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Church Times. This week I’m back in the paper with some illustrations for a feature on church small groups, and these drawings are also on the cover (above – or a bit bigger here). My Guide to the Church cartoon isn’t there this week (still that blessed office picture), but should be from next week onwards.
Thanks to all of the people who have encouraged me in various ways in recent weeks. Not been the best of times – I’d like to say more, but… [*rewrites repeatedly*] I can’t bring myself to do so here, what with people reading and everything.
Place to work. I know I’ve said this before, but I still need somewhere to do things for 2-3 days a week. Within reasonable travelling distance by railway (from Laindon station) would be ideal. With other people preferably. Offices, churches, towers, sheds, hovels – all fine. As would some combination – a tower of offices or a church hovel spring to mind.
Bit of a break. Whilst I’m cartooning again I may not be actually around much on the internet (Twitter etc) for a while. I think you’ll be OK.
Posted by Dave at 8:07 pm on October 20, 2011 and filed under CartoonChurch progress, Cartooning.
I have contributed to an exhibition entitled The Emblem of My Work, which opened in Yorkshire yesterday.
The Emblem of My Work celebrates the 250th anniversary of the marbled page (page 169) in Volume III of The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman by Laurence Sterne. You’ll find the book in the ‘Classics’ section. Approximately 169 contributors were asked to picture the emblem of their work on a blank template of the page (above). These 169 contributions will, over the next month or two, appear on a blog, and then be auctioned at the end of October. The names of the contributors appeared today, but, in a subtle twist, the names won’t be matched with the pictures. This is all a bit baffling, I know, but the blog or the Laurence Sterne Trust website should help to explain it and fill in the bits that I haven’t explained that well.
Others contributors include Quentin Blake, Mark Wallinger, Martin Rowson, Tom Gauld, Glen Baxter, to name a few I quite admire. The exhibition is part of Art in Yorkshire, supported by Tate. I’m hoping to make it up to Shandy Hall (15 miles north of York) at some point to see the exhibition, but no travel arrangements have yet been made.
My contribution? Well, you’ll have to work it out…
Posted by Dave at 9:29 pm on September 5, 2011 and filed under Art, CartoonChurch progress.
We have been away but are now back from several places.
This is just a quick blog post to say thank you for all of the really very kind things that were said to me at the Greenbelt Festival. I really do appreciate the things people say and to see my work being enjoyed every year.
I was pleased that the t-shirts (sample, above) proved to be popular. Sorry to those who didn’t manage to get one – this being the first printing the order was made cautiously, but hopefully there will be more in the future. Sorry black wasn’t available – once again, next time, all being well.
For those who were unable to get a calendar – you can get one from places listed here.
Please forgive this not especially thrilling blog post. Slight struggle to form much of a sentence at the moment to be honest (we’ll call it start-of-term blues), but I did want to write something / strike whilst the iron was at least still mildly lukewarm.
Posted by Dave at 10:32 pm on September 4, 2011 and filed under CartoonChurch progress, Greenbelt.
[Photograph: Cartooning in progress]
A little bit of a blog update, an August 2011 newsletter if you will, to let people know that I am still technically here.
On 3 August 2006 I posted on this blog to say that a book of cartoons ideal for reading whilst reclining on one’s side was about to be published… and that I was taking a break from blogging to get married. Five years ago – goodness. It was the best thing I ever did (getting married, not the book of sideways diagrams).
I’ve been off the social media and not sending many telegrams for a while as I’ve been concentrating my mind elsewhere. The world has kept on turning perfectly happily without me being involved in such activities. I don’t foresee any immediate reversal of this general state of things, but who knows.
The final dregs of my CartoonChurch HQ detritus were cleared up yesterday, and the keys and fobs given back. It was a bit sad but the right choice to make. I took one or two very poor photographs of myself standing in the vicinity of a vacuum cleaner in the office just because I will never have that opportunity again. The house, the garage and Sue Ryder’s Laindon emporium are all more cluttered than they were before.
A lot of time has been spent packing up the majority of my greetings cards. I have sold most of the stock to Hymns Ancient and Modern. They will be selling them at Greenbelt, and also, one imagines, via the internet / Church House Bookshop / elsewhere. It has been discovered that my wife is a lot better at putting cards and envelopes into wrappers than I am. The most efficient way to get the job done is for her to do the actual work and for me to do peripheral tasks that do not involve doing the actual work.
I’ve done my annual map for the Church Times Guide to Greenbelt. If you’re a Greenbelt Angel (regular supporter) you’ll get one before the festival. Otherwise, if you are a Greenbelt-goer, look out for people a bit like me giving them out. There will, all being well, be a cartoon exhibition as usual in the Church Times tent, which this year is also G-books (the bookshop). I’m not doing anything at Last Orders or appearing in any on-stage way this year, but I will be appearing in tea queues and sitting on steps. A t-shirt that I may or may not have drawn may or may not be available.
Doing more thinking over coffee at the Salvation Army Headquarters and doing more drawing in the offices of the Church Times newspaper has been working quite well. This week I sent off four Church Times diagrams. This is unheard-of and the editor was incredibly surprised, thinking that my promise was figurative. Thanks must go, as ever, to those who have helped me, via this blog, in conversation, and by sending things.
One of my diagrams may appear on a [shouldn't say]. My people (me) and their people (them) are still in negotiations so I can’t mention it.
I was very pleased to see that Liz enjoyed the picture that some of her friends gave her.
Wasn’t the Tour de France good?
I forgot to iron the left half of my shirt today. No one noticed. Half-ironing of items could be the answer to all sorts of things including some problems that haven’t yet been thought of.
The window cleaner did the back windows.
Posted by Dave at 8:49 pm on August 3, 2011 and filed under CartoonChurch progress.
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.
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.
I’m on the lookout for new opportunities and possibilities. Not necessarily involving cartooning. Must involve me making a living somehow.
(This is not me saying that I plan to give up doing all of the things I currently do, but it isn’t me saying I intend to keep on doing them either.)
Any thoughts or ideas? Please get in touch via dave at cartoonchurch.com – thank you.
Posted by Dave at 1:58 pm on June 27, 2011 and filed under CartoonChurch progress.
It is a month since the last entry. So, what have I been doing?
A lot of my days are spent sitting in a room looking at pieces of paper and not succeeding in filling them with the drawings I’d like to. I persist as giving up is heavily frowned upon, and after all my life is almost certainly not more difficult than yours.
An observation. Most comedy is produced by two or more people working together, not one person sitting in a room on their own. I am very grateful to the people who send me ideas and friends who talk them over with me, but the task of getting the words, layouts and drawings right remains a solitary one. I don’t know what can be done about this.
Thank you for your patience during a time of less taking place on this website than is normal. I have plans to improve things from the current ‘very poor’ up to a level of ‘mediocre’. I have one or two quite literal hurdles to crawl under, and then I will able to give this matter my partial attention.
Posted by Dave at 10:10 pm on March 21, 2011 and filed under CartoonChurch progress, Cartoons.
Image: choir hats. For illustration purposes only.
I’m sorry not to have updated this blog for over ten days. I’ve been suffering from low morale and general loss of diagrammatical confidence and so didn’t have anything good enough to blog. I still don’t have anything good enough to blog, but have decided to remedy the situation by lowering the bar of quality considerably, so that any old rubbish will be fit to post.
This is a picture of the hats as worn by the choir members at my church. When I say ‘my church’ I mean the one that I go to on an occasional basis. Apparently hats of this kind are unusual in choral circles. I certainly think that these are some of the pointiest* hats that I have seen. The choir is also unusual in that there are four women and they all look identical**.
* It irritates me that my spellchecker doesn’t like the word ‘pointiest’.
** I’m just being silly now. Expect more of this kind of thing.
Posted by Dave at 12:15 am on November 1, 2010 and filed under Blogging, CartoonChurch progress.
This is a bit self-centred, but there again this is my blog, so it is allowable as long I don’t revel in it. Simon Jenkins, the Captain of the Ship of Fools, has written a most positive review of my book of drawings, The Exciting World of Churchgoing, on his blog. See here to look at it on the internet. Thank you Simon!
In other news, there are one or two reasonably exciting developments. My people (ie me) are talking to their people (ie them). I can’t say any more than that. In fact, it would have been best to say nothing than to post something that will only invite idle speculation and tittle tattle. Oh well, too late now.
Posted by Dave at 7:31 pm on September 22, 2010 and filed under Books, CartoonChurch progress, Cartooning.
I am now back on this blog after a holiday (We went to Ireland – more about that another time). Lo and behold it is now nearly the end of August, which means that it is time for my favourite weekend of the year, the Greenbelt Festival. Here is what I am doing or involved with at Greenbelt this year:
Launch of ‘The Exciting World of Churchgoing’
My new book, The Exciting World of Churchgoing will be available at the Greenbelt Festival and quite possibly in the shops this week. Hooray!
It is the third book of my Church Times ‘Guide to the Church’ cartoons. There’s no launch party planned. Perhaps I should organise one. Bit late really as people won’t have time to hire all of the formal kit etc.
[Aside: You can (when it becomes available) get the book via your local Christian bookshop, or via Amazon, Church House Bookshop, Waterstones or the publishers, Canterbury Press.]
Nightly appearance at Last Orders
This is the most exciting but most terrifying thing in the world for me at the moment. I will be showing some cartoons and doing some very limited talking in ‘Last Orders‘ on each night, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Last Orders starts at 11pm and is in the 2000 seater ‘Centaur’ venue, and other people on the bill include proper comedians like Milton Jones. Oh dear, what have I got myself into? On the plus side, whenever I have done these things before I have loved doing them and people have found them quite enjoyable and there has been some polite applause at the end.
No, I haven’t prepared it yet.
Cartoon Exhibition in the Church Times Tent
Some of my latest diagrams and some from the book will be on display in the Church Times tent. These will include ones like ‘The Periodic Table of Churchgoers’ which have thus far not been widely available beyond the newspaper.
The Church Times tent is in front of the grandstand. This year the tent has swapped places with the ‘Hub’ Literature venue as the Church Times was found to be on dodgy ground. By implication this means that the Literature is now on dodgy ground. This is a conundrum I haven’t yet got to the bottom of.
Map of Greenbelt in the ‘Church Times Guide to Greenbelt’
Every year I do a map of the festival site and moan about how difficult it is to draw for weeks on end to anyone who will listen. You can get hold of it in the free Church Times Guide to Greenbelt, available from the Church Times tent or from touts (ie me) who will be handing it out.
When not doing other things I’ll generally be hanging around in the Church Times tent pretending to help. Do come and say hello, and perhaps we can meet up for a cup of tea or beer. Not too much beer though, as I must be alert during the evenings.
I think I might be part of some comics thing. I don’t really know about that.
Posted by Dave at 5:17 pm on August 23, 2010 and filed under Books, CartoonChurch progress, Cartoons, Festivals and Exhibitions, Greenbelt.
[This post is mainly written so that when people ask me things I have something to point them to.]
Why I’m not taking on freelance cartoon commissions
1) Nearly all of my time is taken up with ongoing work. I’m now doing two days a week in London in an ‘acting web editor’ role for the Church Times, and the rest of my time is spent on paid blogging, doing my regular cartoons for publications, admin, you name it.
2) I’m really not that good at them. By that I mean that commissions take me a huge amount of time, far more than I could ever charge for, and cause a lot of stress, far more than it would be acceptable to publicly moan about.
3) My best work happens when I’m free to choose the subject, captions and pictures. Ideally it is best if I have some knowledge of the topic in question. Recently I’ve had commissions where none of these have been the case, and they haven’t worked terribly well. I don’t like doing work that I do not think is really good.
In future I might go back do doing freelance work, but for now this is the situation. I do have one or two jobs still to finish, but these will be the last. I’m hoping that you’ll see the results in terms of more and better cartoons done just for the fun of it, better blogging, better filing of pieces of paper into numerical order, etc etc.
(No idea what the point of ‘ENDS’ is. Just seen other people do it.)
Posted by Dave at 7:42 am on June 24, 2010 and filed under Blogging, CartoonChurch progress, Cartooning.