Monday, October 22, 2012

USB poem

I heard a really really really bad piece of poetry recently. In fact, this is the tweet I sent half way through the 15 minute opus. (Not entirely sure how long it was but it certainly felt like 15 minutes!)

I was, however, inspired to write some poems of my own. Here's the first one (possibly best read in the voice of Pam Ayres)

Poem about a USB stick

Where have you gone, my oblong friend?
My sixteen gig of data?
I though I left you in port three.
(I'm sure he'll turn up later)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Strange Looking Bloke Wednesday

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Another bumper SLB Wednesday, with three doodles of blokes in various stages of not looking amused. Perhaps next week I'll do Happy Looking Bloke Wednesday for some balance.

Nib Nerd: Deleter pen, pencil and some watercolour brush pens.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Hat Party!

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Went to a 'Hat Party' last night. All the guests had to turn up with unusual headgear. I took a hat *and* a sketchbook. I was obviously robbed in the 'best men's hat' category, but Nikki won 'best women's hat'. Hurrah!
Nikki's winning hat! Handmade by the pair of us.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Rolf and Gren

“All I ever wanted was to draw. I have an almost childish love of cartoons. I always look forward to doing them. If it wasn’t my work, I’d be doing them as a hobby.”
Gren Jones. 

The highly acclaimed and popular series 'Rolf on Welsh Arts' returns to BBC One Wales. In this, the first of four programmes, Rolf Harris heads off around Wales in his 'Rolf Mobile', to gather all he needs for his own personal tribute paintings in homage to some of the nation's greatest artists.

In this funny and witty programme, Rolf tours the Valleys, visiting the people and places that influenced South Wales iconic cartoonist Gren Jones. And as background for his tribute cartoon, Rolf has to undergo a real Gren experience against the clock and create a cartoon for the next day's edition of the Echo with a little advice from comic legend, Max Boyce.

This episode is available until Fri November 9th.

I was a big fan of Gren (still am!) - here's my tribute to him from 2007

Friday, October 12, 2012

Bob Scrimshaw: Cartoon Guru

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More Scrimshaw shenanigans, plus another COMPETITION!

To win a signed Scrimshaw strip of your choice, a small original doodle and perhaps some other stuff*, simply head to and SHARE this Scrimshaw strip on your timeline. Reckon I'll pick 3 winners, so you've got a frankly superb chance, especially if only 3 people share. Don't let that happen!

*Bit vague but there you go.

(If you don't have Facebook, I guess you could print out the strip and stick in your front window. That's the same as 'sharing' isn't it?)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A whale of a gag

Caption: "It's all sounding a bit samey... do you know any Abba?"

This gag appears in the October issue of Saga Magazine. Impeccable taste, that Saga Magazine.


Shameless Promotion section

If you're interested in my gag cartoons, my collection is available to buy here

£5.99 plus £1.20 postage

Ever worried that a hundred gag cartoons were never quite enough? Fret no more - 
'One hundred and one gag cartoons' is the perfect way to exercise your laughing muscles! 
Featuring work from the pages of Readers Digest, Punch, New Statesman, and many others.
If you want your copy signed, please let me know!

7.5" x 7.5", perfect binding, cream interior paper (60# weight), black and white interior ink, white exterior paper (100# weight), full-colour exterior ink.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Strange Looking Bloke Wednesday

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It's a bumper SLB Wednesday! I've been scribbling away with my new Deleter pen, usually on whatever material is at hand - a scrap of watercolour paper, some thick card, cheap laser paper. I drew the gentlemen with the large hat while I was watching Zulu. Magnificent facial hair!

Got so many of these doodled scraps of paper dotted around the room... it's quite fun to randomly stumble upon one I'd forgotten about. It's the same with gag cartoons. I've got my notebook, but also piles of tiny scrap paper with gag ideas on, as this post last November demonstrated.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Strange Looking Bloke Wednesday

Ok, so they're not really strange looking blokes, but it is Wednesday and I have rules to follow.

I've got the new BF5 album and tickets for the UK tour, so I've been playing it on constant rotation.
As much as I like Ben's solo stuff, I do think he works best in this group - really raises his game. Love the way they sound too - manic piano, fuzz bass and crashing cymbals one moment, delicate harmonies the next.

Hopefully the tour will be a mix of old and new material. I've seen Ben Folds live plenty of times, but never Ben Folds Five which will make hearing (hopefully!) Underground, Army and Kate all the sweeter.

Nib Nerd Section: Drawn with my new Deleter 'School G' pen, then a tiny amount of grey wash. Lovely scratchy line with the Deleter - a welcome to change to my computer work.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

The Big Drawn

Please excuse the quality of most of the photos. I took one picture with my camera and the battery immediately died. The rest of the pictures are from my iPhone. My 'first generation, gets laughed at by other iPhone users, extremely poor camera', iPhone. Bah!

This year's Big Draw, a month long celebration of drawing, launched on Sunday in splendid style with the opening event 'Big Draw, Big Make' in London's V&A Museum. Talks and demonstrations by top designers Sir Nicholas Grimshaw and Richard Seymour, illustrator Quentin Blake and cartoonist Gerald Scarfe took place throughout the day, along with portfolio reviews, pop up art studios to visit  - plenty to keep kids and adults alike busy all day.

They also let a bunch of us cartoonists in for workshops and to do battle in front of a baying crowd. 

Such larks! (c) Rosie Brooks

The four cartoon workshops were organised by the Professional Cartoonists' Organisation and ran throughout the day. I'd arrived at around 11.30 and the first workshop was already up and running. Fellow PCO member Robert Duncan was entertaining a full crowd of kids and adult, getting them all involved and offering suggestions of things to draw. All the benches and tables were full, so kids were scribbling on the floor too (well not on the actual floor - that is illegal and would get us all imprisoned. Probably)

Robert Duncan taking his cartoon workshop

While I was waiting for my workshop to start, I wandered around the room we were set up in.It was decided that we'd use the Raphael room. Here's what the V&A website says about it:

This room houses the surviving designs painted by Raphael, one of the greatest of all Italian Renaissance artists, for tapestries commissioned in Rome in 1515 by Pope Leo X . These were to hang in the Sistine chapel on the walls beneath the ceiling by his contemporary Michelangelo. Although originally only designs (known as "cartoons") to guide the weavers, they are now among the greatest artistic treasures in Britain. Owned by the British Royal Family since 1623, they have been on loan to the Museum since 1865.

So, Raphael cartoons in the Raphael room... perfect for cartoon workshops! Perfect for the upcoming Battle of the Cartoonists! Yes, well... uh... bit dark, innit? Of course its entirely understandable - the seven Raphael's on display are priceless and the subdued lighting protects them admirably, but I could foresee a lot of eye strain. Fear not, however! I had a solution for everyone...

To which I had the reply...

No-one donned a helmet though. Conformists!

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Next up was my workshop - creating comic strips. Great fun! After an initial explanation of what we were doing, I spent the next 90 minutes wandering from family to family talking through their ideas and seeing how they could come up with ideas and characters and produce a strip for them to take home to stick on the wall. I estimate we must have handed out around 200 worksheet sets. As usual the kids came up with so many amazing concepts and characters. Always a pleasure to do these workshops.

I've heard from Cathy Simpson and Will Dawbarn that their workshops were heaving too and very successful. Good to see our efforts paid off.

Team Sun are go, go, go!

With barely time to catch my breath, it was straight over to the main event of the day... The Battle of the Cartoonists! Seven teams (Reader's Digest, Private Eye, The Sun, Big Girl's Drawers, Guardian/Observer, Professional Cartoonists' Organisation and The Telegraph) were taking part and I was drafted in last minute to Team Sun, alongside Andy Davey and Clive Goddard.

Despite not knowing what Raphael painting we were supposed to base our banner on, (it would be decided half an hour before the start via a random draw in front of official referee and adjudicator Libby Purves)  we'd decided to get a bit sneaky and plan a design ahead of time that would allow us to simply slot whatever Raphael we got in.

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After a bit of umm and aahing, I came up with the idea of an Antiques Roadshow scene featuring the Royal Family. In lieu of any other ideas, we decided to go for it!

Andy Davey caricatures on my bodies... Working as a team!
A wonderfully demented looking Camilla, by Andy Davey

Outstanding work by Clive Goddard
More excellent caricature work from Andy

After 2 hours we were finished. Despite 3 cartoonists with differing styles working on it, I though our styles melded in together very well - with the final banner resembling a newspaper strip- the effect I had hoped for. It certainly helped working in black and white for the most part, with only the painting and the Sun logo adding a dash of spot colour. For my first experience taking part in a Battle of the Cartoonists, it was pleasantly stress free and a lot more fun than I'd originally imagined - No "where's my pencil?" "The caption goes there, buffoon!" or "Where's my agent? I'm not working in this light!"

A big, big thank you to Andy and Clive for their brilliant cartooning skills and reassuring manner! 'No worries - we'll have it done in plenty of time'...

I didn't manage to take any decent pictures of the finished banner, but I'm sure there'll be plenty showing up on Facebook or the PCO blog.

Like these ones!

And that was it! Just the judging left. Since we were in a museum, surrounded by priceless works of art, the crowd couldn't cheer or clap to vote for their favourite banner, for fear of kicking up a dust tsunami that would engulf the entire room. Instead they were told to shuffle over to their favourite an stand there. Whoever had the biggest crowd wins. Simple!

So, Private Eye won for the 3rd year in a row. Yay. ( I'm not bitter! :)

Ger, Tim, Nathan. Three men and a pipe.
Finally it was off to the pub for post match analysis, beer and trying out Henry Davies' pipe.
A few pints later and it was time to go. All in all a good day.

Looking forward to next year!