Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Enery the aytff

BBC4 just had a programme about Henry the Eighth on- I missed most of it, but it's as good a reason as any to post this pic (sort of caricature) of the royal psycho bloater- it was in a cartoon which I haven't been able to sell.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

And this, is me...

I'm lucky enough to have a few cartoons in one or two magazines at the moment. This has cheered me up because unfortunately I'm in the middle of a black hole of humour at the moment. I haven't thought of any (what I consider) decent gags for ages, and the stuff appearing in print was drawn some time ago.
Ah, well- Hopefully I'll have a creative kick up the backside, because I'm back listening to Stuart Maconie's Freak Zone, on BBC 6 Music (note to BBC bosses- ARE YOU MAD?! DON'T SHUT THIS STATION DOWN!)
Often the stuff I draw when listening to this ends up published- It must connect some humour synapses in the old noggin.

So - here's one of the gags- which is in the Reader's Digest (another fine institution at risk of closure-Hopefully the reports of many potential buyers will prove to be true and they'll keep going).

Yes- the hopeless sap of a customer is me. Friends of mine manage to build cars out of raw metal, yet I think it’s an achievement if I manage to change a lightbulb in a front indicator.

Thursday, 25 March 2010


A week off work for me, and pottering about indoors I came across a file containing some old cartoons. I think they're the first ones I ever had published- so long ago that some of the magazines no longer exist.

One of the mags was a comedy magazine called 'The Truth'. It looks like it's from 1988.

This rather odd gag of mine found its way into its pages

"Haven't seen a force nine gale, have you?"

Another mag, Maxim, is still going strong, but no longer publishes gag cartoons.
Back in 1998 they found space for quite a few gags, and this one of mine was accepted by them.

(There’s a feature in the same issue about young sports persons worth keeping an eye on. Apparently some 13 year old kid called Lewis Hamilton was worth a punt on winning the F1 Drivers' Championship one day)

Looking at the dates of these things it seems that I'd give cartooning a go and then give up for 10 years- I gave it a go in 1988 and then stopped- 1998 another go and then stopped- and now more recently I gave it a go in 2008, but this time I somehow have managed to keep going. Time will tell...

Friday, 19 March 2010

The Unexplained

Way back when the earth was young, and TV only had 3 channels, there was a programme called something like "Arthur C. Clarke's world of the Blimey, that's a bit odd".
The bespectacled sci fi author of the title would stroll along a Sri Lankan beach, introducing tales of the weird and unexplained- in the end the explanation being they were the made up ramblings of some barking mad wild eyed loon.
Subjects would include Crystal skulls, the Nazca lines, the Pyramids- usually the argument being that because modern man couldn't work out how primitives could construct such things, it must be aliens. Clots.
As Lister from Red Dwarf says to Rimmer-
"Your explanation for anything slightly peculiar is aliens, isn't it? You lose your keys, it's aliens. A picture falls off the wall, it's aliens. That time we used up a whole bog roll in a day, you thought that was aliens as well."

Where am I going with this? Ah yes, the real mystery of adult life, and one that Mr C. Clarke never mentioned: the Wagon Wheel effect.

This gag is in the current issue of The Spectator

Sunday, 7 March 2010


Spring, the sweet spring, is the year's pleasant king,

Then blooms each thing, then maids dance in a ring,

Cold doth not sting, the pretty birds do sing:

Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo!

(OK, I know that Spring for some doesn't start til 20th/21st March, but It's a sunny day today, and the crocuses are popping up,- oh, and this cartoon of mine is in the current Spectator magazine.)

Friday, 5 March 2010

Another ambition fulfilled!

Finally! I've been mentioned in the 'Pedant's Corner' section of Private Eye magazine.
For those who don't know, this is where pedantic readers of the mag can feel smug as they write in and point out errors in things they have seen in the magazine.
A sharp eyed daughter of one reader was confused by my Rapunzel cartoon (as featured in an earlier post). Apparently any child knows that Rapunzel's tower didn't have a door.
To use an expression any child should know-

Wednesday, 3 March 2010


A few posts ago I wrote about the risks of a cartoon appearing in more than one publication at the same time. This almost happened again the other day.

Some mags still take cartoons on paper rather than by email, and I guess things can get stuck in filing cabinets. The cartoon in question was sent off as part of a batch to one of the UK mags (I shall keep them anonymous). Months passed and I heard nothing back from them- I like to know yes or no so I can send them on to the other mags- Eventually I heard 'no thanks'.
I'm used to rejection now, so I only lay sobbing in the dark for a mere 20 minutes or so. But, at least I knew they were free agents once more, so I sent them around to the other mags and eventually this one was chosen, and printed in the Spectator.

Last Friday I got home from work (a successful day of turning computers off and on) to find the original mag had finally returned the 'lost' gags and chosen the same one the Speccie took. Aggh!! The shame- people will think I’m trying to fob off second hand gags as new. What could happen is that both mags could complain they didn't have exclusivity and demand payment back- I can't afford that- I’d already spent it on a new pair of socks.

There wasn't any drama in the end- The first mag managed to pull the cartoon just hours before the presses rolled.
Note to magazine editors- c'mon guys, I have more than enough cartoons to share around- OK, so they might not be very good, but at least no one else wants them- they'll be exclusive to your publication.