The Thing Quarterly Issue 19 by David Shrigley

In-flight amusement and a leather travel wallet from the beloved British illustrator

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Illustrator David Shrigley may not be fond of going anywhere that’s “more than two hours on a plane,” but he is—luckily for all of us—a big fan of humor, and when you’re inevitably delayed at the airport or sequestered on a long haul, Shrigley’s distinct drawings are sure to entertain. With that in mind, the team at The Thing Quarterly tapped the quick-witted visual artist to create a short, passport-size book and four phrase cards to insert into a leather travel wallet designed by Matt Singer for Issue 19, the latest edition in their series of object-based publications.


We can’t all be as charmed as Shrigley himself, who has randomly sat next to both the Reverend Ian Paisley and Tito Jackson (who was “nice to talk to”) while flying. His 24-page passport book will not only amuse you while in transit, but it can also work as an icebreaker when sitting next to someone you wouldn’t mind chatting up. The tiny tome is brimming with creative conversation starters, serving as a “meditative series of travel related situations, straddling the line of existentialism and absurdism.” Once you’ve landed, you can also use the four phrase cards on the ground. Let the TSA know how special they are and hand over the one that says, “Hey you light my pipe.” We actually don’t advise doing that, but you can try to score a new pair of kicks while waiting on your luggage by handing over the card asking, “Can I have your shoes?”


Shrigley tells us it typically takes him two or three hours to complete a drawing, mostly because he discards 75% of them first. Issue 19, The Travel Issue, was a little more of a challenge given the focused subject matter, but, he tells us, “I like such challenges. And I also like wallets. And I also like travel (within 2 hours flying time).”

Pick up the latest issue from The Thing Quarterly online or from their SF HQ for $95, or in shops such as Poketo in LA, Park Life in San Francisco, Printed Matter or Project No. Eight in NYC, Paris’ Yvonne Lambert bookstore or London’s KK Outlet. You can also subscribe to lock down issues 19-22, featuring collaborations with Tauba Auerbach, Ben Marcus and the legendary John Baldessari for $240.

Images courtesy The Thing Quarterly