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Opinion: The cartoonist and the editor

November 12, 2013 in Comment, General, News

Editor_and_editorial_cartoonist_a_metaphoe_@_procartoonists.org

© Andy Davey @ Procartoonists.org

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.

Mrs Thatcher and the cartoonists

April 10, 2013 in Comment, General, News

Peter Brookes of Times on Margaret Thatcher @ procartoonists

© Peter Brookes of The Times @ Procartoonists.org

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.

Dave Brown of The Independent on Mrs Thatcher

© Dave Brown of The Independent @ Procartoonists.org

Both sorts of visual trickery are now at work in the national catharsis following the death of the former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

Matt Pritchett of the Telegraph on Mrs Thatcher

© Matt Pritchett of The Telegraph @ Procartoonists.org

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.

Noel Ford of the Daily Star on Mrs Thatcher @ procartoonists

Noel Ford from the Daily Star @ Procartoonists.org

There are reactions from the regions …

Frank Boyle Edinbugh Evening News on Mrs Thatcher

© Frank Boyle of the Edinburgh Evening News @ Procartoonists.org

delayed jokes …

Christian Adams of The Telegraph @ procartoonists

Christian Adams of The Telegraph @ Procartoonists.org

iconography …

Steve Bell of The Guardian on Mrs Thatcher @ procartoonists

© Steve Bell of The Guardian @ Procartoonists.org

futurology …

Hack Cartoons on Mrs Thatcher from Tribune @ procartoonists

© Matt Buck Hack Cartoons for Tribune @ Procartoonists.org

appeals …

Banx of the FT on Mrs Thatcher @ procartoonists

© Banx of the Financial Times @ Procartoonists.org

and pathos.

Steven Camley of The Herald on Mrs Thatcher @ procartoonists

Steven Camley of The Herald @ Procartoonists.org

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.

 

New tools of the trade

April 30, 2012 in General, News

UK procartoonists.org

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.

Dear subscribers

November 13, 2011 in Comment, Events, News

Can't see Bloghorn from the UK Professional Cartoonists' Organisation?

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.

 

Video: Matt’s favourite cartoonists

October 31, 2011 in Comment, News

A treat to start the week. Matt Pritchett, pocket cartoonist at The Telegraph Media Group talks about his favourite cartoonists in this short video.

Bloghorn is made on behalf of the UK Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation

Round-up: What the Bloghorn saw

October 29, 2011 in Comment, News

Rob Murray writes:

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.

As Steven Spielberg’s motion-capture Tintin film is released in cinemas, Scotsman.com asks how it will be received in Hergé’s Brussels.

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.

Cartoonist talent search continues

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 hereThe Bloghorn sends congratulations to all those featuring in the finals and encourages you to get to know the best cartoonist folios here.

The Bloghorn is made on behalf of the UK’s Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation

Editors take note …

October 20, 2011 in Comment

Ian Hislop and Nick Newman
Ian Hislop and Nick Newman talk cartoons at the Eye © V&A

If you have not yet watched the behind-the-scenes video about Private Eye on the V&A site, you should take a look, particularly if you are in any way responsible for content in newspapers, magazines or websites.

Ian Hislop, Editor of Private Eye, one of Britain’s most successful magazines — which has seen its circulation rise of late, bucking the trend for the industry — reveals one of the keys to its success:

“Cartoons are fantastically popular — people love them. And I think most publications miss a trick …”

Watch the full video here.

The video shows Ken Pyne, a member of the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation, which runs the Bloghorn, drawing a cartoon. Then one by the PCO’s Alexander Matthews is singled out for praise by Hislop. And when he lauds the benefits of cartoons he shows a page that includes gags by seven PCOers. Get the message? Check out the PCO portfolios here.

Welcome back to ‘obscene’ postcards

September 23, 2011 in Comment, News

Bob Wilkin postcardBloghorn is pleased to report the recent Margate cartoon postcard exhibition will be back on display in the British Cartoon Archive Gallery, at the University of Kent, from 24 September. This time it will run for six weeks.

The original exhibition ran for only ten days but will get a longer run in nearby Canterbury.

Details here and you can read the original report on Bloghorn here.

Round-up: What the Bloghorn saw

September 23, 2011 in Comment, News

Rob Murray writes:

Following the overthrow of Col. Gaddafi, artistic Libyans have painted caricatures of the dictator on walls throughout the country.

A Swedish cartoonist who has received death threats for depicting the Prophet Mohammed as a dog was the target of a foiled attack last month, according to the Telegraph.

Cartoonist and New Yorker cover artist Chris Ware is embracing new technology, having just released an iPad-only comic.

In some ways, though, the streamlining of technology is making the cartoonist’s job harder. So writes comic artist and illustrator Tom Papparlardo, in an entertaining entry on his blog.

Timed for the Liberal Democrat party conference this week, Gerald Scarfe caricatures Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg in a video clip (we’re promised his impressions of Cameron and Miliband in the weeks to come).

Finally, Irish political cartoonist Donal Casey has appealed for help in recovering a series of framed illustrations that were stolen from a train on Tuesday. TheJournal.ie has more on the story, including the relevant contact details in the event that you can help.

The Bloghorn is made on behalf of the UK Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation