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The Round-up

November 13, 2014 in Events, General, Links, News

Nigel Farage © Andy Davey for The Sun

Nigel Farage © Andy Davey for The Sun. Click to enlarge

Public voting is under way for the Political Cartoon of the Year 2014. Those in the running include the Procartoonists.org members Andy Davey, above, Dave Brown, Martin Rowson, Steve Bell, Steve Bright and Gary Barker.

The Times’s political cartoonist Peter Brookes is the subject of a short film called The Art of Satire, part of the newspaper’s Unquiet films series, celebrating its contributors and other aspects of the newspaper’s production (there’s even one for font geeks, we know you’re out there).

A cartoon for Stars on Canvas © Jonesy

A cartoon for Stars on Canvas © Jonesy

Many cartoonists have contributed to the new Stars on Canvas charity auction, in aid of the Willow foundation, which provides memorable days and experiences for seriously ill young adults aged 16 to 40.

The contributors include a whole bunch of PCO members: Rob Murray, Kipper Williams, Mike Williams, Jonesy, Jonathan Cusick, Matt Percival. Jonathan Pugh, Royston Robertson, Lawrence Goldsmith, Kate Taylor, Tony Husband and Noel Ford.

The BBC has a short film on Quentin Blake, talking about his new book The Five of Us, which is about a group of children who overcome diabilities

Peter Capaldi © Jonathan Cusick

Peter Capaldi © Jonathan Cusick

The Chris Beetles Gallery‘s winter selling exhibition The Illustrators opens this weekend (15 November). It features illustration from 1800 to the present day. One of the contempiorary artists featured is Procartoonists member Jonathan Cusick, above.

Britain has a poet laureate and a children’s laureate and now Dave Gibbons, best known as the artist behind Watchmen, has been named as the first comics laureate, an initiative by the charity Comics Literacy Awareness.  Gibbons recently spoke to the Guardian about his lifelong passion for the medium.

One person who doesn’t need convincing about the worth of comics is Price Harry, who revealed his love for them as he met cartoonist Will Kevans.

"Wittertainment" presenters © Terry Anderson

“Wittertainment” presenters © Terry Anderson

Finally, cartoons on the radio is a phenomenon that happens all too rarely but the Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo film review show and podcast, known to its army of fans as Wittertainment, has started a regular feature called Cartoonists’ Corner, so those who listen to the show while drawing cartoons can say hello.

Those inaugurated into Cartoonists’ Corner so far include Procartoonists members Martin Rowson and Royston Robertson. And the Witertainment presenters have been caricatured, above,  by Terry Anderson. Pictured, clockwise, are Simon Mayo and Mark Kermode, plus the recent stand-in presenters James King and Sanjeev Bhaskar.

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by Royston

The Round-up

May 22, 2014 in Events, General, Links, News

It’s time for another cartooning news Round-up and we kick off again with a few busy Procartoonists.org members

From The Good Psychopath's Guide to Success © Rob Murray

From The Good Psychopath’s Guide to Success © Rob Murray

Rob Murray has illustrated a new book called The Good Psychopath’s Guide to Success by Andy McNab and Professor Kevin Dutton (above, left to right).

“Part of the idea,” Rob tells us, “is to get across the message that while people immediately think of serial killers and axe murderers when they hear the word ‘psychopath’, it actually covers a wide range of people and some — like McNab — are functioning ‘good’ psychopaths.”

There’s more on the book at the Telegraph and Mail Online.

Wilbur Dawbarn appeared on Sunday Brunch on Channel 4 and showed hosts and guests how to draw Billy Whizz. You can see the show on 4oD here. Will appears at 22 minutes in and at 1hr 7mins. The show also features comics expert Paul Gravett talking about the exhibition Comics Unmasked.

Nathan Ariss at Studio 106

Nathan Ariss at Studio 106

Studio 106 in Hove is holding an open house every weekend in May, from 11-5pm, as part of the Brighton Arts Festival. Nineteen local artists including the cartoonists Grizelda and Procartoonists’ own Nathan Ariss, above, are showcasing their work and method of working. The studio is at 106 Coleridge Street.

The South China Morning Post cartoonist Harry Harrison, probably the most far-flung of Procartoonists members, celebrates 20 years in Hong Kong with a look back at his favourite cartoons.

In an edition of the Resonance FM show Panel Borders, Tom Sutcliffe talks to Nick Newman, cartoonist and editor of Private Eye: A Cartoon History, and the magazine’s editor Ian Hislop about the Eye’s most memorable and controversial cartoons.

Voteman is coming!

Look out: Voteman is coming!

Feeling apathetic about this week’s European elections? Think again! The Danish parliament decided that Voteman, a cartoon packed with sex and violence, would bring more voters to the polls. It later withdrew the video, but nothing ever dies on the internet and you can watch it here (but be warned!)

Over in the US, the New York Post dropped its comics page. Tom Richmond has something to say about that.

Pat Mills, creator of Charley’s War, talks to the BBC about the epic comic strip and argues that the First World War was the “first sci-fi war”.

The annual Observer/Jonathan Cape/Comica Graphic Short Story Competition (they really need a catchier name) is now open. The deadline for entries is 26 September.

Finally, you’ve heard of mini comics, well Forbidden Planet has details on the world’s smallest comic strip, which is drawn on a human hair.

The Round-up

May 10, 2013 in Events, General, Links, News

© Christian Adams for The Telegraph @Procartoonists.org

The Premier League was rocked this week by the unexpected news of Sir Alex Ferguson‘s retirement, and cartoonists had a ball with it (sorry). In The Telegraph, Christian Adams put the news in context (above), while Matt Pritchett drew parallels with another recent shock resignation. Over in The Guardian, Kipper Williams considered the impact on industry. On the news that David Moyes is taking the reins, Procartoonists.org member Andy Davey pictures the handover in The Sun.

Rob Murray (full disclosure: the writer of this post!) will be opening up his studio to the public from 16-19 May, exhibiting and selling original cartoons from Private Eye, Reader’s Digest, The Spectator and elsewhere as part of the Summer Open Studios show at Wimbledon Art Studios. Entry is free and all are very welcome.

Stephen Collins celebrates the publication of his new book, The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil, with a launch party this evening at Gosh! in London. See preview pages in the ‘Big Comics’ section of his website.

Own-it offers a helpful and concise look at the ongoing controversial changes to UK copyright legislation, which pave the way for licensing of orphan works. Read it here.

An obituary for Margaret Groening reveals that her son – Simpsons creator Matt – believes in writing about what (or who) he knows. The Telegraph picks up on the story and provides this handy interactive family tree.

And finally, having recently challenged New Yorker cartoonists to a reverse-engineered caption contest, cartoon editor Bob Mankoff invites readers to have a go.

 

When cartoonists meet The Public

May 1, 2012 in Events, General

Bill Stott at Big Board

Bill Stott gives us his "meeting The Public" look

Bill Stott, who will be writing regularly for the Procartoonists.org blog, gives us his take on the Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival:

Shrewsbury is an opportunity to meet that most unpredictable of creatures: The Public. At Shrewsbury at least, they take cartooning in their stride. I was inking my 8ft by 5ft Big Board, when a couple (“We’ve come all the way from Wolverhampton for this.”) sidled up to watch.

He said, “It’s quite good, that.” Then she said, “’Course, I expect you get all your drawings off the internet.” She was wearing a plastic rain hood so I forgave her.

Later, whilst drawing fast black-and-white cartoons for Noel Ford’s instant gallery in the market, I was slightly disheartened by the number of people who weren’t taking any notice.

Suddenly, and at close hand, a male voice shouted, “Irene, they’re over here!” Good, thought I. Fans. Then there was another much louder shout. “IRENE! IRENE! THE TOILETS! THEY’RE OVER HERE!” He was right. They were.

Mr and Mrs Deafbladder bustled through. Much, much later he may have been puzzled by the black felt-tip pen stroke across the back of his mac.

Bill Stott will be back next week with more musing on the life of the professional cartoonist.

This will be our final post on Shrewsbury 2012, so we’ll finish with a round-up of links to personal blogs written by festival attendees this year: Alex Lester, the Radio 2 presenter and patron of the festival, wrote not one, but two blogs; and posts have also been written by the Procartoonists.org members Huw Aaron, Tim Harries, Rob Murray and Royston Robertson.

Photo by Nicolette Petersen

What the Bloghorn Saw…

November 4, 2011 in News

Foghorn Bloghorn for The UK Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation Rob Murray writes:

Bloghorn is sad to note the death of Tony Reeve, the much-loved gag and strip cartoonist for Private Eye, Punch, The Spectator and others. He was joking to the end, contributing a gag to the Eye as recently as last month that was drawn up by his friend Steve Way. Another of Tony’s friends, Geoffrey Notkin, has written a touching tribute over at the Tucson Citizen.

After its offices were firebombed following the publication of a front-cover cartoon depicting the Prophet Mohammad, French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo has reprinted the offending image in a supplement distributed with a leading newspaper. Reuters has more here.

In the US, cartoonist Mort Walker – creator of the long-running newspaper comic strip Beetle Bailey – is to receive a military award.

Having brought the Smurfs to cinemas earlier this year, Sony Pictures is mining comic strips once more, with a 3D animated Popeye movie. With any luck the character design will stay true to the established version of the cartoon sailor, and won’t strive too hard for realism.

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

 

Cartoonist Idol shortlist announced

October 24, 2011 in News

Cartoonist IdolThe Surreal McCoy and Rob Murray, both members of the PCO, which runs the Bloghorn, have made the final in the strip cartoon section of the i newspaper’s “Cartoonist Idol” competition.

They feature alongside strips by Phil Merchant, Trumble & Warr, and Geoff Thompson on pages 26 and 27 of the i today.

The PCO also features heavily in the “pocket” cartoons section: you can see The Surreal McCoy, Bill Stott and Rob Murray on pages 7, 11, and 25 respectively, alongside James Whitworth on page 3 and Peter Allwright on page 21.

You can also see the cartoons online and a comment from the editor here. News of the “landscapes”, or editorial cartoons, is promised for tomorrow’s paper, along with more pocket cartoons. The Bloghorn sends congratulations to all those featuring in the finals.

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

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by Royston

Round-up: What the Bloghorn saw

May 27, 2011 in News

Rob Murray writes:

US cartoonist Ted Rall, who put himself up for sale on eBay earlier this month, has written about  how his left-wing views have seen him dropped by even left-leaning publications. In an opinion piece titled Rise of the Obamabots, he recounts some of the rejections he’s received from left-of-centre magazines and argues that the US press is so enamoured with Barack Obama that “there’s less room for a leftie during the Age of Obama than there was under Bush”.

Bloghorn also spotted an opportunity for cartoon fans to become part of Scott AdamsDilbert strip. Readers can upload photos of themselves and personalise one of 25 strips online, replacing one of the regular characters and becoming part of the action.

Closer to home, a selection of work by the profilic cartoonist and illustrator Ern Shaw (1891-1986) will be auctioned off next month. Hull-born Shaw had a career spanning more than 60 years, in which he is thought to have had around 25,000 cartoons published in newspapers and magazines, as well as illustrating children’s books and card games. More information on the sale can be found at the website of the auctioneers Dee Atkinson & Harrison.

Bloghorn says, if there is anything big we have missed please do tell us in the comments below

Oor Wullie under the hammer

May 11, 2011 in News

Rob Murray writes:

An oil painting of iconic Scottish cartoon-strip character Oor Wullie is due to be auctioned in Glasgow on Thursday night, and has been valued at between £2,500 and £3,500.

Oor Wullie Oil Painting by Graham McKean

© STV – Scottish Television – Image by artist Graham McKean

The painting, by Irvine-based artist Graham McKean, shows D.C. Thomson‘s Wullie – and his trademark upturned bucket – away from his Dundee home and sat on a sandy beach.

McKean has called the painting ‘Oor Wullie, Your Wullie, A Holiday Wullie’ – a play on the strip’s tagline of ‘Oor Wullie! Your Wullie! A ‘body’s Wullie!’

The character is celebrating his 75th birthday this year, having first appeared in the Sunday Post in 1936.

“I have painted many famous people over the years but I wanted to do a real Scottish icon this time, and that was when I thought of Wullie,” McKean told STV News.

“Like many Scottish youngsters, I grew up reading Oor Wullie and The Broons, although when I was deciding where to set the piece I decided to take him away from Dundee and put him in a location closer to my own home,” he added.

The auction raises the age-old question about the relative value of different art forms.

If McKean’s painting reaches its expected sale price, it will have made roughly double that of a sketchbook containing Wullie drawings by the character’s original artist, legendary Thomson cartoonist Dudley D. Watkins – which sold last year for £1,600.

Meanwhile, Wullie has been reinterpreted in a very different way in the current issue of Viz. A one-page strip titled ‘Oor Frankie’, drawn by Davey Jones, casts comedian Frankie Boyle in the role and, for a limited time, can be viewed here for free.

Bloghorn says if you would like to share a view on the value of art and cartoon, or even of cartoon and art, please do in the comments below.

The other big event

April 28, 2011 in Comment, News

While parts of the country are reeling under the weight of Royal Wedding merchandise (see here) the UK is also having its traditional May elections.

Cartoonist and new Bloghorn contributor Rob Murray, writes:

Candidate Dafydd Trystan Davies is campaigning with something a bit different from the traditional manifesto, instead commissioning a cartoon strip that outlines his ambitions for the constituency he hopes to represent.

Example of an election cartoon leaflet from the 2011 local elections in South Wales. Image displayed at bloghorn for the UK Professional Cartoonists' Organisation

Image © Dai Owen

The strip, by artist Dai Owen, shows Davies travelling through Cynon Valley in South Wales and touches on his goals for public transport, employment, housing and the local health service.

Image © Dai Owen

 

Davies, the Plaid Cymru candidate for the seat, told the Western Mail that the cartoon has already gone down well with the public. “They’ve laughed and they’ve read it – two important things,” he said, adding: “It’s a fun way to get a message across to people who are by and large disengaged with politics.”

Bloghorn would like to see more cartoons being used in publicity campaigns, be they political, commercial or charitable.

Reader’s Digest, digested

April 26, 2011 in Events

The Readers Digest stall, manned by Cartoon Editor Steve Way, with some of the winning captions*. Photo copyright and courtesy of PCO member Ger Whyman.

A new addition to this years recent Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival was the presence of a team from the magazine Reader’s Digest. From a stall in the town’s Square, the focus of many of the festival’s activities, the Reader’s Digest team engaged members of the public to try their hand at a popular Digest competition, Beat the Cartoonist.

Thankfully, this didn’t involve any physical violence towards the assembled cartoonists, as entrants were asked to provide their own captions to a series of cartoons from the magazine. With prizes that included the signed and framed original artwork, £100, subscription to the magazine and a goody bag, this was unsurprisingly a successful event, as there were more than 1,000 entries over the course of the weekend.

Bloghorn‘s own Royston Robertson was one of the cartoonists who had a drawing used in the contest. He said: “It was great to hear that people responded to the contest in such great numbers. More proof, as if it was needed, that people love cartoons, and a great interactive element for the festival.”

The Digest also hosted a free talk and advice session at Shrewsbury’s Theatre Severn, titled ‘What makes a good cartoon?’ Cartoon editor Steve Way and design director Martin Colyer, along with the magazine’s editor Gill Hudson, talked a packed room through the submission process and discussed some of the factors that may influence their decision to accept or reject a particular cartoon.

The Digest team took questions from the floor and ran through some of the cartoons that have recently appeared in the magazine, after which there was an opportunity for aspiring cartoonists to show their portfolios and receive targeted advice.

*For those of you squinting to read the winning captions in the photo above, they read as follows (l-r): “Shouldn’t we be squeezing the silly banker instead of stretching him?” – Pete Yearsley; “I told you not to get this sat nav from the 99p store!” – Luke Grint, 11 yrs; “If we find the sixpence we can hire a sunshade too” – Janet Bell. The cartoons are by Simon Meyrick-Jones, Paul Wood and Royston Robertson.

Thanks to Rob Murray and Ger Whyman for help in writing this post.