A tiny tribute to Ray Harryhausen in this week’s comic. He was hugely responsible for my love of animation & film and a big reason why I went to university to study animation in the first place.
It really does feel like the recent success of UKIP is leading to the major parties trying desperately to appeal to the far right in really worrying ways. Their inability to manoeuvre around UKIP’s smug, self-satisfied, bug-eyed leader’s obsession with immigration and the EU felt like perfect fodder for a visual metaphor.
Keeping up with the news, social media and generally staying abreast of everything that’s going on in the world is both necessary and acutely depressing. Sometimes those cathode rays provide some much-needed, if guilty, refuge.
I like Captain Social Justice. I expect I’ll be using him again at some point. It’ll be nice to have some recurring characters in In The Frame (without relying on backdated in-jokes of course).
This week’s comic marks my first six months as the New Statesman’s weekly cartoonist. Hopefully the first of many more to come! Read the six months worth of comics here.
A bit of silly satyre this week. Not much to say about this one other than it was a fun one to colour and I was really happy with how it all came out.
If you’re enjoying the New Statesman comics, please do share them around and go and leave a comment on the NS site!
I kept seeing this Dove advert pop up in my Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook feeds by people I follow and, despite the obviously inoffensive message of the video I couldn’t help but feel icky about all these people doing the job of advertisers. No matter how it’s presented, a viral marketing campaign is just a viral marketing campaign and when it’s for a company owned by the far from ethical Unilever, the constant appearance of the video in my feeds/timelines became even more irritating.
I took a chance on the colour scheme on this one and think it came out well. The internet-sharing multi-panel running across the middle was a lot of fun to draw too.
“Little did I realize that what began in the alleys and backways of this quiet town would end in the Badlands of Montana.”
An illustration for the film Badlands, which I did to experiment with some new photoshop brushes and have a bit of fun.
I saw Badlands for the first time as a teenager and it blew my mind. It’s a beautifully shot movie with Malick famously filming scenes in the “magic hour” between the sun setting and rising. It also has a gorgeous score that went on to be used in Tony Scott’s True Romance and countless whimsical adverts for internet dating sites. But what really struck me was how poetic and lyrical the film was. It never attempted to tell you how you should feel or pass judgement on the characters. Instead it built a dreamy, mythic tale of America as the two leads (future President Jed Bartlett and Carrie) went about a bloody killing spree. I’d never seen anything like it.
I keep seeing posters on the tube for The Crown Jewels exhibition at the Tower of London with the tagline: “Every stone tells a story” and it always makes me think “well yeah, I suppose – but those stories really don’t make anyone look very good”.
This turned into an idea that seemed fitting for the centenary edition of the New Statesman which this was printed in last week. There isn’t anything too topical which meant the comic wouldn’t feel out of date in the two weeks it’s on shelves and the larger theme of post-colonial history felt appropriate for an edition of the magazine celebrating it’s own history.
I spent a lot of time wrestling with the colours for this and making it feel like the underground without making it too dark or miserable.
One of my favourite things about Skyfall was the attempts made to reconcile Bond with the modern world. When there was fuss being made about how the budget was leaked to the Standard and on Twitter, this idea just seemed funny to me. The idea that Bond could co-exist in a world with Twitter.
I wanted the art in this to have a Sixties feel. A highly stylised design sense that evoked Steranko but without relying heavily on Bridget Riley patterns or the standard Steranko homage clichés. In the end I opted for lots of white space and a striking red/blue colour palette that looked more like a collection of abstracted images.
The Alternative Comedy Memorial Society is a fantastic night of experimental comedy organised by John Luke Roberts and Thom Tuck. It has a variety of acts doing 10-15 minutes of new, generally untested material that wouldn’t usually find a place in a standard comedy club. It’s found a home at the Soho Theatre but they also do several nights in Edinburgh and every time I’ve been it’s been a hell of a lot of fun. It’s one of my favourite nights of comedy to go to and if you ever get a chance to go – you should.
Luckily, they were looking to update their website with some new artwork and I volunteered to design a banner and logo. We ended up using the “Fresh Sisyphean Comedy” tagline as a cue to create the following. Here’s the final banner:
The image itself was made a bit bigger – here’s the full thing:
This is a square version for use on the Soho Theatre website and in Fringe brochures:
And this was a quick mock-up of the logo being used on photos:
This was in reaction to EDF trying to sue the No Dash For Gas protestors to the tune of £5 million before a huge public backlash and online petition shamed them into withdrawing. After last week’s one panel narrative, I seem to be trying to make up for it with this panel heavy follow-up.