Sunday, 28 December 2014

Another Cartoon With Mass Appeal

Another cartoon drawn with the aid of my new 'Gag Machine'. It probably accounts for the reason that any rational person would find it odd/unfunny and without a jot of sense. Yet these are the cartoons that make me laugh, give me the most pleasure to draw, despite there being no market for them. If I had more time or a purpose for drawing it, I'd have finished it more than I have: better drooping fag, bit of smoke, halo around his head, more shadows on the ground, a few 'geeza' rings on his hands...

Being a fan of cartoons and cartoonists, I probably look at too many of them every year. In my downtime, I often page through one of the big collections I have (Private Eye or Punch) or I look at cartoons from The New Yorker via the DVD Rom I have saved to my tablet. They produced it a few years ago and it contain their entire back catalogue, which my memory tells me might be as many as 70,000 cartoons. I look at so many cartoons that I probably immunise myself to the general strain. A few will still produce a mild fever. Fewer still will make me splutter and cough. Yet there's a broach tranche of cartoons that are professional and eminently publishable yet just a little bit bland. I enjoy cartoons that make me gasp because of the unexpected. 'Sid the Jesus' makes me laugh but I have no idea why. I know it wouldn't be funny if it was 'Sid the Christ' or even 'Jesus Smith' (though that one isn't too bad).

I would never send this to a magazine. I wouldn't embarrass myself. Not because I'm ashamed of the cartoon (quite reverse) but because I know it doesn't fit with the cartoons the market so obviously wants. Perhaps the fact I like 'Sid the Jesus' explains why I can't even get one of my more mainstream cartoons published. Perhaps people can sense that those cartoons aren't authentic. They're my attempt to be being something I'm not. Yet cartoons like 'Sid' are clearly not for mass consumption.  It leaves me in a difficult situation at the end of 2014. Can I handle another year of constant rejection? I have days before I have to think about such things. Resolutions are nearly a week away.

Regarding the 'The Gag Machine': quite a few new features yesterday. Using Windows forms, it's so easy to program the little (usually tricky) features. I did a quick search of the reference library, found a few methods I needed, and half an hour later, I'd added a settings screen, with a customisable save directory (also saved in the settings) for all the outputs along with a button which allows you to browse to the folder on your PC. On Android, I'd have had to write my own File dialog and then create a new Activity with various Resource files for the new screen. By contrast, Microsoft have everything ready for you. It's so easy that I've now run out of things to implement and that's the first time that's ever happened to me. I now need to have a long think about what to do next.


  1. Dang! I had a different meaning for mass in my mind when I clicked on your site. Still, it is a witty sideways glance.

  2. I realised writing that title that it might have a twist given the Jesus reference but I kept it in to attract a Catholic audience who've just been bought new tablets and phones for Christmas. ;)