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
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.
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.
A collector of cartoons spoke some home truths at the recent private view of Bring Me Laughter. Kasia Kowalska writes.
In his speech opening the show, George Walker implored all those present to remember that he’s “not a Rothschild”. He was, undoubtedly, being modest as, together with his wife, Pat, he has dedicated more than 60 years to a collection that boasts drawings and cartoons by the great cartoonists of our age: Max Beerbohm, Phil May, H.M. Bateman, Heath Robinson, Ronald Searle and Trog, to name but a few.
In this fine company one can also find several examples of George Walker’s own drawings and cartoons, which received a lot of attention on the night. Son of a miner, he recalls his father saying that ‘‘He thinks about nowt but actin’ and paintin’”. Although he left school at a young age to work in a local factory in Cumbria, George never let go of his passion for drawing and studied at Carlisle College of Art in his spare time.
The Walker collection includes several caricatures by PCO member Jonathan Cusick who attended the opening of the exhibition. Although Pat and George had commissioned him several times, this was the first time Jonathan had met them in person. ‘‘It’s a thrill to find my work amongst so many great names,’’ he said, selecting drawings by Heath Robinson, George Belcher and Pont as his personal highlights of the collection.
Anita O’Brien, curator of the Cartoon Museum, said that George Walker ‘feels vindicated in the increasing attention which cartoon art has attracted in recent years: “There is some satisfaction in always having admired so-called ‘commercial’ art, for so long considered greatly inferior to ‘fine art’ and now commanding the respect that the best of it deserves.’’
Long may it continue.
Bring Me Laughter an exhibition from the private collection of George and Pat Walker is at the Cartoon Museum until 23 February.
The gallery is promoting the event with the caricature above by Procartoonists.org memberJonathan Cusick. The exhibition features cartoonists including Jak, John Jensen, Larry, Ed McLachlan, Matt and Peter Brookes.
Many cartoonists have contributed small canvases to the Stars on Canvas 2012 charity auction, which runs online until 2 December.
They include Procartoonists.org membersJonathan Cusick, Noel Ford, Tony Husband, Royston Robertson, Robert Thompson, above, and Kate Taylor. There are also canvases by names from the worlds of sport, music and entertainment.
David Hockney by Jonathan Cusick (detail) @ Procartoonists.org
The cartoonists Peter Brookes, Matt Pritchett and Procartoonists.org member Jonathan Cusick, above, feature in The Illustrators, the annual winter show held at the Chris Beetles Gallery in St James’s, London.
The piece wonders why we do not see much illustration in books aimed at adults, something that was common in the days of Charles Dickens, who collaborated with illustrators such as Hablot Browne, aka Phiz, above.
Much of the angry reaction is directed at Dan Franklin, of the publisher Jonathan Cape, who claims that “there aren’t that many great illustrators … it’s hard to find someone who can draw the human figure, it seems to be unfashionable now”.
The PCO’s Jonathan Cusick contributes, conceding that it is true that drawing of the human figure is not taught on art courses to the extent it once was. Though, as Jonathan’s work shows, that hardly means accomplished artists are not still out there.
Bloghorn wonders how much cost is a factor. Is the absence of book illustration at least partly due to publishers’ reluctance to pay the proper rates for cartoons and illustrations? We can’t help thinking that many publishers are waiting for the day when Patrick Tresset’s drawing robot, which went on show at the London Art Fair last week, is available for commercial work.
Also featured is work from big names from the past such as John Tenniel, Beatrix Potter, E.H. Shepard, H.M. Bateman, David Low, Donald McGill, Rowland Emett, Thelwell, Vicky, Giles and Larry.
The grand opening is this weekend, November 19 and 20, 10am-5.30pm, and as usual it is a selling exhibition. Original cartoons and illustrations are one-offs, so it gives the public the chance to buy genuinely unique Christmas presents.
Accompanying the exhibition is a 384-page catalogue, with more than 600 full-colour illustrations and many new biographical essays. This is available from the gallery. For more details visit the Chris Beetles Gallery website.
The annual Illustrators show opens at the Chris Beetles Gallery in St James’s, London, this weekend, and runs until January 8.
The Illustrators 2010 showcases many of Britain’s best loved and most respected illustrators and cartoonists from the past two centuries.
Contemporary cartooning is represented by Mike Williams, above, Jonathan Cusick, below, and Ed McLachlan, all members of the PCO, which runs the Bloghorn, alongside Peter Brookes of The Times and Matt of the Daily Telegraph.
The Grand Weekend Opening is November 20 and 21, 10am-5pm.
Other highlights include work by John Tenniel, old and new drawings by Ronald Searle, plus Quentin Blake, H. M. Bateman, David Levine, Arthur Rackham, William Heath Robinson, E. H. Shepard and Norman Thelwell, among many others. There are more than 60 cartoonists and illustrators in total.
A 288-page catalogue with more than 500 full-colour images and accompanying essays is available from the gallery for £20 + p&p (£4 UK, £7 Europe, £14 rest of the world).
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