Monday, September 25, 2006

The Big Draw

I had the pleasure of working at the Big Draw again this year. This event is the showpiece of the National Campaign for Drawing's activities, which are held throughout the year. This time, the event was hosted at Somerset House, home of the Courtauld Gallery, just off the Strand in central London.

I took part in the battle of the cartoonists, where teams of national newspaper hacks drew each other to a standstill in an attempt to make a huge 6 metre long banner on the theme of amazing space in just 90 minutes.

The first photo here is our team planning how to start the drawing! Sometimes a small white piece of paper can feel quite intimidating, so when you are confronted with a banner as large as this one was ...

Here I am, hard at work on drawing Gordon Brown as one half of Tower Bridge. Unfortunately, being short of stature myself, it became necessary to draw while kneeling on the team table.

As you can see there were four artists to a team - and it was hard work. Below is the finished banner, we made on behalf of The Independent. We went for a slightly obtuse look at the theme and drew some of London's amazing spaces.

And finally, here's a photo of our final banner being hung up to dry. You'll be able to see it at The National Cartoon Museum on Little Russell Street in the heart for London for a little while yet. There are three other banners to see too - and they're all worth a look on your visit.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Getting away from it all ...

I was unsurprised to learn about this during the week.

Of course, the old line about lies, damned lies and statistics did spring to mind, but what with the cost of living nowadays (this whinge, copyright everyone I know) who'd really be surprised?

Anyhow, it made for a decent joke.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

... and unemployment tomorrow

And following on from our last whinge.

Somebody found me a wonderful cartoon card recently, it featured a pair of dogs talking, as they do, and one says to the other ...

Yes, i did have a blog, but then I decided to go back to continual, pointless, incessant barking. ARF! ARF!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Employment today ...

Working in the print industry, as so many cartoonists do, has been a very interesting experience this year. The second coming of the internet appears finally to have arrived and many of our traditional markets are disappearing as business finally cottons onto the fact that people like getting their news via screens.

This implies a massive change, not only for the self-employed seeking new places to work, but also more brutally for a lot of staffers who are discovering that there is no real job security in a moving marketplace.

To illustrate my point, I point to large scale compulsory redundancies at the Telegraph titles and the Times Ed this year - and these are only the high-profile ones.

It's going to mean a lot more of the sort of freelance jousting I drew in this picture. Enjoy or endure.

Friday, September 08, 2006

The news in two stories

This week's other story was of course the death of Steve Irwin - the crocodile man. The collision of the two stories, Irwin and the latest Labour row, made for a strong image.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Problems in communication

A leaving party image for the Prime Minister.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Look into his eyes ...

This mornings leaked email from Downing Street which turned up in The Mirror newspaper really puts an interesting light on what is going on inside the government and the Labour government.

Here's a quote from the document refereing to the chancellor, who remains TB's likeliest successor ...

"There are specific issues which can provide opportunities and threats. They are: GB's reaction ... the more successful we are the more it will agitate and possibly destabilise him, we need to consider how to deal."

Giving Tony a big and prolonged send-off would certainly irritate Gordon no end. It is also why this row will not go away until the PM either names a date (Gordon's preferred solution) or actually goes.

In cartoon commentary land this leads to extreme exhaustion of Gordon and Tony jokes - although I thought Martin Rowson found a good one yesterday on the Guardian.,,1284262,00.html