A visit to the #Charlie Hebdo unity rally in Trafalgar Square

January 14, 2015 in News

ON SUNDAY 11th January, three members of the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation attended the mass rally in sympathy with the French deaths connected to Charlie Hebdo magazine. The Surreal McCoy. Paul Baker and Simon Ellinas took on the roles of London correspondents for the day to experience a small part of the reaction to the tragic Paris event.

Nowhere near as large as the Paris Unity Rally, attended by many world leaders including our own David Cameron (but not, strangely, any prominent American delegates), the London event was quiet, contemplative and full of dignity. Many people brought placards and all were clustering around a growing pile of tributes in the form of flowers and artists’ pencils at the bottom of the steps inferno to the National Gallery.

The sides of the National Gallery were lit up with the French tricolour and the waters of the fountains changed from blue to white to red throughout.

Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the Liberal Democrats, Nick Clegg was there with his wife Miriam and was interviewed by ITN at the foot of Nelson’s Column. They didn’t manage to escape without having quick caricatures thrust at them.

Police and general security presence was very unnoticeable although the suspicion is that there must have been a number of plain-clothed policemen on alert throughout.

Charlie Hebdo cartoonists at work in 2006 – video

January 11, 2015 in News

. . . and in other #Cartoon news . . .

January 10, 2015 in News

THE CARTOON MUSEUM in London has sent out notifications of its forthcoming exhibition featuring the cartoons and caricatures of high society-connected Marc Boxer. The page from their website is reproduced below. Click anywhere on the picture to go straight to the Cartoon Museum’s website

The Caricatures and Cartoons of Mark Boxer

marc banner

 

21 January – 22 March 2015

The cartoonist and editor Mark Boxer (1931 – 1988) was renowned for his charm, elegance and wit. A talented writer and editor he also produced clever caricatures for profiles in the New Statesman, The Observer, the London Review of Books and the Sunday Telegraph. He had long associations with The Times, The Guardian and Tatler and the circles he moved in gave him unprecedented access to many of his subjects.

The exhibition will include many examples of his caricatures of well known figures from the worlds of literature, music, politics and drama as well as TV celebrities and the Royal Family. His cartoon strips and pocket cartoons from the 1960s to the 1980s reveal his unerring eye for the telling details in his descriptions of the upper classes, the establishment and the newly fashionable of the London scene.

 

#CharlieHebdo #jesuischarlie #cartoons by PCO #cartoonists

January 9, 2015 in News

ON YET ANOTHER day of unfolding horror in Paris (hostages taken in kosher supermarket in Vincennes, two people dead; gunmen with hostage surrounded in countryside North East of Paris) in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo massacre, the PCO blog in-tray has gradually filled with cartoon reactions from its members.

Most seem to agree that it has been very difficult to draw anything. The feeling of shock, numbness and sorrow has made some, at least, feel that they needed time in order to make an appropriate cartoon comment.

Arranged in no particular order, these cartoons reflect a mood of incredulity and fear with yet a resurgent desire to get back out there and do what we do best.

The world’s cartoonists are being tweeted and retweeted with the hashtag #jesuischarlie as a global gesture of solidarity. Readers are invited to do the same with this post.

Charlie Hebdo: The PCO’s point of view

January 8, 2015 in Comment

A PCO Committee-sanctioned article, composed in the immediate aftermath of yesterday’s murders of Charlie Hebdo journalists and other bystanders yesterday:

It is a cartoonist’s blessing and curse to be at the point of pen and pain when matters of free speech and offence come to town.

The murders at the the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris are as grotesque an act of zealotry that any group can carry out.

But there is, in our view, no reason for society in general, or cartoonists in particular, to beat themselves up unnecessarily about the acts of these criminals.

There was no obvious change in the long-term behaviour of cartoonists in Europe after the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published its Prophet Muhammad cartoons in 2006. Despite the horror of what has happened in Paris today, we do not think this will or should change.

This is because, despite its healthy subversive streak, the drawing of opinion cartoons has always operated under the laws of the land  – and specifically under the hand of the editors who guard the publications for which we work.

All cartoonists who publish in print work under the system of checks and balances that is the editor. Control in our niche of journalism is just the same as written or broadcast journalism. Any cartoonists can tell that you that the experience of negotiation with an editor can be as blunt as a “No” or as joyful as “Publish and be damned”.

Charlie Hebdo knew all this when they republished the Muhammad cartoons. And in law, in France, they were able to publish just as they did.

In doing so, they deliberately challenged a convention in European and US publishing after the Danish controversy that the less that was said, the sooner all would be mended. They also knew that their act or republication would be global in a way that it wasn’t when Jyllands-Posten published the original work of the 12 freelance cartoonists more than eight years ago.

When provocations like this are easily read and shared – liked and retweeted across the globe – you have a vehicle for stoking a controversy of unparalleled power.

We are as fond of the Voltaire quote about defending the right to offend as the next cartoonists’ organisation, and there was and is a strong case to be made for the publication of the Danish cartoons as a statement or expression of free speech. But it did also potentially antagonise many millions of Muslims and it certainly highlighted Charlie Hebdo as a soft target. The publishers have been horribly caught out by their own boldness, at a great and bloody cost.

Distribution of information across the globe has killed comfortable assumptions and the cosy clichés of shared experience that allow the consequence-free poking of fun at subjects about which people can care deeply.

Every image matters when you have a global audience. The internet, that great invention of humanity, is very easily put to a purpose that does not aid humans.

Unmediated distribution of images in social media has been accompanied by the spread of tools to manipulate and edit other people’s photographs and cartoons. This has opened up a Pandora’s box of opportunity for misunderstanding, theft, outrage and offence – again, on a global scale.

At this awful moment we would like to send our deepest condolences and best wishes to all our colleagues in France.

In spite of all today’s horror, we know we shall shortly be raising a merrier hell with them all, making well-timed drawings about the lives we all lead in one shared and ever more connected world.

En avant!
The Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation represents the best of British cartoonists. Its website can be found at www.procartooninsts.org.

Cartoonists’ reactions to Charlie Hebdo massacre

January 8, 2015 in General, News

During a day when yet another couple of gunmen shoot two more people in Paris, killing one, a policewoman, it is compelling to view the reactions of cartoonists from around the world to yesterday’s Charlie Hebdo tragedy.

In the gallery above you will see emotional commentary from France, the UK and the US as well as Argentina, Brazil, Australia, Chile, Netherlands and India.

The reactions of closer-to-home PCO members will appear in this blog over the next few days.

 

Charlie Hebdo: Cartoonist opinion piece on CNN website

January 8, 2015 in General

American cartoonist Rick McKee, whom I had the pleasure of meeting in St Just last year, writes a very well-balanced and coherent article HERE.

Attack on French satirical newspaper – ‘number of people’ dead

January 7, 2015 in News

THIS IS TRAGIC breaking news. Undoubtedly more will be revealed over the next day or so.

Suffice to say, the satirical newspaper in Paris, Charlie Hebdo, has sustained a number of fatalities after an armed gunman attacked them in their office.

BBC News report HERE.

The Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation of the UK offers its deepest sympathy to the victims of the attack on the Paris office of Charlie Hebdo, and to the friends and relatives of those who died.

 

Merry cartoony Christmas!

December 22, 2014 in Events, General

Procartoonists.org wishes you a merry Christmas and a very happy new year with this selection of festive cartoons from our members.

Have a great one, folks!

 

dredge_xmas

© Pete Dredge

jonesy_xmas© Jonesy

royston_xmas_2014© Royston

surreal_xmas© The Surreal McCoy

besley_xmas

© Rupert Besley

ariss_xmas© Nathan Ariss

whittock_xmas© Colin Whittock

aaron_xmas© Huw Aaron

hack_xmas

© Matthew Buck

brighty_xmas© Brighty

guy_xmas© Guy Venables

noelford_xmas© Noel Ford

ger_xmas© Gerard Whyman

anderson_xmas

© Terry Anderson

penwill_xmas© Roger Penwill

stott_xmas© Bill Stott

Check out all the PCO cartoonists in the portfolios here.

My year on the campaign trail

December 22, 2014 in Comment, General, News

Procartoonists.org member Chris Cairns features in a video looking back at this year’s independence referendum in Scotland. He takes us through some of his political cartoons as well as the process behind creating them and reflects on the referendum result and the future of the campaign.