You are browsing the archive for Professional Cartoonists Organisation.

Alice in Cartoon Land at Cartoon Museum

July 16, 2015 in Events, News

alice banner

ALICE IN CARTOON Land is the current exhibition at the Cartoon Museum in London. 150 years after the publication of Lewis Carroll’s world famous story about the little girl’s magical adventures with a bewildering array of strange characters and weird experiences, the Cartoon Museum has put up a display organised by writer and broadcaster Brian Sibley, a prominent member of the Lewis Carroll Society.

Cartoon Museum Brian Sibley

Photo by Kasia Kowalska

The exhibition features works from across the decades by cartoonists who have featured Alice themes in their cartoons. Artists represented range from Low, Vicky, Shepard and Illingworth to via Searle and ffolkes to Scarfe, Steadman and Rowson. There are Alice posters by Gilroy advertising Guinness, cartoon strips featuring Flook and Snoopy, pages from comics and graphic novels and original animation art from film and TV versions of Alice. There is also one wall of freshly-drawn cartoons by Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation members.

Cartoons by PCO

The event was very well attended, with cartooning luminaries such as Steve Bell and Dave Brown and Bryan Talbot, writer and artist of many graphic novels.

cartoonists Bell and Brown

Photo by Kasia Kowalska

 

 

 

In the view of the blog editor, this is one of the best cartoon exhibitions the Museum has put on in a long time, such is the length, breadth and variety of artworks and ephemera on show. Perhaps it just goes to show how inspiring to artists Charles Dodgson’s original masterpiece has always been. Well worth a visit and a vote of congratulations and thanks to Brian Sibley and Carton Museum curators, Anita O’Brien and Sarah Batten.

Cartoon Museum's Anita O'Brien and Sarah Batten

Photo by Kasia Kowalska

 

 

 

Draw The Line Here cartoon book launch in London

July 9, 2015 in General, News

Draw The Line Here Cartoon Book for Charlie Hebdo Cartoonists

DRAW THE LINE HERE, the cartoon book produced by the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation with English Pen and Crowdshed, was officially launched last night at an event hosted by Crowdshed in London.

Crowdshed owner Henry Freeman at the Draw The Line Here cartoon book launch

Photo by Mika Schick

The proceedings were kicked off by Crowdshed owner Henry Freeman who welcomed everyone to the event which has been the culmination of more than six months activity ever since the tragic events in Paris back in January.

Libby Purves speaks at Draw The Line Here cartoon book launch

Photo by Mika Schick

Foreword writer and PCO patron, the journalist, broadcaster and novelist Libby Purves spoke to an impressively large audience in the comfortably appointed performance space above the Crowdshed offices.

PCO Chairman Bill Stott speaks at the Draw The Line Here cartoon book launch

Photo by Mika Schick

Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation Chairperson Bill Stott gave an impassioned speech about the role of cartooning and satire in upholding the human right of freedom of speech.

Independent Cartoonist Dave Brown addresses the crowds at the Draw The Line Here cartoon book launch

Photo by Mika Schick

The Independent Newspaper cartoonist Dave Brown backed this up from his own perspective as a leading daily poilitical cartoonist well-used to sticking his neck out in the interests of Satire, Truth and the Cartoonist’s Way.

Robert Sharp of English Pen at Draw The Line Here cartoon book launch

English Pen organiser Robert Sharp also spoke about Draw The Line Here’s contribution to their ongoing global campaigns for freedom of speech.

Audience at Draw The Line Here Cartoon Book Launch

Photo by Mika Schick

There was an impressively large audience of enthusiasts, supporters and cartoonists and the event was well covered in social media.

Draw The Line Here cartoon Book Launch Tweets

 

 

 

BUY DRAW THE LINE HERE –  HERE (amazon) >>> or HERE (English Pen)>>> All funds go to help the families of Charlie Hebdo victims and to English Pen’s campaigns for freedom of speech. Not only that, but it’s also a fantastic collection of cartoons given completely freely by some of the UK’s best cartoonists in response to a terrible historic event.

 

 

 

 

Profile of PCO Chairperson/ Cartoonist Bill Stott

April 27, 2015 in General

PROFESSIONAL CARTOONISTS’ Organisation Chairperson, Bill Stott had a varied start to working life. He says that he was “a lot of ‘exes’” – including using his Fine Art degree as an ex-Art Teacher and ex-Schools Inspector. Quite what he was inspecting at schools isn’t told but it undoubtedly contributed to his ever-flowing reservoir of ideas for cartoon gags.

Bill’s cartoons started appearing a wide range of publications including Punch, The Oldie, Private Eye, Automobile and Classic Car Buyer, Saga Magazine and an obvious candidate for the Have I Got News For You Magazine of the week, The Stationary Engine.

Over forty cartoon books were produced over the years and Bill is looking forward to two new ones being published after a gap of eight years. In the corporate/private sector, Bill’s cartoons are often used on humorous calendars.

A regular participant and organiser of the Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival (although, unfortunately, not this year), Bill has always been a prominent fixture at the Big Boards with his unique giant water-colour style of huge cartoon.

Bill Stott at Big Board

As the Chairperson of the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation, Bill keeps a protective eye on the concerns and struggles of UK professional cartoonists from all walks of life and is currently steering the way through to the imminent publication of Draw The Line Here, a collection of Charlie Hebdo-inspired cartoons, in aid of their familes and for freedom of speech charity, English Pen. 

 

Cartoon Museum to celebrate 150th anniversary of Alice in Wonderland

February 11, 2015 in News

THE CARTOON MUSEUM is working with Brian Sibley, President of the Lewis Carroll Society and well-known author on illustration, cartoons and comics, on an exhibition to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the publication of Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland. The exhibition will include a wide range of political, joke and strip cartoons as well as some other ways the characters have been used.

The exhibition will run from 15 July to 1 November 2015 with the hope that it might also tour elsewhere. Curator, Anita O’Brien says that they are trying to see if they could get funding to do some kind of publication as well.

Tenniel illustration of Alice in Wonderland

The Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation have been encouraged to ask their members if they have any Alice-relevant gag cartoons, illustrations or caricatures which could feature.

This will promise to be one of the most varied and gag cartoon-oriented exhibitions at the museum for some time and will be well worth a visit, not just for Lewis Carrol fans.

Publishers must “create space for new cartoons” says PCO Chairman

February 10, 2015 in Comment

THE RECENT FLURRY of cartooning activity precipitated by the tragic events in Paris towards the beginning of January has caused several pauses for thought. When you get beyond the bigger picture of rights to freedom of speech and the arguments for and against depicting whatever religious leader, we cartoonists arrive at the same modern-day conundrum: Where are our cartoons being PUBLISHED?

While, the modern age allows a little self-satisfaction with instant ‘publication’ through the media of Facebook and Twitter, it’s a sort of vanity-publishing whose merits shrink in size next to a big fat commission from a national newspaper or, perhaps, a global advertising campaign. Many cartoonists acquire a steady stream of, mainly private or ‘below the line’, bread and butter work by advertising themselves as such on social media but the kudos of being chosen by an art editor or creative director is a much less frequent experience these days. Perhaps, this is partly the fault of the aforementioned social media, too?

Cartoon-Editor-Save-Money

Bill Stott, the Chairman of the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation writes:

The Draw the Line Here book of mainly UK cartoons, many from members of the PCO demonstrates, proves even, the power of good cartoons. The book will be published. Through sales of the book, funds will be sent to the relatives and families of those so mindlessly murdered in France. All of that is as it should be.

But what really puzzles, nay, infuriates me is that in the face of this demonstration of the power of humour, many UK publishers are ditching their cartoonists like unwanted ballast. The UK boasts some of the best cartoonists in the world. On current performance, UK publishers, of newspapers and magazines, do not value the UK’s professional cartooning talent. How many local newspapers still carry cartoons? Not many, in my view. What replaces the cartoon? Adverts?

The public loves cartoons. UK cartoon festivals, like Shrewsbury’s prove this, year on year. But there is an obvious disconnect between publishers’ thinking about cartoons and what the public like. New media, so-called social media, tweets, apps, and mobiles which can make toast or tell you what’s in your fridge might well have a hand in this disconnect, but the public doesn’t really have a voice here. It’s as likely to write to papers en masse about a lack of cartoons as there is to be a ninety percent turnout in a local government by-election. Newspaper sales are falling fast. It’s time for UK publishers to take a gamble. They must stop regarding the cartoon as the easiest thing to drop and be revolutionary. Reinstate dumped cartoons. Create space for new cartoons. Get brave! Bill Stott, Chair, PCO

Cartoon-Editor-Accountant

Cartoonists’ reactions to Charlie Hebdo massacre

January 8, 2015 in General, News

During a day when yet another couple of gunmen shoot two more people in Paris, killing one, a policewoman, it is compelling to view the reactions of cartoonists from around the world to yesterday’s Charlie Hebdo tragedy.

In the gallery above you will see emotional commentary from France, the UK and the US as well as Argentina, Brazil, Australia, Chile, Netherlands and India.

The reactions of closer-to-home PCO members will appear in this blog over the next few days.

 

Merry cartoony Christmas!

December 22, 2014 in Events, General

Procartoonists.org wishes you a merry Christmas and a very happy new year with this selection of festive cartoons from our members.

Have a great one, folks!

 

dredge_xmas

© Pete Dredge

jonesy_xmas© Jonesy

royston_xmas_2014© Royston

surreal_xmas© The Surreal McCoy

besley_xmas

© Rupert Besley

ariss_xmas© Nathan Ariss

whittock_xmas© Colin Whittock

aaron_xmas© Huw Aaron

hack_xmas

© Matthew Buck

brighty_xmas© Brighty

guy_xmas© Guy Venables

noelford_xmas© Noel Ford

ger_xmas© Gerard Whyman

anderson_xmas

© Terry Anderson

penwill_xmas© Roger Penwill

stott_xmas© Bill Stott

Check out all the PCO cartoonists in the portfolios here.

Avatar of Royston

by Royston

Cartoonists prepare to do battle

November 17, 2014 in Events, General, News

9975-1

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!

Video: Cartoonists in Herne Bay

September 23, 2014 in Events, General, News

This short video covering the exhibition and live cartooning in Herne Bay last month has been posted online by David Good Videos.

Former PCO chairman Nathan Ariss is our host, taking us through the background to the event and the live drawing that took place. Sue Austen of Beach Creative in Herne Bay and cartoonist Tim Harries talk about the workshops.

Our thanks go to David Good who also made a film on last year’s Marcel Duchamp festival in Herne Bay, which included a cartooning element.

UPDATE, 30 September: Rather than let all the footage he filmed go unseen, David Good has made another short film on the Herne Bay event. See below.

This time he talks to cartoonists Matt Buck, Royston Robertson and Steve Way.

See also:
David Good Videography
Procartoonists.org portfolios

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.