Back from Greenbelt and have showered, slept and had a little wander round the internet to read other people’s reflections on the festival. I will be posting some photographs of Greenbelt and our Wibsite gathering with some links in the next day or two along with reflections on one or two of the more interesting seminars and events I went to. There are also a lot of reports going up on the different blogs on the Wibsite. But for the time being here are some highlights:
Greenbelt is my social highlight of the year I think. As well as our Wibsite friends there were lots of bloggers, old friends from Eastbourne, Moorlands, Ship of Fools people and people I know from who knows where else wandering around. I think heaven will be like Greenbelt, but with better toilets.
I went to quite a number of seminars which were on the whole very good. The best were probably James Jones talking about the environment, Steve Tomkins with his fantastic ‘Speed Christianity’ and then Matthew Bishop on Globalisation and ‘the Trade Debate’ which I’m certainly going to be writing more about.
I can’t deny that seeing my ‘Guide to Greenbelt’ booklet in print and being enjoyed by people was rather pleasing. Also the ‘Tree of life’ comic which was handed out to some of the attendees at the Sunday morning communion, though some stewards were only giving out the order of service or only giving the comics to kids so a lot of people were walking in without a comic which was a shame. I have yet to see the other 7 comics in detail as I can’t comment on them, but I saw others enjoying them. The seminar of comics was so-so, but I got to see Si Smith’s ’40′ in full for the first time and thought it was rather splendid.
I did enjoy being part of the blogging panel and think I managed to come away from it appearing reasonably coherent. There were a lot of other blogging events – Andrew Jones on ‘The spirituality of blogging’ being a good one. Other technology-related events included a BBC seminar about getting things in the news which was very informative.
I went to see less music than normal. The Proclaimers were fantastic and Duke Special were very good, though the venue manager made a major error by disallowing an encore after the band has promised it. It was the unhappiest I had seen a Greenbelt audience, though when the band came back to do an accoustic encore people soon cheered up.
Toilets and sundry observations
The layout of the site was very different this year and I think it all worked really well. More food outlets meant that queues were down and the new emporium, improved use of the central arena and organic beer tent were all welcome additions.
The supply of toilets is really my only reason for dissatisfaction at the festival. A lot of the obscure ones on the main site are kept locked meaning that there are queues at the well-known ones. A lot only have toilet paper replenished at irregular intervals and on our bit of the campsite their quite simply weren’t enough portaloos. I suppose they cost a lot to hire. Perhaps I should offer to sponsor one extra portaloo in campsite 9.
So all in all a fantastic weekend. Thankyou Greenbelt and all the people who put so much work into the whole enterprise in so many ways.
Posted by Dave at 1:58 pm on August 31, 2005 and filed under Festivals and Exhibitions, Greenbelt, Sundry posts.
This is a link I found last week as I doubt I’ll have time to update the blog today:
Artists issue global warning
Individual artists were asked to design a globe, each inspired by one of the internationally agreed targets to reduce global poverty by 2015 – set by the United Nations – known as the Millennium Development Goals.
Looks like an interesting exhibition. It’s in London in September.
Posted by Dave at 9:00 am on August 30, 2005 and filed under Art.
[Click on the image for the full sized version]
Once again, quite likely there won’t be a post tomorrow unless I find myself at a loose end in between festival activities. I’ll be back to daily blogging on Tuesday.
Posted by Dave at 9:00 am on August 28, 2005 and filed under Cartoons.
We are now here at Greenbelt. If anyone else who reads the blog is here then just a reminder that you’re welcome to come and join us at our Wibsite gathering tomorrow, Saturday, from 4.30pm until 7.
We are camping in just about the same place as last year, for those for whom that means anything. It is campsite 9, which is way over to the extreme left as you look out from the main racecourse grandstand. You follow the road along the OUTSIDE of the racecourse, up a little hill then follow the track around to the right. We are on the left with the big ‘W’ flag as before.
More reports as and when I choose to stump up another fivepence ha’penny for another internet surfing session. A shower has been booked, you’ll be glad to know.
Posted by Dave at 6:01 pm on August 26, 2005 and filed under Festivals and Exhibitions, Greenbelt.
[Click on the image for the full sized version]
The blog may well take a day off tomorrow – but there will be another cartoon appearing on Sunday.
Posted by Dave at 9:10 am on August 26, 2005 and filed under Cartoons.
I went on one of my monthly jaunts on the train over to Rochford to show the council a few more pieces of paper and jump through a couple of bureaucratic hoops. It’s something I like to do when we get a fine day.
I was surprised to see a grand total of seven (yes, SEVEN) ticket inspectors waiting at Rayleigh station. Two on the eastbound platform, two on the westbound platform, two to catch the people slipping round the side and one standing next to the footbridge generally keeping an eye on it.
I was rather surprised that a ticket was demanded from me before I had got to the point where one was able to buy tickets, but the answer ‘I haven’t bought it yet’, though treated with some surprise seemed to be acceptable. However, after leaving the train (ie the point at which I could easily be practicing ticket evasion) only the very quickest of glances at whatever ticket I had was taken. I could quite easily have got through with a ticket for the Isle of Wight ferry from 1978. In fact I suspect that’s what half the passengers had.
Posted by Dave at 9:00 am on August 25, 2005 and filed under Essex Life, In-depth analysis, Sundry posts.
[Click on the image for the full sized version]
This is another sample from my forthcoming cartoon booklet ‘The Dave Walker Guide to Greenbelt’, published by the Church Times and available for free at the Greenbelt festival. If you’re at the festival you can pick one up from the Church Times area which is in the big top in the centre of the racecourse. I’ve no idea whether they will go like hotcakes or whether I’ll be joining the Church Times staff in hassling passers by trying to get them off our hands. We’ll have to wait and see. I’ll hopefully be able to grab a few extra copies and give them away here on the blog in the next few weeks.
In case you didn’t see Si’s comment below, the other comic on ‘The Tree of Life’ will be available with a set of 8 mini-comics in the Grenbelt shop for the bargain price of £5.
Note about blog comments
As I’m about to leave for the festival I’ve turned comments to a setting whereby if you’ve commented before on the blog it will post your comment straight away, but if you haven’t made a comment before or look a little bit shifty you will need to wait for me to review your comment before it goes live. This may take a day or two, but it will get there in the end.
Posted by Dave at 9:06 am on August 24, 2005 and filed under Cartoons, Greenbelt.
A man just knocked on the door wanting to sell me windows.
He started off ‘Nothing exciting I’m afraid…’ which as an opening line isn’t great from a marketing point of view.
But the line I was most pleased with was, ‘Is the house yours or your Mum and Dads?’ I do look young for my age, but do I look that young??
Perhaps I should start a business selling age-defying elixirs.
Posted by Dave at 8:30 am on August 24, 2005 and filed under Essex Life.
A rush of deadlines followed by holidays followed by a computer breakdown have meant that it’s been far too long since I put any new worksheets up on the site. Well, here are two new ones which I posted in the main CartoonChurch.com content section this morning. The worksheets are free to browse but if you choose to actually use and photocopy one of them I ask that you buy a licence to do so – details on each of the worksheet pages. Of course readers with an unlimited use licence are free to use these and all other resources on the site as much as they want.
This one is a fairly simple worksheet which would be ideal for use with a youth group about to return to school or other occupation for a new term. It’s also to do with reflecting on the summer and giving thanks for good times. The boxes are designed to be written or drawn in as you choose and the worksheet could be used as part of a structured session or in a more informal way. It’s entirely up to you.
Link: Beginnings worksheet
A few more bits and bobs to fill in on this one – all on the theme of ‘harvest’. The worksheet encourages thought on such ideas as where our food comes from, fair trade and sharing with others. You can use it as a discussion starter, print it on the back of your harvest service sheet or whatever else you choose. The worksheet is designed with a youthgroup audience in mind, but I’d like to think this one is suitable for all ages.
Link: Harvest worksheet
Once again, any feedback on how the worksheets go down when given to real people to fill in is always much appreciated.
Posted by Dave at 12:55 pm on August 23, 2005 and filed under Worksheets.
[Click on the image for the full sized version]
This is an image from my mini-comic entitled ‘The Tree of Life’ which will be available at the Sunday morning communion service at the Greenbelt festival in Cheltenham this weekend. I think copies will also be available in the Greenbelt shop bundled together with the comics by other artists. If I remember correctly I’m also going to be given some copies myself in which case I’ll give some away here on the blog.
Posted by Dave at 11:39 am on August 22, 2005 and filed under Cartoons, Greenbelt.
Somewhere in the region of 20 of the bloggers on the Wibsite will be at the festival and we’ll be celebrating the 3rd anniversary of the launch of our Wiblogs on the festival campsite in 2002.
It is now looking likely that we’ll be hosting our little gathering on Saturday early evening, from 4.30-7 pm at a spot directly beneath our flag. You can find a picture of the flag along with photos of last years celebration here. You’d be most welcome to come along if you are a reader of the Wibsite or this blog – if you’d like to do so and would like to get directions then check our bulletin board thread ( has 2 pages: 1, 2) as we’ll post details of our location there once we get to the festival. Or you could send me an e-mail by Tuesday with your mobile number and we can text the details through. Feel free to bring some nibbles and /or a small celebratory drink.
Wibloggers at Greenbelt 02
Wibloggers at Greenbelt 03
Wibloggers at Greenbelt 04.
Cartoons from Greenbelt 03
Bloggers at Greenbelt 2004
Posted by Dave at 10:07 am on August 20, 2005 and filed under Blogging, Greenbelt.
The debate about image hotlinking has progressed in several different directions since my post on the subject on Wednesday.
On the one hand my good friend and Wibsite Technical Director Chris has produced a splendid graphic for sidebars and such places for those who do not get it. My only worry is that people won’t get it. Please note that you may not hotlink this image. It also occurred to me that I really should be taking the chance to promote this cartoon whilst it’s topical…
On a more serious note Andrew has replied graciously on his blog, and whilst I don’t agree with everything he says I can understand his argument. As he said in my comments section below there are large areas of grey, but I wanted to respond to a couple of points. Firstly from Andrew’s blog:
“But it seems absurd to me, in the internetworked, hyperlinked environment of the blogosphere, to expect to succeed in business without allowing some hotlinking.”
It may just be that my methods are absurd. But before I launched the CartoonChurch.com site I thought long and hard about what access and usage I was going to allow for my material. My slolution is I think quite unusual for a cartoonist in that I allow full and free access to all the cartoons I am selling – not just the low resolution versions but the full size high quality versions too. There is no members only area, no need to sign up for a password and no need to hand over credit card details before seeing the work in all it’s glory / non-glory. I’m taking a risk in that there is nothing stopping people ripping me off and using the work without permission, but I decided to attempt at least to be generous in my sharing of the work even if people could potentially, if they wished, abuse that freedom.
Then from my comments section:
“Thanks to the democratizing structure of the Internet, you have potential access to a larger audience than ever before, and hotlinking to your site, if done properly (with appropriate credit and ALT tags), could result in even more sales for your product — and certainly more buzz, more awareness.”
I’m just not sure that that is true. It might be, but I’m really not sure about it. Let me give you an example. One of my more popular online cartoons has been my Windsor report series. Published online on the day the report was released it became quite popular and recieved quite a lot of links from bloggers around the world. As a result doors were opened to other work and really was of quite substantial benefit to my career as a cartoonist. Now, the site this series is posted on, Wibsite.com, does allow image hotlinking. And sure enough, a number of blogs did decide that they were going to republish my full set of 10 or so images on their blogs and there was little I could do to stop them, short of lots of bothersome e-mailing which felt wrong in any case as these were people who were enjoying my work. So I let them do it, which did cost me money as our Wibsite hosting is ‘pay as you go’, meaning every extra megabyte does cost me more. Not a lot more mark you, but if every visitor is downloading 10 images it does add up.
Actually though the true benefit to me from those cartoons didn’t come from the sites that hotlinked the images as the visitors to those sites had no particular reason to click through to my site. Instead it came from the sites which just put the link which meant that visitors clicked through. And from my point of view the advantage of a reader viewing the image on my site is that they then see the links to my other work, instructions on how they can sign up for a licence, my intrusive advertising etc etc.
I’m therefore of the opinion that allowing hotlinking on this site isn’t in my interests at the moment. I hope that the fact I’m giving so much free access to my work does demonstrate that this isn’t out of meanness but rather because I’m doing what I think I need to do to make a living.
Having said this I probably do need to work out ways to allow bloggers to use occasional images and I do need to have more documentation about this somewhere on the site. The comments on the previous post on the subject have been very helpful in this respect and I will when I have time follow up on Andrew’s book recommendation. I’m also adding bloggedy blog to my Bloglines list, the moral of the story being that if you’d like me to subscribe to your blog then offering some criticism in a comments section somewhere is probably the way to go about it…
Posted by Dave at 11:39 am on August 19, 2005 and filed under Blogging, Technical.