Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Keep on pushing

This morning I am excited about the Flaming Lips' cover of Borderline! They had worn out their welcome on me but if they can manage a few more jams like this, I will accept their welcome back with a glad heart.

Of course, nothing tops the Madonna original, one of the greatest pop songs ever

Using a slide rule, I have worked out when Madonna wore out her welcome on me. I think it was when she made that book where she was in the nack with Vanilla Ice. Robert Van "Winkle" ho ho etc.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Walls need some love

There are always more jobs around the home than I can realistically complete. I have to paint three rooms, and soon. I can't even decide on a colour for them! Yes yes I know I can paint it bone white or magnolia, but that is not the answer. I'm a decision maker and my decision, firm and true, is not to think about this at the moment.

But it is not all procrastination around my house. Today in a flurry of excitement, I drew the mini-comic that is meant to accompany pre-ordered copies of my next book. It is called "Erin Winters and the bone throne (of bones)" and it is the most amazing* thing I have ever created. To be absolutely honest I drew it the wrong way round (I tricked myself into drawing it by pretending I was just having a laugh, otherwise it would never have got done) and now I have no idea how it will be successfully placed into an envelope without being crushed by the slightly larger book it accompanies. Oh dear.

If I had made all my Erin Winters stories like this one, I'd never have written her out! It's a new lease of life for an old face.

* As amazing as something 4 pages long can be under the circumstances. It is green!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Error time

I know that there is an error with the speech bubbles in the last panel of today's Scary Go Round. Unfortunately, due to the unique way Scary Go Round is funded, I can't FTP in to change it unless I am at home, and I am not. Do not burgle me! Here is the way it should have been.

(Also due to the unique way Scary Go Round is funded, Adobe Illustrator doesn't work on this machine for some reason so it is a bit rough, sorry excellence fans).

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Card Of Gold

I have spent the last couple of days trying to make my international shipping prices in the shop fairer. I think I managed it, but it is not a perfect solution. In any case, I now need a rest cure so have a good weekend.

I guess you got the world's most over the top "view cart" graphic into the bargain.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


I am looking at my shop pages with a vexed eye today. I have had to jack up international shipping prices in line with the dollar to pound exchange rate, which is fine and good for one shirt. But because of the unique way Paypal's shopping cart is constructed, it means that international customers ordering more than one shirt are being overcharged. I have a terrible sense of deja vu as I attempt to bend this inflexible and ill-maintained shopping solution to my will, my will being that when a customer orders more than one tshirt design, the second design is charged at the lower "shipping2" price.

Paypal's cart is so ham-fisted that even if you order two of the same thing in different sizes, which is to say, the same item code, it still charges both at the full shipping price! I figured I could trick the cart this way by making all the items the same name and sticking the item code in the size variable. Well they bloody well showed me because you can't.

I didn't really care about this when $2 to £1 meant my shirts were cheap whatever. But now I have to do right by my countrymen lest I be burned alive by an angry mob. And I want to do right without having to install a whole different shopping cart solution.

(The other option is to have people add international shipping to their basket as a separate item. My experience is that a lot of people won't actually do this, or do it correctly.)

Anyway I am being transparent about this failing because I know it is not fair. I hope that someone can help!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Eternal dust is ticklish

A few months ago I staggered onto this blog openly weeping, wailing about how perhaps my comic was inaccessible to the newer reader; that I would slowly drift into obscurity read only by hardcore eyes eager for the fast-diminishing prize. Lots of people got together to rent a church basement for me at that point and I was talked down from my dudgeon.

In all honesty, that morning I had looked, for the first time in three or four years, at the website of [name of comic deleted]. Back in the day this had been an unstoppabable juggernaut, but now, despite what seemed to be still-healthy traffic, it was begging for money. It may still have been an unstoppable juggernaut, but it had failed any number of roadworthiness tests and now had a ghost instead of an engine.

After a couple of months of chin scratching, I think there is a future for Scary Go Round. Unlike my poor colleague mentioned above, I drag everything I don't want to write about any more onto the street every couple of years and set fire to it. There are certainly elements of my audience who expect me to bring old characters back, but they might as well stand on Elvis' grave and demand "Hound Dog".

One thing that this rigorous period of navel-gazing has shown me is the nature of popularity. When Scary Go Round was new, and even when Bobbins was around, I received a constant stream of reader emails and requests for interviews. These days I probably get one email from a reader every two or three days, and seldom does anyone want to know what I think about anything.

I suppose that when you're new and novel, you're like a couch that someone has just spent a lot of money on. "Come around friends and sit upon my new couch," you say, or you call the newspaper and demand that they write about your new couch and print a picture of it and you upon it. Five years on, the novelty has gone, and there really is no call to tell anyone about the new couch or to thank one's lucky stars that it exists. If it is a decent seat, the owner will still enjoy sitting upon it.

The only way that this chair would gain attention was if it were stolen and the owner was made to sit upon the floor. Which is why I occasionally start crying and demand that you tell me you like me or I will retire and become a bin man. Both greedy and needy, see?

In conclusion, I do not pay any attention to song lyrics, and hate to see them transcribed, but my favourite lyric of all time is "Outdoor Miner" by Wire.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Twitter splitter; nothing moves sprites like a blitter

I wish to report for public record my experiences with Twitter, namely writing the Shelley Winters Dr Ladysounds Twitter. The project got off to a flying start, I wrote some words and put them in the internet. It was fun! But as people started to comment on the posts I felt bad that they did not receive responses. At the same time I started to feel like some kind of cyber transvestite pretending to be a lady when I even thought about responding. It was too real. Much too real. So when an enforced break meant that I got out of the flow of posting, I could not continue. The sorry episode must be laid to rest in the cold earth.

The most exciting moment was when Chris Salt, winner of Adam and Joe's video wars competition, started following me. Chris makes amazing Lego films and I hated that all I could do was send him an in-character "direct message" in a manner that made me feel like a Bangkok ladyboy.

I think, following that last sentence, I will retire from the internet forever and become a bin man.

In retrospect perhaps I felt less like a Bangkok ladyboy and more like Hinge and Bracket but still. No more twitter, dear ladies.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Shirt shack shop snooper

Today has been a day of designs! I haven't coloured the first two yet, the third is as it will be.

I have sold hundreds of (well, a hundred) "ask me about unicorns" buttons at cons so I thought I would have a go at a shirt.

This is one my friends seem to pick out of my sketchbook every time they see it

This has been on a post-it for months

Monday, April 06, 2009

T-shirt bunker

1-800 Beard has sold like earwax on toast and will be retired shortly. I hang my head in design shame. I suppose I had better go down my list from the carnival of ideas and dig out another "winner". Perhaps I will also dedicate some time to prayer.

Nosferatu 28
What Me Pompous 16
Urchin 14
Jazz 11
Spanish Inquisition 8
1-800 Beard 8
Next Pope 7
Gin & Tonic Camel/Ship Of The Desert 7
Stephen Harper 7
Cat Person 7
Action Badger 7
Jelly Time 6
Kerfuffle 5
Burgle My House 5
Whitey Sale 4
8-Bit Elvis 1
Bloody Hellfire 1

Sunday, April 05, 2009


I have updated the 'about' page (including a handsome new self-portrait) and in doing so started thinking about a better introduction to the comic than the current cast page. Writing a cast page that somehow synopsises more than 1600 comics worth of appearances for new readers is hard to write and impossible to maintain. Surely all anyone needs to know is that Shelley is sweet but dangerously mad, Ryan is a sort of gentle savant and Amy is brilliant but slowed down by a thick crust of expensive hair wax? It's hard to write more than a couple of meaningless lines without making spoilers. I welcome your suggestions.

Thursday, April 02, 2009


Dear reader, has it really been a week and a half since I last posted on "old bloggy"? A crime! A week and a half of Kevin Pietersen, I am so sorry. No one can deny KP's haughty arrogance at the crease but that was too long.

I should say a thing or two about the UK Webcomix Thing! The show grows every year and the mix of old hands and young firebrands is a pleasure to see. At just one day long, it can be a bit overwhelming, and after a very busy day of being "on" I find socialising afterwards difficult, but thank you to everyone who came by to see me, and everyone new who I met afterwards.

I will be back in London at the end of next month for the MCM Expo, where I expect to sell precisely three badges and nothing else to wild-eyed kids hungry for Manga and Colonel Tigh and frakking toasters. I don't know if Colonel Tigh will be there but if he is he better not do me any spoilers as I am just about to watch BSG season 4. I'm not sure what point I'm making here other than that I will be back in a month and three-quarters and therefore I had better make more badges.

Oh, I forgot, quite a few people asked me to draw characters from the Wire for them. I will practice a few more for next time.