Mike Smith (Illustrator)


January stocktake


  1. Posted February 1, 2013 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    Well, I know of one regular reader for whom a post about dungarees will be a dream come true… ;-)

    I’ve always defended the rights of people to change what they do, even if I personally don’t ‘enjoy their new direction’ in the case of bands. If you’re not doing what you want to do with it, then there doesn’t seem much point.

    Good luck, and thanks for everything so far…

  2. Mike
    Posted February 1, 2013 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Simon.

    Of course, saying I want to do something different and actually doing it are two different things! I’ll just have to see how it goes.

  3. Posted February 1, 2013 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    Whatever you do, I’m positive it’ll be brilliant. I’m just glad to hear you’re not giving it up for good.

    By the way, your LOAf comic was PHENOMENAL.

  4. Pam
    Posted February 1, 2013 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

    Mike, I agree with Zack entirely! You need to post what is right for you. As you do it so eloquently, with such honestly, and with such an inspirational understanding of what makes a brilliant sequence, I know that whatever happens to Blogshank we are hooked!

  5. Mike
    Posted February 2, 2013 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    Thanks Pam and Zack for your kind words.

    By the way this isn’t a mid-life crisis! Just in case you were wondering.

  6. Jenni Bradbury
    Posted February 3, 2013 at 1:09 am | Permalink

    ☺ Mike, for me, your gentle humour, whilst reflecting on life’s quirky ups and downs, the ability of children to enhance and inspire (at the same time as presenting you with a nappy full of unmentionable horror), and your artistic talents, are a sheer delight. Whatever path you take, I will remain a loyal reader!

  7. Linda Newbery
    Posted February 3, 2013 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    Hear! Hear! (or is that Here! Here!)Jenni.
    Thanks Blogshanks.

  8. Mike
    Posted February 3, 2013 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Jenni and Linda. Honoured to have you as readers. Congrats on your staying power!

  9. Ian
    Posted February 3, 2013 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

    Mike, I don’t know how I came across this blog, but I consider myself a faithful long-standing reader! It’s your work, we are privileged to have access to it for a time, with your permission, and I am grateful. So keep it natural & honest, enjoy the freedom to try new things. I wish you well (no pressure!)

  10. Posted February 4, 2013 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    I agree!
    When I stated reading I felt sure you were announcing that you were stopping your fab blog so was very relieved. But do what you have to do, and no pressure to keep going if you reach a stage of having to stop, because even if you did I would just read them all again :-)

  11. Jonathan Wertheim
    Posted February 5, 2013 at 1:29 am | Permalink

    Mike –

    Saw this yesterday. Worked my way backwards (I’m ashamed to say – I must have a very garbled idea of things) and made it to 2007 today. I enjoyed every single post, dungarees or no, and whatever comes next, I’ll just be glad it’s there for me to enjoy. Too many people forget to step back every now and then and look at the big picture. That you are doing so now only confirms that you have something at stake here, whether it’s your kids years from now or just your own peace of mind. No one ever puts much thought into a safe bet – here’s to many more fruitful re-evaluations in the future.

    Thank you, Mike! I hope I can follow six more years of your work (in real time!)

    -Jonathan from Maine, USA

  12. Alison
    Posted February 5, 2013 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    I came via someone else’s narrowboat blog. I shall still be a reader as I have been for many years as I’m sure that the humour and humanity you demonstrate will still be in evidence. And if I were your kids or your kid’s kids I would be very proud.

  13. Mike
    Posted February 5, 2013 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Thanks Alison, Jonathan, Kath and Ian, for taking the trouble to write. There seems to be a small group of hardcore people who have stuck around on here for a long time, but to read the whole lot in one go… that takes some stamina. Or a very slow day at work!

  14. Cookie
    Posted February 5, 2013 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Having been your friend for approx 40 years, I can honestly say that the blog has been one of the best things you have ever done.
    In two little pages you have made me laugh and cry (sometimes at the same time). You have shown the essence of who Mike is and you are right in that things change, do you still keep your written diaries?
    You are right in that your blog should be for when you have got something to say or an onservation. I know the angst you have suffered when the ideas have not flowed or life has remained hum drum.
    Still want to see next weeks revelations though.

  15. Mike
    Posted February 6, 2013 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    Thanks Cookie! If only I could see you more often, I’d have more material for the blog! I really enjoy drawing/writing our little pointless conversations, but this is what I mean about possibly not being of interest to anyone else.

    Talking of being friends for 40 years… one thing I thought I might do is some stories from the past. I don’t still keep the written diaries — only did it for 10 years, and daren’t look at them again as they were very self-obsessed. Not like this blog of course (sarcasm).

  16. Posted February 6, 2013 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    Like Alison above I came to your blog/diary via the narrowboat connection, and, as you will know from my occasional comments, I remain one of your faithful readers. Of course the blog is for you, and you have to enjoy doing it, but it does bring a great deal of pleasure to me and, I’m sure, many others. I still include it in my list of “boating blogs” and click on it as soon as I see that you’ve done a new post. As you say, your blog has developed a wider readership than perhaps you envisaged when you started it, but don’t you find that that imparts a sort of discipline? For the last two or three years I have managed to write something on my blog every day, mostly drivel, but I feel that it keeps the brain ticking over, and will give me something to look back on in the future. For selfish reasons I’m very glad you’re continuing with Blogshank!

  17. Mike
    Posted February 6, 2013 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

    Thanks very much Halfie. I know you’re a very longstanding reader and it makes me very happy that people like you have stuck around. Your blog is one of the biggest sources of traffic to this blog, and a large proportion of readers seems to be boaters.

    I agree with what you say about the discipline. When I began to realise that I was getting more than just the random visitor, it occurred to me that I should up my game a little. And it keeps me drawing. The downside is that having more readers makes me take fewer risks… however that’s not an issue as the audience hasn’t increased for the last 3 years, and that’s one of the things that made me think I can be more adventurous.

    At the end of the day, although this entry (and this blog in general) may seem a bit self-obsessed, the fact is that I’m really happy to make a connection with the lives of complete strangers.