Posts Tagged ‘cartoons’

Mad eye deficit

Posted 05 Sep 2010 — by Jonathan
Category Daft, Politics

I’m still, predictably, struggling with the whole Ed vs. David question. Instinctively I lean towards the former, but I think the latter may well be the most pragmatic, pluralist choice.

Either way – digging through a big box of old newspaper cuttings earlier today, I found this – the first time Ed Miliband featured in Steve Bell’s wonderful If… comic strip, I think (it’s dated 16 July 2007).

Incidentally, he may be bonkers, but I’m really enjoying Tony Blair’s book.


Posted 23 Feb 2010 — by Jonathan
Category Daft, Politics

Not sure where this was originally published, but spotted this on the web the other day. Rather labours a crass point but… I like making crass points sometimes.


lovely mural in san francisco

Posted 07 Nov 2007 — by Jonathan
Category Travel

I’m a massive fan of murals, and saw some of the best I’ve ever seen in San Francisco – it’s not exactly surprising given the counter-cultural bent of the city, but from Haight to the Mission there are some dazzling works. Particularly taken, then, with this new one, via Boing Boing. It’s located in the colourful Balmy Alley, and is really great.

Work trips

Posted 20 Aug 2007 — by Jonathan
Category Travel

Just found out that I’m going to Dubrovnik for a week in September; really excited – Croatia is a country I know very little about, so I’m looking forward to a new country and a lovely few days. Of course, it’s a work trip, but it’s a long time since I allowed the stress of work to impinge upon the rare chance to immerse myself in a new city, throw myself into a new set of bars, or just sit back and enjoy the sun.

snowmen: a regional guide

Posted 20 Aug 2007 — by Jonathan
Category Daft

shrigley record coming

Posted 27 Jul 2007 — by Jonathan
Category Daft, Music

I’ve always got time for David Shrigley’s cartoons, they’re wonderful, but I’m as much a fan of his words as his drawings, so I’m pleased to hear that – after the lovely Scout Niblett song ‘Dinosaur Egg’, which married Scout’s music to a lyric from Shrigley’s LP without music, ‘Worried Noodles’ – the record label TomLab have put together an entire album where some seriously good artists are given free rein to interpret some of Shrigley’s imaginary songs. Brilliant.

Artists represented include the redoubtable Niblett, Deerhoof, David Byrne, Islands, Liars, Trans Am, Hot Chip, Les Georges Leningrad and Franz Ferdinand. Which all sounds rather ace.

Here are some of the words they will be singing.

Elaine is a danger
To herself
And other people
Elaine is a danger
And is not allowed
In the metal workshop
In the chemistry lab or
In the sports hall
Elaine is a danger
And must not be given pens
Elaine is a danger
And must only write in crayon
Elaine is a danger
And must not go
Near the windows
Or the fishtank
Or in the cupboard.

“The Bell (1:55)”
I heard the bell ringing
Ding-dong Ding-dong
There was a funeral
Ding-dong Ding-dong
Lots of people at the funeral
Ding-dong Ding-dong
Funeral of a rock star
Ding-dong Ding-dong
Who died in a fight
Ding-dong Ding-dong
He got his head punched off
Ding-dong Ding-dong
By a 12-foot monster
Ding-dong Ding-dong

“The King (2:52)”
I am the King of it all
And you R my subjects
I am the King of it all
And U R my subjects
Don’t believe me?
Ask the police!
They will beat you up for asking.

Extract from “Ding Dang”
Squirrel squirrel
In the tree
Do me a favour
Collect Nuts for me
Do me a favour
And take the shells off
The nuts
And examine them closely
To check they are not
Before you give them to me.

Nut Nut
Beautiful nut
Salt nut
Spicy nut
You’re a good old nut
And I love you

history via r. crumb

Posted 22 May 2007 — by Jonathan
Category Observations, Travel

When I was over in San Francisco I managed to miscalculate how much time I’d have on my last day, and woke up early, packed my bags and checked out of the hotel. Sitting having breakfast in a diner around the corner from Powell St, I pulled my itinery out of my rucksack and worked out how long I had until my flight – six hours!!! It was a happy realisation, a little gift of time which I hadn’t bargained on, enabling me to do one last thing before I returned to the UK.

I knew immediately what I wanted to do. The day before I had headed over to the Yerba Buena Centre for the Arts hoping to see an exhibition of Robert Crumb’s comic book drawings, which included a selection of new stuff as well as old, but was disappointed to find that the museum was closed on Mondays and had to miss out. So I jumped on the underground and dashed over, only to find the place still closed. Only because I was too early, though. As I’ve mentioned before, the weather in San Francisco was ludicrously hot, so I sat prone in the sun at the neighbouring park, allowing the fine spray of a nearby fountain to cool my arms. Soon enough, the doors sprang open and I raised myself and went in.

Crumb’s drawings are fascinating – all are highly detailed, allowing no opportunity to document the texture of skin to be passed up, and many highly immature and adolescent, raising a contrast between Crumb’s naivity and his interest in social degredation and sex. Some of the drawings portray women in a pretty unforgiving light, yet Crumb details men’s failings, sexual and otherwise, with an equal frankness. Perhaps the most moving drawings are those which deal with Crumb himself, particularly an inability to vocalise his feelings – which manifests itself in one particularly lovely comic strip where, standing to face the reader, he can think of so little to say, and feels so awkward, that he is reduced to singing a song, moving from nervous to enthused and back to awkward in a series of highly comic frames. His interest in ennui means some of the drawings really do explore life in some philosophical depth – and yet others remain frank, filthy and funny.

By far my favourite is a drawing I’ve written about on this blog before, but can’t resist reproducing again. His ‘Short History of America’ (below, click to enlarge) is just magnificent, one of my favourite works of art of the twentieth century – I don’t care that Crumb is a comic book artist; the 12 frames of this drawing buzz with meaning, emotional currency and history. Brilliant stuff, and a brilliant exhibition.

pointless, incessant barking

Posted 18 May 2007 — by Jonathan
Category Daft

Anne-So just sent me this – I think she is trying to tell me something, but I am not sure what…

a blog worth sticking with

Posted 12 Dec 2006 — by Jonathan
Category Islam and the Middle East, Politics
One of the blogs I’ve visited most often over the last few months is Mazen Kerbaj’s beautiful Kerblog, which collects together his drawings and doodles – it’s a wonderful site, full of great images, rich colours and hugely evocative detail; Mazen blogs from Beirut, so he’s had plenty to draw and write about. Today’s picture is vivid and gorgeous; other entries, like the one I’m reproducing below, are plain moving. Brilliant stuff.

(c) Mazen Kerbaj, reproduced without permission, hope that’s OK.

You can see all of Mazen’s drawings over at Flickr, too. Really really really worth a look. His website, meanwhile, is here.

i still want paying

Posted 24 Nov 2006 — by Jonathan
Category Daft
Real life Mr. Tourette:

“A shop owner who commissioned an artist to create a Christmas window display was stunned when he filled it with Nazi gingerbread men. DIY store boss Charlie Palmer said of Keith McGuckin’s work: ‘He’s gone way overboard this time’. Last year, Mr McGuckin’s display in Oberlin, Ohio, included a snowman attacking carol singers and a little boy using a chemistry set to make crystal meth.”
[from The Metro, November 22]

libs in brighton

Posted 18 Sep 2006 — by Jonathan
Category Politics

I like Ming Campbell, despite his faltering start as leader of the Liberal Democrats (who have invaded my town en-masse this week); but I still laughed at Steve Bell’s If… today. Very good, and as much sweet as savage.

daniel johnston, laura barton

Posted 21 Apr 2006 — by Jonathan
Category Music

A lovely article on Daniel Johnston appears in today’s Guardian, enlivened as ever by Laura Barton’s lovely writing.

There is certainly something naive about Johnston as he sits here this afternoon, thumb rasping at his cigarette lighter, and reminiscing about the time he bought every kind of pen Wal-Mart had to offer “just to try ‘em out”. He avoids my gaze, staring intently at the coffee table, unless I volunteer enthusiasm for his music, or Feuerzeig’s film, at which point his eyes dash up to meet mine, round and glad and unblinking: “What did you think?” he’ll demand. “Have you seen it? Did you think it was funny? Did you like the record? You did? How much?” I stretch my arms out to the size of a large trout. “Alright, alright,” he smiles and nods. “That’s good,” and resumes gazing at the coffee table.

Everytime I see Johnston he looks more like one of his own drawings, or Everett True, or a character in a sad Harvey Pekar comic. I hope Everett True never googles his own name – I’m exaggerating, Everett, if you do.

You can listen to some of Daniel’s songs here.

galloway and god

Posted 27 Feb 2006 — by Jonathan
Category Islam and the Middle East, Politics

Over at the always interesting Bloggers4Labour, Andrew points to an interview given by George Galloway to the El Khabar newspaper in Algeria – it makes for pretty unbelievable reading, assuming that the translation is accurate and was not altered in its original state by the original paper. The full interview is transcribed on Harry’s Place, but I’ve singled out a few choice extracts below…

[on the cartoons controversy]

“What happened is an insult to Islam and Muslims. Personally, I condemn these barbaric and evil acts. Today, the objective of the Western states is to control the oil of the Muslims whatever the price. In fact, the cartoons published in Denmark did not surprise me because the Western states have been waging fierce attacks against Islam for years. These began by humiliation, insults and then occupation. Today they reached the point of ridiculing the prophet. This incident is worse than the 11 September attacks in the US and the 7/7 incidents in London”

[asked how he thought Respect would do in the forthcoming elections]

[Galloway- smiles and says in Arabic]: “Praise be to God”. [Then in English] “Our party will be very strong in these elections. The proof is the fact that I am an MP. In the near future, Respect will become one of the strongest political parties in Britain.”

[on his religion]

[Halimi] “Many people are wondering where you derive this strength with which you speak and defy the powerful. Is there a secret power behind you?”

[Galloway - in Arabic] “This strength comes from God.”

[Halimi] “You constantly use nice Arabic words, in addition to your relations with Arabs and Muslims. Does that mean that you have converted to Islam but you cannot admit that publicly?”

[Galloway - shaking his head] “This issue is between me and God”.

Andrew points to a later comment and suggests that Galloway gets in an anti-semitic statement too; I’m not sure if his intepretation is correct – but it’s not as if Galloway doesn’t make enough of a case against himself in the rest of the interview. Hopefully this will be published widely.

Assistant are talented

Posted 10 Jan 2006 — by Jonathan
Category Assistant

Now, obviously, Pete, Ali and Andy are all bloody good musicians and only need to practice on their respective instruments once every six years in order to be able to master the Assistant back catalogue – leaving them free to pursue all manner of exciting side-projects and day-outs. But me and Anne-Sophie weave a thread of blind panic, confusion and hamfistedness into our slow-blossoming musical talents, and are frequently handcuffed to our respective instruments by a cackling Ali until we can master the piano/guitar part from ‘What It Means’.

All the more incredible, then, that one or the other of us occasionally rises from our malaise and does something useful, arty or creditable. Granted, I’ve not much to shout about at the moment, but Anne-Sophie is entitled to grin and gloat because she has just taken one of four runners up prizes in the competition to design a new baddie for the ace TV show ‘The Mighty Boosh’. Her character, Papagei, is below. Well done Anne-Sophie!

Papagei, if you are interested, having “completed a BTEC in Media Studies and Performing Arts from the Gloucester Institute of Adult Education, took an HND in Creative Geology from Brighton University of Sport. He now works as a technical botanist for the GLA.

He lives in Epsom with his parner Shelly and his cat Kipper. He enjoys reading, swimming, current affairs, evil sadism and world domination.”

the lost doonesburys (reprise)

Posted 08 Nov 2005 — by Jonathan
Category Uncategorized

I hate it when regular bloggers, columnists or cartoonists who I follow are away. Yes, that invariably gives others the opportunity to shine in their absence but i’m far too inflexible to cope with such upheaval, and want my daily fix, goddamnit. Luckily, when Steve Bell or Gary Trudeau are away the Guardian just runs old strips in their abscense, but it’s hard not to feel dissapointed. Anyway – the Guardian did a re-run of Zonker getting the sack last week, which was funny the second time and all, but I’ve just seen the reason why it happened. Mike over at Troubled Diva reveals that there was going to be a week-long Doonesbury look at the controversial US Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers. However, her resignation made that impossible. Happily, the strips are at the Trudeau website so you can still read ‘em and – surprise – they’re very funny.

OK, not such a surprise then. Here they are.

ladies of the right

Posted 12 Oct 2005 — by Jonathan
Category Uncategorized
(c) Steve Bell 2005.

Funny how no matter how well Steve Bell draws Blair or Bush, his pictures of Maggie are always the most vivid. That’s Maggie on the right, by the way.

charles sings to the seals

Posted 13 Sep 2005 — by Jonathan
Category Currently Listening, Music

My favourite headline of the week (apart from – need I say it – Doonesbury Returning To The Guardian) has to be:

Heidi Klum and Seal have baby boy

You wouldn’t think it was possible…

OK, who wants to know what I’m listening to this week? OK then!
1. Xiu-XiuLa Foret LP (pretty speechless on this one; go get it!)
2. MC DJIllin-Noise LP (d’n'b remixes of Sufjan Steven’s already pretty good Illinois LP)
3. KompactTotal 6 LP (awesome minimalist German techno? Yes please)
4. The FallLive at the Witch Trials LP (yeah The Fall)
5. Franz FerdinandYou Could Have It So Much Better With Franz Ferdinand LP (um, anaemic, dreary and one-dimension, sadly, fantastic lead-off single aside)
6. BlackaliciousThe Craft LP (give me this over Kanye anyday)
7. ClorClor LP (crack, fizzle, pause, etc)
8. Rolling Stones – ‘Laugh, I Nearly Died’ (off their A Bigger Bang LP, and really good, seriously)
9. Assistant – ‘Forgot to Ask’ (bright and itchy new song by me)
10. The Streets – ‘Vs Bloc Party’ (kind of naff remix of Bloc Party’s ‘Banquet’, but fun)

There’s still hope…

Posted 12 Sep 2005 — by Jonathan
Category Uncategorized

There’s hope yet. Sign up here for the bring back Doonesbury campaign.

Says Ian Katz, editor of G2, “We felt Doonesbury had a small, committed following but was not read by a large readership. If we’re wrong about the number of people who read and love it, we may have to think again.”

last words on the Guardian…

Posted 12 Sep 2005 — by Jonathan
Category Uncategorized

Still totally perplexed by the lack of Doonesbury in the paper, but calming down about it a bit now. At least it’s available online. Of the rest of the issues in the paper, I’m a lot more relaxed – Passnotes had kind of run out of steam (quite unlike Doonesbury, which… OK, I’ll stop) and I never read Smallweed much. The main paper does, I think, suffer in a small way from the reduction of size, especially when fairly innocuous articles end up filling an entire page. But this is made up for by the sheer pleasure of that turning that narrower page.

Comments and Analysis, much criticised by the Labour right in recent years, has retitled itself ‘Comments and Debate’, perhaps appropriately given that they have chosen to give Madeline Bunting first go at the main piece, although she does a decent enough job of it (as she normally does, despite the shrill protests of the warbloggers). I didn’t see a space laid out for the Diary, which is a bit concerning, but I don’t think it appears on Mondays so hopefully that’s not an issue.

The promised daily science page does not seem to have materialised, nor has the recently AWOL Editor page, although they’ve carried over the ‘review of reviews’ feature to G2, which is a good move and hopefully something they’ll continue with some of the other features. The TV column in the smaller section is retained and expanded but no sign of Nancy Banks Smith in the broadsheet, disturbingly. Sorry, in the Berliner, I mean…

G2 itself is an odd, dinky little pamphlet now. In terms of content, it performs ably enough, with a slight but strong comment piece from Simon Schama and a decent interview with Oona King, who doesn’t seem to hold a grudge that the Guardian gave George Galloway significant column inches to persue his agenda in the run up to the election. There’s nothing by Laura Barton, Tanya Gold or Lucy Mangan today, so provided their input has not been curtailed it should improve over the week as their contributions appear. Leo Hickman’s graphic piece is a nice option although I always fail somehow to read this kind of statistical feature.

Size wise, I find it a bit small and gimmicky, but I’ll probably get used to it. It does make me feel like a giant reading it, though, which I like. The TV listings, condensed and thorough, make my head spin a bit, but I expect I’ll get used to – and probably eventually prefer – them, although I’d instinctively prefer the back page.

My fingers are a bit inky after reading, mind – anyone else getting that?

Lots of colour throughout, obviously; it’s nice to have, but I don’t really share the excitement. Until newspapers can reproduce photographs cleanly, I don’t care whether they do so in colour or not, really.

So – overall a hesitant thumbs up; it’s certainly a pleasure to read a paper where so much thought has been put into the reading experience, and the content is still, as you would expect, streets ahead of that available in its competitors.

No links to articles provided today, as you really do need to go and pick up a copy… Although now I think about it, did I mention that Doonesbury has bee[snip].

Posted 12 Sep 2005 — by Jonathan
Category Uncategorized

I’ve just got my new, re-sized Berliner Guardian. It’s fine. But where’s Doonesbury? WHERE’S DOONESBURY!?!?!? Aaaaaaggggghhhhhh!

Fine, cut my favourite part of the newspaper, see if I care.

*sobs uncontrollably*