Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Conchords Competition Winner

Ok, the name's just been picked out of the hat ...
The winner of the Jemaine caricature is ANDREA DAMIAN.

Congratulations to Andrea and thanks to all who took part.

Strange Looking Bloke Wednesday

Todays SLB - an illo I did 10 years ago, attempting to get to grips with Photoshop.
His mood: Light headed.

I'll pick a winner for last weeks comp later tonight!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Thank Dai It's Friday

Click on the strip for a larger version

Today's strip (No. 2441) dates from Mon 19 June 2006. I imagine the novelty of musical trousers would soon wear off.

A Never Say Dai Collection

You can order the book via Lulu.com or for a signed copy (for only £6.49 including postage) go directly to www.neversaydai.co.uk (Due to Lulu's currently high postage costs, you'll also save a few quid going to my site!)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Strange Looking Bloke Wednesday


Today's Bloke is Jemaine Clement from Flight of the Conchords. Inked with pen and brush, then watercolours added.
His mood: It's business... it's business time!

***COMPETITION!!***

You can win, yes WIN, the original artwork of the above drawing, simply send an email headed 'Conchords Compo' to tim@timharries.co.uk and I'll pick the winner out of a hat in a weeks time. Now isn't that exciting?..

***COMPETITION!!***

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Book review - Complete Calvin and Hobbes

Here's a review I wrote for the Jester in Dec 2005. Doesn't time fly!

The Complete Calvin and Hobbes: Vol 1,2 and 3
by Bill Watterson


Postmen of the world rejoice – another fantastically heavy cartoon collection has arrived to aggravate your back problems! Weighing in at a hernia inducing 23 pounds, The Compete Calvin and Hobbes does exactly what it says on the tin… er… cover; gathering together every one of the 3,160 strips Bill Watterson produced in a rather spiffy three volume slipcased set. Hard to believe that we haven’t had any new material from Watterson since December 31st 1995, but here we are 10 years later and his creations are still as popular as ever, captivating readers and influencing fellow cartoonists the world over.

So what is it about Calvin and Hobbes that merits such a lavish retrospective and more to the point, is it worth fifty quid? In a word, yes. In two words, yes indeed. For anyone who doesn’t know about the strip (hang your head in shame!), it follows a 6 year old named Calvin and his imaginary stuffed tiger Hobbes – on the surface a very simple premise, but transformed by Wattersons lively art (it actually feels like he had fun drawing the strips) and his terrific writing. He balances the need to be funny and actually have something to say very well and it’s sometimes the strips that forgo the punchline or gag-a-day that stay with you the longest. A series of strips where Calvin finds an injured animal and copes with loss and another one recounting the aftermath of a burglary revealed a depth and subtlety to the writing usually missing from the comics page.

Wait… wait… It wasn’t all death and anti-social behaviour, mind you! Watterson has also crafted just about one of the consistently funniest strips around. Calvin’s transmogrifier/time machine/duplicator (a multi-tasking cardboard box), the G.R.O.S.S (Get Rid Of Slimy girls) club, and his never-ending battle with the babysitter have all produced genuine laugh out loud moments. Where did these ideas come from? Watterson admits the two characters are “pretty much a transcript of my mental diary. Their emotional centres are very true to the way I think. Hobbes has got all of my better qualities and Calvin got my ranting escapists side”. Watterson’s psychiatrist may have a few things to say about that, but I’m just happy that we got a classic strip out of it.

I’ve already mentioned the quality of the artwork and it’s really shines in the Sundays. Clive Collins made mention of this in one of his earlier columns [in the Jester] and I have to concur; freed from the restrictions of the daily strips and overcoming the previously rigid format of Sunday strips, Watterson lets his imagination loose with wonderful results. He reveals “Having become enthralled with George Herriman’s Krazy Kat full page Sunday strips for the 20’s and 30’s, I proposed changing my Sunday strip format so that I could design my panels with a similar freedom.” After initial outcries from newspaper editors who assumed Watterson’s ego was out of control, he eventually got his way. “I doubled my efforts to make the Sunday strips special” he said, “The last few years of the strip, especially the Sundays, are the work I’m most proud of.”


All good things come to and end however, and after ten years at the top of his game, Watterson called it a day. He’d said all he wanted to say and perhaps it’s for the best - if his heart wasn’t in it, who knows how the strip may have suffered. As it stands, The Complete Calvin and Hobbes is a fine collection and worth a place on anyone’s bookcase. Currently available for around 50 pounds from Amazon, but if your wallet doesn’t stretch to that amount, it’s worth considering “The Calvin and Hobbes 10th Anniversary book” or the “Calvin and Hobbes Sunday Pages 1985-1995”, both have interesting notes to accompany most of the artwork, with the Sunday Pages including many reproductions of the original art, complete with whiteout and pencil marks. Go get’em Tiger!

[2009 update - It seems the Complete Calvin and Hobbes is now £65 on Amazon, though a bit of shopping around will probably save you a few quid]

Friday, May 15, 2009

Thank Dai It's Friday

Click on the strip for a larger version

Here's a strip published on 2 Nov 2004. It was a Tuesday and slightly overcast (possibly).
I'd already done 'penny for the guy' gags every year since 1998, so I was obviously going down a surreal route with this one. Made me laugh though, and that's good enough for me.

A Never Say Dai Collection

You can order the book via Lulu.com or for a signed copy (for only £6.49 including postage) go directly to www.neversaydai.co.uk (Due to Lulu's currently high postage costs, you'll also save a few quid going to my site!)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Strange Looking Bloke Wednesday

Here's todays SLB. Had a splash about with dip pen and ink and a bit of watercolours just for a change - good fun after a day of digital cartooning.

His mood: Ready for a night on the town, but can't decide between Hi Karate or Old Spice.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Thank Dai It's Friday

Click on the strip for a larger version

Ok, to start off this weekly feature, here's a random strip from the back catalogue - No.1066 to be precise! This one was published in Feb 2002 according to my erratic filing system. It was part of a weeklong story where Louis Theroux visited Dai and his family (I think 'When Louis met the Hamiltons' had recently shown)

****** Shameless promotion section ******

A Never Say Dai Collection

Join Dai Morgan and his family in this first collection of NEVER SAY DAI strips, freshly squeezed and shipped directly from the pages of The South Wales Argus. Contains over 270 strips and nice shiny colour cover! Whooo!

You can order the book via Lulu.com or for a signed copy go directly to www.neversaydai.co.uk (Due to Lulu's currently high postage costs, you'll also save a few quid going to my site!)

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Strange Looking Bloke Wednesday


Here's another cardboard bloke. Done with brush pen and occasional bouts of pencil. His mood: I'll grow into these jeans one day...

Monday, May 04, 2009

'TDI Friday' coming this week.

If you've ever wondered what roughly 3,300 'Never Say Dai' strips looks like, here's a pic.

I say roughly, since I've sold a few and I'm sure there's a few hundred floating around my room, hidden in drawers and boxes. Anyway, you get the idea...

I've dug them out because I'm going to post a strip from the pile every week in a new feature I've creatively called 'Thank Dai It's Friday'. Unsuprisingly, it'll be on Fridays, and will no doubt feature shameless plugs for my book every week. Hurrah.

There'll also be the chance to win original strips every now and then (probably about 3000 times actually...)