Thursday, 8 January 2015
Doing some research on the suddenly world-famous Charlie Hebdo magazine has brought forward some interesting facts and comparisons from my fellow cartoonists. Not least the fact that Charlie Hebdo was named after Charlie Brown of Peanuts fame, and the 'Hebdo' translates as 'weekly', or that the magazine has its origins in a decidely outrageous sixties title called Hara-Kiri which defiantly set out its stall with eye-catching covers like this one...
(A rough translation - 'for a more humane form of execution, the chainsaw'.)
I also found out that there was a similar (but more family friendly) publication in Italy called Linus, so there's that.
Then I got to thinking... how come we haven't got a similar magazine in England? Fine, we've got Private Eye, and I'm eternally grateful for that, but it doesn't have the same lunatic scale of don't-give-a-shit rudeness and insanity as its French counterpart. I mean, look at this...
(A rough translation - "But do we want the English in Europe?")
It's fucking amazing. You can walk into a newsagent's in France and buy this stuff. Fucking great. Here in England you have to turn a newsagent's upside down in a futile search for anything that even slightly resembles a comic.
I'm not making light of a horrible tragedy whose ramifications are terrifying to say the least, but I would like to point out that it is absolutely fucking AWESOME that France has such a thing as a tabloid-sized satirical periodical with big, bold, eye-catching cartoons on the front and a refreshingly non-PC take-no-prisoners attitude.
Can you imagine such a publication lasting above six months in England? No, because this country is full of people who just don't read very much (fact), and - of course, I'm bound to say this given my recent problems - bitter, whining, humourless tits who don't appreciate a fucking JOKE because they're too busy taking offence on behalf of some other prick who blatantly couldn't care less. I am envious of the French and their commitment to cartoonists, satire and humour in general.
Here's That'll Be the Day!, the closest I can find to a British equivalent of Charlie Hebdo. This is the first issue from 1975. Trying to find out anything about this magazine is a sod and a half, but the cover features a strip from Carry On title sequence maestro 'Larry' and it billed itself as Britain's first all-picture political paper. If anyone has any more information about this publication, please e-mail me as I'd love to do a feature about it sometime.
Meanwhile, back in the early nineties, a Viz clone called Ziggy had its own problems with the censorious, and was the subject of a News of the World 'expose' after it carried an article poking fun at the cot death of TV presenter Anne Diamond's son. It also featured the kind of covers that Charlie Hebdo would have been proud of...
In this post-modern, post-laddism, post-politically correct, post-bloody-everything world, we should be able to laugh at outrageous, disgusting, objectionable, cruel and stupid humour - as well as racist and sexist humour - as much as we damn well like. In fact, now we're supposedly safe in the knowledge that we're 'laughing because it's wrong', that kind of stuff should make us laugh all the more. Yet the media feels the need to relentlessly point out that as those of us who do enjoy that kind of thing are idiots who need re-educating, creating a pernicious nothing-goes atmosphere of pervasive blandness, bolstered by the usual cultural commentators and third-rate comedians being wheeled out on Channel Four to tut-tut self-righteously at clips of the Benny Hill Show and Love Thy Neighbour.
Posted by Mr Straightman at 09:24
Wednesday, 7 January 2015
The Guardian has called today's horrendous events the "worst attack on the French free press since the Second World War". It may bring to the world's attention the real power of cartoons, and taboo-busting journalism, as well as the stupidity and rampant cruelty of deranged extremists, but I salute my fallen fellow cartoonists and satirists at Charlie Hebdo, and think of the grieving families and loved ones who must live with this atrocity and attack on freedom of expression. Here's hoping that underground cartoonists everywhere will always take up our pens and brushes and refuse to compromise. It is what we are here for.
Posted by Mr Straightman at 12:29
Tuesday, 6 January 2015
Monday, 29 December 2014
Tuesday, 23 December 2014
Friday, 19 December 2014
Well, the festive season is almost upon us, so what better time to look back at a few bits and pieces from a comic I published between 2002 and 2004? Here we go, then, with a peek inside some of the seven issues of Breakdown, beginning with this delightful festive scene from issue two...
What else does Christmas mean? Charity singles, of course, and this was addressed in issue seven...
But I'm getting ahead of myself. Here's the centre pages pull-out poster from issue two...
Some silly gags from issue four...
Jerry Winston looked a bit different back then, and so did his band, as this issue three extract shows...
Sitcom Simon dragged us back to the seventies on the back cover of issue two...
Talking of the seventies, issue six had a lovely free gift - a Goodies badge which I designed and had printed up myself!
Des O'Horror suffered the indignity of being kicked off BBC3 in issue four...
And finally, simply because it's never appeared on this blog until now, the cover of the final issue, number seven. I was never happy with the shade of green, but that was the printer's fault - nothing to do with me! Fair enough, I could have had a reprint done, but that would have cost money I simply didn't have to spare!
Well, there it is - a taste of Breakdown. And that'll be the last post on this blog until after Christmas, so have a good one, unless you're one of those tiresome trolls from you-know-where, in which case I suggest you repair to your domicile and retrieve the receptacle containing the apparatus commonly used for polishing footwear!
Posted by Mr Straightman at 07:07
Tuesday, 2 December 2014
For a while I was seriously contemplating calling a halt to this blog because of all the negative attention I've been receiving... but then I thought bollocks. I'm not going to start minding my Ps and Qs because some mingy little twat with a chip on his shoulder drags his sorry arse over to my corner of cyberspace to piss and moan whilst scratching bits of dried lentils out of his fucking ironic beard! On with the frolics!
Prospective cover design.
Posted by Mr Straightman at 10:34