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by Royston

Cartoonist in gutsy new series

December 5, 2014 in General, Links, News

Adrian Teal Under the Knife
Procartoonists member Adrian Teal has started contributing cartoons and character design to a gruesome new medical history series on YouTube called Under The Knife.

Written and presented by Dr Lindsey Fitzharris and directed by Alex Anstey, the series is dedicated to the horrors of pre-anaesthetic surgery and early medicine. It combines traditional story-telling techniques with computer animation based on Teal artwork.

Adrian tells us: “The first video has had nearly 9,000 hits. Also, we’re raising funds to cover production costs via the crowdfunding site Patreon.”

Adrian Teal Under the Knife

You can support the series via Patreon here. And you can watch the videos on YouTube here. But be warned: with titles such as The Clockwork Saw, The Plague Doctor, above, and, er, Victorian Anti-Masturbation Devices, it is not for the faint of heart!

The sky is falling in

November 9, 2013 in Events, General, News

News that a satellite is descending to earth in an uncontrolled fashion reminds us that there’s nothing new under the sun – as these cartoons from Martin Minton – A cartoon novel by Ken Pyne show.

Cartoon_Life_© Ken_Pyne_@_procartoonists.org

Cartoon © Ken Pyne from Martin Minton - a cartoon novel @procartoonists.org

Satellite_Cartoon_©_Ken_Pyne_@procartoonists.org

Cartoon © Ken Pyne from Martin Minton - a cartoon novel @procartoonists.org

Ken told us:

Funny, I was only thinking of that book a couple of days ago in Waterstones. When it came out the publisher sent a blurb round saying it was a ‘Cartoon Novel’ and a book reviewer called me ‘pretentious’ for calling it that. How times have changed – now you can’t move around a book shop for ‘Graphic Novels’.

UK Professional Cartoonists

The Round-up

March 15, 2013 in General, Links, News

© Colin Whittock @Procartoonists.org

Our colleagues in the Cartoonists’ Club of Great Britain (CCGB) have produced The Little Red Nose-E-Book Of Cartoons in aid of Comic Relief. It features 101 cartoons by CCGB members, including the gag above by Colin Whittock, who is also a Procartoonists.org member. The e-book costs just £1.59 (with all proceeds going to the charity) and can be downloaded here.

Also to coincide with Comic Relief, Forbidden Planet asks comics professionals to pick their favourite humorous strips. The list includes the dark and desolate Viz strip, Drunken Bakers, drawn by Procartoonists.org member Lee Healey. Read the full article here and see if you agree with the selections.

Ralph Steadman, the world-renowned cartoonist and yet another of our members, is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at London’s Cartoon Museum. Steadman at 77 opens on 1 May. and runs until 21 July. Find more details here.

Ian Hislop and his frequent collaborator,  the cartoonist Nick Newman, have written a new film for BBC Two that focuses on a First World War forerunner to Private Eye. Read more here.

Finally, the illustrator Alex Mathers explains how he found himself drawing Google Doodles — arguably the most widely seen drawings in the world on any given day — and draws some useful conclusions. Read it here.

Ten things you might not know

about copyright

March 12, 2013 in General, News

Our man Rob Murray attended a recent talk by Silvia Baumgart of Own-it, based at the University of the Arts London (UAL). Own-it advises creative practitioners and small businesses on intellectual property matters.

Over to Rob:

The session focused in particular on copyright and the increasing need for artists and illustrators to protect their work in the online era.

Listed here are ten key facts about copyright that might either be news to you, or a useful refresher.

  1. Copyright is automatic – it does not need to be applied for or registered – and protects a creative work until 70 years after the creator’s year of death.
  2. You cannot copyright an idea – only the way in which that idea is expressed.

    © Rob Murray @ Procartoonists.org

  3. Moral rights, which come with copyright and give the creator the right to be credited as the author of a work, cannot be assigned to another party. But the creator can waive moral rights in writing. If assigning (selling) copyright to someone else, a creator should assert their moral rights.
  4. If a magazine “buys” a cartoon to appear in its pages, unless otherwise stated in writing it is buying a licence to be the first to publish it. This does not prevent the cartoonist selling the cartoon elsewhere at a later date, or using it for any other purpose.

    Matthew_Buck_Hack_Copyright_ARTWORK @ procartoonists.org

    © Matthew Buck Hack Cartoons @ Procartoonists.org

  5. When a freelancer is commissioned to produce a cartoon or illustration, he or she automatically holds the copyright unless otherwise agreed in writing.
  6. By contrast, if work is created during the course of your employment, your employer holds the copyright and you have no moral rights over the work.
  7. Design work is treated differently, and falls under design right rather than copyright. When a designer is commissioned to develop or create a product, the commissioner owns the unregistered design right in the UK — which protects the appearance of the product (excluding surface decoration) for 15 years from creation or ten years from first sale. As with copyright, it is automatic.

    Ideas cartoon by Royston Robertson

    © Royston Robertson @ Procartoonists.org

  8. An image being easily accessible — for example on the internet — is often taken to mean that it is in the public domain, but this is often not the case, even when the creator’s name is missing. An artwork is only “public domain” if the creator (or copyright holder) has declared so, or if the copyright has expired.
  9. Selling a physical object you have created (for example, the original artwork for a cartoon) does not mean you are permitting reproduction or dissemination. Unless formally agreed, the buyer does not have the right to reproduce or distribute the image (with the exception of advertising the resale of the artwork).
  10. As a general rule, the decision to assign all rights to a client should not be taken lightly, and the creator should agree a substantially larger fee than they would for granting a licence. Once intellectual property rights are sold, they cannot be taken back and the creator will never again be able to profit from licensing that piece of work.

Own-it offers free legal advice to help artists solve intellectual property issues. Visit the blog again soon for a look at some of Silvia’s recommendations for how to protect your work online and elsewhere.

The Round-up

February 24, 2013 in General, Links, News

 

© Bob Godfrey @Procartoonists.org

We are sad to note that Bob Godfrey, the much-loved cartoonist behind Roobarb and Custard (above) and the equally wonderful Henry’s Cat, has passed away at the age of 91. Obituaries for the Oscar-winning animator can be found at The Guardian, The Telegraph and the BBC. The Guardian also offers a guide to Godfrey’s career in clips. In a sad coincidence, Richard Briers – who narrated Roobarb – died last Sunday.

The Telegraph is celebrating 25 years of pocket cartoons by Matt Pritchett, with a series of short videos in which the cartoonist discusses his work and looks back over his career so far. Begin by finding out about Matt’s typical day; other clips look at his first front-page gag, the tricks of the trade, his favourite cartoon of 2013 thus far, and how he’s turning into one of his characters.

Jamie Smart has plans for a new children’s comic, initially to be made available online for free, in which all characters will be creator-owned. He is on the lookout for cartoonists to join his Moose Kid Comics project – for which he hopes to attract investors and subsequently launch in print form. Read more and find out how to get involved here.

Finally, a Google doodle on Friday celebrated what would have been the 88th birthday of Edward Gorey. See the doodle at full size here.

The Round-up

February 15, 2013 in General, Links, News

© Katharina Greve @Procartoonists.org

Above: The Pope wins the lottery and decides to quit his job, in an eerily prescient cartoon by Katharina Greve that appeared in a calendar on the very day of Pope Benedict XVI’s announcement.

Journalist Matt Geörg Moore argues that comic strips in print should be given more space and more freedom, despite the decline in newspaper revenues. Read his argument here.

Wally Fawkes, the cartoonist and jazz musician better known to cartoon fans as Trog, has been named one of the Oldies of the Year by Richard Ingramsmagazine. Read more about Fawkes, and the other Oldies, here.

Finally, some news of contests and awards. The BBC has launched a competition asking illustrators, photographers and film-makers to share their visions of the future. Meanwhile, the nomination process has now opened for the 2013 British Comic Awards.

Cartoons – not so static after all

February 12, 2013 in General, News

It is sometimes assumed that cartooning is a purely static medium.
One of our members, Robert Duncan, shows this isn’t the case in this three-minute plus video celebrating the work of the writer and cartoonist Edward Lear.

If you have seen any other good examples of cartooning as a moving medium please post them into the comments below.

Opinion: Illustration is easier than cartooning

January 24, 2013 in Comment, General

Cartoonist_or_Illustrator_@_procartoonists.org © Bill Stott

© Bill Stott @ procartoonists.org

When it was suggested by the editor that I should write a piece to the statement, “Illustration is easier than cartooning”. I thought he also ought to reverse the notion and ask an illustrator too.

Trouble is, I’m not an illustrator so know little of their strange and arcane ways. Actually, that’s not entirely true. I have illustrated a couple of books in what might loosely be called a non-cartoon style. And many years ago whilst doing a fine art degree, a snotty lecturer suggested I should switch to Illustration because my work was “rather slick and commercial”. The fool! Did he not see that I was going to be the next Jack Vettriano?

Cartoonist and illustrator are very wide terms. If by illustrator we mean those driven souls who churn out graphic novels – how do they do it? – then give me cartooning any day. On the other hand if, as a cartoonist, you get lucky with a multi-panel strip of Doonesbury or Calvin and Hobbes or The Fosdyke Saga proportions and you don’t have time to draw anything but the same re-occurring characters day after day, world without end, how do you stave off madness?

Do illustrators feel the same? What little illustration work I’ve done rapidly became tedious. Same characters, different situations. Rather more interesting to write than to illustrate. Unless, of course, you’re Victor Ambrus who is brilliant enough to stop even Tony Robinson becoming tedious.

However – I love that word, it means you’re about to kick the foregoing into the long grass – a good cartoon drawing has to be a good joke as well. Thinking of a good joke can be a killer. “Good joke” means one which in the first instance makes you the cartoonist laugh. Whether it makes a commissioning editor laugh is another matter entirely (Ian Hislop is such a tease). Some days good jokes pop up like weeds. On others – like today – there’s a great desire to draw funny stuff but nothing happens and an unhealthy amount of daytime TV is watched.

There. My head’s nearly empty now. The only thing I’d add is the word “good”. Good illustration is easier than good cartooning. Must dash, DCI Banks is on.

PS. If anybody wants a definition of “good”, ask the editor in the comments.

Editor adds: Thanks to Bill for putting his head above the parapet.

The Round-up

January 18, 2013 in General, Links, News

© Bill Stott @Procartoonists.org

Following on from our last post about what is and isn’t funny, we link to a recent BBC article about the history and humour of the pun – a weapon in the cartoonist’s arsenal that is loved by some and disparaged by others. (We at Procartoonists.org are happy to sit on the fence and say that while some puns deserve nothing but a weary groan, others – such as in the cartoon above, by Bill Stott – are inspired.) Read the article here.

There were equestrian puns aplenty bouncing around on Twitter this week, following the horsemeat burger scandal (log in and search for #horsemeat and you’ll find some good examples). Even Tesco itself decided to crack a joke on the subject.

The horsemeat story provided fodder for cartoonists, too, and The Telegraph’s Matt Pritchett was particularly inspired – producing no less than five gags on the subject in just two days. Click here to scroll through them.

BBC Radio 4 broadcast two programmes of interest to cartoonists and illustrators this week. First, there was a half-hour show celebrating the art and characters of The Beano (click here to listen). Then Lawrence Llewellyn-Bowen chose to celebrate the Great Life of Aubrey Beardsley (here).

And finally, the Chris Beetles Gallery in London is holding a sale, beginning this weekend. Click here to see the artworks available.

 

The Round-up

January 4, 2013 in General, Links, News

© Gerald Scarfe @Procartoonists.org

Gerald Scarfe has revisited an old project by producing a new series of cartoons to illustrate the on-screen revival of Yes, Prime Minister. This drawing, above, of its stars David Haig and Henry Goodman, is also gracing billboards and bus shelters ahead of the show’s debut on the TV channel Gold on 15 January. Scarfe produced a memorable series of cartoons for the original Yes, Minister series. Those suffering from Thatcherite nostalgia can watch the original opening credits here.

Steve Bell guides us through a year of cartoons for The Guardian in this video (warning: contains expletives, contraceptives and bondage gear). Meanwhile, Peter Brookes selects the best from his own 2012 output for The Times (subscription required), and the Daily Mail’s Mac does the same here. Matt Buck (Hack) looks back at his own 2012 output here.

Dotter of Her Father’s Eyes, written by Mary Talbot and illustrated by her comics veteran husband, Bryan, has won the biography category of the 2012 Costa Book Awards – the first graphic novel to win in any of the five categories. Read more about the book, and what its success might mean for the medium more generally, here.

The weekly children’s comic The Phoenix has launched an app that allows readers to buy and download a digital version, and which includes free access to a sample “issue zero”.

And finally, Procartoonists.org patron Martin Wainwright brings us the story of an intriguing battle over intellectual property and the public domain.