Friday, 27 November 2009

No-one will believe I thought of it first

Yesterday I sent off a cartoon to Private Eye which poked fun at the website 'Mumsnet'.
Annoyingly, the presenter of 'Have I Got News For You' has pretty much just made the same gag.
Seeing how the editor of Private Eye is a regular on that TV prog I guess it's unlikely that my cartoon will ever see life in print. And no, I'm not accusing him of nicking it for the show- I think they recorded the show before I emailed in the cartoon.
Grr...Curse you, coincidence!
Ah well- maybe I should be happy that I am able to think of TV quality gags.
Nope- that's no consolation.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

The Twiglet Zone

I think cats must be vampires- they seem to be rendered inanimate when they are hit by a beam of sunlight- all signs of life are extinguished, especially if the beam of light combines with a fur rug.

A vampire features in one of two cartoons I have in Private Eye magazine this week- it's the one I was drawing whilst being enveloped in an atmosphere of pretension, as detailed in an earlier post. Perhaps a pseudo intellectual environment has a positive effect on my cartoons, resulting in them being more likely to be accepted...hmmm...

If this is the case anything I draw today is going to go straight into the rubbish bin, as I'll soon be watching 'Carry on Dick' on telly and eating a Pot Noodle. Here's the vampire cartoon-

It's all about the current vogue for vampires to be soppy faced teenagers with issues. In my day all we had was a bloodshot eyed Christopher Lee, flouncing about in a cape in the Hammer films on late night telly- or if you were into your classics, there was old baldie Nosferatu, which is what I'm trying to represent in the cartoon.

Monday, 23 November 2009

I lose again

Results just in for the caption competition a couple of months back. My original caption was only voted second favourite by the readers of Reader's Digest- but I only lost by 5 votes. So, here is the pic again- bearing in mind that it's supposed to show a Mowgli type wolf-boy, my caption is:

"You both know I appreciate you raising me, but I have some news."

The winning caption, by Edward Peppitt of Stoke-on-Trent was:

"Typical! You stand there for hours crying wolf, then two come along at once."

As the magazine points out on their website, quite where the cat comes into this is anyone's guess.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

It's either this or 'I'm a celebrity'...

Not sure if I've mentioned it on this blog, but I once had a go at being an art historian. It was a time long, long ago, when I had been made redundant from a job in IT support (which seems to be a bit of a recurring theme in my life). Being a level headed sensible computer techie, I thought to myself 'with this redundancy cheque what I really need to get on in life is to learn about paintings'. So, armed only with a couple of irrelevant O levels, some self tutored essays and an application form as a mature student, I somehow got a place studying History of Art and Architecture at The Courtauld Institute of Art, London.

I shouldn't be too flippant about it really, as the Courtauld is a rather prestigious place- set within the impressive Somerset House between the Strand and the Thames, it has a collection of art that any national gallery would envy. Just my luck then that when I was there the gallery part was being renovated, and the collection was either in storage or on loan. The only thing I got to see in the exhibition space was a dead pigeon and builders’ materials- perhaps it was a Damien Hirst installation?
Where did it lead me? Although I might not have ended up as the paintings expert on the Antique’s Roadshow, I do have an art related cartoon published this month. All that learning didn't go to waste after all.

Prospect magazine has this cartoon of mine in their latest issue- It’s based on Jacques Louis David's 'Marat Assassinated'.

One of the leaders of the French Revolution, Marat used to work at a desk in his bath (I think he had a painful skin condition which was eased by being in water- or something). He was assassinated whilst in the bath, and it is this moment that David represents. I suppose assassination isn't really a jolly subject, but it was over 200 years ago, so I hope no one takes offence.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Poor me

My lurgy is slowly getting better, but I currently have a deep husky voice- I was going to go out to the pub tonight and impress the ladies with it- sadly although I might sound like Barry White I actually look more like Barry from Eastenders, so I'm staying in.

I have a cartoon in Private Eye magazine this week, but I'm far too weak and feeble to post it- *cough...splutter...wheeze*

Thursday, 12 November 2009

My night nurse, oh the pain it's getting worse...

I've struggled heroically this week with illness and pain. Several times, as I lay gasping in my sick-bed, I heard voices beckoning me 'into the light'. But no! I'm made of strong English stock, so I gave the chap with the scythe a punch up the bracket and I'm still here!

Or, to put it another way- I've had a bad cold. Still have actually, but I’m not one to complain. I'll suffer in silence. I'll curl up with a hot toddy and hope it'll go away soon (a hot totty would be better, but for now I'll make do with hot water, honey, lemon and a tot of whiskey).

I'm hoping it's not swine flu- which brings me neatly (did you see what I did there?) to this cartoon. I drew it in the summer, when swine flu was all the rage, and the government flu help line was getting flack for not being particularly useful.

I only sent it to one mag, which rejected it- and then the flu that was going to end mankind sort of went away, making it no longer newsworthy. Perhaps if the promised pandemic breaks out this winter it might become topical again, and I'll be able to profit from other people's misery. Fingers crossed, eh!

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Pretentious? Watashi? *

I've just spent the past hour listening to the premiere of Sparks' radio musical 'The Seduction of Ingmar Bergman', on BBC 6 music, whilst simultaneously watching a 1950's black and white French art documentary 'Le Mystere Picasso', whilst also trying to draw a cartoon based on the 1922 German vampire movie 'Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens'.

Oh- and I'm also cooking a chicken based on a recipe from the Yemen.
And I wonder why I’m single- *sigh*.

(In my defence, my favourite TV programme is 'Harry Hill's TV Burp'.)

*10 points to anyone who gets the reference, without Googling.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Life beyond the cartoon graveyard

Remember, Remember, the 5th of November.
Gunpowder, treason and plot...

Precious few fireworks round these parts tonight- and no one asks for a penny for the Guy anymore. These days it seems that Halloween has taken over as the choice of the kids as their preferred way of demanding treats with menaces. I read somewhere the other day that it began to take off in this country after the film E.T. came out- with its scenes of Halloween 'fun'- i.e. the tacky crap that kids dress up in, and all its commercial opportunities.

How long before the major retailers in the UK decide that what we really need in this country is to celebrate Thanksgiving?
"Good idea, R.J. Let's get the marketing guys and gals on to that one!"

This has nothing to do with cartoons-so, I’ll get back to the plot. Quite pleased this week, as I've made a couple of sales (I’ll post them when they get published) and a couple of 'holds' (nothing definite, but potential publication)- oh, and the usual rejections. Such as the following- I really liked this, so I was sad Foxy never got into print.

But... these things might have life after publishing death.
Most of my unpublished cartoons go to a stock cartoon service called Cartoonstock.
I haven't been with them long, but even cartoons I drew years ago, and thought would never appeal to anyone, have ended up as a design on a mug and made me a few extra pennies- such as the following- it must be old- it's drawn with real pen and ink, rather than computer technology.

So- fret not, Foxy- you may yet end up on a mouse mat.