Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Technology cartoon: No time for downtime

"It's nice to come here and get a break from the office."

This cartoon is in the April issue of Prospect magazine. Yes, it's yet another tech cartoon. Sounds like another chance to plug Cartoons on Demand!

Fairytale cartoon: How to rework a joke

"You wake up after 100 years and the first thing you do is check your phone?"

Sometimes, though not very often, it's possible to write a new caption for a rejected topical cartoon. This one was originally about #wakeupcall selfies.

Remember that craze? I wouldn't be at all surprised if you didn't. It was billed as the new #icebucketchallenge but unlike that craze it seemed to fall out of fashion just as my gag was hitting the desks of cartoon editors. So it was dead on arrival.

However, I decided it could be reworked as a more general joke about the way we use phones and off it went again. It appears in this week's Spectator.

I also removed a "with apologies" from the signature, because although the drawing is clearly based on Disney's Sleeping Beauty, the fairytale is not an exclusively Disney thing and it felt like that was getting in the way of the joke somehow.

It is, of course, yet another cartoon about technology. You can see lots more in my book Cartoons on Demand.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Business magazine cartoon: All fired up

Here's a cartoon for this week's Law Gazette which accompanies an article called "How to sack a client". I was quite pleased with the caricature of Lord Sugar ...

... it feels like redemption for this one I did in a live-drawing event in Ramsgate last summer, where the likeness didn't go quite as planned. But at least I had a good get-out clause for the speech bubbles ...

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Greetings card cartoon: Honest approach

Here'a greetings card design I did recently, which is published by Country Cards. The colours are a lot brighter than I would usually use, as card cartoons are more about being colourful and eye-catching than magazine gags.

Click here to buy Royston's cartoon book

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Strip for Hourly Comic Day

This is my first attempt at doing an #HourlyComicDay strip.

Click here to see a larger version
The concept has been running for a few years now. It takes place on February 1 (though like some others I did mine the day after, some did it the day before) and involves drawing comic panels every hour for all the hours you are awake (I stuck with one panel) and sharing it on social media.

It's just for fun and is certainly an interesting (and quite tiring!) exercise. I was fairly pleased with the result though there is lots I would change. But that's the nature of it, it's drawn and published quickly. It's probably a bit wordy and doesn't really have a narrative flow, but then I was making it up as I went along.

Doing something outside my normal cartoon work, and definitely outside my comfort zone, was fun. If do it again next year, I might try a different approach.

Click here to buy Royston's cartoon book

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Magna cartoon

This cartoon was commissioned by the Law Society Gazette to illustrate an article spoofing the Conservatives' proposed bill of rights. Click the image to enlarge.

The protagonists, in a scene designed to evoke the 800th anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta this year, are, clockwise from top left: Nigel Farage, David Cameron, Chris Grayling, Ed Miliband and Theresa May.

Monday, January 12, 2015


"Make sure you get my funny side."

This is probably the hardest cartoon I've ever had to draw. I posted it on Twitter and Facebook the day after the shootings in Paris. I thought it would better to do the kind of gag cartoon I usually do, mostly, rather than attempt the kind of large scale political cartoon that so many did so well after the murders. That's how it ended up being about the difficulty of being funny about such an awful event.

Monday, December 29, 2014

That was the year: 2014 in topical cartoons

If you can take another "review of the year", it's time for my now traditional look back at the past 12 months of topical cartoons.

This was a year that saw quite a few household names in court ...
One person continued to surprise us ...
Technology dominated the headlines, as ever ...
... which meant new buzz phrases ...
... and more gadgets.
In 2014 we commemorated the centenary of the First World War ...
... which at times was maybe a bit much.
This was the year of the Scottish referendum, and the many promises that went with it ...
And like it or not, Nigel Farage and Ukip was the other big political story of 2014.

There was the Rochester by-election ...
... a depressing lack of a sense of humour in another by-election ...
... and a TV showdown.

Light relief was found at the cinema ...

... and with the return of some old friends.
What were the big trends of 2014? Well, we seemed to reach "Peak Beard" ...
... and there were a lot of selfies ...
... not to mention other narcissistic trends.
But as usual we ended the year basking in the warm glow of advertising sentimentality ...
Have a happy 2015, one and all!

Click here to buy Royston's cartoon book

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Why Santa Claus's naughty and nice list is the Christmas gift that just keeps on giving

"He's making a list and checking it twice
He's gonna find out who's naughty and nice"

Santa Claus is Coming to Town
By John Frederick Coots and Haven Gillespie

"They had their names removed using the right to be forgotten"

I'm very grateful to Messrs Coots and Gillespie, as those famous lines from their perennial Christmas song seem to be an endless source of inspiration for me as a cartoonist.

The gag above is one of the Private Eye Christmas cards this year. When trying to think of a cartoon about the right to be forgotten, which became a big issue this year, Santa's list of naughty children was the first thing that came to mind.

For me, it has long been a useful motif to apply to current events at Christmas time. Here's a Reader's Digest cartoon from last Christmas about the big story of that year, internet snooping by the NSA, as revealed by Edward Snowden ...

"OK fill me in – who has been naughty and who has been nice?"

Here's another from last year, a Private Eye Christmas card about the rise of Ukip ...

"I think UKIP have got to him."

Rewind to 2011 when phone-hacking was big news. What if "Santa" was hauled up before a commons select committee to answer a few questions? Actually, rather than the "naughty or nice" lyric, this one references words that come later in the same song.
"Perhaps you could tell us how you know if we've been bad or good?"

Another big news story of that year was the English riots. But the perpetrators, according to Tony Blair, were not naughty ...

It doesn't just work for topical magazine cartoons, here's one I drew for the Christmas card of a marketing company that builds websites for its clients ...

And a law firm that specialises in forensic accounting ...
Somehow, I feel sure that it's a theme I will return to!

Finally here are a couple of gags residing in the Not Yet Sold files, an oldie from when laddish lists became all the rage and the most recent "naughty or nice" one I've drawn, about the internet successor to those lists ...

"Whatever happened to the old 'Naughty' and 'Nice' lists?"

"I don't check the list twice any more, I just upload it to Buzzfeed."

Click here to buy Royston's cartoon book

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." 


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