Archive for December, 2007

Merry Christmas!

December 24, 2007

tis the season

‘Tis the season to be veryvery busy.
Hence my week of non-posting (yet again).

To make up for it, here are a few things to keep you entertained in between cracker jokes.

A lyrical Mark Fiore.

Australian Peter Nicholson, one of the first political cartoonists to embrace flash animation, has an amusing take on Christmas News.

Walt Handelsman goes all Christmasy with Americans’ favourite scare story of 2007: Toxic Toys (From China).

Enjoy a fabulous new installment from the “It’s Jerry Time” people.

As for the domestic cartoonists with animated ambitions, here’s the Christmas cartoon for Matt ‘Hack’ Buck.
And a very funny and impressively executed Lifedraw installment from Patrick Blower.

Let’s end though with a stunning Christmas tale from Current Super News. Their longest animation to date, I think, but oh so brilliant.
Merry Christmas!


Barking on the Beeb…

December 15, 2007

There’s a talented ‘new’ political cartoonist around, as those who attended the Political Cartoon of the Year Awards a week and a bit ago will have noticed.

Gary Barker(Good name for a cartoonist!) exhibited at the awards for the first time this year.

You might have already seen his cartoons on the website of the BBC’s Politics Show, where his Barker Gallery has been a weekly updated feature since he won show’s Cartoon competition earlier this year.

It’s well worth a look!

Blower continued…

December 15, 2007

Just a note to remind everyone about Patrick Blower’s Lifedraw, which continues on Telegraph Online.This week there’s an amusing take on the Lisbon Treaty signing.

From a technical point of view, this one, more than the first cartoon a week ago, includes elements such as voices and music. It’s also a better example of what the technique allows you to do, with regards to editing and timing.

From the Sketchbook…

December 14, 2007


A week without posting.
I do apologize.
It’s been a tad hectic.

My first evening off for a while this evening, really. Otherwise full on work from morning until…well the early hours of the next morning. Not good for anyone’s health I’m sure.
Still, a good night off tonight, with the British Cartoonists’ Association’s Christmas dinner. Thoroughly enjoyable as always.

A busy week for politics as well.
Jacqui Smith managed to become the most despised Home Secretary in living memory, by the police at least.
Oh, and she had to admit that as many as 11.000 illegal immigrants had been cleared for UK security jobs.
Oh, and the home affairs select committee kicked her case for 42 days detention of unagreeables into the long grass.
Bless her.

Gordon Brown managed to make yet another PR cock-up of a spinning exercise. This time about the Lisbon Treaty, where he thought he could avoid any focus on his signing of the treaty by being the only European leader not to appear at the official ceremony, and rather play the role as the awkward one who turns up late, requiring an entire little awkward ceremony all of his own.

Ed Balls managed to present the most twaddle-filled 10 year Children’s Plan in the history of Children’s Plans.
“No, it was sweet”, I hear you say?Well, which of these phrases are NOT part of the grand vision for our little ones:
Age not Stage
Rage not Cage
Stage not Page
Stage not Age
Rational Way Strategy
National Play Strategy
National Stay Strategy
Fabulous Clay Strategy
Every Child a Breeder
Every Child a Breather
Every Child a Feeder
Every Child a Reader
Every Child a Leader
Every Child a Needer
Every Child a Bleeder
Every Child a Weeder
Every Child a Kiter
Every Child a Blighter
Every Child a Fighter
Every Child a Plighter
Every Child a Writer
Every Child a Biter

The answer is “fewer than you hoped.”

And that’s just the Government.
…on the domestic front.

David Cameron helpfully announced, with a great deal of admirable foresight that one should beware of the credit crunch.

Vince Cable managed another enjoyable performance at PMQs, making himself an exceedingly hard act to follow for Chris Huhne when he takes office later this month.
Well, surely, they won’t elect that other bloke, will they?

They only thing which is certain, with regards to the Lib Dems, is that Gordon Brown at the next PMQs will do the same leadership joke about the party that he’s done every Wednesday since he himself came to power.

Happy Thursay…and Friday.

Blower cracks it…

December 7, 2007

Great news.

Patrick Blower, formerly of the Evening Standard, has today launched his animated political cartoon on Telegraph online.

His Lifedraw project has previously been commissioned by BBC Ten O’clock News and Newsnight, but the Telegraph has now wisely picked it up and will initially run it as a weekly cartoon.

Lifedraw is a fantastically exciting way of doing political cartooning, giving Patrick many of the benefits of animation, such as sound and timed jokes, whilst at the same time being limited in the amount of work it requires compared to more elaborate animated cartoons.
I’ve been lucky enough to have seen a few of the cartoons he’s done when developing Lifedraw, and it’s great to see how he manages to retain the quality of gag and drawing from his printed work in this new venture.

The ‘live drawing’ technique is not new of course, but Patrick’s use of it in regular political cartoons online, is certainly a fresh direction. I wouldn’t be surprised if this way of cartooning is much imitated in the time to come.More on this later I’m sure. Go see.

Political Cartoon of the Year Awards…

December 6, 2007

Political Cartoon of the Year Awards.Presented this year by a highly amusing Ken Clarke.

Steve Bell won cartoonist of the year – deservedly so.
Martin Rowson won cartoon of the year – which again undoubtedly was the right decision.

After a long collaboration with the Economist, the awards this year had been moved to the the Guardian’s gallery in Farringdon Road.
When the Economist was hosting it, much was made of the fact that (the in my mind excellent Economist cartoonist) KAL, seemed to pick up rather a disproportionate amount of awards for best cartoon, so when the Guardian cartoonists collected the main two awards in Farringdon Road, well…you could’ve been forgiven for thinking that there were Labour-like activities going on there too.
However, Martin, with characteristic wit, disarmingly made the connection in his acceptance speech, and fortunately for Steve and him and the credibility of the awards, the prizes were thoroughly deserved.

I proudly won the so-called Gillray Goblet – the runner-up prize for best cartoon, and Dave Brown got an honourable mention for his Rouges Gallery work.

A good night was had by most.

My iMac and me…

December 5, 2007

My trusted iMac died on me this morning. No signs of life what so ever.
It was a curious mix of emotions. Terror at the prospect of losing a day’s work at a time when I really have no time to lose… Smugness at the fact that I’d backed up all my essential files (only recently). Annoyance at the prospect of having to fork out for a new machine just before Christmas. Delirium at the prospect of a genuine excuse to buy a new machine just before Christmas.

I took the big beast to the Genius Bar, so they could pronounce it dead for me.
Surrounded by the newer incarnations my once spectacular machine looked old and worn. I was starting to think this was all for the best.

After a quick examination the three-powerbook-using genius behind the bar tells me that it might not be as bad as we all first thought. I freeze in panic thinking that he’ll tell me that I’d forgotten to plug it in or some other dignity-ending stupidity.
Turns out it has a fault with the power supply. A common problem with a certain batch of iMacs, which is relatively easy to sort out.
“Aaah..that’s great.” I say, genuinely relieved – but trying not to sound disappointed.
“If we have the part, someone can replace it for you now.”
“Great!” I say.
“Yup, we seem to have the part”.
“Aaah…that’s great.”

I carried the old iMac out of there again, heaping praise on the staff for their unquestionably superb service.
The machine back on it’s old place, where I earlier in the day had wiped the space clean in anticipation of a new arrival.
No, really, it’s great.
But you know…

Excellent on mediocracy…

December 2, 2007

Here’s a link to an absolutely brilliant comment piece by Matthew Parris in Saturday’s Times.

Fund Labour – Vote Tory…

December 1, 2007

It increasingly looks, doesn’t it, like Janet Dunn, the Tory supporting wife of one of Mr Abraham’s employees, might hold the key to future Conservative success.Even though she’s a lifelong Tory supporter she donated no less than £25.000 to Labour in 2003, albeit with a little help from her husbands employer.

Recent events show that a cheap and fool-proof way for the Tories to continue to discredit Labour into electoral oblivion, would be to encourage a range of shady supporters, preferably someone resident in Jersey, to offer great sums of money to greedy cash-strapped Labour campaigners in the hope that a couple of ambitious ones will accept. As the Tories subsequently tip of a newspaper they can sit back and watch Labour fall another 10% in the opinion polls. What’s more, there’s no financial risk to the dodgy donors, as they will have their money paid back.

By the way, while we’re one the subject, this whole anti-feminist agenda among some Labour women is getting a bit tiresome isn’t it? That “oh, I don’t know anything about all that money stuff. My husband takes care of that” -defence, revived by Tessa Jowell in 2006 and more recently adopted by Harriet Harman and to a degree Wendy Alexander. Even for the most hardened traditionalist, that answer must seem less than endearing when coming from bright, well-educated women who’ve spent a small lifetime wrestling sexual stereotypes on their way up the greasy phallic pole of political power.

Update: Labour men use the same argument of course, which means it’s not an issue of feminism at all. So ignore the last paragraph.
Both men and women in Labour have simply got a anti-competence agenda.