Mike Smith (Illustrator)

An update

Five years ago I wasn’t drawing for a living, and this blog was a pleasure to do in my spare time. Now I scribble all day long, so I prefer to do something else in the evening. It’s not just the drawing, it’s also the whole process of having to work through ideas. That’s why the blog has dried up recently. I’m quite relaxed about this, as I feel that ten years without a break was a good run.

However, since Eddie died I have missed the blog as an outlet for my thoughts. It can feel a bit like therapy. More so as I get older. So I think the best approach will be to pick it up from the current date; and in future, instead of forcing myself to post weekly, I’ll just do it when I feel I want to say something. That will mean I’ll dispense with the cartoons sometimes.

While I’m here I might as well mention that I have often thought about trying to get these diaries published in book form. Publishers, however, don’t share this desire and never respond to emails. So I have plans to do this myself. Two things I can’t make up my mind about: firstly, whether to have it printed actual size (pocket diary); secondly, whether to do a ‘best of’ compilation or go the whole hog and do the annual volumes. I’d be really interested to hear anybody’s thoughts about this.

Thanks for reading.

10 Comments

  1. Posted August 22, 2018 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    I’d love to buy a book version of your diary comics, they’re so lovely!!

    If you’re thinking of self publishing, maybe doing a best of would be a nice tester, and then if it goes down well at conventions/online, you could then bring out annual volumes??

  2. Kath Corbett
    Posted August 22, 2018 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    The above seems a good idea, trouble is your ‘best of’ might not be the same as mine

  3. Kath Corbett
    Posted August 22, 2018 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    The second part of my comment seems to have been chopped;
    I’m so pleased you’ve decided not to stop blogging, even occasionally is better than never at all.
    Kath (nb Herbie)

  4. Andrew Rooney
    Posted August 23, 2018 at 4:02 am | Permalink

    Hullo Mike
    Your blog has been a great source of humour, insight and reflection.
    When they recently started to “dry up” I was disappointed but understanding of the situation. As soon as something like this starts to become a “chore” or what inspired you before no longer suffices to trigger the creative juices, it is time to reconsider.
    Having said that, your plan to continue as the spirit moves you sounds an excellent idea. As Kath said, your choice may not coincide with mine but hey, beggars can’t be chooses :-)
    I would be happy with either approach: the one incorporating flexibility might be best though.
    Thanks for all effort you have put in over the years
    Cheers
    Andrew (from Oz)

  5. Posted August 28, 2018 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    My optician might not agree (I might struggle with the size of lettering) but I’d very much favour as close to a facsimile of the original pocket diary as is achievable. As such, I’d personally prefer a genuine full year rather than a best of, but you wouldn’t necessarily have to start at Year One.

    However you choose to do it I hereby pledge to plug it like crazy on social media once it exists.

  6. Ian Braithwaite
    Posted August 28, 2018 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

    Great idea, that’s all my Christmas presents sorted! I think diary size, if practical. And similar binding if possible. Why not have a pass at selecting your ‘best ones’ and see how easy it is to whittle down? If you can’t be objective, maybe find a friend to help edit, or set some sort of criteria to aid the process. If the ‘best of’ is successful, by all means go back and release the box-set!

  7. Ian H
    Posted August 28, 2018 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    I like the idea. Size – i always imagine these are A5 size. So that.

  8. Dave
    Posted August 29, 2018 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    Whatever the format Mike, a compilation of any of your stuff would be great. Kept me chuckling over the years- and some poignant moments too..

  9. Mike
    Posted August 29, 2018 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

    Interesting… thanks for the feedback. It looks like a ‘best of’ could be a good way to start. I would have to think of a decent title. All I can come up with at the moment is ‘Years of Living Dangerlessly’ or ‘Diary of a Nob’

    The diary when opened out is a bit smaller than A5. Self-publishing in the print-on-demand way means I’m limited on size. I think the smallest I could go to is A5 as a single page. I’ve tried it though, and the quality is very good. I will keep you posted!

  10. Alex Ingram
    Posted September 1, 2018 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    Would love to be able to have a book. I’m a completist so I’d want everything.

    As to format, I’ve always liked the way Marc Ellerby’s Ellerbisms was printed in a roughly moleakine journal size. But those were originally published in A5 booklets and that worked fine.

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