Thursday, January 31, 2008

Know your rights

One of the most difficult things about making things is knowing what your rights are when you try to sell them. I know lots of very experienced professionals who are in ignorance of this basic business issue. This ignorance can lead to a lot of difficult financial and legal problems. The most basic confusion I come across is that between possession of copyright and the licensing of rights.

Briefly, at any time an artist makes a piece of art he has copyright automatically, without doing anything. It is an 'implicit' right earned by the skill and time and labour which the artwork has taken. There's a link explaining more about it here. You can download a pdf factsheet here. Importantly, before any self-employed artist has no legal claim to copyright, they have to have signed it away, in writing. Once this basic legal idea is understood, things can seem a lot clearer.

Essentially, what creative people like me sell are the rights to use our artwork, usually, exclusively. I will write some more about this.

Matt Buck’s animated drawings

Channel 4 News animated political cartoon - Britain in Kenya

Coming soon...

Matt Buck’s animated drawings

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The digital times they are a-changing

Returning visitors may know that from time to time I like to think about changing forms of creativity in drawing, and now is one of them. Some good and interesting things are starting to happen in the UK media which are really encouraging to see. Patrick Blower, who used to work at the Evening Standard when it still believed in publishing print news cartoons, has developed a method for drawing in a video which you can find, weekly, on Friday's, at the Daily Telegraph website. My colleague at Channel 4, Beau Bo D’Or has been branching out from his still photomontage into moving photomontage and is having a good deal of success with it. I have my own explorations in a hybrid form of print and simple animated cartooning and it must be working, as the notorious Guido Fawkes is starting to 'borrow' stuff - see below's screenshot web clipping from his site.

I am absolutely positive we three won't be the last either...on either issue. I note Mr Fawkes's support of the open digital rights group with a sort of smile.
UPDATE: Beau Bo D’Or writes (and comments)It's Guido's second offence. He used my Channel 4 animation without permission from C4 or myself. He ran it directly from my server which nearly crashed my site.

Matt Buck’s animated drawing

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Peter Hain-Political blogging's first victim?

There's an interesting response to the end of Peter Hain's ministerial career from Mick Fealty at the Telegraph’s Brassneck blog. He praises the work undertaken by Guido Fawkes's diary, which is run by Paul Delaire Staines.

Matt Buck’s animated drawings

The policeman's lot...

Some excellent reporting, photographs and jokes from Lou McKeever who was at the policeman’s pay protest march in London yesterday.
24th January 2008

Matt Buck’s animated drawings

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Statements of the bloggy obvious

"The rise of blogging and opinion outside of the mainstream has caused newspapers a problem, because quite often these blogs are more interesting than the editorials in the newspapers."
Former editor of the Sunday Times, Andrew Neill to the House of Lords Communications Committee. Quote via

More cheerfully, The Independent newspaper has relaunched, at long last, its website, In doing so, it has finally recognised the genius of its regular editorial cartoonist, Dave Brown. He has a proper cartoon gallery full of marvellous stuff, right at the top of opinion. The joke for December the 24th is a particular treat.
23rd January 2008

Matt Buck’s animated drawings

Hack sketchbook caricature of Sweeney Todd

22nd January 2008

Matt Buck’s animated drawings

Monday, January 21, 2008

Friday, January 18, 2008

What fame will do for weight loss

What fame will do for weight loss. Cartoon caricature of film star Keira Knightly at the London premiere of the film Atonement.

Matt Buck’s animated drawings

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Channel 4 News animated cartoon on Peter Hain

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Published here and here

Matt Buck’s animated drawings

Channel 4 News animated cartoon on Peter Hain

When your boss states that you are responsible for an incompetence, you might be excused feeling for your neck to make sure it hadn't already been cut.
Artwork coming soon...

Matt Buck’s animated drawings

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Peter Hain donations cartoon

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The forgetful Peter Hain featured in this animation about Labour's dubious donations which I made for Channel 4 back in November 2007. Peter is the orange one.
12 January 2008

UPDATED: 15th January 2008
There's a good short analysis of how untransparent Mr Hain's financial arrangements were here

Matt Buck’s animated drawings

Friday, January 11, 2008

Animated cartoon news from the USA

Absolutely terrific news from the USA where Ann Telnaes has become the Washington Post's first animated political cartoonist. Well done Ann. They've picked their time well with the primary season in full swing. I'd like to think the UK media will be up to speed with this sort of thing by the time our election comes around. Do you think it will be?
11th January 2007

Matt Buck’s animated drawings

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Channel 4 News animated political cartoon - Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama

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Who’d really want to be idolised? Published here and here.
9th January 2008

Matt Buck’s animated drawings

The Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama show

Well, the pollsters and the pundits got it all wrong, she won, if rather more closely than she would have imagined a fortnight ago. And that makes the race for the Democratic nomination very interesting and harder to call. McCain won for the Republican ticket. I think there's going to be a game of chicken for each party about guessing who their candidate is going to be fighting against for the actual presidential contest. Artwork coming soon...
9th January 2008

Matt Buck’s animated drawings

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Bill, Hillary, Barack and Bush - a question of political characters

I lived in a America for a while when I was younger and I have had a serious interest in how the place is run ever since. My time there coincided with Bill Clinton's attempts to become President of the United States.

It was an real education for me in how elections and the selling of any candidate are undertaken. The positioning of Clinton's campaign about George Bush senior, the incumbent president of the time, was wonderfully accurate, and of course, highly successful. The Clinton campaign successfully negated Bush's trump card of 'experience' and incumbency by pointing up his 'cold' personality and inability to appear to listen to people convincingly. As this famous clip shows, Bush was certainly not naturally chatty or charming in his dealings in the media or people. This clip really highlighted it, as he completely failed to hear or connect with the question the lady asked. Stick with the film and then watch how Clinton deals with it. Particularly watch the body language he deploys as he talks and listens. I imagine Barack Obama's team have been watching a lot of these old clips too because they appear to be pulling off a similar trick in projecting the youthful and people-oriented Obama against against the clever but stumbling and cold Hillary Clinton now.

The great cartoonist Steve Brodner has an interesting interpretation of what is happening to Hillary right now, right here too - all courtesy of The New Yorker.

Matt Buck’s animated drawings

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Hillary Clinton Cartoon caricature

A sketchbook pencil and wash cartoon caricature of Hillary, Bill and Chelsea Clinton. I wonder whether it will end up being a happy new year for the first woman of the clan?

Matt Buck’s animated drawings