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Summer Solstice

The past few months have seen a recurring issue called “customer service”. This topic has provided me with a constant flow of material for my comic strip series, as you’ve probably noticed.

Just recently, I had to deal with a renovator who couldn’t, a plumber who wouldn’t, a gardener who didn’t and a local council who are now immortalized in one cartoon sequence. However, my most interesting encounter was with a large and well-known company, which requested an account update.

They sent me two conflicting letters with three different options. After wrestling with their website for some time, I succumbed and tried phoning them. My skepticism was well founded because, after going round in circles again, I finally surrendered and called the last remaining phone number…..

April 1st. 2008

The first quarter of this year has been largely uneventful. That’s quite a relief after all the surprises of last year. Neatstep is still alive and well, following the extensive character updates and cartoon editing.

The first thing I’ve noticed this year is that everything is so expensive now. The bankers tell us it’s because of “inflation”, as if inflation is something “magic” that just happens by itself.

We’re told inflation is around three percent, but it seems more like twenty three percent. I guess the “magic” is that everything we buy is getting magically smaller. Toilet rolls are a perfect example. I think their diminishing size is a much better indicator of inflation than the official measurements.....

Year End Report 2007

This is the end of the very first Neatstep year so it’s obviously an historic point in time! In some ways I’m quite pleased that it’s the last day of the year. Neatstep always says that you should never go on holiday or never come back. I made the mistake, as always, of coming back and suffering the consequences. The punishment for having a good vacation is being hit with a wave of household repairs, which cost more than the whole vacation itself.

The various issues on this occasion included an ongoing saga with the drainage system, which if it is ever resolved, will be the subject of numerous Neatstep cartoons. In search of some answers, I spent most of my recent birthday digging a large hole in the garden, which my neighbor said, closely resembled a grave. I assured him that it soon would be, if the contractor didn’t fix my problems very soon. At the time of writing the contractor has not been sighted.....

Vacation in Europe

If you travel, then things happen and the trip to Europe was no exception. Overall, it was excellent but there were lots of Neatstep situations to wrestle with!

My first mistake was to visit the dentist before going on vacation. I had no problems but thought a check-up in advance of my trip would be a good idea. It was not! On the morning of our departure my tooth suddenly broke at the last minute, leaving no time for repair. The tooth had a good holiday!

Our next excitement, en-route to London, was landing in Calgary. As we soared vertically upwards from the runway it seemed there was some disagreement about whose turn it was to land! The only cryptic comment from our pilot was that two aircraft on one runway was “not good’! The onward flight was less entertaining since the entertainment system was not working, so we were spared from listening to Spiderman, even though I could see him creeping up and down those buildings as I fell asleep.....

Summer Update

It's time for the quarterly blog update. Since the last posting, everything has come together nicely. I am still experimenting with the art work and trying hard to make various improvements, which I consider necessary.

Overall, I am very pleased with the way the series is turning out and I'm more than satisfied with the format and the style. My thanks are due for all the feedback I have received so far, which has been overwhelmingly positive and gives me great encouragement to continue.

The next step will be to obtain more exposure for Neatstep and look for some suitable publishing opportunities. I read recently that a good artist is one who just keeps drawing, regardless of anything else and since I really enjoy producing Neatstep, I will continue with this and view the publishing issue as an added bonus if and when it materializes.