Thursday, 30 August 2012

Fertility symbols

August is the month for irrational beliefs.
This week, we find a set of wooden, carved fertility symbols arranged in a circle in a well-known Lakeland holiday park. Known as ‘fertility henge’, they’ve become the subject of some excited gossip on Twitter.
The Park owners are quick to deny it is anything of the sort, claiming that they’re purely artistic erections and seeing them as anything else is down to the fertile imaginations of visitors.
A fine subject for this week’s Westmorland Gazette cartoon but one which presented a few problems for my steamed editor. Three problems, to be precise - the sketches he deemed unstuitable for a family newspaper.
Here are the five ideas I submitted. (If you're feeling a little under-endowed in the eyesight department, click on each cartoon to make it bigger.)
Can you spot which ones made him go white? And which would you have chosen to grace the front page?
Please add your comments in the box below and then you can see the final choice on my website.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Gull Power

There is nothing quite like analysing a problem and applying scientific thinking to its resolution.
Alternatively, you can dredge up a vague anecdote and see if that works.
The latter approach is being tried to prevent Ulverston Business Centre being mobbed by herring gulls. Business tenants are having problems being heard on the phone. All that squawking and squealing is being drowned out by the sound of the seagulls.
Fortunately, the manager of the Business Centre had read something about gulls being deterred by a Manchester United birthday cake. So paint the roof red. On the other hand, someone else had a friend whose uncle once worked in Qatar and swore blind that they painted roofs white to keep birds away.
A spokesperson for the RSPCA is on record as being a tad ‘sceptical’ but they decided to try both ideas anyway.
This was the subject of my cartoon for today’s soaraway Westmorland Gazette. Below you can see the ideas I pitched to my steamed editor.
Which did he choose?
For the answer, wing it to my website.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Mo Olympics

The Olympics are over, the sun has gone behind the clouds, the politicians will soon be back from their summer hols …
Is there nothing which can cheer up the cartoon in this week’s Westmorland Gazette?
Well, yes. The Olympics aren’t quite over. It turns out there is one more story left in them; a local firm has been providing cryogenic treatment for Olympic champion Mo Farrah.
This apparently involves standing in a liquid-nitrogen cooled room for up to three minutes in order to um, well, do things to the bloodstream and stuff. Anyway, clearly it worked in Mo’s case so hurrah for local firms!
In other news, a Virgin balloon crashed in South Lakes. Good job that was the only bit of bad news for Virgin this week.
Here is the selection of cartoons I thrust at my steamed editor. Which would you have chosen?
Turn to my website to find out if you matched his finely-honed editorial instincts.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Water world

The sun is shining, Team GB is winning millions of medals in the Olympics, Curiosity has landed safely on Mars, it’s 5pm on a Wednesday, the cartoon artwork has gone off down the interweb to The Westmorland Gazette, all is right with the world …
It was a varied but jolly bunch of stories in this week’s cartoon in-tray. A storm-chaser spotted a tornado over Morecambe Bay, a company has started running an open-air cinema in Lakeland and Kendal’s famous bells have been deemed too loud and keep people awake at night.
Here is my take on the various stories. As usual, I presented my steamed editor with a variety of scribbly ideas. But which did he choose? Will you pick the same one?
Visit my website to see if you did. There is a massive prize for the winner*.

* There isn’t.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

50 Shades of Damnation

When returning from a holiday, it’s good to get back to a pit of eternal damnation.
This is not a description on the state of my home, but is the story which greeted me upon firing up the Westmorland Gazette cartoon desk.
Some of you may remember the Channel 4 TV series The Hotel. This fly-on-the-wall documentary followed the exciting activities at the Damson Dene Hotel in Lakeland. A year later and the manager continues to show a genius for publicity by replacing the Gideon Bible in each bedroom with a copy of recent middle-aged bonkathon 50 Shades of Grey.
Instant outrage amongst the Daily Mail brigade. Even better, the controversy has spread abroad with religious types in America saying the hotel is condemned to eternal damnation (or a visit by Alex Polizzi, whichever is the scariest).
Hell, damnation, offended religious sensitivities are all topics which require the lightest of touches and a finely honed sensitivity to the feeling of others … which is tough because I got to tackle them for the cartoon. The chance to put Satan on the front cover was too good a chance to pass up.
Here are the choices which confronted my editor. But which one is festering on the front of today’s Westmorland Gazette? Did you agree with his choice? Leave your comments below then hot-foot it to my website to see if you’re right.