Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The best idea I ever had

Last summer there were floods all over england, the worst being in the town of Tewkesbury, so I started thinking about gag cartoons on the subject of floods. I was thinking about ducks, specifically the phrase "Lovely weather for ducks", but nothing was really working. I went out for a run because, for some reason, movement and fresh air tend to clean out my brain-tubes, and it was while running that the idea hit me. Animals in a flood, hippos, bingo! I was so fantastically pleased with it that I cut my run short, went home and drew it straight away. The cartoon is a 'riff' (need a nicer word-can't think of one) on one of the most famous cartoons of all time - Paul Crum's hippos in the water, one saying "I keep thinking it's tuesday". It's strange, surreal, a beautiful idea, way ahead of it's time for 1937. Rightly regarded as one of the defining cartoons of the 20th century and one that helped to shape gag cartooning. Here it is:

Paul Crum

So my idea, as you can see, was a simple word swap. It's allowed! There is a entire genre of gag cartooning that is basically borrowing someone else's cartoon and playing with it. As long it's made obvious, most often with 'apologies to...' written somewhere on the drawing, it is considered a tribute.

Did it get published? Did it bollocks. I wonder if cartoon editors think the idea is too obscure for non cartoon fanatics, or it just isn't as good as I thought at the time. I'm secretly hoping there will be some more floods in Tewkesbury soon so I can send it out again. Apologies if you live there.

1 comment:

Diocesan Climate Change Action Group said...

As I stare into the garden and the palm trees (well - cabbage trees really, but close enough) and think back to my child-hood in Tewkesbury (one of the less soggy bits - we lived on high ground, so the annual floods were only a small annoyance) I will keep this on my PC desktop.

Auckland Neil