Cartooning Continues

My blog is unusual, I guess, in that I’m not entirely preoccupied with one kind of work. I write but I also draw, which probably means that people who enjoy my writing hate my drawings or visa versa. I try to cater to both audiences (tiny, minuscule, non-existent though they are) but that can be pretty exhausting.

So, since I’ve ignored the cartooning side of the blog, I thought I’d publish one of the new cartoons I’ve drawn for my forthcoming collection (if I get that far). It’s the kind of cartoon I really like but I know there’d be no market for. I’ve sent six or seven other cartoons off to magazines in the unlikely hope they might publish one. The rest I’m trying to save for the finished book.

The current count stands at: 38 totally new cartoons, never been seen before (minus three I’ve not published on this blog) and another 62 which I’ve picked from my back catalogue. That’s 100 cartoons. I suppose I could stop now but I really want more new work. I measure all these things by the books by B. Kliban I love so much. I think they have 150 cartoons per book. Not sure if I have the energy to draw another 50 but, hey, I’ve done it before. My next goal is 110 which is just 10 away… Baby steps.

4 thoughts on “Cartooning Continues”

    1. Ah, well, I’ll take that as a positive. My directory is full of weird stuff like this that would never get in Private Eye. Not that my other stuff gets in Private Eye either…

  1. Ha that’s excellent! Personally I would love to see surreal and darker cartoons such as this in the likes of the Eye/New Yorker, but then I’ve always been a sucker for the likes of Topor and Gorey which is probably not true for the old boys network that chooses what to print. Occasionally there’s multiple pages of jokes that just don’t land for me in the Eye, but I suppose it must satisfy someone higher up. Can’t wait to see the other 100(!!) once you publish them wherever. How long does it take to think up/draw these? As opposed to writing posts for the blog etc.

    1. Ah, thanks Diana. Oooh, lord, what have you done? I didn’t know of Topor until I just searched for him now I might have to find a book of his work. He’s so much like Gorey. Definitely a big Gorey fan. My unpublished Snoot book was a homage to Gorey, though I’m not sure if that’s a good thing. Perhaps it’s too dark for kids but not dark enough for adults. Or perhaps the poem wasn’t good enough…

      Myself, I prefer this sort of cartoon even though I know they’ll never get in the Eye, which, I also agree, tends not to publish the cartoons I like. Lots miss for me but I wonder if it’s down to space. They seem to like underdrawn cartoons, where I tend to overdraw, and simple gags rather than more surreal stuff.

      Regarding time: that one probably took a couple of hours. Most take that kind of time but I might always go back at a later stage. I’d finished my Monks book in months and then went through them again taking a few months more, improving every lower quality drawing until they reached the same standard. I might do the same here. Thinking of them takes a lot longer. I have days when I can think of 10 good cartoons and days when I can’t think of a single one. Also depends what kind of cartoons I’m trying to think up. Stuff that’s conventional takes ages because it has to be “clever” and structural. Weird stuff is easier because it’s more like wordplay or odd concepts.

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It’s a cool domain name and it was available. Yes, I know. Available. Crazy, isn’t it?


Yes. It also helps that it’s also my favourite satire written by Alexander Pope, one of the most metrically pure English poets who also knew his way around a crude insult or two. If you’ve not read it, you should give it a try.

So this is satire, right?

Can’t deny it. There will be some. But it’s also an experiment in writing and drawing, giving work away for free in order to see how many people are willing to support a writer doing his thing. It’s the weird stuff that I wouldn’t get published elsewhere in this word of diminishing demands and cookie-cutter tastes.