The original Joe 90 is a 1960’s British kids TV series that followed the adventures of a nine year old boy, Joe McClaine, who led a double life as a schoolchild/superspy. In my gritty 2016 reboot he’s a dyslexic 24 year old fast food employee from East London, Joe McClaine who leads a double life as anonymous grime rapper/crime fighter MC Joe 90. To set it apart from anything else out there it would be broadcast flipped 90 degrees to the left in a 16:9 format just to really hammer home the 90 mentioned in the title and give it more interest to the aging man-child audience at which it is aimed who would nod sagely with their bearded heads canted onto their shoulders at Joe’s savage lyrics as he defeats yet another Shoreditch evildoer .
If you’ve got the inclination then I’ve got the crime
‘I’ve got the brains, you’ve got the looks, Let’s make lots of money’. So sang the Pet Shop Boys in their seminal 1986 track ‘Opportunities’. They also went on to inform us that if we’ve got the inclination then they’ve got the crime (you can check youtube if you don’t belive me):
Anyway, there we were driving around the Isle of Man with our older brother and some of his kids when this song came on the stereo. Somehow the line resonated in my tiny brain and the next thing you know a plan had formed. I just needed to get home to execute it before the idea faded. I had the beginnings of the idea down on paper when we got stuck trying to figure out what font to use. Luckily that was when my mum walks in with an armful of wrapping paper and lightning struck once again and it was decided we’d use her spidery handwriting as the basis for the piece. A swift scrawl and an extra couple of moves later with a red crayon and some silver leaf and we were on the home straight. And that’s how easy it can be. Sometimes.
The Letter Box Bandit
You may have already seen something very similar to this image and that’s because we used it as the basis for a large scale wall piece we did on Sclater Street in the East End a few weeks ago. This piece was actually painted first and the wall was based on it rather than the other way round.
The Letter Box Bandit comes from a newspaper article I read, about someone who was going around stealing post out of peoples letter boxes. You have to wonder why you would bother doing such a thing because most of the letters I receive are bills or adverts. It just seems a complete waste of time. Supposedly this thief was quite determined though and carried his campaign of thievery on for years. Maybe he had a list of all the local birthdays…
Although there wasn’t a picture accompanying the article I was wondering what kind of person would be a letter box bandit and I came to the conclusion he would look like some sort of odd school teacher who has nothing better to do with his time after he’s been let out of school at 3 in the afternoon. He’s got a few hours before his wife or friends finish their work and he doesn’t want to spend it in the pub as he’ll just be drunk before anyone gets home, so he decides to embark on a criminal crime wave and become the letter box bandit…
Title: The Letter Box Bandit
Materials: Acrylic, spray paint, paint pen and charcoal
Please email if interested
- The Letter Box Bandit (thisisidiom.wordpress.com)
This piece was spotted nearby in Brixton which appears to be some commentary on the availability and proliferation of weapons use among the youth of today (especially in the capital it would seem):
And then, a week or two later, this article from the South London Press was brought to our attention:
A week or so later there was a follow up article: