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A surreally great weekend

August 5, 2014 in Events, General, News

Happy caricature subjects, we assume, drawn by Alex Hughes. Photo © Kasia Kowalska

Happy caricature subjects, we assume, drawn by Alex Hughes. Photo © Kasia Kowalska

Cartoonists Beside the Surrealside in Herne Bay at the weekend was a scorching success. Here’s co-organiser Nathan Ariss with his post-event analysis:

I have only just recently discovered the true meaning of some of those well-worn platitudes, such as “Build it and they will come” and “We really couldn’t have done it without you” etc.

The Herne Bay cartoon festival has grown organically in fits and starts, borne late from the Duchamp Festival last August. I’ve been privileged to have midwived it into being, along with many of the town’s inspirational “can-do” types.

The Procartoonists undoubtedly owe a huge debt of gratitude to Beach Creative this year, run by Mandy Broughton and Mandy Troughton; the exceptional exhibition template provided for us by David Cross; and the organisation powerhouse and savviness of Sue Austen and Steve Coombes, who opened their home and list of contacts to greet, feed and publicise a multitude of cartoonists.

They also ensured that all the ridiculous ideas and things I threw at them to produce actually came into being. Thanks must also go to Arts Council England.

A collaborative effort. Insert "drawing a crowd" picture caption here. © Kasia Kowalska

A collaborative effort on a big board. Insert regulation “drawing a crowd” picture caption here. Photo © Kasia Kowalska

But, of course, a Bandstand full of cartoonists, ready with boards and tables, workshops and games, and paper and pens and paints and ideas, is only part of the picture. Thankfully, the informative and intelligent press and TV coverage we managed to garner ensured eager and expectant waves of audience for us to entertain and amuse.

BBC News preview of the event
ITV News report on the day

The event was a hit with the public, left, as well as cartoonists such as Cathy Simpson and The Surreal McCoy © Mika Schick

The event was a hit with the public, left, as well as cartoonists such as Cathy Simpson and The Surreal McCoy. Photos © Mika Schick

Thanks to Nathan. The big boards drawn at the event will be on display at the town’s Clocktower this summer. Here are some more photos (click any image to enlarge) then we will shut up about the festival … until next year.

An ilustrated man takes part. Photo © The Surreal McCoy

An illustrated man takes part. Photo © The Surreal McCoy

The public very very willing to chat and discuss the drawings Matt Buck talks cartoons. Photo © Kasia Kowalska

The public was very keen to engage with the work and discuss the drawings. Matt Buck talks cartoons. Photo © Kasia Kowalska

The comic strip workshop run by Tim Harries was packed throughout the day. There was also one on Saturday. Photo © Kasia Kowalska

The comic-strip workshop run by Tim Harries was packed throughout the day.  He also hosted one on Saturday at Beach Creative. Photo © Kasia Kowalska

Glenn Marshall finds a unique way to display his cartoon of Dali's iLobster. Photo © Kasia Kowalska

Glenn Marshall finds a unique way to display his cartoon of Dali’s iLobster. Photo © Kasia Kowalska

Finished work: Dave Brown channels seaside postcard maestro Donald McGill and Chris Burke serves up Dali with melted ice-creams. Delicious. Photo © Kasia Kowalska

Finished work: Dave Brown channels seaside postcard maestro Donald McGill and Chris Burke serves up Dali with melted ice-creams. Delicious. Photo © Kasia Kowalska

Many thanks to Kasia Kowalska and Mika Schick and The Surreal McCoy for the photographs.

For more photos and cartoons from the event, see the Beach Creative photo gallery, and you can see more on Twitter at the #CartoonistsLive hashtag.

Seaside cartoon event this weekend

July 31, 2014 in Events, General, News

Poster by Ian Baker

“Cartoonists Beside the SurrealSide” poster by Ian Baker

The Cartoonists Beside the Surrealside event takes place in Herne Bay, Kent, this Sunday. There will be live drawing of gags, political cartoons, caricatures and more in the Bandstand on the sea front from midday until 5pm.

Cartoonists due to take part, mostly PCO members, are: Nathan Ariss, Jeremy Banx, Andrew Birch, Dave Brown, Chris Burke, Matt Buck, Tim Harries, Alex Hughes, Martin Honeysett, Glenn Marshall, Royston Robertson, Tim Sanders, Cathy Simpson, Bill Stott, The Surreal McCoy, Steve Way and Gerard Whyman.

The exhibition is now open at the Beach Creative gallery and runs for two weeks (extended by a week). See the Beach Creative website for details.

As well as cartoons on the theme of seaside and surrealism, there are some works from the recent Pastiche, Parody and Piracy exhibition.

Tim Harries will also be hosting a free workshop on creating comic strips at Beach Creative this Saturday from 3pm-5pm.

We will report back on the seaside shenanigans. Meanwhile the event has been previewed in the local Herne Bay Gazette and Herne Bay Times.

UPDATE: The event is also in the i newspaper today.

A little on the surreal side

July 22, 2014 in Events, General, News

"Looks like that Duchamp feller is back." © Bill Stott

“I see that Duchamp bloke’s back …” © Bill Stott

Here are some cartoons submitted by Procartoonists.org members for the Cartoonists Beside the Surrealside exhibition which can be seen at Beach Creative in Herne Bay later this month.

The exhibition at the gallery in Beach Street has already been extended. It will now run from Wednesday 30 July until Tuesday 12 August. Opening hours 10am-5pm.

"I met that Luis Suarez once." © Gerard Whyman

“I met that Luis Suarez once …” © Gerard Whyman

The artists themselves will descend on Herne Bay for a day of live drawing at the Bandstand on the sea front, from midday until 5pm on Sunday 3 August.

Many were involved in the live cartooning event last year, which was part of a larger festival celebrating the centenary of Marcel Duchamp’s visit to Herne Bay. This year’s stand-alone cartooning event retains that art/surrealism link and, like last year’s, is organised by the PCO’s own Nathan Ariss along with the Beach Creative team. The event is supported by Arts Council England.

© Jeremy Banx

© Jeremy Banx

We have our fingers crossed for more excellent weather and another sunny, and very funny, day at the Surrealside …

Avatar of Royston

by Royston

Seaside calls again for cartoonists

July 10, 2014 in Events, General, News

Poster by Ian Baker

“Cartoonists Beside the SurrealSide” poster by Ian Baker


After last year’s cartooning fun in Herne Bay, Kent, we can announce that a whole bunch of cartoonists are on standby to do it all again next month.

We’ll have more on this in due course, but in the meantime put 3 August in your diaries and check out the ace poster by PCO member Ian Baker, above.

Click the image for a more detailed look.

 

Avatar of Royston

by Royston

Duchamp in Herne Bay: the Movie

June 3, 2014 in Events, General, News

The organisers of last year’s Marcel Duchamp in Herne Bay Festival, which many Procartoonists members took part in, have released a rather nice video of the event, above. It was put together by David Good.

The festival is one of the nominees in the East Kent People’s Awards. You can vote for it here.

Those with short-attention spans note: the cartooning action starts at 8mins in, but the whole thing is worth a watch — a reminder of a marvellous event as well as last year’s terrific summer!

The commercial art

January 31, 2014 in Comment, Events, News

Cartoon_Museum_Exhibition_bring_me_laughter © Jonathan Cusick @ procartoonists.org

© Jonathan Cusick @ Procartoonists.org

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.

The Queen © Jonathan Cusick @ procartoonists

© Jonathan Cusick @ Procartoonists.org

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.

Jonathan Cusick withe George Walker and the piece that gave the exhibition its title @ Procartoonists.org

Jonathan Cusick. left. with George Walker and the piece that gave the exhibition its title. Photo ©Kasia Kowalska @ Procartoonists.org

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 Round Up

January 28, 2014 in Events, General, Links, News

Kasia Kowalska writes:

Fancy a spot of 18th century roistering? The caricaturist Adrian Teal can invite you to club nights with a difference with his Historic Punch.

© HistoricPunch.co.uk @ procartoonists.org

© HistoricPunch.co.uk @ Procartoonists.org

He has also revealed the story behind the Georgian John Bull, in History Today. John Bull was actually invented by a Scot but he proved a much loved subject of James Gillray and Thomas Rowlandson, whose exhibition High Spirits you can still see at The Queen’s Gallery in Edinburgh.

Other cartoon masters have been listed by Richard Grigoris. At number 12 is Herbert Lawrence Block, better known as Herblock, whose US career spanned more than 70 years. A new documentary celebrating his career has just been broadcast on HBO. We expect it will turn up on the internet soon too.

Herblock_The_Black_and_the_White_@_procartoonists.org

Herblock: The Black and the White @ Procartoonists.org

As we noted yesterday, the Jesus and Mo cartoon continues to cause uproar. The Hampstead and Kilburn Lib Dem candidate Maajid Nawaz has received death threats and calls for deselection after publishing the cartoon on Twitter. The cartoonists were quick to respond.

© Hero-Glyphics by Josh Low @ procartoonists.org

Hero-Glyphics © Josh Low @ Procartoonists.org

Cartoonists are regularly attacked in the UK and across the globe and here are a few recent examples. Peter Schrank had his cartoon removed from the Economist website following complaints by the Anti-Defamation League. The Ecuadorian cartoonist Bonil, received a court summons after publication of a cartoon criticising the country’s president. And, the Palestinian cartoonist Majedah Shaheen apologised on Twitter having somehow upset Hamas.

More happily, there are still plenty of places where cartoonists are welcome: the 16th PortoCartoon World Festival in Portugal, the 46th Umoristi A Marostica in Italy, the 31st Aydın Doğan International Cartoon Competition in Turkey and the very 1st Cairo International Cartoon Exhibition in Egypt.

And finally, Egypt was also on Josh Lane’s mind, when he recreated modern heroes in his Hero-Glyphics, above.

How ya doin’?

January 25, 2014 in Comment, General, News

Jesus and Mo - How ya doin'?

© http://www.jesusandmo.net/

Hey. How ya doin’? can be offensive. Find out how and why might this might be so.

Readers will be unsurprised that we have been around such subjects before and won’t be surprised that the matter is also conflated with the local politics of the UK.

If you wish to offer a view please do, in the comments below.

Updated 29th Jan 2014: An interview on the issue conducted by Channel 4 News.

Tuning up for cartoon festival

January 23, 2014 in Events, General, News

Music cartoon by Wilbur Dawbarn

Music cartoon for Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival exhibition by Procartoonists.org member © Wilbur Dawbarn

Planning is under way for the 2014 Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival, the eleventh time the event has taken place in the Shropshire market town.

The main cartooning day of the festival, known as Cartoonists Live, will be Saturday 26 April. The festival exhibition of original artwork and prints, all for sale, on this year’s theme of “Music”, will run from 21 April to 17 May.

Inevitably, in these days of cutbacks, the festival is somewhat reduced in size this year as the major funding from Shropshire Council, which has been in place since the festival began in 2004, is no more.

The organisers are keen to point out that the festival has not been singled out by the council as the move is part of a much larger programme of reductions. The authority has had to make £80 million of cuts.

The festival has, however, had some financial support from this organisation, the PCO, and with some new sponsorship, existing funds, and a grant, the show goes on and the organisers say it will be as entertaining as ever.

The live event is one day rather than two, on the 26th, but it has been extended from 10am to 5pm. Most of the activity, such as the Big Boards and caricaturing, will take place in The Square, with workshops in other central venues.

As the festival website says, the event “offers unique opportunities to see artists at work, creating giant cartoons in The Square, drawing caricatures and running cartoon workshops for all ages”.

We’ll have more on the festival in due course. You can also see updates via @procartoonists, our Twitter feed, and follow the hashtag #shrews14

The Round-up

January 13, 2014 in General, Links, News

Robert Crumb cartoon
Kasia Kowalska writes:

It’s clearly not an impossible task to pick your all-time favourite cartoons but Bob Mankoff of The New Yorker has had a go at the advanced level of difficulty.

You can see some of our members tried it once too with Ten Great Cartoonists.

Elsewhere, the admirable Joe Gordon takes on the might of the BBC to get to the bottom of why Leo Baxendale’s name was omitted from a news piece about his famous creation Minnie the Minx.

The January sales are well under way and the Chris Beetles Gallery 2014 sale is now on. Artwork up for grabs includes cartoons by several Procartoonists.org members, including Noel Ford, John Jensen, Nick Newman, Royston Robertson, Ralph Steadman. Bill Stott, Kipper Williams and Mike Williams.

Not be outshone by the boys is Kathryn Lamb, another member currently exhibiting original cartoons, who returns to her Alma Mater with the Lamb’s Tales show, opening on 18 January.

Screen Shot 2014-01-13 at 15.14.31

‘Excuse me, Gentlemen – how would you rate your merriment levels’? © KJ Lamb@ procartoonists.org

A batch of Carl Giles artwork and memorabilia is expected for sale in February and will include contributions from family and friends of the Ipswich cartoonist. This follows the October auction of last year.

Hollywood enfant terrible Shia LaBeouf just cannot stop getting into trouble over allegations of plagiarism, only this time by using other people’s words to justify it. Meanwhile, the cartoonist Jamie Smart used Twitter to poke fun at LaBeouf.

And if protecting your reputation and authorship is important to you, make a note of this date in your diary: 5 February. This is the deadline for the public consultation on EU copyright legislation reforms, which aim to address the impact of digital media on users and authors.