Monday, March 15, 2021

Adding a New Character

 


The introduction of any new character can be a worryingly heavy burden on the sensitive, creative mind. 

But when the creative part of that mind is screaming 
'Go with it, yeah, have a ball. It'll be a blast!' 
And the part of the brain that deals with trying to NOT get sued by megalithic corporate behemoths screams 
'Don't listen to him, he has no real grip on reality and he's probably been drinking anyway!' 

Then you have problems.

Not the drink. That's never been a problem.

Yet this is the very problem that faced me (once again, not the drink. The whole 'not-getting-sued-bit.' All clear now? Right, continue). I had created what I believed to be a great new addition to my Adam & Eve comic strip, a character that was different enough to add a whole new direction to the comic and, most importantly, a new stream of gags and material. 

My new character was going to highlight the anomalies of the internet and social media. To hold up a mirror to the absurdities of the more dubious sides of the web and wag a mocking finger at the odd balls and idiots who cause it. The internet is a huge subject and one that I have been trying to into my strip for a long time.

My problem was that Adam & Eve is set, effectively, at the beginning of time and so far as I am aware, no computers have been dug up or discovered next to any of the bones of early man. But the web is such a big part of everyone's lives that to miss out on referring to it was, well, too big an opportunity to pass up.

So I created Googol.

And that was the problem. 

Actually, there was no problem with the character, just his name.

The second I created the idea I just knew I wanted to call him Google. It said it all. Google being the most recognised feature of the internet. Google being a font of all knowledge---dubious or otherwise--- Google is, to most people, the face of the internet.

But to call a character Google would be to potentially incur the wrath of a giant. A giant, admittedly that knew nothing of my insignificant existence, but a giant non the less. I knew that if I ever wanted to grow this comic strip to such a point that it was a source of income for me, then this character could be the cause of its downfall.

So I sat on it.

I sat in it for a year.

Then I read an article, an article that told the story behind the name Google, and the clouds parted, a ray of sunshine hit my fevered brow and said; 'Now is your time my boy. Go forth and populate the world with giggles'. I said to the ray of sunshine 'Giggles? Have to read the drivel I come up with? And the rays of sunshine muttered amongst itself for a while then said 'Well, yes we have. Just do your best and DON'T SPOIL THE MOMENT. WE ARE RAYS OF SUNSHINE AND THIS IS WHAT WE DO YOU INSUFFERABLE LITTLE INGRATE!!'

Well something like that.

It turns out that when the original owners of Google were casting around for a name they came up with Googol, which meant: the Figure 1 followed by 100 zeros. Basically it's a very complicated mathematical thing, but to the Google guys and girls it was ideal, because it meant an infinite number of possibilities which was what they wanted their search engine to provide.

So they sent someone up to register the name. Unfortunately that person spent a large portion of their time in the registry office misspelling the word 'Googol' and put down Google instead, the rest is dyslexic history.

Okay, very interesting right? Too darn right it was. It meant that I could, theoretically, use the correct spelling of the word for my character and hopefully see off any future lawsuits from the...er...legal suits. Because I'm pretty sure you cannot own a word. Didn't that Hilton creature try and own the term 'that's Hot' and ban the world from using it?  And we all know how that worked out for her.

So now I only have to worry about the day that I'm big enough and successful enough to be noticed by Google and hope that they see the funny side. Oh, and I have to make it big and on that point...

Any suggestions?

Anyway, here's a few samples of the sage himself, not that being classified a sage in Adam & Eve's little Eden is much of an accolade.





If you would like to see more Adam & Eve then click here, and subscribe. Or scan the QR Code ad do the same.





Thursday, December 3, 2020

The Idiot and the Internet

 


Yes this is a beautiful picture. The photographer, whoever's he or she is, did a stunning job on capturing the light as it danced and merrily tickled the autumnal reds of a classic Scottish Highland scene.


Many of you, in fact probably all of you, will have either had this picture messaged to you from me or seen it on my story; this was not my intention.

What I did intend to do was use part of this picture as reference for a job I am working on. So I found it and downloaded it. Went to look for it in downloads and low and behold, it wasn't there. So back I went to Google, found the picture again and repeated the act; once again no picture.

After a good twenty minutes and possibly fifteen attempts with a further fifteen failures I seemed to lose the plot somewhat. I think I snarled, steam definitely came out of my ears and I hit every control in site: the result was five minutes later my phone is pinging out of control with people from all four corners of the globe telling me what a lovely picture it is.

Kim Jong-un sent a thank you, asking how I got past his fourteen levels of firewall and two secretaries, Brad Pitt said Jennifer loved, an Al Qaeda splinter group up in the Hindu Kush sent an email saying: thank you for contacting Al Qaeda, your request is being processed and someone will get back to you, even Donald Trump took a few moments out of his busy squatting schedule to ask where this was taken.

It appears in my moment of desperate frustration I seem to have shared one picture with the entire internet, which is a pretty spectacular f**k up, even for me.

So yes, it is lovely and no I didn't mean to send it to you. And guess what? Out of all the people, world-wide, who got this picture sent to them, it appears one singular person didn't.

Me.

Monday, November 30, 2020

The Rise & Fall of the Yappy-Dog- An Adam & Eve Mini Story.


It's very heart warming to realise that the characters you have created seem, on some level, to touch your readers in a very personal way. And in my most recent story arc, that point come to the fore.

In the story I had Adam drop a tree, accidentally, on the bane of his life, the Yappy Dog and over the next few days I failed to bring him back; to give the readers a satisfying Hollywood end, as it where.

There was to be no immediate feel-good ending in sight.
Then I mentioned on the preceding Friday that the strip on Monday was to be the last strip in the story arc and readers began to let me know how they wanted this tale to end, and in no uncertain terms.

I always knew how I would end this tale but it was truly gratifying to see that these little characters have made enough of an impact on peoples lives that they got involved.

Fans are the life blood of any comic strip and I am so glad I have such loyal ones. So for the hell of it, here's the whole story arc in one post.

Enjoy and thank you for your continued support.









Saturday, November 21, 2020

Latest Book

 


A short but incredibly sweet post.

I have published my first collection of cartoons from my thrice weekly comic strip Adam & Eve.

There you go. That was very short and very sweet. Below are a few sample pages from the book and if you want to see more of what I have published then please visit my store.

So until next time, have fun, click and buy and support the arts...well the arts that I'm doing anyway.









Friday, November 13, 2020

Backlog of Videos

I've been working on my YouTube channel for quite some time now and at last--or should I say over the last few months---I've been producing fairly regular videos.

Below are a selection of the them. If you like what you see, why not hop over and subscribe.

Or stay here, I'm all over the place now, you know.










Hope you enjoy them and keep coming back for more.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

WIX a load of rubbish


I am indeed back. Back from the dark and confusing world of the paid for website and blog.

I guess blogger had been spoiling me over the years; what with the whole freeness of it all and the many and varied things you can do, but when you are constantly bombarded with advice about getting a paid for site that enables you to do pretty much everything that a free blog page cannot, and that no one will take you seriously as a business if you don't have a professional website, then eventually you fall under the huge weight of marketing hype..

And this is how I stumbled upon WIX, and fell over.

I spent hours, and I mean hours, trawling through YouTube and the various online sites taking the advice of experts, and it all eventually came down to WIX and Wordpress. But I could not decide which one to go with; so with no actual valid option, I flipped a coin.

It came down WIX side up

I wish it hadn't.

I signed up, attempted to build the site over a few nights, made endless frustrated calls to their helpdesk---all seemingly manned by people who really didn't want to be there---and decided to show their frustration by making me feel like an absolute idiot---So eventually I just ignored them and scratched my head until I got it right.

And that took nearly a month! Let's face it, I had an empire to build in-between all their 'easy set up' issues, and to be honest, if the Romans had had to deal with WIX before heading out across the Rubicon to bash a widely unsuspecting world on the head, they'd still be there now...waiting on the hotline, listening to Wagner's ring cycle.

But eventually I did get a site I could live with, not the site I wanted, but a site of sorts that fell roughly under the description of 'Website'. 

But it kept on crashing, losing post after post. Images could not be resized, like their adverts said they could. The reason for this was simple, apparently. 

It turns out that all the adverts I saw were for the old WIX interface, an interface that they loudly proclaimed to be endless in its variety and would do away with the need for a professional website designer. 

It turns out that they decided to do away with the old site a week before I came bowling along with money in my hand and  a silly expression of confidence on my face. 

Anyway, one day, just over a year later, this defeated cartoonist was building a blogger site for his partner, when he realised she could actually do more with her free site than he could with a paid for one. And it looked better.

I ran the Blogger site for her, until she became competent and confident enough to be left alone to blog without a safety net---which in all honesty wasn't that long. I used to look at her with envious eyes as she effortlessly made her site do things that mine just could not.

Then I asked the question.

What had my site got that her site didn't? Well not a lot, actually. Maybe the word 'Blogspot' in the title and an option to make her mobile phone site different in design to the computer one. And seeing as most people run their online life through their phones, this really wasn't an issue. 

But the real kicker was when I realised that she could turn her site into a multi lingual one at the touch of a button. I went to my site and found that to do the same, I had to either translate the whole page myself, or pay a translator to do it for me; language by language.

It was also around this time that I lost three posts that I had slaved hard and long over, saving it as I went along (something blogger does automatically I hasten to add), and when the third one disappeared without trace, I lost my stuff!

But when I contacted WIX about this they simply stated that these things happen from time to time. My answer was: 'Not on Blogger it bloody well doesn't!' They just shrugged their online shoulders and said 'it was probably something I did and couldn't I just write it again?'.

And with that, I said I would not be renewing my contract with them and put the phone down on the world of pain and frustration that is WIX. 

So here I am, once again with blogger.

It may be free, and some purists out there will insist that customers don't take you seriously if you don't have a professional site, but all I can say is this: 'I'm a cartoonist, I don't want to be taken seriously. That's kind of the whole point!' 

And to prove it, here's a few cartoons.

Thank you.









Oh incidentally, my partner is a top Chef and she brings her skills to the public and passes her craft on so you can produce amazing food yourself. Interested? Good, then here's the link

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Adam & Eve get their first calendar

Adam & Eve, the two unlikely stars of my larger comic panel NoodlePates, have just become the cartoon my followers most want to see. When they aren't there, they miss them and when they are, they just want more!.

Adam & Eve really is a simple concept. The panel strip documents the daily doings of Adam & Eve as they reach middle age and the realisation that the magic has well and truly gone from their marriage.

It's a family strip with a twist, their only other companions are a resigned snake, who is an unwilling companion to their troublesome lives and God, an inventor who is already beginning to have serious regrets.

For years I had tried to come up with clever cartoon ideas and concepts but always drew a blank, and met with a massive wall of personal frustration and an industry wide indifference. But when I threw these two marital misfits into a cartoon one day, something happened and my readers were not slow in letting me know about it.

When it comes right down to it, relationship jokes, the battle of the sexes, family complications and laughing at those less maritally fortunate than our selves, have always been, and probably always will be, the one thing virtually all of us have in common.

 I get it. I know. I can't see Adam & Eve becoming the next big syndication gold mine; let's face it, there won't be that many editors willing to run a strip with a religious theme, no matter how mild it may be. But as an Internet cartoon and with CreateSpace and other such publishing platforms and the increased support of the public, you never know what trouble we may be able to cause between us.

So for the foreseeable future I will be making Adam & Eve my regular comic feature, and I hope you will wish to join in it's merry band of fans and followers.

That said, and this only meaning to be a short post, I will shut up and let you view a few sample pages of the first ever Adam & Eve calendar.

And if you would like to purchase one, email me and I will see what I can do.

Enjoy





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