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Cartoon News Digest . . .

March 20, 2015 in News

THANKS TO THE tireless research by several PCO members, a backlog of worthwhile cartoon news from around the globe appears in the form of links in the members’ forum pages.

It’s more practical, to say nothing of time-saving to sometimes simply re-post the links for public consumption here:

Asterix cartoon raises £100,000 for Charlie Hebdo victimsA panel from the cartoon that was sold in Paris

A comment from The Guardian about their own cartoonist: I may not always agree with cartoonist Steve Bell, but I defend his right to drawSteve Bell's If ...

As part of its 2015 Freedom of Expression awards, Index on Censorship asked cartoonists from around the world to reflect on their own experience of creative liberty – or the lack of it. From The Guardian: Freedom of Expression Awards

David Rowe cartoon

Shropshire Live reports that Shrewsbury’s festivals will literally pass the baton to one another after many of the town’s attractions signed up to a fantastic new initiative. Over the last few years the number of festivals held in Shrewsbury from the spring, throughout the summer and into the autumn has shot up, including the annual Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival. And this year organisers of events big and small will promote each other by the handing over of a ceremonial baton.

Read the full article via shropshirelive.com at:  Shrewsbury festivals sign up to “pass the baton”The Shrewsbury Festivals Baton is launched in the Square. Bill McCabe from the Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival, front left and Karen Higgins from The Big Busk with the Baton, joined by other festival representatives

A Reading with cartoonist Chris Riddell : Returner’s Wealth

March 10, 2015 in News

CARTOONIST CHRIS RIDDELL narrates from Chris Riddell reads from the first book in the Wyrmeweald trilogy, Returner’s Wealth accompanied by a video of him drawing

A fascinating glimpse inside a UK cartoonist’s studio. One from a series of videos by one of the UK’s best-known political cartoonists.

Muslim Azerbaijan had satire years before Charlie Hebdo

March 5, 2015 in News

How Muslim Azerbaijan had satire years before Charlie Hebdo

THE BBC NEWS website carries an article reporting that a magazine founded in Azerbaijan in 1906 was pre-dating Charlie Hebdo with its level of satire and campaigning against injustice.

Apparently, the weekly, Molla Nasreddin, regularly ridiculed Muslim clerics as well as criticising the politicians of the time.

1929 cartoon showing British Consul
ABOVE: This 1929 cartoon shows the “English Consul and his wife: in England (L) and in Iran (R)

The complete article can be read HERE.

 

Cartoonists’ rights supported by worldwide organisation

February 22, 2015 in News

 

Click pic above or HERE to see the CRNI’s website

RECENT EVENTS have underlined the precarious nature of many cartoonists’ work. Living in a world where a graphic comment on a delicate situation can result in studios being invaded by machine-gunning terrorists or public discussions being ambushed by rifle-toting madmen, cartoonists along with journalists and other public commentators find themselves in the front line of defence of freedom of speech.

While the book Draw the Line Here, conceived by English Pen (the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation’s only role in this project, albeit the key one, is to provide the cartoons), is entering the final production phase under the management of Crowdshed, another organisation with similar activities is worthy of publicty.

Cartoonists’ Rights Network International “defends the creative freedom and human rights of editorial cartoonists under threat throughout the world”.

For example:

One face of our success
Nikahang “Nik” Kowsar’s story is typical of the brave editorial cartoonists CRNI fights on behalf of throughout the year. In February of 2000, he was arrested and interrogated for six days at Iran’s notorious Evin Prison in Tehran. His crime? Drawing a cartoon critical of a politically powerful imam. CRNI subsequently gave Mr. Kowsar our 2001 Award for Courage in Editorial Cartooning, drawing international attention to his plight.

Cartoon by Nikahang "Nik" Kowsar: Nikahang.blogspot.com

By 2003, his situation had become untenable. He was forced to flee after credible death threats, leaving behind his wife and daughter. After he was safely settled in Canada, CRNI and other human rights organizations continued to assist Mr. Kowsar during his five-year fight to bring his family to join him, which he finally won in 2008.

Since then Nik has redoubled his dedication, creatively and professionally, to the cause of freedom of expression globally, as well as in his native Iran. This fervent lifelong commitment includes serving on CRNI’s Board of Directors, where his passion has been as invaluable as his personal experience.

Cartoon by Nikahang “Nik” Kowsar: Nikahang.blogspot.com”

NikKowsarThumbnail

The CRNI is launching an indiegogo campaign to raise $40,000 for its ongoing operations.  Click here to see the details.

Cartoon Museum to celebrate 150th anniversary of Alice in Wonderland

February 11, 2015 in News

THE CARTOON MUSEUM is working with Brian Sibley, President of the Lewis Carroll Society and well-known author on illustration, cartoons and comics, on an exhibition to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the publication of Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland. The exhibition will include a wide range of political, joke and strip cartoons as well as some other ways the characters have been used.

The exhibition will run from 15 July to 1 November 2015 with the hope that it might also tour elsewhere. Curator, Anita O’Brien says that they are trying to see if they could get funding to do some kind of publication as well.

Tenniel illustration of Alice in Wonderland

The Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation have been encouraged to ask their members if they have any Alice-relevant gag cartoons, illustrations or caricatures which could feature.

This will promise to be one of the most varied and gag cartoon-oriented exhibitions at the museum for some time and will be well worth a visit, not just for Lewis Carrol fans.

Publishers must “create space for new cartoons” says PCO Chairman

February 10, 2015 in Comment

THE RECENT FLURRY of cartooning activity precipitated by the tragic events in Paris towards the beginning of January has caused several pauses for thought. When you get beyond the bigger picture of rights to freedom of speech and the arguments for and against depicting whatever religious leader, we cartoonists arrive at the same modern-day conundrum: Where are our cartoons being PUBLISHED?

While, the modern age allows a little self-satisfaction with instant ‘publication’ through the media of Facebook and Twitter, it’s a sort of vanity-publishing whose merits shrink in size next to a big fat commission from a national newspaper or, perhaps, a global advertising campaign. Many cartoonists acquire a steady stream of, mainly private or ‘below the line’, bread and butter work by advertising themselves as such on social media but the kudos of being chosen by an art editor or creative director is a much less frequent experience these days. Perhaps, this is partly the fault of the aforementioned social media, too?

Cartoon-Editor-Save-Money

Bill Stott, the Chairman of the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation writes:

The Draw the Line Here book of mainly UK cartoons, many from members of the PCO demonstrates, proves even, the power of good cartoons. The book will be published. Through sales of the book, funds will be sent to the relatives and families of those so mindlessly murdered in France. All of that is as it should be.

But what really puzzles, nay, infuriates me is that in the face of this demonstration of the power of humour, many UK publishers are ditching their cartoonists like unwanted ballast. The UK boasts some of the best cartoonists in the world. On current performance, UK publishers, of newspapers and magazines, do not value the UK’s professional cartooning talent. How many local newspapers still carry cartoons? Not many, in my view. What replaces the cartoon? Adverts?

The public loves cartoons. UK cartoon festivals, like Shrewsbury’s prove this, year on year. But there is an obvious disconnect between publishers’ thinking about cartoons and what the public like. New media, so-called social media, tweets, apps, and mobiles which can make toast or tell you what’s in your fridge might well have a hand in this disconnect, but the public doesn’t really have a voice here. It’s as likely to write to papers en masse about a lack of cartoons as there is to be a ninety percent turnout in a local government by-election. Newspaper sales are falling fast. It’s time for UK publishers to take a gamble. They must stop regarding the cartoon as the easiest thing to drop and be revolutionary. Reinstate dumped cartoons. Create space for new cartoons. Get brave! Bill Stott, Chair, PCO

Cartoon-Editor-Accountant

Cartoonists rally around for Draw The Line Here Cartoon Book

February 9, 2015 in News

Cartoonists rally around in aid of Charlie Hebdo families and Freedom of Speech

Draw The Line Cartoon Book Cover

THE PROFESSIONAL CARTOONISTS’ Organisation has been heavily-occupied with work on the  Draw The Line Here Cartoon Book in aid of the Charlie Hebdo victims and in support of freedom of speech charity English Pen.

Approached by the crowdfunding platform Crowdshed, the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation are aiming to produce ’100 cartoons by 100 cartoonists’ in reaction to the terrorist murders of cartoonists and others in Paris on January 7th. Freedom of Speech charity English Pen were also approached to form a three-part partnership in order to create a historic collection of cartoons by some of the UK’s best cartoonists.

Contributions from cartooning icons such as Ralph Steadman, Steve Bell, Martin Rowson and Dave Brown are promising to make this a cartoon book to be given pride of place in any collection. it will be an assortment of political cartoons, gag cartoons and caricature illustrations and will be a very memorable, entertaining and yet poignant landmark in cartoon publishing.

The book campaign received a boost from Stephen Fry recently who kindly retweeted our appeal for more people to advance-purchase the book.

Tweet from Stephen Fry for Cartoon Book

We’re still urgently collecting funds throught the crowdfunding site Crowdshed, and YOU can be one of the first to receive the book once it’s published. Simply go HERE and choose your option!

‘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.

Draw The Line Here cartoon book in aid of #jesuischarlie

January 15, 2015 in News

Draw-The-Line-Here-Cartoon-Book-Website

Please click in the image above to be able to submit your fund to this very worthwhile cause

 

DRAW THE LINE Here  is a crowdfunding venture launched by English Pen and the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation with crowdfunding and promotion facilitated by Crowdshed.

English PEN is the founding centre of a worldwide writers’ association with 145 centres in more than 100 countries. They campaign to defend writers and readers in the UK and around the world whose human right to freedom of expression is at risk. CrowdShed is a new UK-based crowdfunding platform and hub. They connect and support people to help bring their ideas to life and create new funding opportunities. We want to bring about the democratisation of funding by educating and empowering every person in the crowd.

In the wake of the terrible events in Paris on 7th and 8th January, English Pen decided to do something to help contribute to the funds set up by Charlie Hebdo for the families of the victims and also to gain further support for their work campaigning for freedom of speech worldwide. The most obvious thing to do was to ask some of the best cartoonists in the UK to donate cartoons about the attack on freedom of speech by terrorists and to publish them in a book.

Draw The Line Here is that book and your generosity is sought in order to make it the worthwhile success that it ought to be.

Here are just a few of the cartoons that will appear in the book.

GO TO THE DRAW THE LINE HERE WEBPAGE HERE and, on behalf of cartoonists and writers everywhere, thank you all in advance.

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.