Monday, March 30, 2009

Back from the Thing

Here's my haul from this year's UK Web & Mini Comix Thing on Saturday.
I'll hopefully write a bit more about it later in the week.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Strange Looking Bloke Wednesday.

Yes it's time for another addition to the pointless but oddly enjoyable (for me anyway) Strange Looking Bloke Wednesday.

His mood appears to be: Why on earth did I order a vindaloo?

Done with those excellent PITT brush pens. They're also doing bigger versions of the PITT brush pen now! When did that happen? Faber Castell, if you're reading this, chuck a box my way...

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Book Review - Shakin'the Ketchup Bot'le

Shakin’ the Ketchup Bot’le
Edited by James Alexander
Cartoons by Nathan Ariss

If you’re a regular viewer of QI, or simply have an interest in all things English Languagey (I’m not sure that’s a real word) this book should appeal to the pedants among us masquerading as cartoonists!

Shakin’ the Ketchup Bot’le is billed as a fascinating collection of ideas, anecdotes, observations and some really curious bits culled from QUEST, the magazine of the Queen’s English Society. I wasn’t previously aware of the QES, put upon further investigation, it appears that their aim is to uphold the use of good English, and to encourage the enjoyment of the language. (And stamp out use of the word ‘languagey’)

So, what about the book? Well, it is indeed a fascinating read, complete with foreword from professional knitwear model Gyles Brandreth, and numerous cartoons throughout the book by PCO member Nathan Ariss adding to the enjoyment and breaking up some of the longer passages of text.

At 180 pages, it’s densely packed - the kind of book you read in short bursts for fear that your brain will take in too much information. Brings to mind a Larson gag; “Mr Osborne, may I be excused? My brain is full.”

For information about ordering the book, go to

Friday, March 20, 2009

Keep calm!

Head over to Royston Robertson's blog to see his take on the 'Keep Calm and Carry On' propaganda posters. Here's his version that surely has a place on every cartoonists wall.

I liked it so much I had a go myself. I failed at getting the 'Keep Calm' message across, but I'm fairly sure my version speaks to most creatives on a Friday afternoon.

Stephen! Just coming .....

Here's a cartoon from Reader's Digest from 2007. Haven't done much speculative cartooning for a while, but hoping to make time for it.

I actually came up with this cartoon in answer to a challenge on the forum to come up with a gag about Thyme. The subsequent thread was a long convoluted read, the highlight of which was the phrase "I'd still add the robot arm on top of everything for the ultimate comedic experience." Excellent stuff!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Strange Looking Bloke Wednesday

Was at the PCO Committee meeting in Birmingham's Custard Factory on Monday.
A very productive meeting all round, plus the bonus of a Strange Looking Bloke scribbled in between my notes.

His mood: Uneasy Rider

Forgot to say, thanks to Royston Robertson for the mention of Strange Looking Bloke Wednesday on his blog last week. Check out his own excellent doodles here

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Alien Invaders!

Here's a cartoon illustration done for an IT consultancy service, about the challenges of managing staff.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Here's a random pic for Comic Relief (which was last night, and I missed, so there's not really any point to this... (apologies to Dave Gibbons, and indeed everyone else.)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Overlook Lounge

I visited New York in 2006 and spent an evening in The Overlook Lounge, a Manhattan bar with a rich cartoon history. Here's my report from the CCGB's Jester mag published that year.


Without wishing to sound like I’m auditioning for Holiday 2007, one of the highlights of a recent trip to New York was an evening spent at the Overlook Lounge – a venue with cartoon history on its walls and plenty of good beer on tap (hic!)

I read about this place on the daily blog of Brooklyn-based cartoonist Mike Lynch days before we set off, so it was hastily pencilled into my “must see” list. The Guggenheim can wait ...

Artwork at the top by Sergio Aragones of Mad fame

Look ... A Charles Barsotti Dog!

So after a few days sightseeing and shopping, I decided to drag my wife and another friend along to the Overlook to sample the drinks and admire the artwork. We weren’t disappointed on either count. On the right hand as we walked in, we saw a huge board covered with cartoons from all the greats, slightly yellowed with age and years of nicotine. I was even more excited when closer inspection revealed that the board had come into contact with the CCGB at some point in the 1970s. I seem to remember Les Barton talking about a NY trip the club took years ago, and sure enough, there was his cartoon, along with Bill Tidy and Frank Dickens among others – slightly faded but still recognisable. Great stuff!

The late Les Barton's contribution

An extremely faded Frank Dickens 'Bristow'

Years of nicotine abuse had yellowed the boards. Ah, smell those cartoons!

On the opposite side of the pub, another board had been set up and was already almost full with gag cartoons and strips from more modern cartoonists, including the occasional mega-famous name. I wasn’t nearly famous enough to add my own scribble – it’s hard to lie to the question “Are you famous?” especially when the person asking has given you a couple of free rounds – so I settled for admiring the artwork, taking a few photos and enjoying the free vodka jelly shots courtesy of the extremely friendly owner, Jeff, and his bar staff. I seem to remember getting back to our hotel that night, but I couldn’t tell you how we got there. And I’m off jelly for life.

Mike Lynch's amorous penguin in the centre plus a Sam Gross frog wheels underneath

Al Jaffee plus several others

The Overlook Lounge is at
255 East 44th Street Between 2nd
and 3rd Ave, New York City, 10017

Monday, March 09, 2009

Sempe Competition Winner

Yes, the moment literally half a dozen people have been waiting for ...

The winner of the 'Monsieur Lambert' competition is Spencer Hill.
Well done to Spencer and thanks to everyone who entered.
Hopefully will have a few more competitions in the future.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Who washes the watchmen?

So, the film is out tomorrow - will be interesting to see how it turns out.
The graphic novel is of course ace, and I enjoyed watching the motion comic this week too (available now on itunes or DVD next week) although having a male voice actor for the female characters was occasionally irritating.

In the meantime, here's a deleted scene from the film...

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Competition reminder

Remember, there's still time to enter the Sempé competiton - get your emails to me before March 7th, and this could well be you!

For a chance to WIN 'Monsieur Lambert', simply send an email to Competition closes in a week (March 7th), first one out of the hat wins the book. Mark your email 'Monsieur Lambert'

Strange Looking Bloke Wednesday

This unusually postured individual was doodled while I was on the phone.