Illustrators: Joe Besford – The Contented

By Tom

9 The Contented

I picked The Contented because the perspective of the lyric interested me, as if this was the voice of the downtrodden, exploited as a result of the ambitions of the rich and powerful. There’s a sardonic anger in the lyric but there’s also a sense of resignation or even apathy, not just at the powerful, but also those who would follow them. Sometimes it doesn’t matter whether you go left or right – then or now – you still end up being taken advantage of. On paper, the lyric reads like a somewhat world-weary warning, but I think this arrangement brings out the anger. I tried to keep all those things in mind with my drawing.

The lyric’s timeless and tone reminded me of early 20th century American folk (with which I’m more familiar), so hearing an old English folk song in that vein was pretty exciting. And I really liked the melody!

I’m a comic artist and musician. I write and draw a web comic strip called ‘Earthling Brains’. The comic is autobiographical (mostly) and tries to find humour in the mundane or idiotic. Just to confuse everyone, I also make music under the same name. I’m interested in combining comics and music; you’re able to explore the same story or idea using completely different perspectives. Plus it makes for sick merch!


I’ve got an album coming out on 10 June on Forward Defensive Records called ‘I’ll Leave A Light On For You’. It comes with a companion piece comic called ‘The Long Night Is Over’.

Earthling Brains comics
Earthling Brains music