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Music is the, er, theme for this year’s Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival.
In the run-up to the event in April we’ll be featuring some cartoons submitted for exhibition at the festival by Procartoonists.org members. Here’s one from Alexander Matthews that first appeared in Reader’s Digest.
The festival exhibition of original artwork and prints, all for sale, will run from 21 April to 17 May. We’ll have more details nearer the time.
February 4, 2014 in Comment
Opinion: As regular readers will know, Michael Gove gets up Bill Stott’s nose
Hmm, he’s at it again, that Gove fellow. Wants to bring back writing lines, detention and – who knows? – six of the best, in the search for his notion of discipline in the classroom. He really hasn’t got a clue, has he?
What on earth have the wrong-headed, ignorant aspirations of this Mr Bean look-alike got to do with cartooning? Well, as I noted some time ago, one of the first things he did as Secretary of State for Education was to demote art and design and take it OUT of the core curriculum and put it IN to the hobby fringe.
And despite what Brian Sewell thinks, there IS a link between art education and cartooning.
Of course, a lot depends on the quality of the art education on offer. Given that Mr Beangove has already meddled with curriculum content and syllabuses – e.g. lots more Monarchs’ dates and burnt cakes in history – it wouldn’t surprise me at all if he didn’t make the teaching of perspective and Ostwald Colour Theory compulsory in any art and design still remaining in any school’s curriculum.
Shading would become compulsory, as would dividing up the human body into seven segments. And back would sweep still lifes: brown bananas, leathery oranges and putrefying apples. When colouring-in, pupils would have to keep to the lines.
If Michael Gove ever had an opinion about cartoons, they’d have to be clean, crisp and completely devoid of personality – rather like the anodyne niceness presently available as apps.
Thanks to Bill. To see work from people who paid attention in art class, and strictly no anodyne niceness, visit the Procartoonist.org portfolios
Following the news that one of the UK’s mass market national newspapers had removed its weekday editorial cartoonist we asked Andy Davey to write about the strange relationship that lies at the heart of such jobs.
For the UK cartoonist, working outside of the beneficence of a major newspaper brings benefits and troubles; editorial freedom and financial uncertainty. Creative freedom and money are rarely thrown together at the same artist.
In general, print editors and proprietors control content with an iron hand, especially when they are paying for it. Tabloid editors for example, are a clever bunch. They know how to run tight, focused media organisations. There is little or no room for a dissenting voice. The paper has to speak with one voice on a narrow range of issues.
Cartoonists are not hired to express their idiosyncratic views of the world, they are there to draw an on-message gag about something that is being highlighted in the day’s paper (preferably on the same page). Topics that are fair game are often defined and limited by who the paper “likes” (politicians or celebs they seek to cultivate) at any one time.
This can become wearing for the cartoonist who likes to come up with his/her own ideas – and that is pretty well all cartoonists (It is one of the key identifiers between cartoonists and illustrators – Ed).
The constraint of the ‘‘family paper’’, hard as it has sometimes been to believe in the era of phone hacking, also prevents anything too graphic from being published. Consequently, editorial cartoons in the tabloids can often look like sad toothless pastiches of the deferential 1950s.
Tabloid readers are conditioned to expect short, snappy articles and plenty of photos. The editorial pages, unlike the rather type-heavy pages in the broadsheets, are awash with images and banner headlines. Cartoons must fight to make themselves seen amid all this; even more so amid the flashing ads and animated pop-ups on the web versions.
A looser hand on the editorial tiller would allow stronger satirical graphic cartoons to attract the eye in traditional print and also in the relatively new digital environments.
Editor adds: Thanks to Andy to writing this. What do you think about editorial cartoons in the newspapers? Please free to dive into the comments below.
Powerful people in politics with wealth and helpers mix myth and reality to help deliver a projection of their achievements to the public. Parts of the same formula also drive the work of many cartoonists.
Both sorts of visual trickery are now at work in the national catharsis following the death of the former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
We’ve gathered ten cartoons for you to enjoy, whatever your opinion of the politician. We are sure you will have seen more, please do add links in the comments.
There is a mixture of reactions here from fresh-off-the-drawing-board images to retrospectives from the 1980s like this one.
There are reactions from the regions …
delayed jokes …
To repeat, we are sure you will have seen more and please do add them below in the comments.
Updated: Saturday 13th April. One national newspaper commissioned a whole supplement on Mrs Thatcher and gave the commission to Posy Simmonds – read it here. You will find more about Posy if you use the search tool on the sidebar of this site.
The popular growth of consumer screen devices for display of words, pictures and video have meant massive change for the publication trades and all who work in them.
Of course this includes cartoonists and we are now starting to see changes to the most traditional of tools to match the big industry trend towards personal mobile screens. This one caught the eye because it is the first brush tool input device we’ve seen - and this is how it works.
As you know, we’ve just moved home and that means changing some details of the service we provide.
These include the email subscription link we use to send you automatic updates of our posts. If your email service, ahem, is disrupted at all during our changes, please use this link to resubscribe. The email options are at bottom right of the second column on the page. Thank you.
A treat to start the week. Matt Pritchett, pocket cartoonist at The Telegraph Media Group talks about his favourite cartoonists in this short video.
Following an MP-generated controversy earlier in the year, when the University of Dundee launched the first mainstream postgraduate course in comic studies, student Laura Sneddon has helpfully begun blogging about the MLitt on a weekly basis for Comicbook resources.
Pulitzer-Prize winning US cartoonist Clay Bennett gave a talk this week in which he discussed the ‘best’ piece of hate mail he has ever received, and why “it’s hard to draw good cartoons where people are progressive”. Read more here.
Finally, a piece of original artwork by legendary Batman illustrator Jerry Robinson – the cover to Detective Comics #67 from 1942 – is expected to sell for over $300,000 when it comes to auction next month. Click here and get your chequebook ready.
October 25, 2011 in News
Congratulations to Steve Bright, one of our members, who has also made the final of Cartoonist Idol at the i newspaper. Steve provides the delightful shark drawing we use in our masthead here from time-to-time. He will be competing against Ben Jennings, Mark Thatcher, John Kennedy, and Chris Shipton for a job with the paper.
There is also a new set of jokes from the pocket cartoonists we named in yesterday’s post. You can still see the cartoons online, whereas today’s batch can be seen here. The Bloghorn sends congratulations to all those featuring in the finals and encourages you to get to know the best cartoonist folios here.