Saturday, 7 February 2009

Too Close For Whose Comfort?

It was over drinks in the pub that my mate Matt Caygill (town planner, real ale lover, all round top notch bloke) made the suggestion that I try my hand at the odd current affairs or politically satirical cartoon; something that was both funny and which reflected something newsworthy.
Now before I go on I should explain that the reason I don't do satirical cartoons is because of their shelf-life. The cartoons I draw are meant to be something you could pick up a week or a year from now and find funny. Satirical cartoons, whilst potentially hilarious in the crucible of the moment, last about as long as a good bottle of wine in the Smedley household (and really, do I have to explain how startlingly short that is?). Thats the only reason I stay away from them. I did one, once, in 2007, which combined the smoking ban with the summer flooding and which I was immensely proud of, but which now solicits only a nostalgic chuckle from those who are most on the ball when it comes to news. There is also another reason, which is that there are so many ridiculously talented satirists/cartoonists out there (Peter Brooks of 'The Times' being my favourite) that I really don't feel worthy of entering such an esteemed field. After all, is there anything else I can contribute to it?
However, never let it be said I don't like to try new things. Cagsy's love of the satirical cartoon has inspired me to give it a go again. So with that in mind I'm going to have the occasional stab at satirical cartoons - drawing something whenever a good or interesting news story comes along and which I can think of something clever to say about. They probably won't be along very often, and when they are I'll specially tag them to make them known from the usual cartoons. Let me know what you think of them - if the response is poor, or I find I can't really do a news story justice, I'll stop them. I'm my own most savage critic.
So consider it a trial period. Pencils have been sharpened, as have wits, and I'll be keeping an even more watchful eye on the news. Look out current affairs, here I come!