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The Round-up

February 23, 2014 in Events, General, Links, News

Thatcher Cutting Up Britain © Spitting Image Workshop

Thatcher Cutting Up Britain © Spitting Image Workshop

Kasia Kowalska writes:

The exhibition Spitting Image: From Start to Finish opens at the Cartoon Museum in London tomorrow (26 February) – 30 years to the day since the TV series burst into our living rooms and put satire back at the heart of British comedy.

The BFI is also joining in the celebrations with an anniversary event and a screening of the BBC Four Arena documentary Whatever Happened To Spitting Image? on Thursday. It will be broadcast in spring.

The anniversary has already prompted a debate on the current state of satire on TV, with the Spitting Image producer John Lloyd and the Private Eye editor Ian Hislop, a former writer for the show, putting forward opposing views

Booktrust has appointed a new online writer in residence, The Observer’s political cartoonist Chris Riddell, to write a weekly blog in the form of drawings. Meanwhile, The Beano’s, Barrie Appleby, lent a helping hand at a pre-school playgroup where he shared cartooning tips with children as part of the Annual National Storytelling Week.

Escaping the UK weather can be a funny business. The Cartoonists’ Club of Great Britain got together for its 3rd Mighty Malta Minicon last week and if you were not lucky enough to go, you can still find out what they got up to.

 

Doonesbury © Garry Trudeau

Doonesbury © Garry Trudeau

The syndicated Doonesbury comic strip is taking a long-term break from this week, the cartoonist Garry Trudeau has announced. Fans should not worry though, as older strips will be revisited.

Comic art continues to court controversy: the Angoulême International Comics Festival got into hot water over its sponsorship by SodaStream which is the target of an international boycott; a newspaper office in Baghdad suffered a bomb attack following the publication of a cartoon criticising Ayatollah Khamenei;  and the thought police are very much alive and well in Algeria, where the cartoonist Djamel Ghanem has been threatened with imprisonment for a cartoon that was not even published.

Across the border in Tunisia, there may be hope for the international campaign “100 drawings for Jabeur” to free Jabeur Mejri, who has been pardoned and offered asylum in Sweden. The blogger was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison for publishing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed on Facebook in 2012.

Finally, we note with sadness that Gordon Bell, cartoonist for The Beano and the Dundee Courier, and Tony Harding, who drew football stories for Scorcher, Hotspur, and Action, both passed away recently.

Human rights in cartoon form

September 16, 2013 in News

Know Your Rights. Cartoon © Ali Ferzat @ Procartoonists.org

Amnesty's Know your Rights booklet. Cover cartoon © Ali Ferzat @ Procartoonists.org

Amnesty International has come up with a memorable way to remind people about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: it has issued the document as a booklet illustrated with cartoons.

Know your Rights is published in conjuction with Waterstones and features 14 cartoonists, including the Procartoonists.org members Tony Husband, Fran Orford and Royston Robertson, illustrating various articles of the Declaration.

© cartoon Tony Husband

Article 4. No one shall be held in slavery or servitude © Tony Husband @ Procartoonists.org

The booklet features an introduction by the writer A.L. Kennedy and includes thoughts on human rights from the cartoonists themselves. Michael Heath accompanies his cartoon with a succint thought: “It’s nice to be able to draw anything you want without being arrested.”

The cover is by the Syrian cartoonist Ali Ferzat who was beaten up because he drew cartoons critical of the Assad regime.

Publication marks the fact that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was ratified 60 years ago this month. The booklet contains the full text of the Declaration.

© Royston Robertson cartoon

Article 27. Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community © Royston Robertson @ Procartoonists.org

The other cartoonists in the booklet are: Steven Appleby, Liza Donnelly, Merrily Harpur, Neil Kerber, Martha Richler (Marf), Chris Riddell, Gerald Scarfe, David Shrigley [Does this mean he's officially a cartoonist now? – Ed] and Judith Vanistendael.

Know your Rights can be found by the tills in branches of Waterstones nationwide, priced £2.

The Round-up

December 14, 2012 in General, Links, News

© Axel Scheffler for Royal Mail @Procartoonists.org

Axel Scheffler, the illustrator best known for his work on the Gruffalo books, has produced the designs for Royal Mail’s Christmas stamps this year. Scheffler talks to the BBC about this latest commission, and looks back at his early work, in this short video.

After widespread publicity about falling sales and the decision to cease printing, The Dandy has now gone digital. Check out the first issue of the interactive web comic here.

Newsagent Des Barr requested 50,000 copies of the last print edition of The Dandy and has been selling them from a pop-up store in Glasgow, as well as via the internet. Somewhat ironically, sales have apparently been strong – read about it here, or buy a copy.

In related coverage, New Statesman looks at the UK children’s comic industry – from the online Dandy to The Phoenix and others – and finds it is in rude health. The article is one of several published as part of a week-long celebration of British comics by the magazine. Find the other pieces here.

As part of The Guardian’s coverage of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, illustrator in residence Chris Riddell writes that he has high hopes for the future of illustration in the digital realm.

And finally, Procartoonists.org member Royston Robertson has written an article for Sabotage Times in which he lists 10 cartoonists who have influenced him.

Shortsighted Observer found wanting

February 22, 2010 in Comment

Bloghorn_cartoonists ©http://thebloghorn.org for the UK Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation http://www.procartoonists.org
The UK’s Observer newspaper relaunched with a “new look” yesterday, and to ensure publicity it grabbed the headlines with a story about the alleged workplace bullying of the Prime Minister. But the revamp also brought with it another controversy: it ditched cartoons.

Gone are the funny and colourful spot cartoons by Robert Thompson, which were once scattered throughout the paper. Gone too is Andy Riley‘s funny strip Roasted, which had been poking fun at the foibles of modern life in the Observer Magazine since 2002.

In addition to editorial survivor Chris Riddell, the paper will each week feature a cartoon drawn for another newspaper from somewhere else in the world. Bloghorn suspects this art will be sourced from an agency which means lower costs for the impoverished newspaper. We think it’s both cheaper and cheerless.

Bloghorn believes this is not good news for British cartoonists, or the readership of The Observer.

People like a laugh, it’s a given, particularly for a Sunday title published on a day that’s supposed to be about putting your feet up and forgetting the woes of the week for a few moments.

Dropping cartoons is undoubtedly a quick cost-cutting measure for a newspaper that was recently staring closure in the face. But Bloghorn believes it is confused thinking.

Other newspapers understand the power of cartoons: The Telegraph knows it needs Matt and The Daily Mail made sure they got a replacement sharpish when Ken Mahood retired recently.

Why has the Observer been so short-sighted? Please dive in and tell us in the comments below.

Avatar of Royston

by Royston

Cartoonist of the Year nominations

March 2, 2009 in General

bpa09The nominations for the Press Gazette’s British Press Awards have been announced. The event takes place on Tuesday 31 March. There are seven people in the running for Cartoonist of the Year, and they are as follows:

Steve Bell, The Guardian
Dave Brown, The Independent
Michael Heath, The Mail on Sunday
Stan “Mac” McMurtry, Daily Mail
Matt Pritchett, Daily Telegraph
Chris Riddell, The Observer
Peter Schrank, The Independent on Sunday

The British Press Awards have been running for more than 30 years. This year’s ceremony is being held at the Grosvenor Hotel and will be hosted by Channel 4’s Jon Snow.