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The Round-up

June 17, 2014 in Events, General, Links, News

Kipper Williams draws Duchamp in Herne Bay. Photo © Kasia Kowalska

Kipper Williams draws Duchamp in Herne Bay. Photo © Kasia Kowalska

Kasia Kowalska writes:

The Marcel Duchamp in Herne Bay Festival, which many Procartoonists members took part in, has won a hat-trick of gongs at the Culture Awards for East Kent. It was given the experience award, best project involving the wider community and the people’s award — the latter voted by the public. Our congratulations go to the organisers and all involved in the event.

Andy Davey, former Procartoonists.org chairman, shares his thoughts about the future of political cartoons with the ITV News reporter Olivia Paterson.

Another PCO member, Harry Harrison, draws attention to the importance of political cartoons in press freedom by taking part in an exhibition at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club in Hong Kong.

The controversial El Jueves cover

The controversial El Jueves cover

The Spanish satirical magazine, El Jueves, was involved in a censorship row when many prominent cartoonists — Albert Monteys and Manel Fontdevila among them — resigned following the unprecedented pulping of the magazine’s issue featuring a cartoon of the abdicating king, Juan Carlos, and the future king, Felipe VI above.

For the past 37 years, El Jueves has been an unwavering voice of social and political commentary in the country. The disgruntled cartoonists are rumoured to be setting up a rival publication.

Cartoon © Dave Brown of The Independent

Cartoon © Dave Brown of The Independent. Click to enlarge

In light of the recent events in the Middle East, the debate surrounding the legacy of the invasion of Iraq in 2003 continues, with The Independent publishing a chilling editorial cartoon by new Procartoonists.org member Dave Brown, above, based on Turner’s Death on a Pale Horse. PolicyMic.com considers the history of British meddling in the Middle East as told in ten classic cartoons.

If that’s not quite enough for you, Peter Casillas, a self-proclaimed “cartoon junkie”, has created an extensive database of cartoons charting the history of the region from 1853 to the present, called A Cartoon History of the Middle East.

Pat Mills at the Cartoon Museum. Photo © Kasia Kowalska

Pat Mills at the Cartoon Museum. Photo © Kasia Kowalska

The exhibition Never Again! World War One in Cartoon and Comic Art was opened last week by Pat Mills, above, of Charley’s War fame. He will be giving a talk to tie in with the exhibition in October.

The Huffington Post features a series of cartoons on climate change. The Danish Niels Bugge Cartoon Award 2014 organised an international competition titled Oceans Are in Our Hands.

For the inspired budding cartoonist, there is still time to take part in the NOISE Festival 2014 which aims to give a platform to undiscovered talent. One of the curators is Gerald Scarfe. Entries must be in by 6 July.

Finally, Jim Davis shows how to draw a very famous ginger cat who turns 36 this week using a Wacom Cintiq in this short video. But if you are more of a dog person, this should prick up yours ears.

Roger and out: Chairman steps down

May 1, 2014 in Events, General, News

Roger Penwill narrates the Melodrawma at Shrewsbury 2014

Roger Penwill narrates the Melodrawma at Shrewsbury 2014. Photo by Kasia Kowalska

Roger Penwill reflects on more than a decade as chairman of the Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival as he hands over the reins:

I first approached the town of Shrewsbury with the idea of staging an annual cartoon festival in 2002. Back then very few people knew what a cartoon festival was, including the local council.

The idea gradually took root and the Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival began in 2004. I had no idea that it would still be going strong after 11 years, I didn’t expect it to last more than two. It is the UK’s longest running annual cartoon festival by far and is currently the only one of its kind in the country. Hopefully it will still be with us for many years into the future.

Each year we festival organisers have enticed top cartoonists from our country and around the world to Shrewsbury in April. Numerous talks and workshops have been given over the “Cartoonists Live!” weekends. Nearly 50 exhibitions of cartoons have been shown, often giving the public opportunities to buy this collectable art form.

Roger Penwill drawn at Shrewsbury 2014 by Matt Buck

Roger Penwill drawn at Shrewsbury 2014 by Matt Buck

Exhibitions of cartoons from the UK, Australia, France, Greece, Germany, Holland, the US and elsewhere have been staged. Also each year, drawing live, have been many of the country’s best caricaturists. The huge Big Board cartoons were a world’s first for the festival.

What makes cartooning appealing to all ages is its emphasis on fun. The festival is defined by its humour, from its often bemused mascot Barry the Shrew (Shrew … Barry – geddit?) to the chaotic Melodrawma comic strip, which is drawn to a live narration, musical accompaniment and sound effects.

The festival may well have inspired many who have visited it to take up pen and brush. We would like to think so. It certainly was the inspiration for the birth of the Professional Cartoonists Organisation, with which it is closely linked.

The festival has been well-supported by the Shropshire Council from the start, but this year it could not continue with its funding because of cutbacks. The festival is therefore adapting to a self-funded future, which it is confident it can do.

Detail from this year's Big Boards, photographed by The Surreal McCoy

Detail from this year’s Big Boards, photographed by The Surreal McCoy. Clockwise from top left: Bill Stott, Chichi Parish, Dave Brown, Rupert Besley, Rich Skipworth and Royston Robertson

After 11 years in charge, I felt this was time for a fresh hand on the tiller so I’ve decided to remove mine. Happily I have been able to hand over the chairmanship of the organising team to Rich Skipworth.

Apart from being a splendid cartoonist himself, Rich is a proven of organiser of cartooning events. I am sure he’ll do a grand job.

So, another enjoyable and popular festival has been and gone (but the exhibitions are still open) and the serious planning for next year gathers pace …

Success for Shrewsbury festival

April 30, 2014 in Events, General, News

Shrewsbury 2014: The music-themed festival was sponsored by Procartoonists.org

Shrewsbury 2014: The music-themed festival was sponsored by Procartoonists.org

The Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival, which took place at the weekend, drew huge crowds and was deemed a success by all involved. And it has already been given a major boost for next year.

The Shropshire Star reports that the festival has just won a £2,000 grant for next year’s event. Every penny will count as this year major funding was cut, so the 2014 festival was run on a shoestring – with a little help from Procartoonists.org.

However, as the organisers predicted, the public would not have noticed as the festival was as lively and busy as ever.

Here is a video of the Big Boards that the Shropshire Star created:

And here are more photos of the event, taken by Kasia Kowalska, that show the breadth of activities that took place at this year’s festival.

Andrew Birch and Kate Charlesworth at work on their Big Boards, the most high-profile element of the festival. They're hard to miss.

Andrew Birch and Kate Charlesworth at work on their Big Boards. The most high-profile element of the cartoon festival, the boards are impossible to miss.

Rich Skipworth, who has taken over as festival chairman from Roger Penwill, adds colour to his board

Rich Skipworth, who is tasked with organising next year’s event having taken over as festival chairman from Roger Penwill , adds some colour to his board

For the music-themed festival Rosie Brooks set herself the task of illustrating the story of Wagner's Ring Cycle in a few hours

For the music-themed festival, Rosie Brooks set herself the task of illustrating the story of Wagner’s Ring Cycle in just a few hours

Daniel Kawczynski, Member of Parliament for Shrewsbury, is caricatured by Jonathan Cusick

Daniel Kawczynski, the Member of Parliament for Shrewsbury, is caricatured by Jonathan Cusick

Alex Hughes, steampunk caricaturist outfit was enough to, er, draw a crowd

Alex Hughes’s steampunk caricaturist outfit was enough to, er, draw a crowd

Harry Venning, creator of Clare in the Community did a talk that was part cartooning part stand-up comedy

Harry Venning, creator of Clare in the Community, as seen in The Guardian and heard on BBC Radio 4,  did a talk that was part cartooning part stand-up comedy

Wilbur Dawbarn hosted cartooning workshops for all ages, as did Cathy Simpson

Wilbur Dawbarn hosted cartooning workshops for all ages, as did Cathy Simpson and Tim Harries

The participating cartoonists were: Rupert Besley, Steve Best, Andrew Birch, Rosie Brooks, Dave Brown, Kate Charlesworth, Jonathan Cusick, Wilbur Dawbarn, Noel Ford, Alex Hughes, Tim Harries, Tim Leatherbarrow, Chichi Parish, Roger Penwill, Helen Pointer, John Roberts, Royston Robertson, Chris Ryder, Cathy Simpson, Rich Skipworth, Bill Stott, The Surreal McCoy, Harry Venning and Gerard Whyman.

Instant cartoons in the Square, handed out to the public for donations to the festival, were a feature this year. John Roberts draws Dizzy Gillespie

John Roberts draws Dizzy Gillespie. Instant cartoons drawn in the Square and handed out to the public for donations to the festival were a feature this year

Royston Robertson and Matt Buck add to the instant cartoons gallery

Royston Robertson and Matt Buck add to the instant cartoons gallery

Finally the Melodrawma is a great illustration of what makes the festival unique. A live comic-strip drawn to the accompaniment of narration, music and sound effects. The Melodrawma team this year was Andrew Birch, Noel Ford, Roger Penwill, Royston Robertson, Bill Stott and The Surreal McCoy.

Finally the Melodrawma is a great illustration of what makes the festival unique. It is a live comic-strip drawn to the accompaniment of narration, music, sound effects … and audience participation. The team this year was Andrew Birch, Noel Ford, Roger Penwill, Royston Robertson, Bill Stott and The Surreal McCoy.

Avatar of Royston

by Royston

Shrewsbury 2014: Where to start?

April 28, 2014 in Events, General, News

Dave Brown of The Independent at work

Dave Brown of The Independent at work

Our first report from this weekend’s Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival is a selection of photos by Mika Schick showing several of the cartoonists starting out on the Saturday morning.

Chichi Parish starts with a border ...

Chichi Parish begins with a border …

Rupert Besley starts from the corner

While Rupert Besley starts from the corner

Nice day for caricatures. Jonathan Cusick (front) and Tim Leatherbarrow in action

Nice day for caricatures. Jonathan Cusick (front) and Tim Leatherbarrow in action

You can rely on The Surreal McCoy for an interesting angle on things

You can rely on The Surreal McCoy for an interesting angle on things

Bill Stott gets his board covered in no time at all

Bill Stott gets his board covered in no time at all

We’ll have more pictures and words from Shrewsbury this week.

Festival details released

March 6, 2014 in Events, General, News

Barry the Shrew, the festival mascot, tunes up © Roger Penwill

Barry the Shrew, the festival mascot, tunes up © Roger Penwill

The Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival takes place next month and more details of the events have been released. 

These include the title of the music-themed exhibition: With a Song in My Art – we are featuring cartoons submitted for the exhibition – and details on the live drawing events and workshops on creating strips,  mini-comics and, er, farting musical instruments. There’s also a talk by the Clare in the Community creator Harry Venning.

Head over to events page of the official festival website for more.

There’s even a fringe exhibition. Artists in Shropshire are invited to take part in a cartoon competition organised by the VAN Gallery to coincide with the festival.

The participating cartoonists are: Rupert Besley, Steve Best, Andrew Birch, Rosie Brooks, Dave Brown, Kate Charlesworth, Jonathan Cusick, Wilbur Dawbarn, Noel Ford, Alex Hughes, Tim Harries, Tim Leatherbarrow, Chichi Parish, Roger Penwill, Helen Pointer, John Roberts, Royston Robertson, Chris Ryder, Cathy Simpson, Rich Skipworth, Bill Stott, The Surreal McCoy, Harry Venning and Gerard Whyman.

Happy members of the public at Shrewsbury Cartoon festival

Happy members of the public at Shrewsbury Cartoon festival @ Procartoonists.org

The writer and broadcaster Libby Purves, a patron of the festival as well as of Procartoonists.org, will also be attending.

The Round-up

January 20, 2014 in General, Links, News

Dave Brown Ariel Sharon cartoon

© Dave Brown of The Independent @ Procartoonists.org

Kasia Kowalska writes:

The death of the former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon inspired cartoonists on all sides of the political debate. Sharon was famously the subject of a highly controversial award winning cartoon, above, which was based on Goya’s Saturn Devouring his Son. This image sparked a complaint from the Israeli Embassy, but not everyone took such a hard line, as Daniel Estrin explains.

More straight talking was provided by Alan Moore and Lance Parkin, in conversation about the recently published biography of Moore, Magic Words. Pádraig O’Méalóid is compelled to ask more about what followed.

George and Pat Walker, the couple whose extensive collection of original artwork can currently be seen at the Cartoon Museum in London are profiled by their local paper in Oxfordshire. Staying local, the Shropshire Star previews this year’s Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival, which takes place on 26 April.

Is art as much a technical as an artistic undertaking? And can anyone with a tablet or a computer really be an artist? Tyler Hellard pondered both questions in the digital age. Cutting straight to the point was the Canberra Times cartoonist Pat Campbell, who is simply enjoying the rewards of making a change.

Pat Campbell cartoon

© Pat Campbell of the Canberra Times @ Procartoonists.org

Everyone likes a snoop around cartoonists’ studios, as this blog post by Countess Tea shows. The Daily Cartoonists detected a trend in the photographs: the demise of the traditional drafting table.

In a date for your diary, the Laydeez Do Comics graphic novel forum returns to Foyles in Charing Cross Road, London, on 20 January . Expect talks by Isabel Greenberg, Penelope Mendonça and Dr Geraldine Perriam. The long-running forum was set up in 2009 by Nicola Streeten and Sarah Lightman.

Finally, spare a thought for Shia LaBeouf who has now announced his retirement from public life following his expeditions in comics plagiarism.

Interview: Dave Brown of the Independent

December 3, 2013 in Events, General, News

Fighting-Portsmouth_©_Dave_Brown_@_procartoonists.org

© Dave Brown @ Procartoonists.org

Kasia Kowalska reports:

Sitting across the table from me in The Betjeman Arms in St. Pancras, nursing a pint, is the four-time winner of the Political Cartoon of the Year award, The Independent’s Dave Brown.

He will be defending his title against many other cartoonists this evening.

His Rogues’ Gallery cartoon on the Leveson enquiry, The Last, Last, Last Chance Saloon, won the award in 2012, and this year he’s chosen The Fighting Portsmouth, a cartoon on the recent BAE shipyard closure, for his entry. How did he decide on that particular cartoon?

“I think it’s quite difficult picking a cartoon. The trouble with being a political cartoonist is that a lot of what you do is so ephemeral. A few months removed from the story, which may have faded in people’s memory, a lot of cartoons don’t mean very much. One reason why I picked The Fighting Portsmouth was that it’s still current. You’re also always more pleased with what you’ve done most recently. It’s one of the Rogues’ Gallery cartoons so it has an added recognition factor: it’s based on Turner’s The Fighting Temeraire, which is, supposedly, the nation’s most-loved painting.”

Brown made his mark as the creator of Rogues’ Gallery, which has, since 2003, appeared on the pages of the Saturday edition of The Independent.

How did he come up with the idea of giving classic paintings a satirical edge?

“Anything that looks familiar, but which you can turn into something unfamiliar and strange, is a gift – all grist to the mill. It’s a reference point to start with and it’s fun for me. I get to play at being Francis Bacon one week and Caravaggio the next. It’s a political cartoon with its own brand. It has a life of its own.”

A political cartoonist’s job is to hold up a mirror to the powerful. Seeing that he is one of the leading political cartoonists in the country, has he become part of the establishment he is supposed to lampoon?

“I hope not,” he says, “I sit at home wearing old jeans and a black T-shirt covered in Indian ink most days, scratching away at a piece of paper. If that’s the establishment, it doesn’t feel much like it. Cartooning tends to be anti-establishment. To an extent you are a licensed jester but you are never quite on the inside.”

According to Brown, cartoons can’t change the world, though it might be their intention. The most they might do is influence people who are already leaning towards one’s point of view. Upon reflection, however, he concedes that cartoonists can be a small part of shaping the way people think. Does he have a favourite among his own cartoons that might have done that?

Hillsborough_cover_up_©_Dave_Brown_@_procartoonists.org

© Dave Brown @ Procartoonists.org

“There was one I did last year when the Hillsborough Independent Panel’s report came out. There were a lot of pictures of Thatcher walking around Hillsborough with the police a few days after the tragedy, supposedly being briefed on what had happened – which, of course, we now know was a fiction – and who was very happy to swallow it all and blame the Liverpool fans.

“I did a cartoon of Thatcher down by the corner of the pitch, lifting it up like a carpet as the police swept bodies underneath. I got a lot of favourable responses from people in Liverpool.

“I was worried about offending the families of the Hillsborough fans; they’d gone through a lot. I don’t usually worry about offending people very much; it’s sort of the job to offend. However, a lot of people rang up who liked the cartoon. One guy said, ‘Not many people read The Independent on Merseyside but they’re selling loads of copies today ’cause everyone’s been talking about your cartoon.’ That makes you feel you’ve done your job properly.”

Ed adds: Thanks to Kasia for writing and sharing this content which you can also read at The Independent.

The post-Christmas Round-up

December 28, 2012 in General, Links, News

© Robert Thompson @Procartoonists.org

The gifts may have been exchanged and the turkey polished off, but there’s still time for a few festive treats of the cartooning variety that may have escaped your attention over the Christmas period.

You can enjoy every installment of Peattie and Taylor‘s 15-part seasonal Alex tale, It’s A Wonderful Crisis, as it unfolds over at the Telegraph site.

Quentin Blake becomes a Sir in the new Year’s Honours. The BBC describes him as  an illustrator*.

Procartoonists.org member Royston Robertson has put together a cartoon advent calendar again this year, with a different gag posted to his blog each day in the run-up to Christmas. Take a look at Royston’s festive goodies here. Elsewhere, The Telegraph’s Matt Pritchett provides a topical – but far less appealing – advent calendar of his own.

Ben Jennings brings a Dickensian feel to proceedings over at The Guardian, while Martin Rowson riffs on the Slaughter of the Innocents for the same paper. At The Telegraph, Christian Adams has his own take on Plebgate.

For The Independent, Dave Brown cautions against festive overeating and Peter Schrank brings a topical slant to the Christmas sales. Finally, Stephen Collins takes the PM on a merry chase for The Spectator.

* Please feel to discuss ‘what’ he is in the comments should you be so minded.

Cartoon round-up: Bob Diamond and the MPs

July 5, 2012 in Comment, General, News

Stanley McMurtry in The Daily Mail @ procartoonists.org

“You fool, Bob! How are we going to manage now?” © Stanley McMurtry for The Daily Mail @ procartoonists.org

Following our post on Monday about Bob Diamond of Barclays bank, here is how some of the UK’s cartoonists have responded to his resignation and appearance at the Treasury Select Committee at Westminster.

Dave Brown Independent cartoon on Barclays @ procartoonists.org

© Dave Brown for The Independent @ procartoonists.org

Steve Bell for The Guardian @procartoonist.org

© Steve Bell for The Guardian @ procartoonists.org

Matt Pritchett in the Telegraph @ procartoonists.org

© Matt Pritchett for the Telegraph @ procartoonists.org

Matt Buck cartoon for MSN @procartoonists.org

© Matt Buck Hack cartoon for MSN @ procartoonists.org

Andy Davey cartoon in the Sun @ procartoonists.org

© Andy Davey for The Sun @ procartoonists.org

Kerber and Black at The Mirror @ procartoonists.org

© Neil Kerber and David Black for The Mirror @ procartoonists.org

Kipper Williams for The Guardian @procartoonists.org

© Kipper Williams for The Guardian @procartoonists.org

 

If you have seen any more we should feature please let us know in the comments. Our membership portfolios are also full of work like this.

Rogues and Epoques

May 12, 2011 in Events, News

Two prominent political cartoonists have exhibitions opening in London in the next couple of weeks. On Wednesday 25 May, Bell Époque, featuring the cartoons of Steve Bell opens at the Cartoon Museum. The exhibition, which celebrates 30 years of Guardian cartoonist Steve’s work runs until 24 July.

Not to be outdone, on Monday 30 May Rogues’ Gallery, opens at Westminster Reference Library. Featuring the classical art parodies of the Independent‘s Dave Brown the exhibition runs until 18 June. Dave will also be giving an illustrated talk, titled ‘Mimicking the Masters’ on Tuesday 7 June, 7pm. To book a free place, email rblack1@westminster.gov.uk or phone 020 7641 5250.

Bell Époque, Cartoon Gallery, 35 Little Russell Street, London WC1A 2HH, 25 May to 24 July. For opening times and admission prices, go to cartoonmuseum.org.

Rogues Gallery, Westminster Reference Library, 35 St Martin’s Street, London WC2H 7HP, 30 May to 18 June.  Free entry. Opening hours: Monday – Friday 10am to 8pm, Saturday 10am to 5pm.