Auckland-based cartoonist ‘Jim’ is getting ready to publish a new book of cartoons inspired by his 10 years working a day job as a public relations consultant for some of the world’s biggest technology brands.
Jim says the book, to be titled Sounds Like a Game Changer: A Soon-to-Be Obsolete Collection of Technology Cartoons by Jim could be available as soon as September if his crowd-funding campaign currently raising money for an initial print run is successful.
‘Jim’ – the pen name of Brendan Boughen, 41, who currently works as the Communications Manager for Microsoft New Zealand – has been drawing cartoons since he was a teenager, but began covering technology topics in his cartoons when he took a job in the PR industry in 2005.
“Throughout my career as a PR consultant, I always seemed to find myself managing comms for technology brand accounts, so naturally my cartoonist brain turned towards subjects from that industry,” he says.
As a PR consultant, Brendan previously worked in agencies for tech brands including Philips, Samsung, Panasonic, Huawei and Breville, as well as telecommunications providers Telecom (now Spark), Vodafone and 2degrees, among others. He has now worked for Microsoft since 2013.
Brendan’s nearly 30-year cartooning career has seen him published in a wide variety of media around the world, which included 18 months as the editorial cartoonist for New Zealand IT industry magazine NZ Reseller News, prior to it becoming an online-only publication.
“In the last 10 years, the world has seen some truly amazing developments in technology, which have fuelled our very human obsession for whatever the latest gadget might be. Similarly, the revolution in cloud computing has forever changed the way business is done,” he says.
“As a PR consultant in the IT industry, I have seen the phrase ‘It’s a game-changer!’ used almost on a daily basis to describe new pieces of technology. While some of these certainly can be described as being game-changing, it is an over-used phrase which more often shows just how addicted we are to finding something new and dazzling in our technology than anything genuinely revolutionary.
“The cartoons in this book poke fun at that very human tendency to obsess over tech, while also celebrating the amazing ways it has evolved and developed over the last decade, and how it has dramatically changed our lives,” he says.
‘Jim’ says he hopes the book will appeal to anyone who uses technology and loves cartoons, as well as those who work in the IT industry, which inspired the many themes of the book.
The book will feature over 100 cartoons arranged in chapters based on seven key areas pertinent to technology – Innovation, Devices, Life Online, Tech at Work, Big Data, Sustainability and The Future – and also include some of Jim’s written reflections on these topics. It will also feature a foreword written by notable Kiwi scientist and nanotechnology guru Dr Michelle Dickinson (Nanogirl).
The campaign for the book is running until 1 July, 2016, via New Zealand crowd-funding platform PledgeMe, and if successful, Jim says the book will be available by early September.
Jim is also offering a range of rewards for those who contribute to his crowd-funding campaign for the book, including bonus books and other products, as well as new cartoons drawn on topics of the supporters’ choosing and a live presentation of the last 10 years of technological evolution in cartoon form.