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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

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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!

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.

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 …