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A visit to the #Charlie Hebdo unity rally in Trafalgar Square

January 14, 2015 in News

ON SUNDAY 11th January, three members of the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation attended the mass rally in sympathy with the French deaths connected to Charlie Hebdo magazine. The Surreal McCoy. Paul Baker and Simon Ellinas took on the roles of London correspondents for the day to experience a small part of the reaction to the tragic Paris event.

Nowhere near as large as the Paris Unity Rally, attended by many world leaders including our own David Cameron (but not, strangely, any prominent American delegates), the London event was quiet, contemplative and full of dignity. Many people brought placards and all were clustering around a growing pile of tributes in the form of flowers and artists’ pencils at the bottom of the steps inferno to the National Gallery.

The sides of the National Gallery were lit up with the French tricolour and the waters of the fountains changed from blue to white to red throughout.

Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the Liberal Democrats, Nick Clegg was there with his wife Miriam and was interviewed by ITN at the foot of Nelson’s Column. They didn’t manage to escape without having quick caricatures thrust at them.

Police and general security presence was very unnoticeable although the suspicion is that there must have been a number of plain-clothed policemen on alert throughout.

Personal Bests: All together now

August 7, 2012 in General, News

Personal Bests Synchronised swimming at London 2012 Olympics © Ian Baker @ procartoonists.org

© Ian Baker @ procartoonists.org

The activities of the bodies beautiful at the London Olympics get ever more extreme as the Games approach their climax. Enjoy other artistic activity with a look back through Personal Bests.

Capital cartooning

January 15, 2011 in News

Bloghorn notes some new cartoon-related events coming soon to London town.

There’s an exhibition of the cartoons Ronald Searle drew for his wife, Les Très Riches Heures de Mrs. Mole, while she was undergoing chemotherapy, accompanied by a talk on Searle’s life by Valerie Grove on Tuesday, 15 February 2011 at The Foundling Museum, 40 Brunswick Square, London, WC1N 1AZ. Tickets are £20, books and signed prints will be on sale, with proceeds going to Macmillan Cancer Support and The Foundling Museum. (Thanks to the Ronald Searle Tribute blog for the tip)

There’s free comic workshops on offer for 16-20 year olds at londonprintstudio, 425 Harrow Road, London W10 4RE on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from the 18th January. There’s a £5 booking fee, but this will be reimbursed on arrival. Visit www.londonprintstudio.org.uk for more information or call 020 8969 3247 to book. (thanks to downthetubes.net for the tip)

And finally, the Comix Reader, is having a launch party upstairs at the Crown, 51 New Oxford Street, London WC1A 1BL on the 2nd February. The publication, described as “Underground Alternative Independent Satirical Carnivalesque Comix Entertainment” is already on sale for £1 at a number of stockists.

We  are sure there are many other events across the country and we would welcome news of them as readers see them. You can contact us here or using our social media outlets.

Comic festivals return

November 5, 2009 in General

comica_logoThe three-week London-centred comic festival Comica opens today, featuring the usual mix of talks, workshops and exhibitions including the Cartoon Museum‘s 30 Years of Viz celebration (previously on Bloghorn) and a collection of original artwork from American underground comic legend Robert Crumb (previously). Also happening is the small press and self-publisher’s fair, Comiket, this coming Sunday at the ICA. There’s a full program of everything that’s going on here (or in PDF form here). Comica continues until the 26 November at various locations across the city.

thoughtbubble

Coming later in the month is the Thought Bubble festival in Leeds, happening between Thursday 19 and Sunday 22 November, and features more workshops, talks and exhibitions and incorporates the Thought Bubble one-day comic convention on the Saturday at Saviles Hall, opposite the Royal Armories.

The North-South Divide: Comic festivals this weekend

November 13, 2008 in General


If you’re into comics then you’ll be spoiled for choice this weekend. For northerners there’s Thoughtbubble, the Leeds Sequential Art Festival, running from 13th to the 16th November, which includes a one-day comic convention at Saviles Hall and Alea Casino, both on Royal Armories Square, Leeds.

And, for those down south there’s Comica, the London International Comics Festival, featuring exhibitions along with a symposium on Archetypes v Stereotypes In Comics & Graphic Novels. The symposium is at the Victoria and Albert Museum on 14th November, and there are loads of other exhibitions and events at the Institute of Contemporary Arts from the 14th to the 26th November.

UPDATED: 17th Nov 2008
A report on Thoughtbubble from Shug

The PCO: Great British cartoon talent

The mayor of London's cartoonist

May 6, 2008 in General


PCOer Martin Rowson writes about his time as Cartoonist Laureate to the former Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, and wonders whether he’ll survive the regime change.

I suppose that Ken Livingstone’s defeat by Boris Johnson means that I’m no longer the Official Cartoonist Laureate to the Mayor of London, although I’m not quite sure. Somewhere in the bowels of City Hall, the Great Glass Testicle by the Thames, there is a contract, drawn up between the Mayor’s office and me.

It was, I now freely admit, a joke. It was also a joke to remind Ken of his promise every time we met, and it remained a joke, after he was elected mayor in 2000, to browbeat one of his policy wonks at a party about his boss’s failure to keep his promises. However, jokes are dangerous things, and a few days after the encounter with the wonk I got a call from Ken himself, saying we were going ahead, and that I was duly appointed as the Cartoonist Laureate for London.

The terms of the contract were pretty straightforward. I would provide drawings of the Mayor or of events involving him, the GLA and the administration of London, in return for one pint of London Pride ale per year. This, I stipulated, had to be bought by the Mayor with his own money over the bar of a public house during licensing hours. And that was more or less it.

At the time of my appointment in 2001, I got a great deal of press attention, mostly because neither the mayor nor the GLA had actually got round to doing anything else by that stage. I got invited to attend the opening of the new City Hall by the Queen, and produced what I think was my finest cartoon in the job, of “Red, White and Blue Ken” rolling his tongue out as a red carpet for the Queen to process down, with the Duke of Edinburgh behind her.

But by 2007, payment was, strictly, five years in arrears.

This didn’t actually stop me voting for him and I still churned out stuff for GLA’s in-house newspaper – The Londoner – up until February 2008. One of Boris Johnson’s few palpable election promises was to scrap the paper, but even that wouldn’t make me vote for him.

I’ll ‘fess up and say that I admire Ken Livingstone probably more than any other politician I can think of. His bravery in thwarting New Labour was a beautiful and inspiring thing, and both the Congestion Charge and the pedestrianisation of the North of Trafalgar Square were enormously brave too, in the latter case because nobody had been able to make a decision to do this for sixty years. But I hope that that admiration didn’t constrain me from taking the piss when so inclined, even if, as things turned out, the beer that might have provided the piss dried up rather sooner than I’d hoped.

And as every workman is worthy of his hire, if Boris comes up with the goods, I’m more than happy to drink his beer and piss on him too. I await the call.

Bloghorn says click R for Rowson.

It’s British cartoon talent