Drawing: Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement – Flight Of The Conchords

Autographed drawing of Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement Flight Of The Conchords

Self-styled as New Zealand’s ‘fourth most popular guitar-based digital-bongo acapella- rap-funk-comedy-folk duo’, and ‘retired sex symbols’, Flight Of The Conchords, Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement are, by global consensus, one of the most successful musical comedy bands on the planet.

As fellow Kiwis… actually as a members of the human race we had to see them perform live, the first time in eight years in the UK. We managed to get tickets to see them at London’s O2. However their big comeback, sold-out arena tour was postponed after a couple of dates, when Bret fell down a flight of stairs, breaking two bones in his hand, “a very rock ‘n’ roll injury” he wrote on his Instagram post.

Bones fixed, the bona fide rock stars rescheduled, adding extra shows. We finally got to the O2 gig on 22 June. “Sorry we’re three months late,” they said in typical Conchordian laid back schtick. Jemaine also apologised for looking ‘older and dustier’, but Bret pointed out that the audience have also put on some years since they last toured “So we’re even.” In London, they did three sell-out shows at the O2 and four at the Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith.

The O2’s a fortress and nigh impossible to meet the artists let alone get stuff signed. The Apollo isn’t much better, with a reinforced gate protecting the lane to the stage door, but it has an opening. I had also heard that sometimes barriers are erected for after show signing and selfie sessions. I decided to go with an entry rather than exit option and quickly did this sketch, arriving at the said gate just as it was closing after Bret and Jemaine had passed through in a big black van and down to the stage door.

However, while I was muttering the typical antipodean expletive, ‘bugger’ or something stronger, a very accommodating gentleman with a lanyard approached me and asked if he could help. I explained the situation and he promised to pass it on. A month passed, nothing returned. Then yesterday this arrived back in the post. Apologies for thinking the worse of said accommodating gentleman with lanyard… in fact ‘thanks.’

Advertisements

Drawing: Eleanor Catton

Autographed drawing of author Eleanor Catton

It’s always nice to catch up with a fellow kiwi in London, and in this case a very distinguished New Zealander, Man Booker Prize winner Eleanor Catton. Born in Canada, while her father completed his doctorate at the University of Western Ontario, she grew up in Christchurch on east coast of NZ’s South Island. Eleanor’s second novel, THE LUMINARIES won the Man Booker Prize in 2013.

At the age of 28, she was the youngest recipient of the prestigious literary award. It was also the longest book to win, with 832 pages. The chair of the judging panel, Robert Macfarlane said, “It’s a dazzling work. It’s a luminous work. It is vast without being sprawling.”

Set in 1866, THE LUMINARIES follows Walter Moody, a prospector who heads to Hokitika on the opposite coast to Christchurch to make his fortune in the goldfields, but stumbles on a meeting of twelve local men and is drawn into a complex mystery that is covering up a series of unsolved crimes. Each of the twelve men are associated with the twelve signs of the zodiac, astrological principles, the sun and the moon – ‘the luminaries’ in the title. Each of the novel’s twelve parts decreases in length to mimic the waning of the moon. As Eleanor herself said, “It’s a kind of weird sci-fi fantasy thing.”

Eleanor was in London over the weekend speaking at the ‘Series Man Booker 50′ as part of the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Prize. I met her at the Queen Elizabeth Hall Artists’ Entrance on Saturday, where we ‘conversed in kiwi’ as she signed my sketch.

Drawing: Ivan Mauger

Autographed drawing of speedway racer Ivan Mauger

New Zealand’s Ivan Mauger, regarded as the world’s greatest speedway rider died today at the age of 78. The Christchurch-born Ivan, who won a record six individual World Championships was voted the ‘Greatest Speedway Rider of the 20th Century.’ He was also runner-up three times. In all the speedway ace won 15 world titles, mostly in the 1970’s along with countless other events and enjoyed International celebrity status.

I can’t remember when or where Ivan signed this biro sketch for me, but I have a feeling it may have been in Wellington in 1990 when he was the inaugural inductee into the NZ Hall of Fame. RIP Ivan.

Drawing: Sam Wills as Tape Face

New Zealander Sam Wills and his alter – ego Tape Face found International notoriety last year, reaching the finals of America’s Got Talent, where he was the ‘most buzzed- about’ contestant. Described as a ‘modern day Chaplin’ Sam’s contemporary comedic mime revives silent film acting with a piece of tape over his mouth and the traditional stripped shirt, using facial expressions and body movements to captivate his audiences.

He began performing as an apprentice clown at the age of 13. Sam rarely gives interviews to continue the illusion of not speaking, although he was happy to chat in our antipodean accents with a fellow London-based Kiwi and sign my sketch before his matinee show at the Garrick Theatre where he is resident until 23 July.

America’s Cup Cartoons

Against the odds, underdog Team New Zealand has won the 35th America’s Cup, with a ruthless pounding of Oracle Team USA 7-1 off Bermuda to win the ‘Auld Mug’, international sport’s oldest trophy. Here’s a small selection of chicanery from the past year.

   

Drawing: The All Blacks

all blacks team sigs
As a proud but nomadic New Zealander living in the UK I couldn’t let this moment go by  without some homage to our mighty All Blacks, winning the Rugby World Cup for the third time and the first team to retain the Webb Ellis Cup, beating our noisy neighbours Australia, 34-17 in the final at Twickenham on Saturday.

Since becoming the World Champions in Auckland in 2011, they have only had three loses in 53 matches, holding the Number 1 ranking for the past decade. The world’s media have labelled them the greatest rugby team of all time, some saying the greatest team in the history of sport. “Phenomenal doesn’t do them justice,” one scribe wrote.

Rightly so, they also picked up the Best Team trophy at the annual World Rugby Awards for the sixth successive with legendary playmaker Dan Carter winning Best Player after his mercurial Final and final performance, scoring 19 points with the boot, a fitting end to his unparalleled career.

I drew this image of the Cup with the All Blacks iconic silver fern, leaving space for the team – 31 of them – to hopefully sign… and hopefully the winning team. They arrived at the Tower of London for the official welcome to the tournament six weeks ago. Given the history of the venue, some thought the hosts may have had other ideas.

Knowing the chances of me obtaining the entire team at that event were less than minimal, I delivered it to the AB’s long-time manager Darren Shand, who had helped me in the past with previous requests and as sure as God made little green apples (and the All Blacks) he got the job done, like his team in the World Cup. I just had to mention that again.

Drawing: Sonny Bill Williams

sonny bill williams

A photo of All Black impact weapon Sonny Bill Williams consoling his opposite number Jesse Kriel and helping him to his feet after the New Zealanders nail biting 20-18 win over the Springboks in the World Rugby Cup semi-final thriller at Twickenham last weekend went global, adding a poignant perspective to sporting rivalries. It was reminiscent of another Kiwi show of sportsmanship this year, also in a World Cup semi-final and also against South Africa. Black Caps all-rounder Grant Elliot, who hit the winning runs was photographed consolling the Proteas quick Dale Steyn after the epic match.

Sonny Bill told Jesse that he had nothing but respect for him and that he had played well throughout the tournament and will be around for many more.After the game he said that the result could have gone either way and that could have been us. Fellow AB Liam Neeson tweeted in admiration, “Never look down on anybody unless you’re helping them.” It was not Sonny Bill’s only act of compassion. The first Muslim to play for the All Blacks offered his player tickets to Syrian refugees. While he may divide public opinion back in New Zealand, I’m sure all us kiwis both at home and abroad have nothing but admiration for him this week.

Not quite on the same humanitarian level, but equally appreciated by me was his signing and ‘best wishes’ dedication on this sketch, which AB manager Darren Shand organised for me.  The original is drawn with my trusty 4B, which is a soft lead and prone to smudging. Sometimes when people are signing they indadvertedly do this, but generally leave it as part of the process. Sonny Bill’s right eye on the left image got the treatment, but who am i to argue with a champion boxer.  I’m hoping the very hand used  will produce a trademark offload against Austraila in this weekend’s Final and hold the Webb Ellis Cup as World Champions again. If not, I still have a great sporting trophy of my own.

Drawing: David Lange

David LangeNew Zealand’s 32nd Prime Minister David Lange was one of the best-loved. Becoming his country’s youngest leader of the 20th Century at the age of 41.  Heading the fourth Labour Government in 1984, which proved to be one of the most reforming administrations in New Zealand’s history with some of the most radical economic changes anywhere in the industrialised world. But it was his nuclear-free legislation that remains his legacy He was a PM from  a small Pacific nation, who could stride on the International stage and take on the ‘big boys’…a real David and Goliath story. This was highlighted in the 1985 televised Oxford Union Debate when he opposed the  American TV evangelist, Jerry Falwell, arguing the proposition that ‘nuclear weapons are morally indefensible.’  In his winning speech filled with gems, one quote has lodged  in my mind, when he told the Rev.Falwell, “I can smell the uranium on your breath as you lean towards me.” A cutting wit and eloquence,his oratory was based on a need to compensate for his clumsiness at school.When he graduated from Law school David turned down lucritive career paths to repesent the most dispossessed members of his community.

I drew this toon of David near the end of his leadership when his party was falling apart and his position was under threat, which eventually lead to his resignation in August 1989.  He stayed on in Parliament until 1996 when ill-health forced him to retire.  David passed away in 2005, aged 63. Politicians and political cartoonists are not always  bossom buddies, so I was pleased he signed this and inscribed ‘One of the best’ on it.

Drawing: Martin Guptill

Martin Guptill

My team, New Zealand did very well at this year’s Cricket World Cup,held, jointly between my home country and our noisy neighbours, Australia. One of the key members of the ‘Black Caps’ was opening batsman, Martin Guptill. However, leading up to the tournament, he wasn’t filling the supporters with a lot of confidence, scoring three ducks (that’s 0, for non-cricketing types and aquatic bird fanciers) in warm-up matches. Thankfully that all changed as ‘Marty two-toes’ ( as he’s nicknamed due to a forklift accident that caused the loss of three toes) belted 2 50’s, a century and 237 not out on New Zealand’s way to the final. The unbeaten 237 was against the West Indies in the quarter final at Westpac Stadium in NZ’s capital, Wellington on 21 March.It is the highest individual score at a World Cup, scored from only 163 balls, including 11 sixes and 24 fours. He was the first kiwi cricketer to reach a ‘double-ton’ in One Day Internationals (ODI’s) and only one of five to achieve the milestone. The Caps went on to post 393/6, which is the best team total in a World Cup knockout match..oh yes, and we won! Martin was awarded the Best Batsman title for the Tournament,scoring the most runs.

To commemorate the feat (minus three toes), I drew this drawing and tried to get Martin to sign it in person at the Kia Oval, after their thrilling win over England in the recent ODI Series over here in the UK. But after waiting for two hours the team bus picked them up at another gate, so I missed out. I sent it to Trent Bridge in Nottingham where they played the 4th match and it came back signed.Good score!

2014: A Graphic Review

A selection of editorial cartoons depicting events from the last 12 months; graphic expressions, both textual and pictorial of an eventful year. They were predominately produced for the New Zealand print media.

The editorial cartoon is intended to make you think, not necessarily laugh. It is not a comic strip. They are usually placed on the publication’s editorial page where ‘opinion’ dominates. The editorial cartoonist has a number of devices at his disposal – caricature, irony, ridicule, satire, stereotypes, symbols, analogies, among a raft of conventional and unconventional codes.

Humour is only one of the tools available. As pictorial chroniclers of history, we encompass the full spectrum of current issues, both controversial and comical, serious and otherwise. An effective editorial cartoon combines a number of layers of meaning – both intended and those open to the reader’s interpretation.

If you’d like to use any of the cartoons below, please purchase via Cartoon Stock.

_1_Scientific Research 7 Jan _2_Wailing 7 Jan _3_European Elections 26 May _4_Match Fixing 30 May Continue reading