Thursday, March 31, 2011

Penguin vs Polar Bear (and other ridiculous cartoons) - Book review

This a review from the April issue of The Jester, magazine of the Cartoonists' Club.

Here's another excellent addition to my cartoon book collection. ‘Penguin vs Polar Bear (and other ridiculous cartoons)’ by Royston Robertson is 104 pages of gags that have graced the pages of Private Eye, Readers Digest, The Spectator, Prospect and countless other magazines here and abroad. (In the case of the title cartoon, it also featured on t-shirts for a South Pole expedition! Cartoons don’t get much cooler than that. Ha.)

A lot of thought has obviously gone into picking the gags for this book and they really are excellent throughout - it’s testament to Royston’s 15 years of producing quality work that none feel like filler. I really liked the way cartoons flowed too - for example, a few pages of mediaeval type gags would lead to a Bayeux Tapestry gag which would in turn lead on to several art themed gags, and so on. Works well I think. There’s even room for a few cartooning clichés - the perennial ‘desert island’ gag is given a fresh and funny slant several times.

If you read some of the magazines that use Royston’s cartoons, or regularly check out his blog, you’ve probably seen a few of the gags at some point, but don’t let that put you off purchasing the book. It’s great to enjoy them as a collection, and in my case there were still plenty of cartoons completely new to me. It's hard to pick out favourites, so I won't. Oh, ok then...

I particularly liked the ‘Adam names the animals’ gag which makes me smile every time I see it, and the splendidly funny ‘abstract expressionist face painting’ gag. With a bit of luck and Royston’s permission, one of those will hopefully be printed with this review!

In the foreword, Royston hopes that you laugh a lot. I certainly did, so mission accomplished, Mr Robertson!

You can order a copy of the book for only £5.99 plus £1 p&p from his online shop at

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Strange Looking Bloke Wednesday

Tiny picture of a gangly man dancing a jig. You can add you own soundtrack to this one - though I think Riverdance is discounted since he's using his arms.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Killing (Forbrydelsen) Cartoon

 From the first episode on I've been hooked on the Danish crime drama 'The Killing" (Forbrydelsen) and after 10 nailbiting weeks, the last episode aired on the weekend. I thought it was a cracking series, and was paranoid about reading spoilers online, especially on Twitter where comments about absolutely anything can come thick and fast, but I managed it! It was as much of a relief to get to the end of it unspoilt as it was to find out whodunnit!

Anyway, a brilliant series - watch it now! (I know most episodes are on iPlayer and hopefully BBC4 will repeat the early ones for latecomers)

Now, did you hear what happened in The Sixth Sense? ....

Friday, March 25, 2011

Thank Dai It's Friday

Click on the strip for a larger version
Strip 3043 from May 2008. Apologies to the people of Milton Keynes. I'm sure it's a fabulous destination for a week's holiday, but I'd be tempted to go for best of three as well.
I can't talk really, I live in Newport...

**** A Never Say Dai Collection ****
You can order the book via or for a signed copy go directly to (Due to Lulu's currently high postage costs, you'll also save a few quid going to my site!)

London Comic and Small Press Expo

Ah, here's my slightly delayed report on The London Comic and Small Press Expo that happened in the distant past (ok, 2 weeks ago)...

The first London Comic & Small Press Expo recently took place in Goldsmiths University, New Cross in the popular village of London. Unofficially a replacement to The UK Web & Mini Comix Thing, the organisers picked an impressive venue to debut the expo, in a bright, spacious hall big enough to accommodate all 91 sold out tables and a vast throng of eager punters. The variety of work on show was excellent, and visitors could spend  several hours going from table to table and still not see everything. Talks also ran throughout the day, ranging from ‘History of Comics on Film and TV’ to a discussion of the term ‘Small Press’ and what it means for creators.

Tables set up and ready for punters. I took loads of pics but they came out rubbish!

Unfortunately the vast throng of eager punters didn't actually materialise and attendance for the expo was low - it wasn’t until late afternoon that things picked up slightly, by which time we had to pack up! (I'm sure Tube closures didn't help attendance numbers either) It’s a new event though, so no doubt there’ll be bigger and better plans for getting visitors along next year. Some excellent suggestions have already been made to this end, and hopefully the organisers will work with exhibitors to improve an expo that already has good potential.

Ooh, lots of bad posture. Watch that back.
The expo had a great location - bright and spacious

Despite attending various comic conventions and expos as a visitor since about 2004, this was my first one as an exhibitor. I was on my own (sob!) so stayed at my table most of the day, which didn't give me much time to check out everyone else's work. Despite that I managed to zip around in 30 second bursts and pick up some Expo Loot. Not as much as I would have liked but, y'know, it's quality not quantity...

I picked up 'Great!' by Gary Northfield, 'Hildafolk' by Luke Pearson, 'Moon' from Thompson and Penfold, (see below for more details)  'WJC Comic No 1 and 2' by Warwick Johnson Caldwell, and the 3 mini hourly comics by Hugh 'Shug' Raine.

I was lucky enough to be surrounded by a friendly bunch. The table to my right was taken by 'Beyond the Bunker' - home of the excellent 'Moon' comic which is created by writer Dan Thompson and artist Steve Penfold. We shared the initial disappointment of minimal visitors, an afternoon of slight improvement and the unspeakable joy of last hour sales boosts. Heady times! I recommend you pick up a copy of Moon - it's great fun.

The Moon table - Dan and Steve pictured here wearing their invisibility capes. (Pic via Beyond the Bunker)

The guys from Zwerchfell were at the table to my left. They'd come over from Germany, a trip that made my journey from Wales seem slightly less impressive. Great people to chat too, and they produce a wide variety of comic books you can find on their website.

Me, wearing a hat and looking slightly bewildered. Photo by Sarah McIntyre.

Personally I enjoyed my first time as an exhibitor at one of these events. I debuted some new books, made pretty good sales by the end of the day and got to meet a lot of friendly comic creators (Hi Sarah! So nice to finally meet face to face!) and readers. Can’t ask for much more than that really, so I’m already looking forward to future conventions.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Thank Dai It's Friday

Click on the strip for a larger version
Strip No.3325 from 2009. Thank Pie it's Friday!

**** A Never Say Dai Collection ****
You can order the book via or for a signed copy (for only £6.49 including postage) go directly to (Due to Lulu's currently high postage costs, you'll also save a few quid going to my site!)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Strange Looking Bloke Wednesday

Some quick Blokes drawn at last weekend's London Comic & Small Press Expo. They're a bit of an amalgamation of several people wandering the hall that day, though I only spotted one dashing moustache.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Cartoon Advice with Bob Scrimshaw

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Here's another invaluable piece of cartooning advice from Bob Scrimshaw, as seen in the pages of Jester Magazine. Handy tip: If you haven't got time to build a time machine, try Ebay!

Friday, March 11, 2011

London Comic and Small Press Expo

I'm attending the London Comic and Small Press Expo tomorrow. I'll be at Table 74, selling books, postcards and cartoon prints. I may even attempt a sketch or two if I'm feeling particularly foolhardy.

It's my first time as an exhibitor and I'm wondering how my particular type of cartooning will go down with the Comic and Small Press attendees, but previous events I've visited as a punter have been very friendly and welcoming, so I'm sure it'll be a fun day whatever happens.

Here's some of the books I'll be selling, including the new Dai Collection and Blog Book Vol 2.

Also selling postcards! Lots of 'em!

For more details of the Expo location, travel and tickets, 
visit the website at

Thank Dai It's Friday

Click on the strip for a larger version
Strip No.3280 from early 2009. I think this is a viable option for food delivery, but it hasn't caught on. Baah!

**** A Never Say Dai Collection ****
You can order the book via or for a signed copy (for only £6.49 including postage) go directly to (Due to Lulu's currently high postage costs, you'll also save a few quid going to my site!)

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Strange Looking Bloke Wednesday

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Couple of quick blokes for today. Bottom bloke is doing a very vigorous mating dance at the local disco, and the top bloke knows karate. As Keanu Reeves would say, "Whooah"

As an added bonus, my drawing reveals some upside down scores from a card game in the pub. I'm just off to the pub now actually. It's been one of those days...

Friday, March 04, 2011

Thank Dai It's Friday

Click on the strip for a larger version
Strip 3211 from Dec 2008. I remember at the time reading all these statistics being bandied about by our local council, complete with helpful pie-charts. Didn't make a lick of sense to me, but I just knew it was crying out to use the Pacman image, as seen in a very funny picture doing the rounds online!

**** The 2nd Never Say Dai Collection ****
Happy to announce the second Never Say Dai Collection, entitled 'Please form an orderly queue' will be available to buy at the forthcoming London Comic & Small Press Expo on March 12th. Maybe see you there!

You'll also be able to order it online very soon. 

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Strange Looking Bloke Wednesday

Haven't posted many blokes this year so here's one to make amends, drawn in the margins of a paper.

Nib Nerd Section: Cheapy Berol Fineline.