Chris Burke, the widely published caricaturist and illustrator – and Procartoonists.org member – gives a local blog a tour of his home and studio in Royal Tunbridge Wells. Read the resulting feature interview, and see plenty of examples of Chris’ work, here.
Detail from Norwich, created for Ottakar’s bookshops by Chris Burke
PCOer Chris Burke is guest speaker at the Brighton Illustrators Group meeting on 28th January. His talk takes place at the Eagle pub, 125 Gloucester Rd, at 8pm. Chris tells us what he has planned:
I’ll be taking an illustrated canter through 25 years of doodling. I’ll start by explaining why I gave up a perfectly good job as an art director in advertising. I swapped what Orwell called “rattling a stick in a bucket of swill” for the gilded life of a pencil squeezer.
I shall lightly glide over the following year which I spent in Penury (for you non-Londoners that’s between Camberwell and Streatham) then on to my Damascene journey to the West of Ireland where I came back with a pile of drawings and something verging on a style.
At this point, providing not too many people have been carried out in a narcoleptic coma I’ll recount my charmed life as a lucky bastard, how my first two jobs were for the Radio Times and Penguin books.
The second half, provided the paramedics don’t have stretchers piled in the narrow stairwell of this ancient public house at this point, will mainly be about Ottakar’s Bookshops and my part in their downfall. Cursed with more good fortune, I could draw pretty much what I wanted in the huge shop murals for each town.
I can only remember having to change three of about eighty or so pictures: Norwich, above, where someone mistook Kazuo Ishiguro for Ronnie Corbett; Slough, where I depicted Sir John Betjeman flying through the clouds with the words of his famously friendly poem extruding from his rear; and finally Weston-super-Mare, where I portayed their Baron, a lovely bloke called Jeffrey Archer.
Alas those days of endless work are now gone, sic transit … talking of which, did someone call an ambulance?
The Eggheads (Chris Hughes, Daphne Fowler, CJ de Mooi, Barry Simmons, Judith Keppel and Kevin Ashman) by Cartoonists' team member Chris Burke
The Cartoonists, a team put together by the Professional Cartoonists Organisation, stormed to victory on the TV quiz show Eggheads last night, after winning each of their head-to-head rounds. Egghead Kevin Ashman described it as “the most comprehensive defeat we’ve ever had”. Here, team captain Alex Hughes explains how it all happened
For the uninitiated, Eggheads itself is a fairly straightforward quiz. Each day, a new team of challengers goes up against the Eggheads, a team comprising past winners of other TV and radio quizzes such as Who Wants to be a Millionaire, Mastermind, Fifteen to One, The Weakest Link and Brain of Britain – the cream of British quiz talent.
The Cartoonists (Alex Hughes, Royston Robertson, Robert Duncan, Graham Fowell and Martin Rowson)
For our bout, the Eggheads team comprised Kevin Ashman, CJ de Mooi, Daphne Fowler, Chris Hughes and Barry Simmons. Judith Keppel was waiting in the wings and Chris Burke was the stand-in for the Cartoonists.
The first four rounds are a series of head-to-head questions from a given category, where we pick one of our team to go up against our pick from the Eggheads. The contestants then go into the “question room” (in reality, a bench behind the main set) and are given three multiple choice questions each. If there’s no outright winner, it goes to “sudden death”.
The winner of each round is “safe” and allowed to compete for their team in the final round, whilst the loser is not. The final round is a general knowledge team round with the surviving challengers competing directly against the surviving Eggheads for the prize money, which, if it’s not won is rolled-over to the next day.
The Cartoonists (Alex Hughes, Robert Duncan, Royston Robertson, Chris Burke, Graham Fowell and Martin Rowson) outside BBC Television Centre
On the day of the filming we arrived bright and early on a crisp January morning with, as requested, a selection of light, brightly coloured non-patterned shirts at BBC Television Centre in White City, London. After resting in the former Top of the Pops Green Room we were ushered into the studio, which is when the nerves kicked in. Make-up was applied, microphones were attached and we met host Jeremy Vine.
There wasn’t much time for chit-chat though (up to five episodes are shot per day), so we went straight into the contest …
…and we won! We were only the sixth team out of the ten series to beat the Eggheads in each of the first four rounds. But to top that, we are the first team to have beaten the Eggheads outright, winning in every single round plus the final – we only got three questions wrong between us in the whole show.
And best of all, the last question, which surviving Egghead Kevin Ashman could not answer, was a cartoon question.
So, well done, team, we did brilliantly! Congratulations to Robert, Royston, Graham, Martin, and Chris in reserve. And our thanks to Al Capp‘s Shmoo…
The editor adds: The BBC iPlayer recording of the show should be available online until November 5th 2009.
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As mentioned previously in the year here on Bloghorn, a team representing the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation is set to appear on the BBC quiz show Eggheads. The team, comprising Chris Burke, Royston Robertson, Robert Duncan, Graham Fowell, Martin Rowson and myself, Alex Hughes, will air on BBC2 at 6pm on Thursday 29th October. Obviously, we can’t let you know how we did, but you can expect full coverage here on Bloghorn the following day…
PCOer Chris Burke sends a visual report on the phenomenon of rubber, or, rebounding artwork.
Clients always want artwork as soon as possible but, strangely, there is always time for it to come back for changes.
We offer here an example of Chris’s work with before and after images showing the changes requested in a complex piece of caricaturing he did recently. First, here is the original and approved piece of art.
Secondly, the unexpected changes which were subsequently requested – in this case, it was a question of different people being asked for. We’ve marked them here to help.
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