Do People Notice Your Writing?

 -How cartoons can help you to stick in your audience’s memory

 

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 “My brain is going to turn to blancmange if I read any more of this stuff...it’s just all so....vanilla....is that a blancmange flavour too?”


Sue was reading a rather long and boring article. Unfortunately, it was an article that Sue had to read and so she was plotting through it, trying to keep herself going with a cup of coffee...and then another one...and then....


Of all the stuff you look at everyday online, how much of it do you remember? Very little I bet.


There’s just so much stuff whizzing by as you search the net: page after page, billions of words zipping on by....


So what do you actually remember? Not much...I bet almost nothing. In fact it would have to be something pretty amazing to stick in your memory.

 

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I don’t know about you, but my short-term memory is a bit like a goldfish with a smartphone, things are soon forgotten and without the device I don’t really remember much of anything.

 

What about your own content? Is it that more memorable than other people’s or do they also whizz by?

 

It seems a real shame for you to spend so much time on your writing: pouring over your ideas, scratching your head,  oodles of scribbling, gallons of coffee consumed, all that frustration and fiddling around with your website  for it to go to waste - all for nothing if nobody actually sees it.


So how can you get things to stick in the memory? So how can you make your stuff stick around for longer?


You can increase stickiness.

 

 

 (With hair like that, Malcolm Gladwell has his own stickiness factor)

 (With hair like that, Malcolm Gladwell has his own stickiness factor)


Here is what Malcolm Gladwell, author of Outliers and also the Tipping Point, had to say about stickiness:


Gladwell defines the Stickiness Factor as the quality that compels people to pay close, sustained attention to a product, concept, or idea.


Stickiness can also mean that it hangs around in the memory, long after it was first seen.


Cartoons can provide stickiness. Just think about how people save pictures and share them around -  they put them on social media  - and even print them off and put them on the fridge or they post them up on the wall at work.

 

What other form of marketing can end up on someone’s fridge?

What other form of marketing can end up on someone’s fridge?


Whatif the image could be associated with your message so that people could be in encouraged to help spread your message by spreading the picture?


Does that sound interesting?


So where can you get the cartoons from, without having to endlessly search the net?


You really need to have easy access to a range of cartoons you can use free of copyright worries and not having to figure out the ideal size -  none of the bother - you could just simply go and use.


Introducing the cartoon subscription service.


The Cartoon Subscription Service is a one-stop service providing you with cartoons to use on your site or on social media. There are also plenty of ideas and advice on how you can use cartoons for the greatest effect and impact.


How else can cartoons help you?


-Cartoons grab attention


-Cartoons can deliver a message quickly


-Cartoons help to tell a story, stories can be used to sell your message or service


-A picture is worth a thousand words


-Cartoons are fun!


-Cartoons help to get things read


Intrigued?


Want some more information on how cartoons can help you?


Click on the contact form and say “Cartoon me up!” And I’ll send you further details.

 

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Need Content? Pushed for Time?

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“Hmm....Content...content....content...Everyone says that content is king and that I need to be putting more content out there but what to do? There’s only so much time in the day and I only have so many ideas flying around my head. There’s just not enough time to produce the amount of content I’d like....aargh!”

Sally was sitting down trying to think of some new content for her site. She’d been sat there for a while, and aside from a few random doodles and notes on her tablet didn’t have much to show for it..and meanwhile the clock was ticking on the list of things she had to do...

Perhaps you’ve found yourself in a similar situation to Sally, needing to write another article or blog post but with little time to do so.

Being pushed for time can make it doubly stressful...it can be bad enough having to write the damn thing in the first place!

Maybe you feel as though you only have so many ideas in your head and forcing yourself to come up with more is a real strain. This can turn creating your own content from something you enjoy doing to something that you’d really rather not bother with...

Hiring someone to produce content for you is probably out of the question, so what can you do?

It would be neat to be able to access some additional content, to supplement whatever you create yourself.

It would also be neat if such content would help to brighten up your site, amuse your readers, and also help them to engage with your content.

Is there something that could help you do all of the above?

This is where cartoons come in.

 

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Everyone loves cartoons....they help to add humour and brighten up a site, blog, or social media post.

More importantly, they’re great attention grabbers and people love to share them among friends.

What if you could get hold of a bunch of cartoons along with some practical suggestions on how to use them to help your business?

What if you had access to a steady stream of cartoons that you could use on your site as much as you liked? - is this superfluous?

As well as making people smile, cartoons can also help me to pause for thought and reflect...

 

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 ...even if only for a moment...

Or how about for a simple moment of joyful silliness

  ...even if only for a moment...

Or how about for a simple moment of joyful silliness

 

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Cartoons can also be used to illustrate well known sayings and quotations.


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As well ascartoons being used to amuse people or illustrate a point, they can also enable readers to interact with your content. How so?

I’m sure you’ve seen caption the cartoon competitions before, where readers are invited to come up with a caption to go with the cartoon. By using these you can get your audience to engage with your content. Let’s look at an example.

 Caption the cartoon - What is the rabbit saying to the woman?

 

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Such content really catches the eye of your readers and they get to share their ideas with you.

You also have a great opportunity to have a conversation with them. While all of this is going on, they are staying on your site or with your brand for longer, and becoming more familiar with it.

You’ve probably also seen spot the difference cartoons, where you have to find the differences between a pair of pictures. Here’s an example. (Answers at the end of this article)

 

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As you will have seen if you tried to find the differences, puzzles like these engage with readers and help them to stay on your site longer.

It also gives you a further opportunity to engage with your readers when they post their answers to the comments section. This can also help to develop a community as your readers interact with each other about their answers or ideas.

So now that you’ve seen a few examples of how cartoons can grab the attention of, and then engage with your readers, you might be thinking where can you get them from?

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 Introducing The Cartoon Subscription Service


Your site, blog, Facebook page etc… add a few cartoons….magic!

Have you ever wanted to add some cartoons to your site but never gotten around to it?

Maybe you've been busy or you didn't know quite to start.

A cartoon subscription service provides you with the images you need to liven up your site…and to grab your readers attention - whether you're looking to engage with them, collect email addresses or to offer them something.

Paying someone, including me, to create individual images for you can soon add up as you want a cartoonist who is good at what they do and so won't come cheap.

The cartoon subscription services provides a reasonably priced alternative, and also gives you the option of having cartoons altered, or even created from scratch for you.

As all the cartoons are in one place, it saves you the hassle of searching around. New cartoons are also added every month.

 

 Cartoons…

 -grab your viewers attention

-brighten up your content

-get shared on social media

-are a way to promote your product or service

 

 ...which also means…

 

-no more using crappy stock images

-no more wasting time searching for images

-no worries about copyright issues

 

...including...

 

 -themes to choose from e.g. cats, dogs

-caption the cartoons

-spot the difference

-cartoons with stories - illustrated silly stories

 What do I get?

 -100’s of cartoons to choose from

-web ready images (480 x 360 72 DPI) which you can post right away

-the cartoons you need in one spot

 Coming soon!


Sign up below and I’ll keep you posted...and I’ll send you a free guide on how cartoons can help your business...along with a few free cartoons that you can use right now.

  

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Illustrated Booknotes - We Do Things Differently - by Mark Stevenson

Illustrated Booknotes - We Do Things Differently - by Mark Stevenson

I’m a member of a book circle, and every month we read a different book and then talk about it. I put together a series of five or six illustrated booknotes showing key points I gained from the book.

 

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I can produce booknotes for you too. Drop me a mail. 

Illustrated Booknotes - 23 Things They Didn’t Tell You About Capitalism - by Ha-Joon Chang

 

Illustrated Booknotes - 23 Things They Didn’t Tell You About Capitalism - by Ha-Joon Chang

I’m a member of a book circle, and every month we read a different book and then talk about it. I put together a series of five or six illustrated booknotes showing key points I gained from the book.


 

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I can produce illustrated booknotes for you too. Drop me a mail. 

 

Drawing Windy Walkies

I drew a cartoon with a similar idea a couple of years ago, but thought I’d revisit it and redraw it from a different angle and in a different setting. 

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1. The initial sketch. 

I used a digital 6B pencil with Procreate to sketch this out. I used to do the initial outline with a digital pen, but I prefer the looser feel of the pencil. 

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2.  Colouring the characters.

As I wanted to make this an autumn scene, I thought I would have her outfit compliment the browns and greens of the leaves. 

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3. Colouring the background.

Washing in the colours using a digital watercolour brush. 

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4. Adding more detail to the background.

I decided that the background was too thin and sparse, so I added the impression of more trees.  

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Spot the difference! Actually, I don’t think there is one! Better remove this pic later. 

 

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5. Adding the shading and hatching. 

I used to do either shading or hatching, predominantly shading only. Recently I’ve been experimenting with putting hatching on top of the shading to give an increased sense of depth. 

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6. The finished cartoon. 

I tidied the pic up a little and blackened some of the lines. 

 

I would be happy to draw for you too. Drop me a mail and we can chat. 

 

Cheers for reading!

Illustrated Booknotes - We’re All Weird - by Seth Godin

I’m a member of a book circle, and every month we read a different book and then talk about it. I put together a series of five or six illustrated booknotes showing key points I gained from the book.

Last month’s book was ‘We’re All Weird’ by Seth Godin.

 

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Last month’s book was ‘We’re All Weird’ by Seth Godin.

 

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You have to make a choice if you want to be weird and stand out...and be yourself. 

 

Don’t let stuff get in way of making connections with people. 

 

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Laziness leads to average effort, which also means that you never really bother to get to know people and how you can help them. 

 

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It’s more difficult to be weird when you’re always thinking about when the next paycheck is coming from. 

 

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As you become weird it encourages to also become weird. You also start to notice other who are different as well. 

 

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Don’t let apathy leave you behind while the world moves forward around you. 

 

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All the booknotes in one image. 

 

I can produce illustrated booknotes for you too. Whether you have an article, ebook, or other form of content, I can illustrate the key points for you.

Drop me a mail and we can chat to see what’s good for you.

Drawing Dorothea Thwing

I recently drew a short series of cartoons entitled ‘Great Tea Drinkers of the World’. Here is the first I the series, ‘Dorothea Thwing’, not forgetting her poodle Maximilian.

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1. The initial sketch.

I sketched this out with a digital 6B pencil using Procreate. 

 

 

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2. Colouring the characters.

As I intend adding a green background, I thought I’d go for a reddish brown for her outfit so that it would compliment the greens that I’ll wash in behind her next. 

 

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3. Colouring the background. 

Building up the tones to show depth and form. 

 

 

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4. Adding shading and hatching. 

Recently I’ve been experimenting with adding hatching on top of shadow to try to enhance the feeling of form and depth. 

 

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5. The finished cartoon. 

Caption added and a bit of tidying carried out. I also made some of the lines a bit more solid. 

I draw lots of cartoons, some of them rather silly!

I’d be happy to draw for you too, drop me a mail and we can chat. 

Cheers!

Good cartoons stick around...so can your message

 


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How many of your other marketing ideas have ended up on refridgerators or put up in offices? 

Good cartoons often end up in people’s kitchens stuck to the door or side with a magnet, or pinned to a wall or board in an office.

If either you or your business is connected to such a cartoon, then a reminder of you and your service will also be sticking around in someone’s kitchen or office.

I can create a unique and original cartoon for you too, the sort of picture that’s fun to shade and pass around.

Drop me a mail using the form in the top right, and we can chat about how cartoons could soon be helping you.

How to grab someone’s attention

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You’ve probably already heard many times about the importance of writing good headlines.

Master advertising copywriter David Ogilvy, writer of ads for Rolls-Royce, Toyota, and Schweppes amongst others, stated that five times as many people read the headline as the body copy.

So after putting a lot of your precious effort and energy into creating a great headline for your article, the last thing you want to do is to use just any old stock image which can let the whole page down.

But what if you don’t have the time to spend ages searching for a great image, or even if you do, just can’t find the right image to highlight your words?

I can draw a cartoon that will be unique to your article.

Cartoons are great at grabbing attention, so what better way to compliment it that with a tailor-made cartoon?


Cartoons can:


-deliver a message quickly which means that your clients won’t lose focus and click away

-stick in the memory which means that your clients are more likely to refer back to the source of the cartoon (you/your site)

-are easy to share which means that your clients help to spread the word about your service

-make people smile which everybody likes!

The cartoon can compliment the style of your site or newsletter - I can even use colors that you regularly feature.


So why work with me?


I listen to what you want, give suggestions when appropriate, and respond promptly.

 

Send me a mail now, let me know how I can help you, and I’ll respond promptly.

A picture is worth a thousand words

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A picture is worth a thousand words - You could spend ages wracking your brains and then write many words  trying to describe the feeling of public speaking or you could have a cartoon of a snowman melting on the stage...

Cartoons can help to draw attention to your writing, after all half the battle is actually getting people to read something in the first place. Many copywriters say to spend as much time as possible on the headline, as unless the initial words grab the viewers attention, then they’re never going to look at the rest of what you have to say. A cartoon can have the same effect.

Cartoons can also complement your writing, helping it to be even stronger than it would be on it’s own. 

Maybe you have an idea already for how you would like your writing to be illustrated, or maybe you like the idea but can’t quite imagine how it would look. Either way I would be happy to talk and see how cartoons could help you. 

Drop me a maik using the form below, and I can get drawing for you too soon.

 

 

Cartoons are easy to share

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People love sharing cartoons and other pictures on social media, I’m sure that you’ve done so yourself.

Not only via social media, people also show colleagues cartoons in a magazine at work or with a friend over coffee. 

It’s part of our nature to want to share with others and so connect with them - even better if it is something funny that could lighten the person’s day.

People usually share random pictures not necessarily connected with you. What if the cartoon being shown around had something to do with you or your business? 

I can draw original cartoons unique to you. Drop me a mail using the form below and I can get drawing for you too.

 

 

The story behind the cartoon - “Mysterious”.

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I’m a member of a cartoon forum and every day there’s a theme word that we have to illustrate. The above pic was to show “mysterious”.

I immediately liked the idea of a castle on the background and a night setting. I also liked the idea of a winding road or path leading to the castle. 

For the characters, I initially thought about having a pair of figures in silhouette form, walking towards the castle - one of them fall and in a fall hat, and the other short and squat with strangely-shaped ears. I also toyed with the idea of having a big cat lurking somewhere on the background. I thought some sort of unusual old car might work with some intriguing passengers. 

After playing around with some sketches, I felt that there were too many elements and that they would distract from each other. I decided to have two main characters - the woman and the cheetah, but to only have one of them fully revealed, leaving the viewer to make their mind up what the woman looks like. 

The featured car is a Tatra T600 Tatraplan, a Czech car build from 1948 - 1952.

I was pleased with how this one turned out, it’s definitely one of the more atmospheric pictures I’ve drawn.

Sign-up for my Monday to Friday cartoon newsletter and you can see new pictures I’m working on as well as illustrated stories and other things.

 

What happens if I don’t get the cartoon on time?

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If by some weird event you don’t get the cartoon on time, then you don’t pay for it - and you get a free cartoon of your choice.

However, let’s not let it get to that point. I pride myself on good communication with each and every client, and you will be no exception.

Before I even start to think about drawing for someone, I want to find out when they require the image and to get as much information from them as possible so I can create exactly the picture they want. 

Communicating up front about the idea and the drawing process helps to ensure that you get the picture you want, when you want it.

Drop me a mail using the contact form below and I can start drawing a cartoon for you too.

 

 

Express Cartoon Delivery Service

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I can offer a special express delivery rate for simple cartoons


My normal rate for a simple cartoon, featuring one or two characters and no background is $50. Here is a sample.

 

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I can deliver this within 48 hours for $100. I am unable to offer more complex cartoons at the express rate as I don’t want to compromise on quality.


To ensure as smooth a process as possible, please state exactly what you would like me to draw you. Please remember that this express service is only for simple cartoons.


What happens if I don’t get the cartoon on time?


If by some weird event you don’t get the cartoon on time, then you don’t pay for it - and you get a free cartoon of your choice. However, let’s not let it get to that point. I pride myself on good communication with each and every client, and you will be no exception.

 

How do I get started? 

Drop me a mail using the form below, and let’s chat about what I can draw for you. 

The GoGo Hares 2018 - Hare Cartooons

While visiting Norwich this summer, I noticed the various hare sculptures that had been put up around the city for the 2018 sculpture trail. The trail was to promote the charity Break, and also to encourage visitors to Norwich, as well as being tremendous fun.

As the sculpture trail has just started, I thought that I would join in the fun by setting myself the challenge of drawing a different hare cartoon for the duration of the sculpture trail. Here are some of my favourites below.

 

 

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Quite A few word plays appeared. 

 

 

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There were occasional art-themed cartoons. 

 

 

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Other characters sometimes appeared, and the tortoise and the hare became a recurring theme. 

 

 

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The off fox or two popped up as well. 

 

 

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Some cartoons got a bit out there... 

 

 

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...while others were just plain silly. 

 

 

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Sculptures even appeared now and again. 

 

Drawing the daily hares was a lot of fun and I’m continuing to do them on a twice-weekly basis. 

 

I draw lots of other cartoons and put out a cartoon newsletter Monday to Friday, enter your name and email address and I’ll send it to you.

The Siberian Greyhound

This is a revised version of the stoy and pictures that I originally posted January 10, 2017.

 

 

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The Siberian Greyhound, or ‘The Flying Furball’ as some owners like to call it, has a long and distinguished lineage. It's origin goes back to when a pair of traditional Greyhounds were gifted to Tsar Nicholas I during a state visit to Britain. Tsar Nicholas had long admired the breed and was delighted with the gift. However, after returning to Russia, they soon realized that the dogs were poorly equipped to cope with Russian winters. Tsar Nicholas who had by now fallen in love with the breed, decided to start a breeding program to help future dogs be able to deal with the extreme cold. Wanting to retain the fleet of foot for which Greyhounds are renowned for, but also wanting to produce a dog better able to embrace the cold, a Greyhound was crossed with the Siberian husky, famous for it’s ability to endure harsh frigid conditions.

 

The breeding program was a success and now the Siberian Greyhound was regarded as a separate breed in its own right. The dogs could now be found on the Tsar’s  estates all year round and gradually their ownership increased as other Russians encountered the breed.

 

 



 

 

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In 1898, a Siberian Greyhound called Poochski, discovered the first evidence for the Giant Siberian Rabbit, which until then was assumed be be purely legend and not an actual animal. Poochski’s owner, Boris Priceoff was hoping that Poochski would be able to help track the rabbit and thus win fame for Priceoff. Poochski declined, partially because greyhounds are simply not tracker dogs, but also because it's an unwritten dog rule that you're not supposed to tackle rabbits that are at least four times your size.

 

 

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Siberian Greyhounds are occasionally entered for regular Greyhound races, and although they equip themselves well, as their thicker coats are less aerodynamically efficient as regular Greyhounds, they usually fail to challenge for top honors.

 

 

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Siberian Greyhounds still have a following today, and are usually to be found in colder climates where they can run around happily without fear of over-heating.

 

Siberian Greyhounds, Red-spotted Dalmatian and various other unusual pooches can be found in “Odd Dogs - a collection of lesser-known dog breeds” that I’m currently working on. Add your name and email address using the form below and I’ll keep you posted with developments, as well as sending you other cartoons Monday to Friday. 

Revisions to Cartoons

If you are not completely happy with your cartoon, or it somehow doesn’t feel quite right, I will make up to two revisions of your cartoon.

 

What revision means

By revisions, I mean I will make two small changes to your picture.

 

Let’s look at some examples.

 

For this one, the client wanted a change to the colour of the flower.

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“...really liked the cartoon, but could you make the colour of the flower more intense? 

Thanks! “

 

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As you can see, the flower colour is now more vivid. 

Here’s another example, requesting to change a detail  in the picture. 

 

 

“Hi Rob, love the Hare. Think he would look really good with a taller hat.”

“Hi Rob, love the Hare. Think he would look really good with a taller hat.”

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The revised cartoon. 

 

 What revision doesn’t mean


I will not completely redraw the picture.


But let’s not let it get to that point.


After we’ve discussed your initial idea, I’ll send you a rough sketch of the proposed cartoon. You’ll get to see it before I do more extensive work on it. This way you’ll know that the picture being drawn is the one you are looking for.

Any questions? 

Click the ‘contact’ button on the top right and let me know. 

 

Thanks! 

 

 

Meet Gerald the Goat

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Gerald is by far the most popular character I’ve ever created, so here’s a little background about the ever-hungry, flower-loving goat. 

It all started with a character called Stan…


Stan was a silent character who featured in some gags, usually drawn with minimalist background. He’s maybe featured in a dozen or so cartoons when one day he was due to meet his girlfriend and give her a bunch of flowers that were hidden behind his back…only to find they had been eaten…

 

 


 

The very first appearance of Gerald. 

The very first appearance of Gerald. 

 …and so Gerald appeared. After drawing a few more ‘Stans’, Gerald seemed to take over, you could say that he butted Stan out of the title-character role.

I kept Stan on, partially because if it wasn't for him there would be no Gerald, and also because when I realized that it was going to be a regular strip I wanted a mix of animal and human characters.

To help try and keep Gerald in check his nemesis the bull joined, and attempting to keep everyone in order Rex the police dog made the first of many failed interventions.

After drawing various gags featuring Gerald either eating or butting things, I thought it would be good to add some diversity to avoid the strip becoming samey.. And so the mischievous and indefatigable Granny Mills appeared, soon to be followed by her granddaughter, Little Ivy.

 

 

The Gerald the Goat characters

The Gerald the Goat characters

Character biographies

 

 Gerald

Gerald likes to eat...anything really...particularly flowers...and especially prize-winners at the annual flower show from which he's received a lifetime bad.

Gerald is from a lineage of mountain goats, known for their love of high places and leaping ability. What isn't clear is about how he developed his voracious appetite which shows no signs of diminishing.

Aside from eating, Gerald likes to butt things and avoid taking baths.

 

Stan

Stan bought Gerald from a country fair when he was a kid and lost control of him minutes later.

Stan considers himself to be an animal lover, although this is sometimes put to the test when Gerald has eaten whatever has just been planted in the garden.

An enthusiastic, if usually unsuccessful cook, Stan is always working on his next "big idea".

 

Granny Mills

It is uncertain how old Granny Mills is as it appears as though she's been lying about her age for decades.

She has been involved in a long-running feud with her neighbours ever since their ginger tom cat ate her canary. She now likes to "borrow" pets from the zoo.

Granny Mills likes to practice a particularly boisterous form of bingo, enjoys taking care of her grand daughter, and has never drank a half in an exceeddingly long life.

 

 Little Ivy

Little Ivy is Granny Mills' grand daughter.

She loves animals, but all creatures regardless of their species or size tend to get called "nice doggy".

Her parents often leave her in the care of her Granny, which might not happen so much if they were aware of some of the old lady's antics.

Rex the police dog

The town's long-suffering law enforcement.

Rex has reconciled himself to the fact that with the likes of Gerald and Granny Mills around the best he can hope for is some state of near-anarchy.

He often wonders whether he should have been a sniffer dog or even herded sheep for a living instead.

The Bull

Gerald's nemesis.

Upon first encounter Gerald assumed that with it's horns the bull was some species of super-goat.

It was on that same day that Gerald learnt how fast he could run.

 

 

Gerald appears in the cartoon newsletter, along with a variety of other characters and cartoons. Sign up using the form below, for new cartoons, Monday to Friday.