Surfing the Sea

Established 1995

Dartmouth and Jollimore: On Going Back to School — Sep 1, 2018

Dartmouth and Jollimore: On Going Back to School

Dartmouth: Here’s the day us teachers have all been dreading since the beginning of summer vacation. The day kids everywhere go back to school. Here comes the pain and stress again.
Jollimore: (chuckling at Dartmouth) Well, we all have a job to do – and that’s to teach. We’re not really doing it during the summer vacation – we have to have a good break like the kids do. And when we come back to school, we’re all refreshed and ready to take on the next academic year!
Dartmouth: But the struggles only resume the minute we sit back down at our desks and the lessons begin. We’re hauled away from our temporary respite during the summer back to the harsh realities of the teaching profession.
Jollimore: Being busy is a good thing, at least. Boredom’s bad for your mind.
Dartmouth: (suddenly snapping at Jollimore) You told me that BEFORE the summer vacation began!
Jollimore: (realizing) Ah yes, I did, didn’t I?
Dartmouth: But what’s worse than the returning stress of going back to school for teachers? The kids. The stupid kids.
Jollimore: They do have to go to the store to get all their school supplies beforehand. Pencils, pens, pencil cases, notebooks, rulers, the whole lot. So it’s a little stressful for them and their parents too.
Dartmouth: I meant when they ACTUALLY get back to school. The pain of summer vacation ending and the uncertainty of a new academic year means they start getting up to their old tricks again. Throwing paper planes, tossing desks and chairs over, having food fights in the cafeteria, spraying graffiti on the walls, and of course trying to kill me. Just this morning, a stupid kid sprayed “Dartmouth is a derp!” in huge letters outside my office. Ugh! First day back at school and already I’ve just received my first insult of the year!
Jollimore: (smiling) Ah, some teachers get that all the time. They’ve been much better to me though – they were overjoyed to see me again after vacation. I think they really love having me as their teacher.
Dartmouth: Well, my students certainly don’t. I show a lot more authority over them than you, Jollimore, but they do everything they can to force me out of power… including trying to murder me!
Jollimore: Now you don’t sound too far off from a dictator, Dartmouth.
Dartmouth: (sarcastically) Why, thank you very much for that compliment, Jollimore. Now the kids have an even better reason to kill me!
(A sudden gunshot just barely misses him by an inch, tearing some flesh off his hand)
Dartmouth: Argh, they overheard me! Here comes my pain again!
Jollimore: (cheerfully shrugging it off) Well, here’s to another year at Jenhamville Secondary. Let’s get going.
Dartmouth: (getting trampled on by a stampede of rowdy students) Gargh! This is why I never look forward to returning to teaching after summer vacation! This’ll be the worst school year ever!
Jollimore: (to the audience) Don’t mind him. He says that every year.
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Dartmouth and Jollimore’s Alolan Adventures: Chapter 1 — Jul 24, 2018

Dartmouth and Jollimore’s Alolan Adventures: Chapter 1

The sapphire seas of Melemele Island swam into view as the cruise ship sailed in. On the pier, hula dancers in Hawaiian garb greeted and graced the disembarking travellers with swaying grass skirts, twanging ukuleles and bright flower leis. Dartmouth and Jollimore stepped out into the cerulean skies, azure ocean, golden sands and tawny sun.

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Dartmouth and Jollimore’s Alolan Adventures: Prologue — Nov 7, 2017

Dartmouth and Jollimore’s Alolan Adventures: Prologue

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Notes from the Author:

After playing through Pokémon Sun, I became inspired by the wonderfully tropical islands, beaches and oceans of the Alola region. After writing Life is a Beach starring Dartmouth and Jollimore, and seeing as Alola has some golden beaches of its own, I thought it’d be amusing if the two teachers embarked on a summer vacation there and got involved in the island challenge, which provided a great opportunity for their usual antics. Which one of these two will become Alola’s first-ever Champion?


The Skype dial tone rung out from Jollimore’s sleek black laptop as he slipped his equally-dark thin blanket down to his lower torso. The emerging white light from opening the upper screen further up shone like a bright flashlight onto Dartmouth’s still-asleep face, irritating him awake. “Ugh… What, Jollimore…” he groaned lowly, shielding his sleepy eyes from Jollimore’s laptop screen with the back of his hand. “Shh, Dartmouth, this is a very important call,” Jollimore hushed him. “We gotta sign up for the Alola League.”

“Alola…?” Dartmouth trailed off, being shushed again by Jollimore. His answering was greeted by a webcam video of Professor Kukui, whose half-bared figure was somewhat sinisterly illuminated by the bright white backlight from the monitor. “Hello, Alola!” the Professor greeted Jollimore, waving to him over the camera. “Alola, Professor Kukui,” Jollimore returned his greetings, waving too. Dartmouth stared out towards them with widened eyes of disbelief.

“So you’re coming to Alola to become Pokémon Trainers, yeah?” the Professor asked Jollimore and Dartmouth. “And you’ll also be getting your Pokédexes and your amulets that are proof of your participation in the island challenge.” “Pokémon Trainers? This is like Pokémon Go all over again…” scoffed Dartmouth sarcastically. “No, we’re going to be Pokémon Trainers for real this time. Won’t it be exciting?” Jollimore grinned, and Dartmouth gruffly nodded.

“Okay, I’m gonna need both of your names for your Trainer Passports. They’ll record all your adventures and achievements here in Alola,” said the Professor. Dartmouth shuffled across the bed closer to Jollimore, his white sheet-thin blanket still wrapped across his naked torso. “I’m Dartmouth. Dartmouth McKinnon-Graham,” Dartmouth stated. “And I’m Jollimore. Jollimore Ferrison,” Jollimore followed.

The Professor wrote down the two teachers’ names onto some paper, the tiny scratches audible through the camera. “Alright, now let’s take your pictures. Sit in the square.” Dartmouth felt edgy as he glimpsed down at himself, seeing deep red ingrained scars. “With a body like this, I’m not exactly photogenic…” “Oh, Dartmouth, it’ll only be from the neck up, you won’t see anything else,” Jollimore reassured him.

“Okay, you two sit together as still as you can…” The Professor readied his camera while Dartmouth and Jollimore sat up straight in front of the screen, Dartmouth scowling and tightly crossing his arms. Jollimore smiled, without grinning, and the camera flashed vibrantly, snapping their photos. “I’ll crop your faces separately,” said the Professor.

At that moment, a sole ray of amber sunshine sneaked through the closed curtains, tinting the room with a light orange. “Ah, dawn’s breaking. Alright, I’ll be awaiting your arrival in Alola, hopefully very soon,” noted the Professor. “And then you’ll get to start on your very own journey with Pokémon!” “Okay, Professor, see you later,” Jollimore bid goodbye. “See ya,” the Professor replied, and he signed off. Jollimore clicked the laptop lid closed, and gave Dartmouth a playful jab in the shoulder to spur him on. “Gah, I just wanna go back to sleep…” he groaned, trying to fall back onto the bed. “Hey, good Pokémon Trainers always start early,” Jollimore winked, and he arose to have a refreshing shower and get dressed into his summer attire.

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World Teachers Day 2017 — Oct 5, 2017

World Teachers Day 2017

Me: Happy World Teachers Day!

Dartmouth: Again?! Oh God, no.

Me: Yes, again, Dartmouth.

Dartmouth: (sighs angrily)

Jollimore: (cheerfully) Hey Dartmouth, at least be grateful that we get a day celebrating us!


Great advice from Jollimore. This is an updated version of the gallery from last year’s post on World Teachers Day, which of course stars the teaching two, and includes the twins Rockingham and Boulderwood, and my Easter surprise from earlier in the year:

Dartmouth and Jollimore (2012) — Jun 29, 2017

Dartmouth and Jollimore (2012)

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Although I’ve talked about Secondary School by the Sea at great length on this blog before (even being the basis of my story Life is a Beach), this exhibition will serve as a proper introduction to the series for people who have just started following and/or reading my blog.

Secondary School by the Sea (sometimes abbreviated to SSBTS) is a comedy/drama TV series in the world of Canadian Boys. Set mostly at the Jenhamville High School, which is an actual school in the City of Canada, the series and its connected comics and graphic novels follows the daily duties and doings of its teachers and students – especially the protagonist duo of Dartmouth McKinnon-Graham and Jollimore Ferrison, along with the twins Rockingham Hemlock and Boulderwood Wenlock.

Much of the show focuses on Dartmouth, Jollimore and their students, with both the comedic and dramatic aspects of the show coming from Dartmouth’s continual struggles against his often-rebellious students – some of whom have borderline-psychopathic traits and tendencies. These students are so because of their deeply-held grudges against Dartmouth, due to his violent habit of hitting out at them for the tiniest thing – and not even the rare breed of well-behaved students are safe. Jollimore acts as Dartmouth’s comic relief, though he more often than not just gets annoyed by his jolliness and attempts to cheer him up. The entire show paints violence against figures of authority (i.e. teachers) in a whimsical light, which is the possible reason why Dartmouth always seems to survive anything that’s thrown – or shot – at him.

Dartmouth and Jollimore’s character bios now follow, while the twins’ bios will be posted on their own exhibition.

  • Dartmouth

A 28-year-old teacher, the main antagonist of the series. Pessimistic and always expecting things to turn out for the worst or go horribly wrong, he never looks forward to teaching at the school – the students are always finding new ways to get rid of him, resulting in him sustaining injuries (sometimes they are so severe that he has to be hospitalized for a while afterwards). Because of his good luck, Dartmouth will always survive whatever murderous methods the students will cook up next, but this comes at something of a cost – he has developed chronic paranoia, causing him to have nightmares about being successfully murdered and constantly turning thoughts in his mind over what – or who – is around the corner. Because of this, he is secretly suffering, but he does not make it known because of his cruel, uncaring demeanour – he has a very bad and violent habit of randomly hitting students with his suitcase, even those who are well-behaved (which is why the students want to kill him).

  • Jollimore

A 26-year-old teacher, the main protagonist of the series to contrast with Dartmouth’s antagonistic traits. An optimist, he is always looking on the bright side of life and loves to teach his students, as they get on the most with him. However, he does know when to act seriously, such as when visiting Dartmouth in hospital after sustaining severe injuries from an attempt on his life by the students. His philosophy of always finding the positives in life put him firmly in Dartmouth’s line of fire, as he is constantly getting annoyed by his ‘do-gooding’ and emphasizing the joys of positive thinking, which Dartmouth always complains about as being “a load of New Age malarkey”. In a similar manner, Jollimore is always disregarding Dartmouth’s naysaying, telling others not to mind him as he’s always wrong – everything will turn out just alright in the end.

Until somewhat recently, I’d only occasionally draw Dartmouth and Jollimore, or anything SSBTS-based. However, thanks to writing Life is a Beach, I now draw them a lot more frequently, and my portfolio of SSBTS artwork has grown almost virally. This gallery collects all the artwork I’ve drawn featuring Dartmouth and Jollimore together or alone, saving on having to make an exhibition for each individual drawing:

And as a special extra, here’s the marker sketch of Jollimore wearing his rainbow lei by Lighane, which was drawn as a commission from me:

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Jollimore in a rainbow lei by Lighane

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