Dec 31, 2023

Muskering, sorry, mustering up the courage for 2024

Hello, it's Fat Roland here. You can think of me as your friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man. Except without the spiders. Or being in your neighbourhood. And I'm not sure how friendly I am. Am I even a man?

I'm always sceptical about the effectiveness of new years' resolutions, and I certainly didn't have 2023 down as my "stroke year". But let's play some lip service to this annual festival of arbitrary date-based life curation. Here are ten resolutions I have for 2024. And because I like to cheat, I've made a start on some of these already.

Resolution one. Embrace colour. I wore black for years, but the Johnny Cash aesthetic doesn't really suit my mood. I'm not saying I want to look like Timmy Mallett mating with the Teletubbies, but splashes of colour would be welcome in 2024.

Resolution two. Come up with more contemporary references than Timmy Mallett and the Teletubbies. That said, Mallett has an endearing TikTok account. Not sure about the social status of Dipsy's gang.

Resolution three. Build on my amazing day job. This isn't the most exciting of resolutions. It's a bit like a plumber wishing for more pipes. But I enjoy my work at the Burgess Foundation, and I want to push myself to be more efficient and more creative and more of an ultraviolent droog. Watch out for your kneecaps!

Resolution four. Let writing become the fulcrum of my artistic, erm, lever or something. I really should have looked up the word 'fulcrum' in a dictionary before writing this. I continue my scribbling for Electronic Sound, and in 2024 I shall return to writing short stories. Performance is also a Thing in my life, with a capital T, and I'm sure this will happen to. But writing comes first.

Resolution sixteen. (I've lost count.) Get cartooning again. Drawing my eggs on social media (see my previous blog post) was a way back into restarting the broken visual section of my brain. Expect more of this in 2024. Not professionally. Just faffing. Proper good faffing.

Resolution five hundred and ninety six. Be healthy. I did not do a good job of this in 2023. Stupid brain. But this is not just about a better body, although a healthy(ish) lifestyle will certainly help. Better living space, better relationships, better downtime, the whole holistic sausage. No pressure or anything, but if I do not do this exactly right, I will give everyone on earth a million pounds.

Resolution infinity plus three, and this is related to the previous resolution. Don't have another stroke. This seems obvious, but writing this down makes it official. At some point in 2024, my brain is going to read this back and decide, "Yeah, Fats, that's a cracking idea. Let's not have another stroke."

Resolution alpha epsilon followed by the eye of Horus. Social media has become a big pile of meh. This scrolling world of ours is fractured, and any one social media platform is not the behemoth it was. The only way to get traction is to personally fist dollar bills into Elon Musk's trousers on the daily. I will post, of course, because people seem to like it. But... let's hold it lightly.

Resolution a badly drawn picture of an egg. Learn to count. I mean, seriously. I know most of the numbers. Seven. Is seven a number? I'm going to buy a calculator every day until I learn to count to ten.

Resolution ten. Yes! I did it! Carry on blogging. Sorry to disappoint you with this, but this tired old blog will drag itself onwards like a knackered horse attempting a never-ending lap of the glue factory. This has been my worst complete blogging year in history but HEY, I HAVE REASONS FOR THAT. However, this is my home, and this is where my words belong, and I am grateful for your visit.

Happy new year. As Spider-Man would say, to 2024 and beyond!

Pictured: Hyperfuturistic digital 3D rendering of Elon Musk

Further Fats: My New Year: pub, Gorman, egg, pi (2005)

Further Fats: Happy new 2021 Fat Roland (2021)

Dec 13, 2023

Eggvent: it's what Father Christmegg would have wanted

Eggs. Loads of eggs. Everything is full of eggs. 

As readers of this blog will know, I've had quite a year. My brain went bang and I've been recovering ever since. To be fair to my brain, it is doing a brilliant job of helping me recover even though it's my stupid brain that caused all this trouble in the first place. I am working again, and writing, and going to gigs, and doing many things a normal human would do.

I've been slower to get back to cartooning. Lots of screen time makes me tired. When I'm creating cartoons digitally, that involves peering at pixels for long stretches of time. This is no good. I had to come up with a way of getting back to cartooning that wouldn't overwhelm me.

The solution? Eggs. Lots of eggs. They are easy to draw. There is no shape more simple than an egg shape. This is geometric fact. Look at triangles: eeeugh, they're so complex and full of angles. Unlike an egg, which is easy. Anyone can draw an egg, even if they have a brain made of bent spanners.

My egg series has been published on my social media throughout this month, It is, of course, advent themed. "Eggvent." There has been a nativity shepherd that's an egg. Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer that's an egg. The robot from the Dr Who episode 'Wild Blue Yonder'... that's also an egg with a Chrimbo hat on.

The latest one is the Christmas chart topping London band East 17 as eggs. Who, of course, had an excellent hit single with the chorus "Everybody in the house of l'oeuf." I just thought of that on the spot. Maybe my brain isn't so spannered after all.

What's next? I could do other foodstuffs. Potatoes. They're kind of egg-shaped. Sausages. They're just oblong eggs. Broccoli? No, way too complicated.

Follow my egg exploits (my eggsploits) on Twitter (X), Instagram, Facebook or Bluesky.

Further eggy Fats: Weebl & Bob pimp kudos joy (2005)

Further eggy Fats: This is what happens when I change my Facebook profile picture (2014)