David Hughes - Walking the Dog (2 stars)

David Hughes - Walking the Dog

(Jonathan Cape)

David Hughes is an illustrator, graphic designer and artist whose work is pitched somewhere in the hinterland between the poignantly funny line scribbles of artist David Shrigley and the acerbic splashes of Pink Floyd collaborator Gerald Scarfe. This large format hardback is a kind of memoir, recounting the warning from Hughes’ doctor as he approached 50 that he was drinking too much and needed exercise, and his subsequent purchase of a wire haired fox terrier.

There is no conventional narrative, as such, just a hell of a lot of dog walking, reminiscing, asides and authorial ponderings, mostly heavily misanthropic rants at the world which, although raising the odd smile, do tend to become banal in their repetition. Combining elements of collage, lo-fi design and drawing, Hughes is adept at creating an idiosyncratic, aggressive and self-referential atmosphere, but over 300 heavy-duty pages, the lack of engagement makes it ultimately wearing.

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