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The Round-up

March 15, 2013 in General, Links, News

© Colin Whittock @Procartoonists.org

Our colleagues in the Cartoonists’ Club of Great Britain (CCGB) have produced The Little Red Nose-E-Book Of Cartoons in aid of Comic Relief. It features 101 cartoons by CCGB members, including the gag above by Colin Whittock, who is also a Procartoonists.org member. The e-book costs just £1.59 (with all proceeds going to the charity) and can be downloaded here.

Also to coincide with Comic Relief, Forbidden Planet asks comics professionals to pick their favourite humorous strips. The list includes the dark and desolate Viz strip, Drunken Bakers, drawn by Procartoonists.org member Lee Healey. Read the full article here and see if you agree with the selections.

Ralph Steadman, the world-renowned cartoonist and yet another of our members, is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at London’s Cartoon Museum. Steadman at 77 opens on 1 May. and runs until 21 July. Find more details here.

Ian Hislop and his frequent collaborator,  the cartoonist Nick Newman, have written a new film for BBC Two that focuses on a First World War forerunner to Private Eye. Read more here.

Finally, the illustrator Alex Mathers explains how he found himself drawing Google Doodles — arguably the most widely seen drawings in the world on any given day — and draws some useful conclusions. Read it here.

Ten things you might not know

about copyright

March 12, 2013 in General, News

Our man Rob Murray attended a recent talk by Silvia Baumgart of Own-it, based at the University of the Arts London (UAL). Own-it advises creative practitioners and small businesses on intellectual property matters.

Over to Rob:

The session focused in particular on copyright and the increasing need for artists and illustrators to protect their work in the online era.

Listed here are ten key facts about copyright that might either be news to you, or a useful refresher.

  1. Copyright is automatic – it does not need to be applied for or registered – and protects a creative work until 70 years after the creator’s year of death.
  2. You cannot copyright an idea – only the way in which that idea is expressed.

    © Rob Murray @ Procartoonists.org

  3. Moral rights, which come with copyright and give the creator the right to be credited as the author of a work, cannot be assigned to another party. But the creator can waive moral rights in writing. If assigning (selling) copyright to someone else, a creator should assert their moral rights.
  4. If a magazine “buys” a cartoon to appear in its pages, unless otherwise stated in writing it is buying a licence to be the first to publish it. This does not prevent the cartoonist selling the cartoon elsewhere at a later date, or using it for any other purpose.

    Matthew_Buck_Hack_Copyright_ARTWORK @ procartoonists.org

    © Matthew Buck Hack Cartoons @ Procartoonists.org

  5. When a freelancer is commissioned to produce a cartoon or illustration, he or she automatically holds the copyright unless otherwise agreed in writing.
  6. By contrast, if work is created during the course of your employment, your employer holds the copyright and you have no moral rights over the work.
  7. Design work is treated differently, and falls under design right rather than copyright. When a designer is commissioned to develop or create a product, the commissioner owns the unregistered design right in the UK — which protects the appearance of the product (excluding surface decoration) for 15 years from creation or ten years from first sale. As with copyright, it is automatic.

    Ideas cartoon by Royston Robertson

    © Royston Robertson @ Procartoonists.org

  8. An image being easily accessible — for example on the internet — is often taken to mean that it is in the public domain, but this is often not the case, even when the creator’s name is missing. An artwork is only “public domain” if the creator (or copyright holder) has declared so, or if the copyright has expired.
  9. Selling a physical object you have created (for example, the original artwork for a cartoon) does not mean you are permitting reproduction or dissemination. Unless formally agreed, the buyer does not have the right to reproduce or distribute the image (with the exception of advertising the resale of the artwork).
  10. As a general rule, the decision to assign all rights to a client should not be taken lightly, and the creator should agree a substantially larger fee than they would for granting a licence. Once intellectual property rights are sold, they cannot be taken back and the creator will never again be able to profit from licensing that piece of work.

Own-it offers free legal advice to help artists solve intellectual property issues. Visit the blog again soon for a look at some of Silvia’s recommendations for how to protect your work online and elsewhere.

Opinion: Illustration is easier than cartooning

January 24, 2013 in Comment, General

Cartoonist_or_Illustrator_@_procartoonists.org © Bill Stott

© Bill Stott @ procartoonists.org

When it was suggested by the editor that I should write a piece to the statement, “Illustration is easier than cartooning”. I thought he also ought to reverse the notion and ask an illustrator too.

Trouble is, I’m not an illustrator so know little of their strange and arcane ways. Actually, that’s not entirely true. I have illustrated a couple of books in what might loosely be called a non-cartoon style. And many years ago whilst doing a fine art degree, a snotty lecturer suggested I should switch to Illustration because my work was “rather slick and commercial”. The fool! Did he not see that I was going to be the next Jack Vettriano?

Cartoonist and illustrator are very wide terms. If by illustrator we mean those driven souls who churn out graphic novels – how do they do it? – then give me cartooning any day. On the other hand if, as a cartoonist, you get lucky with a multi-panel strip of Doonesbury or Calvin and Hobbes or The Fosdyke Saga proportions and you don’t have time to draw anything but the same re-occurring characters day after day, world without end, how do you stave off madness?

Do illustrators feel the same? What little illustration work I’ve done rapidly became tedious. Same characters, different situations. Rather more interesting to write than to illustrate. Unless, of course, you’re Victor Ambrus who is brilliant enough to stop even Tony Robinson becoming tedious.

However – I love that word, it means you’re about to kick the foregoing into the long grass – a good cartoon drawing has to be a good joke as well. Thinking of a good joke can be a killer. “Good joke” means one which in the first instance makes you the cartoonist laugh. Whether it makes a commissioning editor laugh is another matter entirely (Ian Hislop is such a tease). Some days good jokes pop up like weeds. On others – like today – there’s a great desire to draw funny stuff but nothing happens and an unhealthy amount of daytime TV is watched.

There. My head’s nearly empty now. The only thing I’d add is the word “good”. Good illustration is easier than good cartooning. Must dash, DCI Banks is on.

PS. If anybody wants a definition of “good”, ask the editor in the comments.

Editor adds: Thanks to Bill for putting his head above the parapet.

A degree of ignorance about drawing

June 17, 2011 in Comment, General, News

Bloghorn Opinion logoIf you have been following this story you will be unsurprised that Bloghorn thinks comics, and cartooning in all its forms, are all too readily undervalued in the UK.

It is more acceptable in the cultures of Japan, the US and across Europe to consider the narrative techniques and visual artistry employed by commercial artists as a powerful form for  business and personal communication as well as entertainment and teaching.

The best single piece of evidence we offer is the attitude of the UK arts funding body – The Arts Council –  towards the national Cartoon Museum* which despite its popularity, and the long history of the form in the UK , receives no central funding. We wrote about this here.

Of course, there are some exceptions in this country – political cartooning, for example, tends to receive grudging respect for its obviously satirical and “real-world” relevance. But all too often, the “cartoon” and “comic” are used here as catch-all terms for anything that is unsophisticated, childish or tacky.

Tom Harris MP on Dundee Cartoon and Comic Course @ procartoonists.org

Tom Harris MP on Dundee Cartoon and Comic Course @ procartoonists.org

Tom Harris speaking about the establishment of a one-year Postgraduate degre in study of Visual Communication at the University of Dundee. – The home of publishers DC Thomson

Another political figure, the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, did exactly that last week. Criticising the Daily Mail, he described the paper as a “sexist, racist, bigoted comic cartoon strip(Bloghorn is only interested in the second half of that assertion, which we feel is a little unfair).

Academic appreciation of cartooning is, in fact, not new: since 1973, the University of Kent has hosted the British Cartoon Archive, a collection of more than 150,000 pieces intended to encourage the study and appreciation of cartoon art, including comic strips. The Cartoon Archive is freely open to those wishing to carry out research, and is actively involved in promoting the art form – often in collaboration with the national Cartoon Museum, the PCO and its fellow cartoonists organisations, the BCA and the CCGB.

Bloghorn is made by Matthew Buck, Royston Robertson, Alex Hughes and Rob Murray on behalf of the UK Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation

* We say please consider becoming a member to help fund them

House of Illustration

November 25, 2010 in General, News

Illustration from The Very Hungry Caterpiller by Eric Carle

Cartoons and illustrations by some of the biggest names in the business are due to go under the hammer next month in support of the House of Illustration. The Sotheby’s auction, to be held on the 16th December, will feature work by Peter Brookes, Gerald Scarfe, Eric Carle (from children’s classic The Very Hungry Caterpiller), Beryl CookeRonald Searle and organiser Quentin Blake, amongst others. Some of the pieces up for grabs can be seen here.

The House of Illustration aiming to be the world’s first centre dedicated to the art of illustration, and has a site earmarked in the Kings Cross regeneration centre in central London.

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by Royston

Annual illustration show reaches 34

June 7, 2010 in General, News


The exhibiton Images: The Best of British Contemporary Illustration is currently on show at the Aberystwyth Arts Centre. It runs until July 10.

Organised by the Association of Illustrators, Images is a prestigious annual illustration exhibition which has been running for 34 years.

Selected by a panel of judges, the show features works of illustration from advertising, editorial, books, children’s books, design and new media.

Links:
Aberystwyth Arts Centre
AOI Images

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by Royston

Chris Burke to talk at illustrators group

January 25, 2010 in General


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?

LINK: Brighton Illustrators Group

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by Royston

Major illustration show opening

November 9, 2009 in General

jensen_flame
The Chris Beetles Gallery’s annual illustrators show opens in London this weekend (November 14 and 15).

More than 1,000 original pieces of original artwork, from 1800 to present day, will be on display in The Illustrators 2009. Many of the artists included in the selling exhibition are household names, from Arthur Rackham to John Tenniel to E.H. Shepard to Quentin Blake.

The exhibition includes many cartoonists, such as John Jensen, (Old Flame, 1954, from Lilliput magazine, above) Matt Pritchett, Peter Brookes, H.M. Bateman, Rowland Emett, Giles and Gerard Hoffnung.

sherriffs_gable
A major addition to the roster this year is the work of caricaturist Robert Sherriffs whose stylish line work, seen in the above cartoon of Clark Gable, was commissioned by Punch to bring the excitement of Hollywood film to readers during the 1950s. The exhibition also includes a new selection from the estate of Norman Thelwell.

The gallery is hoping for a big success with the exhibition in the run-up to Christmas, pointing out that this is an accessible and affordable sector of the art market, as more than 80 per cent of the pictures on sale cost less than £2,000.

Accompanying the exhibition will be a catalogue with 200 pages of essays and notes, and more than 400 full-colour images. It will be available from the gallery for £15 plus £3 postage.

The Chris Beetles Gallery, at 8 and 10 Ryder Street, St James’s, London (nearest Tube Green Park or Piccadilly Circus) is open Monday to Saturday, 10am – 5.30pm. The gallery’s website can be found at www.chrisbeetles.com

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by Royston

Exhibition: The Illustrators 2008

November 19, 2008 in General

The Chris Beetles Gallery in London is currently hosting a show entitled The Illustrators 2008 .

The annual show features work by illustrators and cartoonists, such as Quentin Blake, left, from 1800 to the present day. It runs until January 3.

The gallery says that the exhibition, which features more than 1,000 pictures, is the world’s largest selection of original illustrative artwork for sale. Accompanying the exhibition will be a 140-page catalogue which contains biographies, notes and 342 illustrations. It is priced £15. The Chris Beetles Gallery is at 8 & 10 Ryder St, St James’s, London. Telephone: 020-7839 7551.

The website can be found at chrisbeetles.com

The PCO: Great British cartoon talent

PCO Artist of the Month – Dave Gaskill

March 14, 2008 in General


A second offering of cartoon, illustration and caricature from PCO Artist of the Month – Dave Gaskill. Bloghorn says click G for Gaskill
British cartoon talent