Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Couldn't top McDonnell today

I listened avidly to George Osborne's autumn statement today, waiting for satirical inspiration to strike. Without much success.

The closest I got was when I thought he said he'd invest heavily in road signs, but that turned out to be 'roads and science' filtered through my slightly cloth ears. At least that gave me a bit of a mental picture to work with, but the resulting cartoon is a fairly weak effort really.

My worst moment, though, was when John McDonnell responded by firstly bemoaning that Osborne hadn't cleared the deficit fast enough (to understandably delighted Tory whoops of 'It's YOUR deficit!') and then muddling through a rather inconsequential quote from Chairman Mao.

You can't make stuff like that up.  What future for satire when real politicians are that hopeless?

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Paris and satire

First, let's state the obvious: the terrorists attacks in Paris on 13 November were awful, shocking and unjustifiable. Like (almost) everyone else we of course feel sympathy for the victims and their loved ones, anger at the perpetrators and support for the people of France who now have to get on with their lives in the shadow of these events.

Now, though, a question: how should a satirical cartoonist respond to events like this?

The view we took was to make a statement that expressed how we felt - which is to say, quietly defiant - with absolutely no attempt at humour.

We also decided just to place a simple drawing on the website, without sharing it via any other social network. We feel it is wrong to use events like this to draw attention to ourselves, and find it sad that many people rush to show the world how deeply affected they are.

If the essence of satire is to point out irony and inconsistency, then there is much to be found in the response of the media and others to Friday evening's events, a great deal of which has been crass and self-seeking. But that can wait.

Right, time to get blogging again

I've been quite busy. Apart from the day job and a bunch of other distractions, I've been building, a website where anyone can easily draw and share cartoons.

It's early days. The site broadly works - we describe it as in beta testing, which means it's far enough along for us to put it out there and get feedback, but please forgive the occasional grinding noise or whiff of smoke. There's a bit of content, all created in-house at the moment (but we're looking to recruit some more early contributors soon).

We want to use this blog to document our progress with this tiny tech startup. We're bootstrapping the finances so far, so progress might be interrupted from time to time by the need to earn money doing other things.