Saturday, 11 November 2017

Flounding Fathers

This weekend's challenge was to draw historic characters as sea creatures and I chose the US flounding fathers (you see what I did there).  Some Most of the puns are a bit tenuous but I had fun doing it.

After getting hooked on the Hamilton Musical soundtrack this year I am slightly up on my American revolutionary history so maybe I'll start writing a whole Clamilton musical.

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Great Scottish Run 2017

1st October is both the Glasgow Great Scottish Run (10K and half marathon) and the start of #inktober Jake Parker's month long inky marathon.  So for Day 1 I drew this true story about how I performed well because of the fear of the orange battery bunny pacer on him trail.  For the record I did do a PB and come in under the hour.

It's fun to break out the inks (mostly fineliners) for a month but I can't give up on digital all together so I digitally annotated a photo of a superhero safety pin as I searched for our secret stash that only come out for running events and emergencies.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Thursday, 17 August 2017

I think we've got mice

Here's a winner from the CCGB caption competition with the caption 'I think we've got mice'

PortraitChallenges (2017)

Over on Twitter Thursday nights are #PortraitChallenge nights where we all do a version of a famous portrait (photograph or painting) that @StudioTeabreak tweets.  The challenge for me is to try and recreate the style and form of gorgeous pieces of art which is not only good practise but increases your appreciation for the original by forcing you to look really deep.

I've been quite pleased with recent Portrait Challenges so I thought I would share my last four challenges which are all of females.

1. Amitra Sher-Gil's 'Kara Szepessy' (1932)

2. Gerald Leslie Brockhurst's "By the Hills"

3. Sharecropper by Elizabeth Catlett

4. E.D.Schott's 'Margit' 

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Fidget Spinners

Here's one from the reject pile about fidget spinners the latest playground craze that is sweeping the country and has finally invaded my house when we exchanged a few quid for a not very rugged bit of plastic-y LED junk that will either break or get discarded once the fad disappeared.  Have to say I preferred the loom band craze of a few years back which was at least useful for making your own bracelets and clothing (I was not bad but my fingers are a bit too big).

I enjoyed trying to draw a version of the Michelangelo's The Creation of Adam fresco.  When I was in Rome I did go and see the Sistine Chapel ceiling but after a long walk through gilded corridors it was quite busy with people taking photographs and guards telling them not to.  There wasn't enough time to really study it but trying to replicate it did make me appreciate some of it's intricacies.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Cleft Awareness Week 2017

This year Cleft Awareness week is May 6th to 14th.  It's an annual national campaign from the Cleft Lip and Palate Association to raise awareness around how cleft lip and palate affects people and their families.

This is something that we know from personal experience as our now 8 year old sold was born with a unilateral cleft lip and palate.  Last year I drew a comic about our experiences as parents when our son was born with this diagnosed cleft.  I thought that as someone who loves to doodle drawing a comic would offer a different perspective on our story rather than a blog or video.

This year when CLAPA asked if I wanted to do anything I thought hard about what I could contribute when not much has moved from last year.  Indeed we are in the calm before the storm when we know we have another big surgery coming (a bone graft) and the scary letter is lying on the kitchen counter, but it will be a few weeks before the appointments and clinics for that start.

I'll admit that even though it could be a while away I am quite anxious about the bone graft.  It is a completely different kettle of fish than the two surgeries our son had in his first year.  They were stressful enough, but this time our son is old enough to be aware of what is going on as well as a potential longer absence from primary school which up to now we've avoided.  If it is not too terrible I would like to document the bone graft experience in  a future comic, but we aren't there yet.

So I went for a more general strip reflecting our experiences as a family 8 years on from my son being born with an undiagnosed cleft and also what it means for a face to be 'right'.

I love drawing and am trying to get better at drawing caricatures and part of that process is to identify what is distinctive or unique about a face, exaggerating some features in order to get a 'likeness' or something that brings out the character of the person.  However kids (and adults) don't like to be seen to be different and sometimes society isn't kind to those who look or sound a little or a lot different.  I want my son to be comfortable in who he is, but not defined by it.  I want society to accept people for who they are without judging them by their faces.

However fitting everything into one page was a stretch so there are some extra points worth making:

  • Every family's experience with a child with a cleft lip/palate is different.  I consider us to be lucky in that although it was undiagnosed we had good support almost immediately and our surgeries were successful.  Other families may take more than one surgery to repair the palate (roof of the mouth) for example.
  • Not all the difficulties are down to appearance.  The issue of cleft lip and palate is not merely cosmetic/looking different it causes lots of other problems from difficulty breast feeding (we couldn't), development of speech (we had to have speech therapy for a while), hearing issues, 'glue' ear and many more.
  • Not everyone in our family lounges round on the couch looking at tablets all the time (maybe just 80% of the time).

1 in 700 babies are born with a cleft lip and/or palate your can find our more about it here.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Wildebeest and Vegan Lions

A recent fun cartoon for a caption competition.  It's always fun to draw new things in this case it was Wildebeest.

If you like this lion check out my Lion, Witch and the Ikea Wardrobe cartoon from 2012.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Cloud Genie

A recent Shape Challenge gave me the change to imagine the conversation between a cloud based AI genie with voice recognition technology and someone trying to get their wishes.

The Twitter challenge only really required a single panel but you could imagine a much longer conversation in a strip.

GENIE: Thank you for activating your all powerful cloud based Genie powered by the latest in voice recognition technology.  Please state your three wishes

PERSON: Please may I have unlimited wealth for my first wish

GENIE: I'm sorry I do not understand you.  Please state your wish in a clear voice using the keyword Genie.

PERSON: Genie may I have unlimited wealth

GENIE: Your order for unlimited whelks has been placed with our partner supplier.  You have two wishes remaining

PERSON: Wait thats not what I said!!!

GENIE: I'm sorry I do not understand you.  Please state your wish in a clear voice using the keyword Genie.

PERSON: Genie, thats not what I said!

GENIE: Your order for a brand new water bed has been placed with our partner supplier.  You have one single wish remaining.

PERSON:  No undo you're misinterpreting my wishes

GENIE: I'm sorry I do not understand you.  Please state your wish in a clear voice using the keyword Genie.

PERSON: (slowly) Genie. undo last two wishes

GENIE:  Your order for the unlimited whelks and a water bed have been cancelled.  You have used all your three wishes.  Thanks you for choosing our powerful cloud based Genie service.

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Bob Dylan Caricature

A caricature of Bob Dylan from the a competition.  He's one of my musical heroes passed down from my dad who was into the whole 60s folk scene, but whereas I was desperate to see Paul Simon when he played Glasgow I've yet to gamble on going to see Bob Dylan as you're never quite sure what sort of concert you'll get.


For Mothers Day (UK) 2017 I drew a Pokemum trading card.  Looking back on my Mothers Day archives you can also find Batmum (2012), Iron Mum (2013), Star Wars Mum (2014), Marvel X Mums (2015) and absolutely nothing for 2016 except a Judy Murray caricature.  The good news is the cartoon will work again on US mother's day which is in May.

Monday, 23 January 2017

Tom Hanks

A caricature of Tom Hanks the famous US actor for a competition.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Denis Istomin

I woke up this morning not expecting much to have happened in the Australian Open only to find Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin ranked 117 in the world going into a fourth set tie break against Novak Djokovic trying to level the match.  Not only did he take the tie break he went on to break Djokovic in the fifth set and claim a win that McEnroe called the "biggest upset in a decade".

With his matching glasses and head band he was also fun to draw so here is my caricature of Denis Istomin.

Thursday, 12 January 2017


Today in East Kilbride I saw a fairly rare (in the UK at least) weather phenomena know as Thundersnow which according to Wikipedia and the Met Office is a thunderstorm where you get snow instead of rain.  The snow muffles the sound of the thunder so what you get more of is the flash reflected off the snow.  Thundersleet is also a thing when the storm can't decide whether it wants to be just a thunderstorm (the rain is apparently implied) or a cooler thundersnow.

After a heavy gray brooding storm front it really was over in a flash for me but I did draw this cartoon about how it could have been even cooler - at least in my imagination.

I have also cartooned about other extreme weather like the December when it was quite windy.

Monday, 9 January 2017

Neptune's Noodles

Over on Twitter I've been doing #Mythicalmashup the subject of which today was King Neptune and Noodles.  Not an easy combination but I managed to do a six panel strip with some awful puns.

King Neptune was of course the Latin i.e. Roman version of the God of the Sea (the Greek equivalent was Poseiden).

Friday, 6 January 2017

Massassi Outpost

I was thinking about the worst job in the Rebel Alliance and I thought about this guy, the lonely tower guy in Massassi Outpost on Yavin 4 during the Rogue One/A New Hope time period.

The Yavin 4 base is the jungle one with the temples that was actually filmed in the ruins of Tikal, an ancient ruined city of the Mayans, in modern day Guatemala.

In the films the lonely rebel soldier stands in what looks like a crows nest with a spear or a ray guy as some sort of lookout and you have to wonder why.  Surely they would get radar conformation of an Imperial attack before they were in visual range and if they are worried about ground attack then he isn't going to see much through that jungle canopy.  As someone pointed out on Twitter it would also be a pain if you suddenly needed the toilet.

I do of course have lots of other Star Wars cartoons for you to peruse if you're interested.

Wednesday, 4 January 2017


This year we had our first ever real tree and now as we work out how to take it down I feel bad about what we put it through but I'm sure it will enact its revenge!

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