very common in conversations. 2020 and 2021 have been erased from the mental records for we annual visitors.

This year early nights have been the norm. I didn't get to The Loft Bar once, didn't stay out past midnight, and we found ourselves awake at 6 in the morning pretty regularly. Do you know, it doesn't hurt you. I have no FOMO for the nightlife of Edinburgh that I once dived into, and frankly I no longer have the energy to try and keep up with it. And, now I think of it, I never did any networking worth a damn in all my 20 years of hanging round the Loft Bar, despite the feeling that I probably had done. 

Our flat was, once again, surprisingly quiet, despite being on Canonsgate (above the Canons Gait pub in fact), and this year's big revelation was the discovery (courtesy of Dickins) of the shortest Long Walk yet. The Long Walk, you see, is the place I find, outside of the restricted parking zones, to park my car for the month (or, this year, fortnight). In past years, and for some time too, I've been walking a whole 40 minutes or more and parking down in Newington. I've even parked one year in Morningside, which is a good 45 minutes away. This year's Long Walk was less than 20 minutes from Canonsgate. 

Oh yeah, like I'm going to tell you where!

So to the show itself. Thanks to a blitz of new material, written in the evening after the first performance, we had a great show. And the reviews to prove it. Two 4 star reviews (from Edfringe Review and Everything Theatre) and a 4 star ranking from Mervyn Stutter's Pick Of The Fringe (who we were invited to appear on, for the first time, but couldn't because of leaving town so soon). Also a 3 star that reads like a 4 (from Entertainment Now), and a rave review from Squirrel Comedy (who don't give stars, but would defo have given us 4).

One reason Eurovision Sock Contest was so satisfying was the amount of new material. One old routine, Postcodes, made it into the show, initially because we'd done it on Britain's Got Talent and we were going to be able to refer to that. When our BGT audition ended up on the cutting room floor, that routine remained because it was getting good laughs. And a minute of travel gags remained too, along with 2019's Brexit Song. The rest was a mix of the Eurovision show written for Zoom in 2021, and new material. The final running order went...

Opening gags (2021)
Sam Ryder / Tik Tok (written Aug 3 2022) 
I'm A Sock (2007)
Intro / Cannae Lingus (2021/22)
"I've been to x country" running gags (2022)
Jonni Forrina intro + song (2021)
Travel gags (2010)
Sexiblond intro + song (2021/22)
Postcodes (2007/22)
Deconstructivist Kollectiv intro + song (2021)
Uber Alles routine (Aug 3 2022) 
Azherbi-Curious intro + song (2021)
Improv song (new every night)
Westlife routine (Youtube 2017, first live outing) 
Graham Norton song (2021)
Ventriloquism (Zoom 2021, first live outing Aug 4 2022)
Deep C Diva intro + song (2022/21)
Brotherhood Of Man intro (2022)
Brexit Song (2019)
Voting - all costumes at once (Aug 3 2022)

The other big difference between this year and others was the 4.30 time slot. Previously we've started at 9.30pm or later. So my ability to flyer before the show was limited. I find myself, in a blog from 2018, complaining that flyering was failing to turn into bums on seats, and quite possibly that might have happened in weeks two and three had we done them (this was the reason I moved, in 2019, from a 100 seater to a 60 seater venue). This week and a bit, though, I found the flyering to be good, and the two hours of on-street work I was able to do turning satisfactorily into audiences that night. Two sellouts and an average of 58 is something many acts here would kill for.

And I used way fewer flyers than usual. In a normal year I order 10,000 flyers and have, many a time, got through the lot. This year I ordered 5000, and only handed out 2500. The remaining 2500 have come home with me for recycling.

I only did two extra-curricular shows: 10 minutes headlining Jimi Longmuir's 3 Out Of 4 Twats, and a 3 minute slot on Chortle's Fast Fringe. 

Hev and I made a good holiday of the fortnight, squeezing as much art-going into the two weeks as we'd usually do in a month. Best stuff was at Fruitmarket and Talbot Rice. Small and forgettable shows at Collective on Calton Hill, Printmakers, and Ingleby. Good stuff at National Portrait Gallery, Modern Art, and City Art Gallery. Didn't get to Summerhall (who've had less and less art in recent years anyway, and open too late in the day to be convenient) or to Stills or the galleries on The Mound, but they're there outside of Fringe time if we want them. 

We only saw a handful of shows, the best theatre being The Beatles Were A Boyband (which also finished on the 13th). Saw Noddy Holder being interviewed by Tom Seal at Assembly (offered freebies by promoter, which was nice), Jack Docherty monologue, and Kites drama from Ireland. Given that we only saw two shows in the whole month of 2018, I don't feel that bad. 

Met up with a few friends, spending good time with Stephen & Nick, Hazel & Tim, and Lynn & Jacqueline who came to see the show for the first time. Good to see fellow comics on street, who we only see up here.

As for gossip, scandals, and other Edinburgh trivia, that's still in development, and it will be curious to watch it carrying on in our absence. We've not done a half-visit to Edinburgh since our days as punters (in, need I add, the previous century!). Since 2001 we've either been in the Edinburgh bubble for a month, or at home ignoring it. To date there's been a lot of mithering about the lack of a Fringe App, praise for the weather, and a bit of talk about Jerry Sadowitz's show at the Pleasance being cancelled. Let us see what storms in teacups come in the next two weeks (while I'm too busy to notice).

Oh yes, and I'm already planning our month-long return next year. You know, like I did at this time in 2019.


Aug 3 - 13 - Gilded Balloon Billiard Room 4.30pm

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Everything Theatre "The finest, funniest fringe comedy you will see in Edinburgh"

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Starburst "a National Treasure, by any reasonable definition"

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 4 Stars - Mervyn Stutter's Pick Of The Fringe

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ EdFringe Review "Beautifully up-beat, energetic, and absurd"

"Ridiculous, hilarious and totally silly" Squirrel Comedy (reads like a 4)  Facebook  Twitter  Instagram  Tiktok  Youtube 

The Scottish Falsetto Socks' Edinburgh audits past:

2009 - Goes To Hollywood
2010 - On The Telly
2012 - Boo Lingerie
2013 - Socks In Space
2014 - And So Am I
2015 - Minging Detectives
2016 - Shakespeare
2018 - Superheroes
2019 - Roll Up
2022 - Eurovision Sock Contest

My Books and where to get them:

Findlay Macbeth - Paperback - Kindle - Etsy (signed)
Prince Of Denmark Street - Paperback - Kindle - Etsy (signed)
Midsummer Nights Dream Team  - Paperback - Kindle - Etsy (signed)
Shakespeare Omnibus Collection (all 3 books) - Paperback

Tales From The Bible - Paperback -  Kindle -  Etsy (signed)

Bowie By Robot - Paperback -  Kindle
Eurovision Colouring Vol 1 Amazon -  Lulu £10.94 - Etsy £6.99
Eurovision Colouring Vol 2 - Amazon £15.32 - Lulu £10.72 - Etsy £6.99
Doctor Who Colouring - Amazon £11.84 - Lulu £9.98 - Etsy £6.99
Punk Colouring - Amazon £15.61 - Lulu £10.98 - Etsy £6.99
70s Pop Star Colouring - Amazon £10.98 - Lulu £10.98 - Etsy £6.99
60s Pop Star Colouring - Amazon £12.69 - Lulu £10.98 - Etsy £6.99

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