Sunday, May 15, 2005

Cartoonists! Posted by Hello

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.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Revenge of the Sith

I'm not actually a Star Wars fan. I did attend the first ever showing, but its appeal wained quite quickly. I've never really been a fan of the comic books, or any of the associated paraphernalia.

What put me off early on was Alex Guiness. He considered the film beneath him. Yet I thought he was crap. I don't think he could act at all, in fact he was worse even than Laurence Olivier (his Othello has to be seen to be believed). He's okay in The Ladykillers, but none of the Ealing comedies of that period was less than brilliant, so I reckon that's being good by association. The totally brilliant Peter Sellers starred alongside Guiness in The Ladykillers and to my mind he was a far superior actor. Not only that, but I think he was the funniest comedian of all time, streets ahead of that affected, bullying, drone Peter Cook.

Anyhoo, a horny Yoda, yuckerooney.

Revenge of the Sith Posted by Hello

Going Down.

Gasp! Just surfaced from underneath a mountain of paperwork. I've finished a lot of stuff and sent something over to Stik at Sticky Pages for his free online comic. You should check it out.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Lazy Sundays

This'll be all about cartooning. It is dull, dull, dull, unless you like that sort of thing.

I split the day up because I have that disorder where you get really excited about something, and then the moment you achieve, or buy, it, or whatever, you get really bored with it, so I arrange a range of things to work on. From around 9am to 12 I'll get straight down to drawing gag cartoons so I'll finish maybe 5, and hopefully 10. Then I'll watch all the news programmes until 1.30, but I'll only take an hour off and the news will continue in the background, on cable. At 1pm I'll work on one of two strips and I'll try to ink one episode and pencil another. Around about 3pm I'll work on a graphic novel, or a comic book. Then, around 4pm, while I'm thinking about drawing, I'll start making dinner, from scratch. When my wife gets home from teaching she sits down to eat, and I start to think about clearing up and that'll take me to 6, 7, 8, 9 , 10, or 11. If I start pottering around online it'll take even longer. After I do settle down we'll discuss our days and my wife will drag herself off to bed leaving me to sit there sketching and writing until about 3am. If the cable is really bad I'll put a Curb your Enthusiasm, or Seinfeld dvd on. But if something like Dad's Army, or Gimme, Gimme, Gimme (no idea why I like it), or Father Ted is on I'll have that in the background. Some nights I just watch tv and if I do get a flash of inspiration I'll scribble something in my handy notebook. At the moment any spare time I have is spent thinking about next year's greetings card designs.

Saturdays I don't do anything, sometimes. But that's over quikly and on Sunday afternoon, after reading the papers all morning (seldom anything funny in that lot), it's time to prepare for the week ahead. That means getting the postage, envelopes, etc, organised so they are within easy reach. Otherwise I get annoyed and flusstered and end up covered in ink and glue. It's also a good day for cleaning pens and other pottering around and reading cartoon material like Robert Mankoff's Naked Cartoonist or a comic book. Man, what a geek I am.

Friday, May 06, 2005


Quick bit of time travel. I've set the clock to UK time now. I've just scanned 10 cartoons into the computer. I used good old fashioned grey watercolour wash for half tones. It actually looks grey-blue, but scanned in as 'greys' does the trick. I don't really think you can replicate the effect of watercolour tones on the computer that well, but, if you colour the half-toned cartoon with a low opacity, the colour lets the variations in the tone show through, and that really does look hand-painted.

I'm going to grab a bit lunch and head to Chester for the racing. I should get there around 3 o'clock. If I take a sketch pad, it's work.

Elected, well, sort of...

Well, that's it all over then. Tony Blair's majority has been greatly diminished so it's a return to collective goverment, because he'll no longer be able to abridge reports and steamroller bills through. And since El Presidenti doesn't like collective goverment he should go soon, perhaps within the next 6 months (depending on how low the winning margin is), allowing Pruidence to take over.

On the plus side there seems to be some hot new totty from the Lib Dem's moving into the Commons.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Kill Perkins Posted by Hello

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Election Doom

It's almost upon us, the UK election, and I am so utterly bored by the whole thing. I've always been cynical about politicians and our little duocracy over here, but I think this is really the first time I have ever felt so dismayed about the whole process. In fact it has all become so beyond parody that I can't think of one single cartoon. And I have yet to see a decent toothy satirical swipe over here. If only we had some vicious cartoonists like Ted Rall.

Anyway, I've been working on the odd business cartoon for a couple of US titles, and here's one I did recently.