Editorial Cartoon – Charlottesville

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] “Editorial Cartoon – Charlottesville” By C. A. Brown

Sorry that it’s somewhat late, badly-drawn and not particularly subtle, but I thought that I should say something about the shocking events in America a few days ago (and Donald Trump’s terrifying response to them too). Although I hadn’t planned to tackle this topic until some of the comics that I’ll be posting here next year, I also thought that I should say something now.

But, as terrifying as the recent events over in America seem to be, one reassuring thing is that they have pretty much united the whole world (except for Donald Trump, it seems) in opposition to both the murderous fascist rabble who terrorised Charlottesville, and to everything that they stand for.

On a personal level, I’ve found my own political views (which are normally a somewhat varied mixture of opinons) leaning further to the left than usual over the past few days.
Because, despite any criticisms I might have of the modern left, these criticisms dwindle into nothing when compared to the sheer horror of heavily-armed fascists marching through the streets of a country that helped to fight against such poisonous ideologies less than eight decades ago.

So, thankfully, the violent fascist rabble in America seem to have scored an own goal. Far from drumming up support for their terrifying ideas, they’ve pretty much united everyone in opposition to them. So, although it initially looked like the worst parts of 20th century history were repeating themselves, at least most of the world thankfully seems to have learnt the lessons of that terrible time (even if Donald Trump doesn’t seem to).

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Editorial Cartoon – Microsoft To Discontinue MS Paint!?!?!

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] “Editorial Cartoon – Microsoft To Discontinue MS Paint ?!?!?” By C. A. Brown

[Update (25/7/17): Yay! It seems like MS Paint has been saved, sort of..]

Well, a while ago, I read the terrible news. I then opened MS Paint and made an editorial cartoon. With a mouse. In “Paint”. It seemed like a fitting thing to do.

Of course, having an older computer, I have nothing to worry about. But, the idea that MS Paint may not be included on new computers or even worse, may potentially be removed [Edit: Hopefully just not updated, rather than actually removed] from future updates to the modern version of Windows, is very disturbing. Apparently, it’s going to be replaced with a program called “Paint 3D” (which looks a little bit like Paint, but doesn’t seem to be the same).

MS Paint may not be a fancy program. But, it works. You might not be able to create good art in it easily (but I tried here) but that was never it’s true purpose. It was a quick, simple program that you could use to correct small mistakes in your art. There is nothing more practical or useful for this purpose than good old MS Paint 5.1 (and earlier).

But, in this modern age of computing, “practical” and “useful” seem to be dirty words. I mean, a few months ago, I happened to look at one of the more modern versions of Paint briefly, and it was a confusing mass of “ribbon” menus and options, rather than a simple, reliable, useful program. So, maybe this shocking news isn’t entirely unexpected.

Still, for those poor souls who get a modern PC in the future, there do seem to be some open source programs out there that are vaguely similar to classic paint. However, the most user-friendly looking one of these seems to be Linux-only [Edit: There’s a version of it for Windows too :)].

Still, with the direction that Windows seems to be going in these days (apparently, the latest Windows doesn’t even have a DVD player program by default!), I guess that Linux may well end up becoming more popular…..

Still, goodbye classic MS Paint (1985-2017). You won’t be forgotten and you won’t go unused!

Editorial Cartoon: It’s Election Season… Again

Well, after the Prime Minister’s shock announcement yesterday, I just had to make a political cartoon about the fact that there’s going to be yet another spring/summer election this year (there was the Scottish referendum in 2014, the general election in 2015 and the EU referendum last year). It almost seems to be becoming an annual event!

Unfortunately, I didn’t have room to include the Greens or the SNP in this cartoon. But, to be honest, neither of them have a vague chance of winning the election (yes, the SNP might win almost all of the seats in Scotland again, but they’ll never get an overall majority, given their limited focus on just one country of the UK).

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] “Editorial Cartoon – It’s Election Season… Again” By C. A. Brown

Editorial Cartoon: “Dangerous People”

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] "Editorial Cartoon - Dangerous People" By C. A. Brown

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] “Editorial Cartoon – Dangerous People” By C. A. Brown

Although I often try to avoid politics (let alone international politics) on this blog, I just had to make a political cartoon about recent political events in America. Although this cartoon won’t exactly change the world, it was one of those moments where (if slightly belatedly) I felt strongly compelled to express a moral opinion about current affairs.

The fact that Trump could so casually cause chaos and fear for many families in America, that he could be so callous towards courageous Iraqi interpreters who have helped American troops (at great personal risk), that he bizarrely believes that Syrian refugees somehow pose a security threat [eg: They’ve been forced to flee from violent religious extremists. They probably hate both violence and the extremists even more than everyone else does!] etc.. is deeply chilling, regardless of who you may be. Trump’s preference for ruling by decree executive order and his willingness to ban people based purely on their place of birth is worrying for everyone, regardless of nationality or political views.

Likewise, in the UK, this decree executive order led to a situation where one of our most respected Olympic athletes, Sir Mo Farah, worried whether he’d be able to see his family living in the US. Where a member of parliament feared that he’d be unable to visit family members studying in the US. And where a vet from Glasgow was stranded in an airport in Costa Rica due to not being allowed a transit visa via the US. How any President could be deranged enough to think that these respectable Britons pose any kind of “security risk” is completely beyond me.

There was a lot of fanfare and press attention about the fact that Trump had moved the bust of Churchill back into the Oval Office. But, after this order, it seems clear that Trump has no sense of history. I mean, despite Churchill’s imperial past and conservative opinions, he was most famous for opposing things like extreme nationalism, undemocratic rule by decree etc…

Likewise, Trump’s order also means that the author/illustrator of one of the truly great graphic novels that I’ve read (“Persepolis” by Marjane Satrapi) could also potentially be banned from the US. Why any country would deny entry to such a talented writer/artist is completely beyond me. Hell, one of the things that reading this comic taught me was that – even in despotic countries with strict, fanatical governments – most people who live there are just ordinary people. Ordinary people who like to have fun, to listen to music, to fall in love and to dream. It’s a graphic novel that Trump and his cabinet would do well to read.

In Trump’s own words, all of this is extremely. Sad.

Editorial Cartoon: “Optimism”

…And I thought that Brexit was bad! Seriously, I’d planned not to say anything about the American election but when I looked at BBC News this morning and saw which way the results in the US were leaning, my first reaction was to utter a single four-letter word. My second reaction was to think “I have to make a cynical editorial cartoon!“.

Given how miserable I’d been feeling about Brexit yesterday and, given the choice between laughing at the horrible, unthinkably dystopian direction these parts of the world seem to be taking, or actually thinking about it seriously, I chose the former. Hence the cartoon.

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] "Editorial Cartoon - Optimism" By C. A. Brown

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] “Editorial Cartoon – Optimism” By C. A. Brown

Editorial Cartoon: “Tomb Raider” Turns 20

Well, about three quarters of an hour ago, I was randomly reading the news when I read that “Tomb Raider” turns 20 today. Naturally, I just had to make a quick cartoon to commemorate the occasion.

Whilst I’ve only played the first two “Tomb Raider” games (and the demo for the third one), hearing about the franchise again suddenly brought back a lot of 90s nostalgia. I remember playing the demo of Tomb Raider 3 on one of the computers in a computer shop whilst my parents were browsing. I remember the training level on “Tomb Raider 1” and how the PC version came in an absolutely giant CD case, with a CD of bonus levels that I never got round to playing.

But, most of all, I remember “Tomb Raider 2”. I remember playing it on a windows 95 computer [Edit: or was it Windows 98?]. I remember the silly cheat code that caused Lara Croft to explode. I remember playing the demo before I got the full version, and learning that if I pressed one of the function keys, all of the textures would disappear and everything in the game would look like an ice sculpture. I remember the annoying platforming. I remember the flares and the tiger in the first level. I remember the melodramatic cutscenes and I vaguely remember getting completely stuck on the “Venice” level.

Hell, even the mouse mat that I’m using with this computer is a really old and chipped one with a “Tomb Raider” design. If I remember rightly, I actually got it free with a games magazine I bought when I was a kid. It’s been sitting there for literally years and, surprisingly, I only really thought about “Tomb Raider” when I read the news article.

So much nostalgia! And I’d almost forgotten about it! So, I just had to make a cartoon – although it ended up going in a much more “realistic” (and sillier) direction than I had initially expected.

Since this is fan art, this cartoon is NOT released under a creative commons licence of any kind.
[EDIT: I’ve also just replaced the cartoon with a version that has slightly better shading.]

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] "Tomb Raider Turns 20" By C. A. Brown

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] “Tomb Raider Turns 20” By C. A. Brown

Editorial Cartoon: “BORIS Is The New FOREIGN SECRETARY?!?!”

Although I often try to avoid politics on this blog, I saw a shocking piece of news earlier that compelled me to make a political cartoon. Boris Johnson is our new Foreign Secretary!

If you’ve never heard of him before, then he is one of the most undiplomatic politicians in current British politics (second only to Nigel Farage!). He recently penned a hilariously rude limerick about the Turkish Prime Minister President a couple of months ago, he made some rather Trump-like comments about Obama’s “part-Kenyan ancestry” less than three months ago etc… the list goes on..

The only logical reason why Theresa May picked him for this job is both to appease the “Brexit” crowd and because she knows that she’ll probably get to sack him within weeks because he’s probably going to say something monumentally stupid at some point in the near future.

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] "BORIS Is The New FOREIGN SECRETARY!?!?! WTF?" By C. A. Brown

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] “BORIS Is The New FOREIGN SECRETARY!?!?! WTF?” By C. A. Brown