Stand-up comedian and illustrator John Cooper (pictured) has launched a crowdfunding drive to create a 2015 calendar featuring cartoons based around the live comedy circuit.
"The Best Job In The World" is an online comic drawn by Cooper that pokes fun at the UK comedy industry. The strip focuses on "the cold realities of what it's like make a living as a stand-up comedian".
Cooper has launched a Kickstarter campaign to try to raise the £1,387 needed to print a selection of the best strips from the first year into a calendar. Anyone who pledges £5 will receive a digital copy of the calendar, whilst £10 will secure you a hard copy.
If you can afford £25 you'll also get one of the dates dedicated to you, whilst if someone were to offer £99 they'd get to co-create one of the strips that has yet to be drawn.
Below is an example of one of the cartoons that will likely appear in the calendar:
John Cooper, who also performs as the character Danny Pensive, told BCG about the background to the 'Best Job In The World' series. "The strip started in mid-2013, originally just for myself to cheer me up. My wife broke her ankle, one of my cats was ill and a few months before I'd left my agent after 8 years, so I was feeling really strung out and needed to vent about stuff.
"I used to draw comics before I became a stand-up comedian but I'd never put the two things together. I'm 40 this year and - acknowledging my age - I'm sure I'm not the only comic who has noticed how much more competitive the circuit has become over the years; loads of new comics getting into the industry seeing it as a better alternative to normal day job. It's all getting a little bit X Factor.
"With the comic strip, I just want to pop a few bubbles and show the colder realities of being a jobbing comic. The long drives and late nights, sometimes it's about wonderful comradery, and sometimes it's about being stuck on the M6 for five hours in a car with an open spot next to you who just wants to mine you for your contacts, then tell you how they are the next big thing. Most of the stuff in the strip is either a truth, a metaphor of the truth, or a nightmare I've had about working in comedy.
"A few years back I'd turn up to a gig and know all the acts, or at least have heard of them. I now turn up at gigs with other acts, they don't know me or I them, but they have heard of the strip."
As John alludes, his strip is now well-followed on the comedy circuit. "I do get positive messages from other comics about the strip. Trying to nail shared experiences is very cathartic and a nice ice breaker in green rooms at gigs. Among comics, a strip I did about late payment (7#: cheque to follow), struck a chord because it's the kind of thing no-one really likes to talk about. A comic strip is good for addressing the elephant in the room. In live comedy there are many elephants."
To find out more about John's fundraising campaign visit Kickstarter.com
You can see previous strips at thebestjobintheworld.co.uk