Science cartoon: DisconCERNted*

"Run! I've discovered the Higgs bison."

I make no apologies for the groan-worthy pun in this cartoon. Why should I? It's not my fault if cartoon editors pick puns over all the other eruditely witty and bitingly satirical cartoons that I submit ...

Actually the passage of this cartoon into the August (and indeed august**) Prospect magazine may have been smoothed by the fact that it features a piece about the Large Hadron Collider at Cern where they're trying to find this Higgs boson wotsit. I didn't know that when I sent the cartoon in, it was a happy coincidence.

I was quite pleased with the drawing, which I think is fun. Hopefully it makes up for the pun -- for which, two paragraphs later, I am still wholly unrepentant.

*That's a bonus groaner that features alongside the cartoon on the website.
**Sorry, I've just read Stephen Fry's autobiography.

Warning: May contain puns


Ghosts cartoon: Fade to grey

"If another barman cracks the joke about not serving spirits, I'm leaving ..."

This cartoon is from Isle, a magazine for the Thanet area, where I live. It accompanied a feature about a team of "ghostbusters" who seek out supernatural goings on in supposedly haunted old pubs.

As an experiment, I drew the characters on a separate layer to the background and used a filter in Photoshop to give them a ghostly look. Can't remember what the filter was. Ghostify, probably. I was pleased with the result, but sadly it didn't come out quite as well in print! You can see the ghosts but they are a bit more faded than they appear here. Ah well, at least it means you have to search for them, a bit like "real" ghosts.

The caption here is a case of having your cake and eating it i.e. using a corny old joke while commenting on it being a corny old joke.

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Can you beat the cartoonist?

What on earth is going on here? It's one of my drawings being used in the "Beat the Cartoonist" caption contest in the new Reader's Digest, that's what.

Click here if you can you think of a caption. The three best suggestions will be posted on the magazine's website by August 11, alongside my original caption (anonymously, of course). Visitors to the site then vote for their favourite. The winner gets £100 and the original drawing.

If the cartoonist wins, he gets a big head. So far I've played three, won three, but can this winning streak possibly continue? Watch this space. Well, not actually this space but an updated blog post later. Apologies for the lack of posts recently, I've been on my holidays. So now I feel suitably refreshed (by which I mean, it rained all week).


Celebrities cartoon: Red turns up the Heat

"Ohmigod, what big ears she has! Ohmigod, what a big nose she has! ..."

Here's a cartoon from the current Private Eye. This was on a page that was dedicated entirely to gag cartoons, which was good to see.

This is another where I've combined a contemporary issue with a fairy tale. In this case the story came first. I was thinking about those famous lines when it occurred to me that Red Riding Hood has a quite superficial obsession with personal appearance ...

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Holiday cartoon: Seasons in the sun

"You really shouldn't eat foods that are out of season."

As the summer holidays approach, here's a nice, sunshiny beach cartoon from the July issue of Reader's Digest.

I was also commissioned to do two cartoons for the Money pages this month. It's nice to see them using gag cartoons for this, rather than "straight" illustrations, for a change. More magazines should do that. After all, cartoons are better value for readers as you get a chuckle too (hopefully). And I think we all need more of those at the moment.

This cartoon was used as one of the Beat the Cartoonist gags at this year's Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival. Unlike the magazine version of this game they simply picked a winner, it didn't compete with the cartoonist's original caption. The winner was Janet Bell with "If we find the sixpence we can hire a sunshade too". You may well think that's an improvement. I couldn't possibly comment.

Here's a blog post from last year on previous appearances in the magazine version of Beat the Cartoonist.