Saturday, May 14, 2005

Crap British Cartoons

Cartooning in the UK is in a sorry state. I suppose it was always pretty bad, but it's a lot worse now. I do most of my cartooning in the US, not just because the money is better, but also because the cartoon/art editors really seem to be interested in the cartoonists. It's really not that way here.

The Spectator is just one example of why cartoonists are a dying breed in Britain. Although they do buy some cartoons, by far the most popular cartoonist over the past couple of issues has been cut-and-paste 'cartoonist' Castro (who seems to grab vintage ads from online and manipulate them, a little), with about 10 cartoons in the last two issues. More even than the cartoon editor himself, Mike Heath, who also happens to be, Castro. It's not that the cartoon editor peppering the paper with his own 'illustrations' is itself objectionable, although no other cartoon editor does this, but what is objectionable is that these 'gags' are incredibly lame.

The future's not too bright looking either if the cartoon by the under 30 winner (that's young?) of The Young Cartoonist of the Year, displayed on TheCartoon Art Trust site is anything to go by. Okay, maybe that Batman cartoon is a bad example, Larsonesque 10 years after Larson's retirement, but it just looks so dated. Besides, a Batsignal message to Batman, come on, how old is that? And was Batman ever employed by anyone? Yeesh. And the judges... talk about big fish in a small pond...which is probably where the problem lies, I mean, they draw tired looking dated cartoons, so it stands to reason that is exactly what they'll pick as 'new' talent.