Joe_odonnell_geezer_its_nice_that_li

Work / Illustration

Don’t Mug Yourself: Joe O’Donnell turns The Street’s debut into a choose your own adventure

Manchester-based illustrator Joe O’Donnell has published A Day in the Life of a Geezer, a choose your own adventure book based on Original Pirate Material, the debut album by The Streets. “Myself and a friend got onto a conversation about choose your own adventure books, and my little understanding of them lead to me wanting to make one myself,” says Joe. “For the most part it seemed to me like they tend to be fantasy-based, and I thought it would be interesting to make one which featured slightly more realistic or believable scenarios.”

Printed in black and white, the 31 page book is full of simple line drawings that recall the unsophisticated graphics of early role playing computer games on 8-bit systems. The story follows a “geezer” as he travels through a town visiting pubs, clubs and chip shops before returning home. The success of his day depends on decisions the reader makes as the tale progresses. “A lot of my work, and the scenes in the book, are based on quite dark themes which I wanted to contrast with a lighthearted but rigid visual approach,” says Joe. “It’s a way to take the edge off what would otherwise be a horrific image of a man getting his head kicked in in an underpass.”

So why The Streets? “I think for a lot of people that album is ingrained into their memory. Mike Skinner’s style of rapping was so unique and fresh at the time, the lyrics and their delivery are so quotable that they are almost like catchphrases. I tried to arrange the different paths of the story in such a way that if the player recognises the reference to a certain song or verse then it will give a hint as to where the consequences of their next action will take them,” explains Joe. “The content of Skinner’s lyrics gave me plenty of different scenarios to work with that resonated with me and seemed to fall in line with some of the themes I tend to work towards in my illustrations.”

Joe_odonnell_geezer_its_nice_that_6

Joe O’Donnell: A Day in the Life of a Geezer

Joe_odonnell_geezer_its_nice_that_5

Joe O’Donnell: A Day in the Life of a Geezer

Joe_odonnell_geezer_its_nice_that_3

Joe O’Donnell: A Day in the Life of a Geezer

Joe_odonnell_geezer_its_nice_that_2

Joe O’Donnell: A Day in the Life of a Geezer

Joe_odonnell_geezer_its_nice_that_1

Joe O’Donnell: A Day in the Life of a Geezer

Joe_odonnell_geezer_its_nice_that_7

Joe O’Donnell: A Day in the Life of a Geezer