Monday, 30 July 2007

Mr Parmesand #4

... as the cartoonist said to the actress

First posted on here last week, was then taken down to add a few bits at the end (in italics).

So, one Wednesday a week or so ago, a friend of mine was doing a gig with her band after work, and instead of going all the way home and all the way back just to drop off my stuff, I decided to go to the Tate Modern, then maybe a pub before the gig.

Well, the Tate closes at six, so instead I sat on the grass outside the entrance. I noticed this attractive woman sitting nearby, but didn’t think too much of it. I got out my sketchbook and did some writing.

Then she gets up and walks over to me and asks if I have another black pen. As it happens I normally do have two black pens, so I said yes and started to look through my bag. In the end I found a blue pen, so I took that and gave her my black one.

"Thanks," she said, "here’s 60p." and she gave me some money. I was so surprised that I forgot to refuse the money, and just dumbly said thank you.

Then I sat there, thinking "actually, she is very attractive", and I decided that if I was going to talk to her, this would be the best time. I wondered what I could say and it occurred to me that I should really give the money back. It was a bit ungallant to accept it in the first place. So I went over and offerred to return the cash, she said no, and we kind of out-polited each other for a bit before she said I should put it in a charity box. I said "good idea", and then asked if she wanted to go for a drink sometime. She said yes, that’d be great.

Amazing! We exchanged numbers and I said I’d give her a call. I asked if she was in the country for long and she replied "yes and no". I figured that I didn’t understand what that meant, but I could find out later on.

I told my housemate about it and he did the usual "oh, don’t call the next day, you’ll seem too keen" thing, but if I didn’t call the following day I’ll end up calling during the weekend which I didn’t want to do. He also said I should contact her first via email, and that’s crazy! Plus, I spoke to his girlfriend and she told me he never waited a couple of days before calling her. If you’re going to give advice, it should at least be advice you follow yourself, no?

Anyway, next day I called at about half six-ish. No reply, so I left a message saying I’d call again later. Which I did, again no reply, left another message. A bit of an anti-climax. Friday, I didn’t call, and on Saturday I called for the third time and ended up leaving a third message.

So I thought I’d send an email as a last gasp effort. It came back undelivered. Now I was upset, since she’d clearly given me the wrong contact info. Definitely a snub. End of story, I think.Except on Sunday I had nothing to do and so started thinking about her again. One last call, I figured. That’s all. This time someone picked up! I heard a lot of noise like somebody fumbling with the phone in a bag, then a faint voice saying "booyakasha" and then the line went dead.

Well, that was weird. The voice was so faint I couldn’t tell if it was a man or a woman. I thought I should call again, but thought I’d better not use my phone in case the number was a give away. I decided to try one of those public telephone box things that you see people use in old films. I went out, and the first one I saw was just dead – no tone, no display, nothing. The second phone box had a tone, but the slot for coins was jammed shut. The third one I found wasn’t a phone box at all, and was instead a novelty feature in somone’s front garden! By now, I was somewhat disheartened. Happily the fourth one (out by Sainsbury’s) worked, so I called. No surprises there: no reply. Didn’t leave a message.

Well, then, I figured since I’m not going to meet her again, I may as well try and find out who she was. I put her name into google, and after a bit of searching find out that she’s an actor and author! That’s nice. The play she was in had just finished it’s run a few days before, so I wondered if she was even still in the country (which I guess explains the "yes and no" comment). I noticed that her stage name was an abbreviation of her full name, so I thought "nothing to lose" and sent an email to her stage name at gmail. It didn’t bounce back, but then I got no reply and besides, I’ve no way of knowing if it reached the right person.

Despite this sense of not knowing what happened, I managed to achieve some kind of closure yesterday when I bought a black biro to replace the one she bought off me. In fact, I bought two. And as I walked out of the newsagent, I asked myself, why did I just buy two pens?

Did I think the same thing might happen again?

So that was the state of play until Wednesday last week. I went into my email to do some tidying up and I noticed, to a mixture of horror and regained hope, that I’d spelt her name wrong in the email address. I quickly sent off another email, which didn’t bounce back. I also decided to take down the post describing this whole sorry situation in case (a) of new amazing developments or (b) she read it and thought I was just plain weird. Alas, the new email received no reply, and the last hope for a happy, or even satisfactory, ending vanished. Oh well. Such is life

Sunday, 29 July 2007

Tiny Manu #3

From the sketchbook #4

This is Willian Church, Willian being a village on the outskirts of the town where I grew up, Letchworth.
It used to be a dry town, and if people wanted to go out they had to go to one of the surrounding villages, all of which had a remarkably high pub-to-population ratio.

Saturday, 28 July 2007

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Monday, 23 July 2007

Hooray, my first rejection!

Not in life, obviously. I've had loads of those. No, this evening I got the first rejection from a publisher since I started cartooning again about a year ago. Usually my stuff gets no response at all, so I think that it's quite an improvement that a newspaper (The Evening Standard) actually bothered to reply at all. It was a form letter, I admit, and it was about two months late but it's better than nothing.

One liners #1

Sunday, 22 July 2007

Friday, 20 July 2007

If you're here from amnap

... you're probably wondering why a blog about consciousness and related subjects links here. Well, let me explain. A while ago the idea was put forth that I should share blogging duties on A Method Not A Position, putting forth the more skeptical side of things. To do so, I needed to register on blogspot. However, it was then decided that was unworkable, so the idea was dropped.

So the idea was then for me to have a blog about parapsychology that amnap could link to on occasion. But when I sat down to write it I found that I really didn't have much to say, and reading other skeptical or non-skeptical blogs for inspiration was pretty disheartening. In the end I decided (as you may have noticed) to drop parapsychology in favour of funny drawings. A good choice, I may say, because since then my interest in parapsychology has waned somewhat. I still lurk on forums and blogs, but that's about it.

So there you go. That's why there's a link to here. It's nice of Matthew to reference me now and again, and I admit I like the idea of people clicking on the link expecting more philosophical musings, only to be faced with something like a comic strip about bedtime stories. I wonder what they think.

Dog Translucent #8

The 50th Post on this blog

This is it.

Thursday, 19 July 2007

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

A wii bit obsessive

Recently I've been playing a lot of Wii Sports, in particular Wii Golf (eight under par is my best so far). This game has a limited number of phrases that it says to you at particular points, such as "Nice Shot!"

Well, I played the game so often by myself that I found myself replying to a couple of these phrases. For example, if I get a one under par at a hole it says "Nice birdie", to which I reply "Pretty birdie!" Then if I get two under, it says "Great eagle", and I say "It is big, isn't it?" And if I just score par for the hole, it says "Nice par" and I say "You've never even met my dad."

Trouble is, now I'm getting a bit superstitious about these phrases and I'm afraid that if I don't say them out loud then I won't play as well. As a consequence I do look a bit odd when playing with friends.

Monday, 16 July 2007

Sunday, 15 July 2007

The Institute for Knowing Things #2

The idea of this strip was that frames one and two would be factually correct, and the last frame would be an amusing, if untrue, consequence of the first two.

I learnt about the use of children's toys in Cold War discussions in a TV documentary I happened to watch about twenty years ago. I've not been able to find any supporting evidence on t'internet since then, but I like to think it's true.

Overheard conversation

"Where are you going on holiday this year?"

"The Isle of Wight."

"Oh really? Are you going on the hovercraft?"

"No. In my dad's car."

Saturday, 14 July 2007

Friday, 13 July 2007

Yesterday evening, this morning

So yesterday evening we're sitting out on the balcony and we see two fire engines pull up beside the building at the end of the street. We look at it, concerned, looking for signs of fire or smoke, or speculating about the need for two fire engines. Chemicals, perhaps? While we're discussing this, a woman with her shopping walks past the fire fighters and straight into the building. From this we gathered it was nothing life-threatening.

Luckily, the nearest fire station is only about five doors down from our house. Strictly speaking, they probably didn't need the fire engines at all and could've just walked there.

Then, this morning I was cutting cheese when all of a sudden the knife broke. It was a good quality knife from M&S - no pound shop rubbish - but my block of mature cheddar cheese somehow rended it cleanly near the handle. That came as quite a surprise, I can tell you.

Thursday, 12 July 2007

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Monday, 9 July 2007

Sunday, 8 July 2007

Thursday, 5 July 2007

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Dog Translucent #4

Note my keen comedy sense of squeezing every bit of humour from a situation. The guy in the first frame has bad eyesight, so he's facing the wrong way! I'm hilarious!

Monday, 2 July 2007

Mr Parmesand #1

My other triumph of the mid-1990's was Mr Parmesand. It ran for five issues in the short-lived UK culture magazine Ikon (which will always stick in my mind for having a cover of Bjork and Goldie, saying how happy they were together, on sale for a whole month during which the daily newspapers detailed their acrimonous break-up).
When the magazine folded, they still owed me £250 of which I finally received £100. A bitter introduction to the cold realities of bankruptcy.

Sunday, 1 July 2007

Dog Translucent #3

For those who are interested, the comics were drawn really small and then enlarged repeatedly on a photocopier. The text was cleverly added with glue. Technology, eh?