The Propped-Open Back Door

The killings in Aurora were a horrible tragedy.

I'm a firm believer in gun control. That's one of the reasons that I moved to Australia, where there are very strict gun laws. These came into effect after the Port Arthur Massacre in 1996. Like the Aurora shootings, people were taken off guard - they thought it was some sort of staged show.

Gun lobbyists like to say that killings like this wouldn't happen if everyone had guns. But let's face reality here; before the Aurora shootings, who in their right mind would have brought a gun with them to a movie for protection? And who, being taken completely off guard, would have been able to think and see clear enough to use that gun against the attacker?

I'm sure guns have thwarted more than a few attempted burglaries. But there's a flip side to this "protection" when you have stories about 3-year-olds accidentally shooting and killing their dad because they found a gun in the house.

The problem that I have with guns is that they give people power; the power to decide whether a person should live or not. It is a undeserved and unearned power that should only be used for law enforcement. Yet in the USA, anyone can have that power, from three-year-olds to crazy lunatics.

Remember, guns don't kill people. People do. Guns just make it a hell of a lot easier.

Jason Alexander's essay that he posted on Twitter is much better worded than my little rant. But that's alright, I draw how I feel about these issues.


Try The Limestone Hors D'oeuvres. They Rock.

Yet another cable car cartoon.

This one is highly inspired by Scott Campbell's Great Showdowns.


This Is Why We Can't Have Good T.V.

Anyone out there watch "The Shire"?

I have lost every ounce of respect for you.


My 100th Cartoon for the Mercury

Well, here it is. My 100th cartoon for the Mercury! I know, as far as political cartoon careers go, it's a small milestone. Hopefully it's one of many more to come.

The story behind this cartoon is about the Mount Wellington Task Force working to get development on the summit of the mountain. And that there was also a van up there selling coffee.

At the moment, there's heaps of debate about building a cable car to ferry tourists up and down the mountain. Purists don't want it. Practically everyone else is gung ho about it, though.

Personally, I've always liked the solitude of the Mount Wellington summit. It always reminds me of a real life Myst what with its strange walkways and constant wind. But, progress is progress. Change is inevitable. I just hope I don't see any empty coffee cups littered about the place next time I'm up there.


Paul's Gardening Tips

Meet Paul Howes. Paul really doesn't like the Greens. Neither do many of his friends in the NSW Labor Party.

Problem with all of this is that it's the Greens that are giving NSW Labor their support and helping them to pass legislation that they otherwise wouldn't be able to do squat with.


Why I Kinda Like Tony Abbott

You know, I bet a lot of people out there think I don't like Tony Abbott. I do a lot of attack cartoons on the guy.

Au contraire. I love the guy. He makes my job so much fun. He makes himself such an easy target.

For anyone who lives in Hobart, yes that's a caricature of Richard Sprent of the Ellison Hawker bookstore. What makes this cartoon extra funny is that he would never in a million years sell a book that Tony Abbott had written. He almost kicked me out of the store when I enquired about the Susan Boyle biography. (It was for a present - I promise!)


Stormwater and Robots

 I'm gonna admit something about this cartoon. It was created out of laziness.

It was suggested that I do something on the Glenorchy city council selling stormwater to the Nyrstar Zinc plant. My immediate idea was to draw a kind of rain cycle diagram that would show the Nyrstar plant pumping Zinc into the clouds that were then raining onto Glenorchy, who was collecting it and selling it back to Nyrstar. The only problem with that is that I would have to draw the Nyrstar plant - which is a crazy mess of tubes, pipes and chimneys.

So I thought, "How can I do this cartoon without having to draw that plant?" I know it's a lazy approach, but sometimes laziness can produce some great results. It's rare, but it does happen.
Anyone who watched Insiders last Sunday saw Tony Abbot yet again stumbling over his own policy. This time he was trying to convince us that reverting back to the Howard Years policy for Asylum Seekers is the only solution. When asked how it would work, he just repeated himself. Like a robot. On the fritz.

I swear I saw a thin line of smoke coming from his ears.


Higgs-Boson is in the Details

WOW! What a response for this cartoon!

Gay Marriage Rights Australia put it up on their Facebook Page. It's gotten over 500 likes and over 100 shares. Pretty damn cool if I do say so myself.

I probably shouldn't have, but I read the comments on GMRA's post of my cartoon. There were a few boring homophobic ones that aren't worth mentioning. But, I was surprised by how many people were huffing about how the Higgs-Boson was originally called the "God-damned Particle" and that it has nothing to do with religion. (One guy even misspelled "particle" - geez, I would have loved to shove that in his face.)

I knew this when I came up with the idea for the cartoon. But actually, using the more widely known moniker of "God Particle" services the gag so much better.

Sigh, some people just can't take a joke.

Two Cartoons in One Post! Plus, Added Trivia at No Extra Cost!

Tasmanians in the north are up in arms about a Supertrawler that's coming down to haul away several tonnes of bait fish. Rightly so, too. It's most likely gonna wreak havoc for the fishing community. Not to mention the fish.

Annnnd David Walsh is in the news for owing the Tax Department about 38 million dollars for all of his gambling winnings. Most Tasmanians are fearful that MONA, our most popular tourism draw card, might close down because of it. I personally don't think so. I'd even bet on it.

I think this whole ordeal shows negligence on the part of the Tax Department. Seriously, I wouldn't be surprised at all if they really do still use Burroughs Adding Machines. 

Side Note: The grandson of the guy who invented that iconic calculator is none other than William S. Burroughs, the writer of Naked Lunch. That typewriter bug kinda makes a little bit more sense to me now. Well, more sense than the Tax Department does.


Advice from Insects (unpublished)

Little bit of a debacle over this cartoon. It was meant to be in today's Mercury, but they pulled it at the last minute because the story actually ran in yesterday's paper. And here I thought I had finally gotten one in ahead of schedule!

The story refers to QANTAS's system crashing because they changed their time by a second.

Damn butterflies.

It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine.

The Carbon Tax started on the 1st of July. So far, I have seen no sign's of the apocalypse that Tony Abbott predicted. Maybe I'll celebrate with a bowl of Weet-Bix.

Right before I drew this, I briefly attended the meeting of the Hobart Graphic Novel Book Group where we were discussing HABIBI by Craig Thompson (not the senator). I think that influenced my artistic approach to this cartoon.


The Abbott (Director's Cut)

Some lessons are learned the hard way.

But, I'll get back to that topic in a bit. First of all, there's the subject matter of this cartoon. Tony's been nothing but his disagreeable self lately. And as a result, there has been no progress on the Asylum Seeker problem.

A few days ago, I was thinking about Tony's tendency for repetitive negativity and how he's just like Poe's infamous raven. I really liked the idea - so much that I started feverishly scribbling down rhymes and tearing apart our bookshelf for any books with Poe's The Raven. (I didn't find any and had to buy it on iBooks.)

A day and a half later, I had come up with TWO stanzas that fit almost perfectly with the rhythm of the original poem. I sent off a rough version to the editor for approval and waited. After a while, I called the Mercury and found out that he was not at his desk. So, I thought that maybe I should start on the inking. Just while I was waiting.

Once the inking was done, I started on the colouring. Halfway through this, I got a call from the editor asking if I was going to send the rough through. I told him that I had earlier. He found it and told me that it was WAY too wordy and that I needed to edit it down to at most two lines.

My heart dropped. All that work. And with the deadline very close. I had thirty minutes to revise it.

I did get it done (three minutes late) and I hate to have to admit it, but the shorter one does work better. Kill your darlings, right? Well, I'm still proud of the poem. After sending off the shorter version, I went ahead and finished off the longer version, just for the blog.

So here it is, the director's cut version: