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Festival details released

March 6, 2014 in Events, General, News

Barry the Shrew, the festival mascot, tunes up © Roger Penwill

Barry the Shrew, the festival mascot, tunes up © Roger Penwill

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.

Head over to events page of the official festival website for more.

There’s even a fringe exhibition. Artists in Shropshire are invited to take part in a cartoon competition organised by the VAN Gallery to coincide with the festival.

The participating cartoonists are: Rupert Besley, Steve Best, Andrew Birch, Rosie Brookes, Dave Brown, Kate Charlesworth, Jonathan Cusick, Wilbur Dawbarn, Noel Ford, Alex Hughes, Tim Harries, Tim Leatherbarrow, Chichi Parish, Roger Penwill, Helen Pointer, John Roberts, Royston Robertson, Chris Ryder, Cathy Simpson, Rich Skipworth, Bill Stott, The Surreal McCoy, Harry Venning and Gerard Whyman.

Happy members of the public at Shrewsbury Cartoon festival

Happy members of the public at Shrewsbury Cartoon festival @ Procartoonists.org

The writer and broadcaster Libby Purves, a patron of the festival as well as of Procartoonists.org, will also be attending.

Canvassing for charity

November 27, 2012 in Events, General, News

Cartoon canvas by Robert Thompson

Cartoon canvas © Robert Thompson @ Procartoonists.org

Many cartoonists have contributed small canvases to the Stars on Canvas 2012 charity auction, which runs online until 2 December.

They include Procartoonists.org members Jonathan 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.

The auction is in aid of the Willow Foundation, which arranges special days and experiences for seriously ill 16 to 40-year-olds. More details here.

Avatar of Royston

by Royston

Heritage exhibition: Just like that!

October 31, 2012 in Events, General, News

Tommy Cooper by John Roberts

Tommy Cooper © John Roberts

An exhibition of cartoons and caricatures by Procartoonists.org members Bill Stott, Noel Ford, Roger Penwill and John Roberts is being held at the Heritage Centre in Knutsford, Cheshire, from 6 November until 22 December.

The Cartoon Collective show is very loosely based on the theme of “heritage” and will include a collection of cartoons on imaginary old motorcycles by Roger and a series of caricatures of British comedians by John, such as Charlie Chaplin and Tommy Cooper, right.

Noel is selling some of his Punch original cartoons while displaying a couple of original full-colour Punch covers and the first two gags he sold to the magazine.

A preview evening will be held on 6 November, at which John will be drawing some live caricatures and Bill will be doing a “stand-up cartoonist” routine. For details, visit knutsfordheritage.co.uk, email info@knutsfordheritage.co.uk or call 01565-652 854.

Review: Punch Cartoons in Colour

October 18, 2012 in Comment, Events, General

Cartoonist and Procartoonists member Noel Ford takes a look back at The Best of Punch Cartooons in Colour. The collection is edited by Helen Walasek.

Well, as far as a review is concerned, I could leave it at that. The title says it all.

Oh, all right then … it has long been a bone of contention amongst cartoonists with respect to how important the actual drawing of a cartoon is. Many will argue that a good gag will carry a poor drawing but a poor gag is still a poor gag no matter how brilliant the draughtsmanship. Others will claim that a cartoon’s artwork is paramount, being the vehicle by which the idea is transported (and why would anyone trust the delivery of their finest ideas to the unreliability of drawing’s equivalent to a clapped-out K-Reg Ford Transit?) As to whether a cartoon needs colour, that is a further development of this debate.

Review: The Best of Punch Cartoons in Colour @ procartoonists.org

Review: The Best of Punch Cartoons in Colour @ Procartoonists.org

Whichever side of the argument you stand, I am pretty confident that the contents of this volume will delight you, comprising, as it does, an abundance of  the whimsical humour that Punch was (is!) famous for and some really wonderful, full colour artwork, ranging from  a classic 1924 Bateman full page colour cartoon through to the poignant cover of the final issue of the “real” Punch magazine, by Holte (Trevor Holder).

The cartoons themselves include some you may have known and loved for many years, but the real treasure of this book is the abundance of Punch colour cartoons that have never been published since their original appearance in the magazine. When Alan Coren, as Editor, introduced the full front-cover gag cartoon, in the late seventies, many of us younger (then!) contributors thought large format colour gag cartoons were something entirely new to the magazine. This book shows how wrong we were.

To the seasoned Punch cartoon enthusiast, the book holds a few other surprises, too. By the nature of the collection, some of Punch’s most notable contributors are nowhere to be found. Bill Tidy, Larry (Terry Parkes), Chic Jacob, masters of the black and white cartoon with only a relatively few outings into the broader spectrum of colour are, for once, absent from a Punch cartoon collection. I remember a conversation with Larry, many years ago, when he told me he didn’t really see the point of colour in a cartoon, though he did, I recall, relent sufficiently to produce one Punch cover. I think the point of colour in a cartoon is probably that same pleasure derived from any icing on the cake. Whilst it may not be absolutely necessary, it can, nevertheless, delight.

Finally, as with its sister volume, The Best of Punch Cartoons, this is a substantial volume (not really one for your Kindle!) and the contents often chronicle the historical and social events of the times. So if you need an excuse, other than pure and joyful entertainment, to be observed reading this tome, you can always fall back on that one.

Oh, and one more thing …

Anyone who believes cartooning is not real art should absolutely not open this book unless they want their illusions shattered irreparably!

Editor adds: Thanks to Noel for the review and you might care to visit the Punch Magazine Archive.

If any other reader is thinking about contributing to this blog please contact us here.

Personal Bests: Gold!

August 5, 2012 in General, News

Personal Bests_Gold! © Noel Ford @ procartoonists.org

London 2012: It’s Gold! Image extracted from Personal Bests.

When cartoonists meet The Public

May 1, 2012 in Events, General

Bill Stott at Big Board

Bill Stott gives us his "meeting The Public" look

Bill Stott, who will be writing regularly for the Procartoonists.org blog, gives us his take on the Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival:

Shrewsbury is an opportunity to meet that most unpredictable of creatures: The Public. At Shrewsbury at least, they take cartooning in their stride. I was inking my 8ft by 5ft Big Board, when a couple (“We’ve come all the way from Wolverhampton for this.”) sidled up to watch.

He said, “It’s quite good, that.” Then she said, “’Course, I expect you get all your drawings off the internet.” She was wearing a plastic rain hood so I forgave her.

Later, whilst drawing fast black-and-white cartoons for Noel Ford’s instant gallery in the market, I was slightly disheartened by the number of people who weren’t taking any notice.

Suddenly, and at close hand, a male voice shouted, “Irene, they’re over here!” Good, thought I. Fans. Then there was another much louder shout. “IRENE! IRENE! THE TOILETS! THEY’RE OVER HERE!” He was right. They were.

Mr and Mrs Deafbladder bustled through. Much, much later he may have been puzzled by the black felt-tip pen stroke across the back of his mac.

Bill Stott will be back next week with more musing on the life of the professional cartoonist.

This will be our final post on Shrewsbury 2012, so we’ll finish with a round-up of links to personal blogs written by festival attendees this year: Alex Lester, the Radio 2 presenter and patron of the festival, wrote not one, but two blogs; and posts have also been written by the Procartoonists.org members Huw Aaron, Tim Harries, Rob Murray and Royston Robertson.

Photo by Nicolette Petersen

Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival 2011

April 14, 2011 in Events, News

Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival kicks off tonight with a drop-in cartoon workshop at the Bear Steps Gallery at 4.30pm, and a talk by Dr Nick Hiley from the British Cartoon Archive on the cartoons of Carl Giles at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery at 7pm, tickets £5.

In the meantime, the exhibition Personal Bests opened on Monday (also at the Bear Steps Gallery) and features cartoons on the Festival’s Olympic theme, including these:

Bloghorn Shrewsbury 2011 Olympics cartoon © Pete Dredge

Bloghorn Shrewsbury 2011 Olympics cartoon © Chichi Parish

Bloghorn Shrewsbury 2011 Olympics cartoon © Noel Ford
Bloghorn Shrewsbury 2011 Olympics cartoon © Royston Robertson

 

Come back to Bloghorn for coverage of the festival as it happens, or follow the hashtag #shrews11 on Twitter.

 

Say 'I do' to Marriage à la Mode

March 21, 2011 in Events

Pak marriage cartoon
A cartoon exhibition looking at all aspects of married life – for better, for worse – opens at the Cartoon Museum in London this Wednesday (March 23). Cartoon above by Pak

As Prince William and Kate Middleton prepare to tie the knot on April 29, Marriage à la Mode: Royals and Commoners In and Out of Love promises “a bouquet of barbed wit” on the subject of marriage.

It will feature musings on matrimony from cartoonists past and present, including William Hogarth, who created a series of works that give the show its name, James Gillray, H.M. Bateman, Donald McGill, Carl Giles, Mel Calman, Ralph Steadman and Posy Simmonds.

The Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation, which runs the Bloghorn, is represented with cartoons by Steve Bell, Rupert Besley, Noel Ford, Martin Honeysett, Ken Pyne, below, Royston Robertson, and Bill Stott.

Ken Pyne marriage cartoon
Arnold Roth Diana cartoonDespite being its inspiration, the royal couple are unlikely to give the show their seal of approval. As well as looking at some of the less successful aspects of marriage, some cartoons remind us of a certain royal wedding from 30 years ago that did not go too well, as seen in this 1995 Time magazine cartoon by Arnold Roth, right.

William and Kate may also not want to be associated with the work of Reg Smythe, who features in the exhibition and is famous for creating the less-than-idyllic marriage of Andy Capp and Flo.

Other cartoonists featured include Ros Asquith, Ian Baker, Biff, Nicholas Garland, Grizelda, Peter “Pak” King, David Langdon, Peter Schrank, Geoff Thompson, and Robert Thompson.

For more details visit the museum website. Marriage à la Mode runs until May 22, by which time those commemorative royal wedding tea towels may well be frayed at the edges.

Foghorn magazine – Issue 49

March 4, 2011 in News

Spring has nearly sprung and so has the latest issue of Foghorn, the cartoon magazine of the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation. In keeping with this issue’s musical theme, the magazine features an operatic cover by PCO’s Chichi Parish and is available to subscribers for the very merry annual price of £20 for six full colour issues.

What’s inside?

Noel Ford reminisces about his time as a guitarist in the Stormbreakers
Fellow guitarist Roger Penwill tells of  his love for the instrument
Tim Harries has a less than relaxing spa break
John Jensen gives us his musical memories
And you’ll find a full page of cartoons by the Surreal McCoy!

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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'Tis the season to buy cartoons

December 13, 2010 in News

Private Eye Christmas cartoonsNever mind final Christmas posting dates*, the main thing the discerning cartoon lover needs to bear in mind at this festive time of year is when will the Private Eye Christmas cards run out?

The magazine’s website shop has been carrying a “sold out” notice for some days now – proof, if it were needed, of the enduring popularity of cartoons as a way of spreading cheer.

Every year the magazine sells packs of 12 Christmas cards, featuring colour cartoons by 12 different artists. This year four of those were by members of the PCO, which runs The Bloghorn: Noel Ford,
Ed McLachlan, Royston Robertson, and Mike Turner.

*December 21 for First Class, December 18 for Second, since you ask.