Friday, 13 February 2009

#2 - 'A Brief Essay on Interpreting Soup' by Aiden Clarkson and Drew Grant

“I have a lot of Soup experience.”

A Brief Essay on Interpreting Soup.

Written by Aiden Clarkson

Illustrated by Drew Grant

People say Soup is too thick to see life through. Broth, they say, is thin enough, but still colours whatever you can scry. But you can see life through Soup. Soup is the perfect representative and reflective tool to help us better understand the melange and milieu of our fractured, post-modern lives.

I will provide two brief examples, although there is a potentially infinite amount of ways to interpret Soup. It is something you can and should do - as a meditative tool, as a way of centring yourself in our increasingly hectic world, or even simply as a fun game to play with a fat child.


Soup is salty. Soup is made from experience. You cannot make Soup without having experienced Soup at least once. Soup is made from ingredients cut up and shredded and boiled. Life is experience. Life is the process of being cut up and shredded and boiled. Life is the process of being made to cry. Our tears are salty. Soup is salty.

We thicken Soup with cornflour. When you mix cornflour with cold water it becomes thick and white.

If I was to make a short film in which I needed to show semen, I would use cornflour as fake semen. If I made a short film it would definitely involve semen.
We pour cornflour mixed with cold water into salty Soup to thicken it up. Soup is our tears, cornflour is semen. Life is the process of pouring semen into our tears, and then eating scalding litres and litres and more scalding litres of the resulting liquid.

Though this may be a very masculine way of looking at Soup and life.


Soup contains many objects and particles floating suspended in it. These objects are open to interpretation. We can interpret the way they represent parts of life.

I make a fine Soup involving a whole pucker-skinned chicken, and vegetables, and a lot of whole peppercorns. The peppercorns float in the Soup and startle you when you bite into them. Let us interpret these peppercorns.

The peppercorns can be seen to represent our relationships with other people. They are small and delicious and painful. After you have finished one your mouth hurts and hurts but you want to eat another. You want the pain of that burning excitement forever. You want to have a split peppercorn on your tongue everyday for the rest of your life until you die die die. You want to keep that split peppercorn safe in your mouth like how alligators nurture their young.

This is do-able, but it takes huge effort and a change in life-style. More often than not you must swallow or spit.


In conclusion,
as I have previously stated,
Soup allows us to see life.

*I apologise if this Brief Essay on Soup has a negative tone and expresses negative attitudes towards life.

I know, and I hope that you understand, that Soup can be used as a positive tool, which represents (and can be used to examine) the multitude of incredible and joyous facets of our one-time-only lives.

Aiden Clarkson writes shaking in his bed because the rest of his house is x100 haunted.
He contributes to and The address for his blog/multimedia-communications-interface-portal is

Drew Grant
'I have spent the majority of my existence creating things, leading to a dark and perverse love affair with illustration. The best way to describe my approach is taking a chunk of reality and moulding it into something totally unexpected. My passion for design is only matched by my hatred for coleslaw.'

Saturday, 17 January 2009

#1 - 'Soup' by Socrates Adams-Florou and Jack Chevell


Written by Socrates Adams-Florou
Illustrated by Jack Chevell

I am pouring the carton of soup in to my mouth slowly and deliberately. There is a rich glugging noise as the soup enters my orifice, carefully coating my mouth and tongue and throat. The soup is steaming and resting in my mouth before I gulp it tenderly down into my insides. There is plenty of soup all over my lips and face, all the way up to my eyes. I blink and the soup goes inside my eyes, it has engulfed my eyelashes and brows. It has swamped my face.

I am naked. I stand in my kitchen with sheets of newspaper underneath me so that the soup doesn't damage my smooth and recently laid wooden and precious floorboards. My hand is holding the large carton as I pour it everywhere. It is a scene from an oil painting; it has an impasto verve and vibrancy that my life normally lacks. I am part of something. The camera on my kitchen table records me with a blinking red light.
I load the video onto my computer and carefully edit the footage. I slow down the footage so that it looks like the soup is a cascading and powerful waterfall. The rich orange soup is looking lovely. It makes my body look extra pale and feeble underneath its torrential and magnificent power. I download the song, "Sail away" by Enya and add the music to the video to make it atmospheric and beautiful.
I watch the video five times.
Every time I watch it, it gets worse and worse. I can't understand why I am doing this.Then I remember.
I send the e-mail with the file attached to it to the address. The address is

Socrates Adams-Florou
Socrates is
Socrates is
Socrates is crying
Help him.

Jack Chevell
'I started drawing as soon as I could pick up crayons. My career really took off and my work was often exhibited. Usually on the fridge. I now work mainly in black ink and biro. I still exhibit on the fridge.'

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

What is Soup...?

Soup is an online anthology that brings together the work of writers and artists in Manchester. Throughout 2009 we will be presenting a series of illustrated short stories from a collection of Manchester's aspiring bright young things.

Our aim is to collect creative prose in all of its vibrant and wonderful forms, pass it on to a suitable artist - who will then respond to the work - and publish the collaboration online.

To submit, you need to be between the ages of 20 and 25 and currently live in Greater Manchester. It might seem strange that we are only accepting submissions from people within this age bracket, but we feel there is a genuinely good reason for this.

As practicing young artists it is much easier to find established publications with strict submission guidelines and stiff competition than it is to stumble across platforms more suited to our most recent creative efforts.

Soup is an antidote to this.

It is designed as a forum specifically for artists who are beginning to realise their potential and find their 'voices.' It is a collection of efforts and ideas put forth by anyone in Manchester who wants to achieve something. Most of all, it encourages experimentation, stylistic diversity, and creative collaboration.

So, if you want to get involved, here's what you need to know...


To begin with there will be no limit on the amount of work you can submit. In time this might change, but for now we urge you to send us as much as you like - stories, articles, essays, diatribes, opinion pieces, etc. All prose up to 2000 words will be read, but if you have something that exceeds this limit and believe we will enjoy it then, by all means, contact us.

Soup is about improving ourselves as artists, and so ideally we are looking for prose that has been written with this project in mind. Try writing something new that will excite and challenge you as a writer. This website is an ongoing, ever-developing entity and we are always looking for new creative writing.

And, finally...

Soup is dedicated to creating an anthology worthy of your work, both in terms of content and aestheticism, so if we like what you send we WILL publish it.

Send your work, along with a 50 word biography of yourself, to:


If you would like to be an illustrator for Soup then please send us 2 - 3 examples of your work via email. We are interested in a whole host of artistic forms and will select one artist for every piece of prose we decide to publish. When sending work, please ensure files are saved as either jpeg or .png files.

Once you have been chosen we will send you a writer's work and you will have a certain amount of time to respond to it. Your work will then be published online as an illustration.

Send all examples of your work, along with a 50 word biography of yourself, to:

Please Remember:

Soup is here to ENCOURAGE rather than dishearten, and we very much look forward to hearing from you...