You Can’t ‘Waste’ Your Vote — REDUX

Preferential voting in Australia, explained — chickennation.com/voting

In time for the Australian federal election in May 2019, I’ve produced a revised, updated, and totally redrawn version of my perpetually viral comic about preferential voting from 2013, featuring Dennis the Election Koala and Ken the Voting Dingo.

Dennis the Election Koala slaps Ken the Voting Dingo, a classic moment for a new generation
Dennis and Ken, at it again

This time around I’d like to add a much-requested sequel dealing with voting for the federal Senate, if I can manage it. (You can help that to happen by supporting me via Ko-fi.) Anyway, the whole project now has a permanent home under this link, so please check it out and share the page with everyone you’ve ever seen.

The comic has been popular among non-Australians too, who are interested in alternative electoral systems — especially people from countries that use first-past-the-post systems. What we call ‘preferential voting‘ in Australia is usually called ‘instant-runoff voting‘ in formal contexts, ‘ranked choice voting‘ in North America, and ‘the alternative vote‘ in the UK. Now you know!

Incidentally, to elect the Australian federal Senate, we use single transferable vote (STV) proportional representation (PR).

Relax, Will Ya?

I am pleased beyond mortal understanding to present my new album of relaxing music. You can tell it’s relaxing from the title!

Relax, Will Ya? - Patrick Alexander's Melody Zone - Japanese promo image

You can listen to it on bandcamp, and it’s also available on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Google Play, and everywhere else digital music is available.

It’s 45 minutes long. Every track is longer than 7 minutes, and slower than 95 BPM. It’s strange, playful and fantastical, but genuinely relaxing and enjoyable for everyone. It’s pleasant BGM but rewards attentive listening, becoming quite hypnotic and sensational. Recommended for:

  • Cafés
  • Breakfasts
  • Café breakfasts
  • Sunday afternoons
  • Naps
  • Seeing how your cats react to it
  • Bubble baths
  • Lovemaking??? (Try it and report back)

I ‘pre-released’ this album on bandcamp a week ago, and here are some of the responses (genuine and unsolicited) so far:

  • “An aural stroll through a dreamy little suburb, sleepy and strange and lost in time”
  • “Aliens sing me a lullaby”
  • “It makes me feel very Ghibly inside”
  • Relax, Will Ya? is stunning in its musicality, as well as its absurdity. … I can’t overstate how oddly relaxing the melodies are.” (Tim Webb, Discchord.com)
  • “Good lord! Love the sonic textures and stupid adorable melodies!”
  • “Relaxing, but very focused with intent. … I would compare this favorably with Tomita and Disney classics. A shroom journey for sure.”
  • “It’s ear candy AND brain candy!”
  • “A trip to another world, fascinating and unpredictable”
  • “Absolutely brilliant!”
  • “Awesome and weird”
  • “Totally different than anything I could ever imagine … Just letting it play and being surprised by what comes next! It’s a journey and mind drifter. Very fresh man very fresh!”
  • “Incredible work! Listening to this made my day!!!”
  • “This is really fucking good”

It really is! It really is. Once again: BandcampiTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Google Play, and everywhere. On bandcamp, I’ve set the album to “Name your price”, meaning you can download it for free or pay $10,000 for it. The point is, you can recommend it freely, because everyone can afford it. Listen, enjoy, comment, and please, please share! Thank you!

Tobias and Jube Euphonious Companion — illustrations and lyric videos

Hey, remember last year, I released a new Tobias and Jube comic and an album of songs to go with that comic? Of course you do! It’s the last thing I posted about. Hello again!

After making that comic, and the album about the comic, I then made illustrations for each of the songs! And then I made lyric videos for the songs, using the illustrations as backgrounds. The first two are even a little bit animated. Just a tiny bit. Pretty cool!

[ And here is the playlist page on youtube. ]

Watch and sing along! What fun! WHAT FUN.

I also used the illustrations to make these little ‘promo squares’ for each of the songs, to promote them on social media, since social media just loves squares these days.

What’s that? You haven’t heard and/or purchased Tobias and Jube and the Something Hat Mystery: The Euphonious Companion yet?? I’m so sorry; I didn’t realise. You can listen to it on bandcamp and also search for it on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, and every other place digital music can be found.

Tobias and Jube and the Something Hat Mystery — comics and music!

Hello everyone, did I mention my new Tobias and Jube comic? I can’t recall. Anyway, it’s called Tobias and Jube and the Something Hat Mystery and the first chapter is up on the Stela app right now! It’ll run for five weeks; one chapter per week. It’s basically 50-something print pages, in total — a little book, like an Asterix book! It is also, would you believe, suitable for all ages. And ‘all ages’ doesn’t mean ‘children’, it means ALL AGES — I’m looking at you, Granddad! You think I can’t see you curled up on the floor behind the recliner? Granddad? Oh, the old silent treatment, eh? The old silent and motionless except for sporadic twitching treatment, is that it, old man? Pathetic.

I’m exceptionally proud of Tobias and Jube and the Something Hat Mystery and excited for you all to enjoy it. It’s not free — you do have to buy it (god, I know) — but at least you can buy it without leaving your house! FRESH LAUGHTER AND NATURAL HUMAN DELIGHTS, EVERY WEEK. And phwoar, look at those gorgeous colours by Lin Visel. Pages of that good stuff. Get into it.

BUT WAIT. Did you think that was all? “Oh, he’s made the funniest comic in the history of the medium, surely that’s enough for one man” — was that you just now?

[shakes head sadly while throwing head backwards in flamboyant laughter]

  • “I don’t think I’ve smiled this much listening to an album… ever? Ever.”
  • “I would say this feels like the soundtrack to a mysterious, quirk-laden Japanese PS2 game, but it’s the soundtrack to a wonderful comic!”
  • “I almost choked on my own snot listening to this. Patrick you are wonderful. My new anthem here.”
  • “This unironically owns.”
  • “That record is like some evil corrupt maniac formed the second coming of the Bonzos just to corrupt the minds of children.”
  • “That was brilliant! … What an inventive track, nice to hear something different.”
  • “Holy shit! This is hilarious and great!”
  • “The most fun you can have without burning down a church.”

— Comments already received from authentic fellow humans

Yes, Tobias and Jube and the Something Hat Mystery is also a 30-minute album of amazing songs, subtitled The Euphonious Companion, which makes quite a long and grandiose title altogether, but I promise it’s not prog, IT’S NOT PROG. It is a POP album but WEIRD POP and oh my goodness, remember how the comic is the #1 and sole greatest thing I’ve ever done? Well the album is also the #1 and sole greatest thing I’ve ever done! How is this possible? It’s not. It’s a miracle.

Bandcamp! iTunes and Apple Music! Spotify! Google Play! Soundcloud! And Amazon and Deezer and even Saavn, and other places too — just search for the album. And you can even Shazam all of these songs, which is really cool. If you play my songs at a party, people can go, “Siri, what is this stream of pure, rainbow-flavoured delight? I must know!”

It is a DELIGHTFUL album; that is the word I keep using. You will be delighted. It’s only a short album — go to Bandcamp and have a listen. You will feel delight, I promise. This isn’t cartoonist music, this is cartoonist AND musician music. You’ve been waiting for it, bored with everything else, and now, here it is.

“Patrick I bought the album and subscribed to the comic, I am into this Tobias and Jube thing, help me!”

Tobias and Jube prints and goods at redbubble! Tobias and Jube stamps for Line messenger! Old-school Tobias and Jube comics that I’d hoped to have rescanned and recoloured by now, oh well! You want more?? Tell me about it! No, actually tell me about it. Thanks.

Thanks for enjoying my work, and thanks in advance for telling your friends and social networks about it! It makes a big difference; you have no idea.

tl;dr: Lots of new Tobias and Jube stuff! Here and here. Hooray!

Tobias and Jube and the Something Hat Mystery — September 25th

An all-new, all-ages, all-colour, all-nonsense Tobias and Jube caper! Five chapters over five weeks, from September 25th, only on the Stela app. By the actual Patrick Alexander, with true colours by Lin Visel.


Blobby besties Tobias and Jube find a hat one day, and naturally want answers. Whose is it? What does it do? What’s the proper term for this specific type of headwear? Their square-jawed, glinty-eyed investigation causes setbacks for no less than three local businesses. Meanwhile, a slug and a spider search for the lost wallet of a high-profile client. Also featuring magic, chickens and ice cream, but not at the same time.


I am very proud of this comic; it’s the best thing I’ve ever made! I’m excited for you all to read and enjoy it. Amazing facts about Tobias and Jube and the Something Hat Mystery:

  • It’s appropriate for all ages. Your beautiful and special and precocious children will love it. You, also, will.
  • Tobias and Jube began in Australia’s Mania magazine in 2002, making 2017 the comic’s 15th birthday.
  • It is very funny and silly and it also has themes, but secret themes that only the brightest intellectuals will recognise and enjoy.
  • It will be accompanied by a short album of songs. Whaaat! Yes, really.

I’m happy to be interviewed about this project by anyone; please get in touch (email, twitter).

The illustration above is available as a print and on assorted products at redbubble.

GET HYPE, GET HYPE, LAY THAT HYPE PIPE

SET THAT HYPE TYPE

OH MULTIPLE CRIPE! IT’S TIME TO GET HYPE

Tobias and Jube and fish

Just a fun Tobias and Jube illustration with a colour palette that takes no prisoners.

You can wear this whole picture as a t-shirt, which is cool. I think it would make a good poster, too. Plus there are notebooks, phone cases, pillows, and all sorts of things, at my marvellous new redbubble shop. But yeah I think this one is especially suited to clothing; I would love to see someone rocking a bold pink-and-green outfit with this illustration as the centrepiece. Send me photos if that someone is you!

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Oh and it’s a print at society6 too, if that’s where you prefer to get your prints.

Tobias and Jube – Autumn 2017

FIVE WEEKS. FIVE CHAPTERS. SOME JOKES.

Yes, as promised, an all-new Tobias and Jube comic will be delivered to you soon, via Stela! There’s a little more info over on my tumblr. Short version: EXCITEMENT TIME IS HERE, ALL AROUND US.

In the meantime, you can LAY SOME HYPE PIPE by putting this illustration on your wall, wearing it on your body, or your lower body, or hiding your own shameful drawings inside it, or gripping it with your gross sweaty fingers as you text that special someone. Or any number of rituals of devotion only made possible by my new redbubble shop, where wonder and delight await you. (Also, you can get prints at society6 too, in text-free and textful versions.)

Crane bros. and coffee

Furrowed brows and pouting lips
Analysing tiny sips
Consternation and dismay
The brew is somehow off today

A recent commission. Or rather, an old commission that I finally got around to doing recently. You can buy prints of this, as well as bags, pencil cases, decorative chunks of plastic, miniskirts, and all kinds of nonsense, at my marvellous new redbubble shop. And prints are available at society6 too. What a great day for you!

Oh, and of course you can have this on a coffee mug too. That’s only appropriate.

Lesson materials for English teachers in Japan

This Die Hard lesson is really, really popular

I never got around to posting about this, here on my main website!

For two years, from 2013 to 2015, I worked as an ALT (assistant language teacher) at a senior high school in Utsunomiya, Japan. During that time, I put a lot of extra hours into creating illustrated worksheets, games, and other lesson materials for my classes. I shared some with other teachers and got some enthusiastic feedback, so I started compiling and formatting the materials into PDFs, with full instructions so that any teacher could download and use them.

Those PDFs can be found here, at Patrick-sensei’s gumroad store!

(At the time of writing, there are still some materials yet to be formatted and uploaded. I’ve been busy!)

These lesson materials represent two years of my work as a cartoonist and creator, and include some of the best and most worthwhile illustration I’ve ever done. I even made a board game! So even though it’s not comics, I’d encourage you to take a look, if you follow my work. I feel like this is my humble equivalent of Will Eisner’s army manuals — those actually useful things he made, in between The Spirit and helping to invent the graphic novel.

And along with creating lesson materials, it was also a part of my job to do… The Morning Speech. (Again: Volume 2 yet to come!)

Final Fantasy: Brave Exvius

From February 2016, I worked for one year with Square Enix as the English localisation editor for Final Fantasy: Brave Exvius, one of those smartphone gacha RPGs. How about that!

The game is continuing — the story is serialised, and there are regular events, etc. — but I’ve finished working on it as of the end of January 2017.

My job was, basically, to take the initial English translation and make it prettier. The work ranged from straight proofreading to heavy rewriting, depending on the needs (and priority) of the material. Unfortunately, due to technical and organisational issues beyond my control, not all of the game text was even seen by me, let alone edited, so if you play the game, you’ll find that the text, in places, switches back and forth between professional quality and, uh, less-than-professional quality, with no apparent pattern — a fact that will always nag at me, but oh well. The parts I worked on, I improved, and I’m proud of that.

With a tiny few exceptions, I didn’t have the foresight to take screenshots of Patrick’s Greatest Edits as I played through the game. Happily, however, some players were so pleased with the dialogue in the game that they did. So I’ve gathered some bits and pieces from social media, reassembled complete conversations where possible, and plopped them into a gallery for you here. I don’t know how representative it is, but anyway, it’s a taste. Naturally, I’ve only included text that I edited heavily enough that I feel I can reasonably take some credit (or blame) for it, but remember that all of it is the product of a kind of assembly-line collaboration, from the writers, to the translators, to me.

I did my best to give the characters strong, recognisable voices, and to make the dramatic bits more memorable and affecting, but naturally it’s the bits where I enhanced the humour of a scene, or just straight-up added jokes to boring conversations, that are popular with the internet’s assorted screenshot-takers, AND RIGHTLY SO. Thank you, screenshot-takers!