Sunday 31 October 2010

Halloween 2010

No-one banged at our door tonight but usually we don't answer anyway.  Halloween is a curious mixture of paganism, kids and candy and I won't go into my thoughts on that here.

What do we really find scary these days?  Apart from things that go bump in the night I offer these three new horsemen of the Apocalypse.  Apologies for invoking a laser printer for global terrorism but out of the three that does concern me the most just now.  If we can't trust shipping electrical goods round on planes then alot of business including the one I work for is going to have problems.  I have some experience of how stringent US customs can be - what more will they be forced to do?

Saturday 30 October 2010

Welcome Facebook Friends

After a week of posting topical cartoons that no-one knew about I now throw open the blog to anyone who knows me on Facebook and is bored enough to hit the link.

I am still trying out ideas, subjects and techniques.  One thing I'm always wary of is by nature cartooning simplifies complex things into simple shapes and stereotypes that have the power to offend or be misunderstood.  Take todays cartoon, in order to portray a Native American (deliberately avoiding Indian here) you have to draw a stereotypical Indian with feathers and other racial features in order to make what you have drawn understood.  Add to this that you are publishing on the global World Wide Web where people can respond anonymously and you tread a fine line between trying to be funny and trying not to be misunderstood or tactless.

However, I do draw the line at people who's Facebook gaming activity constantly updates you with ever minor achievement they make.  Besides I was always rubbish at Bejewelled Blitz and was always below lots of women I know in the leaderboard

Friday 29 October 2010

Boba Fett Welfare Bounty Hunter

Boba Fett Welfare Bounty Hunter cartoon
Returning to the Star Wars austerity theme heres my take on a news item for a few weeks ago when as part of welfare reform The Coalition (sounds almost as evil as The Empire) private companies were to be given contracts to track down benefit cheats.

For the millions of readers of this blog (Google why does it take so long to be listed in your search engine!) today I have experimented with drawing entirely on my A5 Wacom graphics tablet.  Partly this is cleaner and partly it gives me thick lines when I need them as opposed to the thick punchlines which I'm more than capable of coming up with myself.

Wednesday 27 October 2010

The Psychic Octopus Detective Show

Following on from yesterdays post it appears that Paul the Octopus will star posthumously in a documentary about his life including a conspiracy thriller from Jiang Xiao Who Killed Paul the Octopus? that claims he died before the World Cup Final on July 9th and the Germans replaced him with an identical octopus.

Given the wide media coverage of this celebrity cephalopod I thought of other programs he could star in.
The obvious choice was some sort of maverick detective series where Paul plays a psychic on loan to the Cephalopod Bureau of Investigation to solve the crimes that non-maverick detectives can't fathom (apart from the mystery of his own death).

So I give you MentalFish (bad pun - but there are others at the end of this post).

After sitting through too many TV detective shows you start to notice certain patterns: maverick detective, tough chief, romantic entanglements.  It also makes you wonder who commissions these programs and what the creative process is that leads to them.  I imagine it to sound something like this:

TV Exec: We desperately need another detective show, something edgey
Creative: How about a lead that was a bit of a maverick?
TV Exec: But not the usual police detective.   Something like CBS's The Mentalist
(Long pause)
Creative: How about the psycholist
TV Exec: Sounds a bit like a cyclist
Creative: Mental PI
TV Exec: It can't be the same,  it needs a twist
(Long Pause)
Creative:  What about the Cementalist?  He's a intelligent architect that specialises in deaths on construction sites
TV Exec: I'm not sure about the setting
Creative: What about the Dentalist?  He's a forensic dentist who can identify victims and their murderers from just their teeth
TV Exec: Not sure we've got a big enough filling in our schedule
Creative: The Lentilist? He's a vegetarian...
TV Exec: I think I've heard enough.
Creative: So you've had an idea then?
TV Exec: Yes, I'm thinking of a show called the Psycholist...

Next week: MonkFish, Charlies Angelfish, Without a Plaice

Tuesday 26 October 2010

The Many Leg-acies of Paul the Octopus

"Right here he predicts the double-dip recession of 2012 and President Palin's invasion of Russia!"
The number one story on the BBC news website earlier this evening was Paul the Octopus dies in tank in Germany ahead of economic growth forecasts and an Indonesian tsunami.  However this serious news was later overtaken by news that Lady Gaga had beaten some other pop sensation to have the most views on YouTube ever.

Over 100 Indonesians die after an earthquake off the coast of Sumatra but we are transfixed by the unexpected death of a clever cephalopod who correctly predicted the outcome of 2010 World Cup matches.  However the odds of predicting seven matches is only 1/128 hardly the same as guessing the winning UK lottery numbers.  Nevertheless "he enjoyed a good life" according to the Oberhausen Sea Life centre manager and there is a documentary, books and toys planned for the Christmas market.

We can only imagine what his legacy will be amoungst his fellow molluscs.  Maybe he will be regarded as the Nostradamus of the underseaworld, or maybe his intelligence would not be regarded as that special by his peers who never got their 15 minutes infront of the cameras.

Sunday 24 October 2010

Ultimate Weapon on a Budget

Another Naval Carrier reference ... with a Star Wars Twist.

You can't work in IT without an indepth knowledge of either Star Wars or Star Trek.  Only last Friday we were discussing whether it was physically possible to build a real lightsaber not just one of those pretend tubes or the telescopic plastic ones.  However given the Jedi worship of Star Wars amoungst geeks you'd have to think if there was ANY way to make a real lightsaber someone would have done it and been making a fortune by now.

Saturday 23 October 2010

Rooney Repays England

"Well Wayne it could be yours for 10,000 easy weekly repayments of 250mil and I'll throw in 3 months sea tax and a Merlin ASW helicopter"

Wayne Rooney has been rewarded for his disloyalty with a new five year contract at Manchester United allegedly worth 250,000 per week.  This despite his disappearing act at the World Cup and a very poor contribution to my fantasy football team.  I think this is the least he can do to repay the country.

Continuing the Navy and Matt theme from yesterday the building of more aircraft carriers than we need is another easy target of comedians everywhere and here is Matt's Rooney/Aircraft Carrier cartoon.  My father works for one of the companies building the carriers and was in no doubt that they couldn't be cancelled due to contracts already signed.  Indeed earlier this month we were at the launch of HMS Duncan and we could see huge sections of the carrier already underway in the hanger.  The launch of the first Queen Elizabeth class carrier is going to be another field day for cartoonists but certainly not as satisfying for the people who built it as it should be.

Friday 22 October 2010

Not Very Astute

"Sir, do you think I've failed my sea trial?"

The story of the hi-tech British Royal Navy sub running aground on Skye is easy comedy and cartoon fodder.
The fact it's called Astute and it can't do a three point turn in the Western Isles tickles me.

Check out the Telegraphs Matt cartoon on the same story.  He is a master at combining two news stories into one panel.


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