Grace and Caffeine is/was a weekly Christian-themed comic strip, which I wrote for the weekly notice sheet at Yateley Baptist Church (in Hampshire, UK) for three and a half years, from mid-December 2006 until the end of July 2010.
The project has now ended, and this site contains the entire series - 178 strips - in their original greyscale format, plus coloured versions of several episodes (including all 48 from the final year), and a few of my more interesting development sketches, all accompanied by a retrospective cartoonist's commentary on each strip, written at the end of the project.
The archive also features a brief introduction to the characters of Grace and Caffeine, and an Extras page which includes time-lapse videos of me drawing Strip 062 and Strip 074, and all 20 episodes of Games Baptists Play, a short-lived strip which I created in 2004, and which served as a precursor to Grace and Caffeine.
The strip had no regular title for the first 8 months of its existence, but in September 2007, I gave it the name Grace and Caffeine, which I think reflects well its mixture of spiritual and pragmatic themes. As Christians, we are called to rely primarily on Grace, but as humans, we still resort all too often to more material remedies, e.g. Caffeine, at least for some of our smaller problems. The phrase "grace and caffeine" has appeared in the strip itself only once, in the last panel of Strip 025.
And I would like to take this opportunity to sort out, once and for all, the question of whether or not this comic strip is autobiographic. Like much of my other creative output, some parts (such as Strip 009 and Strip 035) are based on my own experience, whereas others (such as Strip 016) obviously aren't. No one character in the comic is particularly based on myself, although all of them probably reflect some facets of my personality. And the comic isn't really set at Yateley Baptist itself, but at a fictional small baptist church which bears a lot of similarity to it. After two years of anonymity, I finally gave the place the name Volesford Free Church in the early-2009 Strip 104.
Anyway... now that I've sorted all that out... I'll let you go and read through the archives. Although I should warn you that some of the file sizes, particularly for a few of the colour versions, aren't exactly dialup-friendly!
If you'd like to reproduce one or more Grace and Caffeine strips, please email me and say which ones you'd like, and what you want to do with them. Chances are I'll say yes, and I can supply higher-resolution print versions if you wanted to reproduce them on paper.
© Copyright Matthew Colclough 2006 - 2010, all rights reserved