please excuse the attention grabbing headline, but i’m looking for your help in making this site more useful and more negotiable. i thought if i used a shouty headline you good people might read on. :-)
i don’t know whether it is still possible for her, but laura ( an asbo’er of high callibre) very kindly offered to help organise things (she may well be far too busy now)… get tags sorted and stuff like that.
i think where i could do with help (as people use this site and often use images for different reasons of their own) is in working out what the tags should be. too many tags would be unhelpful, but i was thinking, if there were 12 tag words, that would be a great and simple way of getting to the cartoons you need.
this may seem like a simple task, but i’m 639 cartoons in and short on time.

anyway… my question to all of you who want to see this site become more useful as a resource is… WHAT SHOULD THOSE TAGS BE?… if we stick to twelve, how are the subjects best summed up in a word? or… is there something else i should be doing entirely to tame this asbo beast? :-)

any thoughts, lists, ideas would be very much appreciated.
thank you all for your ongoing input in to the adventure which is asbojesus. bless you and cheers! :-)

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About jonbirch

animator, illustrator, character designer, graphic designer. music producer/recording musician. co-owner of PROOST. proost.co.uk
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72 Responses to WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME!!!!!?

  1. Laura says:

    Nope,not too busy…yet ;-)

  2. are you wanting simplistic and sensible.

    Because I guess


    may be some suggestions?

    wow, I’m boring.

  3. Hayles says:

    Oooh exciting, tagging is definitely a good idea!

    Do you mean tags along the lines of: The Church; relationships; the bible; marriage; politics; sexuality?

    The character of God is always a favourite subject of mine…a cartoon from ages ago still sticks in mind, with the tagline something like: ‘What Jesus didn’t say’ (with Jesus yelling at the lost sheep or something.)

    When this tag system gets up and running I’ll look it up!

  4. ED... says:

    “Youthwork” would be a tag I’d search under…

  5. Hayles says:

    Actually I’d really like all of the uplifting hopeful ones to be grouped together for me to look at when I’m feeling in an Eeyore mood!

  6. Hayles says:

    (But maybe this is a private project!)

  7. Caroline Too says:

    What about

    Wow, I never thought of it that way!
    Let’s wind up the music group while we’re at it
    pictures of Jon (denied of course)
    Let’s wind up the preachers while we’re at it
    the messy side of christianity/bible
    Let’s wind up the the powerful while we’re at it
    there’s something wonderful here…
    the pictures of Jon that he denied were pictures of Jon
    Let’s wind up the fundies while we’re at it
    Whoa, where’s Jon going with this one then
    pictures of Jon, let’s wind up Jon while we’re at it

  8. Claire says:

    Let me put in my vote for tagging!

    This is maybe hard to put into words…but I think there’s a useful distinction between cartoons about our relationship with God (usually uplifting, but not always) and cartoons about the experience of being part of a church (usually ironic and/or a bit cynical, but often hilariously funny).

    I haven’t mentioned it before, but I’ve used a couple of the cartoons at my church (with acknowledgement, of course) and gotten very good feedback – they’re very thought provoking.

  9. Tim Bower says:

    What about tags that represent a single word response to each of the ‘toons?

    Some of the responses I have had
    “Oh Snap!”

    Then you can have people choose one of the responses and use the comments to express that. Then after the first 3 days or so, you could tag each ‘toon with the majority response in the comments.

  10. Christine says:

    I’d be a fan of simple, straightfoward tags, like brunettekoala suggested. I would click the “worship” tag often, those are my favorite :)

  11. becky says:

    How about a compromise –
    straightforward tags (church, worship, emerging) – that would help those of us who want to use the topic in say a talk on church and want visuals.

    Then and maybe add an emotioanl tag then like emotional tag (loss, hope). That would help me if I’m looking for a tag to send someone re: a specific mood.

    And if we all go off on a bizarre tangent, then add a tag if the theme warrants it (e.g., Jon’s self-portraits NOT) That would have helped me find the man boob cartoon I was looking for.

    I still want T-shirts.


  12. Laura says:

    so, are you recommending “man boob” as a tag then? ;-)

  13. dadube says:

    I am at home sick and just woke up the popster laughing at the whole man boob tag issue!
    Thanks for making me smile becky and laura :)

  14. Sam Norton says:

    A couple of comments, as someone who does use your cartoons in my church presentations:
    – restricting yourself to 12 tags seems quite restrictive, is that a practical necessity? (in which case no argument)
    – the thing that I would find most helpful is if the text included in the cartoon itself could be searchable somehow – often I am thinking of a particular cartoon but I remember the text (either the caption or text in the image) and it would be tremendously beneficial if I could search directly for that (rather than wade through your entire catalogue… which I’ve done a few times now ;) )

  15. dennis says:

    If we were going for 12 tags/categories then I would choose popular words like Youthwork, Church, Vicar, Sex, God, Jesus, not because I wanted too but because that would be the general feel of what people would look under.

    However, asbo isn’t straight forward or down the line is it so you might take the risk of using the more obscure words you prefer and blog about.

    Either way a good sort out would make all us compulsives feel better!

    Actually on thought I don’t suppose there would be a risk of missing asbos’s as they would be under a number of tags?

    Yeah go for it 12 tags is cool!

  16. BenDLea says:

    It’s like a Gideon AsboBible, relevant for all circumstances…

  17. Carole says:

    But if we have tags, I would have no excuse to revisit and remember all my favourites along the way…it’s a bit like looking for your birth certificate in that box of ‘stuff’ that we all have, and getting hugely distracted by a whole load of old family photos… :)

    If it were me, I would just start a ‘tag as you go’ practice and do a retrospective exercise over time, see what evolves…but then I’m not very organised. Some people remember by theme, others by the visuals so 12 could be limiting (for example, ‘naked’ as opposed to ‘rapture’, one of my particular favourites). Presumably WordPress has a searchbox widget so you wouldn’t have to stick to 12.

    You’ve become a victim of your own success, Jon. Thanks, Laura, for stepping in.

  18. Big Dan says:

    I’m only a very occasional commenter, but I read the cartoons regularly.

    One question to throw in… what is the purpose of the tags? Is it to:

    (a) enable new readers to browse the back catalogue?
    (b) enable anyone to find cartoons on a particular topic, for linking / reproduction / general interest?*
    (c) enable existing readers to find that much-loved cartoon hidden somewhere among the 639 others?
    (d) all of the above?

    That may help with thinking about what the tags should be.

    * I mean reproduction in the sense of parish magazine. Not cartoons about reproduction. Although the tags will help to show what Jon’s particular obsessions / favourite topics are.

  19. Robb says:

    I vote for “Man Boob” and “Reproduction” as tags!

    I think I probably use too many tags on my site. One of the key things when using wordpress is the tag ‘religion’. That gets used on the home page.

    Can we have “Ones where Robb swore” and “ones where Robb didn’t swear”?

  20. alice says:

    Women in the church

    could be a category

  21. Robb says:

    I sense that would be a positive section. Could we bring balance to the force with a negative section like “Men in the Church”?

  22. becky says:

    18. I’d think the purpose of tagging is all three …

    A few themes that keep coming up … and obviously we can tag a cartoon with more then one of them.

    Women in the Church
    The Church
    The Image of God
    Worship Music (comes up enough that should get it’s own category)
    In the News
    Faith & Science (could include Atheism here I suppose as it comes up a bit but it’s not a main theme)
    Death & Heaven
    Commercial Christ ™ – or some other logo to denote the theme of faith & Money, prosperity preaching, etc.

    “Man boobs” should be a tag because “body image” is something that comes up on this site and when it does, we really go after it. It helps to have a few tags for those of us twisted types who hang around here. And it shows the spirit of ASBO.

    I wonder what it mens that one of the auto generated posts associated with this comment is “Super Bod – Get One With These 3 Tools”

    And maybe we could add our own tags so if say Rob Swears comes up, we can choose to add a tag and then see what themes develop.

  23. Sophie says:

    love the idea of ‘man boobs’ as a tag!

  24. marcus says:

    If you go for 12 tags then you have to make sure one of the twelve is a wild card! In fact I really love the idea of a tag that just doesn’t get what it means to be a tag…not even sure if it’s possible to do?

  25. Sophie says:

    one of my favourites ever is the ‘velocirapture’, would that come under Faith and Science or maybe Death and Heaven?

  26. Robb says:

    My favourite addition to my lexicon from the world of asbo is related to that Sophie. Escapological/escapology eschatology…

    Makes people laugh every time I say it in a lecture :D

  27. zefi says:

    I don’t know what should be part of the categories, but I do know one thing that should not:


  28. blackhazel says:

    Just want you to know, as a new ASBO’er I cannot wait until these images are tagged, however they are tagged. I am going to sift through to my heart’s content. I really like the emotional tag idea!

  29. dennis says:

    yeah defo man boobs, and poo & wee please.

  30. Linus says:

    “what do you want from me?”

    Chocolates would be nice.

    Not sure 12 is enough – would still be maybe 50 or 60+ cartoons in each category to search through. More if you guess the wrong tag. depends how you double up tags though.

    Is there any way to make the comment threads searchable? The discussions are an important resource as well as the cartoons i think.

    “emergent church” and something like “christian cliques” would be good tags maybe? Even if they’re both aruably oxymorons [removes head swiftly from parapet]

    A super bod with three tools becky? surely thats an unnecessarily high level of inbuilt redundency?


  31. don’t forget tag for gay (& lesbian) stuff, please!

  32. Heidi Renee says:

    I didn’t read anyone else’s, so if these are repeats, sorry.

    women, sacred+cows, beauty, truth, love, ugly+theology, sex, redemption, story, hope, did you say 10 or 12? sorry, you get 10 :D

  33. beatthedrum says:


    or is that more than one word

  34. jonbirch says:

    okay… hmmmmm… righto… hmmmmm…
    i think 12 was wishful thinking. the more i’ve read and thought (btw… thanks for the very helpful input), the more i think we need something like below. i don’t think it matters that there are a load of words… for those who need access to themes easily this will be helpful. so i’ve split the tags into 3 lists. i’m trying to keep keywords simple… so one word if possible. please feel free to add themes and emotions, so i can knock this in to final shape before asking laura to go through adding tags… are you really sure, laura?
    some of the cartoons will have a number of tags, some just a few… it should be possible to home in on the one you want.
    btw… as linus asked… is there any wordpress geek who knows whether comments are searchable and if so, how?
    i won’t be able to link to text in a cartoon as they are part of the image. sorry.

    i’ve tried to take into account all above comments.


    current affairs
    image of god
    jesus’ words
    self image
    self harm
    virtual world




    warning: mild peril!
    warning: mild swearing!
    warning: nudity!
    warning: parental advisory!
    warning: sexual content!
    warning: strong views!
    warning: violence!

  35. Robb says:

    Warning: Mild Peril and one Sexual Swear Word

    Harry Potter and the Unnecessary 8th Film?

  36. émie says:

    oooo i agree with becky, i want t-shirts!!!

    why not just have all those tags? cos whilst 12 is biblical, it’s not practical. UNLESS you can do like 12 MAIN things and each of those be divided into seperate ones as well?

  37. jonbirch says:

    ‘mild peril’ now added.

  38. James says:

    The list is looking good :). Thanks for listening to the suggestion, sorry for landing you with so much work. I would offer a helping hand but with the situation at College I really can’t at the minute.

  39. Why not use “categories” AND “tags”

    Categories would allow you to lump a cartoon into one general category and free you to use as many tags as are necessary to capture the essence of the particular cartoon.

    You can categorize into multiple categories as well. Gives people extra search options.

    It looks like searching comments requires either a plugin or code manipulation that I don’t think you can do on wordpress.com. If you were a self-hosted blog, you could pull it off.

  40. jonbirch says:

    thanks james. :-)

    chris… ooh… gosh… right… hmmmm… i am a bear of little brain. :-)

  41. kate says:

    Could also have a catalogue list with the numbers and the titles …

    But really liking the tag idea for finding those special favourites.

  42. jonbirch says:

    laura… is chris marsden’s suggestion one you could work with? sounds sensible. my brain hurts. :-)

  43. becky says:

    I like Chris suggestion – create 12 categories and then start off with a suggested list of tags. We could all then have the ability to add tags – Man boobs though has to be on the list … as does woo & Pee sort of like the ASBO section where if you think this way you’re in danger of being declared ASBO’d.

    Also, we could also add a tag if say a conversation went off topic to reflect that info. about that could be found here. For example, there are loads of comments about cliques, Todd Bentley, and George Bush scattered in the comments. If we could do the tagging, that would make it much easier on y’all – somehow this happens on delicious.

  44. As far as I know, tagging as to happen from within the admin. Regular readers could suggest tags someone could add from time to time.

    suggested tags: brilliant idea, wordpress, tags.

    I use categories to lump things and then brain dump tags based on whatever I wrote about.

  45. Pat says:

    Are you sure you can’t download a ‘search’plugin from wordpress?

    And where’s the ‘Ian Hislop’ tag? :lol:

  46. TyTe says:

    Don’t limit it to 12 tags otherwise it’s no use. Needs to be fully searchable…

    e.g. gay,creation,mud,hippo,etc.

  47. Laura says:

    jon @42 – yep, definately can do tags and categories.

    TyTe – I was thinking of the need for “hippo” to be a tag earlier today too. How funny…

  48. Linus says:

    Beat the drum @33: you’re right! we only need one tag after all! =]

    I think the tags will help people searching for themes, but not really people searching for individual cartoons that they (half) remember. For that i think you need more of a transcription.

    This is probably a more ambitious and therefore longer term project than just tagging, but we could transcribe the text of the cartoon and keywords about the cartoon visuals into text and then that would be searchable. I don’t know how to attach the transcription to the entry though – either it could be added in very small white text so it didn’t show, or we could set up a parallel wordpress site with the transcription entered under the number of the cartoon. Or something.

    So e.g the transcription for the latest cartoon might read:


    my theological training [etc – ie entire text of cartoon]

    theology student
    mitre board
    blue background

  49. Laura says:

    Linus, for 640 I was thinking more like:


    but your list is good too ;-)

  50. Mark says:

    One handy one:

    Annoucement (for posts like this)

    And a thought, a lot of those tags are redundant. So, why have gay AND lesbian, you could just have gay, or homosexuality or something? If you wanted lesbian, you could check out gay and female. For the same reason ditch “youthwork” and keep youth and ministry. Not an essential idea, but might keep the tag level down.

    Also, and this important, youthwork should be two words. Youth Work. Because. I Say So.

  51. mlc says:

    mood based tags – showing the mood of the artist and what they are trying to portray


  52. Sam says:

    Altruism should definitely be one of the tags as it seems to be a consistent theme throughout these highly relevant and honest comics.

  53. becky says:

    Another tag in honor of Mike Yaconelli – “Messy Spirituality” – in that goes all the posts where we talk about being screwed up but Jesus loves us anyway.

  54. Will says:

    could there not be a compromise. 12 broad categories and then for more specific searches use Tags which would be individual for the image. These can then be silly things (like man boobs (moobs)).

    Also a search bar (added easily in wordpress) could then search for the tag lines that are below the image (obviously no the text in the image) but could also search for comments in the post (I think). It is sometimes those things that are memorable. not that the toons do not fit in the category of memorable.

    Hope that is helpful.

  55. Robb says:

    Could the text of the cartoon be put in a tag and therefore be searchable?

  56. subo says:

    just aware of all the pleasure, and sense of real community I get from looking at the asbo cartoons, cheers Jon

  57. becky says:

    As long as man boobs is in there somewhere, I’m cool – and a few other off-the-wall tags to denote when things get off a tangent. I agree keep the categories to a manageable minimum (12 has a nice disciple ring to it though 7 is also a biblical number) and then we can suggest tags. If the search bar is easy that would be cool – I just had to search for the emergent church ooze cartoon this morning – found it via google but that would be a great feature.

  58. Linus says:

    144 is a biblical number….


    [sorry. not helpful]

  59. becky says:

    I could go with mooooooobs – we need some code to let us know when Jon is doing yet another self-portrait that he claims isn’t really about him but no one is buying it.

  60. gilly says:

    don’t do lists, so even when you do tag I’ll still scroll-on down,….just knowing that the one i want is just before that pink one that Linus commented on….sorry:)

  61. darrin says:

    i think i left a comment but i think it must be floating around in the cloud somewhere

  62. jonbirch says:

    darrin… you were spam! but i rescued you. :-)
    when comments come in as spam i have no way of knowing, unless i constantly check the spam filter, which is a real drag. letting me know is a good way of me releasing you. :-)

  63. Robb says:

    There is a redeemer, Jon who saves the Spaaaaa – e – a – am…..

  64. Linus says:

    pleeease release me, let me go

  65. Robb says:

    Round here it’s “Poliiiiiice, release me, let me gooooooo….”

  66. Laura says:

    jon- check ur fb mail

  67. Carole says:

    OK, Laura – you got all that?

  68. Laura says:

    ummmmm…can you repeat the question?

  69. flabbyboy says:

    Would it be possible to set something up so that I can download higher res images for putting onto a t-shirt. I am more than happy to pay for this.

  70. Colin says:

    When I was a teenager, sometime in 81 or 82, my friend Gaylon and I were beating on my cymbal and fighting over the placement of a microphone under it. The mic went through Gaylon’s Fender Bass Amp and we found that if you hold the mic under the cymbal and hit it, it would make weird sounds. So here we are beating away at the cymbal and jerking the microphone back and forth, the sound is going whir-rohw-whir-roll-whir-whrowl-woo- and then suddenly out from the amp comes, “WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME!?”. We drop the mic and look at each other in disbelief. Then both of us say “WOW!” at the same time and try to repeat the process. Nothing like that has ever happened since.

  71. G says:

    Satan should definitely get his own tag.
    I love the ones with him in it :)
    Besides I think he gets a lot of stick for no good reason. Did anyone ever READ the old testament? The snake is the only one that tells the truth throughout…

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