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The Doodler's Blog

Scribblings from the Artful Doodler

Twitter gone Mad

Let me start by saying I love using twitter.

It’s been a great place for me to display cartoons, have fun and make contact with the world outside of my own circle.

I’ve been able to talk about my latest projects, tweet photos of the caricatures I’ve drawn and over recent years tweet my crazy animal cartoons.

Until last night I thought it was a good place to tweet against those who regularly spout abuse and downright offensive opinions to the world in general.

Turns out I was wrong.

Responding to the hilarious tweets of actress Amanda Abbington (@CHIMPSINSOCKS) I commented that I thought Piers Morgan & Katie Hopkins, two of the most outspoken and small minded bigots of the modern world, should get married and drive their “Just Married” car into a certain dangerous place that apparently I’m not allowed to mention as it is offensive.

Offensive. A word now used to defend those that support Donald Trump, abuse people regularly and generally condemn anything that resembles any sense of human decency.

Basically it was a joke and it was liked by many. I wasn’t saying that they need to die but obviously twitter thinks every tweet twitted is literal.

You may gather from this post that I’m more than slightly infuriated by this madness.

Twitter froze my account for twelve hours and demanded I remove the tweet, but I might just have to take a break from tweeting anyway now until order and sanity has returned to the world.

In the meantime feel free to visit twitter and look at whatever venomous bile is spewing from Ms Hopkins and Mr Morgan’s mouths.

The Tweeting Cat & Co

Patreon. A great platform on the web allowing artists and people from all walks of life to create whilst being supported by their own patrons.

I tried this platform a while back for my various forms of artwork, the caricatures, the books and the Ollie Fallon Gervais cartoons. To be honest, it just didn’t take off. If I’m being really truthful I was pretty disappointed by this, and deleted the account after a few months.

I then started seeing others starting up Patreon accounts and doing quite well with it. My good friends Doug & Ally who run a photography studio in Michigan posted a successful blog and news page under Frameable Faces my hilariously talented friend Matt Luckett hosts a page for his strange and creepy cartoons and my buddy Ken Boyter is doing well hosting a page for his fantasy stories Tales of Edra. So I started to wonder where I went wrong.

Upon revisiting the page it was immediately apparent. My different cartoons are very diverse in subject matter and so there was no structure. I needed to shrink it down to one subject. My caricatures only have so much subject matter to explore, my Dr Ripper books have a very specific audience and I already have a Facebook page for that and so it was obvious; my cartoons of HRH Ollie Fallon Gervais, celebrity cat, were the way to go.

I didn’t realise how much there was that I could do with it too. I now have a whole collection of crazy animals that are part of her world. There’s the cat herself, her mouse slave Stan, Bertie the Hellhound, Jeff the Guru sloth and lots of little sub-characters. It’s proved to be very fun.

I’ve added a new feature in there too in which every patron receives their own Familiar upon joining, a random crazy animal of their own. Hopefully everyone will stick around.

If you’re interested and would like your own Familiar, pop along and become a patron at https://www.patreon.com/TweetingCat

Walker Stalker London 2019

It’s been almost two weeks since my buddy Jon and I had the Doodler stall at Walker Stalker Con, the convention for fans of the hit TV show The Walking Dead.

I had attended this event for the previous three years as a customer and the seed was planted for having a stall when meeting actor Michael Cudlitz and giving him one of my Walking Dead caricatures. Cudlitz, ever the gentleman, showed so much enthusiasm for my work and said to me, “Man, you should have these on a stall, you’d sell loads. Next year get booked up!” It took a couple of years but I got there.

The one thing I realised with my group caricature was that half the actors were getting killed off and my picture was out of date very quickly. Hence came the idea of Dead Famous, collectible postcards of TV show stars in zombie form.

So along with those postcards, my comedy books and my caricature clipboard, I was well prepared for one awesome weekend.

And that it certainly was.

I set up the pitch on the Friday and quickly realised I needed a big “Zombie Caricatures” label on the front of the stall. Knocked that up on Friday night and was all set to go for the Saturday.

Everything sold like crazy and the caricatures were non stop, so glad was I to have Jon there handing cash and sales.

At certain points during the weekend my queue was getting as long as some of the stars and I had to keep apologising for the insane wait time.

It’s fun as a caricaturist to be able to add mould and blood to a picture, it’s not something you would often get away with. Indeed since that weekend I’ve had to retrain myself not to add these details to drawings at weddings, that would be BAD.

At one point I dropped off Dead Famous postcards to a few of the stars, didn’t meet most of them as like myself they were insanely busy, but I did get to meet Khary Payton who plays King Ezekiel. Lovely guy, very warm and friendly giving a hug to all who he met. (Doubt most royals would do that) When I explain my exasperation with characters being killed off he said, “I’m hanging on man!”

Thanks to all who I met that weekend, you were all lovely. I think I’ll be keeping the zombie theme for all conventions now and certainly hope to return to Walker Stalker next year.. see you there!

The Doodler watches.. After Life

Anyone familiar with my work, especially the caricatures and cartoons I post on twitter, will be aware that I’m a huge fan of the creations of Ricky Gervais.

Saying that, not just his creations but his general outlook on life, an appreciation for making every second count and for treating this insane world we live in the way it should be perceived, with warmth and good humour.

He could be easily labelled as cynical or rude from those missing the point, his humour and writing having a blunt honesty that often gets misconstrued. But for those that get it, and that is the majority of us, his writing has a positive message while addressing those uncomfortable issues regarding life.

After Life was released on Netflix this week to huge acclaim and quite rightfully so. Ricky’s latest tale is that of Tony, a reporter working for a local paper in a small town who has recently lost his wife and is now grieving and suicidal. Tony is pulled back again and again from the brink of suicide by the necessity to care for his dog. Not an immediate subject matter for comedy you might say but humour is always best found in the darkest of places.. in fact it’s probably the best place for it.

Tony soon realises in his suicidal mood that not wanting to carry on has provided him with a super power of sorts, in that he can say and do exactly as he pleases. We are treated to many scenes throughout the six episodes that have us wishing we could do the same in our day to day lives. A scene featured in the trailer of Tony addressing an obnoxious schoolboy calling him a “paedo” is a perfect example. “If I was, you’d be safe you tubby little ginger c***.” Truly beautiful, Dickens would be proud.

As the series progresses we get to meet those around Tony, his abuse suffering colleagues who obviously love him, a warm hearted prostitute who befriends him, his dementia suffering father cared for by a hard working nurse, his deceased wife played by the amazing Kerri Godliman, so many characters the list goes on, but all with a different facet to living life. Each of them the way they are for different reasons but no one truly bad. I find this while working in my own life as a caricaturist, people are caricatures not just physically but with their personalities too. I can often expect abuse at a party from the loud mouth drunk guy but find I’m often surprised by their warmth when I actually get to draw them. It’s easy to judge someone but if you wait a while almost everyone has a good side to reveal.

Tony himself is an example of this, surly and somewhat rude despite the humour of his comments, but you see his suffering and as the series progresses you feel more and more for him.

With truly stellar performances from every member of the cast this dark comedy really pulls at the heart strings in that unique Gervais way… and always with his comedies, the final episode of the series is a payoff with lessons to be learned and tears to be shed.

One lesson I learnt was that Kenneth Branagh would make a far better caricature if he wore big red glasses. Fact. You’ll have to watch the series to make sense of that last point.

Go Ape with Zox

Ever since my little girl was born I’ve been exploring extra ways to use my art.

As well as my Dr Ripper and Co books I’ve been working on all sorts of crazy projects, one of which is Zox, an awesome creation from the Kuiper brothers from LA.

Zox straps are elasticated wristbands/bracelets that feature art from different artists across the globe. They are reversible so you can change your strap to feature a different design. They are also limited edition and every strap is numbered on the inside which makes them very collectible.

I’ve since discovered a whole bunch of collectors out there with box loads of these straps, and these wonderful fun loving folk in the Zox family are affectionately known as “zoxers”

You can check out the Zox site and see what they have to offer at Zox.la

Not only that, but now I am proud to announce my first design is now available to buy!

To get your own little ape design to sit on your wrists, visit the link below while stocks last!

Happy Zoxing!

Purchase Go Ape here!!

Seren Tippity reads

I love the little community that’s grown around my books.

Most of the advertising for my books is through self promotion on social media so I have a little following of readers rather than a vast horde of Dr Ripper fans.

But sometimes, just sometimes you find someone goes that extra mile and helps spread the word on my behalf. This was the case a few days ago when @serensketches from Periscope decided to read the story loosely based on her, Seren Tippity & her self inflating aviation titties from Dr Ripper’s Sinister Shipmates. Yes, my books are quite adult in case you didn’t know.

If you’d like to hear the full tale read by the girl herself you can do so here.

Seren is also an amazing artist, specialising in awesome colour illustrations of nature. Follow @serensketches on Periscope to watch her live or get her art on all sorts of products at SerenSketches.com

It’s great fun as a writer to hear someone reading your work.. particularly with the fact that I would become tongue tied trying to read my own stuff.

It has been suggested to me by another scoper that we get everyone to read their tales.. what a lovely idea!

Up for it folks?!

The Doodler reads.. “Back, Sack & Crack (and Brain)”

I met Robert Wells recently at a local comic festival and am very pleased to say I bought a copy of this graphic novel.

Back, Sack and Crack (and Brain) is a very honest, brave and downright hilarious slice of life tale about one man’s suffering at the hands of an unsympathetic medical world.

Robert tells the tale of a young man with a whole collection of mysterious & embarrassing illnesses, most notably testicular pain that renders him almost unable to function in modern day society.

That description would give you the impression that this would be a bleak and dismal book to read, but Wells has a unique light hearted approach to these difficult subjects that have you sniggering to yourself whilst wincing and holding your nether regions. Maybe not a book for reading in public places then.

With crisp and stylish illustrations throughout, this novel has the feel of a Daniel Clowes book with a gritty subject matter.

Couldn’t recommend it enough.

You can find this graphic novel on Amazon

Dr Ripper’s Sinister Shipmates

So I just last week published my third comedy horror book, Dr Ripper’s Sinister Shipmates.

It’s been great fun producing these little rhyming comedy tales and packing them with crazy illustrations and I shall be selling them at different events across the uk this year. First up will be the Medway Comic and Screen Festival on 24th & 25th March and then the week after at Steampunk Village at the Festival of Steam and Transport on 1st & 2nd April. Come along and get a caricature and a book of fun creepy illustrated poems!

Next up I plan to write a story for all ages set in the same world and featuring my daughter Skye. You can get exclusive access to my sketchbook and ideas for this by becoming a patron for my page at https://www.patreon.com/ArtfulDoodler

My books are available on Amazon (Dr Ripper & Co) or signed copies in the Doodle shop at http://www.theartfuldoodler.co.uk/shop.html

AK Casino Knights

What are the benefits of having a fun casino at my wedding?

Fun casino hire is a great source of entertainment for your wedding, for many reasons and here’s just a few

* Keeps the men occupied

So the wedding is mostly about the bride, the hair, the shoes, THAT DRESS! And rightly so…… however, having a fun casino is a great way to keep the groom and the groomsmen happy! A little healthy competition is a great way to entertain

For more information go to www.akcasinoknights.co.uk, call 01233635923 or email enquiries@akcasinoknights.co.uk

a-k-casino-knights-wedding-blog-3

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