Thursday, June 28, 2007

Channel Four and new government news

One published animated news cartoon on the end of smoking in confined spaces - and Mr Blair.

Graphic to display if Flash Player is not available.

UPDATE: There is also much activity today on the Tribune Political Cartoons blog where, Alex Hughes, Martin Rowson, John Jensen and I, are reacting to the new cabinet as fast as our pencils will let us...

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The future is now - apparently

We have another new Scottish Prime Minister - and to celebrate Channel Four have kindly decided to publish one of my animated cartoons.

To celebrate, I'm going to go outside, smoke a lot of cigarettes and drink considerable amounts of champagne, while I still can.

New animation

Published here. Oh, and below now too.

Graphic to display if Flash Player is not available.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Taking Liberties news

There's an elegant review at the Nether-World blog of Taking Liberties, a new film about some very serious changes the government have made in UK law. These effect every person in the country, negatively in my opinion. Unfortunately, the film, unlike the laws, is a very limited release but hopefully it will soon be due for a DVD release.

The drawing was recently commissioned by Computing newspaper.

Interactivity news

At this rate, the Keswick pencil museum is going to be even more important than it is already. :-(

Friday, June 22, 2007

Words of praise ...

...for my colleague Dave Brown's art exhibition which is still on at the Political Cartoon Gallery in central London.

It's a fantastic and large display of wit and technical skill in mashing up (I think that's the vogue'ish term) classic paintings and current political comment.

Absolutely, don't miss it. It's on until the end of June - or, if you cannot make it, at least,buy the book!. I have.

Hat-tip to Dave and Tim Benson who runs a fantastic gallery, which is always worth a visit.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

New animation

Published here

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Gordon and prudence

Poor old prudent Prudence - who'd be representative of public spending when there's very little cash around - and Gordon has already promised inflation busting rises for health and education. Where does that leave national spending on other 'priorities' such as leisure services, transport, the environment and the emergency services?

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Smoke-filled comics

'Tis (almost) the season for strange and interesting news which some folk call the silly season. My colleague Mark Crail has started the ball rolling with an interesting little stash of treasure. It's - a Beano album for a union conference. Talk about cartooning as an art form for the working classes!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Friday afternoon news

Something charming and upbeat to usher away those minutes as the working week winds down. The entertainment is courtesy of Tim Ireland at Bloggerheads. I think the PM might describe him as feral.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Mr Blair and the media

There has been much coverage of Mr Blair's extended moan about the media - lots of people have quite rightly pointed out this is the pot calling the kettle black and so forth. It sent me off in search of an old drawing from 2004 when the rows over Iraq were fresh(ish) to the world and Tony could still dream of a nice legacy. Usually, I'm horribly embarrassed about old work but I still like this one - although, I'd never draw it that way now...

There's a more elegant summing up of what the PM said and why it was nonsense here. A hat tip to Adrian Monck for remembering and digging up a fine bit of written thinking.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Syndicates II

There's a post here where some of the UK's best cartoonists and visual creators are discussing issues around the ownership and selling of art. The resulting comments are well worth a read - number four excepted.

To start the thread, I pulled a newspaper trick of posing a deliberately contentious idea - that all stock libraries of imagery are a bad thing for creators of images.

I used to believe this absolutely - and indeed, one of the contributors and I spoke at length at a public meeting against adding content to stock libraries almost ten years ago. I guess I'm getting older because my (and our) ideas are changing now. At the time, I could only see that very cheap access to quality imagery would destroy existing markets for people like me - and I would still argue that over the past decade it has.

However, the marketplace and its demands are remorseless and at some point you have to stop banging your head and start using it. So, read on ... and a hearty thanks to my friends, colleagues and contacts for piling in so willingly.

Beau Bo D'or on the issues surrounding photomontage and mashups
Morten Morland on self-syndication
Alex Hallatt on the problems of self-syndication
Royston Robertson on the usefulness of image libraries to the gag cartoonist
And Matt Wardman on a possible solution for every creative - multiple income streams.

Will anyone ever invent a digital micro-payment system that works and gets large scale customer buy in? Perhaps, someone already has ... I'd like to know!

The Digital Journalist continues

Well, who doesn't see this as a challenge and an opportunity?

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Friday, June 08, 2007


Image syndicates are essentially, third party agencies controlling, buying and selling the work of creative people for a premium.

It's a perfectly respectable and highly successful business model but I would argue that in the long term, this relationship crushes a great deal of creative innovation, ensures the business status quo is unchallenged and is not in the long term interests of its customers.

(Can anyone spot the wounded artist in all this? :-)

I would cite as an example of this what has happened to the work of print photographers whose trade has been decimated by the emergence of the stock picture library. Prices per unit (picture) have been wrecked and it is increasingly rare for independent providers to work in the media at all now.

And as far as I can see, the same thing is now happening to illustration and drawn products.

The trend really started in the UK with the emergence of large scale agencies based on the photographic model - of these the best known one to me is Cartoonstock run by the kind and extremely cartoon friendly Joel Mishon.

He and I have a friendly disagreement about this, he argues that any sale of a cartoon is good - and he has a point, up to a point. Indeed cheap sales of drawn imagery should be encouraged to low level publications, local magazines, newsletters and so forth. However, in doing this, it also allows big businesses to procure high quality content for a relative pittance.

Of course, they aren't going to refuse that, but this slowly destroys the market for anyone talented, keen (and stupid) enough to try and break into large traditional media markets which used to pay for high quality and original content.

What do you think?

Interactive journalism news

A link lifted from Mindy McAdams, but it's so good, I had to do it. Marvel at the work of Yann Arthus-Bertrand

Thursday, June 07, 2007

G8 animation

Now available and published here

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

ID card news

A new drawing for campaign group No2ID.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Technology news

Oh, the frustrations of technology...