Profile photo of Jonesy

by Jonesy

Rob Murray shortlisted for Cartoonist of the Year

March 20, 2017 in General

© Rob Murray

PCO member Rob Murray has been shortlisted for Cartoonist of the Year at the Scottish Press Awards, for his work as regular topical cartoonist for the Press and Journal — Scotland’s best-selling and oldest broadsheet newspaper.

Rob draws two cartoons a week for the P&J, appearing every Wednesday and Saturday. Major geopolitical events in the last year — from the Brexit vote to the election of President Trump — have also led the paper to commission Rob to produce additional large-scale editorial cartoons and gag spreads.

This is Rob’s third nomination for Cartoonist of the Year. “I’ve attended the awards dinner on the past two occasions and while I wasn’t the winner on the night, it’s a great bash and a really good opportunity to celebrate newspaper journalism, as well as cartoons,” he says.

© Rob Murray

“Despite having a somewhat Celtic name, I’m from the south coast of England and based in London,” Rob adds. “That means I only ever really deal with the P&J remotely, so the awards are also a nice chance to catch up with colleagues from the paper.

“It would be great to win the award this year, and I’ll have my fingers crossed on the night — but I’m up against some strong competition.”

Rob’s fellow nominees for Cartoonist of the Year are Chris Cairns (Wings Over Scotland / Bella Caledonia and another PCO member), Steven Camley (The Herald), Greg Moodie (The National) and Brian Petrie (The Scottish Sun).

The Scottish Press Awards are now in their 38th year. Winners will be announced at a black-tie gala dinner in Glasgow on 11th May.

Aside from the P&J, Rob also draws regularly for The Sunday Times, Private Eye, and many other magazines and newspapers.

See more of his cartoons in his PCO portfolio.

© Rob Murray

Profile photo of Jonesy

by Jonesy

Wilbur Dawbarn’s train of thought…

March 13, 2017 in General

© Wilbur Dawbarn

Wilbur Dawbarn writes:

I recently read of a bit of a trend among commuters to spend all that time they sit around waiting — either for trains to come or for the train they are on to reach its destination — doing something creative.

What a nice idea! Instead of gnashing your teeth and pacing up and down the platform like a caged animal, or completing another 47 levels of Angry Nerds, why not work on that novel you always wanted to write? Or crochet the Bayeux Tapestry on a series of cushion covers? Or make yourself a beautiful ball gown out of duct tape? Or, or… well, the possibilities are endless…

Profile photo of Jonesy

by Jonesy

‘From a Dark Place: How a Family Coped with Drug Addiction’

March 6, 2017 in General

© Tony Husband & Paul Husband

Not the sort of headline you’d usually expect to read on a Blog primarily concerned with cartooning and illustration.

However this is a true story, told through the medium he knows best, by Private Eye cartoonist Tony Husband in collaboration with his photographer son, Paul Husband.

‘From a Dark Place: How a Family Coped with Drug Addiction’ relates how Tony and his family coped with their son Paul’s drug addiction. This isn’t his first foray into this sort of territory: in 2014 he published a slim graphic novel, Take Care, Son: The Story of My Dad and His Dementia, about his elderly father’s battle with the condition.

That book was extremely well received and proved to be so helpful that doctors recommended it to the families of dementia patients. This spurred Tony to address another painful issue: his son’s spiralling addiction, the distress that caused, and his eventual recovery.

He hopes this book will prove equally successful at helping others. “I wanted to keep it simple because people respond to simplicity, I think,” Tony says. “There was a lot of misery in our lives, but I didn’t want to go overboard. I just wanted it to resonate.”

You can read more about it here in Nick Duerden’s Independent article.

© Tony Husband & Paul Husband

Tony will be talking about ‘From a Dark Place‘ at the upcoming Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival on Friday 21st April. Further details available on the Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival website.

‘From a Dark Place: How a Family Coped with Drug Addiction’, by Tony Husband and Paul Husband, is published by Robinson, priced £8.99

Thanks to Glenn Marshall for drawing the Blog’s attention to this story.

Profile photo of Jonesy

by Jonesy

‘Pointy-Shoed Weetabix Man’ and other thoughts…

March 5, 2017 in General

© Bill Stott

Bill Stott writes:

“On the Go..”

Now that’s a phrase that irritates the hell out of me. What does it mean? Doing something? Travelling somewhere? Possibly. But it’s mostly used to imply that we’re all tremendously busy with no time to spend in bovine cogitation. So we have to do things “On the Go”. Drive Thru Food. Drive Thru Weddings. Drive Thru Divorces. Drive Thru Cremations. We don’t even have time to spell “through” correctly.

There’s even a deeply irritating TV ad which features a young executive smartarse dropping into his clothes – not unlike Wallace, but nowhere near as endearingly – and then swooping down into a Really Important Meeting whilst DRINKING HIS BREAKFAST! Weetabix, actually. You see, he’s On the Go – complete, I might add, with shiny, pointy shoes, a sure sign of executive importance. The manager of my local Tesco wears them.

“I’m loving your shiny, pointy shoes !” I can’t simply LOVE them because that would imply I have the time to stand and stare. No. I’m LOVING them because I’m On the Go. ‘Byee ! SYL [See you later] or IGHFAP [I’m going home for a poo]. Done On the Go, that can cause all manner of interactive difficulties.

And just in case [a] you’re reading this, quite possibly On the Go and [b] you think I’m some sort of Luddite dinosaur, I’ll have you know that I HAVE A MOBILE PHONE! It’s very tiny and very old, but it does what it says on the tin. It makes phone calls. It doesn’t receive many because few people have my number and I really, really could not stand being constantly interrupted whilst using time to stand and stare. I can send texts too, but my little phone spends most of its life switched off. I don’t feel the need to be continuously in touch with people. Others – MANY others – do. An amble down your local high street will reveal scores of people staring downwards at their phones – usually those SmartArse phones which can do so many things, like Tweet and make tiny rounds of toast. Are these people staring down at important things ? No, they are not. They’re staring at messages like, “Hi, its me. Just drunk my Weetabix. “

And I’m not saying for one minute that in certain circumstances, like unidentified tanks suddenly being spotted rolling past Aldi, that mobile phones aren’t vital, but mostly they’re used to make us look important and busy. So busy that quite a few of us text whilst doing 85 in the outside lane of a motorway. Probably in an Audi. Audis have taken over from BMWs as The Most Important Car on the Road, driven by men full of liquid Weetabix whilst wearing shiny, pointy shoes.

Oh dear. Is there anything I like about this Brave New Electronic World ?

Don’t like Twitter. Don’t like Facebook. Way too much irrelevant babble. And could I be bothered with the constant checking ? No – that would make me look way too busy.

Mind you, I do like emails. I know, I know, emails are SO yesterday. But they do give us the opportunity to bang on at great, tedious length, rather as I’m doing now. And they give the recipient TIME to consider whether to reply or press the delete button.

Off now for a spot of breakfast. Guess what it won’t be.



Profile photo of Jonesy

by Jonesy

More PCO cartoonists #addafish to the shoal

March 5, 2017 in General

© Ralph Steadman

The support for imprisoned cartoonist Eaten Fish continues to grow and here are even more brilliant contributions from PCO members.

Please note that you don’t have to be a member of the PCO or, indeed, a professional cartoonist to play a part in this worthwhile, worldwide campaign: simply #addafish of your own to our burgeoning virtual shoal and help Eaten Fish receive the treatment and care he urgently needs.

© Rob Murray

© Tim Harries

© Neil Dishington

Profile photo of Jonesy

by Jonesy

Who is The Doodle Man?

March 5, 2017 in General

The Doodle Man at work

What, where and why does he doodle?

To find out, pay a visit to “Doodle Land” via this lovely, quirky video on The Doodle Man’s website.

First spotted on the CCGB website, courtesy of Richard Howell.

Profile photo of Jonesy

by Jonesy

It’s only a cartoon: part two

February 26, 2017 in General

© Rupert Besley

Rupert Besley writes:

Perhaps it’s because most cartoons get viewed for no more than a second or two that people seem to imagine that is also all the time it takes to complete one (thanks, Rolf). Despite a fine tradition over two centuries of world-class cartooning, this country does not value cartoons as others do. Too often these get chucked about as lightweight ephemera, with no understanding of the work and skill that goes into them. Too many instances exist of high-quality originals (pre-digital hard copy) being dumped, sold for peanuts or simply not returned from publication or exhibition to rightful owners (we call it theft).

Of course, not everyone behaves in this way. There are wonderful people around (gallery owners and editors, academics and punters) who understand the value of cartooning and who work all hours to promote the art-form and help its development. The PCO does what it can in gratitude to recognise their efforts by presenting special awards.

Cartooning comes in many forms, whether just to give amusement and brighten the day or to give comment and analysis of the issues of the moment. Amid present crises, does anyone provide better insight – or opposition – to developments than the likes of Steve Bell, Martin Rowson and Dave Brown (all of whom we are proud to count as PCO members)? There will always be need for top political cartoonists, but, if the nursery slopes for practising the craft are gone, how will high-level cartooning survive? It is no longer a profession that any young person could be well advised into or that more than a handful or two can make a living from. Cartoonist gatherings are inevitably of the predominantly elderly, white, male, bearded variety and woefully short on diversity of gender, age or ethnicity. None of this will change till greater value is put on cartoons and the role of the cartoonist.

Everything is relative. This country may not rate cartooning as do other countries, like France. But cartoonists here can still spotlight double-standards and ridicule governments without fear of torture, imprisonment or exile, as faced by colleagues in so many other places. Never before has there been such need for organisations like CRNI to defend the human rights of cartoonists. That still gives no excuse for conduct in this country that falls short of courtesy, ethics or professional practice. In other words, kicking about. It remains the case that cartoons in this country are not taken seriously. They’re just a joke. That’s why we’re losing them.



Profile photo of Jonesy

by Jonesy

Freedom of speech under threat in South Africa

February 22, 2017 in General

Cape Town, legislative capital of South Africa

We have received a message from CRNI Executive Director Dr. Robert Russell alerting us to a growing crisis in South Africa that will directly impact all of the nation’s cartoonists.

“What is going on under the Jacob Zuma government in South Africa is especially dangerous because leaders of other failing governments in southern Africa will be carefully watching to see if they might foist this kind of attack on free speech on their own people,” says Dr. Russell.

The problems stem from the proposed Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill, widely criticised as far too broad and heavy-handed, exacerbated by concerns that the South African government should be considering such laws at all.

You can read more about this worrying development in this article on the ‘media update’ website.

Terry Anderson, CRNI board member & PCO member, compares the South African situation with what’s happening in Turkey via this CRNI article and, conversely, in Australia, where the right continue to campaign for repeal of clause 18c of The Racial Discrimination Act and the cartoons of Bill Leak are a test case for freedom of speech.


Profile photo of Jonesy

by Jonesy

More cartoonists #addafish for #EatenFish as the virtual shoal continues to grow

February 22, 2017 in General

© Steve Bright

Here are more marvellous contributions from PCO members, swelling an ever increasing catch that includes fish illustrations from all around the world, all in support of the imprisoned cartoonist Eaten Fish.

Hopefully these will inspire you to #addafish of your own, regardless of drawing capability, and help a human being in need.

© Sarah Boyce

© Guy Venables


© Terry Anderson

© Matt Buck

© John Roberts

© Nathan Ariss

© Royston Robertson

© Tim Ruscoe

© Colin Whittock

© Cathy Simpson

Please #addafish for #EatenFish. Thank you.



Profile photo of Jonesy

by Jonesy

A call to support imprisoned cartoonist ‘Eaten Fish’

February 21, 2017 in General

© Martin Rowson

#addafish to our virtual shoal and help the fight to free fellow cartoonist #EatenFish from misery and degradation.

Iranian cartoonist ‘Eaten Fish’, until recently on hunger strike, has been protesting his imprisonment since 2013 in the notorious Australian-run detention facility at Manus Island. (See Blog passim.)

Now, thanks to an inspired idea from PCO committee member Glenn Marshall, cartoonists from all around the world are using social media to highlight the award-winning artist’s plight, contributing cartoons at #addafish to create a virtual shoal. You’ll see a few of the submissions from fellow PCO members here but there is still plenty of room in the shoal for more, especially from waters closer to home.

© Bill Stott


© Roger Penwill

The imprisoned cartoonist has given himself the pen name ‘Eaten Fish’ in reference to his detention on the island: ‘I’m like a fish bone… Gotten from the sea. Eaten and thrown away for so long.’

Eaten Fish continues to protest over ongoing maltreatment and the failure of the authorities to deal with his case, along with the threat of deportation in the near future.

© Andrew Birch

© Mike Turner

© Glenn Marshall

Australian Greens Senator Scott Ludlam has offered his support to the cartoonist, calling the process around Eaten Fish’s refugee application a ‘joke’ and calling for his immediate release. He says:

“Eaten Fish is petrified of being moved from his supported accommodation back into the general area, and petrified of being returned to Iran and executed.”

© The Surreal McCoy


© Jeremy Banx

“His refugee determination status process was an absolute joke. During the determination he was so unwell that he was unable to present his case. All of this has been documented. It’s taken Eaten Fish a year to talk about his experience, but now he wants people to know what’s going on.”

Thanks to efforts globally, this is now happening. Leading professional cartoonists in the UK and around the world (France, US and Australia) along with concerned amateurs, are filling the internet with cartoon fish of every kind.

© Rupert Besley


© Wilbur Dawbarn

© Noel Ford

Eaten Fish thanked those who have contributed thus far with this poignant message:

‘Thank you for being my voice to the world.’

Please #addafish to the shoal and help make that voice louder. Thank you.