I’m sub-toy when it comes to graffiti. I have to take the old codger route of not knowing much about it, but knowing what I like. Mind you, in fairness, I haven’t tried to make a living out of blogging my scant knowledge like most people. I know what I hate too – ‘street art’ in all its unpleasant forms. And people that get Guardian fame from decapitating posters. I was a shit tagger, a coward at the prospect of getting collared and I promptly ceased with such behaviour in fury at the no-show of my Zephyr t-shirt and sticker set. But I salute those whose wanton destruction livens up my daily commute on the entrance to London each day.

I usually buy one graffiti book a year too. This year ‘Graffiti Kings’ and the reissued ‘Subway Art’ in it’s vast reissued glory (An anti-racking measure? Would a potential thief have to employ these kinds of tactics to blag one from Borders?) already doubled my tally. But from the UK side of things, there’s two books on the horizon repping our capital city that could bring my ’09 purchases up to a record-breaking four.

‘London Handstyles’ seems set to do what the title suggests, with tags, tags and more tags from the likes of Drax and Zomby, set for release soon. ‘Crack & Shine’, released in July, showcases Will Robson-Scott’s photography, plus the handiwork of Dreph, Elk and more. The hardcover presentation and premium sounding presentation hints at a homegrown ‘Also Known As’ style affair beyond the portraiture.

It’s going to be an expensive summer.

www.londonhandstyles.com

www.crackandshine.com