The Doodler's Blog

Scribblings from the Artful Doodler

Walker Stalker Con London

A couple of weekends back  I had the pleasure of attending Walker Stalker Con, a convention dedicated to The Walking Dead. 

I had attended last year and had been pleasantly surprised by what a great event it was, despite hearing about queues and all sorts of horror stories. But that’s the way of a convention, to meet the stars you have to queue and that’s the way of it.

This year we drove all the way as I didn’t want my heavily pregnant wife struggling with the underground, and we parked at Olympia’s ample parking.

Once inside we were greeted with all sorts of gory and bloody stalls featuring Walking Dead merchandise, one doing zombie makeup, another to my surprise doing zombie tattoos. There were also people dressed as the undead staggering around scaring the visitors and you’d hear screams coming from all directions. At one point to my wife’s disbelief, I actually recognised one of these undead people, a friend of mine who runs a zombie training school called Zombie Business. Felt bad that he had to break character momentarily to say hello..

My main reason for visiting all this hideousness is to meet the celebrities and give them a copy of my Walking Dead artwork. First up was Scott Wilson, the actor who plays Hershel in the series. A really nice guy. After saying hello and getting him to sign my copy we wanderered off to find him chasing us to get my contact details, hopefully not in order to sue me for drawing him as a disembodied head laying on the floor.

We followed up with meeting Denis O’Hare, star of the brilliant American Horror Story. I’ll admit I was a little sick I didn’t know he was there, always nice to give stars a caricature. Maybe he’ll return and I can get one created in time. Meeting him made my wife’s day..

Incidentally the tshirt/dress we were wearing above got a lot of interest from our fellow attendees which was nice, made sure I gave these people the link to my Redbubble store… always the businessman, in the nicest possible way of course.

Also on the list of Walking Dead stars we got the chance to say hello to were the stunning Alexandra Breckenridge (who is something of a selfie master) the lovely Lauren Cohan and the awesome Christian Serratos who took a long time to chat with us and after a chat with her partner said she’d be putting my caricature up in her games room. Music to a caricaturist’s ears.

We did intend to meet up with Michael Cudlitz who we had met last year and found him a real pleasure to chat to. I was going to give him a copy of my latest design (above) but after queuing for around two hours I decided it best to take the pregnant one home. Fanboying can only go so far. I did hear he stayed til the very end to meet his fans to which I tip my cap to him, that’s gotta be a seriously exhausting day.

All in all a fun day had. If you’re a fan of The Walking Dead you really must make a visit.. just start putting money in the zombie piggy bank in preparation.


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East Quay Wedding Fair

Ah Whitstable. I love Whitstable, one of those quaint little sleepy seaside towns with lots of little curiosity shops and restaurants. This town also has one awesome claim to fame, it was home to the legendary Peter Cushing, star of the awesome Hammer horror films and a true gentleman.

Being a gentleman isn’t a rarity in Whitstable. It strikes me as a place full of gentle and friendly people and this was certainly the case on Sunday when we had a stall at the East Quay Venue, overlooking the beach.

As usual I had my lovely wife Mai along to help me, now almost 5 months pregnant and truly showing. This didn’t stop her, she explained to the guests how the doodles work at weddings while I got to draw some lovely peeps.

It’s really nice getting to meet all these brides and grooms to be and such an honour to think they may have me as entertainment on their big day. Nice too to get positive responses from people regarding the doodles drawn at fairs, as I did with this one posted to Instagram about an hour after drawing it..

Now as much as all these things are great at wedding fairs, East Quay has a little trick up their sleeves that gets all the wedding suppliers twitchy at around 1.30. For this is the time we all get a portion of fish n chips, and I can safely say it’s some of the best I’ve tasted.

Luckily for some reason no guests seemed to walk past but maybe I just didn’t notice with my head stuck inside the box..

The venue itself is a delight, a clean and bright wooden building with a definite seaside feel, plus very roomy too.

Check out their website at East Quay Venue

As always thanks to all who came and got a doodle, special thanks to those that booked and I look forward to receiving further enquiries following that great afternoon at the seaside!

Channeling the Dudeist Cartoonist

“You have an artists temperament”

My mum has always said this to me and I know what she’s saying in her kind and careful way. I’m a grumpy little sod.

Well I can be, I’ll admit it. Having a creative side can also give way to an inner rage when things go wrong.

I’m not often prone to public displays of fury but save that for shouting at my laptop or printer when they are slow, which is generally relocated anger from someone shouting at me earlier that day.

Sometimes, and I’ll use these last few weeks as a case in point, the world seems to be putting a succession of petty little mini roadblocks in my way which culminate in me walking around like a bomb waiting to go off.

A few unruly customers here, problems with copyright on my artwork there.. you’ve only got to read my last few blog posts to see that slowly my fuse was being lit and I was getting close to exploding. 

At these points there are two options available to me:

1. Go all-out Michael Douglas in Falling Down, grab a rocket launcher and attack some drug dealers.

2. Read the Abide Guide.

Option 1 is ok but a bit messy. Plus I don’t have a rocket launcher and am not entirely sure where you find drug dealers in Kent. Boots chemists maybe?

So as always, option 2, The Abide Guide

The Abide Guide is a book written by Oliver Benjamin and Dwayne Eutsey and is one of many created for Dudeism, a religion that certainly doesn’t take itself seriously; something all other religions should think about. All the best things in life are those created with humour in mind.

Dudeism is a belief system invented by Oliver Benjamin and is based on living your life in the style of The Dude from The Big Lebowski. So generally taking it easy, not worrying about the future and accepting others for the way they are. Nothing wrong with that. Plus they support getting drunk, taking long baths and bowling which are some of my favourite things.

My Abide Guide is now like a worn out old sock, as it’s been read and re-read in those times when the world feels like it’s spinning out of control.. and boy does it work.

This has given way to me producing my little Ruminations of a Dudeist Cartoonist  cartoon strips.

So for now I’m channeling that inner dude in defence against petty woes.

I once saw a play on the words of Samuel L Jackson from Pulp Fiction with a Lebowski spin that pretty much sums up my outlook on life;

“Right now I’m Walter. But I’m trying man, I’m trying real hard to be the dude.”

Not seen The Big Lebowski and/or Pulp Fiction this this won’t make one bit of sense but for those that have maybe you’d like to check out Dudeism, it really ties the room together.

The trouble with copyright 

So I’ve recently started uploading images to Redbubble so that people can get my doodles on tshirts, hoodies, clocks, bags and all sorts of items.

I’ve been wanting to do this for years so really pleased when I got some of the products myself to find the quality is superb.

It’s also taught me a LOT about copyright and what you are allowed to create with regards to movie and television artwork.

One evening I uploaded two new images, one, a Walking Dead design and two, a Bazinga design featuring the Big Bang Theory characters. It felt great to finally use the latter design as the cast have never responded to the images, despite fans seeming to love it which I always felt a shame.

Both were removed due to copyright. I found myself wondering why these weren’t allowed and yet other images were..and I think I’ve figured it out.

Both had the words Walking Dead and Bazinga on them which none of my other accepted designs did. So therefore if it’s your interpretation of a character without actually labelling it so then that is fine but to actually title it is not.

I fell into the trap again a few days ago without thinking when uploading a Star Wars/Game of Thrones mashup called Tyrion Skywalker. I should have foreseen this would be taken down as Lucasfilm are hot off the mark with this stuff.

Many years back when I worked as a cinema projectionist we were showing The Phantom Menace. Lucasfilm were very strict on merchandise being returned (and apparently destroyed) so that people couldn’t profit from them.

So now my Tyrion design is up under the new title of Red Wine Standing By.. true fans will understand. So far it seems safe, fingers crossed it stays.

One image that could only be copyright if I sued myself is Freaky People, a design based on characters from my first book. Hope to do more like this soon.. 

Pleased to say I’ve sold items to a few different countries now so please join in and help fund a struggling artist! .. that is before George Lucas has me locked up.

(Since typing this the above Tyrion image has also been deleted.. everything I’ve said above is apparently incorrect)

The Doodler’s Thick Skin Overcoat

In the danger of sounding like I don’t enjoy my job (which would be truly ridiculous) let me start by saying how amazing the people I meet are.. to the most part.

Most people are fun to doodle and gracious and polite with the results, laughing at their pic and laughing with me. I stay friends with a lot of my customers and it’s nice to feel a community building around me.

But problems can arise from being a caricaturist. In a job where you draw funny pictures of people, you do get those poor souls (and these are vastly in the minority) that are uneducated in what a caricature really is. A caricature is an exaggeration of a person, sometimes cartoon sometimes more serious, but for the most part they are in good taste and humour. Occasionally, people will take offence at a caricature and these are the sort of people that should never approach a caricaturist in the first place. They aren’t for everybody, but I always feel like these are the people that miss the joke and it’s truly a shame. These are also the same people that say,

“Look, he’s doin’ characteristics!”


“That bloke’s a caricature!”

On quiet days like today I set up pitch at the Dockside Outlet and have fun drawing those willing to come by and get doodled. I had lots of fun drawing people and a lot of happy customers.. with one exception, a group of kids who I just knew wouldn’t be easy when the mum said,

“If it’s not good I’ll ask for the money back” before I’d started.

She didn’t ask for the money back so it must have been adequate. However, she complained the kids looked too old (I drew them very cute not adult) the kids kept getting up and saying,

“It’s not very good, why do we look weird?” Influenced no doubt by the mother’s negativity at he start.

I explained it was a cartoon picture of them and they said,

“Don’t you dare put us in a cartoon!” Sigh.

With this and the kids grabbing the paper and shouting at me I’m gonna go out on a limb and say this was the most difficult live pic I’ve drawn in 20 years as a caricaturist.

At the risk of sounding like the Basil Fawlty of caricaturists I type this, but I like my blog to be fair and honest. Therefore in my eyes it’s good to mention a side of being a caricaturist that isn’t so fun.

On the plus side I also drew a couple of brothers keen on drawing who laughed and joked all the way through, a lady who had a kinky naked ‘over the shoulder’ doodle for her partner, lots of people with quirky thick framed glasses (love those) and a whole bunch of fun and well behaved little kids. Thanks to all who got one drawn.

Having a public pitch is very different to party bookings. Parties are all about the laughs and doodles, everyone having fun.

Public pitches are a little more of a gamble. Catch me when you can on a public pitch, as they may soon become a thing of the past.

Dr Ripper’s Selfie Competition Results

Ah, the selfie. I think everyone is doing them now. You still get the odd person out there who declines from taking a selfie on the grounds that it’s below them. As if somehow taking a selfie makes them look bad. Maybe for those with bad faces maybe.

A selfie is a great depiction of the here and now, what better way to preserve a moment in time than a snapshot saying, “here I was when that happened”.

When Dr Ripper’s Fabricated Freaks was released some wonderful people sent me snapshots of the moment they got the book.. and as mentioned in a previous blog, this gave way to my first Dr Ripper competition.

The competition was this; send me a selfie with the book and you can end up featuring in one of the pages plus receive a free copy of the next in the series, Dr Ripper’s Malevolent Mansion.

Some awesome entries followed. One that would most certainly have been a winner was an entry from my friend Bod, sufficiently gory so much so that it made me feel slightly ill..

However, Bod will be a main character in the next book anyway, rendering the entry void.

So I waited for further entries.. and they were all awesome. But two last minute entries stood out above all others, weird, inventive and fun.. just what the Doctor ordered (see what I did there?!).

So I announced two winners. Andrew Beard with his glorious Sith entry and Michelle Louise really getting her teeth into the book.

Congrats guys, I look forward to adding you to my strange little world!!

Doodles at Detling

Just back from another awesome Wedding Show at the Detling Showground courtesy of The Wedding Experience.

Finally managed to update my banner, business cards and postcards so all that’s left to update is my display book.. it’s showing caricatures over 5 years old so about time I got a new one.

Had my wonderful wife along to help me and she was as usual a blessing, giving everyone the info needed to make a booking while I doodled like crazy. These shows are always a strain on the old feet so dread to think how tired she was, being 4 months pregnant. In fact, she’s off to work at her regular job tonight while I have the comfort of working from home. Shame on me.

Drew a whole selection of wonderful couples, bride and grooms to be.. and a record number of babies at a wedding show, what’s that about?!

Thanks to all those who came and said hello, all those lovely comments about my suit. Special thanks to all who booked me for their wedding and all those thinking of booking. An extra special thanks goes out to Tina Green and her team for another awesome show.

I once joked with a fellow wedding supplier that it takes us suppliers minutes after getting home to strip out of decent clothing and down to pants and socks. Often now we post each other a sock photo on social media..

Here’s mine..

Bursting my Redbubble

For years now I’ve been after a way to get my celebrity caricatures on tshirts and other items as I’ve always thought caricature really lends itself to it.

I’ve actually been approached by sites offering this service and then found after upload that they wouldn’t accept my artwork for some reason or other.

After watching my good friend Seren on Periscope doodling these amazing wildlife pieces, I noticed she was selling products with images on.. and they were good products too, tshirts, phone cases, you name it Redbubble do it.

So as always, when I’m supposed to be sleeping at night I found myself sitting in bed with my laptop adding caricatures to Redbubble

The problem is, it’s a bit like eBay in that when you list things you find yourself browsing and before you know it I’m buying other people’s products before I’ve sold any of my own.

Now I know I’ll be visiting Walker Stalker Con in March (the Walking Dead convention) and I’m going to need a good tshirt or hoodie..

Therefore, please go buy some of my items as I’m only going to pour it back into the website anyway 😉

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