Thursday, 28 June 2012

Cartoons stripped bare

A vigorous afternoon at the editorial cartoon newsface this week. 

The main, front page story features a couple of deaths on the local mountains, so not exactly the material to tackle, even if I wanted to. Instead I delved inside the paper and found stories about a government curb on 2nd homes (a favourite topic of mine), traffic warden wars and plans to get locals involved in digging trenches for rural broadband.

I duly sent off four ideas, plus one token bad-taste cartoon I knew wouldn't get in.

Shock horror - all rejected. And at 4.40pm when the deadline is 5.00!

Fortunately another story surfaced just in time: The British Naturist Club is planning a mass skinny-dip in Coniston Water. 

Don't they realise how cold it will be? It could seriously reduce the size of their membership.

Below you can see all seven cartoon ideas submitted to my steamed editor. You can discount the first five. But which of the last two got in?

Throw caution to the winds and dive over to my website to find out.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

The Olympic Torch arrives

Excitement grips the Lake District as the Olympic Torch relay reaches the area. It's arrival in Windermere is a considerable bonus in a week when the Westmorland Gazette newspaper stories offer little else for a cartoonist to get to grips with. 

The Torch's arrival also added considerably to the atmosphere. I sat drawing the cartoon at the garden table, surrounded by trees. The sound of birds filled the air and in the distance, came the exotic thrum of the taiko drummers rehearsing in Bowness.

I had a number of stories thrust in my direction by my esteemed editor (see here for an explanation of the entire process). However it had to be The Torch.

Here are the sketches I presented. Which did my steamed editor pick? Was it the right one? (Clue: Yes.)

To find out, gather up your Lucozade Energy Drink With Excess Sugar and run over to my website.

Incidentally, if you think this week's cartoons are scruffier than usual (how rude), bear in mind the following: 

I usually have from 2.00 to 5.00 pm to do the cartoon, including all ideas, artwork, staring into space etc. This week, due to Unforeseen Stories in the Bagging Area, I didn't get to find out what was in the paper until 3.20. That always make for an exciting week. Can I lie down now?

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Flame on

Nothing to see, move along. The blog will be here Thursday morning.

Meanwhile, here is today's desk. Sun, garden, the sound of birds and the distant thrum of taiko drumming as they rehearse for Thursday evening's Big Olympic Torch event.

How newspaper cartoons are produced

As a public service, I offer the following scribbly infographic to show how the front-page Westmorland Gazette newspaper cartoon is produced.

 Stage 1 - A journalist goes out and gathers a news story

Stage 2 - The journalist types in the news story, adding supplementary facts, figures and typos

Stage 3 - The cartoonist turns up 3 hours before press deadline and consults with his esteemed editor on suitable stories for the week's front-page cartoon

Stage 4 - The cartoonist then goes off to quiet corner to come up with ideas and pretend not to be daydreaming

Stage 5 - The cartoonist offers ideas of unsurpassed brilliance for consideration of the editor

Stage 6 - The steamed editor subjects the cartoonist's ideas to a rigorous editorial selection process

Stage 7 - Once the cartoonist receives the editor's final choice, he embarks upon artwork of great depth and beauty

Stage 8 - The artwork is scanned and beamed through cyberspace to Westmorland Gazette Production Command somewhere in low Earth orbit

Stage 9 - The following morning, The Westmorland Gazette appears with cartoon on front page. Loyal readers search out magnifying glass and prepare to be amused.

Stage 10 - The sketches submitted appear on this blog on Thursday morning and you get to vote which the editor should have chosen. To find out if you were right, the final cartoon appears on my website and you can find it here.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Murder most fowl

Mystery abounds in this week's Westmorland Gazette newspaper (and no, I haven't a clue what "mystery abounds" means).

Locals were astonished to find themselves featuring in an Inspector Lynley novel by best-selling author Elizabeth George. Believing the Lie is set in South Lakeland and involves dodgy goings on at a local stately home. For those who haven't watched the dull exciting TV series, Inspector Lynley is a toff who slums it as a detective inspector and solves posh crimes involving members of the Bullingdon Club. Or something, I haven't stayed awake for a whole episode.

In other news, fell walkers are being swooped upon in dawn raids by a local buzzard.

As you can see, all of life's rich variety parades across the front of the Gazette. 

Below are the four ideas which went off to my editor (or the deputy editor, this week). But which got in? Was it my particular favourite? (Here is a clue: No.) Find out by turning immediately to my website to find out whodunit.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

The Bunting Blog

You’ll never guess what this week’s Westmorland Gazette cartoon is all about.
Here, as a clue, are the four sketches I offered my steamed editor. Only one made it to the front page of the newspaper.