Monthly Archives: May 2014

DRAWING LIVES…

Read that heading with a soft or hard ‘i’ in ‘lives’ and it comes to the same thing…

I’m a member of the Professional Cartoonists Association, and I have often turned out for the Campaign for Drawing (notably in front of hundreds of people in Trafalgar Square, plying my trade) so I was delighted to see that Andrew Marr has made a little film on the subject of drawing. First of all I’m not in it. Despite this serious oversight I can still heartily recommend it. The people are a bit precious, but we all get like that sometimes…

Me with super-chef Lotte Duncan at The Big Draw, Trafalgar Square

Me with super-chef Lotte Duncan at The Big Draw, Trafalgar Square

Time for the link: http://procartoonists.org/back-to-the-drawing-board/ 

There you go. It touches on the subject that I bang on about at every opportunity – that all kids are artists to start with, but give it up when puberty, Xboxes, girls, dodgy teenage mates, and eventually jobs in banks come to the fore.

Shame. I maintain (and correct me if I’m wrong but I won’t listen) that if you can draw you are never bored. I love photography, but I know that if you take an ordinary photo, print it in black and white or muted colour, most importantly give it a really wide surround, frame it and sign it, it will look like a masterpiece, and be hailed as one.

Not so with drawing. If you’re not very good it shows, so you have to keep practising. I could name a few exceptions who get away with it and own indoor swimming pools or pads in LA – but generally you have to work at it. I consider I’ve never been better at my craft, and my age lies somewhere between Andrew Marr and Quentin Blake.

So listen to me you young rips…

THERE ARE OTHER SHOWS APART FROM LES MIS AND LION KING…

Why West End audiences should be adventurous, instead of playing safe all the time…

From Here to Eternity logoA recent disaster is the early closing of Sir Tim Rice’s latest masterpiece From Here to Eternity. Sadly the publicity was a bit dodgy, and the subject would have better suited American audiences. After all, the subject of the Japanese attack on peaceful Pearl Harbour is more their territory than ours.

Maybe Broadway will welcome it soon, and so they should. Some great great songs, a clever adaptation of James Jones novel, and some staging that was so creative, muted and moody that Elvis’s Blue Hawaii wouldn’t have got a look in.

I saw the show twice, because I was invited to the opening night, and by the time I caught up with it several weeks later it had been tightened up perfectly.

The guys are coasting along, having a ball, when the Japanese attack. Cue the most fantastic staging – with explosions on every side, smoke and general horror and disbelief. The brilliant male chorus went into slow motion, silhouetted against the light as they fell, guns in the air, cleverly flung into the air with the help of their colleagues in a truly balletic performance.

Now the show’s gone – but apparently has been filmed so there is still hope for what was a perfectly crafted intelligent show.

And silly Cathy fell in love with Darius and was photographed with him at the post-show party. He was good, but I certainly didn’t fancy him…

ALL IN A DAZE…WORK

Robert Duncan grumbles about not having enough to do. That’s when he’s not grumbling about having too much to do…

After more weeks than I can remember churning out mini speed drawing films to the extent I was nearly drawing at the speed they ended up at, I now find myself with very little to do.

Ok, I have a conference to prepare for – one of these events when I turn up and draw as many single frame gags about the subject of the day as I can…and ok, I’m cartooning in front of loads of kids at my son’s school tomorrow..well ok, I’m due to finish off some cartoons for my Heathrow parking client – a weekly event that goes out to a million lucky recipients… er, ok, I’m under orders from the lovely Cathy to finish the poster for the school wild west Barbecue (where I drew a horse bucking because I was told they were having a Bucking (with a B) Bronco and it now turns out it’s a bull) and I’ve got to start writing these blogs on a three times a week basis or someone called Tony will get shirty… and… wait a minute, I’d better get on, instead of wasting time on this stuff…

Robert-Duncan-at-work-1

Read the Further Adventures of a Working Cartoonist in the next exciting episode.

Or start to read Lindsey Davis’ Falco novels, set in Rome about AD73. They are funny, fine and perfect.

Hugs R