Simon Ellinas, caricaturist and PCO member, is to launch a new website called Ha! The name stands for Humorous Arts and the site is based on the magazine of that name which Simon published in the mid-1990s.
The site will feature cartoons, caricatures, humorous articles and short stories. Simon tells us that the plan is that the contributors, including caricaturist Paul Baker, whose work is featured above, will add new content daily. Bloghorn cornered Simon to ask him about all matters Ha!
Tell us about the original print version
“Ha! seemed a good idea when Punch was non-existent [before the late-1990s version launched by Mohamed Al Fayed] as there was no cartoon satire magazine to fill the gap between Private Eye and Viz. Five issues were produced, print run 1000, and they were distributed around independent newsagents as well as through a growing subscription list. Two major publishers considered making it go national, but got cold feet because of advertising sales difficulties.”
Why are you relaunching it on the web? And who is your audience?
“I’m doing it because I want to. No manifesto other than to make people laugh, or at least smile inwardly. The audience is me. Best reason for any artistic pursuit.”
What do you hope you’ll be able to do with Ha! in its new form as a website?
“Firstly, to safely archive all the stuff from the rapidly deteriorating paper versions and secondly to be an outlet for our satirical impulses which aren’t getting an airing elsewhere. It will primarily be a review of all humorous arts pinned together by satirical and humorous articles, cartoons and comic strips. There will be competitions with prizes donated by various companies – books, DVDs etc. If it manages to further the cause of cartooning, that’d be good, but that’s not the primary aim. “Humour” is the key word.”