You are browsing the archive for 2008 January.

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by Royston

Paying for cartoon content

January 30, 2008 in General

American cartoonist Mike Lynch tells it like it is with a blog post that states its point clearly in its title:

If You Give Away Your Cartoons for Free, You Won’t Make a Living as a Cartoonist

“It’s wrong if a publication (print or web) thinks they can just grab a cartoon for free content … This isn’t posturing, this isn’t being unrealistic. This is me making a living.”

British cartoon talent

PCO Procartoonists – Where creativity comes from – part 1

January 28, 2008 in General

PCOer John Roberts writes;

I was telephoned before Christmas by a very enthusiastic young lady telling me that she worked for a television production company. She told me she thought a caricaturist was something that they were looking for.

A caricature of Nicole Kidman by PCO member John Roberts

Her company had been commissioned to set up a series of programmes to be transmitted on a new BBC reality-TV talent show called Upstaged where participants “should try to entertain the public for up to 8 hours.” Excuse me, I said, did you say “entertain the public for up to 8 hours?” Yes, that’s right” she said “very exciting idea isn’t it? The public will look at the various ‘acts’ day by day and vote on which ones will be put into a head-to-head playoff in two large glass studios in the centre of Bristol at the end of each week. And all to see which act is the more entertaining.”

It is possible I may have turned down a great opportunity but I feel I’ve retained what’s left of my dignity.

Bloghorn says click R for Roberts.

British cartoon talent

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by Royston

Humour exhibition: Where are the cartoons?

January 25, 2008 in General

The Hayward Gallery on London’s South Bank is hosting an exhibition of art called Laughing in a Foreign Language until April 13. It brings together more than 70 videos, photographs and interactive installation works by more than 30 artists from all around the world. They’re all artworks designed to make you laugh, so it’s baffling that the show does not include any cartoons.

PCOer Bill Stott nearly choked on his cornflakes when he saw an item about it on breakfast TV today:

“Mainstream TV news is usually out of its depth when dealing with contemporary art, especially the difficult stuff where you can’t tell what it is, or when it’s not Constable. Coverage is usually jokey and heads are shaken in disbelief. Emin, Hirst and others have become national treasures through it – not because of the quality of their work but because Joe Public wants to see what they get away with.

“The Hayward’s current show, involving funny work by serious artists, featured on TV this morning. No punters were seen laughing. Or smiling. Some were sitting quietly (and seriously) contemplating a video showing a clown struggling through the jungle. Others were failing to don a joke head which the curator giggled at. But then she giggled at all the deeply unfunny exhibits.

“The brief glimpse – and it was brief, so I may be doing the Hayward powers-that-be a disservice here – was depressing. Here, apparently, was serious money being lavished on a well-presented show of distinct, serious failures. Gags were laboured and clunky, and all heads seemed firmly shoved up bottoms. It reeked of that preciousness often found in serious tomes about humour.

“Even more depressing is the suspicion that the giggling curator wouldn’t understand a good cartoon. Is that because cartoons aren’t serious? The show will be well attended by art wannabes and those cocooned in the unreality of an art bubble, people who don’t get jokes, and innocents who think the exhibits will make them laugh. Pity the poor innocents.”

Bloghorn says click S for Stott.

British cartoon talent

Artist of the Month: John Landers

January 25, 2008 in Events


Here is the last offering from the PCO’s Artist of the month for January 2008, John Landers. Next Friday, we will have a new featured portfolio to enjoy, but in the meantime, click L for Landers.
British cartoon talent

Race in cartoons and drawing

January 24, 2008 in General

News reaches Bloghorn from the USA where a group of African-American cartoonists are making a “comic crossover” about how their work is treated and published.

The group believe that “many editors and readers consider different ‘black comics’ to be interchangeable”. This, they say, is among the reasons why many papers run only one or two comics by African-Americans and other creators of colour – no matter how many strips and panels are in their comics sections. And of course, the size of the drawn sections of US newspapers are vastly larger than any published here in the UK.

Speaking to Bloghorn, cartoonist and organiser of the “crossover” Darrin Bell said:

“It’s natural to limit the number of themes or genres on the comics page. Two boy-and-his-dog strips is enough of that theme. Two soap opera strips are enough of that genre. But ‘black strip’ is no more a theme or a genre than ‘white strip’.”

Full details of the event, which is scheduled for February 10th, can be read here, courtesy of Dave Astor at Editor and Publisher or at Darrin’s website.

British cartoon talent

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by Royston

Cartoon film sans CGI animals nominated

January 23, 2008 in General

Something a bit different is competing alongside the usual anthropomorphic antics in the Best Animated Film category at this year’s Oscars.

Persepolis, a black and white adaptation of two graphic novels by Marjane Satrapi, will be competing alongside the CGI-animated blockbusters Ratatouille and Surf’s Up, it was announced yesterday.

Which means that a French film about a girl who comes of age during the Islamic revolution in Iran is up against a story about a rat who becomes a chef, and a bunch of surfing penguins.

Persepolis is released in the UK in April, and judging from the above trailer it certainly looks like a pretty unique piece of work.

British cartoon talent

Preparations for Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival

January 22, 2008 in General


22nd January 2008
British cartoon talent

PCO Procartoonists – Foghorn cartoon magazine

January 21, 2008 in General


Foghorn, the full colour magazine of the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation is in production right now and is due to land on the desks of some lucky art buyers soon. This all new exciting flood-proof issue will include articles from PCOers Martin Honeysett, Martin Rowson, Roger Penwill and Pete Dredge alongside the usual top jokes and regular features. This edition’s cover cartoon is by Mr Ross Thomson – click T for Thomson.
21st January 2008
British cartoon talent

Artist of the Month: John Landers

January 18, 2008 in Events


If you would like to see more of John’s work click on the phrase John Landers in the long list you can find on the right hand side of this diary, or click below and follow L for Landers.
British cartoon talent

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by Royston

Early animated cartoons screened

January 16, 2008 in General


While you’re waiting for the Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival, here’s another event to consider. Slapstick 2008 must surely be one of the first festivals of the year, of any variety, as it takes place from January 17-20. If you’ve not heard much about it, that’s possibly because it’s a festival of silent comedy.

Now in its fourth year, the Bristol festival will feature “Pencil and Plasticine” a look at early silent cartoons hosted by the Aardman Animation co-founder Peter Lord. Extracts screened will include early Disney, work by Willis O’Brien and the unforgettable Jerry the Troublesome Tyke (above).

For more information visit the Slapstick 2008 website

British cartoon talent