Friday, 7 August 2015

A Hive of Activity

The cartoon blog has been absent of late. It was planning to take the summer off but as summer doesn't appear to be in any hurry to arrive, the blog is back.

The Westmorland Gazette had a splendid array of stories for consideration this week. The most serious of them was the Beloved Government's plan to allow privately rented housing stock to be sold off. With second homes pushing prices sky-high in the Lakes, what could possibly be wrong with that?

Elsewhere, two teenage boys were menaced by Mystery Animals on the fells. Tales of Mystery Black Cats thoroughly spooked them and they ran off into the dark (the boys not the Mystery Animals) and got lost. When Mountain Rescue caught up with them, they discovered the Mystery Animals had been sheep …

And to continue the animal theme, passengers on a local bus had to be evacuated when it was boarded by bees.

Here are the selection of cartoons which confronted my editor. Which would you have chosen?

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

SKETCHBOOK - Buckingham Palace Garden Party

What could be more British than afternoon tea? Recently I attended the grandest of all tea parties where 400 waiting staff served 20,000 sandwiches, 20,000 slices of cake, and 27,000 cups of tea to the accompaniment of two military bands. This was no ordinary garden party; it was held in the grounds at Buckingham Palace.

The reasons for my invitation must remain a state secret but my tie was chosen by public vote. Garden Party guests came from all over the UK and beyond, all dressed in their best - tails or lounge suits for the gentlemen, hats and posh frocks for the ladies. I don't think I've ever seen 7,500 people in a more convivial mood.

Buckingham Palace Garden Parties are said to be one of the most relaxed royal occasions. Watching the Queen and Prince Philip chatting to people in the crowd made me realise it was yet another event where they were networking on behalf of the nation. One lady near me wondered whether to curtsey or shake hands if the Queen spoke to her. I suggested the accepted protocol was to give a high five.

Cameras were banned but the security briefing made no mention of sketchbooks. Here are a few of my sketches which capture something of the costumes and characters strolling about in the afternoon sunshine. 

(Click to enlarge the drawings.)

Saturday, 30 May 2015

SKETCHBOOK - Dulwich Picture Gallery

A few sketches made whilst people-watching at the Dulwich Picture Gallery on 29 May. They were seen during the rather fab Eric Revilious exhibition, which I strongly recommend you all rush off and visit.

These are directly from my sketchbook, photographed with the iPad, hence the rather grey quality.

Friday, 29 May 2015

Beyond bad

Sometimes in the life of a cartoonist, there comes a moment when you just have to give in to a bad pun.

This week's Westmorland Gazette was one such moment.

Friday, 22 May 2015

Moving North

This week's super, soaraway Westmorland Gazette features more fallout from the general election. Now that the Conservatives are in overall majority, the Countryside Alliance and others have emerged to demand that the fox hunting ban is repealed.

As usual, the Brits are brilliant at going over the same arguments again and again and again … fox hunting, European membership, whether we should have lost the Empire.  My own thoughts on this issue are pretty well known (leave the foxes alone, arm the lambs) so I tried for a more balanced approach with the ideas for the front page cartoon.

The other story which lay coquettishly across the Cartoon Desk was a survey which had 72% of participants in the north of England wanting to be affiliated with Edinburgh's Scottish parliament rather than the English on in Westminster.

Here are the ideas which my steamed editor had to choose from - and the final cartoon shown in color. Did he make the right choice? Have your say in the comments box below (which I say every blog but then people tweet me instead).

Friday, 15 May 2015

Post Election Blues

An interesting post-election week on the Westmorland Gazette cartoon desk. The ramifications of the general election result were still reverberating around the area, not least because we were one of only eight areas in the country to return a LibDem MP. And as the caring, sharing Conservatives have decided to flog off the remaining public housing stock, it seemed apposite that the local council has produced a Big Plan for new housing in South Lakes.

These are the cartoons I submitted to my steamed editor. The first batch of five met with a cruel response, so I followed it with a further three (always exciting with 35 minutes to deadline). I'm glad I did as it took until idea 8 to hit the idea I was edging towards.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Spoilt Paper 7 - vote count sketchbook

On Thursday night, 7 May, the Lonsdale Constituency vote count was held  at Kendal Leisure Centre. 

Tom Murphy from The Westmorland Gazette was live blogging and I had blagged my way in to chip in with comments and live cartoons. Follow the link for photos from the event. 

Here are my sketches, a mix of mix of media, election agents, the odd parliamentary candidate and anxious LibDems.