Happy Sunday!

And have a brand-new cartoon to mark this special day.

Well, okay, it’s not that special but, late last night, I did finish the third volume of my cartoon trilogy. That’s 55 mostly new cartoons drawn over the course of a month. The moment passed with no ceremony beyond a sigh of relief. Inspiration is such a fickle beast. Saturday had been such a bad day in that respect. If felt like I struggled to come up with any cartoons. For much of the day, my notebook of ideas was filling up with the kind of crap phrases indicative of me stretching for something that isn’t there. I write these down in the hope they might spark something.

Soup canon
Hog-Faced Dave
Chubby wood
Passing Wiener Street
Ratty Hog-Faced Teen
Zipper Farmer
Ian the Gigalo
Trench Wharf Hair/Air
Inverted press ups
Modern Art meets Old Master
No inspiration
Shin Lemonade
Bent Housekeeper
Chav Dartboard
Sudden uncontrolled outbreak of cretinism
Rainbow management

It’s shameful. The only two I like are “Chubby Wood” and “Sudden uncontrolled outbreak of cretinism” but I’m not sure how I’d draw either. There were two more on the list which I’ve not included. They turned into two strong cartoons, definite keepers, one of which I’ve posted here. I think it might even be the first cartoon in the book. I know it’s crap and childish and perhaps even obvious but I like it and in the silence of this room, that’s the only measure I have…

I’m not sure what this says about my taste: whether on “bad” days my quality meter is set too low and that yesterday was actually a “good” day because it was set rather high. Or, alternatively, was yesterday a “bad” day because my brain wasn’t functioning and I just lucked into two ideas that just appealed to my warped sense of things?

My next job is to go through each cartoon and make sure it’s entirely finished (the above cartoon really needs some sky). Silly mistakes like missing detail on hands creep through so easily and can make a cartoon look obviously unfinished. I also intend to ditch three or four of the current selection on account of them being not particularly strong or that I haven’t the enthusiasm to finish. One is a strong cartoon but involves drawing twelve people all playing violins and every time I open the file my heart sinks. There’s something about playing the violin that makes it hard for me to draw: the fingers and the twist of the wrist, plus how to indicate strings, and then how the headstock is curled… This plan does assume, however, that in the coming days, I come up with three or four better ideas. In not, I will have to draw my stupidly overcomplicated cartoon.

Before I forget: an anonymous reader of the blog bought me a coffee yesterday. I wanted to thank you, though I have no idea who you are or why you showed me such kindness. Just to say it really cheered me up when I needed a bit of good cheer. Perhaps it was the heat. Perhaps it was the crappy Twitter comment that greeted me first thing in the morning. Perhaps other things… August is always my least favourite month of the year and every day can feel like a struggle against the humidity. The weather really gets me down and that’s especially true when I can’t open the office window because of the wasps…

Speaking of wasps: I waited until after dusk last night before I went out to deal with the little buggers. I adopted protective clothing (i.e. put on a hoodie and tightened it up so there was only a one-inch hole to look out through). Gloves. Trouser tucked into socks. And, in the end, I still cowardly backed away and sprayed the entrance to the nest from about two meters. Didn’t do much good. Plenty of wasps died but not so many that it made any difference. Tonight, I’m going to wait until it gets properly dark and then I’ll go out with a torch and inject the foam straight into the hole. The other idea I have is to throw a hammer at the shed and hope I can punch a hole through the rotten wood… The shed has to come down at some point so I’m not sure why I’m being so subtle beyond having an instinctive wish not to harm the shed which except for one rotting end is still usable and useful…

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Why Dunciad.com?

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.