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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!

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.

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by Royston

Big drawings from The Big Draw

October 2, 2012 in General

To spare you lots of pictures of cartoonists bending over tables and displaying their bald spots – with the exception of the Big Girls Drawers team, of course! – we present a selection of details from the seven banners in the Battle of the Cartoonists in the V&A’s Raphael Room.

Procartoonists.org banner

The Procartoonists.org banner, a response to "The Sacrifice at Lystra", was created by William Rudling, Kate Scurfield, Guy Venables and Gerard Whyman

Private Eye banner

Private Eye drew "Paul Preaching at Athens". Banner by Martin Honeysett, Andrew Birch, Simon Pearsall and Henry Davies

The Private Eye team, captained by the non-playing Tony Rushton, emerged victorious once again.

Reader's Digest banner

Reader's Digest got "The Miraculous Draught of Fishes". Banner by Steve Way, Simon Meyrick-Jones, Nathan Ariss, Rob Murray and Royston Robertson

Big Girls Drawers banner

"The Healing of the Lame Man" by the Big Girls Drawers team of Chichi Parish, The Surreal McCoy, Kathryn Lamb and Rosie Brooks

Before the Battle, Rosie Brooks from the Big Girls Drawers team, who is also a member of Procartoonists.org, appeared on BBC Radio London to talk about The Big Draw and cartooning in general. You can hear it here.

Telegraph banner

The Telegraph team of Patrick Blower, Charles Peattie, Matthew Buck and John Springs took on "The Conversion of the Proconsul"

The Sun banner

"Christ's Charge to Peter" was drawn by The Sun team of Andy Davey, Clive Goddard and Tim Harries

The Sun team must be congratulated for getting by with just three cartoonists, compared to, say, the Reader’s Digest with five. The Battle of the Cartoonists is nothing if not an uneven playing field.

Guardian banner

"The Death of Ananias" was drawn by the Guardian/Observer team of Kipper Williams, Dave Simonds, Nicola Jennings and Harry Venning

Photographs by Gerard Whyman, Nikki Harries and Royston Robertson

The Round-up

September 28, 2012 in General, Links, News

 

© Tony Husband @ Procartoonists.org

Tony Husband, cartoonist for Private Eye, The Spectator and many others – and a member of Procartoonists.org – has produced two new book collections. I Nearly Died Laughing was released last month and showcases some of Tony’s darker cartoons, while It’s Only A Game features a selection of sporting gags and will be released on October 15.

Tony will be signing copies of both books on October 5 at 2022NQ in Manchester. Fifty of his cartoons will be on display and he will also be drawing cartoons by request, with proceeds going to Moodswings.

Steven Appleby also has a new book out, collecting his Guardian comic strip about everyday life and family relationships, Loomus. A launch party and exhibition are being held on the evening of October 12 at Gosh! Comics in Soho. Read more here.

Also in London, the Chris Beetles Gallery is currently holding an exhibition of work by that quintessentially English cartoonist, Norman Thelwell. The show runs until October 13 and you can find more information – and plenty of pictures – on the website.

Finally, with this year’s Big Draw about to get underway on Sunday, Design Week has a run-down of some of the events taking place at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London – including the Battle of the Cartoonists. Read the article here. (Thanks to Chichi Parish for spotting it.)

Let’s work together at the Big Draw

September 24, 2012 in Events, News

Big Draw workshop

A workshop run by Procartoonists.org members at the Big Draw's 2010 launch. Picture by Denis Dowland @ Procartoonists.org

Cartoon workshops will be held throughout the Big Draw, Big Make event this Sunday (September 30) at the V&A in London.

They will take place in the Raphael Room, the same venue as the Battle of the Cartoonists, and are being run by Procartoonists.org members. Running times are: 11am-12.30pm Robert Duncan; 12.30pm-2pm Tim Harries; 2pm-3.30pm Wilbur Dawbarn; and 3.30pm-5pm Cathy Simpson.

Download the full schedule here if you want to make it a family day and get involved in the child and adult-friendly activities.

A 30-minute talk by Gerald Scarfe50 Years of Being Rude – will be held at 2.45pm. Booking is advised for that event.

Battle of the Cartoonists 2012: Bring it on!

September 24, 2012 in Comment, Events, News

Can London take any more excitement? First the Olympics, then the Paralympics, now the Pen-and-ink-ics! Andrew Birch, Private Eye cartoonist and Procartoonists.org member, writes:

Raphael's Death of Ananias @procartoonists

Raphael's Death of Ananias @ Procartoonists.org

This Sunday (September 30) at 2pm, seven teams of Britain’s best cartoonists will gather in The Raphael Room at the Victoria and Albert Museum in The Battle of The Cartoonists.

Half an hour before the start of play, the teams – The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Sun, Private Eye (Hoorah!), Big Girls Drawers, Reader’s Digest and Procartoonists.org  – will each be allotted one of Raphael’s seven massive cartoons hanging on the walls to inspire them, and will draw something connected with it (or maybe not) on a great big banner.

Two and a half hours later, the completed (or maybe not) banners will be shown to the assembled throng, and the winner will be the one that gets the most applause.

Light-hearted stuff, you say? Think again! Previous years have seen skullduggery, blatant cheating, tantrums, verbal and physical assaults, kidnapping and arson as passions run high and the ink runs like blood.

Cartoonist contestant at Battle of the Cartoonists @procartoonists.org

Contestant (possibly)

Members of the Royal family, top politicians, celebrities  and foreign dignitaries are all people who might well be there – so make sure you arrive early!

Editor adds: Our thanks to Andrew for writing the above.

Event site: The Raphael Room at the Victoria and Albert Museum – The Battle of The Cartoonists.

Organisers and friends of Procartoonists.org: The Campaign for Drawing 

Reading: What WAS a cartoon

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by Royston

The Big Day approaches

September 17, 2012 in Events, News

Those nice folk at The Big Draw have sent us this reminder …

Big Draw, Big Make details

This is the event that includes the Battle of the Cartoonists, which features a Procartoonists.org team. Read our preview of that here. And read more on Big Draw, Big Make and download the programme here.

 

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by Royston

Battle lines drawn for The Big Draw

September 5, 2012 in Events, News

Big Draw Big Make logo

The Big Draw 2012 takes place throughout October and will be launched at the V&A in London on September 30 with an event called Big Draw, Big Make.

The day sees the return of the Battle of the Cartoonists, with seven teams of cartoonists providing a comic, contemporary response to seven tapestries based on cartoons (the non-funny kind) by Raphael.

Procartoonists.org will have a team in play and there will be a plenty of our members in the other six teams: Big Girl’s Drawers, Private Eye, Reader’s Digest, The Guardian, The Telegraph and The Sun.  Read our report from the last Battle in 2010

Free cartoon workshops will also be provided, courtesy of the Procartoonists.org members Wilbur Dawbarn, Robert DuncanCathy Simpson and Tim Harries.

The day will also feature talks by Quentin Blake and Gerald Scarfe and there will be pop-up studios, digital drawing games, portfolio advice from experts, and a visit from the CBeebies arts and crafts maestro Mister Maker.

Big Draw banner 2012

Our Battle of the Cartoonists entry from 2010, at the Hays Galleria on the South Bank, London, when we were Team Foghorn

All activities are free, but some require advance booking. For more information about Big Draw, Big Make and the Big Draw events taking place in October, visit campaignfordrawing.org

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by Royston

Performance cartooning in New York

December 6, 2010 in Comment

Live performance cartooning
We have told you many times about the Battle of the Cartoonists, part of the Big Draw and have reported on performance cartooning at the Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival.

Now, news reaches us of a performance event in New York, above, featuring three teams of cartoonists from The New Yorker coming up with improvised drawings based on a selection of words.

The New York Observer has the story: Battle of the Sharpies: Cartoonists square off with their pens. The author of the piece, Alice Gregory, explains the appeal of this kind of live cartooning event:

There’s nothing more impressive than good improv. To see spontaneous wit at work may be the most humbling form of entertainment. What, no Google to confirm spelling? No coffee to spur that sparkle? On-the-spot illustration is fun to witness.

The voting system sounds familiar to any cartoonist who has taken part in the Big Draw’s Battle of the Cartoonists:

In lieu of a scientific system—tallied points, say—the victors were determined by subjective shouts. The decibel levels were ambiguous, but an executive decision was made for the sake of efficiency.

We feel the losers’ pain! But, it’s all just for fun, of course, and the greater goal is achieved: reminding people how much fun cartoons can be.

Thanks to The Surreal McCoy for the link.

Footnote: The Big Draw 2011 is looking for help with funding.
Go here: The Big Give