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.


What now for Jitterati?


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.





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.


Bit of a grind, this one.


I don’t think the French Film Festival has had much publicity… there was a surfeit of dreadful things happening in the past week, none of which was challenged or questioned, so sometimes for the sake of my stress levels it’s best to go with something inoffensive.



The drink for when water isn’t awesome enough

G-Force Mango & Pineapple

Wait, wasn’t this a kids’ film about super-guinea pigs? Oh well.

Brought to you by the hydration specialists behind Pepsi, V and, er, Dilmah, it has to fight hard to distinguish itself in the sports drink market, and I’m not sure it succeeds. It has 5.2% real fruit juice, 23% of your daily carbohydrate needs and 14% of your energy needs… and a generous 79% of your sugar needs in a 650ml bottle.

To its credit, the packaging doesn’t claim to be anything it isn’t. It’s a carefully-phrased “fruit drink with added vitamins”, a “supplemented food” with a rather neat flip-cap and unfortunate metallic aftertaste. The only extraneous copy is a bit that says:

Want to know why this delicious mango and pineapple fruit drink is green? We wondered about that too.

Colours 133* and 102** might have something to do with that. Just saying.

*Banned in 11 countries.
**Banned in Norway. Enough said.