Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Birds and the Booze

Two young girls walk up to the bar...

No this isn’t a joke about nuns or crocodiles; talking dogs or bears who do un-comely things with bowel movements in densely wooded areas.
 
I've taken a job to pay the bills as I work on my various projects and I had just started my night shift and had taken over a packed bar when a delegation of drunken womanhood broke free from the main body of the local vets’ Christmas party and headed, very unsteadily, towards the bar.

By the determined way that they bobbed, weaved; zigged and zaged and bravely ran the gauntlet of groping hairy farmers hands across the packed room, it was obvious they were now regretting the stupidly high shoes they were wearing and the dresses that ended two point five inches below the dental floss that passed for their knickers.

But eventually they arrived at the bar and made a half hearted attempt at pulling their dresses down. Sadly they were woefully unaware of Newton’s law of the little black number; that states quite clearly: what comes down must also follow, ie; when they pulled the dress down at the bottom, the top half followed suit and only narrowly prevented their inadequately secured breasts from making a surprise guest appearance.

The girl with the little black numbers friend piped up and slurred her concerns as to the fact that she was ‘shinning’. Her little blond compadre turned--- a little too quickly as it would turn out--- to find out what she had meant and sank ignominiously, and wide eyed with shock into a pack of rugby boys, who, at that very moment had been discussing their respective Christmas lists; chief desire of which was for the sudden arrival of something blond, comely, loose of morals and with inebriated senses, directly onto their laps, when seemingly out of nowhere the little blond appeared in their midst with her legs akimbo and still grasping her depleted glass of J├Ągermeister and port slammer.


There was a brief moment of calm while the pub held its collective breath. The pack stared blankly at her as she tried to get her legs to stop waving around in such a come-hither-to-fashion, then the rugby boys erupted into a shark feeding frenzy. Drinks flew everywhere as they closed in on the helpless little blond like a collapsing scrum. It took three night porters, two barmen, fifteen waiters and a referee to break it up; four of the boys were sent immediately to the sin bin and at least two were deemed to have been caught offside.


Once we had the girl safely upright, and her hair facing vaguely in the right direction, we began the task of reassembling her eye lashes. The right one had slipped furthest away and gave the impression that she was sporting a nifty goatee, while the second was reposing under her nose, looking like one half of a handle bar moustache.


Her friend, who was still banging on about how unfair it was, and what a martyr she had become to her ‘shiny’ predicament (we never did get to the bottom of that little conundrum), hadn’t noticed her friends disappearing/reappearing act, while the blond, after our sixty second makeover, slipped effortlessly back into her friends drunken conversation as though nothing had happened.


They then continued to order their own body weight in Sambuca and Malibu before returned into the bosom of the happy throng of hammered vets. But moments before they re docked with their fellow party goers, the little blonde’s heels finally gave up the ghost and parted company with the main body of the shoe and she went down like a sapling in a storm.


Once again the Rugby boys headed towards her like heat seeking hormone missiles, howling at the blood moon as they did so. But luckily one or two of the vets saw their approach and with the deft movements, worthy of a police marksman, they darted most of the front row and were holding back the wingers and props with fully charged cattle prods.


Apparently, when questioned by a very impressed Policewoman who was attending the scene later, the vet said:
“We never leave home without a cattle prod or a tranquillizer gun, as you never know when it will be needed”
And as the rugby boys were led dazedly away to the JPR Williams home for the slightly bewildered, I thought about my youngest daughter as she totters around town on sixteen foot heels, glowing a little too much for her own good; tanked up and turning her blood from a life giving liquid into 400% proof alcohol, I closed my eyes and whispered through barley parted lips:
“Please Santa, let there always be a vet and his cattle prod near my little girl this Christmas”

Monday, November 25, 2013

Still here folks!

I am so sorry for not having posted anything for what seems like an eternity but I have been busy.

First I was in somewhat of a quandary as to whether I should do another Brabbles & Boggitt story, but comments on Facebook and Twitter have put paid to that; Brabbles & Boggitt are definitely coming back, and within a few weeks, if I have my way.

I also wondered if I should revamp my blog over worries that it was getting a little too confusing, but having taken a few weeks out to reflect I have decided to keep it just as it is; although I'm still a little unsure as to if I should give Brabbles & Boggitt its own site with links from here: what do you think?

Also I'm still pondering over giving, or rather re launching, a Sleepy Hamlet site that would be devoted to the countryside eccentrics, and push that a lot more?

Naturally any thoughts you may have will be gratefully received, this site is, after all, all about me doing stuff to entertain you.

And finally, the Brabbles & Boggitt story you have just finished will be in print soon with an added, never before seen, six page mini tale called 'Profit or loss'.

So do keep coming back and I promise to get back on board and start sharing my thoughts, art and life with you all again

Cheers

Karl

Friday, November 1, 2013

Brabbles & Boggitt Page 46

This is it, folks! The final page!!

 Well there we go, 46 pages and a few panels re-draws later and we have the final page.

It's been a great year and these little characters of mine have more than done their bit to grow the traffic to our little corner of the web. You've taken them so much to your hearts, in fact, that I've decided to make them a permanent feature of our world and continue to write and draw even more of their crazy tales and modern twists on fairy tales and folklore.

All that's left now is to put it all together and offer it up as a complete story collection, and to add to it I will be re illustrating more panels, giving you a back story to this very popular feature and producing a six page, never-before-published-anywhere Brabbles & Boggitt story.

Also, come back next week when I can tell you what plans I have for the next Brabbles & Boggitt tale, including the new format. Interested? I hope you are, because I'm doing it for you.

See you then.

Karl

New to Brabbles & Boggitt? click here and start reading from the beginning.

If you like my blog and the things that I say and do, please tell your friends; mention me on Facebook, Twitter and any of the other fine social media networking sites you use. I would love to have my work reach a much larger audience and although I could no doubt eventually get there under my own steam, I'll get there a lot quicker with your help, so please, please spread the word.

Thank you


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Heap Big Rubbish Writing

 Just been watching a typical western where some native American Hollywood Indian--- sounding like he was from the Bronx--- called He who jaxcars, is chasing a runaway bride on behalf of some jealous cavalry General called Ornery William Cuthbert Custerstone III, or something like that.

Anyway, the Indian halts the whole platoon of soldiers as he spots something in the distance, he charges across vast and open prairie only to leap off his horse and study a horse track that he has spotted from five miles away. The cavalry come charging behind him with the bugler sounding the charge, followed by a meddle of hits from Showboat and the Pirates of Penzance, and they in turn stop to take in the near miracle hawk like abilities of this native American with the strange lower east side accent and study the hoof print. 

He grunts one word which sounds faintly like bita-bing-bita-bong and the Colonel looks meaningfully into the misty mountains beyond and states, while taking his hat off and mopping his brow with the back of his sleeve:

"He says she passed here two days ago carrying a saddlebag full of her worldly possessions, a ruck sack, two guns and a bootleg copy Debbie does Dallas"

With that the Indian saddles up, grunts and they all charge off to a rousing accompaniment of Pappa's got a brand new bag, played on the bugle, and we are left looking at the solitary hoof print.

All I'm thinking is: isn't finding a hoof print in the middle of cattle driving country a little like discovering a tyre track on the M25 and what happened to the other four hoof prints? Surely they should be looking for a severely disabled horse or one on a pogo stick

I lost interest in the end and wondered, not for the first time, does no one keep an eye on the scripting rooms in Hollywood, or do they just keep on feeding them bananas and hope for the best?!


Friday, October 25, 2013

Brabbles & Boggitt Page 45



NEXT WEEK: The Judge's sentence and the final episode in this Brabbles & Boggitt tale

New to Brabbles & Boggitt? click here and start reading from the beginning.

If you like my blog and the things that I say and do, please tell your friends; mention me on Facebook, Twitter and any of the other fine social media networking sites you use. I would love to have my work reach a much larger audience and although I could no doubt eventually get there under my own steam, I'll get there a lot quicker with your help, so please, please spread the word.

Thank you

Friday, October 18, 2013

Brabbles & Boggitt Page 44



Once again I am really sorry to have missed out a week with Brabbles & Boggitt, but when you see the change I made with the last large panel I think you will agree it was worth doing; I've also had a panel change for next week. Enjoy the page and the copy of what it was changed from is set out below.
Cheers




Next Week; The penultimate page with another panel re draw---don't miss it!

New to Brabbles & Boggitt? click here and start reading from the beginning.

If you like my blog and the things that I say and do, please tell your friends; mention me on Facebook, Twitter and any of the other fine social media networking sites you use. I would love to have my work reach a much larger audience and although I could no doubt eventually get there under my own steam, I'll get there a lot quicker with your help, so please, please spread the word.

Thank you

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Reject or not reject, that is the question.

Over the years I've submitted a lot of material to the British comics industry; some have been accepted and others not.

It's always been a tricky thing to know what to send: how can you work out what is on the editor's mind? Why can't they just send all the regular contributors a list of what they're looking for, rather than the usual oblique and beige email that simply states: We are looking for new ideas, please feel free to pitch.

Anyway, the reason for this post is, I thought you might like to see see a sample of my artwork and see if you can work out which piece, or pieces, the editor commissioned and which he rejected, but don't be fooled by the completed stages of some pieces of art; I've been known to send in both character sheets or full blown pages of artwork.

Have fun.



















Hope you enjoyed that

If you like my blog and the things that I say and do, please tell your friends; mention me on Facebook, Twitter and any of the other fine social media networking sites you use. I would love to have my work reach a much larger audience and although I could no doubt eventually get there under my own steam, I'll get there a lot quicker with your help, so please, please spread the word.

Thank you




Friday, October 11, 2013

Brabbles & Boggitt update

I know I'm not always bang on time with my Brabbles & Boggiitt updates but today is slightly different.

I was about to post the page---once again from a story that was completed in 2007---when I realised that I just was not happy with one panel.

So in my never ending quest to give to you all my very best, I've pulled the page and hope to be publishing it next week, with the new panel and the old page to show you why I made you wait.

Once again, sorry for the delay but I'm sure you will thank me.






In the meantime, here's an extra Friday treat: this is part of a short Sleepy Hamlet tale that will make up a collection of five such stories, due to be published by March 2014

Enjoy

Tora, Tora, Tora


Mrs Markle, the village post mistress, stomped heavily down the street that ran through the village of Sleepy Hamlet. She cornered violently and turned into her post office causing the little bell to spasm with shock.

“Something must be done” she shouted to Miss Vera, her frightened little field mouse of an assistant. “this simply cannot be allowed to continue; the very existence of the countryside is threatened and from a foreigner. A foreigner, I tell you, and the very worst kind of foreigner ---an invasive foreigner!” She stood, stock still like a frizzy haired Mussolini, hands on hips in the middle of the fruit preserves section with her herculean bosoms quivering like two very angry jellies.

As usual, Mrs Markle had spotted something on her afternoon walk that had offended her to the very core of her being; not a difficult thing to do when you had a fuse as short as Mrs Markle’s and were a puritan, and as such felt it your moral duty to become agitated at least four times a day.

“Well, aren’t you going to ask me what I’m so fired up about?” Miss Vera didn’t want to ask at all. She knew that it would lead to an out pouring of futile anger and frustration on behalf of her employer. She knew that if she asked ‘what was the matter’ Mrs Markle would stomp around the store, shouting so loud the shops’ mullioned windows would vibrate, her ears would ring and her nerve endings would jangle. But she also knew that to deny Mrs Markle her valve releasing moment of fury was tantamount to mutiny. So she gulped the gulp of the nervously dispositioned and asked:
“What is upsetting you so much, Mrs Markle?”
“HIMALAYAN BALSAM WEED!”

The sudden outburst sent Miss Vera crashing into a display of Arran Island Knitting Patterns, causing them to scatter.

Mrs Markle ignored her shrew like assistant as she scrambled around, picking up the slippery plastic pattern cases while attempting to re assemble the stack. Instead Mrs Markle stomped and stamped her way around the shop, snorting like a bull at her inner turmoil.

“HAVE YOU ANY IDEA HOW INVASIVE HIMALAYAN BALSAM IS?” Miss Vera shrugged her shoulders and gave Mrs Markle a weak smile before continuing with her re construction duties.

“DO YOU EVEN KNOW WHAT HIMALAYAN BALSAM IS, MISS VERA?!” Once again, the timid shop assistant shrugged her shoulders in the universal expression of ignorance.

“Well I’ll tell you what Himalayan Balsam is, Miss Vera. IT’S AN INVASIVE RIVER WEED OF THE FAMILY IMPARTIENS WALLEREIANA--- A PLANT THAT USED TO BE CONTENT TO LIVE IN THE PLANT POTS OF A GRATEFUL AND JOYOUS NATION. THAT WAS UNTIL THE LITTLE SUBVERSIVES GOT BITTEN BY THE NOMADIC BUG AROUND 100 YEARS AGO AND MOVED ONTO THE NATIONS RIVERBANKS AND BEGAN A CHOKING COLONISATION OF THEM. AND ON MY WALK TODAY I NOTICED THAT A LARGE GROUP--- PROBABLY AN ADVANCE SCOUTING PARTY---- HAS TAKEN UP RESIDENCE ON THE FAR BANKS OF OUR VERY OWN RIVER BRIMSMAL!”

And with a petulant huff worthy of an over pampered pop star, Mrs Markle stormed off to the back of her village store.

Miss Vera, who had tightened her eyes against the tirade, slowly began to open them. Gingerly, she first opened the one, then the other. She began to check the room and having satisfied herself that everything was as it should be she turned to where her employer had been standing a few seconds ago.  But Mrs Markle was no longer there, and when she heard the familiar noises of the little hand printer being pumped into action, she raised her eyes heaven wards and sighed.

Mrs Markle had inherited a small hand printing press from her grandfather who had run a successful print business and Village Newspaper many years ago out of what was now the village stores. Mrs Markle lovingly looked after the antique Adana print press and made great use of it for her many leafleting campaigns on behalf of the damned and gossipy souls of her fellow villagers.

Miss Vera put the last few knitting patterns down and followed the ‘chugga-kachugga-kachuga-kachuga’ noises into the back room. When she peered around the door frame Mrs Markle was violently pumping the printer and churning out a hastily prepared leaflet. One of them came out at such a velocity that it cleared the collection tray and flew towards Miss Vera before halting mid air and dropping to a soft landing where it slid along the sparkling storeroom floor to a halt at the sensible shoes of Miss Vera. She picked it up and read what was written

NOTICE TO ALL VILLAGERS.
WE ARE BEING INVADED BY FOREIGNERS
PLEASE COME TO THE VILLAGE
HALL TONIGHT TO DISCUSS TACTICS!

A TALK TO BE GIVEN BY MRS MARKLE
Free cup of tea and individual
Cherry Bakewell on entry
8 til late

Miss Vera would have liked to tell her employer that the leaflet was a bit over the top and that the language used was a tad emotive. But before she could pluck up the courage to question the indomitable wall of tweed that was Mrs Markle, she was being brushed aside by her employer, who had grabbed the freshly printed bundle of flyer's and was heading towards the door.

“I shan’t be long, Miss Vera. Mind the shop for me will you, I’m going to put these up all over the village” and before she could raise a finger of enquiry, the door had been opened, slammed shut again and the booted feet of Mrs Markle were disappearing into the village.
Miss Vera looked at the leaflet again. ‘Oh my’ she thought ‘I just know this isn’t going to end well’


As the afternoon rolled on and the villagers began to file into the store to find out more about the invasion force that was being unleashed against them, Mrs Markle held court but stayed tight lipped, insisting that yes, they really were under attack and yes she would explain all later and yes there really was going to be Cherry Bakewell’s with the cup of tea and no, Mr Barton couldn’t have an extra one for his wife who would’ve loved to come but was too busy grouting the bathroom walls. She even managed to keep the terrifyingly Germanic Mrs Heppleheimer at bay, who’d turned up prepared for war--- resplendent in her World War 1 helmet, topped off with the spike. To each and every one of them Mrs Markle insisted they wait until tonight to hear all the facts.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Brabbles & Boggitt Page 43



Next Week: The big fight! Really, don't miss it!

New to Brabbles & Boggitt? click here and start reading from the beginning.

If you like my blog and the things that I say and do, please tell your friends; mention me on Facebook, Twitter and any of the other fine social media networking sites you use. I would love to have my work reach a much larger audience and although I could no doubt eventually get there under my own steam, I'll get there a lot quicker with your help, so please, please spread the word.

Thank you

Friday, September 27, 2013

Brabbles & Boggitt Page 42



Next Week: Scribbler McNib makes his expose

New to Brabbles & Boggitt? click here and start reading from the beginning.

If you like my blog and the things that I say and do, please tell your friends; mention me on Facebook, Twitter and any of the other fine social media networking sites you use. I would love to have my work reach a much larger audience and although I could no doubt eventually get there under my own steam, I'll get there a lot quicker with your help, so please, please spread the word.

Thank you

Friday, September 20, 2013

Brabbles & Boggitt Page 41



Next Week: Finally the stranger breaks his silence

New to Brabbles & Boggitt? click here and start reading from the beginning.

If you like my blog and the things that I say and do, please tell your friends; mention me on Facebook, Twitter and any of the other fine social media networking sites you use. I would love to have my work reach a much larger audience and although I could no doubt eventually get there under my own steam, I'll get there a lot quicker with your help, so please, please spread the word.

Thank you

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Start of the Christmas push!

About six months ago you may remember I decided to write and illustrate a story for my grandson; I put a few illustrations on my Facebook page and my blog and a lot of you started asking if you could have a copy. 

So I completed the book 'Ryan's Dinos
aur Dreams' and published it through Amazon's CreateSpace and the orders started coming in.

Now because Christmas, (yes I said the dreaded 'C' word) is coming fast--- and I'm aware that marketing is a big thing--- I'm going to be posting many times about this book between now and Christmas, and if you want to help me spread the word to your friends, thus helping me create potential extra sales to support myself, I would be forever in your debt

So if you have a child, grandchild, nephew or niece who love lively illustrations and a fun story, or you know someone who has one or more of the afore mentioned, then this could be the purchase for you or them.

Either way please spread the word through your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or any other social networking site you have and do me a huge favour and allow me to write and illustrate more.

Thank you.


http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ryans-Dinosaur-Dreams-Karl-Dixon/dp/1484912675/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1369768709&sr=1-1&keywords=ryan%27s+dinosaur+dreams

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

My World, my Thoughts, my Bad!

I appreciate that you're all going to groan inwardly at my latest statement and say: 'Karl's got too much time on his hands again!', but this latest glitch in my life has me genuinely puzzled, and here it is, are you ready?

How come my socks spin around my feet when I'm walking?

Today I went for a short walk. When I left the house my socks were on correctly--- as per the instructions on the packet---but when I got back home again and took my shoes off, the heel of the sock was now on the top of my foot, and I never felt it move.

Could someone please explain this conundrum to me so I can learn to better understand my socks and have more walks filled with the beauty of my surroundings and not, as is the present state, spend them wondering what the hell is going on in my shoes!



**************************************

Looks like my blog is being viewed by more people than I actually know. I've just been contacted by an art gallery who want to display some of my work. It's an honest to god gallery; I checked it out and it looks impressive.

'Very nice', I hear you say, and I would agree with you all accept for the fact that this particular gallery deals exclusively with artists who have mental health issues...

I wonder where they got that idea from?

****************************************

Today I managed to bite that thin strand of skin that connects the tongue to the bottom of my mouth; and it stings like a bitch! 

But really, how the hell is that even possible?

I've had a good look around my mouth with a dentists' mirror and a miners' lamp, and the best I can work out is it would require me to have teeth that could pivot backwards at a 45° angle and snip gaily away with industrial wire cutters.

So my best guess is either my teeth have turned into a semi intelligent life form--- independent of me and are launching guerrilla style attacks on the rest of my mouth--- or my dentist isn't telling me everything when we have our check ups...although it would explain his unexpected outburst last time I visited him when he said:
"Aclusal amalgam,  next one missing, three two one fine, al...oh my dear sweet lord, did you just see that...? ahem, sorry...everything else is fine, please take your notes to the receptionist and never come back..."

Does this mean that my mouth is also out to get me?! 

I hope they don't sign a pact with the spiders.

*************************************************


Friday, September 13, 2013

Brabbles & Boggitt Page 40



I said a few weeks ago---that as we approached the ending of this particular Brabbles & Boggitt tale--- I would be producing a few changes and then showing the you the before and after images below.

Well, my faithful readers, this is one such page. My plan was to change one panel, which, due to its construction, led to another panel, then another and another; in the end all that was left of the original page was the first two panels.

So for you, this week, I have virtually re drawn an entire page, but for you, I think it was worth it; and set out below is the page before the changes...what do you think?



On another point, we now only have six more weeks until the end of this particular tale and I am already well into the construction of the next Brabbles & Boggitt story called, tentatively, 'The Elves, the Shoe Maker and the Frog', where we see Brabbles go into two business ventures. The first being a sweat shop and the second as a royal relationship consultant while Boggitt...

well why don't I just tell you on another post while also giving you a sneak preview of some of the new crazies I've created for this tale.

Next Week: The court is in session...DON'T MISS IT!

New to Brabbles & Boggitt? click here and start reading from the beginning.

If you like my blog and the things that I say and do, please tell your friends; mention me on Facebook, Twitter and any of the other fine social media networking sites you use. I would love to have my work reach a much larger audience and although I could no doubt eventually get there under my own steam, I'll get there a lot quicker with your help, so please, please spread the word.

Thank you

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A Day in the Life of a Cartoonist and Writer



It has been said of me on a number of occasions that I take too much on; that I have far too many projects on the go at any one time.

That's fair comment I would say, but the problem is this: If you are a writer, you create stories, tales, novels ect, that's what you do, and when you are a cartoonist, the same applies; you have to get your images onto the page and out there into the big bad ol' world; to be placed as greeting cards (coming soon, god help my sleepless nights), or graphic novels (Brabbles & Boggitt) and of course Roswell---god help even more sleepless nights.

But when you are both writer and artist...well I think you can see what I mean.

Anyway, I was thinking about what I did yesterday and the mountain I had to climb, and I thought: why not catalogue it with the relevant times; and through the use of both scanner, finished art and screen capture, show you what I did on that particular day, Monday 9th September 2013.

Here we go, fasten your pencil sharpeners and typewriter ribbons...

9.00am

Pencil & inked  two panel re-do's for Fridays Brabbles & Boggitt (all of which you will see when you come back here on Friday for page 40 with its brand spanking new panels, plus the ones they replaced)






11.00am


Much deserved cup of tea




11.15am

Colouring a comic book page







1.00pm

Lunch, cup of tea and a spot of light reading





2.00pm

Edit my Novel, Sleepy Hamlet (Oh please God, soon to be released)




3.00pm

More comic page colouring





5.30pm

Exercise



6.30

Modest Dinner with a few friends 



7.30

Two more pictures for mine and Clive Wards book 101 Uses for a Dead Mother-in-Law. These are just the black and whites, they will be grey-scaled before going to print and to be released through CreateSpace in time for Christmas, as will the Brabbles & Boggitt tale.





10.00

Stop for the night and sleep...phew!



So now you know what I get up to on a daily basis, and whenever you think to your self: 'I wonder what that cartoonist chappie is up to' as I'm sure you all regularly do, well now to have and answer....

HE'S FILLING HIS TIME MESSING AROUND ON PHOTOSHOP AND BEING GENERALLY SILLY!!

But then you wouldn't have me any other way...would you?

If you like my blog and the things that I say and do, please tell your friends; mention me on Facebook, Twitter and any of the other fine social media networking sites you use. I would love to have my work reach a much larger audience and although I could no doubt eventually get there under my own steam, I'll get there a lot quicker with your help, so please, please spread the word.