Friday, 27 May 2011

Don't All Rush

Dramatic news from The Westmorland Gazette this week - the Lake District is awash with gold.

Nearly. It’s awash with gold prospectors. There are 40 of them around South Lakes alone. (It would have been more in the spirit of things if there were 49 of them, but never mind.)

It turns out that gold prospecting is a burgeoning hobby. More labour intensive than metal detecting but similarly attracting groups of lonely, sad… um, enthusiastic men in sensible outer-garments, who like nothing better than pottering around, poking about for a hidden fortune. I prefer to do my  prospecting down the back of the sofa, where the haul of treasure is more reliable.

But is was a good topic for the cartoon this week. Below you can see the four ideas I pitched to the Gazette’s editor. Turn to my website now if you wish to see which one he selected.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

My New Flame

The big news arrived today before I’d even sat down to look at the Westmorland Gazette’s front page stories. The Olympic Torch is coming to Cumbria. Hurrah!
Well, I suppose hurrah. I’m not entirely sure why someone has to carry it around the country in a bizarre route from Lands End to London. Looking at the path the Torch is taking, it isn’t a very good advertisement for British navigational skills. It’s travelling a total of 8,000 miles. Even I can navigate from Cornwall to London in rather less than that.
But no matter. It’s visiting the Lake District and we will, I am sure, dig out the bunting, cross off the names William and Kate and scrawl Welcome to the Torch over the top.
In other news, a monster pike was caught in Windermere (the lake, not the village) and a farmer is taking a lamb to Slovenia, for reasons which escape me. Possibly they don’t have Tesco in Slovenia.
So here are the four ideas I pitched to the newsroom. As usual, they are fast scribbles in all their blue-pencil-and-felt-pen glory. To see the full majesty of the final artwork, buy Thursday’s Gazette or pop along to my website. I’ll keep a torch burning for you.

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Super! An injunction

An unusual Westmorland Gazette cartoon blog this week. It's subject to a superinjunction.
The story concerns an alleged assault. Now, despite the fact that there is a victim with palpable injuries, a witness and an arrest, the newspaper is not allowed to ascribe any criminal misdeeds to the person arrested. The UK has this namby-pamby notion that a person is innocent until proven guilty. Until a court decides what happened in a crime and who (if anyone) is to blame … newspapers have to steer clear.
And the same applies to the newspaper's cartoonist.
Which is a pity because it is a cracking story. Man allegedly assaults chap in car park late at night and runs off. Chap's friend is still in her pyjamas but gives chase. "You won't catch me, you're a girl," shouts alleged perpetrator. Girl turns out to be ex-champion fell racer who catches him and calls police.
That's the story. You can read it in the carefully-worded full version here.
Below are the cartoons I submitted. Some captions have been subjected to the stern gaze of the blog's resident legal sparrow. These are among the wittiest captions I - or any other cartoonist - has ever written in the entire history of the world. Sadly, however, they must remain unseen.
The astute among you may also spot that one cartoon appears three times. This was a bid to come up with a caption which was acceptable.
You can see which one got into the paper by visiting my website. For the others … you'll have to wait until the case goes to court.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Who did you say you were?

Fresh from the excitement of last week’s Royal Wedding and giddy with anticipation of this week’s AV Referendum, another Royal story is the subject of this week's Westmorland Gazette cartoon. A local man has traced his ancestors all the way back to an ancestor of Elizabeth II. It makes him 4200000000th in line to the throne, apparently. Exciting for him but no reports yet on how thrilled the Queen is about this.

(On a side note: Do members of the Royal family ever trace their ancestors to see if they’re related to any common oiks?)
Other stories in the news … toilet closures again … Kendal is the best place to pass your driving test … some bearded bloke shot in a foreign country …
Below, for your delectation and delight (or not) are the sketches sent to my newspaper. You can see which got onto the front page by buying Thursday’s Westmorland Gazette or visiting my website.