Sunday, 8 February 2015
As a mark of respect for the passing of Mr Millington, here's one of the funniest instalments of his long-running Whizzer and Chips strip, Happy Families - which even manages to make domestic violence hilarious. Rest easy, DM, you've earned it.
Posted by Mr Straightman at 06:24
Friday, 30 January 2015
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