Number 61, Autumn 2010
president’sparlay Number 61 Autumn 2010 www.cartoonists.org.au 1300 658 581 --- ACA Board --Patron Vane Lindesay (03) 9523 8635 President Jules Faber email@example.com Deputy President Jason Chatfield firstname.lastname@example.org Secretary Kerry Anne Brown email@example.com Treasurer Grant Brown firstname.lastname@example.org Membership Secretary Peter Broelman email@example.com Vice Presidents Steve Panozzo (NSW/ACT) firstname.lastname@example.org Rolf Heimann (Vic/Tas) email@example.com Gary Clark (Qld) firstname.lastname@example.org Simon Kneebone (SA/NT) email@example.com Mick Horne (WA) firstname.lastname@example.org ABN 19 140 290 841 Inkspot is produced four times a year by the Australian Cartoonists’ Association.
PO Box 318 Strawberry Hills NSW 2012
ACA AFFILIATED ORGANISATIONS National Cartoonists Society President: Jeff Keane Secretary: Rick Kirkman
Cartoonists’ Club of Great Britain President: Terry Christien Secretary: Richard Tomes
President-General: Marlene Pohle Secretary-General: Peter Nieuwendijk
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Inkspot Editor: Steve Panozzo Editorial Team: Jason Chatfield, Jules Faber, Lindsay Foyle, Mick Horne and Mark McHugh Many thanks to all Inkspot contributors! Cover illustration by Gerald Scarfe
Hey hey hey! Welcome to yet another completely chock-o-block issue of Inkspot filled with all that good stuff that you love to sink yer teeth into! According to our recent online survey, Inkspot is just as popular with you guys in the printed format as is its digital cousin, so it looks like we’ll be bringing it to your mailbox in this format for a little while yet! For anyone who loves looking at magazines online however, all the previous digital versions of Inkspot can now be downloaded directly from the internet, so everyone’s happy! Last year famed British cartoonist Gerald Scarfe was generous enough to donate four signed prints to our auction and he was keen to make contact with the ACA in person when he visited Australia recently. We were thrilled to send two of Inkspot’s finest to meet-up with Gerald in Sydney and what came of that meeting is the awesome interview in this very issue. It’s an amazing read, I’m sure you’ll agree, and Gerald and wife Jane Asher make for some interesting subjects. As we’ve entered into April now, I figure it may be about time for a few Stanleys-related announcements. The first of these is that this year we’re going to Melbourne for the 26th Annual Stanley Awards and Conference weekend! Not only are we headed to one of Australia’s most exciting cities, but the popularity of last year’s two-day Conference has ensured that we’ll be doing the same thing again this year with tonnes of quality content already slated. Not the least of which will be talks and a masterclass from one of our very special guests in brilliant Chicago caricaturist Jason Seiler! As usual, we’re also bringing you heaps of Australian content so the Stanleys weekend is gonna be seriously awesome this year! In fact, we already need the extra conference day to fit in everything we have
Artwork by LINDSAY FOYLE
planned (word on the street has it that WACOM will be back this year too, but more on that later!). By now you should have received your ‘Save The Date’ card in the mail – stick it on your ‘fridge, on your computer screen or on your drawing table – anywhere you’ll be reminded of the big weekend because if Sydney was anything to go by, Melbourne is gonna be unmissable! Finally, as the Stanleys Conference work schedule really gets going about now, I’d like to ask anyone with some time to donate to give it to our hard-working team. No amount of time is too little – there are literally hundreds of small jobs that contribute toward the whole. Led ably this year by Jason Chatfield, the Stanleys Committee would be grateful for any assistance so they can make Melbourne as big a success as Sydney was. So bearing everything in mind, whatever you’re doing right now, and however you’re reading Inkspot – be it via hardcopy or on your computer – sit back, put yer feet up and enjoy this latest edition of what is without question the envy of all other cartoonists’ organisations! Cartooning forever!
can hit the English language bookshops in Paris early, possibly to coincide with the tourist season. This includes both The Louvre and Orsay Museum bookshops in Paris, with Hobbs’ Old Tom and Horrible Harriet books will be released during the coming months.
Resale Royalty Scheme
Federal Arts minister, Peter Garrett, has announced that Copyright Agency Limited (CAL) will manage the artists’ resale royalty scheme, due to come into operation on 9 June. The scheme will provide artists with a 5 per cent royalty on commercial resales of $1,000 or more that occur after 8 June, 2010. The royalty will apply to existing as well as new works, but will not apply to the first change of ownership after commencement, even if that is a resale. In contrast to the schemes in some other countries, the royalty in the Australian scheme will be 5 per cent irrespective of the sales price. For more information: http://www.copyright.com.au
Bruno’s Big Burnout Victorian cartoonists went to Marysville on 7 February, in commemoration of last year’s devastating bushfire which destroyed most of the town. Bruno Torft’s Sculpture Garden was also severely damaged, with Bruno’s house and studio burnt down. The park is once again in splendid condition, but the studio needs rebuilding. Victorian cartoonists helped by raising $485 in a day of live cartooning
Rolf’s Chinese Adventures
Horacek’s Horrors and through sales of George Haddon’s books. Geoff Hook, George Haddon and Matt Bisset-Johnson were kept busy throughout the day while the rest of the crew enjoyed their picnic lunches and the inspiring, often hilariously humorous creations by Bruno, displayed in a splendid garden in a serene atmosphere enhanced by the sounds of birds and bubbling fountains. Bruno proved to be an accomplished cartoonist as well, apart from being a sculptor and painter. Victorian cartoonists are looking forward to a workshop in Marysville, once Bruno’s studio is rebuilt. Marysville is about 100km north-east of Melbourne, and Bruno’s Garden is a must for every visitor to the region.
In February, Judy Horacek’s website was hacked by parties unknown. Undaunted, Judy has now finished the artwork for her next children’s book, Yellow is my Favourite Colour, which will be released in Australia in June, published in Australia by Penguin. Check out the news for hints of what’s to come by visiting http://horacek.com.au/news
Coffee, Tea or History? Recently-installed Queensland Vice-President, Gary Clark, rounded up ten of his constituents and headed off to the State Library of Queensland in April.
Monsieur Chicken! Bloomsbury (the publisher of the Harry Potter book series) is publishing 4 of Leigh Hobbs’ picture books in the UK this year. Bloomsbury’s man in Paris has decided to bring the publishing date for Mr Chicken Goes To Paris forward so that it
Gary Clark (second from right) and his hand-picked team of forensic investigators hunt down missing jokes
After meeting for coffee, the entourage then went to their free pre-booked room overlooking the Brisbane River. An enjoyable and productive time was had as all discussed what they wanted from the ACA during 2010. The morning was rounded off, 2 floors up, where the group viewed a selection of original cartoons and fine art by cartoonists from the early years of the last century.
The ACA Blogs On! The ACA has added to its internet portfolio an online blog. For those not savvy with “webspeak”, a blog is short for “web log”. It aims to keep members up-todate, on a daily basis, with news from the cartooning industry, both at home and abroad. www.cartoonists.org.au
The blog won’t be replacing Inkspot, but will keep you constantly informed in ways that Inkspot simply can’t. If you use a blog/RSS reader, make sure you click “subscribe” to get the RSS Feed.
Do you have anything you’d like to add to the blog? Just email blog@cartoonists. org.au (or click the link on the site). All contributions are welcome; pictures, links, stories, quotes, videos or anything you think would be of interest to your fellow cartoonists.
More McHughs! They already have two little tykes, but didn’t stop Mark McHugh and partner Eva from bring another little one into the world in April. Mikkel (Mik) Danger McHugh weighed in at 3.4kg. While “Mikkel” is in honour of Eva’s grandfather, Mark has admitted responsibility for “Danger”. As such, it’s subject to review! According to Mark, “everything went super well. Eva and the baby are doing great.”
Fiore’s Fortune Self-syndicated cartoon animator Mark Fiore is the recipient of this year’s 2010 Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning.
Is That a Pocket Cartoon or Are You Just Pleased to See Me? Responding to a seemingly run-ofthe-mill request for a front-page pocket cartoon, Peter Broelman had no idea what was to confront him next morning. To be fair, the Editor of the Sunraysia Daily did warn Broels that the cartoon would be bigger than usual. But the end product was, to say the least, a little out of the ordinary. “I didn’t anticipate the size they were referring to,” said Broelman. “I think it’s a world record!”
Nicholson in Bust-Up The other Quill Award winner, Peter Nicholson, has unveiled his latest addition to the The Prime Minister’s Avenue, a collection of busts of Australian Prime Ministers, located at the Ballarat Botanical Gardens in Victoria. Nicholson’s bronze rendition of Kevin Rudd joins his previous contributions, namely the bronzed bonces of Malcolm Fraser, Bob Hawke, Paul Keating and John Howard. “I got the gig because I had a popular exhibition of sculptured caricatures in the Ballarat Fine Art Gallery and I bumped into the Lord Mayor at the opening,” explained Nicholson. “He was quite taken by the tiny caricature bust of Hawke I had done, and said, “why don’t you put in a quote for the PM’s bust in the botanical gardens?” and I put in the cheapest quote!” The busts are displayed as bronze portraits mounted on polished granite pedestals. His works follow the philosophy that the busts should impart an expression of the character of the individual. Nico was also commissioned to make a bronze statue of Robert Clark, the founder of the Ballarat Courier. It stands at the end of the Prime Minister’s Avenue.
Mark’s work appears on SFGate.com, the San Francisco Chronicle’s website. According to the judges, Fiore was selected for “his biting wit”, and that his “extensive research and ability to distill complex issues set a high standard for an emerging form of commentary”. While other staff cartoonists have won the big prize with a selection of both print and animated cartoons, Mark is the first to win the Pulitzer with nothing more than his animated work. The prize was established by Joseph Pulitzer, journalist and newspaper publisher who left money to Columbia University upon his death in 1911. The first Pulitzers were awarded in 1917. 4
“Short back and sides, sir?” Nicholson in hairdresser mode
Bert’s a Baldie winner and Judy’s Archy Friend Judy Nadin’s portrait of TV personality Bert Newton in the buff has won the 2010 Bald Archy Prize. Judy took home a cheque for $5,000 for her efforts. Judy, a regular entrant, says she was inspired to paint Newton because she is a big fan. “I find him so humorous and wicked,” she said. “The Bald Archys are about satire and humour, so I thought who better to do than Bert?” Founder and curator Peter Batey established The Bald Archy Prize in 1994 to lampoon Australia’s most prestigious portraiture prize, the Archibald. Batey says that the Bald Archy is judged by his pet sulphur-crested cockatoo, Maude. Culled from a field of more than 90 entries, this year’s field of 45 finalists had a distinct political flavour. Incredibly, there were nine depictions of Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott. Other ACA members who made the final cut included 2008 People’s Choice winner Peter Lewis, BA regular Simon Schneider, and two first-timers, Stanley Toohey and Rob Carter. Lewis this year became one of a rare breed - cartoonists who also enter works in the Archibald Prize. “I chose Kurt Fearnley, the medal-winning paralympian who recently did the Kokoda Trail on his his hands,” said Peter. “There were several sides to his affable nature but I was impressed most by his warrior approach to training and competition.”
Photos courtesy ROB CARTER, PETER LEWIS and JUDY NADIN
The 2010 Bald Archy Prize exhibition opens at the Bunker Cartoon Gallery in Coffs Harbour on 30 April, after which it tours to Adelaide, Deniliquin, Bowral, Brewarrina, Melbourne and Cootamundra. CLOCKWISE (From Top): Judy Nadin with her muse and a big sign - now we know how much is in her bank account, have a guess who’s covering the drinks bill at this year’s Stanleys; Peter Lewis’ Michelangelo-inspired tableaux with everyone’s favourite ex-PM playing God; Rob Carter’s take on Singo and his ex-wives; Norman Hetherington inspects Stanley Toohey’s artwork at the ABC opening in April - whether Norm really did have the odd puff between takes is something we’ll never really know; Simon Schneider’s portrait of Masterchef’s Matt Preston had audiences contemplating lunch.
So... What Do You Think?
The Great Membership Survey Yields Results At the beginning of the year, the ACA Committee wanted to know what the membership thought about their cartoonists’ organization and what direction it should be taking. An online survey of some 44 questions covering all of the ACA’s activities was created and members invited to participate online. The response was better than anticipated, with 112 members taking part. Where do you live? Most ACA members live in metropolitan Sydney and Melbourne (22% and 20% respectively). Fourteen percent live in regional NSW and Victoria respectively, 6% in Brisbane metro, 5% Qld, 7% SA, 7% WA, 4% ACT and 1% in Tasmania. How long have you been a member? Twenty five percent of respondents have been a member for 20 years or more. Nineteen percent for 15 years. Twenty five percent have been members for between 1 and 4 years while it was an even smattering of around the 3% mark for the remaining years. So it’s lots of oldies and lots of newies and considerably less in between. Do you consider the annual membership fee value for money? Set at $125 for full membership and $66 for associate members, an impressive 93% of members thought the membership fee was OK. Seven percent disagreed while a philanthropic 3% thought they weren’t paying enough. What is your preferred method to pay membership dues? The internet is gaining ground with 47% preferring Electronic Funds Transfer. Credit card payment attributed for 35% (although hardly anyone liked the idea of automatic credit card debit), 14% still preferred using the old cheque book while the older money order still rated with at least one member. How do you rate the following ACA activities? ACA activities tend to be “good” or “very good” according to the poll (that’s not to 6
say we ought to stop trying to improve them): • State chapter meetings (86 responses): 23% poor, 25% average, 33% good, 12% very good, 7% excellent. • Emails (101 responses): 5% poor, 13% average, 44% good, 32% very good, 6% excellent. • Inkspot (107 responses): 5% poor, 7% average, 22% good, 36% very good, 30% excellent • Year Book (99 responses): 4% poor, 8% average, 29% good, 30% very good, 29% excellent. • ACA website (105 responses): 8% poor,19% average, 28% good, 33% very good, 12% excellent. What should be the ACA’s priority? The ACA website is the highest priority for 31% of members, 18% prefer The Stanley Awards and state chapter meetings respectively, 12% voted for Inkspot and another 12% singled out the Stanleys Cartoon Conference while 8% preferred the Year Book. In what format would you like to receive Inkspot? Despite the acceptance and widespread use of internet technology, 77% of members prefer Inkspot to be printed and mailed to them, 18% preferred it emailed to them as a PDF and 16% would be happy to have it published on the ACA website. Do you keep Inkspot? Eighty three percent keep Inkspot, the rest ditch it.
“Sometimes I find Inkspot gets bogged down too much on one or two issues, but generally it’s a good spread of issues and cartoons”
How do you rate the subject matter in Inkspot? Inkspot tends to hit the mark with most members giving it the thumbs up. Cartoonist interviews, history and technical advice really hit the spot while around 4% of respondents don’t care about any of that stuff: Cartoon history: 4% don’t care, 17% don’t mind it, 55% enjoy it, 24% love it. Cartoonist interviews: 0% don’t care, 11% don’t mind it, 52% enjoy it, 37% love it. Cartoons: 4% don’t care, 11% don’t mind it, 50% enjoy it, 35% love it. Exhibitions: 3% don’t care, 34% don’t mind it, 52% enjoy it, 11% love it. Social events: 7% don’t care, 34% don’t mind it, 44% enjoy it, 15% love it. Legal matters: 4% don’t care, 31% don’t mind it, 46% enjoy it, 19% love it. Technical advice/tips: 4% don’t care, 15% don’t mind it, 43% enjoy it, 38% love it. International news/exhibitions: 8% don’t care, 30% don’t mind it, 51% enjoy it, 11% love it. How do you rate the ACA’s Year Book? Most members like the A4 format (1% bad, 9% average, 40% good, 32% very good, 18% excellent) while the colour cover impresses most (7% bad, 7% average, 35% good, 21% very good, 20% excellent). Allowing a half-page for members’ entries (due to the cost of printing) was expected to draw the ire of members but most accept it with 10% bad, 14% average, 38% good, 30% very good and 8% excellent. Fourteen percent don’t like the greyscale content while 20% think it’s average, 42% good, 20% very good and 4% excellent. Ninety-one percent keep their Year Book. How do you rate the ACA emails? One percent didn’t get them, 6% think they’re poor, 10% fair, 64% good and 20% excellent. How many Stanleys have you attended? Somewhat surprisingly, a quarter of members have never attended The Stanleys; 8% have attended one, 13% two, 6% three, 9% four, 8% five, 3% six, 6% seven, 3% eight, 2% nine, 6% ten, 2% fifteen and 9% twenty. Forty-five percent of Stanleys attendees don’t bring a
guest, 43% have brought one while hardly anyone brought along more than one guest. If you haven’t attended The Stanleys over the past 5 years why not? There were only 37 responses out of the 112 members taking part which doesn’t provide an accurate picture - 5% don’t care, 19% thinks it’s too expensive, 49% reckon it’s too far away, 11% think it’s too elitist, 5% don’t see it as worthwhile and 11% don’t like awards.
23% didn’t get a voting form and 15% didn’t believe in awards. Seventy-four percent prefer the current voting system while 26% prefer a judging panel. Do you like The Stanleys having a Special Guest? Ninety-five percent like having a special guest. International and/or Australian guests featured highly.
How much would you expect to pay to attend both The Stanleys and the cartooning conference? Most members (81%) expect to pay around $200+ to $250+ to attend the Stanleys weekend. Accommodation was a little more scattered with 16% choosing $250+, 35% $200+, 39% $150+, and 10% opting for $100+.
Do the current Stanleys categories represent your work? Of the 100 respondents, 86% said yes while 14% said no. What other categories should be present at The Stanley Awards? Animation, comic book art and new talent were mentioned often in the 44 written responses. Did you vote in the 2009 Stanley Awards? (Associate members cannot vote for the Stanley Awards yet answered this survey. Survey answers need to be assessed with this in mind): Sixty percent said they voted while 40% replied in the negative. Of the 26 who didn’t vote, 15% said they forgot, 12% couldn’t be bothered, 27% didn’t have enough time, 8% needed a reminder,
Currently, members can only enter two Stanley Award categories. How many categories should members be able to enter? One percent said one category, 56% said two, 15% prefer three and 28% wanted to enter all of them. Are you satisfied with State Chapter activities: 52% said yes, 35% no and 13% don’t care. Most wanted monthly (26%) or bi-monthly (43%) meetings. What would you like to see at a Stanleys chapter meeting? Coffee during the day/afternoon: 24% don’t care, 20% average, 50% important, 6% very important. Dinner meetings at night: 17% don’t care, 21% average, 51% important, 11% very important. Exhibitions: 10% don’t care, 21% average, 53% important, 16% very important. Workshops: 12% don’t care, 17% average, 50% important, 21% very important.
What format would you prefer The Stanleys night to be? Sixty one percent prefer a sit down dinner (2% sit down canapés, 13% stand up canapés), while 22% prefer black tie, 30% formal and 22% casual. Where would you like to see The Stanley Awards weekend be held? Melbourne 48%, Sydney 29%, Hunter Valley 20%, Brisbane 13%, Canberra 12%, Gold Coast/Tweed/ Coolangatta 12% , Adelaide 12%, Hobart 9%, Perth 8%, Illawarra 5%, Darwin 3%.
Stanley Awards: 3% not important, 14% take it or leave it, 48% important, 35% very important. Holiday: 28% not important, 32% take it or leave it, 24% important, 16% very important.
How do you rate the cartoon conference on the Stanleys weekend? Of the 75 respondent,s 4% didn’t care, 36% thought it was good, 17% fair, and 43% excellent. Which conference format do you prefer? It was basically a split result with 48% preferring a two-day conference. What is your priority at a Stanleys weekend? New contacts: 3% not important, 26% take it or leave it, 48% important, 23% very important. Catching up: 4% not important, 10% take it or leave it, 47% important, 39% very important. Networking: 3% not important, 26% take it or leave it, 45% important, 26% very important. Conference: 3% not important, 14% take it or leave it, 51% important, 32% very important.
Do you visit the ACA’s website (www. cartoonists.org.au)? Eighty-seven percent venture to the ACA website. Half consider members portfolios to be very important, while history, forum, competitions, The Stanleys and links were all considered important. 54 members have their free member’s portfolio online, 42 don’t while seven had no idea what we were talking about. 79 wouldn’t pay for someone to maintain their portfolios while 20 would cough up extra. Just over half visit the ACA forum while just under half don’t have a link on their website to the ACA. Would you buy ACA merchandise? 65 said they would, 33 said they wouldn’t and 14 skipped the question altogether. If you could volunteer to assist with ACA activities what would you help with? Inkspot received the most responses with 36 putting their hand up, followed by State Chapter meetings (29), The www.cartoonists.org.au
Stanleys (26) and the cartoon conference (22). The Year Book (17), ACA website (14) and administration (9) in distant last place rounded off the response. MEMBER’S COMMENTS Below is a selection of comments made by members: Membership fees “I pay $175.00 per annum for ASSOCIATE membership of the Australian Writers Guild. I think that price would not be too much for FULL membership of our club.” Inkspot “I am still a lover of real print publishing, it is the best form of accessible and long life reference material. However, I recognise that some less printing in the world is a healthy saving of paper product demand.” “A blog (as discussed in length on the forum) would be good as a constantlyupdated source of information, and then having Inkspot as a quarterly synopsis of what’s been happening.” “While it’s nice to have printed and to keep, it’s just as easy to do it all online and save the money for use on other things like conferences and promoting cartooning in general.” “I’m particularly interested in stories about the careers of cartoonists past and present and technical tips/advice. The articles on social events don’t interest me so much as I don’t mix socially with members.” “Sometimes I find Inkspot gets bogged down too much on one or two issues, but generally it’s a good spread of issues and cartoons.” The Year Book “Colour would be great. Cost might be prohibitive.”
“We need to raise the bar and treat our profession (and its awards) in the same manner we wish to be treated by our clients/editors with respect”
town I live but may miss the dinner (mortgage reasons).”
“More social time to mix with other cartoonists. Sometimes the program can seem too packed and rushed.”
“I’ve had the formal dinners for a while. For a change I would be quite happy with a barbecue or canapés with the awards which I think are important. I find I move around more when it’s not a sit-down function.”
“Tutorials from professional artists. Illustrator agents advice. Portfolio reviews from commissioning editors. Invitations to interested clientele looking for new talent. Exhibitions of members work with available business cards/contact details for possible work leads of clientele attending (and being invited).”
“Formal all the way. We need to raise the bar and treat our profession (and its awards) in the same manner we wish to be treated by our clients/editors - with respect.” “Dress-ups is fun but casual is nice. (It) doesn’t matter where they (guests) come from, as long as they have a genuine interest in cartooning and can contribute to the event.”
The Stanleys “Yes, it does feel elitist. After so many years, it still feels like that. But I guess that’s the nature of the industry.” “Just got tired of them after a run of 5 in a row. Now have mortgage to pay, will attend the next one that’s in the same
“Demonstrations in keeping with the caricature session at the 2009 Stanleys. Water colour for dummies!!”
“(I would like to see) less assumption that all cartoonists are men! I got so sick of hearing ‘cartoonists are blokes who...’, ‘cartoonists have wives who...’. The female members of the club might be few in number, but they’re definitely punching above their weight in terms of quality. Most of us also get so frustrated at the idea that the role of women is to do the organisational work behind the scenes and to hold up the items in the Stanleys auction.”
“I think I’d prefer to get to know some local cartoonists at low-key social events first. Currently I draw cartoons as a hobby, although I’m open to selling them if I find the right niche market for me. I feel it would be premature to go to a Stanleys event at this stage.”
Cartoon Conference “They can be excellent, although the production values of the Sydney conference were disappointing: in a side room with makeshift audiovisuals and no podium. It was like a state gathering in a hotel room. For a national conference, it did not have the dignity and respect we should show our international guests. Compare this with Coffs Harbour and Jim Borgmann, or the Canberra conference.”
“Encouraging members NOT to try jamming too much work into their allocated half-page(s) might enhance the legibility of the overall collection.”
“It varies in quality, but that is hard to avoid when so much is lovingly done by hard-slog volunteer people. Sometimes the workshops or discussion groups have felt built on a shaky or forced or oft repeated premise. Others work very well.”
“Workshops, display of other work, input from working cartoonists to share problems/solutions.”
“Better audio visual presentations - Tom Richmond showed us how it should be done. Also more workshops - photoshop tips and tricks, improving inking skills, web design, etc.” “A stronger involvement of the “A-list” cartoonists who only seem to turn up for the Awards.” State Chapter Meetings “I’d like to see an agenda before the meeting. Most times it isn’t worth showing up, but you don’t know until you are there and find the meeting is all about old boys reminiscing. Would put most young cartoonists off and ACA desperately needs new blood.” “I would like cartoonists to give demonstrations and workshops.” ACA website “I like the style of http://drawn.ca/ for an idea. I would like it to make more of a marketing tool to source/advertise work
for members, rather than it just being an info site about the ACA. Also make some revenue from it with advertising to contribute back to the members.” “It should be more publicly accessible... be geared towards answering questions from the general public and being more of a showcase for the public of members’ work. Members-only sections should be policed so that non-members have their access blocked. Troublemakers should be kicked off the forum.” “Actual cartoons on the front page instead of piles of text and sponsors’ ads. More featured cartoonists on the front page. Website is drab and boring and too self involved. No element of fun and entertainment. If I go to a site (called) www.cartoonists.org.au, I expect to see some actual cartoons. While the site needs to have some historical reference, the number one priority should be the promotion of members and their work.” “More assistance for newer members without a foot on the greasy pole.” Thoughts about the ACA “I like the daggy kind of nature of the club; I don’t think we should try and get too slick or too big. But I’d like it if the conference could have a bit more intellectual content - a bit more discussion about the nature of cartooning, about issues that we as cartoonists face in trying to make our work and make a living.” “The best part of the club for me is the social aspect, meeting with colleagues and people working in similar areas. I think that the people who run things do an amazing amount of work and I congratulate them for it.” “I think it’s doing great. Honestly, I haven’t used it to it’s full potential and am a bit intimidated by attending meetings and such because I don’t really know any other members.” “As a new member, I’m excited about being part of a group of friendly artists. I look forward to the ACA updating their marketing strategies in the form of website, electronic media and the like. I would like to see the ACA provide helpful advice and contacts from editors or whoever, I feel would be a great enticement for any artists considering joining. I realise the Stanleys is the main get together for the year, but it would be nice to have more than one social event as
“The female members of the club might be few in number, but they’re definitely punching above their weight in terms of quality” most of us don’t get out much. I would be willing to travel as far as Brisbane or Newcastle for this.” “The ACA often feels as though its primary purpose is to maintain the interest and membership of the stalwart rather than encouraging and nurturing the up-and-coming cartoonists. I would love to see a mentoring program to help new cartoonists get their head around the industry and meet other cartoonists who work in the same discipline. This would be especially handy at the Stanleys where, as welcoming as everyone is, it’s hard to constantly introduce yourself to the people you would like to meet. Plus as hard as you try it’s hard to know who everyone is, so you inevitably miss out on meeting people you want to.” “The website is great - I get a lot of work through it. Also love the yearbook, but the voting system for the Stanleys is flawed and based more on who you know than work quality. Also HATE the fact you have to fill in all the blanks on the form. Sometimes there just aren’t three people whose work I feel deserves a vote in a particular category.” “I think the ACA needs to change its image from “old newspaper boys” to a dynamic organisation that engages all of the illustrative arts. And definitely more social events. So many of us are freelance and don’t meet people.” “A few too many puffed up egos involved but at it’s heart, a fantastic club with a core of dedicated, big-hearted people.”
Peter Broelman and Mick Horne Footnote: to view the complete survey, visit www.cartoonists.org.au/files/content/survey
Petty Honour is a Really Big Deal Bruce Petty (“delineator of the world” according to The Age) was honoured by the Melbourne Press Club in March, when he was presented with the Quill Award for Lifetime Achievement in Journalism. Petty’s career started at Bill and Harry Owens’ Animation studio in 1949. From there he moved to the Melbourne Herald before heading to London in 1955, where he worked for Esquire, The New Yorker and Punch. After returning to Australia in 1960, he found his work published in The Bulletin, the Daily Mirror and in 1965 began working for the new national newspaper, The Australian. Bruce moved to The Age in 1976.
“OK. Pencils ready? The next number is...”
Petty made three trips to Vietnam during the war, both for drawing and film-making. His 1977 film, Leisure, won the 1978 Academy Award for animation. In 1999, the Australian Cartoonists’ Association awarded Bruce the Silver Stanley for his Outstanding Contribution to Black and White Art. The self-effacing Petty says that, these days, “I find myself a sort of beachhouse-owning, armchair neo-fair-go socialist, Collingwood-supporting cartoonist”. Not surprisingly, Bruce’s colleagues are a little more generous. Peter Nicholson, who himself was honoured with a Quill Award for his cartoon Bashir and Bombing said, ‘’Bruce wrote the rules on drawing cartoons in Australia, because his style was so fresh and post-Picasso, yet he used that looseness to create complex visual ideas”. Congratulations from all of us, Bruce! www.cartoonists.org.au
Intrepid investigative reporters, Jason Chatfield and Mark McHugh, had to endure a swanky restaurant lunch with British cartoonist, illustrator & designer (and downright 20th Century legend) Gerald Scarfe, who was in Sydney with his wife, actress and author Jane Asher. Here’s what they talked about...
Gerald Scarfe Our chat kicked off with a discussion about the ACA - Gerald was rather curious about us... Gerald Scarfe: So this cartoonist society, is it a strong institution? Are you a very brotherly group? There is one in London, but I must say I don’t have much to do with it... Jane Asher: Gerald is not really a “clubby” type of person... GS: ... not for any particular reason. I’ve been around such a long time, and I’ve grown up with a lot of them, but I’m not the kind of guy that turns up to have a beer and discuss nibs. You know... what kind of ink you’re using... [Laughter] Jason Chatfield: From my understanding there are just those two cartooning clubs in England, The Professional Cartoonist Association and the CCGB. GS: What’s a CCGB? JC: The Cartoonist Club of Great Britain. GS: Oh right! I didn’t even know... Mark McHugh: There is a social aspect the ACA... JC: ... and we have the Stanley Awards. Initially it was developed as a bunch of cartoonists getting together for a piss up but I must say over the years it’s actually developed into a pretty valuable event for 10 www.cartoonists.org.au
cartoonists, especially cartoonists who are trying to get a foot in the door...trying to figure out what everyone else is doing. Because cartooning can be a very solitary occupation.... GS: Very much... like all artists or writers or anybody creative. Does it promote rivalry? MM: Well...after you guys leave today, I think Jason and I will have a punch-up. [Laughter] MM: So, Gerald, what are you working on at the moment? GS: I’m working on a possible Pink Floyd book. I did so many designs for the Pink Floyd film, The Wall, that have never been seen. So there is a possibility of that happening. What else? Well, Roger Waters is hitting the road again, with The Wall. It’s not “Pink Floyd’s The Wall” now, it’s “Roger Waters’ The Wall”. So the last thing I did before I left was to design a poster for that. Then, of course, I work for The Sunday Times, and I work for The New Yorker. There isn’t any big theatrical production at the moment; I have just finished The Nutcracker in London, which is running for its eighth year. And there is also The Magic Flute in Los Angeles which keeps on running... so there are things that keep generating all the time. MM: How did you manage to go from
caricature to something like production design? GS: I sort of fell into caricature and cartooning by accident; I had a very sickly childhood with asthma, and I still don’t like to admit my parameters. I certainly get bored drawing self-seeking politicians. You’re kind of holding them up, supporting them in many ways and I don’t really do gags as such. But I would if I could find the right type of area to work in. I have always felt that there is a kind of stigma attached to cartooning, and they are not considered proper artists in many parts of the world, which is objectionable. Because they are! In many ways I set out to prove that we can do other things. We can bring cartooning to Opera, or to Ballet, or whatever it is. I think that’s what has partly been driving me all this time. Not because I feel zeal on behalf of the brotherhood of cartoonists [laughs] but because I feel zeal on my own behalf. I’m not just a guy who does people with big noses. JA: And what you said about being solitary before - its lovely working with a team... GS: Its lovely having a collaboration...
that was the great thing about working with Disney’s Hercules. It was a huge team. I had great difficulty, however, working with them - in getting them to adapt to my style. The whole reason I was there was to bring the movie ‘round to how I see things... my style. And some of them adapted very well to it, and others just completely resisted, just drawing in the Disney house style. Which is a very strong house style; I guess they felt nervous departing from that. That was familiar territory and to go outside and try doing something else, well... And it was the same with The Wall, I wanted to do something else, rather than little bunny rabbits jumping around - the usual animation stuff, which is very cute and so forth. But some people are just completely trained in that Tom and Jerry style. JA: Squash and bounce... GS: Yes, squash and bounce, I think they call it. I’ve always said animation is such an untried art, in many ways. If Matisse or Picasso had done it, they would have made it “moving art”. It doesn’t have to be a representation of anything really. It can be just moving art. JC: You mean that there are specific forms that are so tightly adhered to that it hasn’t even scratched the surface of it’s potential? GS: It hasn’t even scratched the surface, really. It’s an art form. I remember back in the ‘70s and ‘80s that there was a Central European school of animation. Maybe it’s still there. That was quite interesting; they always dealt with themes of freedom at that time, because they were under the communist rule. So there were lots of butterflies being crushed by a wheel or by iron fists, all that symbolic stuff. But it was being used in that political cartoon way, and it was animation. One of the things I did try on The Wall was to take watercolour drawings or crayon drawings. Like the flowers on The Wall that grow up and ... MM: We were just discussing that flower animation scene in The Wall, just before we met you... it was mesmerising. GS: It’s known nowadays as the “Fucking Flowers” [Laughter] GS: But that kind of animation is very labour-intensive and you need Disney’s or Pink Floyd’s financial backing. Each of those flower drawings probably took
an artist at least a day to do... and as you know there are twelve drawings per second. That it’s very expensive. MM: How did that collaboration with you and Pink Floyd come about? GS: Completely by accident. I did a film for the BBC called The Long Drawn Out Trip with what was supposed to be a new system of animation, in Los Angeles. The BBC flew me out there to try out this new system. The idea was that you didn’t have to draw all of the drawings, you know, the “in-between” drawings. You went from there to there, you just drew that and you drew that, and a machine was supposed to do all the bits inbetween... but it didn’t! It was complete nonsense. All it did between that and that was, it mixed, it dissolved.
“I have always felt that there is a kind of stigma attached to cartooning, and they are not considered proper artists in many parts of the world,which is objectionable”
the whole thing moving. And Jane was doing the actual colouring. In those days the cells were coloured on the back. When I went there I didn’t know what I was going to do. Then I thought, “As I’m in America why don’t I draw America?”. So I drew everything American I could think of at the time, which was like Frank Sinatra, Mickey Mouse, John Wayne, Nixon, Black Power, Playboy Magazine, everything that was a kind of portrait. JA: And he drew every single frame... GS: It was the only time I ever drew every single frame, and it was like a stream of consciousness. We brought it back to the BBC and did a certain amount of editing there. Then there were things like walk cycles... I knew nothing about animation but I kind of taught myself while I was doing it. I have never been schooled in anything really. Even in my still drawings I like to feel that they could be about to move. So it’s like a drawing in transgression. For that reason I usually draw things without doing it in pencil first - I just draw it immediately and try to put energy into it so that it’s like it’s moving. My drawings are very large, about a metre high. Anyway, to go back to how Pink Floyd happened, it was simply that when that film finally appeared on the BBC, Roger
So I started off drawing things too far apart and then when I knew the machine wasn’t doing what we wanted it to I began drawing them closer together. But the idea was that you drew on an A roll the first movement, and then that was reflected back up onto a B roll and if you altered it then click, click, move it along... A, B, A, B, all the time... JA: It was a quite fast way of doing it. GS: ... and once I got used to it and got running, I could make a figure come on, move his leg forward, and I got www.cartoonists.org.au
Waters and Nick Mason both saw it independently and apparently said to one another, “maybe we should get this guy to work with us”. So they phoned me up - I think it was Nick Mason - and I didn’t take up their offer at first because I didn’t know quite what to do, and I didn’t know a lot about animation, only what I had taught myself from The Long Drawn Out Trip. MM: Were you a Pink Floyd fan? GS: I knew who they were, but I wasn’t a fan of theirs... and I wasn’t NOT a fan of theirs, in other words. Anyway, they took me to a concert where they were playing - they did Dark Side Of The Moon - and I was so impressed by the theatricality. At first I hadn’t really understood what they wanted me for, but I could now see what it was - for what I normally do, which is satirical comment about the world around us. Also some kind of dreamy surreal stuff, hence you get a man tumbling through space and he breaks through the sky, like a glass sky. It was kind of pseudo-surrealism. Stuff, which today I could do in five seconds with a computer, took forever in those days to do. I remember one scene where there was this sea of blood, and in the distance were these two steel towers. My idea was... I have no idea what lyric I had in mind... that the steel should bleed. It’s seemed surreal to me that if you cut steel with a razor blade it should bleed. So these steel towers cracked then bled, but we gradually tracked in towards them, very gradually. I always remember Nick saying he was drumming away and saying, “I swear those towers are coming towards me! I swear those towers are moving”. [Laugher] JC: It was on such a big scale... GS: It was a huge scale, that’s what I loved about it, because I have delusions of grandeur. [Laugher] GS: So, yeah, most of the things that have happened in my life have happened by accident. I’ve never had an agent. JC: Never had an agent? GS: No. JC: So you self-manage everything? GS: Yes, who knows, it may be a mistake 12 www.cartoonists.org.au
“I usually draw things without doing it in pencil first - I just draw it immediately and try to put energy into it so that it’s like it’s moving” in the long run. But getting involved in theatrical work happened because bumped into Sir Peter Hall, who is big theatrical figure in Britain. He said he would like to work with me, so I said yes. The Walt Disney stuff happened because, when I was working for TIME Magazine in America back in the ‘60s or ‘70s, I had shows of my work over there. There were these two students there, who were kind enough to say they were fans of my work. They were young kids at the time. And they grew up to be these two big Hollywood animation directors at Disney. They had made The Little Mermaid, which was a huge success and then after that they moved on to do Hercules. They remembered me and called me up and said, “How would you like to be the production designer?” and I said “You Bet!”... so it’s all kind of happened like that. And I must say when I finished working for Disney and came home, I had severe limo withdrawal symptoms [laughs] JC: Stylistically Hercules was one of the more impressive Disney productions. Arguably, one of the most ambitious that they’ve made. MM: That nine-headed Hydra was very impressive...that may have been one of the few times Disney employed computer generation. GS: It was, yes. I drew the Hydra head. Then they put that into a computer, so they had this wireframe image. But then they had to scale it back a bit because it’s look didn’t match the rest of the film. It looked too computerized, so they had to change it to make it look graphic. So I said them eventually “wouldn’t it have been quicker
and cheaper to just draw it in the traditional way?” Are you both computer literate? Do you use a computer in your work? MM: Yes, we both use a WACOM Cintiq, where you draw directly on the screen. GS: Really? You can draw directly on the screen? M & J: Yes GS: And what’s the advantage of that, as opposed to drawing on paper? MM: I personally used to find that I was spending a lot of time scanning, and I found that a bit time consuming. I used to have to scan two or three scans then join them together. JA: We know that very well. Gerald’s drawings are so big, for years we did multiple scans. We have a big scanner now. MM: I had never heard of these Cintiqs, before I met these guys through the ACA. They’re like the “Holy Grail” because they are a little expensive. But once you get one.... JC: You like them a lot! JA: And you get used to them pretty quickly, do you? Or does it feel strange? JC: First they were a flat tablet, which was a pressure sensitive tablet. You look at the screen while your hand does the drawing, and to look at the screen is very alien. So it took time to get used to them. So they have now introduced this screen that you draw directly on to. JA: and you see what you’re doing on the screen literally as your doing it. MM: Yes that’s right. JA: Because we tried one of those little tablet things, where you look at the screen....
JC: The only problem is from drawing on a drawing board for so long... the friction of a pen on paper, and the idea that you can step back and look at the whole picture. That’s something that still doesn’t quite translate. Which makes it a little bit cumbersome. MM: In some ways its quicker, once you get one; in some ways it takes longer as well. The surface can be quite slippery, which takes some getting used to.
GS: Sometimes what used to happen, for instance, was that I would be drawing three figures... three political figures, let’s say. The first two I’d do fine and then the third, I’d screw it up. Either I had to start again, or patch it in with Sellotape or whatever. But now, of course, on the computer I can fix it and put one of my watercolours in as a background. However, all of the work I put on exhibition are complete drawings.
GS: I think it’s the tactile thing of actually working on paper, where, as you say, there is a resistance between the nib and the paper. You press hard, you feel it, you know it’s not on glass. I would personally find it very difficult, but I’m sure your generation and the next generation won’t have my hang-ups about wanting to work on paper. My grandchildren will probably be able to do it without even thinking about it.
MM: I loved your representation of George W Bush as an ape-like figure...
JC: I think unless you know to do it on paper first, unless you can produce a similar result on paper by hand. If you don’t have that skill already, then going and starting on the computer, then it’s just not the same. There will be an entire generation of people that have not done traditional sketching.
GS: Yes, How George Bush Saved the World and Other Tall Stories. He was wonderful material. The trouble is that the worst ones are the best for a political cartoonist.
GS: Who knows, it may go back. Certainly in the animation world, just before I came to Sydney, I had an email from John Musker who was the producer on Hercules. They have just done The Princess and The Frog, and they have gone back to the old hand-drawn animation thing. I mean, computerized animation films like Shrek and Toy Story are brilliant, but I prefer hand-drawn, I guess, being an artist. I like to see moving drawings. JA: I hope there is a place for both.
GS: He was wonderful material, what an idiot. Very unkind to monkeys I would say.... [Laughter] GS: I quite like monkeys and I didn’t like George Bush at all. JC: You just put out a book recently?
JC: The way you draw Gordon Brown, he almost looks like an undertaker or something. GS: He is a dour guy. He and Tony Blair fought for the position, and Blair wouldn’t let go but Brown always wanted it, and finally he got it. You probably know the story... JC: Recently there was that backroom deal, a bunch of guys trying to overthrow Brown?
GS: You’re right, I think there is a place for both.
GS: It didn’t get anywhere, no one picked it up.
JA: You don’t want to stay in the past; if there is new stuff available you might as well use it.
MM: I was going to ask you about your work for Private Eye...
JC: But only the best parts of it! MM: The other thing is, people who work electronically don’t have original work now. GS: Yes that’s a big thing. JA: Even with Gerald’s work, sometimes we do some things on a computer, like add a background. The background is original, it’s all done by him, but as a separate bit.
GS: It’s probably where I started to get the freedom that I needed. MM: How was it working with people like Peter Cook? GS: Peter Cook was a friend who encouraged me to really go for it. He would push things all the time. He was a very funny man and seemed to have no sense of public embarrassment; he would do anything
in public. So with his encouragement, and several others at Private Eye, I soon realised I could draw anything - pubic hair, pimples [laughs]...whatever. All of that at the time was new, because when I started out it was all very bland and safe and unadventurous. Private Eye was the opposite of that, it was pushing the boundaries. So.... I owe them a lot, for opening me up and letting me do what I want to do all the time. MM: The Mail sent you to cover the Vietnam War. What were your experiences there? GS: It was pretty horrific really, I think up until then I had been drawing things symbolically, drawing the war from things I saw on television or things that I had read. But when you’re actually there you see what a chaotic mess it is. Hopeless. I was with the Americans and as you know they eventually withdrew, and lost. A complete waste of life, a waste of time, a waste of everything.... They were young kids, that’s what got me, 19 or 20 year-old kids, who didn’t quite know why they were there. They were told to go and kill these guys, but they didn’t know why. It’s a bit like Afghanistan, the natives know www.cartoonists.org.au
the terrain, and they know how to run circles around strangers who come into their land. Stories of these huge American armoured tanks getting bogged down in the mud, because they didn’t know the way. Losing millions of pounds worth of equipment and being shot at by little local guys...very sad. I have always said that Vietnam would always make a lovely, beautiful tourist destination; it’s a stunning country, and the people are very gentle. Being there during the war was an eye opener to me. I have always been anti-war anyway, but that really made me realise how horrific it is. JC: Having had that experience in Vietnam, does that solidify your point of view on Afghanistan and Iraq? GS: Well it’s not exactly the same situation but... the fruitlessness of war... and you hear all these stories. Who knows, maybe the whole thing is about oil. JA: That was quite an eye opener, all those millions of people that marched against the war had absolutely no effect at all. They still went ahead with it. Idiot Bush and idiot Blair. It sounds like they knew that there were no weapons of mass destruction there, but went ahead anyway, to hold their grip on that part of the world where there is oil and influence. MM: I used to like the way you drew Blair as a poodle toddling along after Bush... GS: He was a poodle, yeah. JA: Or Blair up Bush’s bum... [Laughter] GS: There was one drawing in one of the books where Blair is being buggered by Bush. Sort of screwing him from behind, which was really the situation, and more or less what was going on. That sort of drawing I can do, but I can’t publish them in Britain really, except in my books. MM: Have you had much trouble with censorship over the years? GS: Not really no. Partly I think because I made my reputation by doing outrageous drawings, so they kind of think “That’s what he would do, isn’t it!” It doesn’t mean they’ll print it, but it’s surprising what one can get away with. JC: So, they know what to expect from you? 14 www.cartoonists.org.au
drew a particularly cruel caricature of Mick Jagger? GS: Threatened to cut my balls off? Yeah. It was actually one hundred and fourteen schoolgirls. The illustration was in Private Eye and they all got together, wrote a letter and they had all signed it. It read, “Dear Mr. Scarfe, for what you have done to our Mick, we are going to get you and cut your balls off!” but anyway, they didn’t catch me. [Laughter] MM: That’s pretty funny... GS: Yeah, and I do like to draw anything that comes into my mind, really. A lot of the images are sexually overt, because sex is a big part of life, and I don’t want to make it a no-go area. JC: Have you ever surprised yourself? Something you’ve come up with and gone “wow!”? GS: No, I don’t think that’s possible! [laughs] I probably see myself coming, and if anything, as most artists are, I am my greatest critic; you only see what’s wrong with the thing. People often ask me if I am pleased with The Wall; and I am, up to a point, but I can really see, when I watch it, where I wanted to go one way and it didn’t go that way. Things that I didn’t make as good as they could have been. So no, I haven’t ever surprised myself, not in that way anyway. Sometimes I do extremely stupid things, don’t I, darling? And I surprise my wife. [Laughter] MM: Since we’re discussing controversial matters, is it true a female fan of The Rolling Stones once threatened to cut off a certain piece of your anatomy after you
GS: It’s generally the fans of the people who object, not the people themselves. JC: The curious thing with most politicians is that they generally find it flattering; your caricatures have been notoriously grotesque, in terms of the exaggeration. Have any of your subjects complained about your caricatures of them? GS: It has happened... but not many. Their egos are so great, that they would rather have any attention than none. It means they have arrived; it means they are someone of note. If you caricature somebody, they have to be well known, otherwise there is no point of the caricature, and no one will know who it was. MM: Is it true that you were once offered a position at a prestigious newspaper, and the editor offered you an E-Type Jaguar as a sweetener in the deal? GS: That was the Daily Mail. Yes, two newspapers wanted me at the time, and they were upping the odds all the time. That was my first job outside of Private Eye, which was a small magazine and this was a national newspaper. I was offered the E-Type Jag and I accepted. I thought at the time that it was going to go on like this forever, but it didn’t. I have never been offered another car since. MM: Have you still got the car? GS: No - it was stolen, actually. But it was a very nice car. JC: Have you seen much of this latest digital evolution, where political cartoons are animated for the website of a newspaper? GS: No... really? And they move? JA: Newspapers will have to change; by the time you get a hardcopy of news, its old these days. GS: Years and years ago, back
in the ‘60s and ‘70s, I really did want to do exactly that; I had logically worked that out, but I applied it to television. We were having news reports on television, and I thought, why can’t we have little animated sequences at the end of the news or during the news? I really tried that, but the problem was in those days, there was no way of doing animation quickly. It was still done with individual cels, and it took too long. If you wanted to do two minutes, it was a hell of a lot of work. I always thought of that, but now I think it is possible. JC: What do you make of the content and the way some newspapers are sold today, which are sold on not so much the news, but what people want to read? Some of the more salacious ones, for example... GS: As you know I’m on a Murdoch paper, but not necessarily a Murdoch fan. It’s reality isn’t it? Do you mean do I object to it? JC: Yes. GS: No. I mean I do, salacious reporting and all that, but I’m enough of a realist to realise what sells newspapers is sex and gossip. JC: it’s quite similar in TV, with all this reality TV. Have you found that in your career, Jane, on television? Your background was in theatre but you appeared in The Saint, with Roger Moore didn’t you? JA: I wouldn’t say The Saint was a highpoint [laughs] - not exactly high quality drama. There is still enough, but the things I miss most are... well, we used to have a lot of drama, as in one-off plays. You know, Play of the Month, The Wednesday Play, Play of The Week; in a way it’s much tougher for writers than it is for actors. There is very little room on television for new drama. MM: Jane you were also in Death At A Funeral - I thought it was a fantastic movie. Were you surprised by the success of that film?
success here in Australia and in several other places, but in England the reviews were terrible and it didn’t do well at all. It went better worldwide than the company has done with anything else. But it was great fun to make. JC: Gerald, your work spans print to animation to online and movies, television and theatre. Do you keep tabs on what’s happening in each industry? GS: Sure. In a very, kind of man-inthe-street way. Just a sort of “awareness”. I’m not fantastically political, but I know enough about things to make a drawing about it and have a point of view about it. But I’m not truly interested in the intricacies of politics. I deal with the main characters, such as Obama and Gordon Brown, mainly because they are the symbols of Britain and America. I do deal with obviously some subsidiary characters, but you can only go so far down the system before people say, “Who the hell is that supposed to be?”, or “Who’s that then? I don’t get it?” MM: How do you think Barack Obama is going so far? GS: I had great hopes for Obama, I really did. I draw him as Superman, because there’ that expectation - everyone thinks he’s going to solve it all. And he can’t. We know he is going to fall, but I’m thrilled in a way, because I thought he had so much against him, being AfricanAmerican; I thought people would just not allow it. So I’m thrilled that a guy can make it. There was a documentary on the BBC just before I left; two girls followed him with cameras since the day he became a senator, long before the election. He is a charming guy, and he seems like a good guy to me. He seems to be trying
to do the right thing. But all of them out of office promise these amazing things and they suddenly come up against reality, which is big business, wars and the senate. He has inherited these huge world problems - Afghanistan, the world economic crisis...who would want that job? And watching him in this documentary, the amount of stuff they have to do, not only the handshaking but all the paperwork... you have to have a strange ambition to take on all that. MM: As one can see in your book, Drawing Blood, you have experimented with sculpture during your career; one example that springs to mind is Chairman Mao. How did that come about? GS: Chairman Mao, yeah. Well I had an old armchair. What can I make? The obvious thing was chair-man. I thought I could make a “chair-man”, and then I thought, “Oh, Chair-man Mao!”. It came out like that, and we happened to know an upholsterer who could do leatherwork. So I just put that together. From the point of view of censorship, as we touched on before, when I was producing Drawing Blood I had to go to China to check that the colour proofs
“They all got together, wrote a letter and they all signed it. It read, “Dear Mr. Scarfe, for what you have done to our Mick, we are going to get you and cut your balls off!”
JA: Well, it was a www.cartoonists.org.au
“I got one the other day: “Hey Mr. Scarfe, you kick ass”. Some guy in South America, and I love hearing that kind of funny stuff.” JC: Do you approach a subject like that more delicately as a cartoonist since those events?
were correct. They were printing it in China, because it was economically viable there. So we flew to China, and I had to do this weird business of getting up every fifteen minutes to look at proofs of pages throughout the night. When it came to Chairman Mao - they wouldn’t print it! It was kind of censorship. They wouldn’t print it because it was still worrying to them. Chairman Mao Zedong had been dead for years, but still the power of him from the grave frightened this printing company, just in case there was someone in the communist hierarchy who objected to it and so on.
The other things they wouldn’t print were some of those drawings in the book, of these men with these huge erect willies, and I asked “Why won’t you print these?” and they said “Too big, too big!”
JC: Well Im sure you have had a huge influence on some of our editorial cartoonists and caricaturists in Australia.
GS: Pat Oliphant is Australian isn’t he?
GS: So I said “Oh that’s the way we all are in Britain...”
JC: Actually he is, he’s from... Adelaide.
[Laughter] GS: So that kind of censorship is still there. I know working in the western world, working in Britain and in America (and I assume it’s the same here), that with the amount of freedom one has, you can pretty much say what you want to say. JC: Do you find that as a cartoonist, with the stigma attached to that, brings you difficulty being accepted into the art world? GS: People generally don’t think or know much about art, even in newspapers; it’s mostly literal. People understand words and believe them. People believe photographs because they must be true. Cartoonists are considered these crazy mavericks, which is nice also. But we not taken in any way particularly seriously, and as an art-form not taken seriously. JC: Unless you draw Mohammad, of course... GS: Yes, and then you’re taken seriously in the wrong way. That guy is just living with a death threat.
GS: Well, it’s a very tricky area, I can see that. Especially with a threat there, a physical threat to people. In general I don’t tend to draw religion, its mostly political figures. Maybe The Pope. But I’m not religious myself; I kind of respect the fact that people find comfort in it, and if that’s what works for them, then....
GS: Is that a mark against him? Being from Adelaide? You say it like it is. JC: Adelaide is not known for its culture. MM: Adelaide is mostly famous for its churches, and its serial killers. [Laughter] JC: Mark’s not exaggerating either... [Laughter] JC: Thanks for your time today Gerald. You have an enormous number of fans here in Australia. GS: Well, thanks very much, that’s very nice to hear. It’s where the web has helped a lot; people email me from all parts of the world that I didn’t realise that were there. They used to write letters sometimes, but it’s so much easier to send an email. I got one the other day: “Hey Mr. Scarfe, You kick ass”. Some guy in South America, and I love hearing that kind of funny stuff. No one would take the time to write that in a letter! To see more of Gerald Scarfe’s work go to http://www.geraldscarfe.com/
Recognition of Hard Work is de rigueur in WA Establishing and running the annual Michael Collins Caricature Award has earned Glennys Marsdon - B.Sc, B.Psych, M.Psychology (commenced), Dip Mktg, Advtg and author, among other distinctions - the 2009 “Rigger” Award.
runner-up prize of $1,000 and a student prize of $300. All entries are auctioned off to raise funds for the Heart Foundation. Support from it’s main sponsor, Australia Post, makes it Australia’s richest caricature prize. In 2009, the competition attracted more than 60 entries.
Named in honour of the late, great Paul Rigby, the Rigger is a perpetual trophy, featuring a statuette of his famous “urchin and dog” trademark. The award recognises an outstanding contributor to cartooning in Western Australia. As a personal stamp of approval, Rigby signed the award itself prior to passing away in 2006.
And so it came to pass that the first WA ACA meeting of 2010 took place over the Australia Day weekend at Phil Faigen’s home. After spending some considerable time examining Phil’s renovated home/office which is an architectural marvel (he is, after all, an architect in his other life!), the cartoonists then gathered in the boardroom/gallery to share lunch and chat about their plans for the year.
Mike Collins was Glennys’ life partner. When he died in 2005, he left behind an impressive body of work. He taught thousands of children and adults the art of cartooning, and in particular, caricature. With the support of WA ACA members, Glennys set about creating an award in Mike’s name to both keep his memory alive and to promote and encourage the art of caricature in Australia. Now in it’s fifth year, it offers a first prize of $3,000, a
Phil’s personal collection of cartoons is staggering - the walls are plastered with framed cartoons, and there still a truckload of art awaiting wallspace. Phil has again volunteered his gallery as the site for a proposed mid-year workshop and the lead-in planning meetings. To end the meeting, WA VP James Foley presented the Rigger to Glennys. Well done, and richly deserved!
Report by James Foley and Mick Horne Photo courtesy Phil Faigen
Coming up in the next issue of
Inkspot’s “man on the spot”, Jason Chatfield, barely survived volcanic ash clouds, beer poisoning and his usual round of airport dramas to bring us his report on the 7th annual Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival, which saw the quaint English Tudor-era town invaded by cartoonists from across the world. There’s also an in-depth, exclusive interview with yet another prominent cartoonist in the person of Dave Gibbons, known to most as the creator of Watchmen, one of the most innovative, successful (and radical) comic books of all time. There’s also Your View On... Copyright and lots of other stuff. See you then! www.cartoonists.org.au
Vale Ken Emerson Ken Emerson (9 July, 1927 - 12 February, 2010)
Kenneth (Ken) Albert Emerson was born in Sydney on July 9, 1927, the son of Ruth and Albert, who emigrated to Australia from Belfast (his mother being just 17 at the time). Being the height of the Great Depression, it was a tough (but loving) childhood for Ken and his brother Alf, the worst being the loss of their father from Malaria, contracted in New Guinea where they were based for at one point. Ruth eventually remarried, resulting in Dennis, a half-brother for Ken and Alf.
A strapping young Ken Emerson and favoured beverage
He spent part of his youth in central Queensland before studying art for 3 years at East Sydney Technical College in the 1950s, where in the same crowded art class he met Meg, his future wife, a beautiful redhead sporting a radiant smile.
“Dad knew he wanted to be a cartoonist from an early age,” said Jane Emerson, “starting from the moment he spent all his money as a kid on his first comic book, although he got sidetracked along the way before he was able to do what he loved most.” After Tech, he worked as a greaser in a sugar mill, a barman, a labourer and a lighting hand at the Tivoli in Sydney. According to Jane, he would often complain about wasting so much time being divertedf from his true calling - cartooning, with some seemingly uncreative dead-end jobs. Then, Ken spent a few years in New Zealand for a few years after his brother moved there. Wanting to check out this paradise for himself, Ken landed in New Zealand on a Sunday, planning to take his time seeing the sights, instead discover-
ing that the ever-practical Alf had a job already lined up for him starting the next day - at the freezing works! He worked in assorted jobs, including a volunteer fireman, and spent time as Alf’s sparring partner. Ken would find his experiences a rich source of material for his later comic strips. Upon his return to Sydney he became a full-time artist, getting involved with advertising and animation during the early days of television. Ken contributed cartoons to a number of publications around Sydney and in May 1960 had a comic strip, Bush Folks, appear in The Australian Woman’s Mirror, which ended up being merged with Weekend to form Everybody’s by the end of the same year. It wasn’t a total loss for Emerson as he sold cartoons to the new magazine for several years before it folded in 1967. He redeveloped his original idea and it evolved into The Warrumbunglers, which was first published in The Sunday Telegraph in May, 1967. It was around this time his daughter Jane was born, whom he & Meg helped guide into an art career, following what had become the “family tradition”. The Warrumbunglers featured numerous Australian native animals - kangaroos, bandicoots, echidnas and koalas - as an “anthropomorphic” community. Reflecting the mateship, tall tales and bush sayings that are bound up in the Australian mythos, much of the strip’s activities are centred around The Ritz
“As a black and white artist he was certainly one of the best in the country” An embryonic Warrumbunglers: a 1962 Bush Folk strip from the 31 January issue of Everybody’s 18 www.cartoonists.org.au
Unlike Ginger Meggs, Fatty Finn wasn’t continued by the paper, and The Sun-Herald had decided to reshuffle the comics liftout.
Accepting his Stanley Award in 1986 for Comic Strip Artist, Ken shows PM Bob Hawke what a smile is all about
Pie Cart run by Gunna, a goanna, which is in the best tradition of Harry’s Cafe-de-Wheels. Ken’s work on The Warrumbunglers earned him a Stanley Award in 1986. John Ryan, in his book Panel By Panel, said that Ken’s strip had “delightful artwork and original humour” and that Ken rarely had to “fall back on the well-worn gags of other cartoonists”, many of whom have not been averse to rehashing previouslypublished jokes. Few Australian comic strips have suffered the up-and-down existence of The Warrumbunglers. It was dropped in 1969 and returned to print in The Sun-Herald later in the same year. The strip was dropped again in 1971, after which Ken returned to the advertising world, where worked until 1976.
In the early 1980s, Ken was a busy boy. He had created another successful comic strip, On the Rocks, set in “wild colonial Olde Sydney Town”, which was also appearing in The Sun-Herald each week. At the time, he was also publishing, with Meg’s creative assistance, Jolliffe’s Outback and Saltbush Bill annuals and calendars on behalf of his father-in-law, Eric Jolliffe. Eric had heard that a spot had become available in the comics section, and mentioned to Peter Allen, editor of The Sun-Herald, that Ken was working on a second strip. Peter Allen asked Ken to send in six strips by Monday - the problem was that the strip was little more than a germ of an idea in Ken’s head, so that weekend, from a “standing start”, On The Rocks was born, premiering on 16 March 1980. When Lloyd Piper died suddenly in 1984 the paper again auditioned the various contributing cartoonists in the search for a replacement to continue Ginger Meggs. ““When I didn’t get the job in 1973, I got the three drawings back that I submitted and they just sat in a drawer,” Ken recalled. “I got them out and sent them in again.” This time they were better received. Ken was offered the job of continuing the adventures of the redheaded larrikin. But there was one condition - Ken was told he would have to give up one of his two strips. After considering his options, Ken said he “had to say no. I didn’t want to give up either On the Rocks or The Warrumbunglers”. The job ended up going to James Kemsley who drew Meggs until his death in December 2007.
Ken was working at an advertising agency in 1973 when somebody rang and told him Ron Vivian - who had drawn Ginger Meggs for just over two decades - had died and a new artist was needed for the strip, which had been going since 1921. Emerson recalled: “I thought, oh well, it might be time for a change. I had to submit three comics. I submitted my artwork, but I didn’t get the job (which went to Lloyd Piper). I was given my artwork back.” Following the death of Fatty Finn’s creator, Syd Nicholls, in 1977, The Warrumbunglers was resurrected by The Sun-Herald. Based on fact: On the Rocks was based on Ken’s extensive research into the history of Australia’s convict past - note his hand-written comments below!
A Friend in Hand: Jim Russell and Ken in 1988 at Tony Rafty’s Smock Night
NOTES FROM A DAUGHTER: A selection from Jane Emerson’s eulogy
ABOVE: Having a merry old time, celebrating Eric Jolliffe’s 90th birthday in 1997 are (from left) Clem Seale, Stewart McCrae, Eric Jolliffe, Lindsay Foyle, Ken Emerson and Theo Batten
“Ken Emerson’s artwork was by far the best submitted,” Peter Allen said later. “As a black and white artist he was certainly one of the best in the country. His artwork was extremely crisp and his story line was very funny.” Australian comics historian John Clements notes that The Sun -Herald, in determining that cartoonists would be more entertaining than footballers at their Sydney Royal Easter Show stand in 1984, Ken was booked to appear alongside Jim Russell and Kemsley to draw cartoons and meet their readers. Over a pre-show lunch, the three men got to know each other and in one of those “wouldn’t it be great if...” moments, discussion started about making the then Sydney Black and White Artists’ Club into a national body, solidifying the venture with an annual awards night. You all know the rest. Despite On the Rocks losing it’s place in The Sun-Herald’s comics lineup in late April 1998 (which, incidentally, didn’t stop Ken from coming up with new gags for the strip), he was still producing The Warrumbunglers every week for the paper until only recently, when he realised that doing the work had become too exhausting. “I can come up with the gags,” he said in late January,” but I just can’t do the work.” His ill health had made the regular chore too difficult and, with painful reluctance, bade the strip farewell after almost 43 years. After the death of Jim Russell in 2001 meant the cessation of The Potts, The Warrumbunglers had become Australia’s second longest-running strip still in production. The last strip ran on 21 March this year in the form of a commemorative montage respectfully prepared by Geoff Richardson at The Sun-Herald. Ken’s art - meticulous linework, attention to detail and peerless hand-rendered text (at a time when everyone else was using computer-generated fonts) - will be forever admired by his colleagues and friends as will his shy demeanour, gentle humour and ever-present signature chuckle, often in the face of seemingly insurmountable adversity.
Steve Panozzo and Lindsay Foyle 20 www.cartoonists.org.au
Dad’s brother Dennis said no-one could make their mother, Ruth, laugh like Ken could. He and Dennis shared this same sense of humour. By the same token, from early adulthood, Dad threw himself into many left-wing causes of the day - Ban the Bomb, anti-war rallies, being in one of the first antiVietnam War marches (which consisted of about 30 people!), social injustices in general and as a young student helping out the “red” party by working on banners. He did have a gift for hand-lettering. Almost as much as he hated social injustice, Dad also hated to be anywhere near the limelight - a naturally reserved guy, my mother would oft times have to drag him “kicking and screaming” to scial events. But once there, you’d be hard pressed to get him to leave as he was always having such a great time; his good friends from the ACA knowing this only too well. He was a man with many and varied interests, passionate about many things and interested in just about everything. He couldn’t walk past the written word, as my mother would say; he loved getting immersed, reasearching his many fields of interest. He loved to be on - or near (or IN) - the Harbour (or the ocean at least); preferably on The Endeavour or in a tiny runabout with Alf. He was also a keen spear fisherman years ago; not being the strongest of swimmers didn’t put him off. Animals were another great love, particularly native Australian animals, and he considered working at the zoo at one point. He loved New York. He love architecture. He also loved aviation. His background as a fitter and turner meant that he could turn his hand to many things, no doubt useful when he was part of a team that built their own plane, only to have it crash on it’s maiden flight - and no, he wasn’t behind the wheel. He was also a keen photographer. No boring slide nights for us! A loving father, Dad was always so generous with his time and he gave it without hesitation. He was incredibly creative, a kind and gentle soul who was modest of his many talents. In the last 12 months, Dad had gone from enjoying an independent life to death’s door virtually overnight as a result of his chemotherapy treatment; after months in hospital, he fought very hard to get back to anywhere near where he was prior to treatment. His friends from the ACA kept in touch, waiting ‘til the day Dad would be up to meeting them at the pub for an ale. Dad passed away on 12 February aftr a long and brave fight with cancer; 4 months after his brother ALf, his best mate of close to 80 years. My brave, generous, loving father and best friend, I miss you more than I can say.
Long-time ACA member John Clements sat down with Ken in December 1995 to have a chat about his career, his influences, rum and meat pies. In memory of Ken, John has kindly given Inkspot permission to run this previously-unpublished interview: “You little beauty !” was Ken Emerson’s first reaction to the The Central Coast Express Advocate’s front page headline of 17 November, 1995. It was early December, and Ken was visiting his father-in-law Eric Jolliffe when he sat down for a chat with John Clements. John: In John Ryan’s book Panel by Panel, his affection for the pie cart is obvious. Can you give us any background on the pie cart?
Anyhow, I was intrigued with it - so I sketched it and I finished up by putting a canopy over the top and made a pie cart of it. I then thought of the Ritz name for this crazy-looking thing.
J: You’ve used the pie cart a lot over the years, especially in the triple-row strips... K: Yes. This is one of the troubles now. The strip has been reduced in height
Ken: Well, I’ve always been a fan of pie carts. There were more of them about in my youth – going to the pie cart in various places – pie, potato and peas... squashy peas. I even got to work in a pie cart for a short time, behind the counter, meeting different characters. It must have been a year into the strip – I was coming back from a trip to the Warrumbungles – and I called into the Ritz Hotel at Leura… J: The Ritz? K: Yeah - I mean, how pretentious can you get! (laughter) Anyhow, at the time, you could go in and buy a beer. It’s now a sort of a guest house. I called in and had the one glass. From there, I took a detour ‘round through a place called Sodwalls... yes, Sodwalls! (laughter) I saw it on the map and I felt that I just had to go to Sodwalls. And when I was passing through, I saw this terrific - what could it be? An agricultural artifact? This cart on four wheels with structure on top of it – absolutely fantastic! J: To you, it looks like a pie cart? K: That’s right. When I saw it, I thought that it could look like a terrific pie cart. I photographed it from every angle. I still didn’t know what it was. It was just there in the bush. I found that other people in the district didn’t know what it was either.
Photo courtesy JOHN CLEMENTS
J: Naturally! (laughter) “The Ritz “- that’s very American, isn’t it ?
and I can’t put the same work into the backgrounds now.
K: But it’s not. The Ritz was a very flash hotel chain in Paris, France and in England. And then it went across to America. Getting back to my pie cart’s origin, Eric was the one to tell me what it was - an old early chaff-cutter and I’ve got a couple of gags out of that over the years with chaff going into pies.
J: Are the individual characters of The Warrumbunglers based on real people that you have known or on the animals themselves? K: A bit of both I suppose. For instance, Gunna Goanna - he’s based on my observations of goannas - a lively lizard. www.cartoonists.org.au
A lot of lizards seem to just lay around. He runs the pie cart and is a bit of an opportunist. I remember on a job in Queensland where a fellow had a meat safe hanging on a branch. The meat disappeared and he couldn’t understand it. He wondered if a fellow worker was taking it. So he lay in wait. It turned out to be a goanna. It climbed up and could open a single latch. That’s smart for a lizard. J: What of the other characters ? I must admit that I associate you with Billy Bong, the curious koala in the strip… K: That’s true. When I started off the strip, I associated myself with the koala character. But, as the years go by, I’ve become the hairy nosed wombat! (laughter) J: It’s interesting that your animal characters are uniquely Australian. Some strips such as Gary Clark’s Swamp has more universal animals. The birds and crocs are found in a lot of countries. As a potential export, has this been a handicap or a novelty attraction? K: It has been a barrier - a big barrier -
but I wanted to do something uniquely Australian. Maybe I should have made it more “Mid-Pacific”, but that’s the way it is. J: There was a time when it was being considered for animation, wasn’t it ? K: That happened a number of times. The last time was about two years ago. What attracted them to it were the characters. For the U.S., when they got down to cases, they wanted the pie cart turned into a Pizza Hut! It would have finished up as someone else’s work. It wasn’t my strip and wouldn’t have been my animation. It lost out. J: Moving to On the Rocks, you told me earlier that much of the humour is based on your historical research... K: It is incredible ! I used to read The Sydney Gazette. I’d go down to the State Library (of NSW) and get them out. It’s all broken type - in those days in the colony, they had to use what type they could get. A real strain on the eyes and the patience with some of the S’s like the F’s. Some of the events that happened – you don’t have to change a
thing. There are so many ready-made gags. For instance, imagine all the agony of people being chained and lashed all around the place and there is this little item stating that this convict had been given 20 lashes. Why ? Because he was cruel to a bullock! (laughter) All around him were people being flogged and that was a straight-faced report from The Sydney Gazette. J: You must have gained a lot of inspiration as well as humour. A lot of fun from the history of the times. K: That’s right. Little things that set your imagination going. I’d look up indexes for the Rocks area and anything to do with the Rocks. I’d look up the story and most of it was pretty dull stuff like “Mrs O’Brien was selling property” but I did notice a large number of stories about people falling down wells. What did that mean, I wonder ? And how do you fall down a well ? (laughter) J: Tell us about the strip’s main character, Floyd Fingal... K: We see much of the Rocks through his eyes. He is the one straight character. J: Wasn’t it once called Ball and Chain?
LEFT: The inspiration for Gunna’s pie cart lays in a field near Sodwalls, New South Wales, just waiting to be immortalised in The Warrumbunglers (below)
worked at an agency in Clarence Street, we would go down to The Rocks to the different pubs. I had to come up with a strip with all the characters that were around The Rocks both then and in the early days of the colony. I’d have to have a drunk in On the Rocks for two reasons. Firstly, because it’s “on the rocks”, which suggests drinking and the big factor in that era of the strip was that the whole economy ran on rum. J: And the socializing was centred around taverns… K: The thing is that the convict’s life was so hellish that you had to get some relief - you know, wipe yourself out. That was the only way then to do it. They’d do extra work for rum. Medicine was primitive and alcohol was the only thing that numbed the pain.
A rare character model sheet for Bush Folk. Note Ken’s shortlist of character names on the right...
K: A sore point really. From the start, it was On the Rocks - a play on words - but, when it ran in Brisbane for some years, syndicated from Sydney, without a byyour-leave they changed the name. It sounds like the old slang term for “The Wife”. J: Tell me about the characters. The drunk was a prominent Rocks identity and we won’t ask for the inspiration here… K: No ! (laughter) Actually, I’ve used him less lately. J: Drunkenness isn’t as funny at it used to be? K: No. This is sad to me (laughter) drunks were such a rich source once. Times have certainly changed. Doing two separate strips, I make sure that I never mention grog in The Warrumbunglers. I was tempted earlier to put in reference to the rural grog shops but then I thought that the public might wonder if this bloke wasn’t a bit obsessed with drink! J: Ken, when planning the material for your strips, do you have a target audience or do you aim that the jokes will appeal to everybody? K: I can’t see kids reading On the Rocks. If some do, then that’s terrific – but I see them reading The Warrumbunglers, although it is not specifically a kids’ strip. J: Neither was Walt Kelly’s Pogo. You never sought to take it into the political
arena like Pogo? K: No. J: Did you ever consider adventure strips? K: Way back I did, when there was a bit of an industry in Australia. John Dixon’s Air Hawk and Keith Chatto’s great work - inspiring ! J: You’ve certainly knocked around Australia in a wide variety of jobs. That would have helped... K: Yes, but I don’t know whether that really helps with an adventure strip. It’s all reference really. I certainly thought of adventure strips. I think every artist does. J: By the time you came in, the parade for Australian comic books had just about gone… K: That’s right. It was hard-going for the Australian product. Syndication absolutely killed it. The thing about syndication is that while no one wants to miss out on the great American strips, we don’t want them dumping all sorts of mediocre stuff onto our market at cut rates… J: Over the years, would you have deliberately created characters because good stories came your way? K: That”s right, and, in fact, that is how the whole idea for On the Rocks came into being. Every Friday night, when I
J: Considering all the research you did for On the Rocks, were you always a history buff? K: I have, yes - I don’t know where the fascination came from. We certainly didn’t learn these things at school. I quite liked English history but the presentation was so dull. Australian history is local and that is the beauty of me doing On the Rocks, since I live in Sydney. J: Could the reason that it hasn’t carried as well in the other Australian states be due to the Sydney Rocks emphasis? K: I’m sure that’s the reason. J: Even The Warrumbunglers is geographically within New South Wales. What if you had given it more of a general Australian name? K: No. It’s a good name - besides, even if you’d never heard of the place, it sounds Aussie. It is an aboriginal name after all. J: You had a great time with the fire brigades in The Warrumbunglers for a time. It featured a lot. K: Yes. I was in the fire brigade in New Zealand and, when you are young, you want fires all the time! (laughter) You love going on the fast run – all the excitement. J: Ken, do you get much mail from your readers? K: I get some – probably more brickbats www.cartoonists.org.au
ABOVE: Ken’s wide-ranging employment history provided bucketloads of reference material - even his fire brigade experience in New Zealand came in handy, too!
than bouquets. I think that every artist gets more brickbats. The average person who reads a strip, and gets a chuckle out of it, moves on. Only people who get annoyed or are pedantic types will reach for the pen and paper. The major targets of their complaints to me are the little historical things in On the Rocks that they say are inaccurate and often I tell them politely: “For Pete’s sake, this is a comic strip!” But readers do write to you just saying how much they enjoy your work. The greatest kick is to see one of your strips pinned up on someone’s notice board or ‘fridge. J: Has it made you more conscientious regarding research on costumes, buildings and other things? K: I’ve got a lot of stuff from Old Sydney Town and its background. I have buildings and artifacts in the strip that I know they wouldn’t have had at the time and there are times I feel like putting something really mad in there that would certainly not fit, just to get some written reaction! (laughter) J: A personal question - how can you be funny in those “dark times” that we all have?
K: Cartoonists have advantages over, for instance, visual comedians where they have to present themselves as funny. They must appear to their public that they are enjoying themselves. Cartoonists, when they are down, are in their own room. No one is seeing them.
an Devil... was that because of the Warner Brothers cartoon character?
J: Have you found that, once involved in a strip, that it can sometimes lift you out?
J: Now, you were involved in animation years ago...
K: Oh definitely, yes – you’ll find this with every cartoonist. Something bad can happen to you but you can still get a gag out of it. So, if you are copping it, you pass it onto your character. The only place that I have never ever been able to think up a gag is at the dentist. For some reason, I can never see the funny side of it.
K: Yes. That was in the early days of TV with Eric Porter. He used to do a strip called Willie Wombat. He was a comic strip artist from way back who went into animation. One of the fathers of Australian animation. Another well known artist I worked with was Frank Benier.
J: Regarding The Warrumbunglers, have you had the problem of keeping the animal characters in their proper scale size?
K: Not all that long. Just over two years.
K: I’ve included a kangaroo who is well out of the other animals’ scale but I’ve simply reduced his scale down more to the other characters. It’s not a real worry. J: I’ve noted that you don’t use a Tasmani-
K: Yes. I always wanted to introduce one but they got there first! Their creation is spot on. Those devils are definitely cranky things.
J: How long were you in animation?
J: We know that you did single panel cartoons for various publishers, but did you do any other regular cartoon work ? K: Yes. I did a regular single panel cartoon for a grocery magazine. This is an example of putting your mind to a subject and, believe me, there is noth-
ing, truly nothing, as unfunny as a grocery shop. You take the opportunity to hang around shops - listen and look. I also did a regular cartoon for a plastic pipe magazine - another barrel of laughs! J: So, for people starting out, they need to make their own markets? K: Yes, but be prepared! I’ll never forget when they decided on a cartoon for that plastic pipe company. As a youngster, I had worked in factories - the noise, a lot of blokes running around - it was terrific and I thought that it was still like that. Anyhow, when I walked into the pipe factory, it was like a big empty barn. Very few people and I thought, “blimey!” J: A million laughs that day! K: Too right! (laughter) But, you know, I did that cartoon every month for four years and, as a non-lawn bowler, I produced cartoons for a lawn bowls magazine for years. Les Dixon, a keen bowler, helped me a lot in the early stages. J: Have you had a reaction from overseas to your strips? K: I have. A few years ago I got a letter from a chap who was teaching JapaneseAustralian colloquialisms and wanted to use some of my strips among others. J: How did the humour translate? K: He claimed that it would but, of course, not every gag. He sent me copies with the Japanese typeface. They were mad about our koalas but regarding On the Rocks, absolutely no impact. None at all. They couldn’t understand it - it was completely alien to them. J: Does being strongly Australian help with the local markets? K: In my experience, no. There doesn’t seem to be any editorial policies aiming at a strong percentage of Aussie strips. It is mostly all about price. J: To conclude, do you have any artistic yearnings such as painting or sculpture – that sort of thing ? K: No, not really. I have done painting in my younger days and more serious art for advertising, but I still like doing the comic strips. For me it is still a lot of fun. Many thanks to John Clements for his generosity of spirit and ALSO for the photo research and for rescuing Ken’s original model sheets from the rubbish bin!
REMEMBERING KEN There was a problem with Ken’s artwork. Far too clean, far too neat too. A person could not work that way. Not all the time. Whites were white, blacks were black and all the colours were where all the colours should be. The word quiet always comes to mind when describing Ken. But when you stop and think about him, it was not him being quiet that was the dominant thing about him. It was his cheerful disposition. Even when he was complaining he was doing it with a smile and a laugh. More importantly, I have never heard anyone say a bad word about him. Lindsay Foyle
Ken was a lovely bloke. I remember driving with him to Bowral and Noz saying “Well, you repeat gags in The Warrumbunglers don’t you? Everybody does it eventually- Jimmy did it all the time” and Ken just looked baffled and said “Did he? ... No. I’ve never repeated a gag in my life!” Jason Chatfield
Ken was a special part of the Kemsley family, both in terms of being a close buddy to James, and of Meg Emerson being Hywel’s Godmother (they shared the same birthday). Ken and James “did” the Royal Easter Show at the old RAS Showgrounds year-in and year-out during the ‘80s, where they became firm buddies. James was always in awe of Ken’s penmanship and strived to achieve the same in his work.
“Gentle” and “man” are two words, in the true sense of the words, that aptly describe Ken, whose memory will always have a special place in our hearts. Helen Kemsley & Family What can I say about Ken? I worked with him for about 5 years, colouring his strip, The Warrumbunglers. Set in the famous Warrumbungle Range in NSW, Ken had a passion for the area and its historic relics. His characters are all Australian animals who definitely came to life with their own personal traits when Ken drew them. His beautiful line-work was certainly clear when I had his work magnified on my computer. His strips had great detail, especially when he drew grand landscapes in the background of each strip. The problem was that Ken would put in too much detail! My boss eventually asked me to to get Ken to cut back on the fine work and cross-hatching as it was taking me too long to colour the strip. I never met Ken in all that time, but for the fact that I had an intimate relationship with his answering machine. He was a very private person. I spoke him quite often on the phone, but never in person. Yet I could easily imagine what he was like. Every couple of weeks, when that express post envelope arrived in my pigeon hole at work, the first thing I did was to appreciate the humour and fine penmanship that this man had churned out effortlessly. Geoff Richardson www.cartoonists.org.au
Le Vivant la Bonne Vie... in Canberra Christophe sautées Nicolas Vadot
Christophe Granet tracks down British/French/Australian cartoonist, Nicholas Vadot, before he returns to Brussels after five years living and working in Australia Q: Nicolas, you grew up in France then moved to Belgium, but what made you come to Australia? Love! I met a Canberra girl in Sydney in 2002, and then we got married. We had the choice between Europe and Australia, and I needed some sun, so we went to Australia. But we are moving back to Brussels in July, after five years spent here. Q: You published your first cartoon at 22. Can you tell us how hard/easy it was to get that first cartoon published? Pretty hard, of course. Actually, my first cartoons were published when I was 19, in smaller publications, in Belgium and France. My first cartoon for Le Vif/ L’Express, the main magazine for which I’ve been working 17 years now, was published in 1993, when I was 22. I graduated from an art school in Brussels six months before that. So during those six months, I would do about ten cartoons a week, leave them at the paper’s reception desk, then wait until the magazine came out the next Friday, hoping for good news… to find out that none of my work was getting published! But I didn’t give up. There was no internet at the time, so I had to physically leave the cartoons at the reception desk. Then they published the first one, but waited another three months to publish the second! I never gave up. Perseverance is at least as important as talent, in this sort of business. The key is to convince a newspaper that you actually work for them before they even figure it out themselves. But I needed some bread and butter at the time, so I worked in a cinema in Brussels, selling tickets and ice cream, then drawing at night, after my shift. I did this for three years. It took me five to actually start making a living with it. Q: Did growing up in France and Belgium, surrounded by “Bandes Dessinées”, inspire 26 www.cartoonists.org.au
you to become a cartoonist? In a way, yes, since my style owes a lot to my childhood “Bandes Dessinées” readings, such as Astérix, Lucky Luke, Gaston Lagaffe and, of course, Tintin. But I also come from a family who’s always been interested in current affairs, discussing them and debating on all kinds of issues. And there were a lot of newspapers and magazines at home, so I started reading newspapers when I was 12. Then I also liked drawing. The most natural way to mix the two was to become a political cartoonist. Q: Did you have any formal art training or are you self-taught? Not self-taught at all! I studied in an art school in Brussels called L’Ecole de Recherches Graphiques, where I specialised in illustration and graphic novelling. Belgium is the only place in the world where graphic novelling is considered a normal professional activity, which can therefore can be taught in school.
“It’s a usual statement to say that political cartoons are only about the idea and that they don’t have to be well done artistically speaking. I couldn’t disagree more”
It was a four-year degree and they forced us to experiment in many fields: painting, drawing, filming, sculpture, etc. Political cartooning didn’t exist as such but I knew what I wanted to do. Actually, the first workshop we did when I arrived was “illustrating the news”. That was in October 1989, just when the Berlin Wall collapsed and the whole world was about to change. The workshop was supposed to go on for a week. It did for other students. I’m still doing it… Q: Who are the cartoonists you look up to and why? My major influence was Plantu, France’s most famous cartoonist. He was actually the first to be really considered seriously as a true political analyst, using cartooning instead of writing. And his drawings were not just ordinary sketches, but really well crafted and elaborate compositions. To me, that was the way to go. Then I discovered other French cartoonists, such as Willem, Cabu, Wiaz, Loup, etc. And the English ones: Searle, Steadman, Gary and many more. But I sort of stuck to the “Clear Line” French ones. Being brought up with the Bandes Dessinées, we learnt very early on about the graphical efficiency of the “Clear Line”, a term invented by Hergé to define his work on Tintin.
Q: Your latest “Bande Dessinee” (Graphic Novel), Maudit Mardi! (Cursed Tuesday!) is lined-up to be published by Sandwave. Can you describe the Sandwave publishing formula? It’s a crowd-funding publisher, the first ever in the business. People actually invest on a project to finance it. Once it has reached its objective (€55,000), it goes into production. “Investors” will get a free copy prior to the release, will have access to the production process, and will eventually make money from their investment if the book proves successful. If the project doesn’t reach the €55,000, it is binned.
To me, political cartoons are graphic metaphors that speak directly to the subconscious. Therefore, the more beautiful they are to watch, the more efficient they’ll be to hit the target, which isn’t the intellect, but the subconscious. It’s a usual statement to say that political cartoons are only about the idea and that they don’t have to be well done artistically speaking. I couldn’t disagree more. Q: You are mostly published in Europe, but live in Australia. Since there is a large timezone difference, how do you deal with talking to editors and deadlines? How often do you have to travel to France to meet with editors? I travel about once a year. As for the dayto-day work, it isn’t that difficult, because I’m ahead of them, so when they arrive at work, I’ve already been working, drawing and reading for 10 hours. The only thing is I work until 2:00 or 3:00am every night. But I have a nap in the morning, since it’s the middle of the night in Brussels!! Then I go running or swimming, then I have lunch with my wife and kids, and after all that I start working, usually at about 1:00pm. As for talking to editors, I almost never do. Journalists, especially editors, don’t have time to chat around, and neither do I. So we do it via e-mail mostly. But I’ve known these people for many years now, so I don’t have to fuss around with them. They’ve agreed to the fact I’m a virtual person. I will have to adjust when I get back home, because for me, Brussels has also become virtual over the years.
“I do political cartoons to connect with the world, and graphic novelling to disconnect from it” So it’s a bit like returning to “second life”, finding out it is real. It’s a bit different with my daily finance newspaper, L’Echo: they hired me in 2008, when I was already in Australia. I only met them ten months later. So for ten months, I worked on a daily basis with people I had never met. Q: Also, on that subject, how do you keep up to date with French and European politics to be able to draw your political cartoons? That is thanks to a recent invention called the internet. I haven’t read a single daily printed newspaper in five years. Q: Can you describe your involvement in “Cartooning for Peace” to us? Well, Plantu called me once to join in, since they were putting together a big event in Wellington, and I lived closeby. My international pedigree helps too, since I speak two languages. And Cartooning for Peace is about crossing borders, which is the cornerstone of my work, as well as the fight against nationalism.
It is still unfortunately restricted to the French-speaking world, because the penny hasn’t dropped yet that graphic novelling needs to conquer the world, outside its French-speaking borders. I’ve only done five pages out of eighty. If investors finance it, it will come out in 2012. Q: I believe Maudit Mardi! is your first “Bande Dessinee” where you had full control of both the text and the drawings. Was finalizing the idea and script harder than the drawings? No. I also had full control on my previous book, Neuf Mois, which was about fatherhood. Actually, writing is as fun as drawing, even sometimes more interesting. Usually, an idea brews and stirs in my mind for a couple of years, a bit like wine in the cellar. Then it pops out one day and I write the first draft in about a week or so, working on it almost 24/7, only interrupted by my 15 cartoons a week, a bit of sleep and my wife and two young children…(!) Then I put it aside for a couple of weeks and write the second version. After that, I start drawing. But by the time I’ve actually finished the book (18 months), I’ll only keep 30 % of the original script, since images bring ideas, with those bringing new images, and so on. It’s a constant work-in-progress thing, and I love it. It usually starts with a pitch. In that case, it’s about a man who finds out which day of the week he’s going to die: a Tuesday. But which one? The next? The one after? Or in 50 years? He doesn’t know. Therefore, six days a week, he knows he’s invincible. I’m totally schizophrenic, artistically speaking, if you compare my work as a political cartoonist with the graphic novelling: techniques used are different www.cartoonists.org.au
“When you say you’re a graphic novelist, people ask you, ‘What sort of graphic novel do you do?’ In Australia, their first question is, ‘What are graphic novels?’”
in every aspect. But, as I usually say, I do political cartoons to connect with the world, and graphic novelling to disconnect from it. Q: Have you published cartoons in Australia? No. That was my goal when I moved here, but I never had the time to read enough about Australian politics to be relevant, and then to knock on doors for publication. I publish 600 cartoons a year in Belgium, I couldn’t fit any more. Q: Are you still drawing in a “traditional” way or have you switched to digital? Both. Since I was artistically brought up in the Hergé tradition, half of my work is done like in the old days: the pencil drawing is done on paper, very precisely, then I ink it on another piece of paper, using a light table. After that, I scan the inked cartoon. The rest - colouring, lettering, visual effects (and sending!) – is done on the computer. I’m really keen on technology and computers, but they’re only tools. A great one, but a tool anyhow, just like a brush or a pencil. Q: Having lived in Australia for 5 years now, do you see graphic novels having a future in Australia? Like I said before, it could, but it needs a lot of work; first to make the public accept that it isn’t a debilitating nerdy thing for underground dropouts or teenage dummies. 28 www.cartoonists.org.au
It needs to be taught in schools. Had I stayed in Australia, I was very close to set a course with COFA, but who knows? I have Australian citizenship now (well, I will officially in two months), so I might come back, this time to Sydney, in a couple of years… In Belgium, it’s an art form, which is considered as important as cinema, music or literature. We get invited to all the major media shows. When you say you’re a graphic novelist, people ask you, “What sort of graphic novel do you do?” In Australia, their first question is, “What are graphic novels?” People in French-Speaking Europe take for granted the fact that the Bandes Dessinées are part of the cultural background. They should live in an English-speaking country for a few years to actually understand what a real cultural gap is. I’ve been preaching that for years, but they still don’t get it. But they are overproducing in their own market and are all struggling. If they keep on ignoring the rest of the world, they’ll be dead meat in ten years, especially with the rise of self-publication, thanks to the Web. What happened to music editors with the iPod will happen to graphic novel publishers for sure, once Steve Jobs invents a device that will enable each one of us to buy a book online and print it like a real book at home. The technology already ex-
ists in a way, on iPhoto for instance, but it is still complicated and expensive. But it’s only a matter of years, I’m sure. That is why I wanted to be part of Les éditions Sandawe, which is the first step toward self-publication. Q: You have a website in both French and English. Do you maintain it yourself? Yes, but with the help of my wife and mother-in-law for translations, since French is my main language. I apologise for not updating the English version enough, but 95 % of the people who log on to the website are either Belgian or French. The French version is updated every Thursday. As for technical maintenance, I don’t do it. I have a webmaster, who lives in Belgium, who does it for me. I send him the content, then he puts it on the website! Q: Finally, would you be willing to meet with ACA Members when/if you travel interstate, knowing that there are ACA Chapters in every capital city in Australia? With pleasure, but that’s going to be difficult since I’m moving soon, and there are lots of things to get ready for the move! But if there’s something happening in the ACT, go for it! http://www.nicolasvadot.com
Life is a Beach: A sample page from Maudit Mardi!
About Nicolas Vardot Born in 1971, in Carshalton (UK) to a French father and an English mother, he spent his childhood in France. He moved to Belgium at 17, where he completed his last year of high school at the French School of Brussels. He then studied visual communication at the Ecole de Recherches Graphiques (ERG) in Brussels and graduated from the degree course in 1993. His first cartoon was published in the weekly Belgian magazine, Le Vif/ L’Express in 1993, soon becoming the official political cartoonist for the magazine. A selection of his work was published in 1998 in a book, Dans Le Vif du Sujet. In 1999, the editor of Le Vif/L’Express entrusted him with his own page, a Semaine de Vadot (Vadot’s Week), in which he illustrated the week’s national and international political events. From 2004 until 2007 he was also the regular cartoonist for Cash Magazine, a Belgian finance magazine. Vadot has also published several graphic novels. In 1994 he and twelve other young graduates produced an album, 31 Place de Brouckère, a collection of short-strip graphic novel stories all featuring Brussels’ famous luxury hotel, Le Métropole. In 1995, he undertook the project of an entire album, never published, The Depressor, which ultimately became the basis for Gerry Geronimo. The proposed album was turned down by all the publishers he approached at that time. Vadot then crossed paths with film critic Olivier Guéret. They immediately realised that they were on the same wavelength and decided to completely rework The Depressor. This encounter gave birth to the Gerry Geronimo trilogy (Norbert l’Imaginaire) published by Les Editions du Lombard between 2001 and 2004, followed in 2006 by 80 Days, published by Casterman.
Hec’s Artwork Serves a Greater Porpoise Our favourite environmental campaigner-turned-cartoonist, Hec Goodall, recently returned to his native Coffs Harbour after a 4-month stay in Cambodia. But don’t expect a jolly slide night around at his place - it wasn’t all fun. And he might be heading back there soon, anyway. Hec was part of a World Wildlife Fund mission to save the Mekong River’s few remaining freshwater Irrawaddy dolphins. He was “dragged” over there by Troy Saville, his former colleague at the Pet Porpoise Pool in Coffs Harbour, who has been put in charge of a project to assess the effects of illegal gill netting on the Mekong River’s dwindling dolphin population, which is estimated at approximately 70 animals. The death of the majority of baby dolphins born in the river means the population is on the verge of extinction. But instead of getting his ankles wet rescuing animals, Hec found himself being made the WWF project’s art director, producing illustrations and cartoons to explain the importance of the river’s endangered dolphins to children, those not able to read and visitors to the Mekong River. Hec also met with Cambodian government
ABOVE: Hec Goodall, back at his drawing board in Coffs Harbour after his Cambodian jaunt Photo courtesy TREVOR VEALE Coffs Coast Advocate
officials, including the Minister for Tourism who is hoping that the rare dolphins will be a part of the push to assist the country’s tourism industry. Even though he’s now back in familiar territory, Hec’s still knocking out cartoons, pamphlets and brochures for Troy’s WWF rescue team.
November 2007 saw the release of The George W. Bush Years, a book of 190 political cartoons on the Bush presidency, published by New Holland. And in 2009, Vadot published his first solo graphic novel, Neuf Mois, again with Casterman. Nicolas Vadot has lived in Australia since 2005. He is married with two children.
ABOVE: Prints of Hec’s oil painting of Irrawaddy dolphins disorientating their prey is being sold as a Cambodian tourist souvenir to support of the WWF rescue programme www.cartoonists.org.au
And You Thought You Knew Everything About Copyright? After constant articles, talks and seminars about copyright issues, both in Inkspot and at our annual cartoonists’ conference, most of us have gleaned some basic understanding about copyright law and how it relates to us and our work. What is less clear is how copyright applies to our work once it becomes accessible, by virtually anybody, on the internet. The thoughtful people at CAL have provided us with a useful information sheet - so we thought we’d nick it and stick it in Inkspot... What is copyright?
The Act gives the copyright owners of material on the internet certain exclusive rights. These include:
Copyright is a form of intellectual property protection for a variety of literary and artistic endeavours. Australian law recognises that individuals have the right to protect the moral and economic interests arising from their creative works. It is not ideas but their expression that is protected by copyright law. In Australia, copyright law is set out in the Copyright Act 1968 (the Act), and in court decisions that have interpreted the provisions of the Act. The law gives owners of copyright exclusive rights to do certain things with their material. From time to time the Act is amended to keep the law relevant and up to date. So copyright isn’t just restricted to books? Correct. All material found on the internet is generally protected under copyright law. Material that is protected includes: • written material – including ebooks, website text, newspaper articles, emails, computer programs and song lyrics; • dramatic works – including plays, dance and mime; • musical works – including musical scores; • artistic works – paintings, drawings, photographs and computer graphics; • films – including streaming video footage and television programmes; and • sound recordings – including compact discs and MP3 files. Therefore, a diagram or article (for example) is protected by copyright whether it is in a book, posted on the internet or on a CD-ROM. 30 www.cartoonists.org.au
• the right to reproduce the material eg: print the material or save it onto a disk; and • the right to communicate the material to the public eg: post the material on a website. How do I get copyright protection for my material on the internet?
This means that you may be infringing the rights of a copyright owner if you:
Copyright is free and automatic. The moment you create your work it is protected by copyright (provided it is sufficiently original). Copyright protection will usually last until 70 years after the death of the creator.
• print material from a website; • cut and paste material from another site onto your website; • save material from a website on your hard drive or on a disk; or • make internet material available to other users via email or an Intranet system. What can I do to avoid infringing copyright?
One of the best ways to avoid infringing copyright is to check for a copyright statement before printing, downloading, forwarding or re-posting material from any website you may visit. This statement should provide you with a guide to what the website owner will allow you to do with material on their site. If LINDSAY FOYLE there is no copyright statement you should not assume that you are free to print, download or re-post material from Can I copy material off the internet with- the site. Instead, you should email the out seeking permission? webmaster and ask for permission to use material from the website. No. If you copy material off the internet without permission you may be infringIn cases where the webmaster is not ing the rights of a copyright owner. It the copyright owner, you should ensure is a common misconception that once that: material is posted to the internet it can • the material has been made available be freely copied: this is not the case. with the copyright owner’s consent; and
• the copyright owner is happy for their material to be printed, downloaded or re-posted. Can I forward emails containing copyright material? If you forward an email containing copyright material to a third party you may be infringing copyright. This is because forwarding an email constitutes a communication to the public. So before forwarding any email that has been sent to you, you should check it for a copyright statement, or if none exists, it may be wise to seek permission from the owner of the copyright material contained in the email. Can I provide links to other websites? Linking raises a number of complex issues. Therefore, before linking to other material on the internet there are a number of questions you should ask. These include: • does the material I am linking to contain a copyright notice? • have I asked the copyright owner for permission to link to their material? • can I be sure that I am not linking to material that has been posted illegally? • am I linking to material that is only available by subscription or payment? Amendments to internet caching by educational institutions came into effect from 11 December 2006. Passive caching by educational bodies involving the automatic reproduction of web pages to reduce bandwidth congestion and provide quicker access, is not considered an infringement of copyright. This provision is limited to educational institutions and does not allow for active caching where there is a deliberate selection of copyright works. How can I protect my own material on the internet? By posting your work to the internet you accept the risk that your copyright may be infringed. There are however ways to minimise this risk. Some examples include: • ensuring you prominently display a copyright notice on your site setting out what can and can’t be done with your work; and • using copy protection or digital rights management software such as digital watermarking.
Remember, under the Act you also have the right to pursue legal action against any individual that infringes your copyright. Who is CAL? Copyright Agency Limited (CAL) is a notfor-profit company set up by Australian authors, journalists, visual artists, photographers and publishers to manage part of their copying and communication rights. CAL is owned by its members, membership is free and members give CAL a non-exclusive licence in respect of their works. Code of Conduct CAL is a signatory to the Code of Conduct for Copyright Collecting Societies (the Code). It is designed to ensure that the rights of all members and licensees
are clearly stated, and that the operations of collecting societies are transparent and accessible. The Code includes requirements for the Complaints Handling and Dispute Resolution procedures that collecting societies must follow. The Code and these procedures are available from CAL’s website and on request.
More information Copyright Agency Limited Level 15, 233 Castlereagh Street, Sydney NSW 2000 Tel: 1800 066 844 Fax: +612 9394 7601 Email: email@example.com Website: www.copyright.com.au
Sample Copyright Notice for a Website Reproduction and Communication for educational purposes If your online materials are copied in Australia and you would like to receive payment for the use of your work, we suggest you include explicit terms and conditions on your website to ensure that you are eligible for payment from CAL.
Sample website copyright notice*: The Australian Copyright Act 1968 (the Act) allows 10% of the number of words on this website to be reproduced and/or communicated by any Australian educational institution for its educational purposes provided that the educational institution (or the body that administers it) has given a Notice to Copyright Agency Limited (CAL) under part VB of the Act. For details of the CAL licence for educational institutions contact: Copyright Agency Limited Level 15, 233 Castlereagh Street Sydney NSW 2000 Telephone: +612 9394 7600 Facsimile: +612 9394 7601 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Except as permitted under the Act (for example for the services of the Crown or in reliance on one of the fair dealing exceptions i.e. a fair dealing for the purposes of research or study) no part of this website may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, communicated or transmitted in any form or by any means without prior written permission. All inquiries should be made to the copyright owner at ____________________. *If you also wish to make your website content available for personal use, you may still be eligible for CAL payments when your website is identified as copied in a CAL survey. You may wish to include an extra line in the above sample notice, specifying that the website material may be used for personal use.
Reviews Five Wounds: An Illuminated Novel by Jonathan Walker and Dan Hallett Pubished by Allen & Unwin ISBN 978742370132 $39.99 (Hardback)
According to the publicity blurb for Five Wounds: An Illuminated Novel, one is told that it was inspired by Italo Calvino, Jeanette Winterson, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the Uncanny X-Men, that it’s a “surreal, darkly beautiful and unsettling graphic novel” about five wounded orphans and that it is “by turns hilarious and horrific, grotesque and tender”.
method of making a rather ordinary tale a bit more exciting. Sprinkled throughout the book are a collection of fairly ordinary illustrations (with several exceptions) that do little to contribute to the story, other than to simply be a means of making the story more voluble. Whilst the attention to detail of the creators is to be applauded, the overall effect is basically that of masking something that would have flown just as well without the pretence. That pretence, however, eventually detracts from the overall impact and lessens it somewhat, serving to only waylay itself. Certain illustrations are presented as glossy “plates” (yet still in sepia tones) and are referred to with footnotes within the text. These are printed in the centre pages and require you to refer back to them as you read. This effect, so different from older manuscripts and their plate placement, serves to make the book all the more difficult to read. And again, the illustrations, once found, do little to add to the overall story. The sub-title of “An Illuminated Novel” is technically accurate – it’s an illustrated book but is a far cry from a graphic novel – but its illustrations do little to illuminate and instead contribute to the murkiness of the story as a whole. Generally, what begins as an interesting layout and unique proposition, gets belaboured by its own pretension and essentially shoots itself with its own cleverness. Even little clues throughout that aren’t satisfactorily explained seem oddly out of place.
At first glance this book looks very interesting. Told in a strikingly original format, it’s design, layout and typesetting (laid out in columns with individual verses numbered) has been inspired by that über-classic, the King James Bible. Unlike the Bible, however, this is set in a strange medieval industrial world that seems to have spawned from the Inquisition, with modern technologies peppered about. Upon commencing reading however, the uniqueness of the writing and the layout soon descend into a pretentious 32 www.cartoonists.org.au
For instance, each page holds a small
“I do commend the authors for trying to introduce a ‘complete experience’ into their book, but the overall effect serves to limit the appeal rather than enhance it”
illustration of a crested shield – some are circled or crossed out as if someone has attacked the book with an editor’s marker. Certain phrases and sentences within are scribbled out (and new ones added) in the same fashion, attempting to make the book appear manhandled by the five major characters, but again this serves as an annoying attribute seemingly hellbent on attempting to dissuade you from sticking with the storyline. I do commend the authors for trying to introduce a ‘complete experience’ into their book, but the overall effect serves to limit the appeal rather than enhance it. The story seems to lose itself here and there, not sure what direction it wants to go. Sometimes comical, sometimes coldly clinical and sometimes plain horrifying, the story and characters flitter about adrift in their dark world without any real direction. Sometimes it’s difficult to know whose voice we’re supposed to be listening to – as it was written, or as it’s been edited. Overall, I was more disappointed than illuminated and by the time I was nearing the end, I was seeking closure more than expecting a satisfying conclusion. I truly wanted to like this book but found it too mired in its artificial history and its choked yet meandering storytelling to readily enjoy. A sorrowful 2 outta 5.
Twilight: The Graphic Novel - Volume 1
sideration is in evidence in Twilight: The Graphic Novel.
By Stephanie Meyer and Young Kim Published by Atom ISBN 9781905654666 $26.99 (Hardback)
In the early part of the 20th Century, animators developed a process called “rotoscoping”, whereby live action could be used by the artist to create realistic frame-by-frame movement. Walt Disney famously used the process when animating Snow White, but by far the biggest proponent of the process was Ralph Bakshi, for whom the process solved a multitude of problems - particularly for the complex battle scenes in Lord of the Rings. In a 2004 interview, Bakshi let it be known how much he hated rotoscope, primarily as a result of employing its use so extensively and proving that familiarity does indeed breed contempt. I can’t say I feel contemptuous towards Twilight: The Graphic Novel, but if you wanted to see how the principle of rotoscoping is applied to comic books, this
is as good an example as any. And, to be honest, I don’t like it. But then, it might just be that I’m out of step with current comic book trends. For the most part, illustrator Young Kim has illustrated the book in a slightly stilted, quasi-manga style, which is very popular among teenage girls. With the exception of of only a few pages of muted colour, the artwork is presented in varied shades of warm grey, giving it a cold feel; it’s sort of appropriate, considering it’s about the love story of a teenage vampire. I should point out that a lot of serious effort has gone into getting the characters’ hairstyles just right. Whilst I’m not entirely familiar with the current state of manga, I am quite familiar with Photoshop, the ability to choose appropriate fonts and manipulating digital images, so the process by which Kim has rendered her work seems rather disappointingly obvious to me. First up, virtually all the backgrounds are essentially treated photographs with some loose linework drawn over the top. Cars, buildings, trees, sky and virtually all the interiors (even slices of pizza!) are composed of tricked-up photographs. Perhaps it’s par for the course in a tricked-up digital world, but I call it unimaginative and lazy. For the artist, it’s a definite time-saver and a stylish cop-out if one’s no good at drawing backgrounds, but that’s no excuse. While growing up and reading my Marvel comic books, I loved how the artists drew their own backgrounds and used text styles that complemented the art. A great example is Yaroslav Horak’s work on the James Bond comic strip (see Inkspot #59). None of this con-
This brings me to my second bugbear - the bewildering choice of text fonts. Speech balloons here are digitally-perfect, primarily translucent ovals, mostly slapped on top of the action as if they were an afterthought. And get this - the text is rendered in Time New Roman. Seriously! I’ve rarely seen anything more clinical (and distracting), and therefore less engaging, than this. Worse still is using the awful Monotype Corsiva for the narrative text - neither of these fonts belong in a comic book. Hideous. The actual drawing, when it does occur, is competent and stylish. It’s stiff in parts, but due to the nature of its manga influence. Unfortunately, Kim’s hand-rendered sound effects (“squeak”, “clutch”, “snap”, “blam”, “whoosh”, “click” and “zooooom” all get frequent airings) are distracting and do more to identify the artwork’s shortcomings rather than add to the overall effect, none more evident than where she needs to add the word “nod” at one point. There are multitudes of other puzzling words imposed on the action throughout (such as “crk”, “tok”, “sqick - pop pop pop...”, “tmp”, and “ssk”), the sounds of which threaten to remain a mystery. Chuck in those haphazard speech balloons and there’s a lot to get in the way of some competent artwork. Overall, it’s a cute manga-ish presentation of the first part of Stephanie Meyer’s novel, ruined for this old grump by an appalling choice of fonts and the over-reliance on photographic props. The weird sound effects don’t help. But then, I guess it isn’t aimed at people like me, is it? Twilight fans (mainly teenage girls, unkindly referred to as “Twihards” by critics) won’t mind, and the publisher is very hopeful of introducing them to the wonderful world of graphic novels. I understand the first print run is of 350,000 copies and, knowing of the staggering success of the Twilight books and films, they should sell like hotcakes.
Joseph Boswell www.cartoonists.org.au
Underground News From the Bunker As 2010 kicked into gear at the Bunker Cartoon Gallery, we welcomed aboard our new gallery co-ordinator, Lisa Magri, who brings to The Bunker a whole range of talents. With her extensive background in creative art, teaching, retail and marketing, her skills will undoubtedly benefit the gallery greatly in the future. And the best part of all is that Lisa l-o-v-e-s the cartoons and has already put together two great shows featuring a huge number of cartoons from the collection. The Bunker’s main gallery is currently playing host to HSIE Fit (Human Society and Its Environment), an exhibition particularly aimed at schools and holiday visitors. The show features 120 cartoons covering the historic events which have shaped our nation, such as colonization, federation, politics, terrorism, etc. The entry foyer features an exhibition, The Eminent Ken Emerson, smaller in size but not in importance. I love saying, “give us a subject or name a cartoonist and we’ll give you a cartoon” - and this was the case when putting together this exhibition. The team was able to access the Bunker’s cartoon archive officially comprising 15,000 cartoons - and compile a show to commemorate this late, great cartoonist. Ken’s daughter, Jane Emerson, was here for the opening night and was thrilled to see works of her father’s which she didn’t know existed. On April 29-30, HSIE Fit makes way for the notorious, the irreverent (and the one and only) Bald Archys. We’re proud to be one of just a few regional galleries to host the Bald Archys each year and we always enjoy good attendances during the exhibition. Congratulations to Judy Nadin for her brilliant work and we look forward to having curator Peter Batey with us for the opening. In May, 60 cartoons will travel south to be shown at the Taree Regional Gallery. The cartoons will be the past 20 Rotary Cartoon of the Year winners, as well as other significant works,
including category winners and runners-up. It’s very pleasing to all involved at The Bunker and the Rotary Club of Coffs Harbour City to tour cartoons from the collection and give other communities the opportunity to appreciate your great works. We hope this will be the start of many more out-of-town exhibitions in the future. If you’re in the Taree area between May 17 and 24, please make yourself known to the Gallery workers. Neil Matterson will be with us on July 21 to open an exhibition of his works, which will run through to August 20. We look forward to having Neil here in Coffs Harbour once again. Now, prepare yourself … the date has now been set for the 22nd Rotary Cartoon Awards presentation night ,which will be August 28. Entry forms should be on the ACA website by the time Inkspot hits the decks, so get those entries in! We’re always keen to welcome you to the Bunker, to have you with us on opening nights or to work together with you for exhibitions and workshops. If you’re coming up this way, please make sure you give us a call. We look forward seeing lots of great entries again this year for the Rotarys and to seeing many familiar faces in Coffs Harbour for another fun awards presentation night. ‘Til next time - cheers!
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Time Capsule... 1960 Actress Shaunna O’Grady recently unearthed this 1960 (14 May, to be precise) Rafty caricature (right) of her grandfather, acclaimed Australian author, John O’Grady (left). O’Grady is best known for his 1957 novel They’re a Weird Mob, written using the pseudonym of Nino Culotta. The book sold 130, 000 copies in its first year of publication (spawning three sequels), with a film produced in 1966. Rafty’s pretty sure the drawing is the result of an encounter at the bar of the Sydney Journalists’ Club in Surry Hills. According to Shaunna, it’s rendered in what looks like charcoal and pastel on some relatively cheap paper. That’s certainly one for the Pool Room... 34 www.cartoonists.org.au
Your View On... Your View On...
Grant Brown, VIC
Rolf Heimann, VIC
Mark Tippett, NSW
Lindsay Foyle, NSW
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