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

Exhibition sketchbook: Ronald Searle ‘What? Already?!’, 90th year exhibition, Wilhelm Busch Museum, Hannover

Art, Cartoons

Exhibition sketchbook: Ronald Searle – self portrait, originally uploaded by mike(toons).

2010 has been a year of rediscovery for me. And the greatest of these has been of Ronald Searle’s work, made possible by exhibitions in London and Hannover in honour of his 90th birthday.

The fact that I could still draw, after a decade of beating ever increasing amounts of type into smaller text boxes (sometimes laughingly described as graphic design), was also a rediscovery. The joy I felt at sketching these drawings by Searle was astonishing. I burst into tears at one point. Something had been re-established in me.

These sketchbook drawings are not intended to give a wider public much information about Searle’s work. They were really just for me. A way of connecting. Better sources for actual examples of Ronald Searle’s work are the Ronald Searle Tribute and Brian Sibley has written several pieces about him. Worth a look.

And if you can, get over to Hannover before 30 January 2011 to see the exhibition!

Exhibition sketchbook: Perhaps His Majesty's Minister is not aware of the grave displeasure with which the Primrose League views the Government's sunflower scheme.
Exhibition sketchbook: Perhaps His Majesty’s Minister is not aware of the grave displeasure with which the Primrose League views the Government’s sunflower scheme, originally uploaded by mike(toons).
Exhibition sketchbook: Ronald Searle - And this is Mr Eccle Shave. He wants a bloody revolution.
Exhibition sketchbook: Ronald Searle – And this is Mr Eccle Shave. He wants a bloody revolution., originally uploaded by mike(toons).
Exhibition sketchbook: Ronald Searle - Layman's Guide to the Warrior's Anatomy & Artist's Anatomy
Exhibition sketchbook: Ronald Searle – Layman’s Guide to the Warrior’s Anatomy & Artist’s Anatomy., originally uploaded by mike(toons).

The right hand sketch (above) is missing about 30 arrows linking the artist’s attributes to his head, which I lazily omitted to draw.

Exhibition sketchbook: Some corner of a foreign field that is for ever England... (Telescopic photo taken through the open window of the ladies room of a well-known Port Said hostelry)
Exhibition sketchbook: Some corner of a foreign field that is for ever England… (Telescopic photo taken through the open window of the ladies room of a well-known Port Said hostelry), originally uploaded by mike(toons).

Exhibition sketchbook: Clown by Ronald Searle (1971)

Exhibition sketchbook: Clown by Ronald Searle (1971), originally uploaded by mike(toons).

I love the contrast between the sober normal world seen in the businessman’s clothes hanging on the pegs and the ludicrous clown in a purple striped dress.

Exhibition sketchbook: two cartoons for Le Monde by Ronald Searle

Exhibition sketchbook: two cartoons for Le Monde by Ronald Searle, originally uploaded by mike(toons).

The cartoons done for Le Monde, over the last 15 years or so, show that Searle’s powers are undiminished. These are my two favourites but there were many more in the exhibition. Top: “Au suivant!“, bottom “Foubelle“.

Exhibition sketchbook: Ronald Searle - owl in ink and scribbled colour pencil
Exhibition sketchbook: Ronald Searle – owl in ink and scribbled colour pencil, originally uploaded by mike(toons).
Originally posted on miketoons.blogspot.com – Thursday, 9 September 2010

Roger Frames buys Budjit Games

Art, Cartoons, Illustration

Roger Frames - masthead

I’ve been scanning in old art commissioned by Commodore Format magazine in the early 1990s. At the time, Future Publishing was probably my best client and I was producing artwork for many of its magazines.

The regular project that I enjoyed the most was illustrating the pages where the low-cost (Budjit) computer games were reviewed by the fictitious young, accident-prone kid – Roger Frames.

Issue #1 of the magazine saw Roger in basic black and white line but very soon – by issue #4 – a couple of full colour illustrations of Roger’s antics appeared every month. This increased to as much as four illustrations in some issues.

I’ve chosen a few of my favourites: some are scans from the printed magazine because the artwork was either not returned or been lost.

Roger Frames - snotty nose

Roger Frames: Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside

Roger Frames: Commodore 64 sand sculpture

Roger Frames: Computer Sand Sculpture

Roger Frames: All at sea

Roger Frames: All at seaRoger Frames - Hospital VisitRoger Frames: Hospital Visit

Roger & Debit watch the Chancellor's Budget Speech

Roger Frames: Roger and Debit watch the Chancellor’s Budget Speech

Roger Frames: Arrested for Begging

Roger Frames: Arrested for begging

Roger Frames - Asleep in the sun

Roger Frames: Asleep in the sun

Roger Frames - Sunburn

Roger Frames: Bad Sunburn

Roger Frames: The Untouchables

Roger Frames: The Untouchables

Roger Frames - Batman and the vicar

Roger Frames: ‘Batman’ and the vicar

Roger Frames - Batman and the vicar

Roger Frames: ‘Batman’ and the vicar

Roger Frames - Hanging on

Roger Frames: Hanging on

Roger Frames - Beach Treasure Hunt

Roger Frames: Beach Treasure Hunt

Roger Frames - Bath Tub Sub

Roger Frames – Bath Tub Sub
Originally posted on miketoons.blogspot.com – Tuesday, 2 November 2010