Thursday, 27 September 2012


Cumbrians took a brief break, this week, from their usual activity of watching the weather and building arks. And what did they do? Shoved coins into some trees. This is a craze sweeping the county. It used to be that if you showed someone a well, they’d throw money down it. Now they stick it to the trees. Although it’s probably safer than putting it in a bank.
Elsewhere, strange objects have been seen in the sky and the ghost of Mitt Romney’s ancestor has been seen in a local pub. Funny how ghosts always appear somewhere someone can make money out of them. Perhaps they’ll be in trees next.
Here are the ideas I presented to my steamed editor. 
But which, I hear you cry, made it to the front page of The Westmorland Gazette?
Take a guess. Leave a comment. Then boogie on over to my website to see if you were right.

(Click cartoon for supersize 3D version.)

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Brief encounters (but not with briefs)

Microbreweries are becoming a major industry in Cumbria. Now even Carnforth Railway Station has one. Brief encounters are about to get a whole lot longer.

Elsewhere … students get a break from complaining about exam grades to visit the cinema, ostensibly for film studies … another bunch of women get their kit off to emulate Calendar Girls … and Cumbria appoints Snow Champions to spread grit and good cheer on a voluntary basis when the winter arrives.

So, there were the stories vying for this week's Westmorland Gazette front page cartoon. My initial, scribbly ideas are below. Don your editorial cap, fire up the comments box and tell me which you would have chosen.

And then toddle over to my website to see if my editor agreed with you.

(Click on any of the cartoons for the IMAX version.)

Thursday, 6 September 2012

What does it spell?

Submitting a weekly newspaper cartoon is a bit of a hit-and-miss endeavour. 

Some weeks a story leaps out at you and suggests all sorts of possibilities (not all of them usable, as last week proved). 

Other weeks, there are various stories which kind of raise your interest but don't set the pen on fire.

This week's Gazette cartoon was a mixture of both. The first two stories (Wainwright walkers castigated by mountain rescue and a charity shop for Kirkby Lonsdale) didn't quite do it. The third was more promising.

South Lakeland now have parking machines which require you to enter your car registration number. This prevents naughty motorists from handing their ticket onto someone else. This is, after all, Cameron's Big Society in which philanthropy has no part.

Unfortunately some folk have been having difficulty with the system. The keypads are hard to use - press a wrong button and you've launched a Cruise missile.

I had a couple of ideas for this story. Which would you pick to go in the newspaper?

Comment below and then saunter across to my website to see if you were right.

(Click on any of the cartoons for a larger image.)