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The Round-up

April 15, 2014 in Events, General, Links, News

Gerald Scarfe and drawings from Scarfe's Bar courtesy of and © The Spectator

Gerald Scarfe and drawings from Scarfe’s Bar © The Spectator

Kasia Kowalska and Royston Robertson write:

Cartoonists and alcohol are often linked, and now one of the UK’s best known political cartoonists, Gerald Scarfe, has a bar named after him at the Rosewood Hotel in Holborn, London. The Spectator has more and the Telegraph has a video in which the cartoonist talks about the drawings on the walls.

Congratulations go to Peter Brookes of The Times, who was named cartoonist of the year at the British Press Awards. In the US, of course, they give cartoonists the Pulitzer Prize. You can watch Kevin Siers of the Charlotte Observer honoured by work colleagues here.

Private Eye cartoonist and Procartoonists.org member Tony Husband has recently been out and about, taking cartooning to the people.

A dog is a man’s best friend and William Hogarth‘s was a pug. Lars Tharp reveals the 18th century artist’s obsession with his four-legged companion in conversation with Clare Barlow, the National Portrait Gallery’s assistant curator.

Hot on the heels of The New Yorker’s cartoon editor Bob Mankoff, who is tirelessly promoting his memoir (including here and hereRoz Chast of the magazine also has an autobiographical book out, called Can’t we talk about something more pleasant?

For those eager to embrace new technology, a team of designers has developed a 3D sketching tool called Gravity. It is designed for sketching in “immersive augmented reality”, apparently, and you won’t need a computer to use it.

Phoenix Children's Comic Festival poster

Phoenix Children’s Comic Festival. Click to enlarge

The second Phoenix Children’s Comic Festival will take place at the Story Museum in Oxford in May. Among the guests will be Jamie Smart and Matt Baker from the comic. Meanwhile, DownTheTubes.net wonders whether comics are made for children any more, or are they being made for adults?

Ever wondered why cartoon characters on cereal boxes always have a similar expression? The Daily Mail reports that, according to a Cornell study, they always stare downwards to appeal directly to young children in supermarkets.

Hayao Miyazaki, the acclaimed animator and founder of Studio Ghibli, which will celebrate its 30th anniversary next year, is to retire. The BFI is running a Studio Ghibli retrospective throughout April and May. Miyazaki is also one of the nominees at the Reuben Awards for his latest film The Wind Rises.

The Round-up

April 2, 2014 in Events, General, Links, News

Kasia Kowalska and Royston Robertson write:

The documentary Stripped, which covers the past, present and future of comic strips, looking at how they are affected by the digital age, has been released on iTunes. The Kickstarter-funded film certainly seems to have spoken to alll the major players.

There’s more at boingboing.net, which gives it a thumbs up. And the creators of the film discuss the survival of strips in a Q&A here.

With the First World war very much in the news, as its centenary approaches, the Daily Mirror looks at some of its satirical cartoons from the time. Meanwhile, a group of comics artists have published an anthology of stories to take on Michael Gove’s “jingoistic” view of the war.

Is laughter the best medicine? Researchers at the University of Southampton have used the work of Procartoonists.org member Fran Orford to show that cartoons can be beneficial in helping people to cope with long-term conditions.

The cartoonist and illustrator Bob Dewar has never sought the limelight, but The Scotsman says that a new exhibition of his work could change that.

Remember the animated Charley Says public-information films from the 1970s? They’re back, with comedian David Walliams doing the voiceover.

Excerpt from the strip that spawned the "Bechdel Test" © Alison Bechdel.

Excerpt from the strip that spawned the “Bechdel Test”. Click to enlarge

Alison Bechdel, the acclaimed creator of Fun Home and Dykes To Watch Out For, talks about creating women characters as subjects and not objects, in an interview with Sabine Brix. The above strip from 1985 spawned the Bechdel Test, which is now used by film academics to assess the roles of women in films.

Protesters in Turkey responded with cartoons when their government recently blocked access to YouTube and Twitter in the build up to the national elections on 30 March. But doubts remain over the future of the free press there, as Nicholas Clayton explains.

Two video lectures for you: the Iranian cartoonist Kianoush Ramezani on “Cartooning, the art of danger” and Mike Luckovich of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, who says there is more to cartooning than meets the eye.

Finally, regular readers will know that the theme of this year’s Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival is music but can everyone name that (cartoon) tune? Try your luck and listen to the musicians at Carnegie Hall who played 43 different cartoon themes in under five minutes.

The Round-up

March 23, 2014 in Events, General, Links, News

Clive Goddard draws for Sport Relief at the BBC

Clive Goddard draws for Sport Relief at the BBC

Kasia Kowalska writes:

Procartoonists.org member Clive Goddard played his part in the most successful Sport Relief to date when he showed his support for BBC Radio 2 host Jo Whiley during her 26-hour treadmill challenge. He posted more pictures here.

More PCO members are out and about: Ahead of a talk at Hornchurch Library next week, Adrian Teal spoke to a local paper about his book The Gin Lane Gazette and political satire. And next month Martin Rowson is hosting a workshop for The Laurence Sterne Trust.

In anticipation of Comics Unmasked: Art and Anarchy in the UK at the British Library, the artist behind Tank Girl and the band Gorillaz, Jamie Hewlett, has unveiled new artwork for the exhibition poster.

Following the parody-heavy backlash after the recent post on tax cuts by Grant Shapps on Twitter, Pam Cowburn of Open Rights Group bemoans the fact that UK copyright law is no laughing matter when it comes to parody. The planned reforms appear to have been kicked into the long grass due to parliamentary delays.

Bob Mankoff has written a memoir

Bob Mankoff has written a memoir that doubles as a guide for aspiring cartoonists

The memoirs of The New Yorker cartoon editor Bob Mankoff, went on on sale yesterday in the US (readers in the UK will have to wait until 14 April). How About Never — Is Never Good for You? My Life In Cartoons will become a guide for aspiring cartoonists, according to Janet Maslin of The New York Times.

To coincide with the release of the book, CBS’s 60 Minutes produced a report on Mankoff and the art of choosing cartoons.

The Washington Post caused a furore by publishing a cartoon by Zunar criticising the Malaysian government’s response to the disappearance of the Malaysian Airlines flight MH370. The Malaysian editorial cartoonist was previously charged for sedition in 2010 for publishing his book of cartoons Cartoon-O-Phobia.

Not every cartoonist has an asteroid named in their honour. 4942 Munroe bears the name of xkcd creator Randall Munroe whose book What If? is due to be published later this year.

The Seattle cartoonist Tatiana Gill has created a collection of comic art to celebrate Women’s History Month. What is that? you may ask. This cartoon by Rob Rogers of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette may help (or not!)

Finally, Procartoonists.org members never make mistakes, of course, but just in case, the BBC reports on a pen that spots errors.

Avatar of Royston

by Royston

The Round-up

March 19, 2014 in Events, General, Links, News

Boredom by Thomas Rowlandson

Boredom by Thomas Rowlandson @ Procartoonists.org

A new exhibition called The Long Nineteenth Century, which looks at British art from 1789 to 1918, opened at the Chris Beetles Gallery in London this week.

Many of those charting the huge changes in society over this period were cartoonists, of course, and the show features work by Gillray and Rowlandson, above, through to Tenniel and Heath Robinson. The exhibition runs until 12 April.

A study of 20th century satire, the Arena documentary Whatever Happened to Spitting Image?is to be broadcast on BBC Four tomorrow (20 March). See clips and more here. It ties in with the puppet show’s 30th anniversary celebrations.

Still on BBC Four documentaries with questioning titles, the Scottish comic book artist Frank Quitely has been profiled in What Do Artists Do All Day?, which you can watch now on iPlayer.

The organisers of the Melksham Comic Con in Wiltshire are looking to expand the event in 2014 and have turned to Kickstarter for help. They clearly had fun making this “charity appeal” for the non-profit event. The target is just £5,000 and they emphasise that every £1 counts.

Salmond and Cameron From The Auld Acquaintance © Scottish Cartoon Art Studio
From The Auld Acquaintance © Scottish Cartoon Art Studio


The Scottish Cartoon Art Studio is injecting some much-needed humour into the independence debate with an international touring exhibition called The Auld Acquaintance, above. Find out more here.

This year Finland is celebrating the centenary of the birth of Tove Jansson, creator of the Moomins. If you don’t know your Moominmamma from your Moominpappa, you can get up to speed with this article by Mark Bosworth.

Finally, as if last week’s Bananaman vs Stephen Hawking photo wasn’t enough for fans of the Dandy superhero, we now hear that there is a Bananaman film in the works, though so far all we have to go on is this teaser campaign. The Metro suggests five other TV cartoons that should follow it to the big screen.

The Round-up

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

© Jen Sorensen. Click to enlarge

© Jen Sorensen @ Procartoonists.org. Click to enlarge

Kasia Kowalska writes:

Jen Sorensen, cartoonist for the Austin Chronicle and other US papers, has become the first woman to win the coveted Herblock Prize for editorial cartooning.

The annual award was created to recognise editorial cartooning as an essential vehicle for freedom of speech and the right of expression. Meanwhile Emlly Carroll, creator of the horror comic Out of Skinwon the Cartoonist Studio Prize for the best web comic.

Chris Ware, the cartoonist behind Building Stories, talks about the devaluation of drawing in an age dominated by visual images in an interview with Chip Kidd at Salon.com. He says that the schools curriculum in  the US does not allow much time for drawing, a problem echoed in the UK that we have covered on this blog.

Talking of our visual culture, Getty Images has announced that everyone can now use their images online for free. But not everyone is impressed, as Brian Krogsgard explains.

Food cartoon © Berger & Wyse

© Berger & Wyse @ Procartoonists.org

The Guardian cartoonists Joe Berger and Pascal Wyse have an exhibition called Sense of Fun at Creation Fine Arts in Beverley, the East Yorkshire town where Wyse was born. The Hull Daily Mail has more. Meanwhile, Birmingham Museum has announced the opening in May of a must-see exhibition: Marvellous Machines: The Wonderful World of Rowland Emett.

Great news for comic strip aficionados, Bill Watterson, creator of Calvin and Hobbes, has published his first new work in 19 years: it’s this poster for a documentary on the future of comic strips.

On a more sombre note, cartoonists used International Women’s Day last weekend to draw attention to issues that affect women: Alexsandro Palombo focused on domestic violence, Touka Neyestani on the curtailment of women’s rights in Iran, and Damien Glez on violence against women in Africa. Also, an exhibition of cartoons portraying Korean sex slaves during the Second World War goes on display in Seoul.

In Málaga, the Centro de Arte Contemporáneo is celebrating the work of Andrés Rabago, the El País cartoonist known as El Roto. His work has been likened to Goya by the critic Matthew Clayfield.

Finally, the Procartoonists.org member Steve “Brighty” Bright, co-creator of Bananaman, was tickled by this stag night photo that made it to the BBC news site.

The Round-up

March 3, 2014 in Events, General, Links, News

Handsworth Creative cartoon by Hunt Emerson

© Hunt Emerson/Handsworth Creative cic

Kasia Kowalska writes:

Hunt Emerson, the comics artist and Procartoonists.org member, is helping launch a new project called Handsworth Creative cic.

The “cic” stands for community interest company. The not-for-profit venture is part Lottery-funded and aims to develop creative local history projects by and for the residents of Handsworth, Birmingham. Appropriately, the first product will be a comic, with input from young, aspiring cartoonists, charting the history of the area.

Cartoonists often share work on social networks these days, but Dacs and Own-It emphasise that it’s important to read the small print and have collaborated on an article: Social media: understanding the terms and conditions

What would become of us if we could not grumble? Two familiar PCO names, Andy Davey and Bill Stott, have adopted alter egos in order to let off steam in a new venture titled Men of Letters. There are some rather good cartoons there too, of course.

Bash Street sign

Bash Street becomes reality © The Beano

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of The Bash Street Kids, Dundee has named a street after the notorious Beano characters and has unveiled a unique illustrated sign, above. The Courier has a video of the event.

A different kind of street art can be seen in Newcastle, where a graffiti artist has made a stand against Russia’s “gay propaganda” laws. Meanwhile, Russia has become a focal point for cartoonists in the wake of the crisis in Ukraine, both in Russia and abroad.

A cartoonist in Germany has been accused of anti-Semitism, for depicting Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook as a hook-nosed octopus, after the company acquired WhatsApp. Burkhard Mohr apologised for any offence caused, which he said was unintentional, and provided an alternative cartoon.

Procartoonists.org member Jonathan Pugh is among the nominees for Cartoonist of the Year award at the Press Awards 2013. Other nominees include Peter Brookes, Ingram Pinn, Matt, Chris Riddell and Gerald Scarfe.

In the US, the National Cartoonists Society has published nominations for the 2013 Reuben Award for Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year. Bob Mankoff of The New Yorker has more on the difference/overlap between Twitter wisecracks and cartoon captions. Ed Koren, the recently appointed Cartoonist Laureate for Vermont has got stuck in to his new role.

And the award for immortalising the Oscars in cartoon form … goes to Liza Donnelly.

The Round-up

February 23, 2014 in Events, General, Links, News

Thatcher Cutting Up Britain © Spitting Image Workshop

Thatcher Cutting Up Britain © Spitting Image Workshop

Kasia Kowalska writes:

The exhibition Spitting Image: From Start to Finish opens at the Cartoon Museum in London tomorrow (26 February) – 30 years to the day since the TV series burst into our living rooms and put satire back at the heart of British comedy.

The BFI is also joining in the celebrations with an anniversary event and a screening of the BBC Four Arena documentary Whatever Happened To Spitting Image? on Thursday. It will be broadcast in spring.

The anniversary has already prompted a debate on the current state of satire on TV, with the Spitting Image producer John Lloyd and the Private Eye editor Ian Hislop, a former writer for the show, putting forward opposing views

Booktrust has appointed a new online writer in residence, The Observer’s political cartoonist Chris Riddell, to write a weekly blog in the form of drawings. Meanwhile, The Beano’s, Barrie Appleby, lent a helping hand at a pre-school playgroup where he shared cartooning tips with children as part of the Annual National Storytelling Week.

Escaping the UK weather can be a funny business. The Cartoonists’ Club of Great Britain got together for its 3rd Mighty Malta Minicon last week and if you were not lucky enough to go, you can still find out what they got up to.

 

Doonesbury © Garry Trudeau

Doonesbury © Garry Trudeau

The syndicated Doonesbury comic strip is taking a long-term break from this week, the cartoonist Garry Trudeau has announced. Fans should not worry though, as older strips will be revisited.

Comic art continues to court controversy: the Angoulême International Comics Festival got into hot water over its sponsorship by SodaStream which is the target of an international boycott; a newspaper office in Baghdad suffered a bomb attack following the publication of a cartoon criticising Ayatollah Khamenei;  and the thought police are very much alive and well in Algeria, where the cartoonist Djamel Ghanem has been threatened with imprisonment for a cartoon that was not even published.

Across the border in Tunisia, there may be hope for the international campaign “100 drawings for Jabeur” to free Jabeur Mejri, who has been pardoned and offered asylum in Sweden. The blogger was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison for publishing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed on Facebook in 2012.

Finally, we note with sadness that Gordon Bell, cartoonist for The Beano and the Dundee Courier, and Tony Harding, who drew football stories for Scorcher, Hotspur, and Action, both passed away recently.

The Round-up: A comics special

February 17, 2014 in Events, General, Links, News

Comics are coming to the British Library © Dave Gibbons

Comics are coming to the British Library © Dave Gibbons @ Procartoonists.org

Kasia Kowalska presents a Round-up focusing on comics this week:

The British Library is about to embark on a period of anarchy and rebellion – this summer it will host the largest exhibition of comic art ever held in Britain. Comics Unmasked: Art & Anarchy in the UK will cover comics from Victorian times through to the classics of today. The Forbidden Planet blog and The Guardian have more.

One of the myths the exhibition promises to dispel is that comics are only for boys. This is a sore subject for Noelle Stevenson, the co-writer of the comic Lumberjanes, who got fed up with comic shops that exclude women readers.

But not everyone may be thrilled to hear of the exhibition. The comics writer Alan Moore said recently that it is a “cultural catastrophe” that comic characters from the 20th century have such a high-profle now, and Jonathan Jones wonders should adults even be reading comicsMeanwhile, Vishavjit Singh takes on cultural prejudice in Captain America’s homeland

According to Bryan Talbot, the author of the award-winning Alice in Sunderland, “graphic novels are the only area of book sales which is actually growing”. He talks to the Sunderland Echo about the first Sunderland Comic Con, which will take place in August this year.

October Jones train cartoon

Comic fun on the train © October Jones @ Procartoonists.org

Marvel, too, is responding to this phenomenon by opening up its massive archive of more than 8,000 comic characters to independent developers. Marvel comics turned out to be a sure source of inspiration, above,  to the illustrator Joe Butcher – pen name October Jones – on his train journey in Birmingham.

Finally, fans of the art form get to have their say on the best of the crop in this year’s British Comics Awards, as the nominations are now open.

The Round-up

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

Kasia Kowalska writes:

Dave Walker, a Procartoonists member, talks about what makes him tick in a short film by Michal Dzierza, above, called Being A Cartoonist.

If you like to know what makes other people tick, a new exhibition celebrating the life and work of Mel Calman has opened at the Freud Museum in Hampstead, London. Titled Calman meets Freud, it explores the much-loved cartoonist’s interest in psychiatry and mental health.

Andy Davey has put his recent lecture on the future of political cartooning, which we previewed here, on his website “in windbaggy blog form” (his words, not ours).

Though they may not always admit it, cartoonists are often inspired by other cartoonists. Michael Maslin wanted to know what cartoon collections inspired his colleagues at The New Yorker. He calls these collections “Cartoon Bibles”.

scott adams book

Passion – even for cartoons – is not everything: Scott Adams, the man behind Dilbert, ponders the virtues of failure in this video interview. He has succeeded in writing a book about failure, above.

Sometimes even the most creative ventures fail, as the DrawQuest founder Chris Poole found out.

Yet some cartoons are destined for success. It has been 25 years since The Simpsons broke the mould and made social satire a household name. To celebrate, Lego has teamed up with Fox to re-create them as its iconic figures. Keeping with the celebratory spirit, the cartoonist and animator David Silverman has published early Simpsons drawings on Twitter.

Bill Watterson made the news by winning the Grand Prix at 41st Angouleme Festival in France for his timeless strip Calvin and Hobbes. Also, the 30th Aydın Doğan International Cartoon Competition in Turkey announced its winners, with the top prize going to a Polish cartoonist, Krzysztof Grzondziel.

One cartoonist who may be certain that such recognition will not present itself in his own country is Bonil of Ecuador. Following a press watchdog’s ruling that he had insulted Rafael Correa, the president, the newspaper El Universo was forced to publish a suitable “correction” from the cartoonist.

The Round Up

January 28, 2014 in Events, General, Links, News

Kasia Kowalska writes:

Fancy a spot of 18th century roistering? The caricaturist Adrian Teal can invite you to club nights with a difference with his Historic Punch.

© HistoricPunch.co.uk @ procartoonists.org

© HistoricPunch.co.uk @ Procartoonists.org

He has also revealed the story behind the Georgian John Bull, in History Today. John Bull was actually invented by a Scot but he proved a much loved subject of James Gillray and Thomas Rowlandson, whose exhibition High Spirits you can still see at The Queen’s Gallery in Edinburgh.

Other cartoon masters have been listed by Richard Grigoris. At number 12 is Herbert Lawrence Block, better known as Herblock, whose US career spanned more than 70 years. A new documentary celebrating his career has just been broadcast on HBO. We expect it will turn up on the internet soon too.

Herblock_The_Black_and_the_White_@_procartoonists.org

Herblock: The Black and the White @ Procartoonists.org

As we noted yesterday, the Jesus and Mo cartoon continues to cause uproar. The Hampstead and Kilburn Lib Dem candidate Maajid Nawaz has received death threats and calls for deselection after publishing the cartoon on Twitter. The cartoonists were quick to respond.

© Hero-Glyphics by Josh Low @ procartoonists.org

Hero-Glyphics © Josh Low @ Procartoonists.org

Cartoonists are regularly attacked in the UK and across the globe and here are a few recent examples. Peter Schrank had his cartoon removed from the Economist website following complaints by the Anti-Defamation League. The Ecuadorian cartoonist Bonil, received a court summons after publication of a cartoon criticising the country’s president. And, the Palestinian cartoonist Majedah Shaheen apologised on Twitter having somehow upset Hamas.

More happily, there are still plenty of places where cartoonists are welcome: the 16th PortoCartoon World Festival in Portugal, the 46th Umoristi A Marostica in Italy, the 31st Aydın Doğan International Cartoon Competition in Turkey and the very 1st Cairo International Cartoon Exhibition in Egypt.

And finally, Egypt was also on Josh Lane’s mind, when he recreated modern heroes in his Hero-Glyphics, above.