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.
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