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by Royston

Remembering the cartoonists’ cartoonist

April 14, 2016 in Events, General, News

Honeysett Roundtable

Royston Robertson writes about taking part in a tribute to the late Martin Honeysett at the Cartoon Museum in London:

Martin Honeysett is described by Bill Stott as “the cartoonists’ cartoonist” in a foreword to the excellent A Taste of Honeysett book that accompanies the current Cartoon Museum exhibition. So it was fitting that a bunch of his fellow inkslingers got together this week to pay tribute to him.

The event was organised to tie in with the last week of exhibition, a career overview of the work of Honeysett, who died very suddenly after a short illness in January 2015.

I was lucky enough to be invited to take part in the roundtable discussion along with Ken Pyne, Jeremy Banks and Nick Newman.

Charles Peattie, who draws the Telegraph strip Alex and Celeb for Private Eye, and had come as an audience member, was also persuaded to take part and share his appreciation of Honeysett. The museum was actually spoilt for choice as a sizeable number of the audience at the well-attended event were fellow scribblers, proving the truth of the cartoonists’ cartoonist tag.

Honeysett cartoon

“God knows what they teach them on those Government Retraining schemes.”

For an hour we discussed the unique art of Honeysett, a genuine one-off in the world of cartooning whose work is often seen as cruel or brutal but is, we all agreed, essentially truthful. And very funny, of course.

We also shared memories of Honeysett himself. Ken Pyne told a story involving Martin, the cartoonist Michael ffolkes, and a very large cake. Ffolkes, and the cake, came off worst. Nick Newman shared a cartoon Martin drew of the three Private Eye editors at the magazine’s 50th birthday party, which can be seen here.

The floor was then opened to the audience and many favourite cartoons were discussed.

All in all, a fitting tribute to Honeysett, who is sadly missed not just for his cartoons but for his good company. The cartoonists retired to pub next door, happy in the knowledge that had Martin been there he would have been utterly embarrassed about the whole thing.

A Taste of Honeysett runs until Saturday 16 April

Martin Honeysett at the 2014 Herne Bay Cartoon Festival

The cartoonists’ cartoonist: Martin Honeysett, summer 2014

From the dusty PCO blog archive, here are a couple of articles written by Martin Honeysett:

Teaching cartooning in Japan
If you are Oldie enough …


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by Jonesy

There’s still time to catch cartoon exhibition ‘Humour Show at Nunnington Hall’

April 12, 2016 in General

MWC0010 Sir Walter's vending machine

© Mike Williams

Chris Beetles Gallery returns to National Trust venue

Some of Britain’s greatest cartoonists’ work can be viewed at the National Trust’s beautiful Nunnington Hall, near York, until 24th April 2016.


Nunnington Hall

The Chris Beetles Gallery exhibition is a celebration of the best these isles have to offer, with work by cartooning luminaries such as PCO members Andy Davey, Mike Williams and chairman Bill Stott framed alongside Matt (Matthew Pritchett), Ed McLachlan, Tony Husband, Glenn Baxter and many more.


© Glenn Baxter


© Bill Stott


© Andy Davey

The Humour Show at Nunnington Hall, near York, Yorkshire YO62 5UY runs until Sunday 24th April 2016.

Discover more about ‘The Humour Show at Nunnington Hall’ by visiting The Chris Beetles Gallery website.

You can find directions to Nunnington Hall on The National Trust website.



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by Jonesy

Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival 2016

April 10, 2016 in General


‘The Square’ © Wilbur Dawbarn

Genteel, historic Shrewsbury is about to be invaded by hordes of cartoonists and cartoon lovers, with both parties looking forward to lots of mayhem and laughter – and not a little learning too, with workshops and talks also being provided.

Now coming up to its 13th year, The Shrewsbury  Cartoon Festival is an annual event at which professional cartoonists from all over the UK and overseas come together to draw and paint cartoons and caricatures for the general public. You won’t be surprised to learn that cartoonists are an amiable breed and more than happy to engage in conversation – some will even chat as they work, although the question “Where do you get your ideas?” might be best avoided…


‘Melodrawma” © Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation

The event draws a huge audience every year with its centrepiece being the live drawing of about 15 enormous cartoons in Shrewsbury Town Square, along with live caricaturing by some of the UK’s top professionals.


Private Eye cartoonist Andrew Birch takes a break from TV script writing (see previous Blog article) to draw a ‘Big Board’

Here are just a few more examples of what visitors to this year’s festival can see and do:


Aspiring cartoonists can flourish under the expert tutelage of the likes of Tim Harries and Harry Venning.


Cartooning has its serious side too, as Cartoon Rights Network International’s Terry Anderson will clearly demonstrate in a talk about the threats to life and liberty faced by cartoonists the world over. The capacity of cartoonists to lighten the darkest moments without trivialising them will be covered by Tony Husband as he talks about his Dad’s dementia, so movingly rendered in his book, ‘Take Care, Son’.


In addition to the usual ‘themed’ cartoon galleries, visitors can also enjoy exhibitions such as “Dead Ringers – The Unluckiest Birds” – a digital exhibition of the artwork from the quirky birdy book by acclaimed cartoonists Rupert Besley, John Roberts, Noel Ford, Cathy Simpson, Roger Penwill, and Bill Stott.


The Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival 2016 takes place on Saturday 16th April. To find out more visit the website here.

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by Jonesy

PCO cartoonists Very Semi Serious about London premiere of New Yorker film

April 9, 2016 in General


BFI Southbank will be the venue for the premiere

Leah Wolchock’s award-winning film takes us behind the scenes to meet cartoon editor Robert Mankoff and the remarkable artists who submit their work each week. It’s a funny, fascinating and poignant look at the business of making people laugh.

The screening of Very Semi Serious will be followed by a conversation with three of Britain’s top cartoonists (and PCO members) Jeremy Banks (Financial Times), Carol Isaacs (freelance, inc The New Yorker) and Will McPhail.


Jeremy Banx at work. Photo © Kasia Kowalska

Jeremy Banx at work. Photo © Kasia Kowalska


Carol Isaacs (aka The Surreal McCoy) and Will McPhail

Taking the form of a Q&A session, this will be an opportunity for the public to gain an idea of what it takes to be a cartoonist from three of this country’s finest practitioners.


© Will McPhail

The premiere will be held at the BFI Southbank (NFT3) on Saturday 23rd April. Screening begins at 15.40 and tickets are priced at £10.65.

Find out more on the Loco website.

You can also view a short trailer here.


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by Jonesy

Comix Creatrix: 100 women making comics

April 9, 2016 in General


The End of Summer © Tillie Walden

Comix Creatrix presents the work of 100 innovative creators and debunks the myth that women have a limited stake in the world of comics. Highlighting 21st century work by British creators, the exhibition also recognises ground-breaking works from the 19th and 20th centuries, and will highlight the influence of international practitioners on the British scene.


© Lizz Lunney

On display is original artwork from graphic novels, comics and zines – many seen in public for the first time. It will feature work from acclaimed titles such as Nina Bunjevac’s Fatherland and Isabel Greenberg’s Encyclopedia of Early Earth as well as self-published sensations like Nadine Redlich’s Ambient Comics and many more.


Fatherland © Nina Bunjevac


Genesis © Alison Sampson

Featuring artists from Marie Duval and Tove Jansson to Posy Simmonds, Audrey Niffenegger and Nina Bunjevac, Comix Creatrix: 100 Women Making Comics is the UK’s largest ever exhibition of leading female comic artists and will run until 15th May 2016 at 2 Granary Square, King’s Cross, London. Viewing hours are between 10.00am and 6.00pm.

For more information visit the House of Illustration website here.

Thanks to The Surreal McCoy.


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by Jonesy

Posy Simmonds meets Florence Cestac

March 31, 2016 in General


The British and French graphic novelists will reflect upon their careers in comics from the 1970s to the present day in an event that will be held at 2 Granary Wharf, London on 12th April.


An award-winning cartoonist and pioneering publisher of bandes dessinées, Florence Cestac is the only woman to win the Angoulême Festival’s Grand Prix in over forty years. A past Grand Prix nominee herself, Posy Simmonds is much loved for her Guardian strips, notably Gemma Bovery and Tamara Drewe, both adapted into films.


You can find out more about this event on the House of Illustration website.


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by Jonesy

Riad Sattouf declares “I’m not French, not Syrian…I’m a cartoonist”

March 31, 2016 in General


The bestselling graphic novelist endured a traumatic childhood in Libya, Syria and France. Then he lost 12 of his colleagues in the Charlie Hebdo slaughter. Now he’s telling his life story frame by frame…

As you’d expect, his nomadic and sometimes painful experiences have shaped the man he is today, informing his notion of what makes a cartoonist: “When you’re an outsider, you observe other people more. I still do this. I’m a watcher. Cartoonists are by definition outsiders: they’re outside literature, art, the establishment.”


Riad Sattouf’s interview with The Guardian’s Rachel Cooke can be read here.

Thanks to Glenn Marshall.

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by Jonesy

Six drawing lessons artist Matt Jones learned from Ronald Searle

March 25, 2016 in General


Some fascinating insights into the working methods of the master, Ronald Searle, from a man who spent a decade studying and collecting the great man’s art.

Matt Jones, who has developed a reputation of his own as a story artist working in animation, says Searle is often described as “one of the greatest graphic satirists of the twentieth century”. Very few would argue with that description.


Take the time to click the link to this article on the Cartoon Brew website where Matt Jones’ astute observations are accompanied by a fascinating 1958 short film showing Searle at work. (Note in particular the upside down nib technique!)

Matt Jones’ ‘Ronald Searle’s America’ is available for purchase here.

Thanks to Glenn Marshall.

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by Jonesy

What European cartoonists think about the possibility of Britain leaving the EU

March 21, 2016 in General


The image above is by Lebanese-Swiss cartoonist Chappatte for the International New York Times

Observer cartoonist and children’s laureate Chris Riddell casts his experienced eye over the best the continent has to offer in this roundup of their humorous views on our upcoming referendum and its possible repercussions.

Ten cartoons, including one by Chris Riddell himself, can be viewed here on The Guardian website.

Thanks to Glenn Marshall.

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by Jonesy

“Comic Invention” Exhibition opens in Glasgow

March 20, 2016 in General


A new exhibition at the Hunterian Gallery, University of Glasgow traces the history of the medium and its ties to the city, from 1825′s Glasgow Looking Glass to modern master Frank Quietly.
There are a number of ancillary events all the way up to the Glasgow ComicCon and Festival in the summer.

More information can be found here.

Thanks to Terry Anderson