Back in the day, there was a blog called ‘The Spine’ which reported the news without the heavy burden of facts to trouble either its reader or its author. The blog consisted of hastily written paragraphs of nonsense to back up the Photoshopped images which I’d create, one a day, until my spirits ran dry about two and a half years later. It was fun whilst it lasted. I made some good friends and I was lucky enough to have been nominated for the odd award. My pictures and stories appeared occasionally in the national press (and once, to my great amusement, in a New York courtroom) but, like most Photoshop satirists, there was no market for my work. Newspapers are very wary of copyright laws, though this rarely stops them from publishing Photoshopped images sent to them by members of the public. Submit your work and you’ll be asked to confirm that you own the rights to the source photographs. Authors rarely do but they agree anyway. They want to see their work in the papers. And the papers are happy because they fill their pages for nothing.
Of course, the problem is that those of us trying to make a career from satire have a hard time when amateurs work for nothing, flouting laws that those of us honest about such matters take seriously. Well, it eventually got to me. I closed this blog and went away to write others, some of which you might have read, most of which you probably haven’t. I wrote the book ‘Second-Class Male’, which some people liked a lot, a few hated in equal measure. I also started to teach myself to draw cartoons, vowing that I wouldn’t get lured back to Photoshopping nonsense for the blogosphere.
Yet now I’m back.
Only, as you can see, I’m no longer Photoshopping images, though some of my old work is here. I’m keeping to the spirit of my vow, if not the letter. I’ll leave Photoshop to the experts. The copyright laws haven’t relaxed enough to make it enjoyable and I no longer want to spend my nights worrying if anybody is going to point out that I’ve used their picture of their Aunt Mildred’s left leg and attached it to Katie Price’s buttock.
This blog is now home to the cartoons I draw in response to the daily dose of craven stupidity and febrile idolatry that passes for politics and culture in this glorious nation of ours. My only ambition is to entertain some like-minded readers and to learn to be a better cartoonist and illustrator. There’s so much I’m still learning after abandoning the graphic tablet for a croquill but if you like what you see, feel free to leave a comment or email me. It’s always reassuring to know that there are people out there serious about not being too serious.