Thursday, 28 April 2011

The AV NO campaign for Dummies

The NO campaign in pictures (for those of you too dim to understand AV):

Royal flush

It’s only a day away and the whole of Lakeland is bursting with excitement …
Or maybe simply bursting.
Overshadowing news of the forthcoming nuptials, South Lakeland residents are in an outrage. The Council’s brilliant ploy of closing public toilets to save money has had the predicted consequences. Queues of frustrated visitors, some of whom have marked their displeasure by… um … marking the outside of the closed public toilets.
Not very welcoming for an area which relies on tourist income. The fact that it is also an area with lots of lakes, waterfalls and running water probably only makes it worse.
But it was, once again, the subject of this week’s Westmorland Gazette cartoon. With a bit of judicious bad taste, I was able to combine it with the week’s Big Event.
You can see the submitted ideas below, in all their sketchy, blue pencil line glory. To find out which burst forth onto the front page, rush out and buy a copy of the newspaper or run over to my website

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Counting the days

It’s not long now until the major event which has gripped the nation, when we all come together to celebrate that most hallowed of things … the return of Doctor Who.
And a week after that, there’s the Royal Wedding.
To celebrate (the Wedding, not the peripatetic Time Lord), Kate Middleton’s family has commissioned a Coat of Arms. This features a number of elements including, apparently, reference to the Lake District. At least, it does according to The Westmorland Gazette who offered the story for my consideration this week.
The other cartoon candidate was much more amusing. A local council election on May 5th has been cancelled. The reason? Two of the candidates filled in a part of their forms which said “six words only” by putting in seven words. Cue cries of outrage and “it’s bureaucracy gone mad”.
I pitched the regulation four cartoons … only to have them all rejected. And lo, there was much dark muttering within Cartoon Towers.
As usual my harsh but fair editor was quite right and the second batch was better. There was the token bad taste joke but see if you can spot which one got in the paper.
The answer will be on the front page of tomorrow’s Gazette and printed upside down on my website.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Close and be Damned

Cumbria County Council are starting a consultation process about the closure of rural libraries and the junking of the mobile library service. This is all part of Cameron’s Bold New Big Society, in which those who are big enough to go to posh schools survive and to hell with the rest.

The Westmorland Gazette is a family newspaper so, sadly, I can’t say what I really think about this idea for fear of putting people off their cornflakes. It rhymes with duck-knitted.
Anyway, here are the options I did submit. 

As usual, the chosen cartoon will be on the front of tomorrow’s paper and adorning my website.

Buy the paper on the way to your local library. You are using it, aren’t you …?

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

An App Too Far

Today’s venture into the world of local news brought me into familiar territory. The mountain rescue services are once again complaining about unprepared walkers.
This time, it seems, people are happily skipping up the Lakeland Fells, armed only with a bar of Kendal Mint Cake and a smartphone. They’re depending on Google maps to navigate them to the top and using the smartphone’s flashlight app if they get benighted on the way down. Clearly these people are deluded and should invest in a decent Lakeland walking book or map.
But it’s a good story and one I have tackled before. A few years ago, I was commissioned by Cicerone to produce Take A Hike, a book of cartoons based around walking and the outdoors. Inspiration came in the form of the various equipment walkers were starting to use - from high tech waterproofs to trekking poles and GPS thingies.
Since then, technology has moved onto the humble mobile and inexperienced walkers are beginning to rely on it. Which is good as it gives me more material.
Below are the sketches for this week’s cartoon. You can see which was chosen by my esteemed editor by purchasing a copy of the Westmorland Gazette, or by firing up your smartphone and navigating to your way to my website on Thursday morning.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Going Gaga

Last week’s Westmorland Gazette uncovered a hitherto unsuspected undercurrent in South Lakeland society; royal apathy. Apparently in the whole area, there have been only two applications for street parties to celebrate the forthcoming wedding of Prince …um… you know, the oldest one and Kate …er something.
Locals are much more thrilled at the prospect of Lady Gaga arriving in Carlisle for this year’s Radio One Roadshow (I’m given to understand that this it’s something to do with popular beat music enjoyed by young persons).
These were the topics of the front page cartoon. Below you can see the scruffy pencil sketches which were presented to the editor. In fact, this was one of those occasions when I presented four and was cruelly sent away to think of some more. This is usually a guarantee that I will deliberately think of some bad taste alternatives. This time, however, I was being polite.
You can see the cartoon which battled its way to the front page by popping over to my website.