top of page

Cartoon scrapbook (Page 2)

7. Six sick sheep (1)


There has been more than one instance where I have had to change a cartoon twice before I got it right. In this case, they were all fully-coloured examples.


This first one actually was on my blog for some time and in the book before my son told me that it was 'over-detailed'. And I had to agree.


So it was back to the drawing board for the second attempt...

8. Six sick sheep (2)


So this was the less-detailed, more simple introduction to the unit on intonation and pronunciation.


But there was still a problem - it was not consistant with the style of the other introductory cartoons to the other pages.


Indeed, this one nearly made it into the typesetting stage before I decided to change it completely and come up with something far funnier.


This and the previous cartoon were supposed to introduce the tongue-twister that followed, but in the end, I think the right decision was taken.

9. The th thing


This particular piece of art was changed quite late, only because like some other examples, it didn't really strike me as that funny. It was meant to demonstrate how the 'th' sound could jokingly cause a mess of slobber everywhere.


The slobber joke has been retained, but used to demonstrate a line from a poem with a friend sheltering under an umbrella.

10. The boring accountant


Another piece of art that was used as an introduction before a unit before another late change.


'The boring accountant' was the picture used to lead off the biggest unit in the whole book, namely the unit covering grammar. It was supposed to demonstrate a joke about the difference between 'to be interested' and 'to be interesting'. However, for such a significant unit, I had second thoughts and was very quickly convinced that the cartoon - not one of my greatest pieces of art - was as boring as the character.


So out it went with something that I have to say works so much better and is so much funnier.


One major piece of advice. If there is something that you really don't feel comfortable out - regardless of how much time you spent working on it - it clearly doesn't work. I think I was convincing myself for too long that there was nothing wrong with it...

11. The original title and cover to the book


This is here just to show that even covers have to be analysed and studied and decided upon. Originally I gave the book the title that you see here, but this was deemed too limiting and suggesting that it would indeed be only aimed at students and not those who want to study the language at their own pace and time.


But I did not want a standard and rather boring cover that just had words on the front. I wanted a cartoon.


This particular cartoon does appear in the book (in black and white), but lacks real impact, even though I think the cover is still a lot better, brighter, and eye-catching then similar books. The cover of the book you have now originally had a blue and then an orange background before settling with white, which I believe was definitely the right decision.

12. Just not good enough


These are the remaining examples that did not make it into the book, and I thought I'd lump them all here on this page together. They were all early pieces of art - amongst the first drawings I did for the book. The thing was, I began to learn quite quickly what would be good art and what wasn't, and these were definitely not good enough and were subsequently redrawn. (It's probably just coincidence, but all these examples seem to feature young female students.)


Even now, the new artwork I put it for the cultural reference unit ('The Wrong Time for Romance') still has much that I am not very happy about, particularly Ewelina's mouth, so I may well do it again should the book come up for reprint or even as a new edition.


And that really wraps it up for the unused art - much of it that really wasn't that bad, but for various reasons - and despite time and effort put into them - they did not go in (and as I was the only 'art expert', it was really down to me as to what was good and what I would have told myself to do again).


And I've got it lightly. Imagine those artists drawing strips for comics and graphic novels. It is not uncommon for their editors to tell them to redraw a page all over again, even if they have spend a day or two on them.

So there you go.

When I look at these and look at the current collection of cartoons that are now being drawn up for the website, I've (kind of) realised that I was actually a bit rubbish.

These days my style has very much loosened up, keeping my drawings as simple as possible to keep computer colouring down to an absolute minimum while, at the same time, enabling me to come up with some cartoons quickly and efficiently, and as a result we have the 'Ignorances in English' series and, fairly soon, a comic strip series featuring the English Grammar police.


If you want to use any of the images featured on this particular page, then I think you can find something better... 

Previous page   Cartoony Universe

bottom of page