Hello and Happy New Year (if indeed it is New Year where you are). Hope you are enjoying yourself this evening (if indeed it is evening where you are). If you are not enjoying yourself that much that really is ok too – most of us are only pretending (see diagram).
I quite like thinking up New Year resolutions. The important thing is to not take them too seriously so that when you break them it doesn’t matter too much.
I haven’t decided upon mine yet, as there is still several hours to go. When I decide upon them I will write them in a notebook. I will be starting a new notebook (a 9 x 14cm Moleskine heavy-paper no-lines sketchbook in case you are interested). One of my resolutions will involve bicycling, and another a new club I plan to start. I can’t give any more details than that at the moment. New hobbies make good resolutions, so if you’re stuck for ideas you could start there. In order to start them you may need to give up some old hobbies, otherwise a state of excessive busyness could result.
Please do share your resolutions and impending hobbies (serious or otherwise) in the comments below.
Happy New Year in any case, and all best wishes for 2011.
Posted by Dave at 8:01 pm on December 31, 2010 and filed under Cartoons, Current events.
Cartoon by Dave Walker, all rights reserved, all infringements frowned upon, other legal speak, etc etc.
In the past I have done a Christmas message. I thought I’d do another this year, but don’t read it unless you really don’t have a lot to be doing. Here is a summary of my cartooning year. I have made some of the dates up as I can’t remember them.
In January I did my tax return. I advise leaving it until the last minute.
In February an iPhone app was made. I think some people still use it, and it was, I am told, the thing that gave the Methodists the idea to do theirs.
March was spent booking to go to the Spring Harvest camp for enthusiastic Christians, which we went to in April. We came away terribly enthusiastic if I remember correctly.
In April I also did my 2011 calendar Church HQ, the deadline being March. I was pleased with this calendar, and go on about this to anyone who will listen. My favourite cartoonist William Heath Robinson was the inspiration, so if you like the style of this particular calendar you might like his style as he thought of it first. One of my 2011 ambitions is to go to Pinner, where there is a house being done up in his memory. I have never been to Pinner. I have fairly low ambitions.
In May I put together my book ‘the Exciting World of Churchgoing‘, the deadline being April. This has been popular, being in the Church Times (note italics – I italicise for a living now) top 10 for four months in a row. This is largely due to bribery and family members buying in bulk.
Sometime around then I moved into CartoonChurch HQ, my office in the heart of industrial Basildon. Then I moved into a different office that was smaller but with the same number of walls. I don’t know whether this has been a success or not. I’m not about to move out of it though owing to the effort I went to to put together the various items of DIY furniture. Please come and see me there. I have coffee and often a choice of biscuits.
Also at some point I started work doing the Church Times website. I enjoy going into London on Wednesdays and Thursdays and being a commuter and seeing human beings. I like doing the job, and I have made good friends at the Hymns Ancient / Modern.
In the summer I stood up and showed some diagrams in the Greenbelt comedy ‘Last Orders’ show. I don’t know whether I’ll do more of that kind of thing or not. It was fun, and people seemed to think it was quite good, but I used up every idea I’ve ever had.
I can’t really account for the autumn months. I think I went to several Christianity and Advanced Computing courses, and appeared live at a craft exhibition and a Christmas humour night.
As I may have said before I feel incredibly fortunate to have been given the chance to do the things I do. Therefore I try not to moan about how difficult it is, as my life is not difficult. That said there follows one paragraph in which I moan about how difficult my life is (kind readers may see it as being honest).
The cartooning has got a lot more difficult this year it seems. I can’t think up the ideas well enough and doing so takes forever and causes a lot of anxiety. I am determined to keep doing it because I know I can do it and really do enjoy it when I do it well, and I don’t want to let people down. Also I can’t do anything else. In 2011 I need to find better ways of working if I am to survive with sanity more or less intact.
I must of course thank many people. My wife, who thinks up all of the ideas, and my friends who help in their various ways. My regular clients who pay me to do diagrams, and the commenters on this blog who are creative and invaluable. Also the many people who give me material, intentionally or otherwise, and those who send kind messages. Thanks for putting up with nonsense, of which there is quite a bit, and slackness, which has been occasionally known.
I’ve just noticed that this is more of a newsletter than a Christmas message as it is all about me. Sorry about that.
In summary thanks everyone for your support and have a very happy Christmas.
Posted by Dave at 4:49 pm on December 24, 2010 and filed under Cartooning.
One more from Wednesday’s sit down comedy gig. This, like yesterday’s, also came under the heading Understanding the age-old symbolism behind modern Christmas activities.
My lecture consisted of 47 slides, of which I have now shown you about seven, when you include titles and things. You can tick another ten slides off by looking at Nine lessons learned at the carol service.
There is a review of the event by Liz in which she says some kind things. (I recommend following her blog, Eliza does very little, by the way.)
Posted by Dave at 7:26 pm on December 17, 2010 and filed under Cartoon stand-up, Cartoons.
Last night I did a bit more of my sit down comedy (like stand up but seated) at the event that I mentioned a week or two back. It went quite well I think. I showed a mixture of new cartoons and (mostly) old drawings dredged up out of the depths of the archives. The idea is basically that the images are projected and I read out the captions.
This is one of the new diagrams that was included. It is part one of a couple of cartoons entitled ‘Understanding the age-old symbolism behind modern Christmas activities’.
This is an additional cartoon included at no extra cost:
I’ll post another one tomorrow or thereabouts.
Posted by Dave at 2:24 pm on December 16, 2010 and filed under Cartoon stand-up, Cartooning, Cartoons.
Idle diagram done tonight to remind myself that I still quite enjoy doing them. Tomorrow and over the weekend I have a lot of drawing to do, and will be using many of the ideas that you have given me.
I hope you will remember this picture every time someone says ‘you couldn’t make it up’ and that it will provoke debates as to whether you could, in fact, make it up.
Please reuse this cartoon on personal blogs and social networks. If you could post a link that would be ideal.
Posted by Dave at 11:05 pm on December 9, 2010 and filed under Cartooning, Cartoons.
[Cartoon unrelated to content - for illustration purposes only]
Here are this week’s notices:
Thanks so much to everyone who has contributed to my ideas post. There are many brilliant ideas that I will be able to use, along with some sent by e-mail. Please do continue though if you think of anything else. Now all I’ve got to do is a bit of drawing.
To read an interview with me in which I talk about this and that see the Big Bible site. The interview is mainly to do with this website. Big Bible is all to do with the Big Read, a campaign encouraging people to read the Bible during Lent 2011. My friend Bex runs the website. Whether the introduction of ‘Big Bibles’ is part of the plan I have no idea. These would be for those who like to share a Bible with several friends or who find smaller print irritating. I may well suggest it.
2011 Calendar about to sell out
I have it on good authority that stocks of next year’s calendar will run out very soon – over 90% of the stock has now been sold. Last year they were on sale after Christmas as they didn’t sell out, but the same won’t happen this year. Various shops may have stock – otherwise you can order via Canterbury Press here.
Book not about to sell out
As long as people are sensible about it and form an orderly queue there will be enough copies of The Exciting Word of Churchgoing to go around. Thanks to everyone who has been buying it – it has made the Church Times Top 10 for a third month which I’m very pleased about.
Finally, if you’re looking for a small charity to support this Christmas may I recommend Esuubi, which works with children in Uganda providing education, medical care etc. My friend Kate set it up and I can vouch for the people involved. Some of my family may be getting some alternative gifts from there (please don’t tell them if you see them).
Posted by Dave at 5:40 pm on December 8, 2010 and filed under Blogging, Books, Cartooning.
Every now and then I have a bit of a cartoon ‘ideas appeal’ here on the blog. I’m currently working on a couple of Christmas cartoon projects and would dearly appreciate a small amount of help from anyone who has a minute to spare.
There are two subjects I’m working on:
1) The Parish Christmas tree.
What is hanging on it, and who has hung it there?
Examples: The bell ringers have hung a bell. The parent and toddler group has hung an irritating squeaky toy. You get the idea.
2) Christmas questions.
Which Christmas-related subjects baffle you?
Example (cartoon above): Who thinks up the playlists that get played in shops?
[Any ideas welcomed. They don't have to be good or funny. I may not be able to use all ideas and can't promise any reward. Many thanks in advance.]
‘Playlist’ cartoon originally appeared in my 2005 Advent calendar.
Posted by Dave at 10:32 pm on December 7, 2010 and filed under Cartooning, Ideas appeal.
When you have too much to do and little or no chance of ever being able to do it I find that it is always go back to doing what you do best – ie posting a discarded shopping list.
Today’s shopping list was found cast aside in the courgettes.
An older person I think. It shows that as a rule, the elderly start the day with porridge, then exist mainly on salad and tiramisu.
The again perhaps the top items suggests that this is not a shopping list, but rather a list of priorities.
Questions for study groups.
1. Don’t bother with the study today. Drink some tea and chat for a bit.
Posted by Dave at 7:23 pm on December 5, 2010 and filed under shopping lists.