You are browsing the archive for 2010 December.

Review of the Year

December 31, 2010 in Comment

As the pencil of 2010 contacts the eraser of 2011, Bloghorn thought it was time to record some of the year’s highs and lows – and to speculate about the new year.

But first, news of a PRIZE competition which will be coming on Bloghorn over the New Year Bank Holiday weekend … so watch this space.

The Clash by Ray Lowry

© Ray Lowry cartoons The Clash

You can explore our full monthly archives of stories from the world of UK cartooning in 2010 at: January – February – MarchAprilMay JuneJulyAugustSeptemberOctoberNovember and December.

Team Foghorn Big Draw banner 2010

Team Bloghorn with the banner at the 2010 Battle of the Cartoonists

As you can see it’s been a packed show, featuring a fantastic Ray Lowry retrospective, above, at the Idea Generation Gallery, mixed with the odd rotten moment like losing Les Gibbard. We have had the fantastic highlights of our traditional events such as the Big Draw and Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival and, happily, the late great Alan Coren rose from the grave and provided  a shot of welcome wisdom.

After that we played Draw and Fold Over before reading a freshly minted copy of Foghorn magazine. What? You haven’t yet subscribed to six issues a year for only £20? Kindly do so here, now.

The promised appearance of The House of Illustration in London has long cheered many as this will be a sister organisation to our long-time favourite The Cartoon Museum, which lies close to the proposed new attraction at King’s Cross in London. The £6.5m fundraising target is stiff but site building has started and you can read more about the full plans here. Meanwhile, the crew at The Cartoon Museum excelled themselves with a fine range of shows and events, excelling with a fantastic Ronald Searle display as the man reached his 90th birthday.

What’s the difference between cartooning and illustration Bloghorn hears you ask?

Try these definitions from the Merriam-Webster dictionary, although we thinks Searle shows the interchangeability of the terms about as well as anyone.

Car-toon – noun
From the Italian cartone pasteboard, cartoon, augmentative of carta leaf of paper.

Ill-ust-rat-ion noun
Something that serves to illustrate: an example or instance that helps make something clear : a picture or diagram that helps make something clear or attractive.

Wikipedia has a definition here for print media which references Punch, the magazine which our former patron Alan Coren used to edit.

Happily, the past year has also seen terrific development in the way cartoons are being used in media and the possibilities, and markets will grow in the new year. We’ve got evidence below from The Times and its current TV advertising. You can find a link to the cartoon they are promoting lower down this article …

What the iPad Was Made For

Of course, we work on non-mobile television too, check out the titles to the new BBC adaptation of Just William and bow to the pen of cartoonist Ed McLachlan.

You’ll find a fantastic selection of the UK’s finest cartoonists working in all forms of the art at our UK Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation portfolio site which we will also be updating during 2011.

On the site the new and less-and-less unusual Government can expect its usual share of drawn innovation and horror – try Strictly Coalition for a start. In similar fashion, we wrote disobliging things about some parts of the Arts Council England because they sometimes deserve it.

© Jonathan Pugh of The Daily Mail

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Modern Toss magazine

Forza Cartone!

Bloghorn is written, edited and maintained by Matthew Buck, Royston Robertson and Alex Hughes,  on behalf of the UK Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation. You can contact the team here.

Season’s Greetings

December 24, 2010 in Comment, Events, News

Bloghorn Cartoon Christmas 2010

Bloghorn Cartoon Christmas 2010 Image ©Pete Dredge

Happy holidays from the UK Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation

Profile photo of Royston

by Royston

Chancellor has a cartoon Christmas

December 20, 2010 in News

Rob Murray Treasury Xmas cardAs is usual at this time of the year, the media have been having fun mocking the official Christmas cards sent out by politicians. Most went for the usual photos with their kids, or pictures by their kids, but the card from the Chancellor of the Exchequer is different, as it is by a professional cartoonist.

Step forward Rob Murray, a member of the PCO, which runs the Bloghorn. Rob was actually commissioned to draw the official Treasury card, but he was told it may also be used as George Osborne’s personal card if the Chancellor gave it his approval.

And as Rob’s Father Christmas carries a pretty empty looking sack, with very little to hand out, it shows that whatever else you may think of the Chancellor, he must have a sense of humour.

Rob told the Bloghorn:

“I was contacted by a civil servant I know who works in the Treasury, as they were looking for something a bit different for the department’s Christmas card this year. I produced about half a dozen ideas as rough sketches, which went down well. George Osborne saw them and liked them.”

But did Rob have any qualms about taking on a party political job like this, particularly in difficult economic times?

“It was definitely something I had to think about, but I saw it as an illustration commission and approached it as I would any other illustration job. Having said that, I was quite careful to ensure that the content of the cartoon didn’t have anything specifically pro-Tory about it, and I think the Treasury were also very keen for it not to have an overtly party-political message.

“Aside from that, I was quite excited that a prominent politician – regardless of his political viewpoint – was keen on commissioning a cartoon for the card, at a time when most seem to favour fairly unimaginative and humourless photos.”

Bloghorn says amen to that and looks forward to a big, colourful cartoon on the front page of the next Tory manifesto …

Foghorn magazine – Issue 48

December 16, 2010 in News

Just in time for Christmas, the latest issue of Foghorn, the cartoon magazine of the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation has been published. Featuring a festive cover by the PCO’s The Surreal McCoy, the magazine is available to subscribers for the very merry price of £20 for six full colour issues – all delivered down your chimney (or through your door).

What’s inside?

Ian Ellery treats us to a very Stanley Unwin Chrimbletide
A short history of the Christmas card by Chris Madden
Nathan Ariss relates some seasonal thespian tales of Mason Ayres
Mike Williams tells of his first taste of Punch
The partridge gets well stuffed by Neil Dishington
And  you’ll find a full page of Wilbur Dawbarn cartoons!

Plus…

…all the regular features – Buildings in the Fog, The Critic, The Foghorn Guide to…, The Potting Shed, Andy Davey‘s ‘Foggy’ strip and many more random acts of humour crammed in wherever we could find room.

You can read older issues of Foghorn online here, right up to our most recent issue.

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'Tis the season to buy cartoons

December 13, 2010 in News

Private Eye Christmas cartoonsNever mind final Christmas posting dates*, the main thing the discerning cartoon lover needs to bear in mind at this festive time of year is when will the Private Eye Christmas cards run out?

The magazine’s website shop has been carrying a “sold out” notice for some days now – proof, if it were needed, of the enduring popularity of cartoons as a way of spreading cheer.

Every year the magazine sells packs of 12 Christmas cards, featuring colour cartoons by 12 different artists. This year four of those were by members of the PCO, which runs The Bloghorn: Noel Ford,
Ed McLachlan, Royston Robertson, and Mike Turner.

*December 21 for First Class, December 18 for Second, since you ask.

Bidder-bidder-bidder … Batman!

December 10, 2010 in News

Comic fans have the chance to appear alongside legendary superhero Batman thanks to a fund-raising auction.

This one-off opportunity is part of a sale to support the Comic Book Alliance (previously). It also includes signed comics, books and artwork from the likes of Hunt Emerson, David Lloyd, Bryan Talbot and Alan Moore among many others.

The winner in the Batman bid can choose to be killed by the villain or saved  by Batman in a story illustrated by Chris Burnham and written by Grant Morrison. The story will appear in Batman Inc. number 4, due to be published on 16th February 2011. With bids starting at 99p, the auction will close on the evening of Sunday 12th December.

If, on the other hand, classic Batman is more your thing, there’s a rare opportunity to get your hands on a copy of  Detective Comics number 27 from May 1939, which features the first appearance of the Caped Crusader, in a separate auction in at Dominic Winter Book Auctions in Gloucestershire on 16th December.

(Thanks to downthetubes.net for both stories)

Profile photo of Royston

by Royston

A feast of beasts for Christmas

December 9, 2010 in General, News

The Chris Beetles Gallery is hosting a new Quentin Blake exhibition alongside its Illustrators 2010 show. Frabjous Beasts and Frumious Birds opens this Sunday (December 12).
Quentin Blake exhibition cartoon

Quentin Blake will be at the gallery between 10am-12pm and 2pm-4pm to meet the public and chat about his work. Musical entertainment will be provided by the Jelly Rollers and the gallery promises other treats for all the family.

The exhibition of 75 new works, which runs until January 8, is now online at the Chris Beetles site. All the pictures are available to buy. Accompanying the exhibition is a 48-page fully illustrated catalogue.

Political Cartoonist of the Year

December 8, 2010 in Events, General, News

While on the theme of awards, congratulations to PCO member Martin Rowson who won the annual Political Cartoon Society’s Cartoonist of the Year award on Monday. You can explore Martin’s work at The Guardian, Tribune and The Morning Star.

The economic recovery is here © Martin Rowson Cartoon

The economic recovery is here Jan 2010 © Martin Rowson Cartoon

Dave Brown of the Independent won the prize for the individual drawing of the year.

Young Cartoonist of the Year 2010

December 6, 2010 in General, News

Bloghorn offers congratulations to Alex Driver and Morgan Twiston-Davies winners of this year’s prizes for the art of cartooning. You can see examples of their winning work below.

The annual awards are given by the Cartoon Art Trust and the UK’s national Cartoon Museum.

Young Cartoonist of the Year 2010

Alex Driver, Young Cartoonist of the Year (under 30)

Young Cartoonist of the Year 2010 at http://www.thebloghorn.org

Morgan Twiston-Davies, Young Cartoonist of the Year (under 18)

Profile photo of Royston

by Royston

Performance cartooning in New York

December 6, 2010 in Comment

Live performance cartooning
We have told you many times about the Battle of the Cartoonists, part of the Big Draw and have reported on performance cartooning at the Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival.

Now, news reaches us of a performance event in New York, above, featuring three teams of cartoonists from The New Yorker coming up with improvised drawings based on a selection of words.

The New York Observer has the story: Battle of the Sharpies: Cartoonists square off with their pens. The author of the piece, Alice Gregory, explains the appeal of this kind of live cartooning event:

There’s nothing more impressive than good improv. To see spontaneous wit at work may be the most humbling form of entertainment. What, no Google to confirm spelling? No coffee to spur that sparkle? On-the-spot illustration is fun to witness.

The voting system sounds familiar to any cartoonist who has taken part in the Big Draw’s Battle of the Cartoonists:

In lieu of a scientific system—tallied points, say—the victors were determined by subjective shouts. The decibel levels were ambiguous, but an executive decision was made for the sake of efficiency.

We feel the losers’ pain! But, it’s all just for fun, of course, and the greater goal is achieved: reminding people how much fun cartoons can be.

Thanks to The Surreal McCoy for the link.

Footnote: The Big Draw 2011 is looking for help with funding.
Go here: The Big Give