#DrawJacobReesMogg #2

Friday was ridiculously busy so I crashed entirely on Saturday. It hadn’t been a great week and I just wanted to do something for myself, so I drew and, in the process, taught myself a couple of new techniques. The result was another cartoon which I might or might not add as an entry in the #DrawJacobReesMogg competition. I’m not actually that bothered since I’m pretty convinced by now that I’ll never win. The fun was creating it.

The result wasn’t quite how I imagined it. I might give it another try today but I struggled to stress it enough to make it look like one of those awfully grim photos from the nineteenth century. There’s something about those early Victorian photographs that are particularly unsettling, but especially their death photos. They’re not something I’d recommend you Google, though they’re another instructive reminder that cultures change. When the Victorians discovered photography, they discovered a new way to remember loved ones. Unfortunately, they decided to remember them just after they died, so there’s a whole catalogue of disturbing photos of dead people – sometimes babies – posed in formal settings. I don’t quite know why but my own sense of horror is always the most acute when things are ordinary. It’s not the possession part of The Exorcist that freaks me out but the medical stuff.

Anyway, when drawing Mogg, I wanted to set him in the context of all those weird Victorian freaks and curios like the mummified mermaids and fairy photos. I didn’t quite make it but, like I said, bit of a learning process and I think it turned out quite successful.

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Why Dunciad.com?

It’s a cool domain name and it was available. Yes, I know. Available. Crazy, isn’t it?

Really?

Yes. It also helps that it’s also my favourite satire written by Alexander Pope, one of the most metrically pure English poets who also knew his way around a crude insult or two. If you’ve not read it, you should give it a try.

So this is satire, right?

Can’t deny it. There will be some. But it’s also an experiment in writing and drawing, giving work away for free in order to see how many people are willing to support a writer doing his thing. It’s the weird stuff that I wouldn’t get published elsewhere in this word of diminishing demands and cookie-cutter tastes.