February 28, 2008


I was sitting quietly reading a newspaper just before 1am yesterday when suddenly the sofa I was sitting on trembled. Absolutely no question about it: trembled. To say I was startled is inaccurate. I thought I might be having a turn, a heart attack, a stroke, or some strange mind-body experience. It only lasted a few seconds and then everything was still and stable again so I went back to my newspaper. Today I read that:

Britain experienced its biggest earthquake for nearly 25 years today - but Londoners were hardly shaken or stirred. The quake, a 5.2 on the Richter scale, struck at 12:56am and lasted ten seconds.

I am disgusted with my self-centered assumption that the tremor came from me rather than from the earth. Obviously the earth was trying to tell me something.


My talk on Sunday went down quite well, people said they were encouraged to go home to their computers and make their own self-publishing dreams come true. If you want to have a look at my slide-show presentation it's here but bear in mind that the discussion with the audience afterwards was the main thing.

I've just noticed how odd that cliché is: making dreams come true. It implies that until we take action our dreams are untruths. It also takes for granted that we want our dreams to come true. What about nightmares? Plenty of film-makers cater for a nightmare-loving public so you could say that they make dreams come true. You could also ask what kind of truth are we talking about? Truth as in fact? Truth as in beauty? Truth as in the opposite of lie?

I love indulging in this sort of free-form thinking, starting from familiar words or phrases and just meandering. You never know where you're going to land or if you will land at all. Anyone for free-floating?

Dream Come True


February 16, 2008


I have been busy trying to catch up with things which, as is my wont, I have left until the last minute. No: not as is my wont. My wont is to get all tasks done on time and in leisurely fashion. But the wont of the demon PROCRASTIGNAT is to make me always late, always panicking for being late, and generally to bugger up all my plans and good intentions. I haven't got rid of this particular demon yet, unlike those I tore up, burned and drowned.

The Procrastignat DemonThe trouble is that Procrastignat is quite cute. It buzzes around grinning, persuading, asserting that I am perfectly capable of leaping from A to Z in one bound, without bothering with all those boring letters in between. Words like 'deadline' or 'appointment' - anything to do with time - are the alarm bells which brings it out in full force, multiplying, invading my space with its deceptive cheeriness. "You are above and beyond the constraints of time and space," it trills, "You have special powers which enable you to arrive at a destination without having travelled to get there." So, for example, if I am due at 10 AM at a place which takes 65 minutes to get to, it will be perfectly fine for me to leave the house at 9:45 AM. The same reasoning applies to any task requiring sustained attention for a long period. "Don't bother with that now! Do something else! You'll finish that task in the blink of an eye! Remember your super-powers!" Needless to say, when my birthday comes round, as it inexorably does every August, Procrastignat pops up, denying it, insisting that I have a type of insurance which guarantees full protection from all effects of age: the fountain of youth and immortality is mine - not later, but here, now.

I wonder if Procrastignat will be at my funeral?

procrastignat1 procrastignat2 procrastignat3 procrastignat4

Things I'm late sharing because I've been too busy catching up with tasks Procrastignat kept me from doing:

A contest dreamed up and orchestrated by Les Becker and CardioGirl to win a free copy of The God Interviews by writing a caption for one of my cartoons. Read all about it on their blogs, find out why they are giving away a copy, and why not submit your caption?

An amazing review by Callum James (scroll down to his February 4 post) about my visual interpretation of Revelation published by the Old Stile Press.

Answers to questions put to me by ComicsVillage . Forthcoming talk also mentioned.

If you're in London next Sunday:

Sunday 24 February 2008

Riding the Internet Revolution
The Writer as Publisher
Illustrated talk by Natalie d’Arbeloff

The internet and digital technology have made it possible for creatives to present their work directly to the public. How can authors, artists, poets and cartoonists benefit from the internet revolution and adapt it to their own ideas and working methods? What steps are needed in order to create, design, print, publish and promote your book? How does print-on-demand work? What are the decisions one must make, the promotional strategies, and the internet resources available?

PLACE: The Torriano Meeting House
99 Torriano Avenue, London NW5 2RX
Tube: Kentish Town.  Buses: 134, 214, C2, 390, 393

TIME:  14:30 -16:00

COST: £5 at the door.

Organised by The Hampstead Authors’ Society.
was founded 10 years ago. It is a society for authors, artists, journalists, academics, photographers, actors, filmmakers, translators – people from a wide variety of creative backgrounds, from Hampstead and well beyond.


February 6, 2008


Watch this (bigger on


February 3, 2008


I'm trying out the process of filming my hands drawing then speeding up the video so that when I get the collagraph workshop set up (yes, it will happen) I can do some demonstrations in this way. So far, I haven't yet got the right position for the camera. I had it in front of me but that meant I had to draw upside down. Very awkward. I think it should probably be behind me.