Monday, 31 March 2014

Very Short Mondays: Rhombus

Sophie looked at the triangle on her hand.  She wondered if she could pay someone to turn it into a convincing rhombus.  And how she would find that someone without the Executive knowing about it.

She just wanted to be close to him.  She thought of her mother, who said "people like that" are not to be trusted.  "Don't believe their lies," she said.

And now Sophie wanted to be one of them.  She just didn't quite know if she wanted it enough to break Protocol.

A Square was checking licences in her carriage.  He scanned her palm and moved on.

This was impossible.


Link of the Day: "Try Sarah's tops!"


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Monday, 24 March 2014

Very Short Mondays: Oversized Spectacles

He had a thing for girls with oversized spectacles.  He saw her on the train.  They caught each other's eye.  (He did nothing.)  She looked in control.  Confident.  Bold, strong plastic frames.  Her friend said something to her.  She placed her fingers behind her ears and waggled her spectacles up and down.  A kind of deadpan slapstick.  Her friend laughed.  (Still he did nothing.)  He got off the train.

In another universe he did something.  It didn't last.


Link of the Day: Moleskine Doodles


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Saturday, 22 March 2014

Saturday Gallery: Home Shriek Home

I met someone very lovely not so long ago and, shortly after, she moved into a new place.  So I thought I'd make her a present.  She likes her horror so I thought I'd do her a nice haunted house.  Then I remembered she had recently bought something with Moomins on it, so decided to make a Moomintroll the subject.

This is probably by far the quickest painting I've ever done - it took an afternoon and evening.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Slightly Less Short Fridays: The Price Of Ham

"I'm sorry?" said Loretta.  "It's how much?"

"Three ninety nine, love."

"Three ninety nine?  For three slices of ham?"

"That's the price."

"Well I'm paying one pound sixty."

"And how do you come to that conclusion?"

"Well, it's only forty percent ham, so I'm only paying forty percent of the price."

"You can't do that, love."

"Look, it says in the ingredients: 'Powdered ham (40%)'.  And water.  One of the ingredients is water!  I'm not paying for the water.  I pay enough already to get it out of the tap at home."

"The water comes with the ham.  You wouldn't want dry ham, would you?"

"Well, maybe I would.  Take it out."

"I'm sorry?"

"The water.  I want you to take it out."

"Are you soft in the head?"

"No, but you will be by the time my fiancé's finished with you.  He's waiting in the car, and all it takes is one phone call..."

"Get out of my shop."

"Okay.  Sorry.  Can I take the ham?"


"Okay.  Bye Stan."

"Bye Loretta.  See you tomorrow."


Link of the Day: Newton's Cradle


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Monday, 17 March 2014

Very Short Mondays: The Tree

The tree sat between two railway bridges, above the High Street.

A protective non-contact hug on two sides, by painted steel girders.

The girders, the most riveting thing the tree had ever seen (even without that awful pun).

Not even a view of the early sunset could lift the tree out of its malaise.  A sunset that gave the gathering clouds their glowing golden heart.

The tree knew something was happening, down on the High Street.  Could hear the buzz building as the evening folk swung into action.

But there was nothing to see between the bridges.  Just the tarmac of the road below.  And the tree wasn't even tall enough to see over the top.

Always missing out.


Link of the Day: What does the Monopoly man do all day?


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Saturday, 15 March 2014

Planet Bogo

I bought some story cubes for my nephews (aged 4 and 6) as a joint birthday present, and gave it to them a couple of weeks ago. One of the stories the six-year old came up with, I drew as his birthday card when his actual birthday came around last week.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Slightly Less Short Fridays: Aluminium Heart

"Welcome back, Gordon.  We lost you for a minute there."

"What happened?"

"You stopped breathing.  Much longer and you'd have been brain dead."

"Thank you, Doctor.  But, I mean ... what happened?"

"You had a nasty accident.  I'm afraid we had to remove your heart."

"My heart?"

"Yes.  We've replaced it with an aluminium replica."

"You mean, like a transplant?"

"Like a transplant, yes.  We couldn't find a tissue match at such short notice, so we've put you on an experimental new programme.  You're at the cutting edge of modern medicine, Gordon."

"So how does it work?"

"We call it a non-functioning cardiac substitute."


"Yes.  It's only a model.  It shouldn't do anything at all.  And yet here you are, awake and talking to me.  That's what makes it all the more exciting."

"How many other people are on this ... programme?"

"Oh, just you.  Sadly the Government has just pulled our funding, so it will only ever be you.  That's why we're going to have to keep you here, indefinitely."


Link of the Day: Hit In The Face


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Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Narwhals With Ears, #1: Sharing

I'm a bit late posting today's comic, because I only just drew it.  It's a new series, based on a picture of whales with ears the lovely Laura and I saw on a recent visit to the Natural History Museum, and the sheer awesomeness of narwhals.  Some of the facts in these cartoons are more based in truth than others.  (This one's true.  I think.)

I'll probably try to keep posting these on Wednesdays, alternately with Movies They Never Made.


Link of the Day: End Of The World


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Monday, 10 March 2014

Very Short Mondays: The Bridge

"I love you."


James looked away.  He made a show of looking into the crowd for his escorts.  It wouldn't be long now.

"What number are you?"  Hasra reached out, let her fingers rest on his coat sleeve.

"Can't remember."

"Sorry.  I want to say it.  It's just confusing."

"I know."

And then he saw them.  Armbands with '83' printed on them.  And they were coming for him.

"Remember," said Hasra, "it's a gift.  It's a wonderful opportunity.  You'll be happy there."

"Yeah."  James faked a smile.  "And you can't be too far down the list."

"Don't be silly.  Look at this face.  I'm not even on the list."

And then the hands slid under James' arms, and slowly guided him away.  There was no struggle (there was never any struggle) but James' and Hasra's eyes stayed locked until the crowd swelled into the space between them.

And he was taken across The Bridge.


What's across The Bridge, I wonder...

Link of the Day: Stockholm Library


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Friday, 7 March 2014

Slightly Less Short Fridays: The Stripes Of Springbank Bridge

Springbank Bridge straddled the River Carper, and connected the twin towns of Johnford and Longminster.

But these were twins that did not get along.  Twins that bickered and fought over the minutae of everyday life.  And every day, they had to maintain the bridge, because it was old and decrepit.

Once, there was a plan to replace the bridge, because it was coming to the end of its useful life.  But they could not agree on how much each should pay for it.  Longminster insisted that they should go halves, but Johnford argued that as they had just over half the population of Longminster, they should pay less.

So the new bridge was never built and, each town blaming the other for the deal's collapse, they became increasingly petty over paying for the maintenance of the existing bridge.  Longminster insisted that they would only pay for repairing damage to their end of the bridge, knowing full well that it was Johnford's end of the bridge that was most exposed to the elements, and so suffered more from rust and woodrot.

And so it was that, one night, the Mayor of Johnford snuck out onto the bridge and painted one metre wide stripes in red (Longminster's town colour) all along its length.  He declared that Johnford would expect Longminster to pay for repairs to any part of the bridge that had been painted red.

The following night, angry at his counterpart from Johnford, the Mayor of Longminster also snuck out onto the bridge and painted the rest of it blue (Johnford's town colour).  He insisted that his town would never be forced to pay for any damage painted in that colour.

Of course, neither town wanted to pay for any repairs at all, and instead they simply painted over any damage in their own town colours.  So if you visit Johnford, or Longminster, and admire their pbeautiful, brightly coloured bridge, you might want to wear a lifejacket before choosing to cross it.  It's sometimes said that the blue and red paint is the only thing holding it up and, nearly every day, another expert predicts its imminent collapse into the river.


Link of the Day: Kitten & Mirror


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Monday, 3 March 2014

Very Short Mondays: The First Page

The first story I've written in my new notebook.  I thought I'd give it an appropriate title.


The First Page

Clarissa sat down with a fresh pot of coffee, a blanket, and her new book.  She turned to the first page.

It was blank.

She flicked to the second, then the third, then all the pages right the way through the book.  Blank.  All of them blank.

She began to panic.  This wasn't a book she'd ordered blind on the Internet.  She'd taken a special trip to her local independent bookseller for this.  Her local independent bookseller on the very last day of their closing down sale.

And when she'd been in the bookshop, when she'd paid for the book, when she'd handed over her money, there had been words on the page.

She didn't know what to do.  Except, maybe, contact the author.


What could possibly have happened to all the words?  Spooky...

Link of the Day: Even though you didn't ask for it...


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