You are browsing the archive for 2014 January.

The commercial art

January 31, 2014 in Comment, Events, News

Cartoon_Museum_Exhibition_bring_me_laughter © Jonathan Cusick @ procartoonists.org

© Jonathan Cusick @ Procartoonists.org

A collector of cartoons spoke some home truths at the recent private view of Bring Me Laughter. Kasia Kowalska writes.

In his speech opening the show, George Walker implored all those present to remember that he’s “not a Rothschild”. He was, undoubtedly, being modest as, together with his wife, Pat, he has dedicated more than 60 years to a collection that boasts drawings and cartoons by the great cartoonists of our age: Max Beerbohm, Phil May, H.M. Bateman, Heath Robinson, Ronald Searle and Trog, to name but a few.

The Queen © Jonathan Cusick @ procartoonists

© Jonathan Cusick @ Procartoonists.org

In this fine company one can also find several examples of George Walker’s own drawings and cartoons, which received a lot of attention on the night. Son of a miner, he recalls his father saying that ‘‘He thinks about nowt but actin’ and paintin'”. Although he left school at a young age to work in a local factory in Cumbria, George never let go of his passion for drawing and studied at Carlisle College of Art in his spare time.

The Walker collection includes several caricatures by PCO member Jonathan Cusick who attended the opening of the exhibition. Although Pat and George had commissioned him several times, this was the first time Jonathan had met them in person. ‘‘It’s a thrill to find my work amongst so many great names,’’ he said, selecting drawings by Heath Robinson, George Belcher and Pont as his personal highlights of the collection.

Jonathan Cusick withe George Walker and the piece that gave the exhibition its title @ Procartoonists.org

Jonathan Cusick. left. with George Walker and the piece that gave the exhibition its title. Photo ©Kasia Kowalska @ Procartoonists.org

Anita O’Brien, curator of the Cartoon Museum, said that George Walker ‘feels vindicated in the increasing attention which cartoon art has attracted in recent years: “There is some satisfaction in always having admired so-called ‘commercial’ art, for so long considered greatly inferior to ‘fine art’ and now commanding the respect that the best of it deserves.’’

Long may it continue.

Bring Me Laughter an exhibition from the private collection of George and Pat Walker is at the Cartoon Museum until 23 February.

The Round Up

January 28, 2014 in Events, General, Links, News

Kasia Kowalska writes:

Fancy a spot of 18th century roistering? The caricaturist Adrian Teal can invite you to club nights with a difference with his Historic Punch.

© HistoricPunch.co.uk @ procartoonists.org

© HistoricPunch.co.uk @ Procartoonists.org

He has also revealed the story behind the Georgian John Bull, in History Today. John Bull was actually invented by a Scot but he proved a much loved subject of James Gillray and Thomas Rowlandson, whose exhibition High Spirits you can still see at The Queen’s Gallery in Edinburgh.

Other cartoon masters have been listed by Richard Grigoris. At number 12 is Herbert Lawrence Block, better known as Herblock, whose US career spanned more than 70 years. A new documentary celebrating his career has just been broadcast on HBO. We expect it will turn up on the internet soon too.

Herblock_The_Black_and_the_White_@_procartoonists.org

Herblock: The Black and the White @ Procartoonists.org

As we noted yesterday, the Jesus and Mo cartoon continues to cause uproar. The Hampstead and Kilburn Lib Dem candidate Maajid Nawaz has received death threats and calls for deselection after publishing the cartoon on Twitter. The cartoonists were quick to respond.

© Hero-Glyphics by Josh Low @ procartoonists.org

Hero-Glyphics © Josh Low @ Procartoonists.org

Cartoonists are regularly attacked in the UK and across the globe and here are a few recent examples. Peter Schrank had his cartoon removed from the Economist website following complaints by the Anti-Defamation League. The Ecuadorian cartoonist Bonil, received a court summons after publication of a cartoon criticising the country’s president. And, the Palestinian cartoonist Majedah Shaheen apologised on Twitter having somehow upset Hamas.

More happily, there are still plenty of places where cartoonists are welcome: the 16th PortoCartoon World Festival in Portugal, the 46th Umoristi A Marostica in Italy, the 31st Aydın Doğan International Cartoon Competition in Turkey and the very 1st Cairo International Cartoon Exhibition in Egypt.

And finally, Egypt was also on Josh Lane’s mind, when he recreated modern heroes in his Hero-Glyphics, above.

How ya doin’?

January 25, 2014 in Comment, General, News

Jesus and Mo - How ya doin'?

© http://www.jesusandmo.net/

Hey. How ya doin’? can be offensive. Find out how and why might this might be so.

Readers will be unsurprised that we have been around such subjects before and won’t be surprised that the matter is also conflated with the local politics of the UK.

If you wish to offer a view please do, in the comments below.

Updated 29th Jan 2014: An interview on the issue conducted by Channel 4 News.

Tuning up for cartoon festival

January 23, 2014 in Events, General, News

Music cartoon by Wilbur Dawbarn

Music cartoon for Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival exhibition by Procartoonists.org member © Wilbur Dawbarn

Planning is under way for the 2014 Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival, the eleventh time the event has taken place in the Shropshire market town.

The main cartooning day of the festival, known as Cartoonists Live, will be Saturday 26 April. The festival exhibition of original artwork and prints, all for sale, on this year’s theme of “Music”, will run from 21 April to 17 May.

Inevitably, in these days of cutbacks, the festival is somewhat reduced in size this year as the major funding from Shropshire Council, which has been in place since the festival began in 2004, is no more.

The organisers are keen to point out that the festival has not been singled out by the council as the move is part of a much larger programme of reductions. The authority has had to make £80 million of cuts.

The festival has, however, had some financial support from this organisation, the PCO, and with some new sponsorship, existing funds, and a grant, the show goes on and the organisers say it will be as entertaining as ever.

The live event is one day rather than two, on the 26th, but it has been extended from 10am to 5pm. Most of the activity, such as the Big Boards and caricaturing, will take place in The Square, with workshops in other central venues.

As the festival website says, the event “offers unique opportunities to see artists at work, creating giant cartoons in The Square, drawing caricatures and running cartoon workshops for all ages”.

We’ll have more on the festival in due course. You can also see updates via @procartoonists, our Twitter feed, and follow the hashtag #shrews14

The Round-up

January 20, 2014 in General, Links, News

Dave Brown Ariel Sharon cartoon

© Dave Brown of The Independent @ Procartoonists.org

Kasia Kowalska writes:

The death of the former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon inspired cartoonists on all sides of the political debate. Sharon was famously the subject of a highly controversial award winning cartoon, above, which was based on Goya’s Saturn Devouring his Son. This image sparked a complaint from the Israeli Embassy, but not everyone took such a hard line, as Daniel Estrin explains.

More straight talking was provided by Alan Moore and Lance Parkin, in conversation about the recently published biography of Moore, Magic Words. Pádraig O’Méalóid is compelled to ask more about what followed.

George and Pat Walker, the couple whose extensive collection of original artwork can currently be seen at the Cartoon Museum in London are profiled by their local paper in Oxfordshire. Staying local, the Shropshire Star previews this year’s Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival, which takes place on 26 April.

Is art as much a technical as an artistic undertaking? And can anyone with a tablet or a computer really be an artist? Tyler Hellard pondered both questions in the digital age. Cutting straight to the point was the Canberra Times cartoonist Pat Campbell, who is simply enjoying the rewards of making a change.

Pat Campbell cartoon

© Pat Campbell of the Canberra Times @ Procartoonists.org

Everyone likes a snoop around cartoonists’ studios, as this blog post by Countess Tea shows. The Daily Cartoonists detected a trend in the photographs: the demise of the traditional drafting table.

In a date for your diary, the Laydeez Do Comics graphic novel forum returns to Foyles in Charing Cross Road, London, on 20 January . Expect talks by Isabel Greenberg, Penelope Mendonça and Dr Geraldine Perriam. The long-running forum was set up in 2009 by Nicola Streeten and Sarah Lightman.

Finally, spare a thought for Shia LaBeouf who has now announced his retirement from public life following his expeditions in comics plagiarism.

The Round-up

January 13, 2014 in General, Links, News

Robert Crumb cartoon
Kasia Kowalska writes:

It’s clearly not an impossible task to pick your all-time favourite cartoons but Bob Mankoff of The New Yorker has had a go at the advanced level of difficulty.

You can see some of our members tried it once too with Ten Great Cartoonists.

Elsewhere, the admirable Joe Gordon takes on the might of the BBC to get to the bottom of why Leo Baxendale’s name was omitted from a news piece about his famous creation Minnie the Minx.

The January sales are well under way and the Chris Beetles Gallery 2014 sale is now on. Artwork up for grabs includes cartoons by several Procartoonists.org members, including Noel Ford, John Jensen, Nick Newman, Royston Robertson, Ralph Steadman. Bill Stott, Kipper Williams and Mike Williams.

Not be outshone by the boys is Kathryn Lamb, another member currently exhibiting original cartoons, who returns to her Alma Mater with the Lamb’s Tales show, opening on 18 January.

Screen Shot 2014-01-13 at 15.14.31

‘Excuse me, Gentlemen – how would you rate your merriment levels’? © KJ Lamb@ procartoonists.org

A batch of Carl Giles artwork and memorabilia is expected for sale in February and will include contributions from family and friends of the Ipswich cartoonist. This follows the October auction of last year.

Hollywood enfant terrible Shia LaBeouf just cannot stop getting into trouble over allegations of plagiarism, only this time by using other people’s words to justify it. Meanwhile, the cartoonist Jamie Smart used Twitter to poke fun at LaBeouf.

And if protecting your reputation and authorship is important to you, make a note of this date in your diary: 5 February. This is the deadline for the public consultation on EU copyright legislation reforms, which aim to address the impact of digital media on users and authors.

 

Everyone’s a cartoonist nowadays

January 6, 2014 in Comment, General, News

Google_Comic_Strip_Automation_©_Matthew_Buck_Hack_Cartoons_@procartoonists.org

© Matthew Buck Hack Cartoons @ Procartoonists.org

Regular readers of this blog will be unsurprised to learn that automation has struck once more with Google receiving a patent for the ‘‘self-creation of comic strips in social networks and other communications’’.

The advertising giant is following in the footsteps of other digital toolmakers such as Bitstrips.

Digital automation of cartoon formats for display is inevitable in a time of growing digital processing power, and it means that now everyone can be a cartoonist.

Procartoonists.org believes that quality will out, however.

Booting up a PC © Colin Thompson @ procartoonists.org

Booting up a PC © Colin Thompson @ Procartoonists.org