Wednesday, 18 November 2015

The End Result of a Warped Mind

This, alas, was my entry for this week's caption competition. There really is no excuse for it and I can only apologize.
Now, regarding the fact that this came about via two pencil sketches - one of which was scanned in for inking - you may have some difficulty in believing what I am about to say.
This cartoon started off as a depiction of Rene Descartes and his dictum; cogito ergo sum. Descartes posited that the senses could not be trusted, so how do we know that we exist at all? He boiled it down to I think, therefore I am. I was thinking along the lines of God disproving, in a very personal manner to Descartes,that his thinking was flawed. Two obstacles stood in the way of me depicting this. Firstly, I would have to draw a cartoon that was recognizably Descartes short of having a huge arrow pointing to him with the appended legend: This is Rene Descartes. Not good art. Secondly, I wasn't clever enough to think of a situation that would highlight Descartes' flawed deconstruction of the self (flawed for the puposes of the cartoon). Okay, so what if I had Descartes writing C.E.S. on a piece of paper, but - in a thought bubble - thinking of bare, naked ladies. His angry wife- hands on hips - would be angrily declaring that that wasn't what he was  thinking ( the philosophy bit - not the bare, naked ladies). As a cartoon, I still think (ho ho!) that it could work, but it would still depend on the viewer recognizing Descartes for who he was.
Fatefully, I took the dog for a walk and began cogitating as I perambulated. I say fatefully, because the result of that walk was the cartoon above. Being of unsound mind, sex reared its ugly glans and ... well, you know the rest.
The guns ( I almost typed weapons, but I think I'm in enough trouble as it is) are a straight lift from Frank Hampson's Dan Dare. You see, nothing is sacred!
How many points did I get? A rather telling zero.

Monday, 19 October 2015

A Series of Minor Katta Strofes.

This, O best beloveds, is my entry for this week's caption competition which was, ermmm, captionless. The theme was 'The Establishment'. So, do I actually need to explain what my entry is all about? Quick answer - most definitely as only one person taking part in the voting seemed to understand my warped and twisted mind (gawd bless yer, Scotty). The Occupy movement have adopted V's Guy Fawkes mask from Alan Moore and David Lloyd's V for Vendetta as a symbol of protest. My thinking was that they may think they are changing society for the better, but all they are doing is cutting down the odd sucker without doing any harm at all to the firmly established plant that sent out the suckers in the first place. Get it? No, and why would you? The word opaque doesn't even start to address this particular cartoon.
Why is it in pencil? Be prepared for a tale of woe.
In the days leading up to the competition date I had been giving 'The Establishment' a great deal of thought. On the Saturday, whilst walking the dog - the best way to perform peripatetic cogitations, I find - I came up with the image of a forbidding wall of closed ranks establishment figures (Crown, Judiciary, Politics, Army and Police) curving around a solitary figure, Everyman. Pretentious? Moi? On Sunday morning I executed a rough pencil sketch of this idea and decided that it was utter poo. Then I thought about the word establish and what sort of things establish themselves. Plants do! and a plant could be a symbol for 'The Establishment' All this week I had been listening with half an ear to a serialisation of a book about Shakespeare's Jacobean plays and the Gunpowder Plot and the court of King James the first of England and sixth of Scotland (Macbeth and Lear and all that). That's how Guy Fawkes and Occupy took root in my mind (root! geddit?). Another very quick and VERY minimalist expression in pencil made my mind up for me. Time was running out now so I had to draw quickly. Another pencilled, but more detailed drawing was drawn up and I scanned this into Photoshop. It was at this point that my tablet software began to play up. It started acting as if it had a mind of its own and started doing things totally unrelated to any movement of my own. Not a disaster, I thought, I shall merely resort to an older technology. That is why I unearthed my home-made lightbox, grabbed a bottle of India ink and a dip pen. I haven't used pen and ink for a long time and to my momentary dismay I found that the ink in my bottle had the consistency of road tar. Undaunted, I reached for my bottle of de-ionised water, kept for just such an emergency as this. After much shaking of the bottle (and a little bit of accidental black spray around the floor, for which I had to stop and clean up before any permanent marking took place) I was ready to execute my masterpiece. Hat, face, body, belt -  yep, no problems there; still have time to... BLOT!
At this point I was beginning to feel that the fates were against me. Time to step back and use more old technology -  a sharpened HB and the result you have already seen.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

The Queen, Gawd Bless 'Er!

This is my first entry for the caption competition for a very long time and I think it shows! I usually work on the the tablet at 300 dpi, but I drew this in 75 dpi. It's difficult for me to draw any fine detail at this size and my stylus started to misbehave (delayed marks, eraser actually adding marks, bringing up a brushes menu when least expected - little bloody annoying things like that). Time for a software re-boot. Grrr!

Monday, 4 May 2015

Batman's Fishnet Stockings

Yes yes yes, I know. This isn't the first time that I have put this cartoon up for your delight and delectation, but something rather lovely has just taken place. For the second month running I submitted a cartoon to The Jester, the club magazine of The Cartoonists' Club of Great Britain. So what? I hear you say. So what? SO WHAT? It only got an entire page to itself, that's so what?
It also taught me a few things. The printed image is much darker than the digital screen image. In future I shall also be signing my name on a light, prominent background and not a dark purple one.
Still pleased as Punch, though.

Friday, 3 April 2015

More Filth I'm Afraid!

This is my entry for Last week's caption competition and to be honest, I dithered a bit. I was in two minds as to whether I should commit this to cyber-paper or not, because of the subject matter. In the end, and with time running out (I had twenty minutes), I held my nose and took the plunge.
The figure on the left is Bill Clinton and the figure on the right is Monica Lewinsky. I don't think I really need to say any more than that, do I?
I don't think it's too bad for such a hurried piece, but I have noticed that I am developing a bit of a tic in my cartoons. An awful lot of people have their hands on their hips.

Monday, 30 March 2015

Carry On Cartooning

Ooh Matron! I've got it in! This cartoon is in the latest edition of The Jester: The Monthly Magazine of The Cartoonists' Club of Great Britain. The theme this month was innuendo. I'll just say this; it was a very smutty, filthy read and very funny.
I don't think any other nation uses the double entendre like the British do. I think we like to slip one in at any given opportunity. No matter how difficult a situation may be, I feel we always rise to the occasion. We maintain a stiff upper something or other (etc. etc.).
The chap in bed is loosely based on Sid James. The nurse is loosely based on Shirley Eaton. After several, miserable attempts to draw a pretty woman I decided to use Gil Elvgren as a template artist. In closing, I'll just say this; if you put your thingy over the picture and click it, you can see it get bigger. Fnarr fnarr!

A Very Quck Redrawing

Here we are, as promised, a re-working of the Einstein cartoon. Einstein, not Arthur Brown. It was drawn very, very quickly because I just wanted to get a better idea of a smug posture.
That's all. Let's move on shall we?

EDIT: So bloody quick I missed out an I in the title and forgot to include the caption!

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Einstein Said Eeh Equals Em See Squared.

This is my entry for the last Cartoonists' Club of Great Britain's Caption Competition. I thought up and drew this too quickly. Why do I keep rushing all the time? In future I am going to will myself to slow down and take more time. Having said that I don't think this is too bad an effort. The smug expression on the teacher's face is just about right, but I now realise his body posture is completely wrong. This is one cartoon that I am going to re-work and I shall show you the result at a later date.
Perspective isn't bad, is it? Not perfect, but not bad.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

That Warm, Golden Inner Glow of Smugness.

Every now and again a whirling mass of chaos and unpredictability gels together and spreads a rosy light throughout one's personal skyscape. I didn't win this week's Cartoonists' Club Caption Competition, nor did I come second or third. I suppose it could be argued that, truth be told, I came fourth and that ain't bad at all. All well and good, I hear you say, but so what? Well, gentle reader, so this! Three rather eminent cartoonists had very nice things to say about my cartoon this week. To save you the effort of hunting through the salient thread in which they occurred, I shall pick them out for you.
Steve Bright of Bananaman and The Sun fame said this:
Excellent work all round, folks, but for me this week, The Great Brendini nailed it with a wonderfully poignant, painful and pathos-laden Brian, which I struggled to find for my own cartoon, and failed. Perfect expression - love it!
Roger Kettle, author of Beau Peep in The Star and Horace in The Mirror,said:
Steve, I forgot to mention that I agree with you about Brendan's gag. It JUST missed my vote but it was a sad/funny little gem.
Royston Robertson, contributor to such magazines as Reader's Digest, New Statesman, Private Eye and countless others, agreed by saying:
I liked Brendan's as it nailed the fact that whatever mundane thing you're doing, your whole life has been leading up to it! And somehow slicing the top off a boiled egg seemed perfect. Great expression on Brian's face.
THAT is so what? I can't remember being so big headed for ages!  

Friday, 20 February 2015

I Don't Remember, I Don't Recall...

Hard to believe that, as a phenomenon, Punk is nearly forty years old. Yet the imagery is still a very potent one for rebellion and non-conformance.
Punk came along at a time in my life when I felt a bit rootless. I was too young to be a hippy and deemed by the hip, young gunslingers to be a dinosaur, because I listened to prog rock bands like King Crimson and Genesis. They had a point. When I first heard White Riot at a party, I thought it was an unmelodic row. Now, the Clash get played on Radio2.
I feel a bit betrayed. I come from proud working class stock. I went to a Secondary Modern (later a Comprehensive) School and I still carry some barely discernable socialist hormones in my biological make-up. To be told by a privately educated, older than me in years, Punk that I'm a dinosaur still annoys. Joe Strummer may have been a lovely bloke and remained true to his principles, but to label me and other people like me in that manner and from that position in life strikes me as hypocrisy.
Silly, isn't it? Forty years on and I still get cross.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

A Tribute to Martin Honeysett

This week's competion was a tribute to the recently deceased master, Martin Honeysett. The entries were all equally brilliant to my eyes.
This was a really interesting personal excercise. Before I even started, my subliminal amalgam of Honeysett cartoons in my mind was of anger. The strongest sense was that of 'angry eyes'. Research soon dispelled this notion as the cartoons I revisited (with great joy)depicted broadly happy faces (if in usually macabre circumstances). His style also changed quite dramatically over the years and yet remained "Honeysett" throughout. 
So why did I have a sense of 'angry eyes'? I think it came from one single cartoon. Two bears are changing into teddy bear costumes. One bear angrily remarks to another, "If there's one thing worse than being in a zoo, it's being in a children's zoo." 
An amazing week. Circumstances prevented me from voting, I'm glad to say. I couldn't have made a final choice.