THE AMERICAN National Cartoonists’ Society held its annual Reuben Awards last week which appears to have been a watershed in the sharing of awards between...Read More
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It’s likely that the participants at the Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival will look a little like the guy on the left at the end of this year’s Cartoonists Live day (26 April).
This year the usual two days’ worth of live-drawing events are packed into that one day. The hours have been extended as a result (now 10am-5pm). The organisers promise there will be lots for the public to see and do.
Pray silence please for another cartoon submitted for the Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival in April, where the theme is Music.
Next week we’ll publish a list of the cartoonists who are attending the festival to draw big board cartoons, caricatures and host workshops.
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.