You are browsing the archive for Martin Honeysett.

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by Royston

Remembering the cartoonists’ cartoonist

April 14, 2016 in Events, General, News

Honeysett Roundtable

Royston Robertson writes about taking part in a tribute to the late Martin Honeysett at the Cartoon Museum in London:

Martin Honeysett is described by Bill Stott as “the cartoonists’ cartoonist” in a foreword to the excellent A Taste of Honeysett book that accompanies the current Cartoon Museum exhibition. So it was fitting that a bunch of his fellow inkslingers got together this week to pay tribute to him.

The event was organised to tie in with the last week of exhibition, a career overview of the work of Honeysett, who died very suddenly after a short illness in January 2015.

I was lucky enough to be invited to take part in the roundtable discussion along with Ken Pyne, Jeremy Banks and Nick Newman.

Charles Peattie, who draws the Telegraph strip Alex and Celeb for Private Eye, and had come as an audience member, was also persuaded to take part and share his appreciation of Honeysett. The museum was actually spoilt for choice as a sizeable number of the audience at the well-attended event were fellow scribblers, proving the truth of the cartoonists’ cartoonist tag.

Honeysett cartoon

“God knows what they teach them on those Government Retraining schemes.”

For an hour we discussed the unique art of Honeysett, a genuine one-off in the world of cartooning whose work is often seen as cruel or brutal but is, we all agreed, essentially truthful. And very funny, of course.

We also shared memories of Honeysett himself. Ken Pyne told a story involving Martin, the cartoonist Michael ffolkes, and a very large cake. Ffolkes, and the cake, came off worst. Nick Newman shared a cartoon Martin drew of the three Private Eye editors at the magazine’s 50th birthday party, which can be seen here.

The floor was then opened to the audience and many favourite cartoons were discussed.

All in all, a fitting tribute to Honeysett, who is sadly missed not just for his cartoons but for his good company. The cartoonists retired to pub next door, happy in the knowledge that had Martin been there he would have been utterly embarrassed about the whole thing.

A Taste of Honeysett runs until Saturday 16 April

Martin Honeysett at the 2014 Herne Bay Cartoon Festival

The cartoonists’ cartoonist: Martin Honeysett, summer 2014

From the dusty PCO blog archive, here are a couple of articles written by Martin Honeysett:

Teaching cartooning in Japan
If you are Oldie enough …

 

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Honeysett in Herne Bay

July 28, 2015 in Events, General, News

Honeysett exhibition poster

An exhibition of cartoons by Martin Honeysett, who died in January, is now on in Herne Bay, as part of the cartoon festival. See poster above for details.

The work on show covers editorial and gag cartooning and illustration. It includes cartoons for Private Eye, Punch, New Statesman, The Oldie, Radio Times, Sunday Telegraph and the Observer.

The illustrative work includes collaborations with Sue Townsend, Michael Palin, Terry Jones and Ivor Cutler. There are also drawings produced while Martin was a visiting professor at Kyoto Seika University and depictions of local scenes in Hastings, where he lived.

The cartoon in the poster above, which lampoons the town’s somewhat gappy pier, was drawn by Martin on a big board at the festival last year. Here he is at the all-important pencilling stage.

Martin Honeysett begins his big board cartoon at Herne Bay 2014

Martin Honeysett begins his big board cartoon at Herne Bay 2014

Cartoonists will be gathering in Herne Bay once again this weekend, and are sure to raise a glass to their departed and much-missed colleague.

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by Royston

Outrage! First Herne Bay Cartoon Festival exhibition opens

July 20, 2015 in Events, General, News

Outrage! A brief history of offensive cartoons -- poster

The exhibition Outrage! A brief history of offensive cartoons is now on at the Seaside Museum in Herne Bay, Kent, the first event in the third Herne Bay Cartoon Festival.

It includes works from the British Cartoon Archive in Canterbury and features David Low, the infamous Oz schoolkids’ edition, a cartoon Private Eye didn’t dare publish and a one that provoked a diplomatic incident. There is also a never-before-seen Ralph Steadman, his response to the Charlie Hebdo massacre, which is also a demonstration of the right to offend.

The museum is at 12 William Street, Herne Bay, open Tues-Sun, 10am-4pm. The show runs until 16 August.

The main festival exhibition, Lines in the Sand, will be held at Beach Creative from 28 July to 9 August. The gallery is in Beach Street and is open Tues-Sat 10am-4pm and Sun 11am-3pm.

There will also be an exhibition of cartoons by the late Martin Honeysett, who exhibited and appeared at the first two Herne Bay events. That will be at the Bay Art Gallery, William Street, from 28 July. The gallery is open Tues-Sun 10am-4pm.

The main day of live drawing at the Bandstand, featuring big boards, workshops, caricatures, and more, is Sunday 2 August, from 12pm-5pm. There will also be comic strip and cartoon workshops at Beach Creative on Saturday 1 August and at the Bandstand on the Sunday.

Jeremy Banx's poster for the Herne Bay Cartoon Festival, as seen in Private Eye

Jeremy Banx’s poster for the Herne Bay Cartoon Festival, as seen in Private Eye

The Herne Bay Cartoon Festival is sponsored by the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation and and supported using public funding by Arts Council England.

We’ll have more nearer the time. You can see lots more coverage of the previous two events, including videos by David Good, in our Herne Bay archive.

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Herne Bay Cartoon Festival approaches

July 1, 2015 in Events, General, News

Herne Bay Cartoon Festival poster by Jeremy Banx

With the scorching hot weather we’re having, it’s a good time to think about planning a trip to the seaside. And Herne Bay in Kent is just the place to go.

The third Herne Bay Cartoon Festival begins later this month with an exhibition called Lines in the Sand opening at the Beach Creative gallery on 28 July. As you can see from the excellent poster above, by Procartoonists.org member Jeremy Banx, there will also be a live cartooning day in the Bandstand on the sea front once again, with big board cartoons, caricatures, and a few surprises. That takes place on Sunday 2 August.

This year there will also be an exhibition of cartoons from the British Cartoon Archive, on the history of cartoons and people taking offence at them, as well as a show in tribute to the late Martin Honeysett, who exhibited and appeared at the first two Herne Bay cartoon events.

This year’s event builds on the success of the first one, when it was part of a Marcel Duchamp celebration, and last year’s standalone Cartoonists Beside the Surrealside. It sponsored by the PCO and supported using public funding by Arts Council England.

We’ll have more on the festival nearer the time. Meanwhile, you can seen lots more PCO coverage of the previous two events, including great videos by David Good, in the Herne Bay archive.

Martin Honeysett

January 21, 2015 in News

THE UK CARTOON community heard today, Wednesday 21st of January 2015, of the death of Martin Honeysett.

This is a staggering loss. To those lucky enough to have known him, Martin was a delightful, learned, funny and kind man. To all, his cartoons demonstrated not only a very keen, often weird sense of humour, but an outstanding ability to draw.

Who can forget the tremendous stuff he produced whilst working and teaching in Japan ?

For any cartoonist, just looking at a Honeysett cartoon is to learn.

Thank you Martin.

Cartoon by Martin Honeysett

Special report: 50 years of cartoons in Private Eye

September 27, 2013 in Events, General, News

Left to right: Nick Newman, Ian Hislop and Richard Ingrams

Fans of Private Eye cartoons were in for a treat this week, as editor Ian Hislop and cartoonist Nick Newman took to the stage for two separate events looking back over 50 years of visual humour in the magazine – where they picked out a few favourite gags and discussed the challenge of selecting the cartoons that make it into the magazine.

Monday night saw the pair speak to a packed auditorium at the National Theatre on London’s South Bank. On Thursday, they were joined for their appearance at the Soho Literary Festival by Richard Ingrams, Hislop’s predecessor at the Eye and now editor of The Oldie.

The talks were scheduled to coincide with the launch of Private Eye: A Cartoon History, a handsome new hardback book edited by Newman and containing more than 1000 of the best cartoons published by the magazine over the last five decades. Ingrams was promoting his latest collection of Oldie cartoons, also published this month.

© Ed McLachlan @Procartoonists.org

Hislop and Newman began their National Theatre talk by looking back at some of the Eye cartoons that have gone on to become classics, including drawings by Willie Rushton, Martin Honeysett, Michael Heath, John Kent and Ed McLachlan (above). They observed that cartoons became increasingly surreal and absurd during the 1970s – with the giant hedgehog being a case in point – and Newman noted that many of the best political cartoons have not made it into his book because their impact has been lost over time.

Libby Purves, the journalist, broadcaster and Procartoonists.org patron, was on hand to steer the conversation. She pointed out that there still seems to be life in cartoonist cliches such as the desert island and the suicidal man-on-ledge. Hislop agreed, observing that “Private Eye is nothing if not repeated jokes with slight twists.” He referred to two recent psychiatrist’s couch gags, both by Procartoonists.org member Royston Robertson, which played with the formula and made it into the magazine.

More generally, Hislop praised gag cartoonists for their ability to distil their observations of the world around them into pithy and memorable scenes. “They’ve observed it, frozen it, and made it more or less permanent,” he said.

© Alexander Matthews @Procartoonists.org

The issue of ‘bad taste’ was raised when a cartoon by PCOer Alexander Matthews (above) was met by explosive laughter – and some gasps. Purves asked where Hislop draws the line when it comes to offending his readership.

“I always have to be able to justify it – to myself, if to no one else,” said Hislop. “And sometimes there are things that might offend people, but that you think just have to be said. We got a lot of complaints about this cartoon, but I just thought it was incredibly funny.”

Newman explained to the crowd that a cartoonist’s life can be defined by whether he or she is able to cope with having most of their work rejected on a regular basis. He also agreed with Purves’ observation that there are fewer high-profile markets for cartoons these days, following the demise of Punch and with newspapers not currently running standalone gags.

Hislop said that “without Matt, The Telegraph would be in real trouble”, and argued that readers would welcome non-topical joke cartoons in the newspapers. “Editors are missing a trick; cartoons are not expensive,” he said, turning to Newman with a threatening grin before adding: “and they’re getting cheaper next week!”. We hope he was joking.

***

“I’ve got a much smaller book, but it’s also a lot cheaper,” said a deadpan Ingrams of his Oldie paperback collection, when he joined the others on stage at the Soho Theatre on Thursday. “Nick’s book is terribly good, but you can’t take it into the toilet – my book you can.”

The presence of Ingrams at this second talk meant more anecdotes about the 1960s satire boom – for example that it was Willie Rushton who persuaded Gerald Scarfe to stop drawing desert island gags and have a go at caricature.

But Ingrams was also keen to talk about the current crop of cartoonists, and his slideshow of gags from the Oldie book included one or two from younger talents, among them the cartoon below by Procartoonists.org member Huw Aaron.

© Huw Aaron @Procartoonists.org

Hislop explained that the sheer number of cartoons flooding in to the Eye means he is required to make quick decisions over what to publish.

“When I choose cartoons, I think ‘is that funny?’, rather than ‘is it beautifully drawn?’,” said Hislop. Ingrams agreed, but added that the drawing itself should be amusing, not simply the idea behind it.

“Cartoonists don’t realise that they’re probably the most important part of a magazine,” said Ingrams, citing a recent readership survey in which roughly 80% said that cartoons were their favourite part of The Oldie.

Both talks were packed and the audiences were extremely appreciative, filling the room with laughter at pretty much every cartoon shown – and with several jokes even eliciting a round of applause.

***

Also this week, Private Eye launched Newman’s book with a party at Kettner’s in Soho attended by Eye staff and dozens of the magazine’s cartoonists. A great night was had by all and it was an excellent opportunity for the cartoonists to mingle and swap stories.

Private Eye cartoonists at the book launch party © Philippa Gedge

More images from the party, by photographer Philippa Gedge, can be seen here. Head over to the BBC for a slideshow of selected cartoons from the new book.

On behalf of its members, Procartoonists.org would like to thank Private Eye and offer a toast to the next 50 years.

 

If you are Oldie enough …

July 24, 2012 in Events, General, News

Ingrams_by_Honeysett_@_Procartoonists.org

© Martin Honeysett @ Procartoonists.org

UK procartoonists.org logoMartin Honeysett writes with news of a London social occasion:

The Oldie magazine 20th anniversary party at Simpsons on the Strand was the ideal moment to present to editor Richard Ingrams a PCO award commemorating his services to cartooning for the past fifty years.

The award was gratefully received by the editor who then duly sang the praises of cartoonists and their work in his following speech (pictured).

Sadly, only a smattering of cartoonists had been invited. Setting up camp in a corner by the bar they included Sally Artz, Nick Baker, Bob Wilson, Arthur Robins and PCO members Nick Newman and Huw Aaron. The latter aroused much interest amongst the female element of the surrounding throng by being at least half the age of everyone else there.

Huw had also been instrumental in organising the award itself, tastefully designed, inscribed and eerily looking like a maquette of the recently opened London Shard.

Our thanks to the PR agency, AM&T – All Mouth & Trousers – recently appointed by the PCO at great expense and represented by Mr Honeysett.

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Cartoons kick over the statues at V&A

October 19, 2011 in Events

Private Eye: The First 50 Years

After much media hoopla, Private Eye: The First 50 Years opened at the Victoria & Albert museum in South Kensington, London, yesterday. The exhibition will run until January 8.

The free exhibition explores the wealth of artistic talent that the magazine has showcased since 1961 and features original artwork for some of the funniest Private Eye cartoons.

Cartoonist Nathan Ariss attended the private view. He writes:

“According to one insider it was ‘the most fun’ the reverent halls had witnessed in decades. Yes, the PE PV at the V&A was AOK, and deemed a rather fine night indeed.

“A [insert collective noun here] of cartoonists were interspersed with some serious marble statues and seriously well-off people and then somewhat embarrassed by a warm and gracious speech from the Editor, [Is this guy after an OBN? – Ed], Ian Hislop, who paid full tribute to the importance that cartoons have played in the magazine’s success.

“I imagine the exhibition will be equally as enjoyable as all the sparkling repartee and champagne on the night itself, but I’m afraid I became somewhat tired and emoticon as the night wore on. Thankfully the exhibition is still on until the new year.”

National Association of Builders Convention by Ken Pyne

National Association of Builders Convention by Ken Pyne

Many cartoonists started their careers at the magazine, and they can be seen in this show, including Gerald Scarfe, Ralph Steadman, Willie Rushton, Barry Fantoni, Nick Newman and Michael Heath

There are lots of cartoons in the show by members of the PCO, which runs the Bloghorn, such as Andrew Birch, Wilbur Dawbarn, Neil Dishington, Pete Dredge, Len Hawkins, Martin Honeysett, Tony Husband, Ed McLachlan, Alexander Matthews, Ken Pyne, above, Royston Robertson, Mike Turner, and the PCO patron Bill Tidy.
Private Eye editor's office

The cartoons are in themed sections, on politics, royalty and social observation. There are single-panel cartoons, long-running strips and caricatures.

Hislop has chosen 50 of the best front covers, one from every year the magazine has been published. The exhibition also evokes the atmosphere of the magazine’s Soho office, with a recreation of the Editor’s desk, right, and a messy production table.

Here’s a round-up of some of the many Private Eye: The First 50 Years features you can currently see on the net:

A behind the scenes look at the production of the Eye, including a video of how a Ken Pyne cartoon progresses from idea to page, can be seen on the V&A site.

The Private Eye blog has a piece on putting the exhibition together.

Fifty years of Private Eye as seen by The Wall Street Journal

… and by Creative Review.

Ian Hislop takes the BBC’s Will Gompertz on a tour of the exhibition. The site also has political leaders and pundits giving their views of Private Eye

And finally, to coincide with the 50th celebrations, the Chris Beetles Gallery has an online exhibition selling artwork by Private Eye cartoonists.

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Exhibition in aid of tsunami victims

October 12, 2011 in News

John Jensen tsunami cartoon
The Kyoto International Cartoonist Congress has organised an exhibition from which proceeds will go to victims of the Japanese tsunami and the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

The Kyoto International Cartoon Special Exhibition features 300 cartoons from 127 cartoonists in 41 countries, including, from the UK, Martin Honeysett, John Jensen, Ken Pyne and Ross Thomson.

A detail from John Jensen’s drawing has also been used for the cover of the catalogue, above. The caption: “I’ve found our good luck charm. It’s not even cracked.”

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

Japanese Earthquake Cartoon Appeal

May 5, 2011 in News

PCOer Martin Honeysett writes:

I’ve been asked to pass on this request for cartoons to support those affected by the recent Japanese earthquake and tsunami, where many will be suffering long after the media focus has moved on. This appeal is from the Kyoto Cartoon Congress who seek entries for an exhibition in Kyoto later in the year.

The theme is “Japan: Never giving up” reflecting the stoicism of the Japanese in coping with natural disasters, in memory of the victims and offering our encouragement to the survivors who have to rebuild their lives.

Details and entry forms can be downloaded from www.kyoto-seika.ac.jp/kicc/

Martin spent two years teaching cartooning at Kyoto Seika University Cartoon Faculty as a visiting professor. You can read about his experiences here in Bloghorn.