Sunday, 30 September 2012

Some stories you might have missed ...

I am fascinated by just about anything and am constantly scanning newsfeeds, blogs, magazines and websites for interesting, weird or just plain funny stories. Here are some recent stories and links that you may have missed:

Zimbabwe synchronises toilet flushes across a whole city to clean the sewers.

Just 100 cod left in the North Sea.

Forgotten cabbage grows 12 inches of foliage in a fortnight.

Snapdragon - a game for all the family to get burned by.

Freaky dinosaur cosplay in the 1930s.

Former beauty queen stores her skull inside her abdomen.

London Underground guerilla signage.

Bob Staake's Bad Little Children's Books.

Mind-blowing 3D animations of tesseracts (hypercubes).

Public domain comic books from the 1940s and 1950s.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

The 100K Doodle Competition - The Results!

After much deliberation, I have chosen the 10 winning doodles that I'll be starting tomorrow. My decision was based purely on how funny I thought the image would be to draw, nothing more. I should start mailing them out in the next few days.

All in all, there were 50 entries. Here are the 10 I've chosen:

'Mr Potato Head watching a porn movie' (@onewordtf)

'A single rose, gently entwined and proffered by a single tentacle' (@c_dave)

'A hammerhead shark and an owl having a tea party '(@tyglet)

'How about an Ant Orchestra?' (@kel2708)

'A fennec fox hiding from Santa and Jesus in a caramel macchiato' (@twistedtulip)

'My very own copy of Burglar Bill, since everyone else has one?' (@margojmilne)

'Stephen Fry doing a cartwheel' (@music_mystery)

'Whilst shedding a tear a bear hugging a bare hare on a square chair whilst floating in the air' (@roop)

'Birds done as pop groups' (@drinkmeforfree)

'Draw this moment from 'Maxwell's Silver Hammer': PC 31 says, 'We've caught a dirty one.' (@nyc_rgc)

Well done you ten!

And hard cheese you other 40! Another similar competition very very soon.

The 100k Doodle Competition

To celebrate (?) my 100,000th tweet on Twitter, I'm having a little competition. I want you to suggest a silly thing for me to doodle on a postcard. At 6pm GMT today (27th September), I shut the gates. I'll then pick the 10 entries that make me laugh most, draw them and send them out to their suggesters. In the past, similar competitions have resulted in doodles like these:

Yup, that was 'A cartoon involving a hidden cock', 'A bear in love', 'A Day of the Dead fiddler' and 'A librarian with PMS'. That's the sort of thing I love to doodle!

To join in the fun, tweet your suggestions to me @stevyncolgan by 6pmGMT. And PLEASE include the hashtag #100kdoodle or I may not see your suggestion.

Good luck!

Monday, 24 September 2012

The Ever-Changing Earth

A great little animation showing the evolution of the continents as we know them today with a prediction of what they will look like 100 million years from now.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Oh, the irony!

I found a website today, quite by accident, that is all about home security and protecting your property. And, in a delicious dollop of irony, they've stolen one of my images for their front page.

The site is at So I have contacted them. It'll be interesting to hear what they say in mitigation as the only place they could have lifted it from is either my website or my page at the Pro Cartoonists' Organisation.

But wait ... now I feel a little bit bad for singling them out. Because a quick Google image search reveals over 160 wholly illegal uses of my image. Here are just a few of them;

My stuff does occasionally get used by someone without my permission. Sometimes they credit me in which case, I'm not too upset. After all - it's advertising my work. But, sadly, most of the time they don't bother and that's outright breach of my copyright. I could forgive even this in some circumstances; I found it today on the blog of a poor young woman whose house was burgled shortly before her wedding day. Hey, I'm not heartless. She's suffered enough. But most sites just simply steal it and say 'Feck you Stevyn'.

Should I be flattered that people are using my images? No. Surely if people like my stuff that much they'd have the courtesy to tell me, or pay me or, at the very least, ask my permission. I have never earned a single penny from that image. Not one. And I had to give up art as a career around this time last year because I wasn't earning any money. No one would hire me. No one liked my stuff enough to pay me for it. I guess because they felt that they didn't need to.

A band called Careless Thieves (even more irony!) are using my burglar as a logo. Here it is on their Myspace site. And it's been turned into at least two different 'demotivational' posters, for feck's sake. Here it is at Oh, trust me, nothing demotivates you more than being ripped off, Mr Joy Reactor. But he/she got it from and they were cheeky feckers enough to even watermark it!

Theft is theft.

I can't do anything about the stuff that's already online - I'm not even going to look at how many other images have been used in the same way as my burglar has. It's just too depressing. Only a couple of weeks ago, someone spotted an adulterated version of one of my paintings being used as a Twitter avatar.

So I won't be posting any more images online until I've either sold them or found a way to protect them. Watermarking is an idea but Photoshop can remove them easily. And making the images tiny isn't a great idea when you're wanting to advertise them for sale.

So I just won't bother.

Sad isn't it?

The 50% Challenge looms ...

My new book Constable Colgan's Connectoscope now stands at 35% funded. And, after the Summer lull, it's time to push on to 100% and get the book out there. So it's time for a competition and a prize draw I think.

Firstly, the draw. Once I hit 50%, I will take the names of everyone who has pledged on my book and pop them in a hat. I will then get a third party to randomly select a winner. And they'll get this:

It's an original painting, by me, in acrylics and it depicts the very first Connectoscope and the very first Constable Colgan. At one time I considered it as the book's cover but, as the project evolved, it became clear that it didn't really fit. It will form part of the cover but won't be the main image. And it could be yours. All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is to pledge on the book at any level; you'll automatically become part of the draw. Roll on 50%!

Meanwhile, it's about time we had another competition. I'm going to come up with something special for the 50% mark and ANYONE will be eligible to enter - regardless of whether you're pledging on my book or not. Everyone who enters will get sent an original doodle of their choice drawn on a postcard by me. Yup, you want a tyrannosaurus unicycling outside an STD clinic ... I'll doodle it. You want a Motown girl group of dogs ... piece of cake. I'll even cover the postage. But the main prize will be ...

Well, I'm just working on that but, rest assured, it'll be something VERY special.

So get pledging on the book. Or bully everyone you know into buying the book. Tell your friends. Shout it in the streets. If we can get this bugger funded quickly, it may even be ready in time for Christmas this year.

Fly my beauties, fly!

Friday, 21 September 2012

Return of the Podcasts! Series 2 Episode 1

Yup, they're back! Here's Episode 1 of Series 2 of Colganology. Enjoy!

Sorry there's been so little activity on the blog of late - have been hard at work as part of the team researching, writing and recording Series 5 of BBC Radio 4's The Museum of Curiosity. More on that soon!

Friday, 7 September 2012

Christmas is coming! Sale Now On!

The office/studio is getting to the stage where I'm now in danger of being killed by a landslide of books or an avalanche of clutter. So it's time for another clear-out.

There are loads of paintings here and they take up a lot of space, so I've decided to start by getting shot of them. So, first off, at £100 each (plus postage and packaging if we can't meet to exchange) are these little gems:

Arr Pod, But is it Art? Jabbagpuss the Hutt and Dead Astaire are 50cms by 40cms. Bipolar Bears is 45cms by 35cms. All are painted in acrylics on box canvases.


Then there are these two that are somewhat larger. The Owl and the Pussycat measures 70cms by 45cms and Lord of the Rainbow is even bigger at 100cms by 70cms. April Showers is 90cms by 70cms. All three are for sale for £150 each, plus postage and packaging. Now that is a bargain. Each took several days to complete.

If any of them take your fancy, do drop me a line at or catch me on Twitter. I'm @stevyncolgan.

Great original Christmas pressies!

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Glass Half Full of Fun (and Spam)

If you think that glass - and glass beads in particular - are a bit dull then you haven't visited Aardvark Art Glass's website. I mean, look:

The website has artwork by a number of contributors and some pretty weird stuff besides. I mean ... sculptures made from Spam?
My favourite has to be: 'Transporter Malfunction' or 'James Doohan's True Final Wishes'.
A great fun site to look around.
Makes me think it's about time for another Art Challenge like this one and this one and this one and this one and this one and  this one ...
Thanks to Mo McFarland who directed me to Aardvark's site.

Do I pass the Page 99 Test?

The English poet, novelist and critic Ford Madox Ford (1873-1939) once said ...

"Open the book to page ninety-nine and read, and the quality of the whole will be revealed to you."

It's an interesting idea and one that's been taken up and developed by Marshal Zeringue on his excellent The Page 99 Test blog. I guess that what Ford was saying is that if an author can maintain a level of quality throughout a book, then Page 99 should be as good as any other. If it seems sluggish or lazy or mere filler, it's an indication that the writer couldn't sustain the pace.

So, I wondered, how do my books shape up? Here's Page 99 of Joined-Up Thinking:

'... before his death. However, an autopsy was not performed on him because of family objections to the procedure. Consequently, the medical examiner conducted only an external exam and a review of Atkins' hospital records.

So we’ll have to chalk this one up as a ‘maybe’.

Autopsies are a great way of debunking urban myths. Among the more well-known examples are the story that singer Mama Cass died by choking on a ham sandwich (autopsy showed she died of heart failure); that Catharine the Great died while having sex with a horse (actually, a cerebral haemorrhage); and that John Wayne died from having 40lbs of impacted faecal matter in his intestine (cancer, sorry). Wayne didn’t have an autopsy as his aggressive terminal cancer was a matter of proven fact, but I had to mention it as the story is so patently absurd.

There are real medical cases of people suffering extreme abdominal pain from just 1lb of impacted faeces. So 40lbs is ridiculous. Even more silly is the story that Elvis Presley was found to have 60lbs of the same. It’s just another ridiculous urban myth. Ridiculous stories about unfeasible amounts of impacted faecal matter are often used as ‘proof’ that Man is not meant to be a carnivore (Sorry Dr Atkins) ...'

What do you reckon? Do I pass?

Now, I don't quite know what Page 99 of Constable Colgan's Connectoscope will be because the book hasn't been typeset yet. However, Page 99 of my original manuscript says this:

' ... stabbed more than 60 times using knives from their own kitchen. The suspect arrested for the offence was one George Whitmore Jr, an unemployed 19 year old black man of below average intelligence. He was incarcerated for 1,216 days on a confession gained under duress and some very shaky evidence. A separate investigation eventually exonerated him completely and, in 1965, a man called Richard Robles was arrested and convicted of the murders.

Whitmore’s case was cited by the Supreme Court while they were reviewing the case of Miranda vs Arizona, where labourer Ernesto Arturo Miranda had been convicted solely upon his confession and had not received legal advice. The review led to the introduction of the so-called Miranda Rights, whereby anyone arrested must now be informed of their right to remain silent and to have legal representation before anything they say becomes admissable in law.

The Marcus-Nelson Murders featured a tough and incorruptible New York Detective Lieutenant called Theodopolous Kojack, played by Savalas. The character proved so interesting that a TV series was developed. Kojak, with its new spelling, went on to become one of the most popular and iconic cop shows of the 1970s. With his catchphrase of ‘Who loves ya baby?’ and his trademark lollipops (Savalas used them to help him quit smoking), Theo Kojak made a star of Savalas. The detective’s other notable feature was his bald head. Savalas had shaved it in 1965 to play Pontius Pilate in the movie The Greatest Story Ever Told and liked it so much he kept it ...'

So, if you reckon that I pass and you fancy reading any more, you can still get Joined-Up Thinking here. Or check out the first two chapters of Constable Colgan's Connectoscope for free here. If you like it, visit and pledge on the book here.