Cartoon stereotype

Art, Cartoons, Illustration

Just Amazing: the Frenchman who ate everythingJust Amazing. TV Times 1984. More art from the miketoons dusty archives. An illustration to accompany programme details in TV Times. Apparently the man featured in the programme ate bottles, bicycles and even a light aircraft. Cartoon stereotype of a Frenchman? I admit I’ve never met a Frenchman dressed like this.

Thanks to Elliot Elam for pointing out the Frenchman was Michel Lotito – Monsieur Mangetoute!

Art in a Rainy City

Art, Cartoons, Illustration

Manchester Illustrators Exhibition

Art in a Rainy City, 1980s: Illustration in Indian ink for an exhibition of work by illustrators based in the Manchester area. A one night stand with the art buyers and creatives of Manchester. I don’t remember getting any commissions from that evening but it was good to work with other illustrators in putting it all together.

Any other ‘oldies’ remember it?

Unseasonal Greetings

Art, Cartoons

Frozen Robin Xmas Card

I know it’s a warm June day but I couldn’t wait to add this cartoon to the miketoons blog.

A Christmas card drawn in 1988, the first Christmas I was living in Devizes. It shows the old Coate Bridge (demolished to build a new wider bridge a few months later) over the Kennet & Avon canal. Son Owen and friend Neil are on the bridge. Don’t know whether the bovver-booted robin was a reference to Swindon Town football club.

Odd isn’t it. Well, 22 years on it strikes me as rather odd.

We Ran the World

Art, Cartoons

Here’s a little taster of We Ran the World, a collaboration with writer Andy Oldfield which was originally published in The Damage*, a short-lived rival to Viz.

We Ran the World was a dig at the so-called glories of the British Empire, little Englanders, xenophobes… as well as the then-current Thatcher government. The strip normally occupied the centre spread of The Damage but this special edition ran to four pages. Andy would fax the scripts to me and I would squeeze in as much of my own daftness as there was room for.

We Ran the World - Twilight of the Gods - page 1
We Ran the World - Twilight of the Gods - page 2
We Ran the World - Twilight of the Gods - page 3
We Ran the World - Twilight of the Gods - page 4
The artwork was drawn to A3 size on bleedproof layout paper, inked by brush then coloured with Pantone and Magic Markers. All the brush hand lettering was on a separate overlay to preserve clarity of the text.

*The Damage was originally called Brain Damage but the name was changed after pressure from a campaign group representing the parents of brain-damaged children.

I’m biased. I thought The Damage was a far better comic than Viz but the public preferred the very British humour (dare I say ‘toilet’ humour?) of the Beano/Dandy styleViz strips to the more adventurous stuff in The Damage.

Roger Frames: rediscovered pencil rough

Art, Cartoons, Illustration

Roger Frames - Batfink and gargoyle - 1st rough
While rummaging through a pile of old pencil roughs (I call it my filing system) I discovered, or rediscovered, this first pencil rough for a Roger Frames cartoon.

It was for the third of three cartoons where the theme was Roger acting out a Batman fantasy triggered by his favourite ‘Budjit Game’ of that month.

As you can see below I changed the drawing completely for the final version, much simpler and more dramatic, prompted by Art Editor Ollie Alderton’s valuable contribution.

Roger Frames - Batfink and gargoyle - 2nd rough

Here’s the final printed version.
Roger Frames - Batfink and gargoyle - printed proof

A week of catastrophes

Cartoons, History, Soapbox

The massive earthquake off the north east coast of Japan and the ensuing apocalyptic tsunami was a double catastrophe of lost lives, lost homes and lost infrastructure.

Five days on and the relief work is hampered by the ongoing nuclear crisis at Fukushima with the threat of a radiation catastrophe.

Failsafe. There’s a word to contemplate. Are the assurances given so far about the reactors’ containment and ultimate safety hollow? When things go wrong in this industry, secrecy, half-truths, wildly optimistic pronouncements are wrapped around the feeble and often mistaken choices made to put things right.

I firmly believe that my father’s death in January 1961 from cancer (he was 40 years old) was caused by Britain’s worst nuclear event, the Windscale (Sellafield) fire and leak, three years earlier.

Needless to say, I am deeply suspicious of the nuclear industry. Nuclear Power? No thanks.

This cartoon by Low had a profound effect on me as a young nascent cartoonist. It seems appropriate this week, over 60 years on.

Baby Play With Nice Ball? Cartoon by David Low | Evening Standard, August 1945.