St Just for laughs

October 22, 2014 in Events, General, News

St Just poster © Daryl Cagle

St Just poster © Daryl Cagle

Simon Ellinas writes:

I was lucky enough to be able to visit the Salon International Du Dessins de Presse et d’Humor at St Just-le-Martel in France. Impressively installed in a brand new building on the outskirts of this small satellite of the city of Limoges, this cartoon festival has been running for 33 years.

The permanent display of cartoons and caricatures from around the world makes this the largest public museum of cartoon art in Europe. The last time I was there, five years ago, the events took place inside a series of marquees, while the first bricks for the centre were being laid.

My cartoonist friend John Landers and I travelled by Eurostar to Paris where we met other cartoonists. The travel is laid on by the festival organisers and local residents put visitors up in their own homes. I was delighted to find that we had been handed over to my previous hosts, who live in a very spacious and comfortable house 12km away in Boisseuils.

Cartoonists Simon Ellinas, left, and John landers, second right, with new friends at the St Just festival

Cartoonists Simon Ellinas, left, and John landers, second right, with their hosts at the St Just festival

The whole weekend is taken up with a huge exhibition of cartoons and caricatures from around the world and a grand hall full of cartoonists drawing for the public. And the public really do appreciate this event, arriving in many hundreds on both days. The festival is actually spread out over ten or so days, with the first and second weekends being peaks of activity.

Various awards are handed out by the charismatic mayor and chief initiator of the whole thing, Gerard Vandenbroucke, the main award of the festival going to the Venezuelan cartoonist Rayma Suprani.

stjust_doc

We were treated to a French cabaret evening on the Friday and a superb visit to an old cinema in nearby St Leonard. This was to see the Cartooning for Peace documentary Caricaturistes: Fantassins de la Democratie (poster above). This featured 12 cartoonists from around the world who have been working, many under great restrictions from their governments, to uphold their rights to democracy and to free speech.

Featuring Suprana as well as the Cartooning for Peace organiser Jean Plantu, the film also revealed the difficulties faced by cartoonists as far afield as China, Palestine and Israel. A very moving film which I would urge you to see.

Daryl Cagle, left, with a caricature drawn by Philippe Moine, right

Daryl Cagle, left, with a caricature drawn by Philippe Moine, right

There was a contingent of political cartoonists from America, led by Daryl Cagle and including Monte Wolverton, Rick McKee, Steve Sack, Nate Beeler and Adam Zygler. The differences between US and UK political cartooning are interesting to compare. My impression is that the UK style is more predominantly “painterly” while the US cartoons are heavily populated with a very cartoony comic-strip style.

Jean Gouders, in the striped  shirt, and John Landers, in the traditional "defacing" of tablecloths

Jean Gouders, in the striped shirt, and John Landers, demonstrate the traditional “defacing” of tablecloths

Of course, part of the celebration and festivity are the meals with fellow cartoonists and friends. These take place at long tables in a huge marquee with the paper tablecloths becoming the centre of attention for all the artists and their arsenals of pens and markers.

All in all, a very inspiring if ultimately exhausting experience. I’ll be back.

Avatar of Royston

by Royston

The Round-up

October 14, 2014 in Events, General, Links, News

© Viz for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival

© Viz for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival

The Lakes International Comic Art Festival starts this Friday, 17 October, and runs through the weekend. Taking place in Kendal, it features talks, panels, workshops, screenings and more for cartoon and comic enthusiasts of all ages.

Those appearing at the event include creators of graphic novels, kids’ comics and newspaper strips, such as Dave Gibbons, Scott McCloud, Sarah McIntyre, Eddie Campbell and Stephen Collins along with cartoonists from The Phoenix and Viz. The latter’s promotional image, above, is a cheeky Fat Slags parody of the British Library’s Comics Unmasked exhibition poster.

A new exhibition called Hogarth’s London opens at the Cartoon Museum in London next week (22 October). It will feature William Hogarth’s images of the London of 250 years ago, both the highs and lows, which are some of the most recognisable pictures in the city’s history.

As usual the musuem will have a series of events to tie in with is main exhibition (which runs unril 18 January) including and evening of Baroque music and dance, gin, beer (and some cartooning) called The Hogarth Hop

"The postcards down here are positively disgusting! I must send you one!" Cartoon by Donald McGill

“The postcards down here are positively disgusting! I must send you one!” Cartoon by Donald McGill

Also opening on 22 October at the Chris Beetles Gallery in St James’s, is a new selling exhibition of original artwork by Donald McGill, the acknowledged master of the saucy seaside postcard who was dubbed “the Picasso of the pier” by Dennis Potter. The show, which features more than 100 cartoons, runs until 8 November and ties in with a new biography of McGill by Bernard Crossley.

Also also on 22 October (busy day), Procartoonists member Chris Burke can be seen drawing and painting live at The Porterhouse in Covent Garden, in an event called Turner on the Terrace to promote the release of the new Mike Leigh film about the great artist (Turner that is, not Chris Burke). More details here.

Finally, our thoughts go out to the family of the cartoonist Bryan Reading who has died, aged 79, after battling cancer. He was a friend of many Procartoonists members and is remembered as a very funny cartoonist and a master draughtsman, as this cartoon shows.

"But Arthur, you could land in a very unfashionable postal district." Cartoon by Bryan Reading

Cartoon by Bryan Reading

Budding cartoonists take note

October 2, 2014 in Events, General, News

Young Cartoonists of the Year flyer

Now is the time to get entries in for the annual Young Cartoonists of the Year Competition. See above for details.

The contest is organised by our sister organisation the British Cartoonists’ Association with the Cartoon Art Trust, which runs the Cartoon Museum. The closing date is 10 November — so get drawing, young people!

Quentin Blake cartoon for The Big Draw

In other drawing news: It’s October, which means that the The Big Draw, the world’s largest drawing festival, is now under way. (Cartoon above © Quentin Blake.)

You can get details on events taking place around the country at the Big Draw website and you can see the very latest by following them on Twitter.

This year’s event was launched at the V&A Museum of Childhood in London. The Guardian has is running a drawing competition in association with the festival.

The Campaign for Drawing, which runs The Big Draw is also organising another Battle of the Cartoonists banner competition. Procartoonists.org teams have taken part in this many times in the past (here’s the last one), competing against teams from various newspapers and magazines.

This year’s event is on 23 November at the Electricians Shop gallery in Trinity Buoy Wharf, east London. We’ll have more on that nearer the time.

Video: Cartoonists in Herne Bay

September 23, 2014 in Events, General, News

This short video covering the exhibition and live cartooning in Herne Bay last month has been posted online by David Good Videos.

Former PCO chairman Nathan Ariss is our host, taking us through the background to the event and the live drawing that took place. Sue Austen of Beach Creative in Herne Bay and cartoonist Tim Harries talk about the workshops.

Our thanks go to David Good who also made a film on last year’s Marcel Duchamp festival in Herne Bay, which included a cartooning element.

UPDATE, 30 September: Rather than let all the footage he filmed go unseen, David Good has made another short film on the Herne Bay event. See below.

This time he talks to cartoonists Matt Buck, Royston Robertson and Steve Way.

See also:
David Good Videography
Procartoonists.org portfolios

Avatar of Royston

by Royston

The Round-up

September 10, 2014 in Events, General, Links, News

Detail from Scene & Heard on the hacking trial © David Ziggy Greene

Detail from Scene & Heard on the hacking trial © David Ziggy Greene. Click to enlarge

An exhibition of original art by Procartoonists.org member David Ziggy Greene, drawn for the reportage strip Scene & Heard, which has appeared in Private Eye since 2011, is at the Orbital Comics Gallery, 8 Great Newport Street, London, from 12 September until 10 October.

Entitled Scene & Hung, the exhibition ties in with the release of a book collection of Scene & Heard strips, described by Charlie Brooker as “as addictive as shelling and eating pistachio nuts”.

Meanwhile, PCO member Martin Rowson also has a collection out, called The Coalition Book, and is profiled by his local paper in south London.

Moose Kid Comics, the new venture by the cartoonist Jamie Smart and others, is taking over the Cartoon Museum in London for one afternoon only on 20 September, with workshops and talks by Smart, Gary Northfield and others. Booking is advisable: more details at the Cartoon Museum site.

BuzzFeed has a long piece, with lots of cartoons, “readers’ letters” and photos, on the unlikely rise, fall, and rise again of Viz comic.

Private Eye cartoon © Cluff

Private Eye cartoon © Cluff

An exhibition of cartoons, drawings and paintings by John Longstaff, better known as Cluff, is at the Crown Street Art Gallery in Darlington from 20 September until 13 November. Cluff has been the Northern Echo cartoonist since 1990 and is also seen regularly in magazines such as Private Eye.

The Echo has news of an exhibition of Matt cartoons at Nunnington Hall, near York, from 13 September until 2 November. The selling exhibition is organised by the Chris Beetles Gallery.

A few interesting articles from the US: The Atlantic has an interview with the influential political cartoonist Pat Oliphant; Comics Alliance has a career-spanning interview with Berkeley Breathed; and the Huffington Post talks to the Ren and Stimpy creator John Kricfalusi.

Thinking big at mini cartoon festival

September 2, 2014 in Events, General, News

Rog Bowles caricatures the public at the Southport Mini Cartoon Festival

Rog Bowles caricatures the public at the Southport Mini Cartoon Festival

Paul Hardman reports on the first Southport Mini Cartoon Festival, which took place on the August bank holiday weekend and was arranged at the very last moment, with little or no budget or publicity

I have for many years thought that my now-hometown of Southport in the North West of England would be an ideal location for a cartoon festival.

I was approached by Brendan Riley, a comedian and friend, and he put me in contact with Tony Wynne, our local arts project manager, who had been asked by the council to put on the Southport Festival of Art as part of an event to promote a regeneration funding bid.

Tony wanted to know if I could come up with something at very short notice and with a very limited budget. My response was to call on some of my old friends and a tried-and-tested formula. A hasty budget and plan was arrived at and it was decided to have a big-board event in the centre of town.

Pete Dredge works on a big board cartoon at Southport. You can see Bill Stott and Rich Skipworth hard at work too

Pete Dredge draws a big board cartoon. You can see Bill Stott and Rich Skipworth hard at work too

I was delighted when Noel Ford, Bill Stott, Pete Dredge and Rich Skipworth immediately jumped at the chance to come up and draw a big board here in Southport. I then asked Rog Bowles and Tim Leatherbarrow to assist with the arduous task of caricaturing the public.

The two-day event proved to be a success and the lads delighted the crowds, who stopped in their hundreds to enjoy the skill on show. Bill, Peter, Noel and Rich produced eight magnificent boards, which were all on display by the second day.

There was also an impromptu gallery of A3 gag cartoons, which hung alongside brief biographies of the cartoonists.

Southport Mini Cartoon Festival

Sunny weather ensured a great turnout for the Southport Mini Cartoon Festival

The weather was very kind to us and the visual impact in the town centre was nothing short of spectacular. Far more successful than I could ever have hoped for and I know each of the team was delighted with their stay.

This is hopefully a foot in the door and the beginning of a regular event for our cartoonists’ community. Here’s to the next successful year.

Many thanks to Paul and we echo that last thought.

Double up at The Auld Acquaintance

September 1, 2014 in Events, General, News

Terry Anderson, left, with Steve Bell at the opening of the London version of The Auld Acquaintance

Terry Anderson, left, with Steve Bell at the opening of the London version of The Auld Acquaintance. The show is also on in Glasgow

Terry Anderson tells us about two chances to see a cartoon exhibition about the Scottish referendum:

The Auld Acquaintance exhibition is now fully under way in its two UK venues: Leiper Fine Art on West George Street, Glasgow and the News & Media Gallery at The Guardian & Observer newspapers, part of the Kings Place arts venue in London.

As in the exhibition’s French showing [we covered that here – Ed] work has been arranged according to point of origin with the additional bonus of a section of original drawings and paintings. These are for sale, as are prints of the digitally submitted work.

A range of Q&A sessions will be taking place in the gallery in the next fortnight including contributions from cartoonists Frank Boyle and Lorna Miller as well as Chris Cairns, David Kerr, Malc McGookin, Greg Moodie, Cinders McLeod and the Comic Soapbox Scotland project.  Book places at these free talks via Eventbrite.

aa_exhib_poster

The Guardian has gone for a scattershot approach to its display which makes for impressive visual impact. At both venues the cartoons are highly visible from street level and sure to attract lots of interest from commuters and tourists.

In Glasgow the show is a stone’s throw from the offices of both the “Yes Scotland” and “No Thanks” campaigns and handy for the city’s rail link to Edinburgh. In London it’s in the thick of the hubbub at Kings Cross St Pancras and not far from the newly opened House of Illustration.

Scottish independence cartoon © Andy Davey

Scottish independence cartoon © Andy Davey. Click to enlarge

The exhibitions are free of charge and open daily. The show will close the weekend after the referendum. In Glasgow we shut on 19 September and in London on 21 September.

Our continued thanks to everyone who has given time and effort to make our tour a success, in particular Ewan Kennedy and Niall Campbell at Leiper Fine Art and Luke Dodd and David McCoy at The Guardian. Also to all PCO members who sent us cartoons.

Our thanks to Terry for his report. Cartoonists exhibiting in The Auld Acquaintance, several Procartoonists members among them, include: Brian Adcock, Gary Barker, Steve Bell, Frank Boyle, Steve Bright, Carlos Brito, Dave Brown, Chris Cairns, Steven Camley, Andy Davey, Frank Quitely, Bill Houston, Graeme MacKay, Malc McGookin, Cinders McLeod, Lorna Miller, Greg Moodie, Ross Thomson, Chris Watson … and many more.

The Round-up

August 12, 2014 in Events, General, Links, News

Cartoon © Bill Stott

Cartoon © Bill Stott. Click to enlarge

It’s the summer lull. So we offer you a short round-up of cartooning news before we hit the beach with a very large book that will never be finished. Normal service will be resumed in September.

The Edinburgh International Book Festival has a series of events called Stripped 2014, celebrating comics and graphic novels and the artists who create them. And if you’re in the city for the various festivals, Procartoonists.org member Martin Rowson is speaking at the Fringe today.

When is a conference not a conference? When it’s the Comics Unconference, which takes place in Glasgow in February. Meanwhile, a website called Comic Soapbox Scotland is showcasing politically engaged comics created in Scotland. The site wants to hear from all parties, on the subject of the looming referendum or not.

The Observer has an interview with Roger Law of Spitting Image fame. There’s a gallery here. Law has since moved on to other forms of art, which can be seen at Sladmore Contemporary.

This is nicely done, an interactive version of William Hogarth’s Gin Lane, from the BBC website.

First World War Commemorations continue, and a set of satirical cartoons from the time have gone on display in Camberley, Surrey.

Finally, we said we wouldn’t go on about it again, but the Cartoonists Beside the Surrealside event in Herne Bay got a rather nice write-up in the local Herne Bay Gazette. Click image to enlarge.

hbg

A surreally great weekend

August 5, 2014 in Events, General, News

Happy caricature subjects, we assume, drawn by Alex Hughes. Photo © Kasia Kowalska

Happy caricature subjects, we assume, drawn by Alex Hughes. Photo © Kasia Kowalska

Cartoonists Beside the Surrealside in Herne Bay at the weekend was a scorching success. Here’s co-organiser Nathan Ariss with his post-event analysis:

I have only just recently discovered the true meaning of some of those well-worn platitudes, such as “Build it and they will come” and “We really couldn’t have done it without you” etc.

The Herne Bay cartoon festival has grown organically in fits and starts, borne late from the Duchamp Festival last August. I’ve been privileged to have midwived it into being, along with many of the town’s inspirational “can-do” types.

The Procartoonists undoubtedly owe a huge debt of gratitude to Beach Creative this year, run by Mandy Broughton and Mandy Troughton; the exceptional exhibition template provided for us by David Cross; and the organisation powerhouse and savviness of Sue Austen and Steve Coombes, who opened their home and list of contacts to greet, feed and publicise a multitude of cartoonists.

They also ensured that all the ridiculous ideas and things I threw at them to produce actually came into being. Thanks must also go to Arts Council England.

A collaborative effort. Insert "drawing a crowd" picture caption here. © Kasia Kowalska

A collaborative effort on a big board. Insert regulation “drawing a crowd” picture caption here. Photo © Kasia Kowalska

But, of course, a Bandstand full of cartoonists, ready with boards and tables, workshops and games, and paper and pens and paints and ideas, is only part of the picture. Thankfully, the informative and intelligent press and TV coverage we managed to garner ensured eager and expectant waves of audience for us to entertain and amuse.

BBC News preview of the event
ITV News report on the day

The event was a hit with the public, left, as well as cartoonists such as Cathy Simpson and The Surreal McCoy © Mika Schick

The event was a hit with the public, left, as well as cartoonists such as Cathy Simpson and The Surreal McCoy. Photos © Mika Schick

Thanks to Nathan. The big boards drawn at the event will be on display at the town’s Clocktower this summer. Here are some more photos (click any image to enlarge) then we will shut up about the festival … until next year.

An ilustrated man takes part. Photo © The Surreal McCoy

An illustrated man takes part. Photo © The Surreal McCoy

The public very very willing to chat and discuss the drawings Matt Buck talks cartoons. Photo © Kasia Kowalska

The public was very keen to engage with the work and discuss the drawings. Matt Buck talks cartoons. Photo © Kasia Kowalska

The comic strip workshop run by Tim Harries was packed throughout the day. There was also one on Saturday. Photo © Kasia Kowalska

The comic-strip workshop run by Tim Harries was packed throughout the day.  He also hosted one on Saturday at Beach Creative. Photo © Kasia Kowalska

Glenn Marshall finds a unique way to display his cartoon of Dali's iLobster. Photo © Kasia Kowalska

Glenn Marshall finds a unique way to display his cartoon of Dali’s iLobster. Photo © Kasia Kowalska

Finished work: Dave Brown channels seaside postcard maestro Donald McGill and Chris Burke serves up Dali with melted ice-creams. Delicious. Photo © Kasia Kowalska

Finished work: Dave Brown channels seaside postcard maestro Donald McGill and Chris Burke serves up Dali with melted ice-creams. Delicious. Photo © Kasia Kowalska

Many thanks to Kasia Kowalska and Mika Schick and The Surreal McCoy for the photographs.

For more photos and cartoons from the event, see the Beach Creative photo gallery, and you can see more on Twitter at the #CartoonistsLive hashtag.

Seaside cartoon event this weekend

July 31, 2014 in Events, General, News

Poster by Ian Baker

“Cartoonists Beside the SurrealSide” poster by Ian Baker

The Cartoonists Beside the Surrealside event takes place in Herne Bay, Kent, this Sunday. There will be live drawing of gags, political cartoons, caricatures and more in the Bandstand on the sea front from midday until 5pm.

Cartoonists due to take part, mostly PCO members, are: Nathan Ariss, Jeremy Banx, Andrew Birch, Dave Brown, Chris Burke, Matt Buck, Tim Harries, Alex Hughes, Martin Honeysett, Glenn Marshall, Royston Robertson, Tim Sanders, Cathy Simpson, Bill Stott, The Surreal McCoy, Steve Way and Gerard Whyman.

The exhibition is now open at the Beach Creative gallery and runs for two weeks (extended by a week). See the Beach Creative website for details.

As well as cartoons on the theme of seaside and surrealism, there are some works from the recent Pastiche, Parody and Piracy exhibition.

Tim Harries will also be hosting a free workshop on creating comic strips at Beach Creative this Saturday from 3pm-5pm.

We will report back on the seaside shenanigans. Meanwhile the event has been previewed in the local Herne Bay Gazette and Herne Bay Times.

UPDATE: The event is also in the i newspaper today.