I have made 5 more of my cartoons available for reposting on blogs. I have specially selected five of the more popular ones that I have posted this year. You can find code to paste into your blog post on the following pages:
These are all ones with a Christian sort of a theme. My more general selection of rebloggable cartoons is at We Blog Cartoons.
Posted by Dave at 9:06 am on October 19, 2006 and filed under Cartooning.
The Bishop of Bolton has started a campaign to encourage supermarkets to give shoppers a choice of things at Halloween. He has done this (according to the Cof E website) by revealing a shocking poster. The image above is not the shocking poster that the bishop is going to reveal. It is one I found on the internet. If you want to see the Bishop’s shocking poster go to the special website.
I have to say that I am often against such initiatives because I think that when Christians protest it usually backfires and makes them look reactionary and grumpy. However, on this occasion it is being done in quite a positive way and is one of the better anti-halloween campaigns I have seen. I’m not quite sure about the ‘offering a choice’ argument as surely people can choose to buy crisps and pop if they do not want to buy masks and witches hats. The positive alternatives that the Bishop is suggesting include:
coloured (felt) pens
coloured paper and card
books on party alternatives
Some of them are good although I cannot see the campaign being successful in persuading the supermarkets to stock fruit.
I must say though that I find the sort of violent toys that are sold in the shops at this time of year and illustrated in the picture above quite unsavoury. There is enough violence in the world as it is. Also the makers and sellers of such items need to recognise that there are a lot of stupid people out there who cannot necessarily distinguish between plastic axes and scythes and real ones. I am also against trick or treating as it relies on scaring people such as the elderly (and pets). Anyone who goes trick or treating and gets bitten by a dog (or a granny) is getting what they deserve.
In summary: I am not saying that readers of the Cartoon Blog should drive their shopping trolleys into the displays of axes and scythes in the supermarket scattering them left, right and centre. But I for one would turn a blind eye to any such misdemeanour.
Alternatively you could support the Bishop and his shocking posters.
Update: Mad Priest has been having fun with the shocking poster. Naughty fellow.
Posted by Dave at 6:36 pm on October 18, 2006 and filed under Anglican goings-on, Current events, Spirituality.
This cartoon is available here on CartoonChurch.com, my site with cartoon-based resources for churches. You can buy a licence at a very reasonable price to put unlimited numbers in your church publications.
You can also add this cartoon to your blog for free, subject to the usual conditions. To do so, either save the cartoon and upload it to your own webspace, or simply copy and past the code below:
<img src="http://www.weblogcartoons.com/cb/kneelers.gif" alt="cartoon from www.weblogcartoons.com" />
<p>Cartoon by <a href="http://www.cartoonchurch.com/blog/">Dave Walker</a>. Find more cartoons you can freely re-use on your blog at <a href="http://www.weblogcartoons.com/">We Blog Cartoons</a>.</p>
I’m aiming to make more of my work available for people to repost on blogs. If there are any of my old cartoons here on the blog that you’d like code to repost let me know in the comments and I’ll see what I can do.
Posted by Dave at 10:36 am on October 18, 2006 and filed under Cartoons, Church, New CartoonChurch cartoons.
I got up at 6.55am. This is earlier than normal as I had to finish a drawing. I am a cartoonist – I draw every week for the Church Times (the world’s leading Anglican newspaper founded in 1863) as well as selling my cartoons via the internet and doing some freelance cartoon work.
During the day I worked at our home in south east Essex finishing the drawing, scanning it onto the computer and editing it using graphics software. I then e-mailed it to the recipient. I did various other internet-related tasks as well, including something relating to our church website, writing on my blog and some administrational tasks for another website I am involved with. This must sound quite uninteresting.
I had toast for my lunch with mackerel from a tin. Also a cup of mushroom soup. In the afternoon I packaged up some greetings cards to send to a customer. This didn’t take long, but I must admit find it difficult to account for the remainder of the afternoon. I work at home every day, which means I do not have to commute. I find though that it is often lonely.
Tuesday evening is the day I go to my art group in Leigh on Sea, so I have an early dinner at 5.30pm consisting of something put in the microwave. We do not have microwave dinners on the other days. I walked to the station with my oil painting materials and then went on the train to Leigh, where I walked up the hill overlooking the sea except that it is dark so you can only see the lights over in Kent and the vague outlines of boats. It usually smells of seafood in Leigh. People have been fishing from there for seafood for generations one imagines. I returned home on a late train. I prefer where possible to travel on the train, cycle or walk, though the people of our generation mostly prefer to drive their cars. Who knows whether we will still all be able to drive everywhere in the future. Secretly I am hoping that we all have to ride our bicycles everywhere as it would make the world a better place and it would mean I could cycle on the roads without fearing for my life.
Upon arriving home I talked to my wife, looked at the television and the internet, wrote this piece and then went to bed.
Submitted to the One Day in History project.
Posted by Dave at 11:59 pm on October 17, 2006 and filed under Blogging, Current events.
In a couple of weeks all of the people who use Internet Explorer on their computers will be upgraded in their sleep to Internet Explorer 7. It is quite different from the current Internet Explorer and so I, along with website owners everywhere have been downloading it to see whether our websites still work when looked at in the new version.
Here is the result when you look at CartoonChurch.com in IE7 as compared with Firefox, my internet browser of choice:
Oddly all of my old rubbish websites that are built using tables, chairs and pieces of string look fine, but this one, which is supposed to use the latest standards and cascading style sheets and pillowcases (technical term) looks rubbish. Well, slightly rubbish. Mainly because the great big title at the top becomes a great big huge oversized title and makes it look like the site is shouting. Which it is, but only quietly. Also the title overruns onto the handwritten writing. I suspect it does the same on your computer.
I shall have to look beneath the bonnet to see whether I can do some tweaking. This site has never looked as good in Internet Explorer as it has in Firefox, but in this latest version it looks a lot worse.
While I am here, can I just say that I do not like the way that the new Internet Explorer gives everything a funny slightly fuzzy look. I prefer the old fashioned sharpness of Firefox and IE6. Also it takes an age to install itself. Make sure you have a good book handy.
Posted by Dave at 3:07 pm on October 17, 2006 and filed under Technical.
We want as many people as possible – tens of thousands of UK residents – to record a ‘blog’ diary of this one day to be by the British Library and others as a record of our national life.
History Matters are organising the biggest blog in history tomorrow, the 17th of October. The idea is that lots of UK residents write about their day and the collected electronic pages are stored somewhere in the British Library (on a computer I think) for future generations. You can upload your ‘blog’ here. It works in Welsh too.
Found via Britblog and other places.
Posted by Dave at 3:14 pm on October 16, 2006 and filed under Blogging, Current events.
I was pleased to discover that I have been made ‘blog of the week’ on this blog on the AboutLife blogging system. AboutLife, if you have not come across it before, is connected to the Alpha Course originally devised by Holy Trinity Church Brompton and now used by churches worldwide to introduce people to Christianity via talks and tasty suppers.
I was very pleased to be called a ‘blog of the week’, so I thought I would leave a comment to show my appreciation. I tried to do so, but was dismayed to discover that commenting is not allowed unless you login as a member. ‘Oh well’, I thought to myself, ‘perhaps I’ll send the author an e-mail instead’. Once again, I tried, but discovered that one needs to be a member to send an e-mail to a member.
In desparation I decided that I would register as a member. Unfortunately one of the fields in the registration page is one saying ‘church’, with a dropdown menu. I do not belong to one of the churches on the list, and I don’t really want to pretend to be a member of Eltham Park Baptist Church when I am quite clearly not a member and in fact have never, to my knowledge, been to Eltham Park, pleasant as I am sure it is.
So I have a problem. I decided to go and look at the Frequently Asked Questions page, where I discovered:
How do I become a member?
You have to be invited by an existing member.
Ah. Another problem as I do not know any existing members. And I cannot get to know any existing members as I cannot e-mail them. Then, further down the page, advice to existing members:
Who should I invite?
Anyone who supports the aims of Alpha is welcome. The value of the network depends on everyone knowing and vouching for the other members they invite. So please never ever invite someone you do not know.
Oh dear. Leaving aside the supporting Alpha aspect as I do not know any members and no members know me I am in a bit of a pickle. I am destined to continue my life not knowing and not being known.
I can understand that the Alpha organisation want to have a forum for discussion where random idiots from the internet (like me) will not cause disruption. But I struggle to see why an evangelistic organisation, whose aim is surely to make contact with people from outside their community and evangelise them via the Alpha course, have made themselves into this gated commune where contact with the outside world is forbidden. Surely making it impossible for your neighbour to contact you goes against every principle of blogging and in fact Christianity.
I am going to send this post to the site and see what they say.
[5 minutes later] I can find no way to send an e-mail to the site except to go on a membership waiting list which is not what I am trying to do. Or to ‘report a page’, which is also not what I am trying to do, unless by ‘a page’ you include reporting the whole site. I shall give it a try.
Update: Christian, the author of the blog which made me ‘blog of the week’ contacted me:
Dear Dave, I’ve just seen your posting about the post I made with you as “Blog of the Week”. I’m so sorry about all of the not-being-able-to-comments stuff. I agree with you and have forwarded your comments to the developers.
For the record I’d view aboutlife.com as being still in Beta. I think some of the who can access stuff will get better over the next few months.
Posted by Dave at 1:18 pm on October 16, 2006 and filed under Blogging, Church, Slightly grumpy.
Tim Worstall’s Britblog roundup this week mentioned my gadget cartoon:
Dave Walker sells a cartoon (at least I hope it was sold!) to Gizmodo, where the readers entirely manage to miss the point.
The ‘missing the point’ point was also made by several commenters including Larry and Richard, but it’s the ‘I hope it was sold’ question I wanted to answer.
The answer is, no, I offered this cartoon to Gizmodo for free. Some might raise their eyebrows, but I believe that, on balance, this is a beneficial approach for me.
When I do cartoon that I know will hit the mark for a popular website I often offer it to them for free. I estimate that there a (say) 75% chance they will use it if I make no charge, whereas if I demand money there would be a (say) 2% chance they will use it.
The advantage for me in doing so is that it gets my work out there, I get lots of traffic (technical name for visitors) and links from other smaller sites which follow the big site, which in turn brings more traffic and so on and so forth. There’s a slight boost in advertising money as a result but not a great deal. I also hope that with more eyes looking at my work there is an increased chance that I can pick up another regular cartooning job which is what I really need to do in order to be able to keep doing what I am doing.
The problem of course is that once you start giving things away people are less likely to pay for those things in the future. I think though that in the case of a website like a gadget blog I’m never going to get regular work, not least because I don’t have the knowledge to be able to produce regular gadget-related material.
Knowing what to gie away and what to sell is continually tricky though. I set up We Blog Cartoons with free cartoons for people’s blogs because I am quite a strong believer in offering worthwhile content for people on the internet for nothing. The thinking behind the ‘honesty box’ approach here on CartoonChurch.com is similar. I’m not particularly happy with the ‘members area’ model, where all the good stuff is only accessible once you have paid your money. It seems to me to make sense to have lots of good material on show so that the site is one that people want to tell their friends about.
In theory it should be possible with good content to make quite a bit more money than I do through advertising. I’m not willing to splash obtrusive banners everywhere, but I think I should be able to make a bit more of my living that way if only I could get the ads to work the way they should. But that is a whole other issue.
So, in summary, I’m all for giving away cartoons and things for free on the internet as I think it is a good thing to do and it makes me happy to do it. Any ideas as to how I can continue to do so whilst making a reasonable living would be hugely appreciated.
Oh – please don’t say improve my admin skills and remember to send my invoices out. I know about that already. If you’re waiting for an invoice or some other sort of communication from me it might well be this week. We can but hope.
Posted by Dave at 8:28 pm on October 15, 2006 and filed under CartoonChurch progress, Cartooning, Cartoons.
All I’ve Ever Wanted in a Gadget – Gizmodo
Gizmodo, one of the top blogs in the world, have published my gadget cartoon.
It’s a small thing I know, but it helps me to document these minor triumphs. Even at 4 in the morning.
Posted by Dave at 3:44 am on October 14, 2006 and filed under CartoonChurch progress, Cartoons, Technical.
You can freely re-post this cartoon on your blog – the code to do so is on We Blog Cartoons. In fact there are lots more of my cartoons there that you are welcome to post on your own blog.
Talking of technical things I rather enjoyed reading Andrew the Tall Skinny Kiwi’s explanation of ‘domain mapping’ this morning. It’s a fairly heavy and uninteresting subject for the likes of you and me, but he explains it in a way that put a smile on my face if no-one elses.
As a further tangential and even more uninteresting aside I became aware that I am more or less the only person on the planet who uses the phrase ‘your coaches will wait’, which used to be a regular expression at altar calls at the Billy Graham and other similar evangelistic rallies I attended in my youth. There are three uses of the term on the internet, of whom two are me and one is in the description of a Greenbelt panel with Martin Wroe.
Posted by Dave at 2:13 pm on October 13, 2006 and filed under Cartoons, New Weblogcartoons cartoons, Technical.
I am thinking of buying a folding bicycle so that when I get bored of cycling around these housing estates I can nip onto the train and cycle around some other housing estates. I went to the Cycle Show at the weekend to see what is on offer.
This is the ‘A bike‘, the lightest and most compact folding bicycle available. Unfortunately the wheels are so small I cannot imagine it is ridable for anything other than the shortest of distances especially on the appallingly surfaced cycle paths which are the main way from A to B around here.
The Folding Society have done a report of the various folding bicycles that were available at the show. The general consensus amongst enthusiastic folders (What else do you call them?) seems to be that the Brompton (like Ian‘s) is the best one available. Unfortunately this and the other more trendy models are, I think, (a) rather beyond the reach of your average internet cartoonist and (b) more expensive than the sort of bicycle I’d want to leave locked up in a town such as the one I live in when I go to all the museums* and art galleries* etc. I’m aware that you get what you pay for, but something a bit more like one of these might be a more likely option.
*Humourous point that might have gone undetected.
Posted by Dave at 12:45 pm on October 12, 2006 and filed under Cycling.
I should have mentioned this before now really. The big draw is an event that takes place all around the UK every year whereby lots of events are organised to give people a chance to do drawing in fun and interesting ways. The website is here, so go and have a look to find out what is going on in your area during October. Not a huge amount for non-UK readers, but there are a couple of events. There is also drawing going on on the internet. Whatever will they think of next.
One special mention: my friend Paul is organising a Big Draw event in Guildford this Saturday, as well as a seminar about his writing exploits in a week or two’s time. Details of both are here if you are in the area.
Lastly, by popular demand, an image of my drawing ‘bottle, onion and cauliflower‘ which I did at my art class.
Last week’s drawing, ‘plastic container and upturned pot with fruit’ may well remain unpublished.
Kristen has provided some splendid links containing free online drawing interactive whathaveyous aimed at children aged 4-11. They look great.
Show.me.uk: The Big Draw
Show.me.uk: Art and Design
Posted by Dave at 9:43 am on October 11, 2006 and filed under Art.