Saturday, 30 June 2012

Tom Cruise Rejoins Dating Scene


Tom Cruise is one of those entities that could only exist at this point in time and space. He is, for want of a better word: perfect. The marketing people love him and he, being a product of their dark arts, does everything he can to help them. On TV, he shines in interview. He seems lively, interested, self-deprecating, and, unless you look too closely, he hasn’t aged a day since he wiped the spittle from Dustin Hoffman’s chin in ‘Rainman’. At film premieres, he takes more time signing autographs for fans than any other star, and though his films tend to stick to the generic conventions (boom, bang, kick a chair, snog, bang), they aren’t woeful. When he appeared on ‘Top Gear’, he posted the fastest time in the ‘Star in the Reasonably Priced Car’ and for recreation he rides motorbikes and pulls loops in his plane. In addition to all of that, he has great teeth and more money than Jesus’s sandal salesman. I would even go so far as to say that, except for the aforementioned ‘perfection’, it’s hard to really dislike Tom Cruise.

Unless, of course, you mention the bit about Scientology…

I don’t go in for much religion but I think if there is a God or Gods out there, up there, or in our sock drawer, then that God or Gods gave the game away and revealed himself, herself, themselves, in the delightful arrangement they made by which they gave Tom Cruise everything that a man might desire for in life, on the proviso that he has to become the mouthpiece for the biggest pile of half-baked theological shite ever written down by a mortal hand. It was surely a deal that would make Adrian Messenger think twice and Doctor Faust ring his publicist to see if he should prick his finger and sign.

Of course, the divorce of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes is a personal tragedy and all that. But perhaps it is a sign that at least one person in Hollywood has the sense to see a few of the flaws in Scientology, such as the fact that it reads like a not particularly good episode of ‘Star Trek’. And not even the original ‘Star Trek’ or ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’. I mean ‘Star Trek: Deep Space One’ or one of those spin-off novelisations written by William Shatner.

Besides, I saw Katie (I’m firmly on her side, I think, should they need me in court) in that underrated chiller, ‘Don't Be Afraid of the Dark’, and she seemed far too rational in that. If she couldn’t believe a young girl’s tales of the creatures living beneath the floorboards, I thought it highly unlikely that she could believe in the concept of our Thetan overlords. Unless, of course, it was the perfect teeth and the speedboats that confused her. Thetans are known for their perfect teeth and speedboats. They'd probably so well as the 'Star in the Reasonably Priced Car’ too... But look at me! I've already said too much. To learn more, send me a cheque for £1000 pounds and/or 10% of your gross income for the next year, whichever is largest.I can't promise you answers but I can promise to set you on the right path to the truth...

Friday, 29 June 2012

Bend The Rules For Beckham

I’m not a David Beckham fan. Put me in a room full of people who aren’t Beckham fans and I’d quickly make plenty of enemies among the majority who think my opinions too extreme. In many respects, Beckham represents the turn towards self-indulgence this country has seen over twenty years, where the body has become the place where consumer products battle for prominence. From the prevalence of tattoos to the feminisation of male culture, from a world in which style wins over substance, to the worshipping of the shallowest celebrities: all roads seem to lead to Beckham. Even at what he does best, he embodies the showy but not particularly effective side of football.

Yet to leave him out of the Olympic squad seems morally wrong, especially when that place is given to a player who allegedly refused to be on the stand-by list for the England squad. Beckham never ruled himself out of playing for England, flying ridiculous distances to appear. As captain, one sensed that it meant something to him beyond the increased marketing possibilities. He worked so tirelessly for the country to win the Olympics (though, here again, I’m pretty indifferent to the whole bloody spectacle that it seems strange to be arguing that winning it was a virtue) that do deny him the chance to play for his country, one last time, seems ridiculously petty.

Yet this country has become so obsessed by winning that we seem to have forgotten greater qualities, such a loyalty, friendship, common human decency. Robert Preston was just on the news saying that the failure at Barclays is down to customers not realising that there had been a change in corporate culture: that the banks started to screw us over in the name of profit because they’d forgotten that they were actually meant to serve the interests of the customer.

Who really gives a stuff if we win a gold for football at the Olympics? Let Beckham play and show that we cherish something greater than winning, greater the Mammon… That itself would be a victory, though a victory that in a way stands in the way of everything that Beckham has cherished, promoted and exemplified over the last two decades.

No cartoon, as yet, today. I’ve been busy animating and drawing a cartoon which might actually earn me a couple of bob. But then again, it might not.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

On Dogging, Cruising And Other Outdoor Pursuits


Another cartoon from my notebook, scribbled in a Warrington coffee house the other day. For once, it’s inspired by real life.

Because they're trendy, enlightened, and possibly part Scandinavian, Warrington Council tries to encourage cycling. Go to their website and download the cycle routes. They have plenty. The council encourage people to travel to the town along other cycle routes that pass through the local nature reserves. Those nature reserves follow the paths of the old canals built by cold eyed industrialists but now in the hands of an even stricter group of people: fishermen, who block the paths with forty foot rods that wouldn't have looked out of place strapped to Ernest Hemingway. It's one of these canals I occasionally ride whenever I need new art supplies.

The only problem is that once you’re beyond a very well-tended part of Warrington’s cycle routes, towards the edges of the county, the council don’t really take as much care about the quality of the cycle routes or where their routes pass. And like the geniuses that can only emerge in the public sector, Warrington Council have put their ever-so-family-friendly cycle route right down a lane whose only other occupants are cruising homosexuals, dogging couples, and prostitutes servicing their clients into the shallow woodland. Apparently, the place is well known for genital pleasures and it's advertised quite widely on the internet. What makes it worse, however, is that the Council, in their wisdom, have stuck a turnstyle at the entrance to this lane and it’s at this turnstyle that all the cruisers, doggers, and prozzers park, chat, and prepare to do business. It’s also where all cyclists have to climb off their bikes and navigate the parked cars and people with strange looks in their eyes. Families ride the route but the council don’t seem to care. They must consider it part of the ‘educational’ element of the route. I know I've learned a few things since I started to ride that lane. One is never to look left nor right or stop to tell somebody the time.

I recently tried to avoid the lane, taking the nearby main A-road, but had an accident that ended with my being gently nudged off the road by a low loader carrying two JDB diggers. I think the low loader didn't come away unscathed and I only suffered severe lacerations to my knees. I now try to travel the cycle route early in the morning but it’s still strange to be cycling along to suddenly see some thin, emancipated woman, prematurely aged from drug use, emerge from the shrubbery followed by some lank haired taxi driver with a moustache straight from 1970s casting checking that his fly is up and giving you a hateful look because you’re there to see his indiscretion. Alternatively, you might see a strange couple, dressed in unsuitable attire for rambling (high heels, short skirt heavy make-up... and his wife's dressed no better), standing with a camera pretending to be photographing a dandelion until you’ve passed. Or you find yourself propositioned by a man standing with his hands deep in his trenchcoat lurking in the shadow of the copse...

Which brings me to the point of today’s post. Even if I was that way inclinded: a cruising homosexual, a dogger, or a man who uses prostitutes, what on earth would possess me to get intimate with a stranger in such a miserable spot of woodland? I wouldn’t even eat my packed lunch surrounded by insects, rotting vegetation, and the fly tipped rubbish of various housing estates. Why would I want to drop my trousers in that place? What on earth attracts these people to such a miserable stretch of lane, used by cyclists and the occasional rambler? Perhaps it’s another dimension to human sexuality that I don’t understand: like women who want to read ‘50 Shades of Grey’ or the middle-aged mothers who lust after Peter Dinklage.

I do know that it’s a weird world and it’s only getting weirder.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

The Alan Partridge Conundrum: Or How Alan Partridge Lost His Edge


Just had my first tattoo but it was a complete accident. I managed to stab myself with a croquill when it was heavy with ink from the above cartoon. I now have a black spot on my thumb that won’t wash off. It's not too bad, I guess, unless I ever find myself in the company of pirates.

However, whist drawing, I gave more thought as to why the Alan Partridge special on Sky Atlantic, ‘Welcome to the Places of My Life’, was so spectacularly poor. I think the issue has much to do with the reason why the third series didn’t match up to the second. Alan Partridge’s greatest comedic virtue is that we enjoy his failures but only when set against the background of his greater successes. The fact that he’s a third rate Terry Wogan has always been the best joke but the fact that he uses this 'success' to settle old scores is where the comedy genius lies. His natural nemesis is the BBC and this lends his adventures a sharp satirical edge that’s missing when he’s reduced to a mere radio presenter. In Series One, the comedy was broader because the Partridge character was working within the context of his own show on the BBC. The character hadn’t quite developed but there was so much potential in what was meant to be his last chance to succeed inside the Beeb. Series Two achieved the perfect balance between the aspiring TV celebrity and the nobody, but, by the third series, the satire had become a little more shallow as Alan’s stature had been reduced.

The forty minute special continued that decline, showing Alan who is by now simply too ordinary. Though the writing was a little weak, the main issue was that there was too little of Alan doing what Alan does best. Conversely, the best parts were those moments when he again had (and demonstrated) power: the parody of BBC documentary about council business where Alan had his old cocky swagger; Alan looking at sheep which remind him of the enemies he made inside the BBC; the walk with the vicar who Alan bullies into speeding up for the cameras; Alan mocking the greengrocer simply for being ordinary. This is Alan Partridge at his best: displaying that familiar power relationship that exists between minor celebrities and their audience. It’s a vainglorious arrogance that is just a short walk from fascism, a celebrity where power corrupts quickly and absolutely. The moment that exemplifies it best was when Alan was fantasising about Hitler taking over Norwich Town Hall. So much more could have been done with this. Partridge’s comedy has always come from the fact that inside this bland TV presenter beats the heart of a tyrant.

If there is ever another series of Partridge, they need to get back to what he does best. They need to give him more power and situations to dominate. Perhaps they should make him run for political office, like a latter day Esther Rantzen. That would be a show I would happily to pay to see.

Things I Discovered Yesterday

  • Hedgehogs, though slow moving, can be known to leap suicidally into the path of cyclists who must veer dangerously of the way to avoid them.

  • Veering dangerously out of the way of suicidal hedgehogs has a tendency to make cyclists fall of their bikes.

  • The ground is hard when hit wrist first from the back of a moving bicycle.

  • Drawing is difficult when you’ve sprained your wrist.

  • Mentholated ‘cooling’ balm provides excellent relief on said wrist, less good when you fail to wash your hands adequately and accidentally deposit aforementioned balm on your foreskin.

  • Alan Partridge isn’t always funny, especially when dragged out into a 40 minute pseudo-documentary which even the most ardent fan of the Partridge found himself willing it to be over.

  • It’s hard not to prejudge a sharply dressed bald meathead in the bank with the name Giselle tattooed vertically down the side of his bestial neck and loudly depositing £4000 into his account. He might not be a gangster. He might be a hairdresser.

  • I hate tennis and I don’t give a stuff if Andy Murray wins.

  • We are governed by a privileged elite who wouldn’t know the common touch if it was the size of a badly sprained wrist applied anally and smeared with a mentholated ‘cooling’ balm.

Today, I am going to attempt to draw but my wrist bloody hurts… The animation is coming along, though I was to put some effort in to tidying up some of the weaker drawings. This animation is for a competition, so I really don't want it to have any noticeable weaknesses, other than my horrible voice acting.


Tuesday, 26 June 2012



Not a great cartoon but I'm unbelievably busy with the animation. Also, I have so many grumbles this morning, it’s impossible to believe that I got up in a good mood.

First of all, I’m annoyed with myself for missing the Alan Partridge special last night. If the reviews are to believed, I missed something special. Secondly, I’ve got to do some voice work this morning, voicing two parts for the new animation, which means twice as much hell to get through, trying to make my voice fit the parts and try not to sound like I’m reading the Biggleswade telephone directory. Is it true of all people that you never think you have an accent until you hear your voice played back to yourself. I sound like I’m an extra direct from the new episode of Wallace and Gromit. Johnny Vegas and Peter Kay are both from these parts and I sound like a slightly nasal version of their less confident brother.

However, before all that, I have to get to an art shop… I've almost run out of ink.




Monday, 25 June 2012

That Old Hodgson Magic

I’m down with a miserable cold, so no cartoons today and I really don’t feel much like typing. I am, however, working on a new animation which is a little different this time and my most complicated to date. I might even have it finished in less than a week...

I must say, however, that England’s exit from Euro 2012 came as something of a relief. I might now begin to enjoy the tournament. The thought of having to endure another 90 minutes of Hodgson’s anti-football nearly had me demanding a young priest and an old priest to perform an exorcism on the TV. I’m only disappointed that we managed to survive the group stages, where hard fought success over two teams we should be bullying in the playground every day of the week seemed to have filled many with the usual deluded faith tinged with xenophobia that we have the right English manager setting up the team to play the good old English way. Instead, I stick with what I said in my Euro 2012 animation: hoofing the ball is not a tactic we should be proud to embrace and to play 4-4-2 revealed a lack of tactical nous and an unwillingness to accept that the game has moved on in the last 30 years. Last night only made me thankful that Liverpool appointed Brendan Rodgers so I won’t have to watch that kind of football played every week next season.

4-4-2 against Italy was madness. Gerrard and Parker were run ragged in midfield, as evidenced by the fact that it was probably the first time I’ve seen Gerrard suffer cramp after 60 minutes. It wouldn’t be so bad if it was a particularly mobile midfield but Pirlo was directing play from his bathchair. As for Hodgson’s team selection, Ashley Young must have some photos of Hodgson naked with a burlesque dancer. He’s been so dire against Sweden I’d wondered if he was applying for dual nationality and had ownership of a fjord. He was even worse last night. The only surprise about the missed penalty was that he didn’t go down inside the box.

Rooney also had no running after 60 minutes and Carroll caused them more trouble in 30 minutes of normal time and 30 of extra than either Young or Rooney caused them in the whole 120. I can’t actually remember what Wellbeck did except make a couple of clearances from defence. The biggest surprise to come out of the Euros is my admiration for John Terry. Did I really type that? Well, it’s there so I guess I must have. Terry has been my player of the tournament. As great as I think Gerrard has been (and he was in the first three matches), Terry has been fantastic in all four. I’ve never been a fan of the man (and I still dislike him in that respect) but as a full back, I concede that there are few better.

I suppose it’s too much to expect England fans who don’t support Liverpool (and therefore saw what he did to relatively good players) to recognise that Hodgson will never bring success to the team. He’s a manager who thrives on sustaining the equilibrium. He’s achieved with England exactly what he achieved with Liverpool: he expertly downplayed expectations; distracted us with talk of new team spirit and unity in the camp; and then he took credit when he managed the most mediocre success. The only difference is that unlike the Kop, England fans don’t see through his sleight of hand and I fear he’s going to be in his job for a number of years.

Urgh. That’s a horrible thought and I’m feeling too grim to dwell on this. I’m going to get to work. I have clouds to animate… I know. Doesn’t that sound like some real edge-of-your seat entertainment? In fact, it’s a bit like watching England hoof the ball…

Afterthought: since when did Joe Hart start to hoof the ball so much? What happened to calm distribution from the back to retain the ball, take a little pressure off, and build an attack? Am I simply naive about the basics of football to think it's stupidity of the highest order to keep giving the ball away?

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Munro: The Angry Baby

Even if my animations aren’t getting better (though I hope they are), I’m definitely speeding up. This one is the product of about a day’s work. It’s also pretty heavy on the profanities, so an advanced warning/apology is probably needed. I simply wanted to try something a little more ‘ranty’.

Oddly, I think I’m most proud of the opening, which I cobbled together in After Effects. For once, I didn’t spent my hours following tutorials but worked it out for myself. I took some null objects, which were parented with the letters and lines, animated them around the Y axis by various amounts. The only problem I had was getting the letters to all line up at the end, a problem I solved by animating the whole thing in reverse (meaning I had to make the dust drift up by reversing the gravity). Then I played it backwards at the video editing stage. I think I remembered a Buster Keaton movie (it might even be Chaplin) where they had to make a train stop on a mark, so they filmed the whole scene backwards. Why am I telling you all this? No reason other than I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out.

I’ve been back blogging full time here for a few weeks and I know there are people visiting. So, please, tell me what you think about the swearing. Too much? Not enough? I’m tempted to make a second Munro film, not least because so much of the hard work is done. The advantage of animating using these so-called ‘cut outs’ is that I can reuse them again. Well, that’s one reason for doing another. The other reason is that I enjoy a good rant, which perhaps makes Munro the closest I’ve ever come to animating a version of myself. It’s a very frightening thought…

Friday, 22 June 2012

Knitting Air

I thought I’d be animating vulgarities today but, due to circumstances outside my control, I’m forced to go back to my novel earlier than I’d hoped. I wanted to leave a few months before looking at it again but life does this to me sometimes: it’s a matter of get a publisher/agent or get a job, so I’m sitting here trying to hammer some sense into 95,000 words (and about 30 illustrations) that still don’t fill me with confidence. Fixing a novel is about as easy as knitting air.

The problem with comedy writing – indeed the same can be said of cartooning – is that you’re far too close to the work to be able to laugh. Familiar with every joke, one-liner, or groaning pun, you no longer see the finished article as a sustained piece of comedy. You see it as the unstructured outpourings of your mind. Of course, I’ve asked people to read it but you can’t believe your family’s judgement. In fact, the age-old ‘my mother loved it’ is the worst thing you can tell a prospective agent, even if, as in this case, my mother loved it. The feedback I’ve received from friends has been next to minimal. One person could only manage half the book, hated chapter two, and didn’t like the name of my protagonist. That has been the sum of meaningful feedback. I don’t blame them for not reading it, not least because they have busy lives and there’s nothing worse than being obliged to read a book when you don’t normally read books. The problem with writing something as long as 90,000 is that you pity the poor buggers who you ask to help. Writing a book is as much an organic process as it is sequential. The finished article has to make sense when you read it from front to back, but discovering that sequence involves making mistakes, taking the wrong path, backtracking, and countless rewrites.

So now I sit here trying to rewrite Chapter Two, with very little sense of there being anything wrong with it, compared with the rest of the book which I wrote too recently to approach with a fresh eye.

Even if I wrote about 400,000 words for my book of spoof letters (only 60,000 made the finished book), writing that was so much easier than working on a novel, not least because feedback came 1000 words at a time.

So what am I doing writing this? I’m avoiding looking at Chapter Two. I worry about what I might find. Incidentally, if anybody comes across this blog post and does want to read my book to provide feedback, then please email me at If you sound serious, I’ll send you an epub of the book. I need all the help I can get.

On Colin Hunt and Clive James...


Drawing this, I thought 'too misogynistic', which it is, I suppose, when I was only hoping to be misanthropic.

Speaking of my being misanthropic, it was strange this morning. I received a message via Twitter from a self-publishing author I slightly know who asked me to tweet all my followers with an ad for his book. I should ignore the fact that, except for my @richardmadeley account, I don’t have any followers, except to say that doesn’t it say much about celebrity that people loved my @richardmadeley account but are completely indifferent to the real me? Yet even if I had followers, I won’t retweet his message. If I don’t pester people to buy my books, I’m not going to pester them to buy the books of somebody who tells me that he's selling them by the van load. And, frankly, I can’t bring myself to be that much of an arsehole, even if being an arsehole is what it takes to be a successful author these days. It’s all about getting your name out there: inundating people with your banal tweets, your self-serving message, your big gormless grinning face, your cheerful inane banter, your ceaseless self-promotion. I love the work of writing, drawing, and now animating my work. I hate the idea of sitting here all day telling people how great that work is or that I’m always happy and cheerful. It’s the side of Twitter that I despise: the constant stream of effluent coming from would-be comedians trying to be witty. The Fast Show used to feature a character, Colin Hunt, who thought himself funny and could never switch off. Twitter was made for him. Twitter is full of Colin Hunts and I don't intend to be one of them.

As you can see from the quality of today’s cartoon, I’m running low on my very best cartoons on account of a new animation I’m working on. So far, I’ve drawn and rigged the main character and I’ve animated the opening shot, which has pleased me enormously. I’m now down to the tricky business of getting a script written so I can record it. The big question is whether I should swear or not.

I have a complex attitude towards swearing in comedy. I've always told myself that I wouldn’t do it and, generally, I haven’t. It was a restriction I set myself because I find that swearing usually gets in the way of the business of being funny. Like Jimmy Carr’s edgy jokes, I find it too easy a route to take. However, that said, some of my favourite comedy is very sweary. Armando Ianucci's ‘The Thick Of It’ and 'Veep' are the obvious examples but I also love Peter Cook and Dudley Moore’s experiments in profanity in the guise of Derek & Clive. So, at the back of my mind, I’m wondering if to push my next cartoon out into those same murky waters. If I do it, I want it to be creative swearing and to be making a point. And since my next cartoon might be something of a rant, the swearing would be apt. We'll see...

On a final, sad note, I was really upset to read Clive James’ interview with Radio 4. In fact, I read part of it but could read no more. By the same token that I despise Twitter for the superficiality of the content, the glib attitudes that turn friendship into a mere follow, I like to think that a nobody can occasionally blog something meaningful about a stranger and mean every word. I recently wrote a review of James’ latest book and concluded with the line that he’s ‘a trickster who makes us laugh before fooling us into thinking seriously’. I can think of no better way of explaining what he’s always meant to me and why my thoughts are now with him.


Thursday, 21 June 2012

Misremembered Nursery Rhymes


My eyes feel bleary this morning; as bleary, in fact, as the needle in Jimmy Carr’s moral compass after its rapid 180. So he now admits to having been in the wrong over his financial affairs. All is right with the world and he’ll soon have new material for his next show. He’ll mention taxes, give a coquettish look to crowd and people will applaud. As Arthur Smith (a true comedian and a man always worth listening to) said just 18 hours ago: ‘Jimmy Carr's tax avoidance cannot be morally wrong since he does it in an ironic way.’ And as they always say about good jokes: it’s good because it’s funny but good because it’s also true.

What I find strange is the number of people still defending Carr. I understand, of course, that no laws were broken and that nobody likes paying taxes. However, I also understand that in some people’s eyes, celebrities can do no wrong. It’s one of the things I discovered when pretending to be a celebrity: that people will always stand by you, no matter how dumb you act, how ignorant the comments you make, how rudely you treat them. I often wonder if future historians will give a name for this period in our history which reflects the morally vacuous celebrity culture that has taken over all our lives. The Dark Ages, The Enlightenment, and Restoration all seem perfectly applicable to their times. Postmodern doesn’t do this moment of history justice. We’re living in The Great Decline or the Celebocracy. Would I even be talking about this if it had been some bank manager caught fiddling his taxes? I doubt if I would. I’m as bad as anybody.

Okay, enough rambling nonsense. I have my own reasons for second thoughts this AM. I worked late last night on this blog’s makeover and wake up thinking that it’s still not quite right. I felt I wanted this place to look a little different after the rather understated previous design. I’ve always liked strange fonts (Kliban did a wonderful ‘barf bold’ which is something to see) and I wanted to try one of my own. They don’t usually work out but I’m quite pleased with my efforts. I might add to it. I might not. We’ll see. I’m intending to start work on an animation this morning, which shouldn’t take as long as others. I want to try a few different techniques I’ve been reading about. For that reason, not one of my better cartoons today.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

The Bus Seat


Woke up monumentally uninspired to write anything this morning. I blame Roy Hodgson. He has to be the luckiest football manager ever to take the England job. He sets out to play a dull but compact football, gets on the right end of a few bad decisions by officials and a few lucky breaks, and he ends up winning the bloody group. All of which makes my Euro 2012 animation seem out of date. Needless to say, I think we'll get thumped by the Italians but, then, what do I know?

If that’s not bad enough, I wake up to read that Jimmy Carr thinks that he’s done nothing wrong and that he is now being victimised by the Murdochs. Christ riding a moped! As Frankie Boyle has correctly pointed out: it makes it hard for a comedian to criticise the conditions of the country he lives in when it’s partly his fault.

Urgh... Now I hear that Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis have separated. I've always liked Depp. He likes the things I like and this just makes me sad.

That's the final straw. I'm heading into Manchester to buy myself a new sketch book, my current one now down to the last page...

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

The Jimmy Carr Cartoon


I said I might stick my caricature up here so here it is in it's inept glory.

It doesn’t surprise me that Jimmy Carr’s been avoiding paying tax and in many ways I don’t blame him. I tend to think that governments always find more imaginative ways of wasting money. Yet what astonishes me about wealth is that few people seem to reach a point at which they no longer think it necessary to dodge the taxman. Would I be any different had I earned £3.3 million in a year? Until it happens, I suppose I don’t have the right to judge. I would hope, however, that I would only be too pleased to pay tax, realising that to earn even a hundredth of that would make me deliriously happy.

Yet if I can’t judge the man’s actions according to my own moral compass, I can judge the man and his material. To say he’s one of my least favourite comedians is to over simplify my attitude towards Carr, a gifted comedian with a sharp wit who seems genuinely interested in the theory of comedy if we are to judge from the book he co-authored a year or so ago. However, there is also a deeply repellent side to his humour which values jokes at the expense of the weak and vulnerable. Comedy is a powerful force when directed at the rich and powerful. Directed towards others, it has a blunt force that does nothing but harm. It’s a point that Steve Coogan has previously made in reference to 'Top Gear' but I’d say that it equally applies to Carr. And Carr does certainly hurt, even if he does it with a certain lopsided smirk as if to highlight that his postmodern irony is irony at its most ironic.

Bad taste jokes are usually funny and, for that reason, they are an easy crowd pleaser. To tell them on stage, prefacing the jokes with warnings, doesn’t make the telling of them any less cheap, snide, or immoral. And by the same score: cheating the taxman in legal ways does not make it easy to condone. He cheats the taxman and though his lopsided grin reminds us that it’s all done legally, it shouldn’t be a surprise. His comedy has always been at our expense and we have paid him handsomely to now mock us with his off shore bank accounts. None of this surprises me and all of it reminds me why I watch so little British comedy.

Tonight, I'm going to give 'Wilfred' a try. It's am American comedy based on an Australian show, about a man's relationship with a neighbour's dog, who only he sees as a man in a dog suit. How I missed this when it was shown on the BBC, I don't know but I have high hopes for it. It's a grown mad in a dog suit! How can it not be funny? Right?

Microsoft's Surfaces And Why I Always Fall For the Hype


What better way to start than with a cartoon about my own stupid belief in marketing spin? I don't honestly think I've ever noticed that a razor gives me the 'closest shave ever' yet I still refuse to stick with the old fashioned single blade razor.

I'm even worse when it comes to technology. I've just spent half an hour being wowed by some of the best sales people in the business. I've been watching Microsoft's launch for their newest product.

‘Microsoft Surface’. So, okay, I'm very gullible. I don't hate the title for their new tablet as much as I expected I would. Frankly, anything that doesn’t contain the word ‘iPad’ sounds like a cheaper alternative. However, having watched their presentation, I’m not so sure that it’s a bad name or a bad product. The ability to run Windows software (at least, in the costlier version of the Surface) really does attract me and I quite like the integrated kickstand. (After all, they say it has the same mechanism as the door on luxury car...) Having spent an eternity trying to find a good stand for my old iPad and then even more trouble to find a keyboard that works with it, I actually like the fact that Microsoft are aiming their product at somebody like me.

Of course, a downside of this is that one of the Surfaces seemed to crash or stop working during the presentation, which suggests that it might well have a few of the characteristic ‘undocumented features’ familiar to anybody who works with Windows. However, being an ex-convert to Apple machines, who enjoyed using one of those domed iMacs for a while and then grew tired of its very closed and limited ecosystem, I’m now a fully-fledged convert back to Windows. I love Windows 7 and look forward though have a few doubts about Windows 8 (I think it might be too radical). Most of all, I am happiest when hardware allows me to do what I want with it, rather than what it thinks is most appropriate to me.

All of which makes it sound like I’ll be first in the queue for a Surface. I won’t. They’ll cost an arm and a leg, and, financially speaking, I have neither. However, a man can dream, can't he? Or in my case, salivate over his keyboard whilst licking the screen…

Okay, back to work now. I want to finish a caricature I was working on last night. It might appear here later on. It might not. The problem with caricatures is that I usually finish them, proud at capturing a likeness, of Tom Cruise perhaps, hand it to somebody and they’ll say: ‘you’ve really captured the essence of Charlie Sheen’. Later today, I might post my picture of Charlie Sheen. Then again, I might not. We will just have to see…

Monday, 18 June 2012



I love drawing this style of cartoon, blatantly nicked from B. Kliban, but I hate trying to explain them. The inexplicable is half the pleasure. It’s about ramping up the degree of absurdity over the course of four panels. The only logic is that there shouldn’t be any logic.

Speaking of logic, I’d naively assumed that because the pro-austerity party had won (albeit marginally) the Greek elections, the markets would have been singing cheerful ditties this morning. As it is, I wake up to find that the world is still going to hell in a handcart bought on high interest terms from the Chinese. Perhaps somebody can explain to me why over the last few years, talk of war in the Middle East, Japan facing nuclear meltdown, and the continued existence of Jedward have never had the same effect on the world markets as the debt problems of a nation whose main industry seems to be tourism and hairy Lotharios in tight speedos.

Okay, I have jobs to do, the first of which is to decide which job to do. I’m tempted to start work on an animation but I’ve had a long enough break from writing that I should really knuckle down and work on the book.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Armando Iannucci OBE


I wish I had some well thought out position regarding Armando Iannucci accepting an OBE but I really don’t. In the 24 four hours since I gave an involuntary ‘yipee’ and kissed the dog when I heard the news, I’ve tried to rationalise it a number of ways. In the end, the best I’ve achieved is to nip over into the neighbour’s front garden, rip down their JB Sport’s branded Union Jack, and give it a wave as I sit watching my well-worn DVD of ‘The Armando Iannucci Show’, followed by some ‘Thick of It’ and ‘Veep’.

On the face of it, I should be delighted. There are only a handful of satirists currently working whose work I admire and probably highest on that list is Iannucci. And, as the person behind so much great comedy but himself rarely seen on the screen, he doesn't get the recognition that he deserves. Should he have rejected it to show how impartial he is to the politicians? Perhaps. But, then again, I wish he'd replied when I'd asked him to consider providing blurb to my one and only published book. In the words of Woody Allen, ‘give me a break from all your “could haves” and “should haves”. Like my mother used to say: “if my grandmother had wheels, she’d have been a trolley car”’.

The only people who seem to have a problem with his award are certain journalists who are using it to remind the rest of us that they too could have had gongs but rejected them. It’s a fair if rather self-satisfied point that they make. But it’s also good to see the establishment finally recognise its most talented satirists. A country is only as great as its ability not to take itself seriously. Yet I then begin to wonder that if the establishment is so comfortable in its sense of entitlement that it can laud the very people that seek to undermine that entitlement, perhaps those people are not doing a good enough job trying to undermine it. Would my admiration for Iannucci be higher or lower had he told the establishment to stick it in their slightly inbred ear?

Is recognition by the establishment even a good thing? How often does the establishment choose the worst poets of the day and make them poet laureate? Is it actually good that you’re recognised by the very same people who have ennobled Gary Barlow and knighted Kenneth Branagh for his horrific Shakespearean warbling. (Apparently, it was Julie Birchill who coined the fabulous putdown that ‘Stephen Fry is the stupid person's idea of what an intelligent person looks like’. Well, less snappily, I think that Branagh is the stupid person’s idea of a Shakespearean actor.)

And so, I continue to doubt my judgement that Iannucci’s award is a good thing. Yet if Alistair Campbell has a good point about Iannucci taking a reward from the very establishment he’s made a good career mocking, does anybody really want to take Alistair Campbell’s side on anything? And if Wodehouse could take a knighthood and so could Chaplin, then I don’t see any problem with modern comedians accepting these shiny pretty things. And so my rationalisations continue… Perhaps the OBE will help Iannucci in his dealings with the BBC. If it leads to him being made head of the BBC comedy unit, I’d be delighted… Does it give him more power being inside the establishment or does it further go to show that the media really is dominated by a powerful few?

In other words: I really don’t know how the hell I should feel except that I’m genuinely pleased that he’s pleased. It leaves me in no way disappointed, just a wee bit chuffed, but still monstrously conflicted and baffled. I’ll leave any grumbling for another twelve months and the day when the same bauble will go the way of James bloody Corden. That’s when I’ll suggest that Iannucci should get a knighthood. Not only that. I will bloody well demand that he takes it too.


No sooner had I posted the above, it was pointed out that when Ben Elton, Stephen Fry, and a few other comedians I could mention, all took gongs or joined the establishment, I was the first to point out that they’d ‘sold out’. Well, that’s certainly what I’d said but there is a big difference this time. I like Iannucci and his work. So, at least the hypocrisy in this instance has a totally rational foundation and I don't feel like I need to make an apology about being an apologist.]

Saturday, 16 June 2012

The Brief Confessions of an R. Crumb Addict

Slightly distracted yesterday afternoon, I found myself thumbing through the books on my drawing table. They’re a pretty oddball mix of oddballs that usually help get my brain working. Some B. Kliban was there (B. Kliban is always there), some Ralph Steadman, as well as a book of illustrations by the great Arthur Rackham. Nobody could draw a set of bony knuckles quite like Rackham. Well, I say nobody but there's perhaps one person…

It’s not often that you remember when you first discovered a favourite writer or artist. For me, the exception to that rule is R. Crumb. I discovered Crumb on the 13th February, 1987 when the BBC aired the documentary, 'The Confessions of Robert Crumb', as part of its Arena series.


A quick glance as my bootlegged copy of that now rare treat reminds me why I was hooked. Crumb fascinated me on a deep level I didn’t really understand at the time. He was a pure bred creature of the counter-culture but expressed himself in a way that was counter to that prevailing counter culture. He wasn’t the long-haired bohemian with a nice line of patter for the ladies. He was unfashionably radical: the thin, less-than-avuncular self-confessed weirdo who played the mandolin. He was Ron Mael but with a dip pen and Rotring.

Yet I didn’t immediately succumb to Crumb’s charm or lack thereof. For years afterwards, I’d see ‘The Robert Crumb Handbook’ in shops and I’d pick it up, want to buy it, but wasn’t sure I knew why I wanted to own it. I suppose I was back then still under the influence of a secondary school system that had taught me that I couldn't draw, shouldn't try to appreciate art, and that those of us born in the working classes were born to do one thing and one thing only. And that was grim, dark, unrelenting work involving lathes, drills and hammers. I suppose it shouldn't be a surprise that I was confused why I found his pictures so appealing, when their subject matter made me feel so uncomfortable. This wasn’t another Steve Dikto or Gil Kane, whose illustrations of perfect people never interested me. This was an illustrator who emphasised the spots, the pimples, the rolls of fat, the gnarly knuckles. He was the Philip Larkin of illustration. And like Larkin, a poet I struggled to understand because he poeticised the world I knew too well, Crumb was always lurking deep in my mind as somebody whose work drew me in.


I couldn’t fathom why I was interested in this man who obsessed about committing gross indecencies to these Amazonian women with large thighs and big butts. Yet Crumb is like that. He challenges you to like him. It’s a familiar pose and one that I suppose I’m immediately drawn towards. In a world full of people it is supposedly easy to like, I prefer a challenge. My world outlook lies somewhere between the twin evils prevalent on Twitter: the self-congratulatory pleasantries of the middle-aged women’s book club and the hate-fuelled spleen of unfulfilled office workers one demotion away from a shooting spree. Crumb is somewhere in that grey area of hating, doubting, struggling, but somehow finding certain forms of solace which make life worth enduring.

I now have a pretty good collection of Crumb’s comics and books, though hardly complete. I’d need the income of a Silicon Valley pioneer to fill in all the gaps and there are plenty of gaps. If Crumb is nothing else, he’s certainly prolific.

The best introduction to his work is Terry Zwigoff's excellent and disturbing 1994 documentary, 'Crumb', but, in essence, I suppose Crumb's career splits broadly into two periods. Crumb himself has suggested that things changed the moment he stopped taking drugs. The work from his early LSD fuelled years is widely considered his best and his Zap Comix are populated by the characters for which he’s most widely known, Fritz the Cat, Mr. Natural and Flakey Foont. The sex is also more prevalent and off-putting, such as the strip ‘Joe Blow’ which manages to lampoon both the sexual mores of 1950s America and the bohemian attitudes of the counter culture that R. Crumb was supposedly a champion. It’s probably amounts to confessing that I’m not a true-Crumb fan when I say that I find his earlier career less interesting that his career post-drugs. Crumb himself has said that in the following decades he lacked the same inspiration (something he also attributes to growing older) but I think this is to downplay Crumb’s real achievements. It’s in the later work that he becomes the cartoonist for the postmodern age, especially in his Weirdo comics where the character of ‘R. Crumb’ becomes more of a staple: blurring the divisions between the actor and the artist, the narrative and the autobiography. Personally, I find the Hup comics to be a Crumb highpoint, eschewing many of the elements that made him a darling of the flower power generation, to which he probably didn't ideologically belong.


There's something more guided about his later career which makes it more valuable. Crumb attributes his characteristic drawing style to his discovering the work of the great American illustrator, Thomas Nast, at an early age but, I think, it’s in his later work where he reveals a more self-conscious and serious approach to technique. From the early strips where the dominant colour was white, the pages deepen in hue. The eye is encouraged to wallow in densely inked detail in work such as Psychopathia Sexualis (Weirdo 13), Bosell’s London Journal (Weirdo 03), and Nausea (Hup 03). It’s as if his penmanship found a new level, especially when illustrating to the work of others. He certainly wouldn’t be the first artist to produce some of their best work when limited by outside forces -- a problem of the anything goes school of art is that it has no conventions to breaks. Crumb’s sex fantasies were always a crowd pleaser for those that like that sort of thing but his work is best when laced deeper insights. It’s most evident when he’s illustrating the words of Harvey Pekar or Charles Bukowski, but at its best when he providing his own commentary, usually to his autobiography.




Perhaps it’s this that led him to choose his strangest project of all. ‘R. Crumb’s Book of Genesis’ is a work of a stubborn, irascible genius that’s still delights in playing off his angels against his demons. Filled with the statuesque figures of the Amazonian women that have become his trademark, Genesis is a loyal depiction of the Good Book, leaving it to the reader to make any judgement about the deeper moral relevance of the Bible to a modern society. And that, I suppose, is the essential part of loving Crumb's work. It's almost Puritan in its interests, looking inward to the soul of the person making judgements, misjudgements, and choosing whatever path they find works for them through their corporeal days.

And, I suppose, that is how I see Crumb: as a satirist deeply engrained in the Protestant (despite his Catholic upbringing) tradition that gave us Jonathan Swift, whose 'Lady's Dressing Room' would have provided Crumb with his most perfect material, as Swift deconstructs the very elements of a lady's beauty:

A Glass that can to Sight disclose,
The smallest Worm in Celia's Nose,
And faithfully direct her Nail
To squeeze it out from Head to Tail;


Friday, 15 June 2012

The Animated Leveson Inquiry

I thought I’d broken the habits of working late into the night until I started to mess around with these animations. Anyway, yesterday I joked about animating the Leveson Inquiry. Last night I did just that until about 3.30 in the morning. It’s throwaway stuff but helpful to do these things quickly, roughly, and the result is okay if not spectacular.

Constant rain today, which improves my mood immeasurably. I intend to sit down and just draw cartoons. Only, I’ve not had a half-decent idea for a cartoon in about a week. That sometimes happens.

There’s an interesting book out about the Imagination, called I notice ‘Imagine,’ written by Jonah Lehrer. I saw him interviewed on The Colbert Report last year where he was explaining that imagination works best when you don’t try to address it directly. For me, that means not trying to consciously think of cartoon ideas. The best always fall into my lap when I least expect them to. By that score I should probably go and hang some wallpaper or dig a big hole in the garden. Except I’m not going to do either. I’m going to sit at my desk and apply the whip hand to my imagination. It will be futile but judging from the zero interest in yesterday’s cartoon, futility is my profession these days… There, an idea has just fallen into my lap when I was least expecting. My next book should be about futility. Think I’ll make it an erotic potboiler with BDSM elements. I’ll call it ‘Fifty Shades of Off White’.

Damn. I’m waffling.


Thursday, 14 June 2012

The Euro 2012 Animation

I won't repeat what I said below regarding the quality of the voice acting. But I will mention that the video contains a few errors, such as the fact there are 23 men in the England squad. None are worth the vast amount of effort to fix them.

The Morning After

Head a bit like soup this morning. I finished the new animation very late last night and it’s currently rendering in the background. In about half an hour, I’ll uploaded it to Youtube and then post it here.

I’d given myself five days to finish the animation. In the end, it took an exhausting nine. At least four of those were down to the mistakes I made along the way learning to animate and work across three quite complicated software packages. I learned so many lessons, such as always having a solid script when you begin. Next time, I’ll also spend plenty of time rigging the puppets, which make life so much easier than having to fix things later on. Each shot in the animation can take up to ten minutes to render, so to make a mistake, as I did repeatedly, makes the process so much slower.

As for the acting, the less said about that the better. Frankly, I'm just embarrassed by how poor it is. When I set out to create these animations, I wanted to aim for the quality of the brilliant Morten Morland, who works for The Times. I think I now know why he gets professional voice actors in to work on his cartoons. Listening to it, I realise that I sound worryingly like John Shuttleworth.

In the end, the music worked out well. The Creative Commons websites provided what I needed and I’m delighted with the result. The music I now have is substantially stronger than the copyrighted music I was using whilst working on it. So, thanks for the suggestions and help. Next time, I’ll have the right music selected from the outset.

It’s now all a matter of what I do next. I finished writing a novel a few weeks ago and it seems like bad form to just allow it to sit on my desk. The problem is that no bugger seems to want to read it. Perhaps I’ll go back and redraft it. Perhaps I’ll do another cartoon. Perhaps I’ll just sit and think up a few new cartoons. Perhaps I’ll go and hide and wait for the usual internet trolls to tell me that I’ve just produced the unfunniest thing they’ve ever seen.

No cartoon today but animation to follow...

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Music and Muppets

It’s been a difficult morning. My internet connection has gone flaky just 24 hours after my singing the praises of Virginmedia. However, I’ve managed to connect long enough to post this and to see myself get a namecheck over at the Times Online, where Kermit the Frog answered one of my questions. That has to be a personal high for me, greater than anything I’ve achieved so far. I've now dyed myself green in honour of the frog.

However, I face a bit of an uphill struggle today. I’ve finished my animation and edited it to my satisfaction. Only, I’m now stumped as to what to do about the music. It’s a crazy situation that a small not-for-profit animation requires copyright lawyers and a sizable bank balance before it can get a descent soundtrack but that’s the case if I want to do this legitimately. Of course, I could rip music from different places (and I’ve done that in my edit) but now I want to post this to a wider audience, I’d like to do it without ending up deported to Guantanamo.

The alternative is to use some free music produced by some unknown bands (all of whom seem to specialise in ‘experimental’ music, which is just like real music but without all the notes) or use music that’s fallen out of copyright, usually some tuba sola by a Russian orchestra recoded in the dark days of Stalin and potato blights.

I would normally post a small cartoon here but this internet connection won't allow me to upload graphics. A shame. It would have been a good one too...



Tuesday, 12 June 2012

New MacBooks...

Apple have done it again. Just when I think I’m past caring, I fall for another of those videos where they explain the innovations in their newest gizmo and leave me lusting after something I’ll never be able to afford to buy and for which I really have no need. This time it is the new Macbook. Sod the Retina display. This Macbook has asymmetrical fans in which the blades are offset so they spread the sound over a range of frequencies, making the Macbook quieter than ever before. If only they could fit asymetircal fans to my neightbour's kids who woke me at 6.30 today acting out what I can only assume was the the Siege of Carthage.

Woeful England performance yesterday against the French, though I think expectations were so low that a draw is considered a victory to rank alongside Agincourt. From the perspective of somebody who witnessed what Hodgson did to the attacking instincts of a relatively talented Liverpool team, I’m not filled with hope. But I am willing to give him the tournament to change my mind. Perhaps this year is the year when super defensive strategies will win. It worked for Chelsea, so why not England?

Sat down and watched the last episode of Veep last night. Disappointed I didn’t get to see the President. I was sure I’d heard some big star was lined up to do a cameo. Still, a great series finale, probably attributable to the fat it was written by Jess Armstrong and Iannucci , and still better than nearly everything else out there. I just wish Iannucci would do more 'Armando Iannucci Shows', which remain one of the best sketch shows the BBC has ever comissioned.

Okay, today I’m hoping to finish the animation I’ve been struggling on for about a week and had previously considered abandoning. I rewrote it yesterday, improving it in the process, and recorded some woefully acted dialogue. In the meantime: have a cartoon straight from my sketchbook. It's not well drawn but I quite like the gag...

[singlepic id=154 w=640 h=400 float=]


Monday, 11 June 2012

Buddhist Gag


Didn’t know if I should go with the word ‘buddhist’ in this cartoon. Does it make the meaning too obvious? Is it even a cartoon or merely a doodle? I don’t seem to know anything this morning. Russell Brand is apparently going to help the Dalai Lama spread the message of Buddhism (as long as the message contains ‘bollocks’ and ‘shit’, I suppose it will work out in the end) and James Corden has now won a Tony award. After my previous post, this makes me wonder again what’s funny. I confess that Brand can be funny, just monstrously irritating at the same time. Corden, however, is the anti-Hicks, the anathema to everything that exists in my comedy universe. Frankie Boyle put it well this morning when he tweeted: ‘James Corden: the white Lenny Henry’.

I’ve only just discovered that Corden had a huge spat with Patrick Stewart, which raises Stewart intimately in my opinion. Sadly, Stewart has never won a Tony, which perhaps says it all...

Sunday, 10 June 2012

My Post-Veep Blues

I’ve spent a week animating something that I might have posted to this blog if it were anywhere near completion. Hence the reason I’m writing something instead. It’s a good excuse to do something different. I keep telling myself that I’ll post more, even if it’s going to be my usual gripes about the state of comedy in the UK or the extent to which I find myself thinking that the internet is utterly abhorrent. I have so many grumbles that I might as well release them like Mr. Burns releases his hounds. I'd even do the Mr. Burns voice if I could. Only, as I've established this week, I have a complete inability to do voices.

I’ve always been wary about throwing things out onto the web. Most of what I do I do because it amuses me but I’m increasingly aware that my sense of humour isn’t shared by other people. The other day, I stumbled across somebody referring to one of my earlier versions of this blog as 'a crap spoof website'. Well, to coin a phrase: sod it. If comedy amounts to whatever emerges from Miranda Hart’s mouth, then we’re more damned than I already think we are. Hieronymus Bosch might have had some impressive visions of what Hell looks like but my vision of hell is Miranda Hart in jogging pants, falling over, and goofing into the camera as all of hell’s minions laugh and start to hand her BAFTAs.

But is this what happens when you get older? I can handle the hair loss and the increased tendency to find beauty in the older woman (hell, it explains my current thing for Julia Louis-Dreyfus). What is worrying me is my inability to figure out what makes people laugh.

It’s a worrying thought. I’ve written comedy for so long yet I can’t even remember the last time I watched good comedy on the BBC. Technically, the forthcoming ‘Veep’ would class as one of theirs. Though it’s made in the States, it comes from the same team as ‘The Thick of It’, which is probably the last good comedy I did watch on the BBC. It’s produced by the peerless Armando Iannucci and, for what it’s worth, I’ve been enjoying it as much (if not a little bit more) as ‘The Thick Of It’, though it’s very different in texture. It’s less grey, grubby, and as biting, but it makes up for these deficiencies with Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tony Hale and a good dose of mid-Atlantic profanity. I’m not turning this into a review other than to say if you haven’t seen it, watch it when it starts its run on the BBC. I recommend it more than I recommend life itself.

Anyway, back to this animation I’ve worked on for the last seven days and I’m now considering consigning to the big ‘failure’ bucket. Watching something as good as ‘Veep’ fills me with hope that there’s still room for good comedy, even if it also leaves me feeling awed by the high standards. I can’t even fill two minutes with something funny when the only person I have to rely on is myself. I hit a brick wall when I realised that can’t do impressions. I sat there all week at a microphone, trying to make voices sound reasonably similar to certain real life people only for everything to sound uniquely like me. It’s really thrown a spanner in the works. I suppose it’s good that I learn this now before I waste any more time on something that’s bound to failure.

Which brings me, apropos of nothing, to mentioning that I watched ‘Monster in Paris’ tonight. It’s a likable movie, though it has a minor character deluded into thinking he can sing. He couldn’t, of course, but he kept telling himself that he was merely not suited to the mainstream. It hit home a bit, I think. I saw myself, wondering if my humour is just too left of centre for its own good. I sometimes wonder if my comedic sense has just slackened. I just have these big blind spots, such as Miranda Hart, where I don’t understand comedy. I don’t find Lenny Henry funny yet the guy has made a great career out of it. Walliams and Lucas. I abhor them when the nation laud them. Where Stewart Lee stands, however, I find genius, just not a popular hit. I don’t get it. I don’t get any of it.

Ah, I repeat my new favourite phrase: sod it. I’m not sure what I’m trying to say other than to lead up to a doodle from my notebook. It made me smile, which is a rare event lately…

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Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Fergie in 'Squeaky Bum Time'

Okay, so I'm still new to this stuff. Learning to draw is a lot easier than learning to animate. It might seem that I abandoned this blog for a week but that’s the time it took me to get this working. It's my fourth attempt at an animation and probably involved far too much time and energy given the end result but it's definitely a process of trial and error. I’m also spending so much time learning to get things moving on the screen, that the script is probably a little basic. So apologies if you expected high satire. There are a few parts of this I’d like to do again (the movements of the body are a little rough) but I want to move on to try something new and with a little more wit.