Original unedited Capital Times cover design

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“Is it possible to revert to the first cover you sent through, but add colour to the hair and jacket? Maybe a blond, with coloured jacket, we get that it is a silhouette, but we avoid black on the cover as it looks gloomy in the stands and deters pickup, it also means lots of ink on the cover and the ink comes off on readers hands and they don’t like it and don’t pick it up. We love the bucket fountain as a device. Also we love the badge on the breast but would want words slightly less precious, the best we have come up with here so far is Over and Out”

“Terribly sorry, but I’m not touching that first cover.”

“Just to let you know, after much back and forth discussion, we went with your first cover option for this last paper, we had to modify slightly, I hope that is ok with you.”

And that, dear reader, is what they did.

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Closing time

Cover2Well, that’s it for Jitterati. Thank you for reading. I’ve uploaded the complete archives here, but in the past couple of days I unwisely offered to produce the final cover of Capital Times, and haven’t had time to annotate the 540 episodes from the past 12 years. Click on the image above (the second rejected cover design in 24 hours) for an A3 print-quality PDF (7.8MB).

I thought I’d feel differently about this, but it’s been such bloody chaos in the past 48 hours I haven’t processed it. After I get back from a quick Wellington visit, I’ll work out what to do next.

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What now for Jitterati?

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Well, looks like that’s it for Capital Times. After 38 years, it has three more issues before disappearing for good on April 10th. It’s the usual reasons – it’s not attracting enough advertisers to afford to keep going. For me this is déjà vu: City Voice vanished underneath me twelve years ago, except that was a damn sight swifter – one week it was there, the next week it wasn’t. They still owe me money.

So, what shall I do with Jitterati? In print, it has a weekly audience of 40-60,000. When I was drawing Brunswick, it was for a university audience, and I respected the intelligence of my readers. I carried that respect through to Jitterati – anyone interested in arts and culture is likely to be smarter than average, and despite the irreversible media trend of assuming readers are morons and need to be pandered to, I never drew a stoopid cartoon.

For the past few years, however, it’s been frustrating trying to match the optimistic and upbeat tone of the rest of Capital Times when so many fucking horrifying things are happening right in front of us and no-one’s saying anything. I’ve been thinking for a while of splitting my work in two and producing one cartoon that is just funny, and another that is more overtly political. Kapiti Coast has a few newspapers… I might try something new.

I like the Jitterati characters, and I’d like to continue it online. I don’t live in Wellington anymore and finding out what’s happening every week two days before it happens gives me a headache. I could switch to national commentary  – it’s a shame to lose the Wellington focus, but there’s always Tom Scott and Paul Ekers for that plugged-into-the-zeitgeist feel. I mean, that stuff’s fuckin’ gold, isn’t it?

At the moment I’m thinking I’ll have a bit of fun with the last three print episodes of Jitterati, then continue it here, with no censorship and no consideration for the sensibilities of a mass audience.

Jitterati is becoming… boutique.

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Rain!

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Unfortunately the punchline references Frank Herbert’s Dune, so there goes the non-Dune reading percentage of the audience. Also: yes, Debbie is an exhibitionist.

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