You are browsing the archive for 2007 October.

PCO Procartoonists – on photomontage

October 31, 2007 in General


There’s a thoughtful piece on the art of photoshop and photomontage here. It’s written by Morten Morland who draws for the Times, and it’s worth a read.

Speaking about photomontage, or photoshop, artists, Morland says;

Traditional cartoonists look at their work with a mix of fascination, trepidation and bewilderment. What many don’t know, however, is that famous ink-cartoonists like Low and Vicky also had contemporary satirists who used manipulated photographs to lampoon the political players at the time.

Well, do we?

Bloghorn thinks that Morten is right about there being some ignorance about photomontage as a form of image-making. A lot of this may be tied up with the technology brand name, Photoshop, which can raise the hackles of many cartoonists as it implies a mechanical technique, rather than the more natural human process of drawing.

There are many links to great examples of photomontage, both past and present. Great names of the past would include Helmut Herzfelde aka John Heartfield, who arguably, invented the form in the inter-war years. Good present British exponents would include Beau Bo D’Or, Leon Kuhn and The Spine.

We cartoonists cannot stop change in art and developments in the tools with which it is made, and published. But, perhaps we could explore and think about the past and future of making images-with-a-point, a bit more too. It might help put the economic changes, of which photoshop is a part, and which are challenging the ways in which we have made a living, into a brighter perspective.
31st October 2007
British cartoon talent

PCO Procartoonists – October 2007

October 28, 2007 in General

October was a mixed month for the PCO, we received an official vote of thanks for our work at The Big Draw which we attended during October – and also some anonymous comment. The official feedback ran something like this;

“We’ve received nothing but praise from our partners, sponsors and the public. Our hosts reported that this was by far and away their best event of the year.” And as the hosts were the management company who run Covent Garden in central London, we were quite pleased about it. Bloghorn is still digesting the anonymous comment but promises to post something about it soon.

Much less happily, we also had to hear about the death and burial of Alan Coren, one of our founding patrons and a man who had always enjoyed and promoted the art of visual joke-making.


Caricature by John Roberts.

You can listen to a News Quiz tribute to Alan here and PCOer Ken Pyne is also quoted in the local Cricklewood news coverage of Coren’s passing – alongside an obituary cartoon.

British cartoon talent

Artist of the Month: Colin Whittock

October 25, 2007 in Events


Here is our last episode from our artist of the month for October, Colin Whittock. If you’d like to click through the other three examples of Colin’s work we have showcased on Bloghorn this month, just click the underlined term – PCO Artist of the Month – which you’ll find underneath this text, or in the PCO Interests cloud which is on the right hand side of the site. Bloghorn says click W for Whittock
26th October 2007
British cartoon talent

PCO Procartoonists – The Cartoon Century

October 24, 2007 in General


Bloghorn asked author, Tim Benson, owner of London’s Political Cartoon Gallery, all about his new book, The Cartoon Century.

How long has it taken to write and collate the Cartoon Century?
I asked the publishers for three years, but I was given just over a year. It’s amazing what you can do when push comes to shove!

Why did you want to define a cartoon century in the first place? And how did you go about this?
The publishers originally wanted a complete history of Britain but I thought that ridiculous. It would offer no more than a snapshot and would have to miss a great deal. How can one cover a thousand years of history in just one book? This one covers 100 years of history and has 650 cartoons in it. Now that’s comprehensive and thus, I hope, meaningful. The 20th century was the age of the editorial cartoon. Today, Newspapers are in the decline due to fierce competition from the internet and 24-hour TV. Therefore, I argue, in the 21st century the political cartoon will never reach the heights they did during the last one. Fifty or sixty years ago, cartoonists were major celebrities. They were the highest paid men in Fleet Street. Sidney Strube and David Low even made it into Madame Tussards! Has anyone seen Steve Bell, Peter Brookes or Gerald Scarfe in there?

Did your ideas about what you were doing, change while you were writing the book?
It was, as they say an open book, and a lot of it was out of my hands. It all depended on the material I could find. Some events I wanted to cover were either ignored by the cartoonist, or, the paper, presumably, because they believed the subject of the cartoon was not suitable for publication.

Do you have any particular favourites – or high and low points in what you found while you researched?
I tried to include as many cartoons as possible that had not been republished in other anthologies. I love the prophetic ones where the cartoonist seems to have a crystal ball in front of him, such as one about mobile phones in 1922, and another from 1966 suggesting it was time for the Tories to have a woman as leader of the Party. I also enjoyed rediscovering cartoonists from provincial newspapers. Some of them were just as good, if not better, than many working as national newspaper cartoonists.

What’s the follow-up publication going to be?
Well, if I plan to do a direct sequel I’ll probably be just a bit past it at 148 when the time comes, so, instead I’m planning a prequel; a history of the 19th century through cartoons. It should be out by the end of next year.

Thanks to Tim for answering our questions. The exhibition show opens to the public at the Political Cartoon Gallery, on Store Street in London from Friday October 26th. Nearest tube is Goodge Street on the Northern Line.

Sky News have a slideshow of some of the art in the book here

British cartoon talent

PCO Procartoonists – Graphic Novels

October 23, 2007 in General

The resuts of The Observer’s graphic novel competition are out – and you can download the winning pdfs from this link.
UPDATE:24th October 2007
The Guardian Media Group generally, appear to be getting interested in drawn narrative…
British cartoon talent
23rd October 2007

Alan Coren cartoon caricature: 22 Oct 2007

October 22, 2007 in General


Alan Coren was one of the PCO’s patrons. Caricature by John Roberts.
British cartoon talent

Alan Coren is dead: 19 October 2007

October 19, 2007 in General

All hands in PCO were stunned to learn of Alan Coren’s passing. We’ve looked in our cliche box, found lots he would have taken the proverbial out of, but absolutely nothing which comes close to marking our regard for him. The understatement department has been ransacked, too, unsuccessfully, save one. There won’t be another big time editor, humourist, and consistently funny bloke quite like him. Hats off. We’ll miss him.

UPDATED:
The BBC tribute is posted here – and includes a link to an audio file, which features Wally Fawkes (TROG) talking about Alan’s decade as editor at Punch.

UPDATED UPDATE:
From the Times

A SORT OF REFINED UPDATED UPDATE
Aggregated news coverage from Google on Alan Coren’s death

Memories of Punch

Artist of the month: Colin Whittock

October 19, 2007 in Events


More fine Colin Whittock-ism for October of 2007.


British cartoon talent

Graham Fowell book launch

October 19, 2007 in General

PCO member Graham Fowell writes with news of a book launch;

Vince Eager, the 1950’s Rock and Roller, launched ‘The Rock ‘n Roll Files’ on October 12th. Graham made the cartoons and caricatures for the book and accompanied Vince at a signing at ‘Buy The Book’ in Nottingham, this, in between caricaturing every buyer, on the inside front cover of every sold copy.
The book is a anecdotal collection of memories from Vince’s long career in music, which spans six decades. Graham says there was no shortage of material for cartoon illustration with tales about Billy Fury, Lonnie Donegan, Freddie Starr and the unlikely beat combo of Bob Mugabe and the Wailers.

Bob Mugabe and the Wailers by Graham Fowell

The book is published by VIPRO and is also available direct from Vince Eager’s website. Bloghorn says click F for Fowell.
British cartoon talent

The Big Draw 2007 – Cartoon workshop world

October 17, 2007 in General

The PCO ran a lot of workshops at the Big Draw and Tim Harries, who was bravely in the heart of the action, on both Saturday and Sunday, has this report;

Bigging it up with Mr Blake; Quentin advertises the art while the PCO did the serious PR

I’d seriously under-prepared for this year’s Big Draw. The marquee where our workshops were taking place displayed admirable tardis-like properties, with seating for what appeared to be about 60 people, but actually managing to contain around twelve thousand scribbling children and parents at any given moment.
I’d optimistically brought along 50 worksheets which were used in the first thirty seconds. I briefly contemplated hiding behind the flipchart, but luckily someone somewhere found a photocopier, which I suspect had a nervous breakdown before the weekend was over, such was the sheer amount of paper we went through.
Tim Harries reveals his inner torment while Royston Robertson just laughs at him
The workshops went brilliantly for all involved, and tended to run over into each other, with several things going on at the same time. It felt organised and wonderfully chaotic at the same time. At any given time, I could see caricatures being drawn, the huge chalkboard being used for a spot of reverse caricaturing, and comic strips, cartoons and funny faces being produced on any available workspace.
Anne and Andy Gilbert hard at work enlightening the tiny masses in one of their Saturday workshops
As the day(s) went on, the whole marquee became a gallery with the finished art hanging from the walls and frame. It just needed the music from Vision On to make it perfect. Thanks to all the cartoonists, helpers, and of course enthusiastic public who attended the cartooning marquee. Same time next year…

British cartoon talent