Just a quick Monday morning cartoon from the notebook. If no-one has ever used this joke before I will be amazed.
Cartooning update: July is always a busy time of year as I am trying to get ahead of myself before taking a slight break, and some publications understandably need to bring deadlines forward for similar reasons. Also there are one or two Greenbelt Festival-related projects to be completed.
The move from CartoonChurch HQ is probably 12% completed, which is quite good progress all things considered. Part of the task is to make room in our house for all of my cartooning paraphernalia, and I have completed at least 16% of this task. I still have some office furniture and nick-nacks to get rid of (only got rid of 18% so far), and will, at some point, post some photographs here.
As always any cartoon subject requests will be considered very gladly should any be posted here or sent to me.
Posted by Dave at 11:04 am on July 18, 2011 and filed under Cartooning, Cartoons.
Limited self-understanding or ability to communicate about Christianity. Borderline when it comes to doctrine or being a youth worker. Rubbish at the second part of the Old Testament. Hermeneutical genius.
[Day spent sorting paperwork. Attempting to make space in home office for the contents of CartoonChurch HQ.]
Posted by Dave at 8:31 pm on July 10, 2011 and filed under Photographs.
Keen observers of my blog may have noticed some small hints that I’ve been thinking a bit about what I do and how I do it. I’ve decided, for now, to make one change, that of saying goodbye to CartoonChurch HQ, the office I’ve been working in for the last year and a bit. The idea was that getting out of the house to work would be a good thing, and you might remember my excitement and enthusiasm when I started. Unfortunately the honest truth is that it hasn’t really worked – working alone in an office isn’t a lot better than working alone at home. So I’ll be moving out over the next few weeks, and by early August CartoonChurch HQ will be no more. It is a bit sad as I had high hopes, but that is the way things go.
On the plus side I am now working at the Church Times in London, which I enjoy doing. I wasn’t doing this when I first began working at my HQ. I plan, for a while at least, to go into London one extra day a week (so three days in total) and do some of my cartooning there.
In the next few weeks I have to do quite a lot of getting rid of things, both from the office and from home, as space needs to be made for a lot of cartooning paraphernalia. If anyone is interested in two simple wooden Ikea desks with metal legs, an under-desk filing cabinet, a very laid back Ikea Poang chair, a very basic office chair, lots of Christian books / Bible commentaries or indeed any of my other possessions let me know. All to be picked up from Basildon, 15 minutes from the M25. I’ll post photos and possibly eBay links here at some point. I could also do with shifting a large number of greetings cards and some cartoon canvasses, but in a way that doesn’t involve me having to post them, which is the thing I don’t have time to do. Any thoughts on any of the above welcomed.
Posted by Dave at 12:48 pm on July 9, 2011 and filed under CartoonChurch progress.
This is a highly irritating photograph showing a glimpse of today’s ‘Verger’s store cupboard’ cartoon in progress. Irritating, in that you can’t see the finished article – Church Times subscribers can do so here. But don’t worry, it will appear on this website or in a book in due course.
From this picture (larger version) you will also be able to glean certain information – that I am currently using an Artline 0.5 pen, I use a ruler, I make notes, and my desk is a fake wood kind of colour. Earth shattering. I have changed pens in recent months by the way – the first five years of Church Times cartoons were done using a fibre tip (Papermate Nylon), which is still a pen I use a lot. The ruler is to make sure that things are level, and where they need to be, centred. I prefer not to use the proper equipment, ie any sort of drawing board, for this.
This is the post-pencilling and just beginning to ink stage. The hard work, ideas and drawing it in, has been completed. I start off the inking process with the lettering on this kind of picture as everything has to fit around it. Some of the lettering will be adjusted later on on the computer though. I will invariably spell words like ‘door’ or ‘books’ incorrectly.
Please don’t alert any other cartoonists to this blog post – my methods are archaic and I would be laughed out of town if anyone knew the way I go about things. Actually, come to think of it, I quite like the idea of being laughed out of town. If you see me in town please laugh me out of it.
Posted by Dave at 1:19 pm on July 8, 2011 and filed under Cartooning.
The author copies of my 2012 calendar arrived yesterday, which means that they are available for the incredibly organised to buy. The calendar is a bit different to previous years, in that instead of new material it contains 12 of my favourite ‘Guide to the Church’ cartoons. I have hand-picked them, which means I chose them without using any kind of mechanical device. Some of the diagrams are in the books, but some of them have not appeared anywhere else but the Church Times. I’m sorry that there aren’t new cartoons this time around, but I’m hoping that a collection of some of my best pictures will still make it a good thing to give as a present, etc.
The Canterbury Press (they are my publishers) page about the calendar is here, a similar looking one from Church House Bookshop is here, and the Amazon UK page is here. I’d recommend ordering it through your local Christian Bookshop if you can. Go in and have a chat with them while you are about it. If you are a shop why not talk to Canterbury Press about stocking it?
Posted by Dave at 1:07 pm on July 5, 2011 and filed under CartoonChurch progress, Cartooning, My books.
Today’s question (thanks to Stephen Heard):
Your cartoons, while astute and thought-provoking, are always gentle on us (the Church). Are you ever tempted to be more acerbic or satirical?
It is kind of you to say that my cartoons are thought-provoking. Sometimes they are, I suppose. But a lot of the time I am simply larking around, expressing a humorous idea with the aim of making people smile when they open the newspaper, which to me is a worthwhile aim in its own right.
My style isn’t particularly satirical. There is, of course, an important place for satirical cartooning, but it isn’t generally something I have chosen to do.
I do draw angrier cartoons, but you don’t generally see them – or if you do I have toned them down to become more palatable. They are just put away in folders along with ones that aren’t that good or ideas that never quite made it. There are large and extensive folders for such things. The anger in these drawings is directed against myself as often as anyone else.
One of the difficulties with drawing cartoons about everyday church goings-on is that every situation is different, and so an acerbic cartoon which might hit the mark in one church might wildly miss it in another.
Take example one of the cartoons that, for one reason or another, I remain quite pleased with, after service coffee.
This cartoon was inspired directly by years of standing on my own after church services while other people talked to each other. It perfectly fits the after-church mingling experience in many churches, but in a place where people are making an effort to talk to everyone it would be less applicable, and a more satirical version unhelpful.
Example two, a more recent cartoon entitled untapped talent (original – subscriber-only link).
This is towards the hard-hitting end of the really rather mild DW scale. I drew it having talked to friends who had had the experience of having a lot to offer a church, but had never been asked to do anything that would make the slightest use of their talents. I was surprised that this cartoon didn’t really provoke a reaction. I was glad I drew it, but aware that in many places the opposite is true – newcomers are immediately pounced upon as potential material for any number of church vacancies.
This is the reason I tend not to do many cartoons pointing out how incredibly dull many church events are. I imagine the priest / minister who has worked incredibly hard to make things interesting reading it and their morale being sapped. That isn’t what I want to do at all.
Posted by Dave at 12:40 pm on July 4, 2011 and filed under Cartoons.