Beat ye Cartoonist

One of my cartoons is the Beat the Cartoonist image in the January Reader's Digest, allowing readers to write their own captions then vote on the best.

Click here to take part.

And you can see my previous Beat the Cartoonist entries here. So far I have won three and lost one ...

Another year over: My 2011

As tradition dictates, it's time for the round-up of my cartooning year. So here are my highlights of 2012. This is not a round robin OK, as I haven't sent it directly to you and it doesn't contain details of my daughter losing her first tooth this year (although she did ...)

I went to the Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival as usual, my sixth visit. I drew a Big Board, knocking out a olden-days version (you had to be there) of an early cartoon of mine. I'm now in the process of coming up with cartoons on a "flying" theme for the 2012 festival.

"I must say, your explanation of the offside rule was most pertinent."

Being part of the Private Eye at 50 exhibition was definitely a highlight of 2011, along with the accompanying opening night and, a week later, the "Golden Jubilee" bash at the Guildhall, left.

I visited the Eye offices for the first time this year, which was fun, as part of a PCO team presenting them with an award. Here's the report at The Bloghorn.

Painting a board for the Great Wall of Ramsgate, above, a public art project, was very rewarding. The wall got a great reaction from the local community. Below is a picture from the Isle of Thanet Gazette, when the wall picked up the local Town Image award.

OK, it looks a bit like The Great Wal Lof Ramsgat3, but you get the point. That's me putting the R in Great. Ahem. Click to enlarge, if you like.

As well as the Private Eye show and the Shrewsbury exhibition, I had cartoons in several exhibitions: Marriage a la Mode at the Cartoon Museum (one of which was picked for a BBC preview, below); the Chris Beetles Gallery at Nunnington Hall; a Spectator cartoon exhibition in Mayfair; and even Henley Regatta. Not forgetting the Post Nude exhibition in Whitstable.

I usually pick out some favourite cartoons of the year, so here goes: I liked this one. It was actually drawn in 2010, but it appeared in print this year.

"Hey, that one looks just like a visible mass of condensed water vapour floating in the atmosphere."

I was looking through the Private Eye at 50 book last week, which Father Christmas brought me, and was surprised to see this cartoon in it. It's about the size of the nail on my little finger, but it's there! It's in a photo of the magazine being put together.

This one, from Reader's Digest, is also a favourite and is probably the one I got the most positive reaction for in 2011 ...

Talking of public reaction ...
I achieved a long-held ambition in 2011: I made it to the letters page of Private Eye, thanks to the Doctor Who cartoon on the right. But unlike most reactions to cartoons, this was neither pedantry nor outrage.

Here are some jolly cartoonists on a cartoon jolly! The Cartoonists' Club organised a great trip to the West Country. Here's a few of us giving our best cheesy grins at Cheddar Gorge (geddit?!)

And finally ... regular readers will know that I published a book of my cartoons this year. In order to sell them I have gone ON and ON (and, indeed, ON) about it quite a lot on this blog, not least with the "Click here to buy Royston's cartoon book" links at the foot of most posts. It was great to get the book out there and it seems to have gone down very well, so I can't promise that I won't keep doing it. At least until the next one's out.

So, happy new year all. And if you haven't done so already Click here to buy Royston's cartoon book in 2011!


Cartoon advent calendar: Day 24.
It's the taking part

Here's the final advent calendar cartoon. This was my Christmas card this year, and like the drawing from day one, the gag was in the Christmas issue of Reader's Digest.

I picked this as the final one as it looks forward to 2012. Thanks for reading and a merry Christmas and a happy new year to you all!

Click here to buy Royston's cartoon book


Cartoon advent calendar: Day 23. Making a list

Today's advent cartoon is another from the Christmas Private Eye.

I did one similar to this a few years ago, which didn't sell, where he had three lists: Nice, Naughty and Misunderstood. But it seemed right to rework it this year in the light of the riots across England, after which people were searching for reasons for young people going on the rampage.

"Alienated" and "disaffected" were words used by Tony Blair in a post-riots speech.

Click here to buy Royston's cartoon book


Cartoon advent calendar: Day 22. Turkey talk

This pocket cartoon was drawn this week, to accompany a local paper story about a woman who keeps a turkey as a pet -- a spot of seasonal silliness!

The glassy eyes of the turkey, to indicate cuteness, were the result of looking at my son's drawings. He draws them like that a lot, a trick picked up from watching Spongebob Squarepants and Pokémon cartoons.

It's not too late to buy Royston's cartoon book for Christmas (2012)


Cartoon advent calendar:
Day 21. Recession Christmas

"Luckily for you, we're only taking on temporary staff right now."

Today's advent calendar cartoon is from the Private Eye Christmas issue, which is out today. We're on the home stretch now ...

Click here to buy Royston's cartoon book


Cartoon advent calendar:
Day 20. Scrooged

"You can't have more coal for the fire, Mr Cratchit -- this firm is committed to reducing its carbon emissions."

Ebenezer Scrooge would do well if he was around today. He's committed to austerity measures, keeping costs low and running his business on as few staff as possible, and his "make do and mend" approach is also good for the planet.

This cartoon appears in the current edition of The Jester, newsletter of the Cartoonists' Club, which has a Dickens theme to tie in with the Dickens at 200 celebrations.

Banish the Hard Times blues with Royston's cartoon book ...


Cartoon advent calendar:
Day 18. Food for thought

"Apparently, it's organic"

Day 18 of the cartoon advent calendar and this is the fourth snowman joke, and there may well be more to come. This was in Prospect magazine at Christmas two years ago.

Click here to buy Royston's cartoon book


Cartoon advent calendar:
Day 17: Bear with me

"You must come over to ours for Boxing Day."

This is one from a couple of years ago when there were lots of cartoons depicting polar bears on floating bits of ice. Maybe editors had had their fill though, as it didn't sell. Or maybe they thought that worrying about global financial crisis at Christmas time is enough, without also worrying about global warming.

To avoid a Frozen Planet controversy, I should point out that this is not a real depiction of polar bears, it's just a drawing.

Click here to buy Penguin vs Polar Bear


Cartoon advent calendar: Day 16. Him again

Here's another new one, from this week's Spectator Christmas issue, but clearly I was riffing here on a favourite theme ...

More Magritte cartoons

It's probably of interest to no-one but myself, but this month now has more blog posts than any other I've done. In your face, April 2010 (15) !


Cartoon advent calendar:
Day 15. Exchanging gifts

"I feel awful -- we only got them socks."

Back to the present for today's advent cartoon. This is in the new edition of Prospect.

Click here to buy Royston's cartoon book


Cartoon advent calendar:
Day 13. It's a calling

"Oi! Are you looking at my four calling birds?"

For some reason that is lost in the mists of time, in 2008 Private Eye was keen to run gags, by different cartoonists, that used the caption "Oi! Are you looking at my bird?", and variations thereof. So I thought they might go for a festive take on that. They didn't.

Click here to buy Royston's cartoon book


Cartoon advent calendar:
Day 12. The nativity

"If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this drama ..."

Here's today's advent cartoon. This was a Private Eye Christmas card cartoon last year.

Click here to buy Royston's cartoon book


Cartoon advent calendar: Day 11. Hello kitty

"Since that trip to the vet, these were the only baubles that Pickles would be playing with this year."

I know what you're thinking ... that's not a cartoon! But I did write the caption for this Christmas photo card.

A few years ago, I drew a Christmas cartoon for a card company that also sent me some photos to write captions for. They picked this one. It's a peurile joke, I know, but it all puts turkey on the table. I dedicate this to our cat, Mike, by way of apology. Normal service will resume tomorrow ...

Click here to buy Royston's cartoon book


Cartoon advent calendar:
Day 10. Lighten up

"Very festive, but I can't seem to find the door."

Believe it or not, this one can currently be seen on a Christmas tree in a church!

St George's Church in Ramsgate asks local organisations to decorate trees every year, as a fundraising event, and Ramsgate Arts, for whom I did a talk, a couple of years ago, approached local artists to contribute images for theirs. This was also Prospect magazine's Christmas card in 2008.

Click here to buy Royston's cartoon book



Cartoon advent calendar:
Day 8. Arty Christmas

"It's my homage to Picasso."

Here's an art cartoon for day eight of the advent calendar. Drawn for a local paper last Christmas. That's three snowmen cartoon so far, and there's more to come.

Click here to buy Royston's cartoon book


Cartoon advent calendar:
Day 7. The accused

"It is alleged that you did pose as a clergyman in order to carry out sham marriage ceremonies ..."

After the punnery of yesterday's advent cartoon, this one is possibly a little more sophisticated -- by which, I mean that some people didn't get it. Private Eye did though, and it was in the magazine last Christmas.

Royston's cartoon book: it's got no Christmas cartoons in it but the one on the cover does have some snow in it


Cartoon advent calendar:
Day 6. Clause and effect

"The lawyer was suspicious of all the dodgy Clauses."

This was a cartoon for a law firm's Christmas card from 2006, though it was reused again this year by another law firm that had seen it on my portfolio site. Which was nice.

Click here to buy Royston's cartoon book


Cartoon advent calendar:
Day 5. Wise move

Day five, and here's the first religious cartoon. This is from Christmas 2007 and was in Prospect magazine. There was a lot of stuff in the media at the time about MPs and donations, members' interests etc.

Christmas shopping? Why not get them a book they'll actually read this year!


Cartoon advent calendar:
Day 4. Giving and receiving

"I think someone's stealing our wi-fi."

I hope you're all enjoying the advent calendar cartoons, and I can only apologise for the fact that each image does not come with a piece of funny-tasting chocolate in the shape of a robin. Today's is an unsold one from a couple of years ago.

The perfect stocking-filler ...


Cartoon advent calendar:
Day 3. Meet and Magritte

Today's advent cartoon is an oldie. This was in a Private Eye Christmas issue in 2008. Day three and I'm already revisiting past glories! Mind you, I don't think I've posted this here before, though there are other Magritte cartons.

Nothing says Christmas like a book of Royston cartoons


Cartoon advent calendar:
Day 2. Taking stock at Christmas

"These gentlemen are here to discuss mistakes we may have made, where we are now, and what the future holds ..."

Here's today's advent cartoon. This was drawn for a trade publication, to be sent out as part of an e-card, and is one of my regular boardroom series of cartoons.

It's fun sometimes to drop new characters into the regular scenario, and often the jokes almost write themselves. For the current economic climate, the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future seemed appropriate, particularly as Future, with his scythe, gives us an indication of what's to come: i.e. more cuts. Merry Christmas, indeed.

See their faces light up this Christmas with a Royston cartoon book


Cartoon advent calendar:
Day 1. Hacking Christmas

"Perhaps you could tell us how you know if we've been bad or good?"

I'm going to treat you lucky people to a Christmas cartoon for each day leading up to December 24 -- a kind of cartoon advent calendar. They will be new and old, published and unpublished, some from magazines and others commissioned.

To kick things off, this is in the Christmas issue of Reader's Digest. Any resemblance to living people is purely coincidental etc etc.

I think this is the only cartoon I've done where the speaker is not in the cartoon. I wasn't sure it would work, but I think we're so used to seeing this kind of televised public grilling now, such as the current Leveson Inquiry, that I get away with it.

Give the gift of a Royston cartoon book this Christmas!