Wednesday, 26 June 2013

It's A Sparks Show Part 2

When this mad lizard of an idea came to me, I planned to draw a couple of comic strips about my favourite band. I imagined that both would be completed inside a couple of days. This second, alone, took three days or nursing a sore elbow late into the night. As you can now see, it ended up twice as long as I’d originally planned. The problem is partly that they are addictive and fun to write and draw. I’m delighted that the first one was viewed so much and made Spark's official Facebook page. It should also be appearing (in translation) in the French music magazine, ‘New Noise’, in the next month or so, alongside an interview with the real Sparks. Great on the CV, I guess, even if it does nothing for the stomach...

This strip I don't expect to be such a success. I just cast it to the ether to be enjoyed or not. I had yet another batch of rejections from Private Eye this morning so I now need to work on some cartoons that might actually put food on the table. After that, I might draw another strip. At the moment, I just don’t know... The rejections from the Eye are beginning to take a toll. This is turning into a grueling business for men with spines as thick as a dinosaur's backbone.

So, if you’ve enjoyed these strips, please feel free to boost my confidence with a comment or email me. I don’t hear laughter or giggles of delight. I'll now post this and all I'll hear is the whirring of my computer’s fan and the wind in the trees. Hope you enjoy!

[Technically, I think this one’s a better strip but perhaps lacks the tightness of the first which had a better single joke. I was originally finishing this second strip after page 1, but I thought the songs puns weren’t a good end. I added the second page but trying to make the chimp the punchline but that didn't turn out well either. Last night, I drew the entirety of the last page. I liked the idea of breaking through the fourth wall by using myself as an even bigger chimp in the last frame. Other cartoonists do it occasionally and Crumb does it all the time.

What I learned: more frames gave me more room to breathe and to write. I really enjoyed writing the last page. I’ll have to try working at length again, perhaps going even longer but giving myself a full week to work on a strip, perhaps three or four pages long, which would be double this or 8 pages of A4. I was also much more liberal with Tippex in this strip. I've always tried to minimize mistakes but working with Tippex helped me change lots of things around if they didn't work. If only one good thing came of this it was learning to use Tippex properly!]


  1. Please do some more Sparks cartoons. I am a very big Sparks fan here in Japan and your cartoons made me laugh so much.

  2. Dear Ayumi. Thank you for your comment. You're the first person to actually tell me that somebody likes these and also yours is my first comment from Japan! I'll certainly give it some thought, though it takes about three to four days to draw one of these strips and it really wears me out!

    However, knowing that people like them encourages me to draw more. I keep thinking about ideas and another one might appear in the next week or so but we'll have to see. Blogging is hard work and every day I wonder why I even bother. Comments like yours really cheer me up so thank you again. ;)

  3. [...] Exciting that they might have dropped by but depressing that they never came back to see the second part of my two part trilogy. In fact, almost every single Sparks fans on the planet has managed to stay away today. I had a [...]