Author Archives: John Clark

Postie Dave

IMG_2044 Today our postman retired and the estate went out of its way to let him know he will be greatly missed. Of course letters and parcels will continue to be delivered, along with the reams of fliers and tat he was unstintingly scathing about, but it’s unlikely our replacement regular postie will fill Dave’s well-worn shoes anytime soon. More than a postman, Dave was our ‘village pump’. A cheeky chappie, short, bespectacled and ever dapper (it had to be sub-tropical before Dave would contemplate wearing shorts), he always had time for a chat on the doorstep or street and undoubtably knew more about what was going off in the hood than any resident. More than once he had raised the alarm, most notably when one of our elderly neighbours took a tumble downstairs. Through the slit of her letterbox, he had seen her tangled legs and called an ambulance, sadly too late.

IMG_2041Dave was a committed Labour man, a staunch unionist and humanitarian never short of a scathing but witty comment about the life and times of the Big Bad World. He hated Margaret Thatcher with a passion, saw through Theresa May long before she made it into Downing Street, and could barely contain himself when Her Majesty’s Royal Mail was finally privatised. His thoughts on Brexit and Trump were heavily laced with expletives, the only time I think I ever heard him swear. Aside from his family, I think his great joy was reading, particularly ‘old stuff’. He had an soft spot for Jerome K. Jerome. What he hated was decorating, something his wife generally had lined up for him on his time off.

One day I gave Dave a pedometer to measure his daily stomp. Rounded down, it measured 7.5 miles. In the 18 years he serviced the estate, Dave walked roughly 32,400 miles up and down our streets, from and to the depot. That’s the equivalent of 1.3 times round the circumference of the globe!

Dave the Post and Brick the Toon

Dave the Post and Brick the Toon

On the day he retired, at a gathering of well-wishers round the postbox outside my house, one of my neighbours told me he had a pal who was now a postie and suffering. Every evening after work, all he wanted was to go to bed, and he wasn’t sure he could stomach the job much longer. He was twenty years younger than Dave and had been in the job for six months. I think our estate was a second home for Dave and a refuge from rollers and wallpaper paste.

The retirement of a professional Nott’m walker was a good time to start this walking blog, something I’ve been meaning to do for years. Thanks for the inducement, Dave.

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Just a couple o’ toons…

Democracy.web Multiculture.web

 

Two of ten toons recently produced for Irish development agency 80:20 and published in their excellent Development in an Unequal World, co-sponsored by New Internationalist.

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BRICKzits

Minutes.web Knighthood.web Eeyore.web Don’t forget, the BRICKzit series is free and delivered once a week (at most) to your Inbox to provide you with a wry smile while civilisation as you thought you knew it crumbles around your ears.

Hit the email button if you’re missing out!

And here’s the back catalogue.

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Nottingham Does Comics 5

NDC.Flier.5.lowres In February 2017, look out for an all-women’s session, with the great Nicola Streeten (‘Billy, Me and You’), Steff Humm (Ink-Mag) and our own Carol Adlam (artist in residence at Djanogly).

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Nottingham Does Comics at Nottm Uni & Dawn of the Unread hardcopy launch.

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An in-between-our-bi-monthly-meetings meeting for anybody interested in the pitfalls and traumas of adapting pros literature into comics literature, and we are up at the University of Nottingham, School of English, playing away for this one. It’s their gig but they have enthusiastically added our flag to their mast as co-sponsors (in spirit, ‘cos we’re broke!).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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November 11th 7:30 Antenna, Nottingham Launch of DAWN OF THE UNREAD hardcopy
A great award winning project reaches its climax with the launch of the book of the digital comics extravaganza designed to promote reading and save libraries from the ignoramuses who run this iniquitous land. My story of the inspirational exploits of Slavomir Rawicz, chronicled in The Long Walk, is the opening salvo and sticks out like a sore thumb! It was the first to go into production, and I think I caught the project managers in the starting blocks, before they’d learned how to control pushy cartoonists. It sorta fits the theme of the project, but is more a personal story, close to my heart, so a big thanks to the team for letting it through. Never did understand all that ‘literary figures coming back to life’ stuff. For me, they never died!

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BRICKzit goes photographic…

IrishBorder.lowres

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Nottingham Does Comics III

NDC.Flier.3.lowresAnother promising evening in store! Ian Culbard, originally thought to be available for this session but isn’t, despite a flier suggesting so, will be available at some future date, have no fear. And we are already plugging in folk for November and December, so keep an eye on nottinghamdoescomics.co.uk.

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Leonardo Lecture Success

LeoLectSign

Although not the first outing for my talk on The Curious Case of Leonardo’s Bicycle, the one recently presented at Nottingham Castle Museum and Art Gallery to accompany the city’s exhibition of Ten Leonardo Drawings from the Royal Collection was by far the most prestigious. It was a real honour to be invited to join the handful of reputable scholars (including Emeritus Professor Martin Kemp, the man on Leonardo) presenting talks on the great ‘Florentine’ and, despite all the shows being fully booked, mine was the one most ticket holders actually turned up for, also an honour.

LeoLectPicHopefully I came up to scratch, despite overrunning by 15 minutes that the vast majority of the audience stayed for. Certainly the comments and emails that followed were very complementary, and my exhaustion at the end indicated I’d earned my meagre money. Sadly, two days later, I received my final rejection from the list of 30-odd publishers I had approached to take on the book, but what a rejection letter! Myriad had solicited critiques from all their staff and a number of outside readers, all of which were positive, even gushing. Problem was, in the current publishing climate, Myriad couldn’t commit to take on the book without a co-sponsor, which they had made (and still are making) every effort to put in place, presently with little success. Their hugely complementary and useful email filled the screen and must’ve taken a good hour to write!

But Myriad’s wasn’t the first rejection note to applaud my esoteric efforts. Roughly 50% of the publishers I’ve approached have come back with comments that range from ‘a masterpiece’ (I kid you not!) down to ‘totally neat’ (from an American publisher, naturally). Across the board, the reason given for not running with the book is that ‘we can’t picture where it would sit in our catalogue’, which is the problem I’ve had with almost every book I’ve ever had published, including To End All Wars.

Will I never learn!? On the other hand, scanning through the lists of what does make it into print, one can’t help but despair. Thank heavens I don’t work in television!

 

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Early Warning: Leonardo’s Bicycle takes a spin out…

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:Book Here:

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Brexit Chaos

Carbohydrates.lowresSo much for an informed electorate and democracy…

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