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by Jonesy

Frank Dickens RIP

July 12, 2016 in General


Frank Dickens © Martin Reidl

The PCO is sad to report that Frank Dickens, the creator of the much loved comic strip “Bristow”, has died aged 84.

“Bristow” was initially rejected by every national newspaper and first appeared in the regionals. The Evening Standard decided to take it in 1962 and it went on to be syndicated worldwide, except in the US, where Dickens rejected suggestions that his characters should be Americanised.

According to The Guinness Book of World Records it became the longest-running daily cartoon strip by a single author.


Bristow © Frank Dickens

However Dickens’s greatest success, in financial terms at least, came through the syndication in the US of another strip entitled “Albert Herbert Hawkins: The Naughtiest Boy in the World”, even though it was banned from some American school libraries for advocating “defiance of adult authority by showing misbehavior for which the protagonist goes unpunished”.

An interesting technical side note is that Dickens is said to have invented the device whereby the words of the action (“tap, tap”; “flick, flick” etc) appear beside the character. He claimed it came about due to his inability to draw expression and movement well enough.


Albert Herbert Hawkins © Frank Dickens

Dickens also wrote several children’s books (one of which was illustrated by Ralph Steadman) and had work adapted for stage and radio. He also wrote two thrillers centred around the world of cycle racing, something he knew a great deal about, having moved to Paris after doing his National Service, hoping to compete in the Tour de France but failing to qualify…

His obituary in The Daily Telegraph (see link below) tells of a life lived and a penchant for disrobing at inappropriate moments. Dickens’s marriage, to Maria del Sagrario, ended in divorce after 13 years, he recalled, because “when she learnt to speak English she realised she didn’t like me.” Their daughter survives him.

Frank Dickens, born December 9 1931, died July 8 2016

The Daily Telegraph obituary can be read here

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by Royston

On the fringes at Herne Bay

July 7, 2016 in Events, General, News

Glenn Marshall Not Funny poster

Like any good festival, the Herne Bay Cartoon Festival has a fringe. And his name is Glenn Marshall. He writes:

The cartoonists who get exhibitions are the successful, good ones. This exhibition sets to redress the balance.

Full of ideas that don’t quite work, drawings that don’t quite look right and text that is completely illegible, it’s a story of pain, ridicule and regret. Let’s celebrate the mediocre!

Sadly my cartoon anthology that the exhibition was due to coincide with is still in early development, see below, but I will be having “The Book Launch Without A Book” over the festival weekend.

Glenn Marshall Not Funny portfolio

Thanks Glenn! The cartoon exhibition is at One New Street gallery and is sponsored by The Bay Brewer.

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by Jonesy

PCO members on Brexit

July 7, 2016 in General

Like the rest of the country PCO members were divided on the issue of whether to stay or leave. These cartoons reflect that schism.


© Matt Buck

16-06-27 planks 72

© Steve Bright (Brighty)

Brexit - free at last

© Terry Anderson


© Noel Ford


© Pete Dredge


© Royston Robertson

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Canadian editorial cartoonists’ round table televised debate

July 3, 2016 in General

Capture d’écran 2016-06-30 à 20.17.41

Zoomer TV broadcast on political cartooning

Via Bado’s Blog

A veritable who’s who of Canadian editorial cartoonists gathered to debate the state of political cartooning in their native country. Lending an American perspective to the proceedings were The Economist’s Kevin Kallaugher (KAL) and Ann Telnaes of The Washington Post.

Conrad Black – a target of more cartoonists’ satirical barbs then most – completed the televised line-up


Sue Dewar of the Toronto Sun

1004 mosher 11825

The Montreal Gazette’s Terry Mosher

You can watch the programme here on the Zoomer Television website.



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The Washington Post’s Ann Telnaes on political cartooning in the digital age

July 2, 2016 in General


Ann Telnaes

The renowned editorial cartoonist opens her Columbia Journalism Review article with a selection of the brutally visceral responses she received, via social media, following the publication of one cartoon in particular. (Please see below.)



The cartoon that triggered the abuse © Ann Telnaes

The vitriolic tsunami suffered by Ann Telnaes post Cruz cartoon is just one example of how the landscape has changed for cartoonists.

As the thin skinned and short fused fuel and feed off social and 24 hour news media in equal measure, the internet has proven to be the perfect medium for these people to vent their spleens instantaneously and, more often than not, anonymously. Then there are those, like the Charlie Hebdo murderers, who go beyond words to express their hatred…

Ann’s piece is as elegantly crafted and astute as her editorial cartoons.


Ann Telnaes at work

Warning: the article linked below contains violent, mysogynistic messages and extremely strong language from the start.

The article, a must read, can be seen here on the Columbia Journalism Review website.




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by Jonesy

Banging the tabla for cartooning in India

July 2, 2016 in General


Ritu Gairola Khanduri

“This is a good time for cartooning”

The subhead above may have resulted in some of our members raising an eyebrow or, more likely, uttering the odd oath or two…

However, taking good news where we can find it (India via America in this instance), the words make for a refreshingly upbeat change of tone and were spoken by Ritu Gairola Khanduri, a cultural anthropologist and historian, in an interview with Sujeet Rajan on The American Bazaar website.

Ritu goes on to say “I think it’s an art form the youth will give new shape to in the coming years” and, as if that wasn’t positive enough, “They also have a rich history in India to look back to and build on.”

We know somewhere very similar…


Ritu Gairola Khanduri is the author of ‘Caricaturing Culture in India: Cartoons and History in the Modern World’ (Cambridge University Press).

Read the full interview here.


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Cartoonists discuss the big issue: Europe

June 21, 2016 in General


Joey Tempest, lead singer and owner of the definitive ‘poodle-rock’ hairstyle

Tune into New Yorker cartoonist Joe Dator’s Blog, ‘Songs You’re Sick Of’, and enjoy the wonderfully funny ramblings of the host and his guest, our very own The Surreal McCoy (‘The’ to her friends), as they analyse Europe’s most famous song: The Final Countdown.

The Surreal McCoy leads a double life, being a professional musician as well as a cartoonist and she straps on her accordion for the occasion and learns the chords and a smattering Swedish into the bargain. What a trouper.


An early laptop

Mick Jagger’s leotards, the effect of weightlessness on 1980’s hair and meaty bun-cake houses are just three topics that spring out of the conversation.

Beef Burger 110

The above can be found in ‘meaty bun-cake houses’ apparently

The undoubted highlight, however, is The Surreal McCoy’s performance of The Final Countdown. An immeasurable improvement on the original, it features ‘The’ (remember – only to friends) on accordion, accompanied by Inga, Swedish Google translator, on vocals. A tour de force that, once heard, can never be forgotten.

Thirty minutes of fun await on Joe Dator’s ‘Songs You’re Sick Of”.


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by Jonesy

‘Not the RA Summer Exhibition’ Private View

June 12, 2016 in General


Standing room only – © Kasia Kowalska

Bill Stott, PCO Chairleg, writes:

7/6/16, Chris Beetles Gallery, Ryder St., thatLondon.

By gum it was ‘ot ! And by the time I and my travelling companion, Jenny, Sheila’s daughter, arrived at the gallery at about five after six, the temperature inside the gallery was such that dentures were melting and Chris and Alex’s free champagne was disappearing double quick. Little red spots were appearing on cartoons, too.


Bill Stott with New Yorker cartoonist Bob Eckstein – © The Surreal McCoy


© Jonathan Cusick                           © Chris Madden                                   

It was really good to see so many PCO types there; most of the Committee, Kasia and kamera, Dr Davey – in excellent form – Ross Thompson and his lady, plus Mike Turner, Ken Pyne, Dave Brown, Herne Bay Roller Robertson and lots, lots more. What was even better was seeing PCO work displayed alongside and on the same footing as art which isn’t supposed to make you laugh.


Jen Kuehnle, Cathy Simpson, Bob Eckhart, Carol Isaacs & Bill Stott – © Kasia Kowalska

Anthony Green R.A. kicked the whole thing off by making many and various artistic observations including what its like to paint a nude pic of your mother-in-law (cue collapse of stout party).


Royston Robertson & Jeremy Banx indulge in a spot of star gazing – © The Surreal McCoy


Patrick Holden, Cartoon Museum trustee, enjoys the Heston Blumenthal hors d’oeuvres – © Mika Schick

ken pyne_mike turner

Two master cartoonists, Ken Pyne & Mike Turner, enjoying a chat – © Kasia Kowalska

Speechifying over, there was much meeting and greeting. I got the impression that the cartoon area remained the most full all evening.Then around 8.45 it was over the road-ish to a very narrow pub – so narrow in fact that the Scotch Eggs were oval. Jenny is an NHS psychiatrist and had her notes confiscated.


Bill & Royston spot a publisher – © Mika Schick

So, all in all, a successful evening, and Messrs Beetles were pleased too. This sort of show is something of a first, I think, and who knows, it may not be the last.


© Rupert Besley

More of the exhibits, all available for purchase, can be viewed here on the Chris Beetles Gallery website.

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Funny goings on with Weird Fish…

June 8, 2016 in General


The winning design © Tim Harries

Instigated by our friend from the CCGB, Rich Skipworth, and casual clothing manufacturer Weird Fish, a competition has just taken place to design a T-shirt for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and we’re delighted to say that two PCO members made it onto the victors’ podium.

PURPLE CRANE  Brighty post

Prince, as you’ve never seen him before © Steve Bright

Tim Harries hooked the number one spot with his wonderful ‘Raiders of the Lost Lark’ design and Steve Bright was joint runner-up with his remarkable avian Prince image ‘Purple Crane’.

Tim’s prize isn’t to be sniffed at either: he becomes a regular player in the Weird Fish cartoonist team, and nets a cool £250 worth of clobber into the bargain. Steve landed a Weird Fish clothing voucher for his efforts too so, all in all, a good catch for the PCO duo.


One of Tim’s alternative efforts © Tim Harries

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The master speaks…

June 8, 2016 in General


The National Cartoonists Society has released a 40-minute video profiling legendary cartoonist and illustrator Mort Drucker.

In a warm and enthralling conversation, the pair reflected on Mort’s path from his teenage days as a comic book assistant artist to his rapid ascent to the pinnacle of the profession, and discussed the attention to detail and quest for cartooning excellence that has been the hallmark of Drucker’s illustrious career.

The filmed interview can be viewed on the National Cartoonists Society website or here on Bado’s Blog.