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The Round-up

July 8, 2013 in General, Links, News

Above: Cartoon editor Bob Mankoff on the anatomy of a New Yorker cartoon. Over at New Yorker HQ, Mankoff’s blog features a guest column about using cartoon captions in the classroom.

Several months after taking The Dandy purely digital, DC Thomson has suspended its existing app, saying that “the technology and format have let us down”. But the company has stressed that this is not the end of Britain’s longest-running comic.

A spokesperson said: “Discussions and planning are already under way to re-examine The Dandy’s digital offering. It is still too early to announce what form this next stage will take but we would like to reassure readers that The Dandy remains a very important part of the company’s plans for the future.”

We at Procartoonists.org will revisit the story when there is more to tell.

Meanwhile, the Dandy contributor Jamie Smart has taken the opportunity to voice his opinions about what could be done to strengthen the British comics industry.

In a timely slideshow, Howard Tayler, a webcomic creator, looks at how cartoonists can succeed in the digital world.

Jonathan Pugh, the regular pocket cartoonist for the Daily Mail and procartoonists member, has a new range of greetings cards available online. Click here to peruse them.

And finally, how much do you know about the humble pencil?

The Round-up

January 11, 2013 in General, Links, News

Lord Snooty by Alexander Matthews for The Beano @Procartoonists.org

Procartoonists.org member Alexander Matthews has resurrected Lord Snooty for The Beano (above), and writes about his approach to the character on his blog. Snooty has been absent from the comic for a while (and was even replaced by his grandson for a time). Alex has also recently brought his distinctive style to another classic Beano character, Baby-Face Finlayson.

In more DC Thomson news, former Dandy editor Morris Heggie will be giving a talk about the comic’s 75 years at the National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh on 15 January. The talk, which follows a cartoon workshop for adults held on Wednesday, complements the library’s ongoing Dandy exhibition. Read more here.

Reassuring news (at least, reasonably reassuring)  for gag cartoonists came from Reader’s Digest (UK) this week, after mass redundancies painted a bleak picture. While the company – which was bought out of administration in 2010 – is downsizing and will no longer sell retail goods, it apparently intends to continue publishing the monthly magazine as normal. Read the story here.

Axe Cop, the bizarre webcomic created by a five-year-old boy and illustrated by his cartoonist older brother, has been made into an animated TV show. Watch a clip here.

And finally, click here to be taken on a brief tour of The Certified Hunt Emerson, an iPad app featuring more than 200 pages of work by the renowned underground cartoonist (and Procartoonists.org member).

 

 

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by Royston

The Dandy in the news

December 5, 2012 in General

You can’t have failed to hear the news about the end of the print edition of The Dandy, which ran across all the media yesterday.

BBC news had the story, national newspapers covered it, The One Show ran a profile of Desperate Dan (why do TV people always have to put the presenters in boxes with speech bubbles when they cover comics?) and there were early thoughts on the new digital edition.

But here are a few links you may have missed, blog posts from those closer to the story: Dandy contributors Andy Fanton, Jamie SmartLew Stringer and Wilbur Dawbarn.

The Round-up

August 19, 2012 in General, Links, News

© DC Thomson

The Dandy has received a huge amount of media interest since our post earlier this week about the comic’s struggle for survival, and sadly it has now been announced the last print edition will be published in December.

Judge Dredd co-creator John Wagner has paid tribute to the comic, and the Dandy cartoonists Jamie Smart, Lew Stringer and Procartoonists.org member Alexander Matthews have all said their piece in support of the comic, which will continue online. In a report for the BBC, Anita O’Brien, curator at The Cartoon Museum in London, points out that this does not signal the demise of comics as a format.

In happier Dandy-related news, publisher DC Thomson has teamed up with the University of Dundee to launch a competition asking cartoonists to revamp one of the comic’s old characters. Read more here.

Cartoonist Joe Sacco talks about the inevitable impact of subjectivity and morality on his war reportage, while a thought-provoking article considers the importance of truth and honesty in autobiographical comics.

Finally, Matt Pritchett, the celebrated pocket cartoonist for The Telegraph, tells the paper about how his experience of the housing market has inspired some of his pithiest cartoons.

Desperate Dandy hits hard times

August 14, 2012 in General, News

The future of The Dandy as a weekly printed comic appears to be in jeopardy. Its publisher says that no decision has been made, but Procartoonists.org understands that the comic is likely to be coming to an end in September.

The Dandy cover

The Dandy © DC Thomson

A Dandy cartoonist told us: “They emailed me last week saying that in all likelihood it would be ending in September and they were sad about it.

“For the last issue they are going to revive a whole load of old characters.”

First published by DC Thomson in December 1937, the comic is celebrating its 75th birthday this year.

Comics fans and creators have been rallying around online, and a #SaveTheDandy campaign is already under way on Twitter. Reaction to the news has been posted online by the Dandy cartoonists Jamie Smart and Phil Corbett. Many are passing around a link to a blog post written some months ago on praise of The Dandy, which reminds us that it is currently a vibrant and creative comic.

The Guardian media site reported yesterday that the comic is now selling 8,000 copies a week, down from two million in its heyday. Like all print media companies in the current climate, DC Thomson has been having problems.

Updated: 2pm, August 14

In the modern fashion there has been a lot of reaction online, notably with the #SaveTheDandy campaign. Of course, the single best way to do this is by buying the product but, as this excellent piece of work at Down the Tubes (derived from the Audited Bureau of Circulation figures) shows, the decline of print comic sales is a widespread and longstanding phenomenon.

You can see the comics historian Paul Gravett interviewed alongside cartoonist Gary Northfield at Sky News here.

Reaction from cartoonists and readers has varied from the sad to the conflicted. The latter not least about the business of the print industry which lies at the heart of this sad story.

Updated: 2pm 16th August. Publishers DC Thomson have confirmed The Dandy will cease print publication from December 2012. You can read their statement released using twitter, here.

Round-up: What the Bloghorn saw

October 14, 2011 in News

Rob Murray writes:

Life magazine has compiled a diverse selection of wartime caricatures of Adolf Hitler, and points out that “in the right hands a pen, a paint brush, or a crude puppet can be an effective weapon.” You can see the slideshow here.

A new film has turned to animation to tell the story of the Green Revolution in Iran in 2009. Ali Samadi Ahadi’s The Green Wave animates written accounts that were posted on blogs and Twitter, to to tell the story of the uprising, along with mobile-phone footage posted online. The animation by Ali Reza Darvish provides a unique way of reconstructing a story that emerged via the web, as the regime blocked all media and brutally crushed the protests. For more on this, see: The Green Wave film website.

The Phoenix, a new weekly children’s comic due to launch in January, will feature a strip by The Dandy’s Etherington Brothers called Long Gone Don, as well as The Lost Boy by Kate Brown. The Phoenix is being launched by the former editor of short-lived comic The DFC, David Fickling, and has already announced new strips by Jamie Smart and by Daniel Hartwell and Neill Cameron.

Finally, a competition is offering a fan of The Beano a chance to star in a Dennis the Menace or Minnie the Minx strip, and to visit the comic’s Dundee office. See The Beano’s DC Thomson stablemate, The Courier, for more details.

The Bloghorn is made on behalf of the UK’s Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation

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by Royston

Eat lead, Fritz! Commando is in town

September 20, 2011 in Events

The National Army Museum may seem like an odd place for a comics exhibition, but what better venue for a retrospective on Commando?
Commando comic cover

For Commando, ze war is never over, as the pocket-sized comics have featured non-stop bashing of the Boche since 1961. The 50th anniversary has been less heralded than that of Private Eye, but it is a notable one, particularly in the volatile comics market.

Draw Your Weapons: The Art of Commando Comics, held in partnership with the publisher DC Thomson, showcases key artwork and illustrations from the comics’ history. Alongside the artwork there are original artefacts, photographs and films relating to the inspiration behind the comics – the British Army Commandos themselves.

The National Army Museum is in Chelsea, central London, next to the Royal Hospital Chelsea. The free exhibition runs until April 30.

The Bloghorn is made on behalf of the UK’s Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation

Mocking the twits of the 21st century

June 23, 2011 in Comment, News

Bloghorn Opinion logoMaster Cartoonist John Jensen wrote to Bloghorn about the stories of criticism for the one year postgraduate study into Comics and Visual Communication recently launched by the University of Dundee. We publish his letter below.

Tom Harris is an MP whose hobbies include astronomy, science, fiction, cinema, karaoke and tennis. He was a journalist before he became a politician. His activities, particularly his wide range of hobbies (how does he find the time?) suggests a broad interest in the world around him.

Fiction or, if you want to be up-market, literature deals in words, whilst the cinema deals in pictures and they both, at their best, deal in ideas. So do comics, which deal in all these things.

The history of comics is itself a wonderful journey through time and many talents (admittedly some of them terrible!) but modern comics and graphic novels are revelatory. Countries such as the UK, France, Germany, Belgium and Italy publish works showing the wide differences, and occasional resemblances, between each other. The United States and Japan share the comic experience but manga and its storylines is different from the storylines and violence found in Marvel Comics or in DC publications.

Many studies, either useful or just plain interesting, are to be found in those little story-telling boxes. The University of Dundee is offering a one-year Masters degree in comic studies: one year, not three. Probably too many students will try to enter what they see as an easy option, but someone perceptive and genuinely interested in the juxtaposition of words, pictures and ideas will not be wasting their time or ours – except, of course that of Tom Harris MP. After a hard nights karaoke, taking in a serious study of  ‘the relationship between international comics cultures’ would be just too tiring!

Bloghorn thanks  PCOer John Jensen for his thoughts and invites you to share yours in the comments below. If you are interested in the local reaction to the comments of Tom Harris and the issue you can read them at the Dundee Courier.

The Dandy relaunches (again)

October 20, 2010 in News

The Dandy, Britain’s longest running comic, published by DC Thomson, is due to relaunch next week with a new look.

Not much has been made public about the makeover, but the current unpopular fortnightly magazine-style incarnation,  Dandy Xtreme, is expected to be ditched in favour of a return to a weekly comic almost entirely composed of cartoons and strips.

Unconfirmed reports suggest that there’ll be new strips by Beano and Viz cartoonist Lew Stringer (but not, apparently, called ‘Blurp’), newcomer Andy Fenton and the PCO’s very own Alexander Matthews, alongside current favourites Cuddles and Dimples by Nigel Parkinson and Desperate Dan by Jamie Smart, who also drew the new logo, above.

The Dandy‘s website, www.dandy.com, is also expected to be revamped, and you can follow developments on its Twitter stream as well. The new-look Dandy goes on sale on 27th October at the new price of £1.50.

The Beano Club goes online

September 8, 2010 in News

The long running fan club for the Beano comic, the Beano Club, is to close prior to being relaunched as a new website www.beano.com in the next few months. The Dennis the Menace Fan Club, which included membership to Gnasher’s Fang Club was started by DC Thomson in 1976  and featured badges, birthday cards, newsletters and top-secret passwords (which Bloghorn wouldn’t dream of revealing here). The Club, which at it’s peak boasted 1.25 million members became the Beano Club in 1998. It’s not clear at the moment whether the new website will be a subscription site or free to members.

Thanks to PCO Member Rob Murray for spotting this story.