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Success for Shrewsbury festival

April 30, 2014 in Events, General, News

Shrewsbury 2014: The music-themed festival was sponsored by Procartoonists.org

Shrewsbury 2014: The music-themed festival was sponsored by Procartoonists.org

The Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival, which took place at the weekend, drew huge crowds and was deemed a success by all involved. And it has already been given a major boost for next year.

The Shropshire Star reports that the festival has just won a £2,000 grant for next year’s event. Every penny will count as this year major funding was cut, so the 2014 festival was run on a shoestring – with a little help from Procartoonists.org.

However, as the organisers predicted, the public would not have noticed as the festival was as lively and busy as ever.

Here is a video of the Big Boards that the Shropshire Star created:

And here are more photos of the event, taken by Kasia Kowalska, that show the breadth of activities that took place at this year’s festival.

Andrew Birch and Kate Charlesworth at work on their Big Boards, the most high-profile element of the festival. They're hard to miss.

Andrew Birch and Kate Charlesworth at work on their Big Boards. The most high-profile element of the cartoon festival, the boards are impossible to miss.

Rich Skipworth, who has taken over as festival chairman from Roger Penwill, adds colour to his board

Rich Skipworth, who is tasked with organising next year’s event having taken over as festival chairman from Roger Penwill , adds some colour to his board

For the music-themed festival Rosie Brooks set herself the task of illustrating the story of Wagner's Ring Cycle in a few hours

For the music-themed festival, Rosie Brooks set herself the task of illustrating the story of Wagner’s Ring Cycle in just a few hours

Daniel Kawczynski, Member of Parliament for Shrewsbury, is caricatured by Jonathan Cusick

Daniel Kawczynski, the Member of Parliament for Shrewsbury, is caricatured by Jonathan Cusick

Alex Hughes, steampunk caricaturist outfit was enough to, er, draw a crowd

Alex Hughes’s steampunk caricaturist outfit was enough to, er, draw a crowd

Harry Venning, creator of Clare in the Community did a talk that was part cartooning part stand-up comedy

Harry Venning, creator of Clare in the Community, as seen in The Guardian and heard on BBC Radio 4,  did a talk that was part cartooning part stand-up comedy

Wilbur Dawbarn hosted cartooning workshops for all ages, as did Cathy Simpson

Wilbur Dawbarn hosted cartooning workshops for all ages, as did Cathy Simpson and Tim Harries

The participating cartoonists were: Rupert Besley, Steve Best, Andrew Birch, Rosie Brooks, Dave Brown, Kate Charlesworth, Jonathan Cusick, Wilbur Dawbarn, Noel Ford, Alex Hughes, Tim Harries, Tim Leatherbarrow, Chichi Parish, Roger Penwill, Helen Pointer, John Roberts, Royston Robertson, Chris Ryder, Cathy Simpson, Rich Skipworth, Bill Stott, The Surreal McCoy, Harry Venning and Gerard Whyman.

Instant cartoons in the Square, handed out to the public for donations to the festival, were a feature this year. John Roberts draws Dizzy Gillespie

John Roberts draws Dizzy Gillespie. Instant cartoons drawn in the Square and handed out to the public for donations to the festival were a feature this year

Royston Robertson and Matt Buck add to the instant cartoons gallery

Royston Robertson and Matt Buck add to the instant cartoons gallery

Finally the Melodrawma is a great illustration of what makes the festival unique. A live comic-strip drawn to the accompaniment of narration, music and sound effects. The Melodrawma team this year was Andrew Birch, Noel Ford, Roger Penwill, Royston Robertson, Bill Stott and The Surreal McCoy.

Finally the Melodrawma is a great illustration of what makes the festival unique. It is a live comic-strip drawn to the accompaniment of narration, music, sound effects … and audience participation. The team this year was Andrew Birch, Noel Ford, Roger Penwill, Royston Robertson, Bill Stott and The Surreal McCoy.

Cartoon festival this weekend

April 24, 2014 in Events, General, News

Cartoon © Malc McGookin

© Malc McGookin

The main Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival events take place this Saturday (though there is a workshop by PCO member Wilbur Dawbarn on Friday) and include live drawing in the town square, with the Big Boards, Humurals, the Melodrawma, caricaturing and reverse caricaturing, as well as talks and workshops.

Click those links to see pictures and videos of those events from previous years at the festival, which has been running since 2004.

Cartoon © Royston Robertson

© Royston Robertson

Here is our final selection of music-themed cartoons submitted for exhibition at this year’s event. These are by the Procartoonist.org members Malc McGookinRoyston Robertson and Bill Stott.

For a virtual cartoon exhibition, click here to see all the Shrewsbury music cartoons we have posted.

We’ll be back next week with a report and photos from Shrewsbury 2014.

Cartoon © Bill Stott

© Bill Stott

The Big Boards from Shrewsbury Cartoon 2013

April 24, 2013 in Events, General, News

The huge drawings made in the town Square in Shrewsbury on Saturday 20th April at the tenth edition of the cartoon festival.

The huge drawings made in the town Square in Shrewsbury on Saturday 20th April at the tenth edition of the cartoon festival.


Shropshire Live talks Shrewsbury

April 3, 2013 in Events, News

Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival by Wilbur Dawbarn

Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival © Wilbur Dawbarn @ Procartoonists.org

The website Shropshirelive.com has a detailed preview of the 10th Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival, which takes place this month (19-21 April).

The piece gives another outing to this fine cartoon of The Square in Shrewsbury during the cartoon festival by Procartoonists.org member Wilbur Dawbarn, which originally appeared in The Oldie magazine.

When cartoonists meet The Public

May 1, 2012 in Events, General

Bill Stott at Big Board

Bill Stott gives us his "meeting The Public" look

Bill Stott, who will be writing regularly for the Procartoonists.org blog, gives us his take on the Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival:

Shrewsbury is an opportunity to meet that most unpredictable of creatures: The Public. At Shrewsbury at least, they take cartooning in their stride. I was inking my 8ft by 5ft Big Board, when a couple (“We’ve come all the way from Wolverhampton for this.”) sidled up to watch.

He said, “It’s quite good, that.” Then she said, “’Course, I expect you get all your drawings off the internet.” She was wearing a plastic rain hood so I forgave her.

Later, whilst drawing fast black-and-white cartoons for Noel Ford’s instant gallery in the market, I was slightly disheartened by the number of people who weren’t taking any notice.

Suddenly, and at close hand, a male voice shouted, “Irene, they’re over here!” Good, thought I. Fans. Then there was another much louder shout. “IRENE! IRENE! THE TOILETS! THEY’RE OVER HERE!” He was right. They were.

Mr and Mrs Deafbladder bustled through. Much, much later he may have been puzzled by the black felt-tip pen stroke across the back of his mac.

Bill Stott will be back next week with more musing on the life of the professional cartoonist.

This will be our final post on Shrewsbury 2012, so we’ll finish with a round-up of links to personal blogs written by festival attendees this year: Alex Lester, the Radio 2 presenter and patron of the festival, wrote not one, but two blogs; and posts have also been written by the Procartoonists.org members Huw Aaron, Tim Harries, Rob Murray and Royston Robertson.

Photo by Nicolette Petersen

A taste of cartoon festival fun

April 18, 2012 in Events, General, News

Filmed at the 2011 Shewsbury Cartoon Festival, this is a three-minute montage of what you can expect at this years event, from today until Sunday: live caricaturing, Big Board cartoons, exhibitions, Humurals, workshops, cartoon talks, a caption competition,  a live Melodrawma and, yes, more!

Click those links to see more of our coverage of Shrewsburys past.

Procartoonists.org doffs its top hat to Tardy Films, which shot and produced this video on our behalf.

Speed painting at Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival

April 18, 2012 in Events, General

The 2012 edition of the festival starts this weekend – 20-22nd April 2012

Shrewsbury perspective

April 20, 2011 in Comment, Events, News

Shrewsbury festival cartoonist Bill Stott writes:

Amongst all the frenetic cartooning activity at Shrewsbury – the Big Boards, the caricaturing, strolling players in costume, the music, the wonderful weather and the public throng, two tiny incidents serve to underline the public’s liking for good cartoons.

One involved a tiny chap called Pacey who stood with his mum watching me paint my Big Board. Pacey was about five, I’d guess. I’d heard his mum saying things like, ‘‘No, you can’t help.’’ Pacey was undeterred and you could tell he was fascinated as the picture took form. So I asked him if he’d like to write his name on it.

Without hesitation, he wrote, very slowly, with a huge felt tip, ‘‘Pacey’’, all wobbly, in the bottom right hand corner. He was delighted and returned several times to make sure I hadn’t covered it up. Later I found, stuffed in my paint bag, a drawing by him, of his mum and a huge cat. All together – ‘‘Aaaah!’’

Photograph ©Ian Ellery

Later in the day, whilst doing reverse caricaturing – an esoteric activity involving the subject sticking their head through a hole in a big piece of paper and telling the cartoonist how they would like to be portrayed – another short type called Harry, even tinier than Pacey, got a bit tearful when I started to pack up in order to begin another activity. He’d waited with his mum for ages, been pushed in front of by a huge nine-year-old girl and looked very crestfallen. So I hurried things up and got him sorted.

Anyway, he was absolutely delighted with his picture (a footballer), which, when rolled up, was taller than him. So, while adult crowd members were being enthusiastic about all the surrounding huge cartoons and brilliant caricatures, and proving what cartoonists know is true – people love cartoons – so do little people. Quite possibly more so. Publishers take note. Real drawing for real people.

You can catch up with the news from Bloghorn at Shrewsbury 2011 here.

Avatar of Royston

by Royston

Can you tell what it is yet?

April 19, 2011 in Events

The PCO’s unofficial official photographer, Gerard Whyman, has put together a short YouTube film that shows the development of the Big Boards at the 2011 Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival.

The time-lapse film is a fascinating watch, as it shows the different approaches taken by the cartoonists to the daunting task of filling a 6ft by 8ft board with something funny.

Avatar of Royston

by Royston

Shrewsbury 2010 – Sunday

April 25, 2010 in General, News

Big Boards exhibited on SundayA small but important addition to this year’s Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival is the exhibition of the completed Big Boards on the Sunday.

There is so much activity over the weekend that it’s easy to miss seeing some of the finished boards, but now the public get the chance to see this unique exhibition at their leisure on the Sunday.

The Bloghorn team, along with many other cartoonists and cartoon enthusiasts, have been taking loads of photos throughout the weekend. We’re in the process of getting them together online at Flickr. Expect to see many more throughout the week.

For a nice flavour of the Shrewsbury goings-on, see the piece written by festival patron Libby Purves in Saturday’s Times: Drawing the crowds.