Cosmetic surgery cartoon, more on "Keep Calm"

"Of course, there's a possibility that you are a swan, but do you want to take that risk?"

This cartoon is in the April issue of Reader's Digest. I referred to one of my kids' nursery rhyme books to get that sad-looking "ugly duckling" right.

The repeated caption, by the way, is for the benefit of those looking at this site on phones, who tell me that sometimes the words on the cartoons are not readable. I may go back and laboriously add all the other ones, when I have a spare couple of days ...

Talking of feedback, thanks to everyone who who emailed asking for a copy of the cartoonists' propaganda poster I posted here a couple of weeks ago, and everyone else who made nice comments about it, online and off.

It was really only intended as a joke, a riff on the original Second World War poster, I never intended it to be a "motivational" poster, as such. But it seems to have touched a nerve, and some people even found it inspiring, it seems.

Particular thanks to the following for linking to it: Jason Chatfield, Tim Harries, Mike Lynch, Chichi Parish, Cathy Simpson, The Surreal McCoy, and my PCO colleague Matt Buck who put it on The Bloghorn.

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Looks familiar

As a freelance cartoonist and father-of-two, I can really relate to the scenario in this Jack Tippit cartoon. I hope this guy has bought stuff that's going to last! This is from the always excellent Mike Lynch Cartoons blog.

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From the archives: A Spring cartoon

Tomorrow is the first day of Spring, so here's a colourful cartoon from the archives featuring some cute bunnies!

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Propaganda poster for cartoonists

The Keep Calm and Carry On World War Two propaganda poster is proving to be a big hit, as a result of the economic downturn, according to the Guardian. So here's my version for cartoonists (above, click to enlarge).

It's not hard to see why people love the 1939 government poster, they're embracing the "Blitz spirit", refusing to let the credit crunch get them down. Here's the original:

But, as a cartoonist friend said to me recently, "Your whole life's a credit crunch when you're a cartoonist!" Like many self-employed people, cartoonists do find it tough-going sometimes, recession or no recession. You may not be selling enough gags, maybe not getting enough commissioned work ... it can get tough.

All you can do is keep calm and carry on, as the poster says, and hope that something turns up. It usually does. So in that spirit, I created my own version of that poster for all you cartoonists out there.

If you would like a non-watermarked version of my poster for your own use, contact me and let me know. You can put it on your blog or print it off and stick it on your wall ... stiff upper lip chaps and chapesses, noses to the drawing boards, we'll get through it!

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Comic Relief T-shirt

As today is Red Nose Day, my son was required to dress up for school. Like most six-year-olds he's really into drawing dinosaurs, so I traced two of his creations on to a white T-shirt and added some red noses. It was my wife's idea, so all in all it was a real family effort!

The dinosaurs are, of course, a T-Rex and a Brachiosaurus. Let's take a closer look. Raaaar ....
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Boardroom cartoon: The doodle bug

"I've no objection to doodling during meetings, but it must be within reason."

You may have seen a story in the news recently reporting that boffins have declared that doodling is now officially A Good Thing. A business publication I draw for regularly wanted a cartoon on this subject, with reference to board meetings (above).

As you might expect, I am a compulsive doodler. I often doodle a lot when I'm thinking up cartoon ideas. Sometimes they can help develop the joke, if you keep within the themes you're thinking about, but often I just end up drawing funny looking blokes. And clowns, lots of clowns. Here are some of my doodles (click to enlarge, should you wish to).

My cartooning pal Tim Harries is the master of the odd-looking bloke doodle. So much so that he's turned it into a regular feature on his blog, called Strange Looking Bloke Wednesday.

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Cartoon inspired by Watchmen, it turns out

"No, I can't make it next Friday. How about a week Tuesday?"

I recently re-read the graphic novel Watchmen, partly to remind me of the story ahead of the release of the forthcoming film adaptation (particularly in case it turns out to be rubbish!) but mostly just because it's a brilliant book.

Watchmen is the superhero comic for people who don’t like superhero comics. I have never been a fan of the genre myself but in 1988 I was urged by a friend to read Watchmen, so I did. And I’ve read it several times since.

A key part of Watchmen's appeal is its humour. And as I read it this time, it occurred to me that I may have subconsciously pinched a joke from it, namely the one in the cartoon above, which was published in a, ahem, men's magazine four years ago. In the graphic novel there is a character who carries an "End is Nigh" sign who always thinks Armageddon is due today, yet makes a point of ensuring that a news vendor puts aside the following day's issue of his favourite newspaper.

It's certainly a similar joke. Still, if you are going to steal, subconsciously or otherwise, they do say that you should steal from the best.

Watchmen image © DC Comics 1987

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