Gentlemen of a certain age (i.e. mine) may get a certain frisson from this week's competition entry. During my, erm, burgeoning years I was subjected to the Tiller Girls each week on Sunday Night at the London Palladium. For those of you too young to remember when the window on the world was black and white, the Tiller Girls were a troupe of high-kicking women in skimpy (although modern eyes would probably regard them as quite robust) costumes designed to display their legs. Ah, the legs. The women in the Tiller Girls lost their individuality as they morphed into a precise, tightly timed and co-ordinated human centipede. Their legs rose and dropped at exactly the same second. Sometimes, using little demi-kicks, the row of girls split into two separate entities slowly turning clockwise or anti-clockwise on their own axes. I am trying to describe all this from an unreliable memory, but it was all very skilled and clever and charged with an erotic undercurrent, which is why I think the chap at the end is one of my more successful creations.
I was going for total incongruity with this cartoon and I think (for all its faults) I pretty much achieved what I set out to do. There is the incongruous image of a pudgy little man in his underwear high-kicking with a chorus line of long-legged lovelies, but it is the expression on his face which I think works very well indeed. I aimed for an expression of surprise that he should be asked to cease dancing - why on earth would I want to come with you when I'm dancing in a chorus line for an audience? Well, that's what I feel would be his reply to the two intrusive gentlemen in evening dress.
The faults? I think they speak for themselves. The girls aren't just tall, they are positively elongated and stretched. A little spell studying human anatomy might not go amiss. I tried to hint at fishnet tights, but I don't think it really came off. The string vest was an essential part of the humour and was supposed to echo the fishnet tights but, again, it didn't really come off. I'm not going to let these shortcomings bother me too much; after all, I can't envisage the need to draw too many fishnet tights and string vests in the future.
I reverted to my usual cartridge paper and Indian ink this week. I also used a little bit of light pencilling on the finished drawing. This is an avenue I might explore more in the future.
If you would like to see all the winners and also-rans (moi) kindly step this way, you will not be disappointed. There are some real beauties this week and a very deserving number one.
Asterix and the Chariot Race Review
7 months ago