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by Royston

Herne Bay: the exhibitions

August 9, 2015 in Events, General, News

Private view of the Lines in the Sand exhibition. Photo © Kasia Kowalska

Private view of the Lines in the Sand exhibition. Photo © Kasia Kowalska

Three exhibitions were held at the Herne Bay Cartoon Festival this year. Private views for two of those took place on 1 August, the day before the festival’s main live-drawing event. Photos by Kasia Kowalska and Gerard Whyman.

Photo © Gerard Whyman

Photo © Gerard Whyman

Photo © Kasia Kowalska

The Independent’s Dave Brown with his work. Photo © Kasia Kowalska

Lines in the Sand, the main festival exhibition, featured work by more than 50 artists. There were cartoons on the subjects of seaside and surrealism, as is usual at Herne Bay, plus there was a room dedicated to cartoons on the fallout from the Charlie Hebdo massacre in January. The book Draw the Line Here was on sale at the exhibition.

There was even some drawing on the walls by the cartoonists. Here's Nathan Ariss and Tim Sanders in action. Photo © Kasia Kowalska

There were lines drawn on the wall at the Lines in the Sand viewing. Here are cartoonists Nathan Ariss and Tim Sanders in action. Photos © Kasia Kowalska

There was also a viewing of the exhibition in tribute to the late Martin Honeysett at the Bay Art Gallery. That was opened by Sir Roger Gale, the Herne Bay MP.

Sir Roger Gale, the town's MP, opened the exhibition of Martin Honeysett cartoons. Photo © Kasia Kowalska

Sir Roger Gale opened the exhibition of Martin Honeysett cartoons. Photo © Kasia Kowalska

One of Honeysett's timelessly brilliant cartoons. Photo © Gerard Whyman

One of Honeysett’s timelessly brilliant cartoons. Photo © Gerard Whyman

Sir Roger Gale with Steve Coombes, one of the festival organisers, and Penny Precious, Martin Honeysett's widow, who curated the exhibition. Photo © Kasia Kowalska

Sir Roger Gale with Steve Coombes, one of the festival organisers, and Penny Precious, Martin Honeysett’s widow, who curated the exhibition. Photo © Kasia Kowalska

On the previous evening there was a viewing of Outrage! A brief history of offensive cartoons, the third festival exhibition, held at the Seaside Museum. It featured work from the British Cartoon Archive in Canterbury. But there was also a never-before-seen Ralph Steadman, his response to the Charlie Hebdo massacre.

Steve Coombes at the Outrage! exhibition with Ralph Steadman's cartoon. Photo © Steve Coombes

Steve Coombes at the Outrage! exhibition with Ralph Steadman’s cartoon. Photo © Steve Coombes

As if all this wasn’t enough, for the first time this year the festival has a fringe exhibition! The One New Street gallery showed a small exhibition called Not Just Cartoons, featuring Glenn Marshall, Ingram Pinn and others.

Promotional mug at the One New Street Gallery, featuring Glenn Marshall. Photo © Kasia Kowalska

Promotional mug at the One New Street Gallery, featuring Glenn Marshall. Photo © Kasia Kowalska

Alice in Cartoon Land at Cartoon Museum

July 16, 2015 in Events, News

alice banner

ALICE IN CARTOON Land is the current exhibition at the Cartoon Museum in London. 150 years after the publication of Lewis Carroll’s world famous story about the little girl’s magical adventures with a bewildering array of strange characters and weird experiences, the Cartoon Museum has put up a display organised by writer and broadcaster Brian Sibley, a prominent member of the Lewis Carroll Society.

Cartoon Museum Brian Sibley

Photo by Kasia Kowalska

The exhibition features works from across the decades by cartoonists who have featured Alice themes in their cartoons. Artists represented range from Low, Vicky, Shepard and Illingworth to via Searle and ffolkes to Scarfe, Steadman and Rowson. There are Alice posters by Gilroy advertising Guinness, cartoon strips featuring Flook and Snoopy, pages from comics and graphic novels and original animation art from film and TV versions of Alice. There is also one wall of freshly-drawn cartoons by Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation members.

Cartoons by PCO

The event was very well attended, with cartooning luminaries such as Steve Bell and Dave Brown and Bryan Talbot, writer and artist of many graphic novels.

cartoonists Bell and Brown

Photo by Kasia Kowalska




In the view of the blog editor, this is one of the best cartoon exhibitions the Museum has put on in a long time, such is the length, breadth and variety of artworks and ephemera on show. Perhaps it just goes to show how inspiring to artists Charles Dodgson’s original masterpiece has always been. Well worth a visit and a vote of congratulations and thanks to Brian Sibley and Carton Museum curators, Anita O’Brien and Sarah Batten.

Cartoon Museum's Anita O'Brien and Sarah Batten

Photo by Kasia Kowalska




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by Royston

Herne Bay Cartoon Festival approaches

July 1, 2015 in Events, General, News

Herne Bay Cartoon Festival poster by Jeremy Banx

With the scorching hot weather we’re having, it’s a good time to think about planning a trip to the seaside. And Herne Bay in Kent is just the place to go.

The third Herne Bay Cartoon Festival begins later this month with an exhibition called Lines in the Sand opening at the Beach Creative gallery on 28 July. As you can see from the excellent poster above, by member Jeremy Banx, there will also be a live cartooning day in the Bandstand on the sea front once again, with big board cartoons, caricatures, and a few surprises. That takes place on Sunday 2 August.

This year there will also be an exhibition of cartoons from the British Cartoon Archive, on the history of cartoons and people taking offence at them, as well as a show in tribute to the late Martin Honeysett, who exhibited and appeared at the first two Herne Bay cartoon events.

This year’s event builds on the success of the first one, when it was part of a Marcel Duchamp celebration, and last year’s standalone Cartoonists Beside the Surrealside. It sponsored by the PCO and supported using public funding by Arts Council England.

We’ll have more on the festival nearer the time. Meanwhile, you can seen lots more PCO coverage of the previous two events, including great videos by David Good, in the Herne Bay archive.

PCO Annual Committee Meeting and Chris Beetles Gallery

May 6, 2015 in Events, News

Chris Beetles Cartoon Gallery - Sign

THE OCCASION of the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation’s Annual Committee Meeting in London gave rise to the perfect excuse to take advantage of the invite to a Chris Beetles Gallery private viewing.

The Americans Are Coming is a major selling exhibition of 300 cartoons and illustrations showcasing the best of American Cartoon Art from the last 100 years. And what a show it was.

American Cartoons in Chris Beetles Gallery


There was a staggering number of exhibits by legends such as Al Hirschfeld, David Levine, Edward Sorel and Charles Addams just to name a few.

Cartoons by Al Hirschfeld Chris Beetles Gallery

Live, in person, were Arnold Roth, Pat Oliphant and Edward Koren, each of whom were introduced by cartoonist, filmmaker and ex-Python Terry Gilliam. Pat Oliphant was drawing a large Uncle Sam. When asked if he was enjoying working live he said: “It means I don’t have to make conversation!” A further enquiry about what he thought about the current crop of American cartoonists (with the Daryl Cagle network in mind) prompted the dry: “I try not to think about them at all!”

Cartoonist Pat Oliphant drawing


Terry Gilliam made the very heartfelt point about works of art, paintings, sculptures etc being given pride of place in living rooms whereas cartoon art is always traditionally reserved for toilets. A situation of perception that he wished could be changed. “Cartoon Art belongs in the living rooms” he could be paraphrased as saying.

Cartoonist and Python Terry Gilliam

As usual, the hustle and bustle of a private viewing meant that it was difficult to see everything comfortably, so this exhibition is one that definitely deserves repeated visits.

The exhibition, The Americans Are Coming, runs at The Chris Beetles Gallery, 8 – 10 Ryder Street, London SW1Y 6QB, from now until Saturday May 30th.



Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival 2015

April 20, 2015 in News

AS USUAL, IT seems like a dream now. As with most Cartoon Festivals, they come and go in a flash with so many activities and social get-togethers lubricated by the products of many hostelries that ‘real life’ doesn’t seem real for the first couple of days back home.

The Twelfth Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival (yes – TWELFTH!) went off with its customary sparkle provided by the town’s influx of cartoonists from all over the country. Oh, and one all the way from Australia, Dean Alston, just so that the ‘international’ tag could be legitimized!

The high-quality exhibition at the Bear Steps Gallery was on the theme of ‘Style’ this year and it was probably as loose-fitting a theme as you could get allowing an awful lot of leg-room for cartoony inspiration. Shrewsbury is spoiled by having a unique exhibition like this every year – on display for over a month, not just during the festival weekend.

The Market Square, as always provided a focal point for the public to spot cartoonists and caricaturists at work. The well-established favourites, the Big Boards, were as usual becoming repositories for brilliant works of cartoon art and well-thought out gags. The new concept of ‘cartoon busking’, initially performed by Roger Penwill and Noel Ford and the ‘quick-on-the-draw’ style entertainment of the Cartoon Melodrawma were more ingenious ways of bringing the concept of cartooning memorably under the public gaze. Workshops in both caricaturing and comic strips were on offer, thanks to Terry Anderson and Tim Harries and Guardian cartoonist Martin Rowson gave an illustrated talk on his view of the last five years of a coalition government.

As usual, the cartoonists sampled the hospitality of various establishments around the town and left the paper tabelcoths in the Henry Tudor House restaurant liberally spattered with cartoony inspiration.

Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival is probably the longest-running UK cartoon festival ever and its organisers are already meeting to discuss the agenda for the thirteenth one in 2016. Contrary to traditional belief, that’s a lucky number for many people.

Update: The Auld Acquaintance

October 29, 2014 in General

The views from Scotland and Britain in the Auld Acquaintance show

The views from Scotland and Britain in the Auld Acquaintance show. Click the image to enlarge

Terry Anderson updates us on a touring exhibition:

After an amazing year The Auld Acquaintance, the Scottish Cartoon Art Studio’s touring exhibition about the independence referendum, has made its final stops in Lleida, Catalonia, and Limoges, France.

The exhibition was shown at the Institut de Estudis Illerdencs in Llieida.  Although the smallest and briefest iteration of the exhibition, it was incontestably in the most attractive venue. The IEI is a stunning Gothic building in the centre of Lleida, a former infirmary complete with courtyard now used as a multipurpose exhibition and performance venue and library.


On the opening evening I was presented with an estelada, above, by Rosa Pujol, the IEI’s deputy director, and by the political cartoonist Ermengol, the main host for the event, whose work appears daily in La Mañana.

More recently, the exhibition opened at the Faculté de Droits et des Sciences Économiques, Université de Limoges.

After speaking with a class at the university about the Scottish independence referendum and its impact upon European politics, I attended a private view with Christophe Bonnotte, executive vice president of the university, and Gérard Vandenbroucke, president of the Limousin region.

Limoges is the last stop on the exhibition’s tour of Europe in 2014. The exhibition will continue at the university until 14 November.

Thanks to all who have lent their support, including the PCO. Among the  cartoonists whose work was shown were members Gary Barker, Steve Bell, Steve Bright, Dave Brown, Chris Cairns, Andy Davey, Bill Houston and Malc McGookin.

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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 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.

Double up at The Auld Acquaintance

September 1, 2014 in Events, General, News

Terry Anderson, left, with Steve Bell at the opening of the London version of The Auld Acquaintance

Terry Anderson, left, with Steve Bell at the opening of the London version of The Auld Acquaintance. The show is also on in Glasgow

Terry Anderson tells us about two chances to see a cartoon exhibition about the Scottish referendum:

The Auld Acquaintance exhibition is now fully under way in its two UK venues: Leiper Fine Art on West George Street, Glasgow and the News & Media Gallery at The Guardian & Observer newspapers, part of the Kings Place arts venue in London.

As in the exhibition’s French showing [we covered that here – Ed] work has been arranged according to point of origin with the additional bonus of a section of original drawings and paintings. These are for sale, as are prints of the digitally submitted work.

A range of Q&A sessions will be taking place in the gallery in the next fortnight including contributions from cartoonists Frank Boyle and Lorna Miller as well as Chris Cairns, David Kerr, Malc McGookin, Greg Moodie, Cinders McLeod and the Comic Soapbox Scotland project.  Book places at these free talks via Eventbrite.


The Guardian has gone for a scattershot approach to its display which makes for impressive visual impact. At both venues the cartoons are highly visible from street level and sure to attract lots of interest from commuters and tourists.

In Glasgow the show is a stone’s throw from the offices of both the “Yes Scotland” and “No Thanks” campaigns and handy for the city’s rail link to Edinburgh. In London it’s in the thick of the hubbub at Kings Cross St Pancras and not far from the newly opened House of Illustration.

Scottish independence cartoon © Andy Davey

Scottish independence cartoon © Andy Davey. Click to enlarge

The exhibitions are free of charge and open daily. The show will close the weekend after the referendum. In Glasgow we shut on 19 September and in London on 21 September.

Our continued thanks to everyone who has given time and effort to make our tour a success, in particular Ewan Kennedy and Niall Campbell at Leiper Fine Art and Luke Dodd and David McCoy at The Guardian. Also to all PCO members who sent us cartoons.

Our thanks to Terry for his report. Cartoonists exhibiting in The Auld Acquaintance, several Procartoonists members among them, include: Brian Adcock, Gary Barker, Steve Bell, Frank Boyle, Steve Bright, Carlos Brito, Dave Brown, Chris Cairns, Steven Camley, Andy Davey, Frank Quitely, Bill Houston, Graeme MacKay, Malc McGookin, Cinders McLeod, Lorna Miller, Greg Moodie, Ross Thomson, Chris Watson … and many more.

The Round-up

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

Noel Ford cartoon

© Noel Ford

Kasia Kowalska and Royston Robertson write:

Cartoonists including the PCO members Bill Stott and Noel Ford, above, are involved in the first Southport Festival of ArtMore on that here.

An exhibition of Tony Husband’s Private Eye cartoons is on display at The Swan in Dobcross as part of the Greater Manchester Fringe Festival until the end of July.

What a week for Marvel, which hit the headlines by showing that it is not afraid of change, announcing future comics in which Thor becomes a woman (but don’t dare call her Thora!) and Captain America will be black

The Guardian reports on the response to the conflict in Gaza by cartoonists in the Arab nations, in particular on the lack of action to from their governments.

A death sentence has been pronounced via Twitter for the Kuwati-born comic-book artist Naif Al-Mutawa by the Islamist militant group Isis. Meanwhile, in the UK, a former Islamist extremist has created a series of cartoons aimed at young British Muslims, titled Abdullah-X, writes Jack Simpson in The Independent.

In the US, Bob Mankoff talks about his cartoon editing role at The New Yorker and why it may just be the best job in the world in this interview with Survey MonkeyGarry Trudeau talks to the LA Times about how working on his Doonesbury strip helped him to prepare for his new TV series Alpha House.

Bob Moran exhibition

© Bob Moran

Bob Moran has an exhibition of cartoons drawn for the Telegraph in his hometown of Petersfield, Hampshire (details above). “This exhibition is generating a lot of hype,” he says on Twitter, “with local people describing it as ‘happening’ and ‘something to do’.”

Dozens of insightful musings about making comics and cartoons have been published by Michael Cavna of The Washington Post in celebration of the 6th birthday of his Comic Riffs column. The art of cartooning is no laughing matter,  according to this article about a new exhibition on Martha’s Vineyard in the US.

This week also marks the 81st anniversary of the first film appearance of Popeye. Greg Belfrage provides insight (and several episodes) here. Meawhile, remembering Mel Blanc, who died 25 years ago this month, the Express offers  up “Top 10 facts about cartoons”.

Finally, these are very clever and great fun: 15 household objects transformed Into cartoon characters by the French artist Gilbert Legrand.

Cartoonists take the pastiche

June 19, 2014 in Events, General, News

Andrew Birch. Dumbo's adolescence

Andrew Birch. Dumbo’s adolescence

Here are some more cartoon images by members from the exhibition Pastiche, Parody and Piracy. The show, which features fine artists alongside cartoonists, is at the the Cob Gallery from tomorrow (20 June) until 5 July.

See our original blog post on this here, along with the debate about the rights and wrongs of the exhibition in the comments section.

Alexander Matthews: "It's like an illness with you, isn't it?"

Alexander Matthews: “It’s like an illness with you, isn’t it?”

The Surreal McCoy. Morebucks

The Surreal McCoy. Morebucks

Royston Robertson. Rushmore

Royston Robertson. Rushmore

Clive Goddard. McNuggets

Clive Goddard. McNuggets

Nathan Ariss. Hokusai Fukushima

Nathan Ariss. Hokusai Fukushima