Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Magazine cartoon: A hipster Christmas

"Everyone has beards now, so I've shaved mine off."

I'm not sure how I got to December 17 without blogging any Christmas cartoons, particularly as I posted loads last year and one every day as a cartoon advent calendar in 2012 and 2011.

This one can be seen in the current edition of Saga magazine.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Cartoon drawn for fun

I was approached to draw a cartoon recently for an event called the Whitstable Museum of Fun. They put out a call on Twitter asking for suggested themes for the cartoon.

Many, as you might expect, were about local issues relevant to Whitstable residents, but someone, apparently in New Zealand, said "How about a penguin sword fighting a unicorn?" Well, how could I say no?

The result is above. Click the image to enlarge. It was pinned up at the event and kids, who hopefully weren't too traumatised by the impaled penguin, use it as a jumping off point for their own "random" cartoons, drawn on Post-it notes (see below, click to enlarge). All good fun!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Magazine cartoons: Stone age to digital age

Here's a cartoon from last week's Spectator magazine. Cave paintings is one of those cartoon subjects that keeps on giving. And as I can still hear fireworks outside, here's my Bonfire Night cartoon from the current Private Eye.

"Cool bonfire app, man." 

Friday, October 31, 2014

Arachnid chuckles and comics festival fun

I've never really been one for Halloween or cartoons about it, so please accept this cartoon about spiders instead. They're a bit scary, aren't they? This can be seen in the current issue of Private Eye.

Here's a massive one I spotted in the house we stayed in when I visited the Lakes Comic Art Festival with the Cartoonists' Club a couple of weeks ago.

I probably should have blogged about the event really and posted photos other than one of a spider, but never mind. It was very good and I sold lots of cartoon books, cards and prints. And I chucked the spider out of the window.

Here's me, left, drawing with Tim Harries on the Cartoonists' Club stall (from this LICAF page).

And here's a cartoon I drew there, which you'll probably only get it you go to these sort of events, to be honest.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Legal matters: Some law cartoons

Here are some cartoons drawn for the Benchmarks column of the Law Society's Gazette, the trade magazine for solicitors. These always accompany difficult and often very dry subjects, but you can have a bit of fun with them. That's what the cartoon is there for, after all.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Magazine cartoon: The old switcheroo

"My dream is to walk with humans."

A cartoon from the new issue of Prospect magazine that employs the comedic device known as the old switcheroo i.e. you turn a concept on its head to create a joke.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Scottish independence referendum cartoon

"That Mr Cameron reckons ah can hae a cushion for mah bucket if ah dinnae vote Aye."

A referendum of cartoon editors voted "No", either because they didn't get the reference or because everyone is doing Scottish independence cartoons. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Live drawing: Love Them or Loathe Them

I did a live-drawing project last weekend as part of the Summer Squall arts festival in Ramsgate. It was called Love Them or Loathe Them and I drew a series of 3ft by 3ft cartoons of well-known divisive figures, such as the artist Tracey Emin, below, a local Margate girl ...

These were then pasted up on to the "Great Wall of Ramsgate", a hoarding around an empty building site which is itself the focus of local hate as it used to be the Pleasurama leisure park, was then supposed to become flats and is now a derelict eyesore.

The passing public were asked to give their views on the individuals depicted. We had ink pads saying “Love” or “Loathe” but they didn’t work very well, so instead people were invited to add comments with marker pens. And they didn’t hold back ...

Nigel Farage, leader of the UK Independence party was particularly divisive. He has since been confirmed as the Ukip candidate for the area at the general election next year, so this proved to be a poll of local opinion. I counted 15 against, 7 for and 3 undecided ...

Here are the rest of the drawings. The Radio 2 DJ Chris Evans ...

Once I'd added the blood to the teeth of the footballer Luis Suarez, below, I realised I probably shouldn't have bothered with the "Barcelona" on his shirt. But as the public had to match the cartoons with the names on the poster (top) I wanted to leave no room for doubt ...

Pop star Lady Gaga ...

Boris Johnson. Another one seeking election next year ...

TV "controversialist" Jeremy Clarkson ...

Former MP/writer/TV personality Ann Widdecombe. One of the last ones I drew, hence no comments yet ...

The comedian and wannabe revolutionary Russell Brand ...

X-factor judge and record company boss Simon Cowell. I might have pushed this one a bit far, he looks a bit like Kim Jong-un. The Kids got this one no problem, though ...

Toothsome journalist and TV personality Janet Street-Porter ...

The last one I drew was Alan Sugar and I freely admit that the likeness is not really there. Looks a bit too thuggish. However, I had a get-out clause with the speech bubbles ...

It was a really fun job and the public reaction was great. Many thanks to Jeni Butler for sorting out the logistics of the job beforehand and Sue Martin for her help on the day by, particularly by helping me with the wallpapering!

UPDATE: I neglected to take pic of all of the cartoons but thankfully @standuptoUKIP were on the case (posted on Twitter by @StopFarage). Looks like more comments have been added, and someone has tried to remove Suarez! Click image to enlarge.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Private Eye cartoon: Fine-tuning jokes

"That's a little unfair, I just haven't found my niche."

I've got a couple of cartoons in the current Private Eye, here's one of them.

It's a reworking of a gag I sent round a few years ago which was rejected. The original drawing was a similar set-up but the cat looked depressed and said "I wouldn't say I was lost, it's more of a disaffected malaise".  I think I did another version where he spoke of "ennui". It's more than possible that I was over-thinking the joke.

While re-working it I removed the repeated use of the word "lost" in the caption and decided that making the cat look depressed was over-egging the joke. These were both crucial to making it all work, I think. Cartoons often need a little fine-tuning to get them right.

On seaside fun and being "budding"

I'm a bit late getting around to blogging about this but the Beside the Surrealside cartooning event in Herne Bay was a great success in glorious sunshine. Thanks to Kasia Kowalska for the picture above. And here's a report from the Herne Bay Gazette. Click the image to enlarge and read.

The Guardian mention that is referred to in the piece was a "reader's cartoons" feature they ran via their website. A handful of the submitted cartoons appeared in the Guardian and in an online piece.

It was really aimed at "budding" and "aspiring" cartoonists, but as I was saying to someone at Herne Bay, you never feel established as a freelance cartoonist anyway, as there's so much rejection involved! And it was nice to see a cartoon turned down by all the magazines get some exposure in print at last.

Click here to buy Royston's cartoon books

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Cartoonists off to the seaside again

Here's a cartoon I submitted for the exhibition Cartoonists Beside the Surrealside which can be seen at the Beach Creative gallery, Herne Bay, from Wednesday 30 July until Tuesday 12 August. The show celebrates the town's link with Marcel Duchamp, like last year's event, so many of the cartoons will be art-themed.

I'll be one of the cartoonists taking part in the live drawing element of the event, which will be on Sunday 3 August (midday-5pm). Here's a picture of a bunch of us from last year.

Left to right: me, Kipper Williams and Chris Burke. Photo by Kasia Kowalska

It was a glorious day both in terms of weather and enjoyment, so we're hoping to do it all again at this year's event, which is supported by Arts Council England. Here's the event poster (note: the exhibition dates have been extended since the was made) drawn by Ian Baker.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Private Eye cartoon: Dangerous business

"The BBC want you back, Danger Mouse – subject to a full risk assessment."

This cartoon from the current Private Eye could land me in Pedantry Corner again. Several people have pointed out that Danger Mouse was on ITV. However, they may not be aware that this is a topical cartoon as the much-loved cartoon series is indeed returning ... to be screened on Children's BBC.

So technically it's not wrong, depends on how you read it. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

UPDATE: The cartoon was mentioned in the next issue's Pedantry Corner, as predicted!


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