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Battle fought, then sandwiches

November 24, 2014 in Events, General, News

Andy Davey works on the Procartoonists team banner

Andy Davey works on the Procartoonists team banner

Andy Davey gives his post-match analysis, as Procartoonists team captain, on the Battle of the Cartoonists 2014 Photos by Kasia Kowalska

It was great to take part in the Battle of the Cartoonists at Trinity Buoy Wharf in one of the less glamorous quarters of London’s fashionable Docklands. We cartoonists are not used to glamour, so it was perhaps fitting that a bunch of grubby satirists should be let loose in an old oil and hemp store on a wharf overlooking the Dome.

We, the PCO team, had done some vague pre-planning but left enough room for the spontaneity and creativity of the el Galacticos in our team – Jeremy Banx, Guy Venables and ex-Punch and Readers Digest cartoon editor Steve Way.

The Procartoonists team of Andy Davey, Jeremy Banx, Steve Way and Guy Venables

The Procartoonists team of Andy Davey, Jeremy Banx, Steve Way and Guy Venables at work. Note PCO banner from the 2008 St Pancras Battle in the background.

The work was good all round this year,  the quality of banner artwork was excellent and all kept on-theme (Recording Britain Now). The Independent deservedly won with a cohesively themed banner showing the map of the UK boasting “Here Be Monsters”. The draughtsmanship was superb, led by the inestimable pen of Dave Brown, with Peter Schrank, Dave Simonds and Matt Buck.

The Independent's winning banner

The Independent’s winning banner. Click to enlarge

Dave Brown, Matt Buck and Dave Simonds celebrate Grand Prix-style

Dave Brown, Matt Buck and Dave Simonds celebrate Grand Prix-style

Other teams present were The Guardian (Steve Bell, Ros Asquith and Kipper WIlliams) and Private Eye (Simon Pearsall, Henry Davies, Kathryn Lamb and David Ziggy Greene). The Eye, those perennial winners of the popular clap-o-meter vote, didn’t win this year but had a banner that could easily have done so – a delight of wit, simplicity and minimalism, including several excellent gags.

Detail of Henry Davies cartoons from the Private Eye banner

Detail of Henry Davies cartoons from the Private Eye banner

Kipper Williams and detail from the Guardian banner

Kipper Williams and detail from the Guardian banner. Click to enlarge

Of course, it pains me to say all this as captain of the Procartoonists.org team. I have, of course, offered, in the manner of honour down the centuries, to take the pistol and whisky option, or a more public display of seppuku with a blunt nib.

It’s quite a challenge to get the whole thing planned, drawn and coloured within the two-hour limit, so seeing the banners finished is always a treat. And it’s even more of a treat to get a free bacon sandwich and beer afterwards. Phew, largesse unknown to the likes of us scribblers.

The banners are to be sold off, apparently, so if you want a 4m x 1m work of spontaneous art to decorate your stately home, contact the Campaign For Drawing.

For sale: the finished PCO banner is held aloft

For sale: the finished PCO banner is held aloft

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by Royston

Cartoonists prepare to do battle

November 17, 2014 in Events, General, News

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A team from the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation will once again take part in the Battle of the Cartoonists. (Cartoon above by Bill Stott)

The event is organised by the Campaign for Drawing, the people behind The Big Draw, and will take place at the Electrician’s Shop gallery, Trinity Buoy Wharf, in east London this Sunday (23 November) from 12pm-5pm. Admission is free.

Four teams, from Procartoonists, The Guardian, The Independent and Private Eye will each create huge banners on the theme of “Recording Britain Now” (click here for the full list of events on that theme).

The winner will be chosen by popular vote i.e. the team that gets the most cheers and applause. Banners from previous Battles over the past decade will be on display. Free cartoon workshops for all ages will also take place.

PCO members at work on Battle of the Cartoonists banners at Somerset House in 2006 ...

PCO members in the Battle of the Cartoonists at Somerset House 2006 …

... Covent Garden in 2007 ...

… Covent Garden 2007 …

... St Pancras Station in 2008 ...

… St Pancras Station 2008 …

... the Idea Generation gallery 2009 ...

… the Idea Generation gallery 2009 …

... Hay's Galleria 2010 ...

… Hay’s Galleria 2010 …

... and the V&A, 2012.

… and the V&A 2012.

Sir John Sorrell, a cartoon and drawing aficionado who was was publisher of The Cartoonist, the “cartoon newspaper”, will launch the event and will give a talk about the importance of visual satire.

The team line-ups are as follows (all teams feature Procartoonists members):

Procartoonists.org Andy Davey, Jeremy Banx, Neil Dishington, Steve Way

Private Eye Henry Davies, Kathryn Lamb, Simon Pearsall, David Ziggy Greene

The Guardian Ros Asquith, Steve Bell, Ben Jennings, Kipper Williams

The Independent Dave Brown, Peter Schrank, David Simonds, Matt Buck

We wish all the teams the very best of luck!

The Round-up

November 13, 2014 in Events, General, Links, News

Nigel Farage © Andy Davey for The Sun

Nigel Farage © Andy Davey for The Sun. Click to enlarge

Public voting is under way for the Political Cartoon of the Year 2014. Those in the running include the Procartoonists.org members Andy Davey, above, Dave Brown, Martin Rowson, Steve Bell, Steve Bright and Gary Barker.

The Times’s political cartoonist Peter Brookes is the subject of a short film called The Art of Satire, part of the newspaper’s Unquiet films series, celebrating its contributors and other aspects of the newspaper’s production (there’s even one for font geeks, we know you’re out there).

A cartoon for Stars on Canvas © Jonesy

A cartoon for Stars on Canvas © Jonesy

Many cartoonists have contributed to the new Stars on Canvas charity auction, in aid of the Willow foundation, which provides memorable days and experiences for seriously ill young adults aged 16 to 40.

The contributors include a whole bunch of PCO members: Rob Murray, Kipper Williams, Mike Williams, Jonesy, Jonathan Cusick, Matt Percival. Jonathan Pugh, Royston Robertson, Lawrence Goldsmith, Kate Taylor, Tony Husband and Noel Ford.

The BBC has a short film on Quentin Blake, talking about his new book The Five of Us, which is about a group of children who overcome diabilities

Peter Capaldi © Jonathan Cusick

Peter Capaldi © Jonathan Cusick

The Chris Beetles Gallery‘s winter selling exhibition The Illustrators opens this weekend (15 November). It features illustration from 1800 to the present day. One of the contempiorary artists featured is Procartoonists member Jonathan Cusick, above.

Britain has a poet laureate and a children’s laureate and now Dave Gibbons, best known as the artist behind Watchmen, has been named as the first comics laureate, an initiative by the charity Comics Literacy Awareness.  Gibbons recently spoke to the Guardian about his lifelong passion for the medium.

One person who doesn’t need convincing about the worth of comics is Price Harry, who revealed his love for them as he met cartoonist Will Kevans.

"Wittertainment" presenters © Terry Anderson

“Wittertainment” presenters © Terry Anderson

Finally, cartoons on the radio is a phenomenon that happens all too rarely but the Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo film review show and podcast, known to its army of fans as Wittertainment, has started a regular feature called Cartoonists’ Corner, so those who listen to the show while drawing cartoons can say hello.

Those inaugurated into Cartoonists’ Corner so far include Procartoonists members Martin Rowson and Royston Robertson. And the Witertainment presenters have been caricatured, above,  by Terry Anderson. Pictured, clockwise, are Simon Mayo and Mark Kermode, plus the recent stand-in presenters James King and Sanjeev Bhaskar.

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by Royston

Cartoonist reveals another side

November 6, 2014 in Events, General, News

Art cartoon © Bill Stott

Art cartoon © Bill Stott

Procartoonists member Bill Stott has a solo exhibition called Playing Hamlet at the Beach Creative gallery in Herne Bay.

He has exhibited and drawn in the town before, as part of the cartoon events there, but this time he’s gone all “proper artist” on us and the exhibition will feature 30 non-figurative paintings.

To ease the shock, Bill has also included eight cartoons that mock the world of art, such as the one above. So that’s a relief.

Non-figurative work © Bill Stott.

Non-figurative work © Bill Stott. Add your own caption. (Click to enlarge)

Playing Hamlet runs until 18 November. Visit the Beach Creative website for more details.

 

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.

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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.