Remain indoors: Hourly Comic Day 2021

Well this year’s not going to be very exciting… apologies in advance.

The Coronavirus pandemic kicked off in the UK mid-March 2020. I’ve been working from home since then. We’re currently in our third nationwide lockdown. At least a vaccine’s being rolled out, although it’s currently at the 60-70 year olds and working down the demographics.

February 1st was also a Monday. All this means no gallivanting off to nearby towns or nights out on the tiles in this year’s diary comic.

Without further buildup, click the picture or link below to read this year’s comic!

Carl’s Mitchell’s Hourly Comic Day 2021

Better late than never: Hourly Comic Day 2020

So, here we are. A new decade, which brings my tenth entry to the annual Hourly Comic Day!
Two months late.
*cough*

Two things happened this year:

  1. I went on holiday for 2½ weeks on February 2nd. So I didn’t have the time or inclination there. Also, no ‘scurrying around airports’ diary comic for you!
  2. I lost my drawing mojo. While ideas can still come and go, it’s a great effort to actually sit down and sketch. It’s been a whole year since I last updated this blog as well, never mind overhauling the site itself.

Anyway, there’s nothing like a nationwide lockdown to make you sit in front of a lightbox…

Click below to read this year’s diary comic!
CARL MITCHELL’S HOURLY COMIC DAY 2020

Then he scribbled away (Scribble scribble)

This is my ninth entry to the annual Hourly Comic Day. Friday February 1st, diarised into panels over the weekend (about 11 hours total of cranking out drawings). Be OK with going at your own pace – the point is to create and have fun!

I took the day off work, because who needs to see that again… but by making my day more ‘exciting’, various small events wouldn’t fit into 2 panels per hour:

  • Silently judging The Blanket art in the Piece Hall.
  • The ice cold tap and freezing hand dryer.
  • Peering through the Kitty Cafe windows to see a kitten.
  • Someone writing chord letters onto a public piano’s keys.
  • Wondering why Lego Spiderman has a giant robot, and Batman… and Poison Ivy?!
  • Trekking to the toilet in the restaurant, then realising I’d left my bags at my table. Still there when I got back.

Click below to read this year’s diary comic!

CARL MITCHELL’S HOURLY COMIC DAY 2019

Travel, man

I just got back from a trip to South Africa! Yeah, it was pretty great! Especially sweetened by the UK having terrible cold and snow while I was in the sun…
However, this isn’t a travelog blog, so instead of tales about safaris and speedboats, you get to read about the suitcase I took with me(!)

This grey fella is the Tripp suitcase that my parents take on holidays. I borrow it from them for my own hols, seeing as I go away way less than they do. It’s utterly indistinct, so to identify it as ours we apply stickers to it, tie coloured fabric around the handles, that sort of thing.

A few weeks before the big trip, Mum brought the tired-looking thing over to my place, saying that I could tart it up a bit.

I chose a Springbok for my design. It’s South Africa’s national animal, the symbol of their national Rugby Union team, and the symbol of the Friendships Association: They helped us visit my expat family over many years. I’d layer it over a green background, like below.

The hours go so slowly…

MY HOURLIES

February the first was Hourly Comic Day 2018. Another trip around the sun, another day to make a comic for every hour awake.

I point out every year that mine aren’t done in real-time: That’s just silly, even on a weekend, and this was a workday! While people on Twitter were apologising for posting theirs “late” on February 4th, here was I… this time, my “hourly” comics took 8-10 days. I can offer you a range of excuses, from a couple of freelance project deadlines, overtime at work, and even having a cold. But here we are: It’s good practice, and I can look back at previous years.
As this involves taking notes, then drawing onto paper, inking, scanning, arranging and uploading, maybe I should try going purely digital… I bought a stylus to use on my touchscreen laptop at Xmas.

Click below to read this year’s comic!

CARL MITCHELL’S HOURLY COMIC DAY 2018

FACTOIDS

  • The Springbok is a symbol of the Friendship Associations (and the South African Rubgy team). I’m off on to visit family in South Africa at the end of the month!
  • I’ve nothing against Owain the Weatherman, but he’s no Lisa Gallagher. Well, to his husband, I guess he is.
  • I actually own a top hat and tails. That’s a story for another time.
  • We bought a new smaller and simpler 4G Hub from EE that afternoon. It arrived in less than 24 hours.
  • The main topics at the retirement do were ‘criminal capers’ and ‘vintage cars’.
  • Bruno Mars’ Finesse is the 90s resurgent.
  • Did you know that Outlook bases its webcode off Microsoft Word? It needs so many compatability workarounds, it should really be retired / rebuilt.

MAWWIAGE

The Stag Do was done and dusted. Now, with a few weeks to go until the nuptials, I could focus on building and buying various decorations and gifts for the wedding itself.

The Card


I’ve posted before about my “trilogy” of handmade greeting cards, which the couples received for their respective weddings. Above is the card I made for the newest newlyweds…
A pen drawing coloured in with watercolour paints, based on Potter Puppet Pals, writing (with a quick quotes quill) and… sysadmin stuff (a phone, displaying a monitor, displaying a skull and crossbones). Also featuring their cat in the middle.


I drew it out in pencil on A5 paper, then (to make things more complicated than necessary) scanned it in and moved elements around in Photoshop. I also roughly digitally coloured it.
Then I printed the lines out again at A6 size, with higher contrast, and traced it onto my watercolour postcards via the light box.

Sword and Shield Stags, Part 2

Part 1 was about the largest (and most fun) props from the Stag Do I hosted last month.
Now onto part 2, which focuses on the smaller props and accessories I made for the par-tay…

A golden hat


The Groom needed to stand out from the rest of us plebs. Sashes are for hens, and this was not the kind of group to all go out in full costume. I ruled out the ‘Helmet of Justice’ from Knightmare because, well, you can’t see where you’re going. That would get old fast.

Being a Discworld fan (and he’s a bit of one himself), I plummed for a Moist Von Lipwig inspired hat… with a bit of local hero Fred Dibnah mixed in.


The base hat was a flat cap from Primark. Four reasons led to this choice:

  1. You don’t want to repaint and cut holes into something pricy, or riun a costly item and need to buy another!
  2. It came in One Size (fits all), so no chance of a cap that’s too small.
  3. The groom had tried it on briefly on our suit shopping trip.
  4. The hats in the costume shop were made of an uncomfortable, hard plastic.

Sword and Shield Stags, Part 1

Did I mention I was picked to be a Best Man this summer? Well, that happened. Which means that one of my duties was to organize the Stag Do.

Here’s post 1 of 2 about the props I made for my friend’s Stag Do, and a few things I learned along the way.

Picked because:

  • the historical role of the Best Man was to stand guard, in case the adbucted bride’s family came a’knocking,
  • because we’re all nerds,
  • I thought that gently beating the Groom would be funny,

Ladies and Gentlemen… a sword and shield on a budget.

And the nerds rejoiced.

Making Money

This week, the UK’s new Pound Coin entered circulation – Its biggest change in 34 years. While I do have an interest in coins, going to one of a handful of locations to clamour for one of the first in the country? Not that interested. A fancy quid will crop up in my change soon enough.

Left: Old and Busted (1983-2017). Right: New hotness (2017-).

Anyway, money. At work, we have competitions and offers. Some of them have cash prizes, so I had to draw us some coins. The best way, I decided, was to do them in Illustrator with the 3D effect – this let me draw it once, then copy and paste, repeating, resizing and rotating the graphic to add variety.

Partial artwork of Win £500 flyer
My 2015 custard coloured coins – Make it rain!

I’m going to briefly go over how to make a 3D coin in Adobe Illustrator, then talk about the new Pound Coin graphics I created last month.