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‘Draw The Line Here’ cartoon book needs YOU!

January 24, 2015 in News

Cartoon of ink bottles by Jones for Draw The Line Here

CLICK IMAGE to go straight to the Crowdshed webpage and make your pledge NOW!

THE CROWDFUNDED cartoon book to raise money for the families of the Charlie Hebdo victims in Paris still needs your support!

Draw The Line Here is a totally unique collection of cartoons produced in the immediate aftermath of the terrorist killings by mostly British cartoonists including some of the biggest national newspaper names such as Martin Rowson and Dave Brown.

Cartoon by Dave Brown of Eiffel Tower for Draw The Line Here

The fundraising organisation Crowdshed needs £5,000 to be able to go ahead and produce what will be an extremely historically-important book join cartooning. So far we have only £1,490 and there are only 21 days of fundraising time left.

HALF THE MONEY RAISED WILL GO TO THE FAMILIES OF THE PARIS VICTIMS. The rest will go to English Pen who support freedom of speech campaigns around the world.

PCO Chairman Bill Stott says: “Legitimate charitable causes clamour for our support all the time, but this one must surely rate amongst THE most acute. We can still make the deadline, but ONLY if we get a truckload more pledges. So Google Draw the Line Here and give us your dosh! Please.”

No need to Google though, simply click straight through to the Crowdshed Draw The Line Here webpage HERE and give us your pledge in a few simple clicks.

A visit to the #Charlie Hebdo unity rally in Trafalgar Square

January 14, 2015 in News

ON SUNDAY 11th January, three members of the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation attended the mass rally in sympathy with the French deaths connected to Charlie Hebdo magazine. The Surreal McCoy. Paul Baker and Simon Ellinas took on the roles of London correspondents for the day to experience a small part of the reaction to the tragic Paris event.

Nowhere near as large as the Paris Unity Rally, attended by many world leaders including our own David Cameron (but not, strangely, any prominent American delegates), the London event was quiet, contemplative and full of dignity. Many people brought placards and all were clustering around a growing pile of tributes in the form of flowers and artists’ pencils at the bottom of the steps inferno to the National Gallery.

The sides of the National Gallery were lit up with the French tricolour and the waters of the fountains changed from blue to white to red throughout.

Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the Liberal Democrats, Nick Clegg was there with his wife Miriam and was interviewed by ITN at the foot of Nelson’s Column. They didn’t manage to escape without having quick caricatures thrust at them.

Police and general security presence was very unnoticeable although the suspicion is that there must have been a number of plain-clothed policemen on alert throughout.

Charlie Hebdo cartoonists at work in 2006 – video

January 11, 2015 in News

. . . and in other #Cartoon news . . .

January 10, 2015 in News

THE CARTOON MUSEUM in London has sent out notifications of its forthcoming exhibition featuring the cartoons and caricatures of high society-connected Marc Boxer. The page from their website is reproduced below. Click anywhere on the picture to go straight to the Cartoon Museum’s website

The Caricatures and Cartoons of Mark Boxer

marc banner

 

21 January – 22 March 2015

The cartoonist and editor Mark Boxer (1931 – 1988) was renowned for his charm, elegance and wit. A talented writer and editor he also produced clever caricatures for profiles in the New Statesman, The Observer, the London Review of Books and the Sunday Telegraph. He had long associations with The Times, The Guardian and Tatler and the circles he moved in gave him unprecedented access to many of his subjects.

The exhibition will include many examples of his caricatures of well known figures from the worlds of literature, music, politics and drama as well as TV celebrities and the Royal Family. His cartoon strips and pocket cartoons from the 1960s to the 1980s reveal his unerring eye for the telling details in his descriptions of the upper classes, the establishment and the newly fashionable of the London scene.

 

#CharlieHebdo #jesuischarlie #cartoons by PCO #cartoonists

January 9, 2015 in News

ON YET ANOTHER day of unfolding horror in Paris (hostages taken in kosher supermarket in Vincennes, two people dead; gunmen with hostage surrounded in countryside North East of Paris) in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo massacre, the PCO blog in-tray has gradually filled with cartoon reactions from its members.

Most seem to agree that it has been very difficult to draw anything. The feeling of shock, numbness and sorrow has made some, at least, feel that they needed time in order to make an appropriate cartoon comment.

Arranged in no particular order, these cartoons reflect a mood of incredulity and fear with yet a resurgent desire to get back out there and do what we do best.

The world’s cartoonists are being tweeted and retweeted with the hashtag #jesuischarlie as a global gesture of solidarity. Readers are invited to do the same with this post.

Opinion: Cheerleading for art, part 2

September 25, 2013 in Comment, General

Bill Stott at the Shrewsbury Cartoon festival

Bill Stott at the Shrewsbury Cartoon festival @ Procartoonists.org

Bill Stott continues to put the case for better art education in schools.

You can read part one here.

Of course, Michael Gove could be a keen and knowledgeable student of the arts – first in line when there’s something new at Tate Modern, burning his thumbs on disposable cigarette lighters at Glastonbury, and clamouring for Bob Fosse retrospective tickets at the Albert Hall. Could be. He could be utterly distraught at the arts’ demotion.

Maybe he removed the arts from the core curriculum because he simply had to make cuts. Something had to give. And he couldn’t possibly cut maths or English or the Blessed Sciences could he? Couldn’t he? Why not? Well because there’d be a national outcry wouldn’t there?

And he couldn’t dare cut P.E., not after the glorious Olympic Games and their glittering, noble legacy. And we simply must have more physicists. We’re way behind Norway here, and standards in English literature in the UK are bettered by kids in Japan.

How about standards in arts education in the last 20 years? Anybody bothered looking at those in comparison with other countries? The UK would probably do well enough. But doing well in arts education overall, certainly in the secondary sphere, has never counted for much in the UK, mainly because those who judge it had a meagre arts education themselves.

So in demoting arts education to the fringes of the National Curriculum, Mr Gove is on safe ground. The majority of the enfranchised population will not rise up in horror. They are drip-fed the notion, mainly through the popular media, that dance is only for the naturally violently talented Billy Elliots of this world and that their dogs could do what Tracey Emin did to become a millionaire.

And yet, while we all know that nobody can expect to live a fulfilled and rounded life without having studied compulsory geography, the arts will out. Arts workshops, nearly always run on a shoestring, abound. Successful arts professionals give their time for not much money, and often for nothing at arts festivals, like – dare I say it ? – the Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival.

Their workshops are always full, not with the naturally capable but with all ages who want to know how. Is that how geography workshops operate? At geography festivals? Is there a “Big Geog” jostling for a place in the nation’s affections with the evangelic barnstorm that is the Big Draw? Of course not.

Who’d go to a geography workshop? Don’t need to. That’s all looked after in school after cheerleading on Tuesday afternoons. The Big Draw probably doesn’t ask for tick-box answers about Jasper Johns, but it IS hands on.

Making communicative marks is probably the one thing the human animal can do which other animals can’t. Yes, some humans can draw well naturally. But by the same token, other humans like Sebastian Vettel can drive cars naturally well. Their prowess doesn’t put the majority of us off learning to drive. But we do that for socio-economic reasons. We don’t learn to draw for the same reasons.

© Bill Stott @ Procartoonists.org

© Bill Stott @ Procartoonists.org

So why do we/should we do it? Why should Mr Gove do it? Its because its EDUCATIONAL, that’s why. To “educate” means to “bring out”, and I’d bet a pound to a penny that an arts workshop or a practical, hands-on Big Draw session will bring out more hitherto unseen natural ability than would a geography festival.

I suppose I’d better apologise now for having a pop at geography. Its probably down to Mrs Leeming fifty-odd years ago. She was very keen on my class knowing all the facts and figures surrounding worldwide ground-nut production in countries that are no longer part of the British Empah and have names of their own now. It was hugely boring.

Mrs Lemming (her nickname) was a bit limited. There’s nothing limited about the arts education potential in this country. Sadly, should the essentially inexperienced, non-drawing, non-painting, non-sculpting Mr Gove get his way, that will all get booted into the long grass (quite close to where they’re practicing core curriculum cheerleading).

And who’s fault is it? Let’s start alphabetically: The Arts Council?

Editor says: Thanks,  Bill. Feel free to join the debate by commenting below.

Opinion: Cheerleading for art

September 20, 2013 in Comment, General

Bill Stott at Big Board

Bill Stott at the annual Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival

Bill Stott writes:

Remember your school reports? They become ingrained. Like your first snog. Mine weren’t bad. English, history, art, even P.E. (he was a bully) were all good but then they fell into the maths abyss. That bit was never good. I really didn’t care how long it took six men with rubber teaspoons to fill six wheelbarrows etc.

Last week I saw my 11-year-old grand-daughter’s report . She’s in Year 7 (that’s first year in old money and is a term thought up by some non-teaching think-tanker to give the impression that the learning process is seamless. It most definitely is not.) It was a good report apart from maths where the rubber teaspoon brigade didn’t quite click.

But there were a couple of subjects Grandad didn’t quite understand, i.e. why they were being taught and how they being taught. One was, you won’t believe this, cheerleading. That’s right, cheerleading. I mean, dear God, this is an all-girl comp. What on Earth is the school encouraging here ? Cheerleading is where a group of comely young women wiggle about celebrating male sporting prowess, isn’t it?

And the other was – gimme an A, gimme an R, gimme a T – Art, art art! (See? We got there eventually). Emily – for it is she – got a good comment in art. So I asked her what they did in art. “Well,” she said. “We’ve just done Jasper Johns.”

Now, I think that art, unlike cheerleading, is useful and teachable, and I’m all for the Big Draw events. But Emily and her 11-year-old chums don’t get all hands-on with clay, ink and paint. No. They DO Jasper Johns. She did say that “sometimes” they were allowed to draw. But mostly they DID artists. Don’t misunderstand me, nothing wrong with history of art. But exclusively? With 11-year-olds?

So who’s the villain here? I will tell you. It is Michael Gove, that’s who. I know that cheerleading sneaked in under the common-sense radar because apparently it’s accepted as being an alternative to P.E. Do they do history of cheerleading too?

Mr Gove doesn’t care about the arts subjects – quite possibly because his own art education was a bit thin. He sees dance, drama, music and art as hobbies. Pastimes. They no longer merit a place in the core curriculum (from September 2014) but because it bumps and grinds in under the P.E. banner, cheerleading does.

A pound to a penny Mr Gove believes that being able to draw is a “gift” and cannot be taught. He probably believes he can’t draw. I could teach him.

Ed adds:  We hope Mr Gove takes up Bill’s kind offer. We think a lesson would make some fine Reithian-style television for the British Broadcasting Corporation or similar. Don’t miss part two of Bill’s thoughts on art in education which is due next week.

Cartoon © Bill Stott @ procartoonists.org

© Bill Stott @ Procartoonists.org

 

The Fog Days of Summer

July 6, 2012 in Comment, General

Foghorn cartoon strip  for July 07 @procartoonists.org

© Andy Davey @procartoonists.org

Foghorn and the Victorians

June 14, 2012 in Comment, General

Foghorn and the Victorians © Andy Davey @ pprocartoonists.org

© Andy Davey @ Procartoonists.org

Our anthropomorphic Foghorn delves into the history of UK cartooning.

 

 

Cartoonist refuses to grin and bear it

June 13, 2012 in Events, General, News

Matthew Inman, the cartoonist behind popular US website The Oatmeal, wrote about a website that was stealing his images a year ago.

His blog post about FunnyJunk.com received a response and the subsequent removal of Inman’s images was welcomed, even though not all of them were taken down. Eventually, Inman decided it wasn’t worth the energy to continue to pursue the remainder and he let the matter lie.

To his surprise, this month, he was served legal papers informing him that the owner of the FunnyJunk.com site was filing a federal lawsuit against him alleging defamation and false advertising. It also asked for a payment of $20,000 as a remedial act.

In response, and after taking his own legal advice, Inman wrote a new blog post, featuring the legal letter in question, and offering to undertake the following:

To raise $20,000 in donations, to take a photo of the money, to post the photo, along with a deliberately crude cartoon of the website owner’s mom seducing a Kodiak bear, below, and finally to give half the donation to the National Wildlife Federation and the other part to the American Cancer Society.

Cartoon © Matthew Inman at theoatmeal.com

The campaign, which he has dubbed “Bearlove Good. Cancer Bad” was set up on the fundraising website Indiegogo with a 15-day deadline to raise the money. Within the first hour it had raised the $20,000 target, and now stands (at the time of writing) at $142,753, with 14 days still to go.

The lawyer acting for FunnyJunk.com, Charles Carreon, is reported by MSNBC to be “bewildered” by this response.

Of course, websites that use cartoon artwork without consent are nothing new – Procartoonists.org member Royston Robertson recently tweeted about an article on Citizen Journalism that uses a cartoon of his stolen from the CartoonStock website. Matthew Buck had a similar experience with the Guido Fawkes political blog and the US cartoonist Mike Lynch reports this story from 2009. There are doubtless many more examples. Please tell us about them in the comments if you would like to share your experience.

Inman has been drawing caricatures of his contributors’ avatars on Twitter as a way of saying thank you to those who chose to donate to his successful fundraising.