You are browsing the archive for 2012 January.

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by Royston

Cartoonist collects MBE

January 30, 2012 in News

Cartoon by Clive Collins

The cartoonist Clive Collins went to Buckingham Palace last week to pick up his MBE for services to art.

Clive, 70, a PCO member whose cartoons have appeared in magazines and newspapers across the world, including Playboy, above, was appointed MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours last year.

Read more here and here (though inevitably the media focused on Clive’s famous brother, Phil) and click here to see Clive’s PCO portfolio.

The Round-up

January 27, 2012 in Links

Christian Adams, political cartoonist for The Telegraph, has begun blogging on a daily basis, providing a fascinating insight into the process behind his latest cartoons and offering up preliminary sketches and captions that didn’t quite make it. The blog can be found here, and is sure to be worthy of repeat viewings.

Sticking with the Telegraph, Matt Pritchett – long-time pocket cartoonist for the paper – has been interviewed by The Oxford Student.

Cartoon Movement has news of two cartooning exhibitions. Justice and Security: There is More Than One Truth opened at the London School of Economics on 23rd January, while Movement member Zunar has a solo exhibition – titled To Fight Through Cartoons – at London’s Free Word Centre from 15th February. More details can be found here.

Beano icon Dennis The Menace is to appear on the London stage in his very own musical, which runs at the Southbank Centre for three days next month.

In case this round-up seems too upbeat, fear not – a report by The Herb Block Foundation has claimed that the golden age of editorial cartooning is dead. The Daily Cartoonist highlights a few quotes and also provides a link to the full report, which features essays by 11 leading cartoonists.

A poke in the i

January 25, 2012 in Comment

You may have seen the above in this week’s edition of Private Eye, in the Street of Shame column, which focuses on the misdeeds of British newspapers.

When “Cartoonist Idol” was launched, there was much discussion behind the scenes at the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation (Shurely shome correction – Ed) on our members’ forum.

There was a great deal of scepticism, as professional cartoonists have all seen this kind of attempt to get work using competitions before. What we did not see, however, were any terms and conditions for the promised employment. Until we knew the outcome of the contest we gave the i the benefit of the doubt. Many professionals, members of the PCO and otherwise, decided to give it a shot.

Here on the Bloghorn, where we try to be positive about cartooning rather than negative (difficult though that can sometimes be) we reported the shortlisted cartoonists, noting that many were PCO members.

Once the winning PCO members told us what they had been offered, however, we wrote to the i and that led to a conversation with the paper. The conversation was amicable, but the i wasn’t budging.

While we expected that the money offered would be poor, the PCO could not accept the demands made on copyright and exclusivity. We approached Private Eye as we thought they would find it an interesting, if depressing, story. They agreed and we hope you do too.

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by Royston

Have publishers lost their Phiz?

January 24, 2012 in Comment

Drawing by Phiz

An article on the Independent website — Where have all the book illustrators gone? — appears to have provoked some rather angry debate.

The piece wonders why we do not see much illustration in books aimed at adults, something that was common in the days of Charles Dickens, who collaborated with illustrators such as Hablot Browne, aka Phiz, above.

Much of the angry reaction is directed at Dan Franklin, of the publisher Jonathan Cape, who claims that “there aren’t that many great illustrators … it’s hard to find someone who can draw the human figure, it seems to be unfashionable now”.

The PCO’s Jonathan Cusick contributes, conceding that it is true that drawing of the human figure is not taught on art courses to the extent it once was. Though, as Jonathan’s work shows, that hardly means accomplished artists are not still out there.

Bloghorn wonders how much cost is a factor. Is the absence of book illustration at least partly due to publishers’ reluctance to pay the proper rates for cartoons and illustrations? We can’t help thinking that many publishers are waiting for the day when Patrick Tresset’s drawing robot, which went on show at the London Art Fair last week, is available for commercial work.

With big ideas, always read the small print

January 23, 2012 in Comment

Bloghorn fro The Uk professional Cartoonists' OrganisationIn the digital age it is possible for cartoonists to easily publish their work in ways that the expense of print made hard to achieve.

However, many recent ease-of-use digital tools also come with legal caveats that affect the copyright, licensing and format rights attached to an individual piece of work.

Apple has just launched its iBooks Author tool, which is already a subject of controversy because of this. Briefly, the consumer electronics and publishing services company expects exclusive sales rights for formatted “works” sold through its digital outlet store and a traditional middleman’s commission fee.

In this post Boghorn offers some links to help you decide whether this sort of service is really what you need. We’d welcome any more useful links you could add in the comments.

The Round-up

January 20, 2012 in Links

The Chris Beetles Gallery in London is offering work by a wide range of well-known cartoonists in its 13th annual sale. The show features original pieces by cartoonists including Ronald Searle, Norman Thelwell, Matt, Larry, William Heath Robinson, Tony Husband, Michael Heath, Frank Dickens, Mac, Kipper Williams and Mike Williams, among others. There is also plenty of artwork by painters and illustrators working in other fields. See the gallery’s website for details.

Sarah McIntyre spent a day in December with Chris Riddell, political cartoonist for the Observer and fellow children’s books illustrator. Sarah visited his studio and leafed through his extremely detailed sketchbooks, posting plenty of photos here.

The Delaware County Daily Times looks at the life and work of William Steig, the prolific New Yorker cartoonist and creator of Shrek, in this insightful article.

And finally, DC Comics — the home of Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman — has unveiled its new logo, which features a “peeled back” design intended to “symbolize the duality of the iconic characters”. Take a look here.

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by Royston

The unofficial jubilee

January 17, 2012 in Events, News

An exhibition called Her Maj: 60 Years of Unofficial Portraits of the Queen will be staged at the Cartoon Museum in London next month.

The museum promises that it will be “teasing, afffectionate and at times downright unflattering — unlike any other Diamond Jubilee exhibition”.

It opens on February 1 and runs until April 8. We’ll have more nearer the time.

Cartoon by Wally Fawkes aka Trog

Stolen artwork

January 16, 2012 in Comment

As a part of a short series about copyright and artist rights Bloghorn is pleased to have received permission from comics artist Jamie Smart to reproduce a piece of his work below. We think you will enjoy it. Includes use of profanities to make a point.

Bloghorn: jamie Smart cartoon about copyright and licensing

And if they do, it pays to know your rights so you can defend the value of your work.

The Round-up

January 13, 2012 in Links

The BBC takes a look at the history and purpose of political cartoons in an engaging TV report titled Drawing Blood (iPlayer has the link until Saturday 14th January, so watch it before it disappears!).

The 100th birthday of legendary New Yorker cartoonist Charles Addams was celebrated this month with a specially commissioned Google doodle.

Ralph Steadman – renowned cartoonist and member of the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation – speaks to The Telegraph about his most memorable travel experiences.

Stephan Pastis, the creator of ‘Pearls Before Swine’, tells The Washington Post about his new iPad app and why cartoonists must embrace the move to new digital realms.

Brian John Spencer, an aspiring cartoonist, blogs for The Huffington Post (UK) about his process for creating a political cartoon.

And finally, The Economist has added to the long list of tributes to Ronald Searle, who died on 30th December. The obituary is written in the distinctive style of one of Searle’s best-known creations, Molesworth, and can be enjoyed here.

Cartoon Cafe moves to the seaside

January 11, 2012 in Comment

Bloghorn - Cartoon cafe at Eastbourne

Eastbourne will be much more bracing when a gallery of salty and saucy imagery opens its doors this June. 

Tim Benson, who previously ran the Bloomsbury-based Political Cartoon Gallery, will reopen the gallery in premises in the East Sussex town this summer.

Dr Benson plans to host regular exhibitions of cartoon art as well as a cafe. Plans are afoot for an opening exhibition by a leading British cartoonist and the publication of a full colour anthology of his work. 

Bloghorn - Cartoon Cafe at Eastbourne

The cafe will also host a mural made by leading cartoonists carrying a suitable seaside theme and there will be a permanent exhibition of some iconic cartoons from the 20th Century.

More news here when we get it.