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Shrewsbury: Now we are ten

February 27, 2013 in General

Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival

Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival @ Procartoonists.org

This year’s Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival is the tenth one. Appropriately, in this significant year, the theme will be “Time”.

The exhibitions start just under a month from now, on 22 March, and the main weekend of events is 19-21 April. But before it all gets going, we thought we’d mark the occasion with a brief look back at Shrewsburys past, to give you a flavour of the event.

Shrewsbury scenes

Caricaturists, live drawing, workshops and exhibitions at Shrewsbury 2012 @Procartoonists.org

Here is a video from the festival made by Procartoonists members in 2010 (when this site was called the Bloghorn).

So if you haven’t been to the festival before, come along and tell us what you think …

The Melodrawma at Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival

The Shrewsbury "Melodrawma" @ Procartoonists.org

Springtime for cartoonists in Shrewsbury

February 25, 2013 in Events, General, News

Shrewsbury_Cartoon_Festival_@procartoonists

Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival @ Procartoonists

We are very pleased to be able to list the cartoonist attendees at this year’s Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival.

They are: Huw Aaron, Charlie Adlard, Dean Alston, Nathan ArissIan BakerRupert Besley, Steve Best (Bestie), Andrew Birch, John Clark (Brick), Matthew Buck (Hack), Steve Chadburn, Jonathan CusickWilbur DawbarnPete Dredge, Noel FordClive Goddard, Tim HarriesJohn Landers,  Alexander MatthewsRob Murray, Chichi Parish, Roger Penwill, Helen Pointer, John RobertsRoyston Robertson, Chris Ryder, Bill Stott,  Cathy SimpsonRich Skipworth and The Surreal McCoy. The festival patrons Libby Purves and Alex Lester will also be attending.

We will be publishing details of the itinerary over the next few weeks ahead of the festival’s first events. The main weekend for the live cartooning and other public events is 19-21 April. Get it into your diaries!

The Round-up

February 24, 2013 in General, Links, News

 

© Bob Godfrey @Procartoonists.org

We are sad to note that Bob Godfrey, the much-loved cartoonist behind Roobarb and Custard (above) and the equally wonderful Henry’s Cat, has passed away at the age of 91. Obituaries for the Oscar-winning animator can be found at The Guardian, The Telegraph and the BBC. The Guardian also offers a guide to Godfrey’s career in clips. In a sad coincidence, Richard Briers – who narrated Roobarb – died last Sunday.

The Telegraph is celebrating 25 years of pocket cartoons by Matt Pritchett, with a series of short videos in which the cartoonist discusses his work and looks back over his career so far. Begin by finding out about Matt’s typical day; other clips look at his first front-page gag, the tricks of the trade, his favourite cartoon of 2013 thus far, and how he’s turning into one of his characters.

Jamie Smart has plans for a new children’s comic, initially to be made available online for free, in which all characters will be creator-owned. He is on the lookout for cartoonists to join his Moose Kid Comics project – for which he hopes to attract investors and subsequently launch in print form. Read more and find out how to get involved here.

Finally, a Google doodle on Friday celebrated what would have been the 88th birthday of Edward Gorey. See the doodle at full size here.

Drawing in the air

February 20, 2013 in General, News

3Doodler_from_Wobbleworks@procartoonists.org

3Doodler from WobbleWorks @ procartoonists.org

Technology moves on all the time and there is no reason drawing shouldn’t be part of change. For evidence, the crowd sourced fundraising platform Kickstarter is currently hosting a novel adaptation of the 3D printing technology from a startup called WobbbleWorks. You can watch a short video about what their 3D pen can do below.

It looks fun.

Profile photo of Royston

by Royston

Seminar aims for success

February 18, 2013 in Events, News

The third annual Success in Comics seminar was held at the weekend in Maryland in the US. Despite the name, it covers all areas of cartooning and cartoon illustration and focuses on how freelancers can make their business grow.

Alan Gardner of The Daily Cartoonist website attended and took notes from each speaker. His write-ups at the site, from the likes of Mad magazine’s Tom Richmond and the gag cartoonist Mark Anderson, provide a wealth of tips and advice for cartoonists. You can see the full list of reports here. Gardner also live-tweeted the event: #successcomics

Tundra cartoon © Chad Carpenter

Tundra cartoon © Chad Carpenter/tundracomics.com

Success in Comics is organised by Chad Carpenter, creator the self-syndicated cartoon Tundra, above, and his marketing/sales manager Bill Kellogg.

The Round-up

February 15, 2013 in General, Links, News

© Katharina Greve @Procartoonists.org

Above: The Pope wins the lottery and decides to quit his job, in an eerily prescient cartoon by Katharina Greve that appeared in a calendar on the very day of Pope Benedict XVI’s announcement.

Journalist Matt Geörg Moore argues that comic strips in print should be given more space and more freedom, despite the decline in newspaper revenues. Read his argument here.

Wally Fawkes, the cartoonist and jazz musician better known to cartoon fans as Trog, has been named one of the Oldies of the Year by Richard Ingramsmagazine. Read more about Fawkes, and the other Oldies, here.

Finally, some news of contests and awards. The BBC has launched a competition asking illustrators, photographers and film-makers to share their visions of the future. Meanwhile, the nomination process has now opened for the 2013 British Comic Awards.

Heard the one about Twitter jokes?

February 13, 2013 in Comment, General

Procartoonists.org member Royston Robertson on the rise of Twitter jokes

“Everyone’s a comedian” is a phrase often uttered sarcastically, but with the rise of the Twitter joke it almost seems true.

If you’re not familiar with the phenomenon you need to be hanging around on Twitter when a major news story breaks. Recent stories such as the horsemeat scandal, the resignation of the Pope, and the unearthing of the body of Richard III, have provoked huge numbers of jokes (click those links to see some of them). Some are by those in the business of writing jokes but most are not.

Twitter cartoon by Royston Robertson

© Royston Robertson @ Procartoonists.org

Of course there are plenty of clunkers, and quite a few groaners, but a lot of them are really rather good. And it leads to a bit of a problem for cartoonists: how do you follow that?

It can be tricky to come up with new and original ideas, possibly to be seen a day – or several days – later, in an age when a colossal wave of jokes travels around the world as soon as a story breaks.

Well, the simple answer is that you just have to up your game. Of course, you can’t read every tweet to make sure your joke hasn’t been done, you just have to get on with it. Twitter is clearly here to stay, so there’s no point in complaining.

For political cartoonists, the problem is even more acute as people have taken to predicting on Twitter how the following days cartoons will turn out, most notably when the Richard III story broke on the same day that the MP Chris Huhne changed his plea to guilty.

As predicted by the Twitterati, some cartoonists did combine the two stories. But if it is done with enough skill and original thought, it’s clear that there is a big difference between a beautifully crafted cartoon and a 140-character quip.

Ultimately, what the trend for Twitter jokes tells us is that millions of people love to look at the world and all its problems through the prism of humour.

And that has to be good news for cartoonists.

Editor asks: Do you agree? Please tell us what you think in the comments.

Cartoons – not so static after all

February 12, 2013 in General, News


It is sometimes assumed that cartooning is a purely static medium.
One of our members, Robert Duncan, shows this isn’t the case in this three-minute plus video celebrating the work of the writer and cartoonist Edward Lear.

If you have seen any other good examples of cartooning as a moving medium please post them into the comments below.

The Round-up

February 8, 2013 in General, Links, News

© Kevin Siers for The Charlotte Observer @Procartoonists.org

Kevin Siers, editorial cartoonist for The Charlotte Observer, has found his name on a list of hostiles kept by the National Rifle Association. Read Siers’ response here.

Mike Lynch tells an amusing story – through the medium of cartoons, naturally – about his early attempts to sell gags to that most notoriously esoteric of markets, The New Yorker. Read The Petty Indignities That Ruin My Life here.

Elsewhere, New Yorker cartoonists have been trying out an Etch A Sketch app – with decidedly mixed results. The experiment was so disastrous for Mick Stevens that it resulted in him speaking out against all forms of digital drawing. Read more, and see their attempts, here.

Lafayette, Louisiana newspaper The Advertiser provides a full and comprehensive answer to a reader’s question about how political cartoons are selected (be sure to click through to page 2 for the full response).

And finally, for those with an interest in animation, Complex.com has compiled a list of 25 cartoons that aren’t for children.

Profile photo of Royston

by Royston

Dutch success for cartoonists

February 4, 2013 in Events, News

 

Pete Dredge birdbox cartoon

© Pete Dredge @ Procartoonists.org

The Procartoonists.org members Pete Dredge and Graham Fowell have been singled out in the “Special Mention” category at the 18th Dutch Cartoon Festival. The theme of the exhibition was “Prejudices and Stereotypes”.

Pete told us: “I hadn’t entered one of these competitions for many years, probably over 30, so after the promptings of our Feco [Federation of Cartoonists’ Organisations] officer, The Surreal McCoy, I thought, ‘Why not give it a go?’ Just missed out on the prize money, but delighted to make the Special Mention stage.”

Graham Fowell shepherds cartoon

© Graham Fowell @ Procartoonists.org

Graham added: “It is a lovely event – I have been a regular attendee for the past few years. The festival is now permanently held in Bergen op Zoom, a lovely little town in the south of Holland with a beautiful medieval town square.”

The full list of winners can be seen here. We send our congratulations to Pete, Graham and all the winning cartoonists.