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Young cartoonist contest goes digital

September 3, 2013 in Events, General, News

IPAD_cartoon ©_Philip_Warner_@_procartoonists.org

Digital cartoon © Philip Warner @ Procartoonists.org

The Young Cartoonists of the Year competition 2013 has opened and for the first time they are accepting artwork that has been created digitally.

Although the flyer for the event states “original artwork only”, the Cartoon Museum, which runs the event with the British Cartoonists Association, was happy to clarify, telling us:

“If you draw on computer or add colour on computer that is still acceptable. However, you have to submit a hard copy entry. You cannot send your entry by email.”

The Professional Cartoonists Organisation, which runs Procartoonists.org, welcomes this development.

There was much criticism from readers of this blog when last year’s competition was announced, as digitally created artwork was not accepted. The PCO put this to the organisers, pointing out that it excludes many young people who work entirely digitally.

Digitally created artwork submitted by post is a fair compromise. We know that when cartoonists submit artwork by email there is always one who shuns the standard 300dpi Jpeg format and goes for a Tiff file the size of a house!

There are two categories in the Young Cartoonists contest: under 18 and under 30. One cartoon, up to A4 in size, can be submitted and it can be colour or black and white. Send to: Young Cartoonists of the Year Competition, Cartoon Museum, 35 Little Russell Street, London WC1A 2HH. The closing date for entries is 30 September. Artwork cannot be returned.

Judges include cartoonists from newspaper including The Times, The Guardian and Private Eye. The judges’ decision is final. Winners will be given their prizes at the Cartoon Art Trust Awards on 17 October.

We’ll keep you posted.

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by Royston

Dutch success for cartoonists

February 4, 2013 in Events, News

 

Pete Dredge birdbox cartoon

© Pete Dredge @ Procartoonists.org

The Procartoonists.org members Pete Dredge and Graham Fowell have been singled out in the “Special Mention” category at the 18th Dutch Cartoon Festival. The theme of the exhibition was “Prejudices and Stereotypes”.

Pete told us: “I hadn’t entered one of these competitions for many years, probably over 30, so after the promptings of our Feco [Federation of Cartoonists' Organisations] officer, The Surreal McCoy, I thought, ‘Why not give it a go?’ Just missed out on the prize money, but delighted to make the Special Mention stage.”

Graham Fowell shepherds cartoon

© Graham Fowell @ Procartoonists.org

Graham added: “It is a lovely event – I have been a regular attendee for the past few years. The festival is now permanently held in Bergen op Zoom, a lovely little town in the south of Holland with a beautiful medieval town square.”

The full list of winners can be seen here. We send our congratulations to Pete, Graham and all the winning cartoonists.

Opinion: The Young Cartoonists of the Year 2012

October 25, 2012 in Comment, Events, General

Alison_Sampson_@_Procartoonists.org

We recently published details of the annual Young Cartoonists of the Year awards, run by our sister organisation the British Cartoonists’ Association. We received a large reaction from readers which included this piece of opinion from cartoonist Alison Sampson.

You should know that fairly recently I picked up a pen again, not least because of the work of the Professional Cartoonists Organisation – and thankfully, the internet.

We publish her reaction to the competition below:

I am 12. I am just leaving the old hen hut where we keep and read the tattered, second-hand comics our mum buys from jumble sales. We have 2000AD, Valiant, Victor and Misty. Also in the hut are my felt pens and the printer’s offcuts I have to draw on. I like drawing. I can’t imagine a life without it.

As I’m passing through the door, I wonder how could I do this for the rest of my life and think through the options. All I can think of are jobs as a newspaper cartoonist, or working for Private Eye. All our comics are old and it doesn’t occur to me anyone draws them. I dismiss the option. All those jobs are full, with the people who are doing them. A couple of years later I see Posy Simmonds’ work in the newspaper and my heart breaks. I wish I could have a job like that.

Later I will work as a perspective artist for a local construction company and go to university to read architecture. I will not draw for myself again, or look at a comic, for twenty-plus years. Fast forwarding to now, imagine my disappointment on seeing that the apogee of cartooning, as represented by the judges list for the BCA Young Cartoonists prize, is still entirely composed of newspaper cartoonists.

I now know that there were are other forms of cartooning: comic books, web comics, posters and so on. Not everybody knows this. The competition is an important way of reaching out to those outside the circle. The judges list should represent the profession, not just one exclusive segment, no matter how skilled. This would help in informing other young cartoonists that their work is worth persevering with, and that it has a future.

She added:

 I also do not want to cast aspersions on any of the work of the judges or the BCA. However, not everyone has been, or will be so lucky as to know about the possibilities for cartooning, and my getting back into it was only by accident. When I saw the competition, I had to remind myself I was too old, despite thinking of myself as the youngest of the young cartoonists, I am just starting at the age of 42.

You can find Alison’s own work here and read some in the collection – Solipsistic Pop.

Editor adds: We’d like to thank Alison for taking the time to write about this and we welcome your thoughts in the comments below.

 

A poke in the i

January 25, 2012 in Comment

You may have seen the above in this week’s edition of Private Eye, in the Street of Shame column, which focuses on the misdeeds of British newspapers.

When “Cartoonist Idol” was launched, there was much discussion behind the scenes at the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation (Shurely shome correction – Ed) on our members’ forum.

There was a great deal of scepticism, as professional cartoonists have all seen this kind of attempt to get work using competitions before. What we did not see, however, were any terms and conditions for the promised employment. Until we knew the outcome of the contest we gave the i the benefit of the doubt. Many professionals, members of the PCO and otherwise, decided to give it a shot.

Here on the Bloghorn, where we try to be positive about cartooning rather than negative (difficult though that can sometimes be) we reported the shortlisted cartoonists, noting that many were PCO members.

Once the winning PCO members told us what they had been offered, however, we wrote to the i and that led to a conversation with the paper. The conversation was amicable, but the i wasn’t budging.

While we expected that the money offered would be poor, the PCO could not accept the demands made on copyright and exclusivity. We approached Private Eye as we thought they would find it an interesting, if depressing, story. They agreed and we hope you do too.

Cartoon contest is no laughing matter

January 25, 2011 in Comment

PCO cartoonist John Jensen takes a look at a Turkish cartoon competition:

Cartoon by Ahmet Ozturklevent

Turkey recently staged its 27th Aydin Dogan International Cartoon Competition and a 255-page catalogue was released, beautifully printed throughout in colour, with text in Turkish and English.

There’s a long list of successful exhibitors – 44 countries are represented – and a much longer list of entrants who did not get past the judges.

There are 127 Turkish cartoonists and a random count reveals that Serbia is represented by 35 entrants, China by 53 and Iran by 122. Four UK cartoonists participated but only Ross Thomson has survived, to exhibit two drawings.

The three UK cartoonists, who did not make it are Houmayon Mahmoudi, Stephen Mumberson and Alexei Talimonov. Maybe they didn’t draw enough brick walls and prison bars, of which there were plenty.

The first-prize winner, by Turkish cartoonist Ahmet Ozturklevent, is pictured above.

There is an overall sense of stifling bureaucracy while the threat of violence, usually implicit, is a common theme. There are few, if any, English-style jokes. Even Ross Thomson succumbed to drawing a couple of tanks, but at least they are not avoiding daisies.

In the exhibition there are messages galore for mankind – which mankind will almost certainly ignore.

The quality of much of the draughtsmanship is undeniable. The contestants can think, they can draw and they can be very witty indeed, but English-style humour, they would claim, is not part of their job description.

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by Royston

Young cartoonists: get drawing

November 1, 2010 in General, News

Young Cartoonist cartoon by MacBudding cartoonists take note: the Cartoon Art Trust, which runs the Cartoon Museum in London, is looking for entries for this year’s Young Cartoonists of the Year competition.

Cartoons are required for the under-30 and under-18 categories, and the closing date is looming: November 15, 2010. The winners will receive their awards at the 16th Cartoon Art Trust Awards at The Mall Galleries on December 2. The competition is run by the CAT in association with the British Cartoonists’ Association, sister organisation of the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation which runs the Bloghorn.

PCO chairman Andy Davey will be a judge, alongside Martin Rowson, chairman of the BCA, Oliver Preston, chairman of the CAT, and the cartoonists Banx, Steve Bell, Peter Brookes, Dave Brown, Bill Caldwell, Mac (cartoon above), Matt, Nick Newman and Paul Thomas.

Only one cartoon per entrant is permitted, in colour or black and white, drawn freehand to a maximum size of A4. Original artwork only.

Please send your entries to: Young Cartoonists of the Year Award, Cartoon Museum, 35 Little Russell Street, London WC1A 2HH. For more, visit the Cartoon Museum website.

You say tomato, we say cartoonist …

September 27, 2010 in News

Bloghorn Opinion logo Bloghorn must take issue with the US political cartoonist Daryl Cagle over a blog post in which he talks about the “cultural” difference between cartoons created in America and those from the rest of the world.

Cagle, who also syndicates cartoons through the Political Cartoonists Index argues that there is a ‘‘BIG cultural gap’’ between American cartoons, where the emphasis is on humour and/or making a clear point, and those created by ‘‘world cartoonists’’, which are more oblique.

He takes the view that in America cartooning is a proper job, but for ‘‘world cartoonists’’ it is merely a hobby, as all these cartoonists do is enter competitions.

‘‘The American cartoonists’ idea of actually making a living from our work, and judging our success by the size of our audiences, or our wallets, seems strange to the obscure foreign cartoonists, who are busy building their CVs and planning their travel schedules.’’

He goes on to say;

‘‘Most world cartoons look strange to an American eye and we have a hard time finding world cartoonists to syndicate, whose work can be understood by our audience.’’

Bloghorn is not saying we don’t recognise his view of some foreign cartoons, particularly those seen in international competitions, but we think he has got American and ‘‘world’’ mixed up with English speaking and non-English speaking.

We would ask Mr Cagle to take a broader view, perhaps by looking at UK cartooning for a start. There are plenty of cartoonists here who draw cartoons which are funny and make clear points.

And many UK cartoonists are as baffled by wordless and often worthy competition cartoons as Cagle is. Indeed, not too long ago John Jensen wrote a three-part article for this blog in which he outlined the difference between British cartoons, which focus on being funny, and those created by our European neighbours, which are about a more serious form of wit.

Indeed, just as Cagle characterises them as ‘‘daisies in the gun barrels’’ cartoons, so Jensen talks of ‘‘countless brick walls, endless rolls of barbed wire, and doves of peace in need of a vet’’.

You can read John Jensen’s series here: Wit and Wisdom: part 1, part2, part 3.

And in response to Cagle’s view of ‘‘world’’ cartoonists as hobbyists, we would like to point out that there are many cartoonists in the UK making a living. They may be striving to do so against the odds – and the PCO which runs the Bloghorn does all it can to help them – but they are professional cartoonists and funny to boot.

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by Royston

Wit versus humour, by John Jensen

February 8, 2010 in Comment


Coming soon: John Jensen writes for Bloghorn about ideas, wit versus humour, and the international language of cartoon competitions. Watch this space.

John Jensen rugby illustration © Punch Ltd

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by Royston

Caption competition with a difference

November 30, 2009 in General

An informal cartoon caption competition, which began as a one-off on the Cartoonists’ Club public forum in the summer, is now into its 20th week. Matt Buck spoke to Noel Ford, moderator of the forum along with Nigel Sutherland and Ian Ellery, and asked how this is different to any other caption contest.

The competition is similar to the readers’ caption competitions that were once so popular in Punch magazine, but with one major difference: instead of competitors being provided with a cartoon to which they have to think of a caption, it’s the caption that is provided and they must draw a cartoon to suit.

NF_can_t_take

Noel’s entry from week three of the competition – “Honestly, I can’t take you anywhere” – was voted the winner

How did it start?
It was the brainchild of part-time cartoonist Chris Cooper (CLIB) and PCO member Ian Ellery. Chris originally wondered, in July this year, how different cartoonists would interpret a single cartoon scenario, and Ian suggested that, rather than a scenario, we should give the same caption to a group of cartoonists and see what they came up with. The idea was quickly taken up and what was at first intended as a one-off experiment, quickly became the popular competition that it now is.

Who can take part?
Anyone registered on the forum can have a go: full time pros, part-timers and people who aren’t cartoonists at all. We have had cartoons from people whose entry was the first cartoon they had ever drawn. The winners, so far, have come from a wide spectrum of full-time and part-time cartoonists. Apart from the fame and the kudos, the winner has to provide the caption for the next competition.

honest_tim
Tim Harries’ take on “Honestly, I can’t take you anywhere”

When does it take place?
Entries are posted on the forum between 12 noon on Saturday and 12 noon on Sunday. Voting takes place, using a points system, between 1pm Sunday and 6pm Monday. All entrants can vote and non-entrants can vote, too, subject to certain conditions.

How did you end up managing it?
Cynics might say it was the only way I can guarantee winning (twice!), but the truth is that, as a moderator on the forum, it was a natural progression. And, I’m also a control freak – so my wife tells me!

Why do you think it started?
Cartoonists are natural show-offs. We love drawing cartoons but we crave an audience. For the the new kids on the block it provides an opportunity to have their work viewed by a niche audience and to elicit comments from the more experienced contributors. For all of us it is an opportunity to draw whatever we like without editorial considerations. And, it’s great fun!