Who is Augustine?

augustines Adventures Coversaugustines Adventures Covers

Augustine is my cartoon alter ego but I'm not going to explain who my ego is. The 'alter' means that she is either completely different or somewhat similar to me - that's for her, or others, to decide.

Augustine began her paper life in London around 1984. She had been preceded by another cartoon offspring of mine named Gabriel (as in the angel) who carried on lighthearted but probing conversations with God and the Devil about cosmic matters such as good and evil etc. These became The Gabriel Books and I'll be putting some of them on my website's COMICS pages in the near-ish future.

Augustine was more down-to-earth and preoccupied with everyday questions. Each of her questions became a small booklet:
1. Augustine Escapes
2. Augustine Finds the Ultimate Deterrent
3. Augustine Seen
4. Augustine and Inertia
5. Augustine Private and Public
6. Augustine Not In Love
7. Augustine and Identity
8. Augustine and Time
9. Augustine and Money
10. Augustine Angry

I published the above as a series called Small Packages which were distributed mainly by subscription. Although they were very well received and reviewed, after a while I became fed up with the time-consuming procedure of photocopying, collating, stapling and mailing several hundred copies of each booklet every month and, after number ten, decided to stop and apply myself to finding a normal publisher (i.e. not myself). I sent out innumerable hopeful letters and samples to every relevant publisher. The replies were usually full of praise for Augustine, followed by a 'but…'. The praise fed my ego but the buts just made me tired. So - and this I confess with heavy heart - I abandoned Augustine and got on with other work and life. This was the equivalent to putting your baby in a basket and abandoning it in the middle of the Gobi desert - or in my case, in a trunk in the attic.

Somehow or other, Augustine survived my shameful betrayal and has come back not just alive but kicking me every day. I am forever grateful to her even though we bicker and battle constantly. And I want to say to everyone who visits Heather's inspiring Café: never abandon your babies! Your creations, your little alter egos, are there to be fed and watered and allowed to grow.

Natalie d'Arbeloff

Graphic Novel
Caught Red-handed in Heather's Hat-box
7 Steps of Creation
Natalie d'Arbeloff







Cartoons originally published in MAKING WAYS
(Artic Producers Publishing Co.Ltd. 1987, U.K.)
Copyright Natalie d'Arbeloff and Artic Producers.