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by Royston

Cartoonists prepare to do battle

November 17, 2014 in Events, General, News

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A team from the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation will once again take part in the Battle of the Cartoonists. (Cartoon above by Bill Stott)

The event is organised by the Campaign for Drawing, the people behind The Big Draw, and will take place at the Electrician’s Shop gallery, Trinity Buoy Wharf, in east London this Sunday (23 November) from 12pm-5pm. Admission is free.

Four teams, from Procartoonists, The Guardian, The Independent and Private Eye will each create huge banners on the theme of “Recording Britain Now” (click here for the full list of events on that theme).

The winner will be chosen by popular vote i.e. the team that gets the most cheers and applause. Banners from previous Battles over the past decade will be on display. Free cartoon workshops for all ages will also take place.

PCO members at work on Battle of the Cartoonists banners at Somerset House in 2006 ...

PCO members in the Battle of the Cartoonists at Somerset House 2006 …

... Covent Garden in 2007 ...

… Covent Garden 2007 …

... St Pancras Station in 2008 ...

… St Pancras Station 2008 …

... the Idea Generation gallery 2009 ...

… the Idea Generation gallery 2009 …

... Hay's Galleria 2010 ...

… Hay’s Galleria 2010 …

... and the V&A, 2012.

… and the V&A 2012.

Sir John Sorrell, a cartoon and drawing aficionado who was was publisher of The Cartoonist, the “cartoon newspaper”, will launch the event and will give a talk about the importance of visual satire.

The team line-ups are as follows (all teams feature Procartoonists members):

Procartoonists.org Andy Davey, Jeremy Banx, Neil Dishington, Steve Way

Private Eye Henry Davies, Kathryn Lamb, Simon Pearsall, David Ziggy Greene

The Guardian Ros Asquith, Steve Bell, Ben Jennings, Kipper Williams

The Independent Dave Brown, Peter Schrank, David Simonds, Matt Buck

We wish all the teams the very best of luck!

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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.

Foghorn magazine – Issue 48

December 16, 2010 in News

Just in time for Christmas, the latest issue of Foghorn, the cartoon magazine of the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation has been published. Featuring a festive cover by the PCO’s The Surreal McCoy, the magazine is available to subscribers for the very merry price of £20 for six full colour issues – all delivered down your chimney (or through your door).

What’s inside?

Ian Ellery treats us to a very Stanley Unwin Chrimbletide
A short history of the Christmas card by Chris Madden
Nathan Ariss relates some seasonal thespian tales of Mason Ayres
Mike Williams tells of his first taste of Punch
The partridge gets well stuffed by Neil Dishington
And  you’ll find a full page of Wilbur Dawbarn cartoons!

Plus…

…all the regular features – Buildings in the Fog, The Critic, The Foghorn Guide to…, The Potting Shed, Andy Davey‘s ‘Foggy’ strip and many more random acts of humour crammed in wherever we could find room.

You can read older issues of Foghorn online here, right up to our most recent issue.

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Raise a glass to new cartoon show

November 22, 2010 in General, News

Cartoon by Chris Duggan

An exhibition that is sure to bring some warmth and cheer to the winter opens at the Cartoon Museum in London on Wednesday 24 November.

Ink and the Bottle is billed as “a merry exhibition on the pleasures and perils of the ‘demon drink’ starting with a swig of gin from Hogarth and Cruikshank”. We move on to Gillray, Donald McGill, Heath Robinson and Giles before downing “a heady cocktail of contemporary cartoons”.
Cartoon by Andrew Birch
That includes a generous measure of PCO members, including Steve Bell, Andrew Birch, right, Clive Collins, Neil Dishington, Denis Dowland, Pete Dredge, Roger Penwill, Ken Pyne, Royston Robertson, Bill Stott and Mike Turner.

As if that’s not enough binge cartooning, there’s work by Sally Artz, Ian Baker, Hector Breeze, Dave Brown,
Chris Duggan, top, Grizelda, Andrzej Krauze, Matt, Tim Sanders, Ronald Searle, Gerald Scarfe, Silvey & Jex, Ralph Steadman, and Judy Walker.

If you fancy three more for the road, there are also contributions from the Viz cartoonists Graham Dury, Davey Jones and Simon Thorp, who are no strangers to creating characters that “like a tipple”.

Ink and the Bottle – Drunken Cartoonists and Drink in Cartoons runs until February 13. See the Cartoon Museum website for more details.

Cheersh!

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by Royston

The Oldie to launch book and exhibition

September 2, 2009 in General

dishcartoon “He’s making a list of people he doesn’t want to see at his funeral.” Oldie magazine cartoon by Neil Dishington

A book of cartoons from The Oldie is to be published later this month, and an exhibition to go with it will be held at the Cartoon Museum in London.

The Oldie Book of Cartoons 1992-2009, published on September 25, will feature more than 400 of the best cartoons from the irreverent magazine.

The Cartoon Museum, in Little Russell Street, Bloomsbury, will hold an exhibition entitled Cartoons from The Oldie in its Blue Room from September 30 until December 24. The latest edition of the magazine comes with a mini book which will act as a taster.

More magazine news: Bernie is the new Cartoonist of the Month at Prospect magazine. He reveals that he usually never tells people he’s a cartoonist, because “they suggest ideas for cartoons like ‘Caution, large plant crossing’. I find it’s best to keep quiet”.

Artist of the Month – Neil Dishington

February 27, 2009 in Events

Bloghorn for the best British cartoonists © Neil Dishington

Bloghorn for the best British cartoonists © Neil Dishington

Bloghorn finished our interview with Artist of the Month, Neil Dishington ‘Dish’, by asking about his thoughts on the future of making jokes in drawing.

I hope there is one. I used to advise the kids I taught to ‘go for it’ otherwise you will regret not giving it a go. I still meet up with some of them, they are in their 40s: Designers and Illustrators etc. It is a joy to see how successful they are…. they took that advice (one of the rare perks of teaching).

And what of the future in the digital age?

Of course there is one, but I do find a lot of enhanced stuff in films rather bland and predictable, effects for effects sake. I even thought the latest Wallace and Gromit rather ordinary… oh dear that will annoy some people.

Humour, like sex,is a very personal experience and you just need funny bones…

Bloghorn will be unveiling a new Artist of the Month for March next Friday.

Artist of the Month – Neil Dishington

February 20, 2009 in Events

bloghorn_dish_cartoon

Bloghorn asked February’s Artist of the Month, Neil Dishington which other cartoon work had helped to inspire him:

I was influenced by David McKee and Mike Williams…his recent exhibition at the Cartoon Museum (and the Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival) was a real gem. Larry (the late Terence Parkes) of course and a few artists for the New Yorker. Sam Gross is a particular favourite.

I also believe my work has been much influenced by films…especially the early Woody Allen films and the Marx Bros. I just love the one-liners.

Artist of the Month: Neil Dishington

February 13, 2009 in Events

bloghorn_dish_cartoon_no2 PCO Artist of the Month, Neil Dishington – “Dish” – explains to Bloghorn how he creates his loose graphic style:

As with most of my generation I used a dip pen to start with, but could never find the right nib or a free-flowing ink. Thank goodness for fibre tip pens which I use now plus really white paper. I also discovered Ecoline inks, they are brilliant, lovely vibrant colours and when overlayed create wonderful effects… see my , or, Mike Williams work for evidence. I do use Photoshop sometimes, drawing the image and flooding colour, but I still feel a novice with it. I try.

Artist of the Month: Neil Dishington

February 6, 2009 in Events

Bloghorn cartoon © Neil Dishington Bloghorn’s Artist of the Month for February is Neil Dishington – he signs his work as Dish.

Dish has been widely published in Private Eye, The Spectator, Punch, The Daily Express, The Guardian, The Oldie and in many trade and professional publications including Financial Advisor, Medican Publishing, Save and Prosper and Scottish Banker. He specialises in one-line jokes and in “interpreting” written articles.

Bloghorn asked him how he started out as a cartoonist:

Well, I was always one of those children who drew “cartoons” on the back of my maths book rather than listening to the teacher explaining the Pythagoras Theorem, so I guess that was the start.

After five years at Art College painting pictures that were going to change the world, I took up teaching in order to pay the rent. I met a certain David McKee, he of Mr.Benn and Elmer the Elephant fame. We shared a flat and I discovered he had started cartooning. He was a big influence on me. Then I got married and within months my wife was expecting, so in order to boost funds I sent some cartoons to The Daily Mirror and sold one for £5 … never looked back after that!

Bloghorn’s interview with Dish will be running here for the next four Fridays – or you can check out our previous featured cartoonists in the links on the right hand side of this page.

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Cartooning in the media: It's not all bad news

July 25, 2008 in General

PCOer Royston Robertson says we cartoonists need to lighten up about media coverage of our profession

There’s no doubt that cartoons are enjoying an unusually high profile in the British media at the moment.

We’ve seen acres of coverage for the launch of new kids’ comic The DFC (left), the 70th anniversary of The Beano and Phill Jupitus’s comic strip programme on Radio Four. There has even been a graphic novel serialised in The Times.

So, are cartoonists happy about this? Not a bit of it.

I agree with Neil Dishington, who wrote on this blog yesterday that the Phill Jupitus thing was nothing special, but is that because we’re cartoonists and therefore he’s preaching to the converted? I think it’s likely that many listeners would have found Jupitus’s sincere enthusiasm about comic strips quite infectious.

Isn’t it a good thing that shows like these exist? Is it not the case that the only thing worse than the media talking about cartoons is the media not talking about cartoons?

But they misrepresent cartooning, some cartoonists cry, it’s obvious they don’t know what they’re talking about. Well, maybe. I’m sure I heard James Naughtie talking about “animators” at The Beano on the Today show on Monday, but is there a single profession that doesn’t think it is often misrepresented by the media? I know journalists who think the media misrepresents them.

Another common complaint is that any media obsession with cartoons is just a passing fad. Again, that may be true, perhaps they’re using cartoons to cheer us up amid all the credit crunch stuff, but then that is the role of most cartoons. And let’s not forget that the media treats many subjects in a faddish way before moving on to the next thing.

And as for the grumbling over celebs such as Jupitus drawing cartoons, cartooning has always been something where everyone wants to have a go. That’s because it’s fun. We often encourage that attitude, at events such as The Big Draw and the Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival.

All you can do is keep on doing good cartoon work and hope that those who commission cartoons for publication will realise that it is best to go to a professional.

The PCO: Professional cartoon talent