Thursday, July 24, 2008

Cartoon review: Phill Jupitus on Radio 4

Strip by comedian and wannabe cartoonist Phill Jupitus

PCOer Neil Dishington reviews Comic Love, Phill Jupitus’s BBC Radio Four show in praise of newspaper comic strips

Apparently Phill Jupitus is a thwarted cartoonist.

Aren’t we all?

I should admit that he is not my favourite comedian, and I am not a particular fan of comic strips, as opposed to stand-alone cartoon jokes.

Much of what Jupitus had to say in his Radio 4 show seemed like a repeat of what most cartoonists talk about when they get together: lack of markets and indifferent editors.

The interviewees in the show were able to speak from strength – Garry Trudeau (Doonesbury), Steve Bell (If), Peattie and Taylor (Alex). But I always think that artists like this have become part of the establishment they lampoon. Is it just as easy to get stuck into royalty, celebs and the City of London when you are selling strips in umpteen countries around the world and your stuff is syndicated all over the place?

I do think Steve Bell has kept his integrity, but I wonder how much attention people pay to "cartoonists with attitude"? We, as a nation, do seem happy to accept bland publishable stuff as the norm.

I did like some of the comments by the cartoonists interviewed by Jupitus, such as Steve Bell’s call for a "missionary zeal" in making cartoons which have something to say. In contrast, I was not so keen to hear that the future of cartoons will be online.

Overall, I found the programme bland, smug and much of it decidedly familiar. A real time-filler. It was lazy broadcasting and lazy journalism.

And lo and behold, in the Guardian newspaper of July 22, an article by Jupitus retelling the same stuff as the programme, accompanied by a cartoon strip drawn by ... celebrity cartoonist Phill Jupitus.

Thanks for the review Neil. Bloghorn says click D for Dishington.

The BBCs Listen again facility is here - and the program will be online until Saturday 26th July.

Full-time British cartoon talent