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by Royston

A Monday Round-up

April 16, 2012 in News

"Is there any news of the Iceberg?" © Bill Tidy

You may have noticed a lack of blog posts last week, this was caused by various changes going on behind the scenes to this website. To make it up to you, we offer an early round-up of cartooning links this week, as later we’ll be concentrating on this week’s Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival (April 19-22).

First up, you may have noticed that it’s 100 years since a certain large boat sank, and if you’ve not had enough of the excessive media coverage, here’s Bob Mankoff of the New Yorker on The world’s largest comedy cliche. We also revisit the definitive cartoon on the subject, above, originally in Punch in 1968, by the Procartoonists.org patron Bill Tidy.

Still on matters New Yorker, Liza Donnelly has transcribed one of her talks so you can read it on her blog: Word and image: The art of cartooning. And Carolita Johnson outlines her somewhat unusual career trajectory for the women’s website The Hairpin inHow to become a cartoonist in about 20 jobs.

Robert Crumb continues to be lauded by the art establishment in France, where he lives, and talks to AP about how odd he still finds it to see his art on walls in galleries. And talking of Art with a capital A, Charles Saatchi has his eye on a cartoonist.

Here’s something of which we were aware, from the AOI’s magazine, Varoom, but we hadn’t realised was now online. It’s a great read too. Martin Colyer, design director at Reader’s Digest, talks to cartoonists John CuneoSteve Way and Tom Gauld aboutThe process of cartoons.

Mark “Andertoons” Anderson does a bit of soul-searching on his blog and tells us Why I’m a cartoonist.

The popular DC Thomson comic strip The Numskulls is 50 years old, so comics artist Lew Stringer looks at how this story of little people in our heads fascinates and considers its many imitators, in Variations on a small theme.

The little people in my head tell me that’s enough links to be going on with. Expect Shrewsburyness tomorrow.

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by Royston

The evolution of a cartoonist

March 1, 2011 in News

What makes a cartoonist? Or any kind of artist? How much of a person’s skill is down to “natural talent”, if there is such a thing, to the environment they grew up in, or to hard work?

Cartoons by Sophie Crumb

Such issues arise from the book Sophie Crumb: Evolution of a Crazy Artist. Sophie is the daughter of Robert Crumb, the godfather of American underground comics, and the book traces her development as an artist from the age of 2 to 29.

Crumb and his wife, Aline Kominsky-Crumb, who is also a cartoonist and has collaborated with her husband, have kept their daughter’s best drawings since she was a child and have now collected them in this book.

“How much is nature, how much is nurture? Would I draw if I was adopted into another family? I don’t know.” – Sophie Crumb.

Of course, you could argue that such a book would not have been published if it were not for Sophie’s famous surname, but nevertheless it provides a unique snapshot of a lifetime of development. And as you can see from Sophie’s Crumb’s blog, she’s not too shabby at drawing.

You can read more of her thoughts on this in an interview at Telegraph.co.uk. And there’s a review here.

From Herriman to Holte: Another ten great cartoonists

January 19, 2011 in Comment

The cartoonist Gerald Scarfe has made a list of his ten favourite cartoonists, for the Daily Mail website. It includes some inarguable choices as well as some surprising ones.

Ronald Searle, widely regarded as Britain’s best living cartoonist, is on there. There are also choices from the worlds of fine art, such as Picasso, and film-making, which is represented by Walt Disney, more for his skill at getting great work from others than his own drawing talents.

We asked members of the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation, which runs the Bloghorn, to name their favourite cartoonists not on the Scarfe list. It’s not a poll, or a “top ten”, just an informal list of another ten great artists, and it shows the wealth of variety and creativity to be found in the world of cartooning.

Hector Breeze cartoon

1. Hector Breeze (Born 1928). Picked by Pete Dredge: “A master of the pocket cartoon. Out of the mouths of his mundane, benign, chunkily drawn characters comes the sharpest of captions.”

Robert Crumb cartoon

2. Robert Crumb (Born 1943). Picked by Royston Robertson: “He has been satirising the way we live since the 1960s with his dense, inky, cross-hatched drawings, displaying human folly in all its gory glory. Not for nothing was he described by the art critics Robert Hughes as ‘the Bruegel of the last half of the 20th century’.”

George Grosz painting

3. George Grosz (1893-1959). Picked by Matt Buck and Andrew Birch (both blatantly ignoring the brief of people not on Scarfe’s list, Bloghorn notes!) Matt says: “Grosz drew with an unsparing eye and produced powerful reflections of what people do rather than what they say they do.” Andrew adds: “For me German Expressionism was one of the most important art movements of the 20th century, whose brutal and honest line laid the foundation for many later cartoonists like Steadman.”

Heath Robinson cartoon

4. William Heath Robinson (1872-1944). Picked by Rupert Besley: “He was an original, creating a wonderful, instantly recognisable world of his own. He satirised the growth of mechanisation, but did so in a gloriously enjoyable way that always kept the human at the centre of it all. Which other cartoonist has added his name to the language and booked his place in every dictionary?”

George Herriman cartoon

5. George Herriman (1880-1944). Picked by Wilbur Dawbarn: “From the gorgeously scratchy line work and absolute poetry of the writing in the early years, to the sheer majesty of composition in the latter years, Herriman’s Sunday Krazy Kat pages are, to my mind, some of the finest examples of comic art ever penned.”

Holte cartoon

6. Trevor Holder, aka “Holte” (Born 1941). Picked by Roger Penwill: “Glorious technique, a master of expressive line and a very funny, wicked sense of humour. Some of his cartoons are timeless classics.”

Kliban cartoon

7. Bernard Kliban (1935-1990). Picked by Chris Madden: “I came across a book by B. Kliban: Cat Dreams. I’m not sure what they’re about. I’m not even sure if they’re funny (do cartoons actually have to be funny?) But they’re brilliant. Apparently he grew to detest drawing cats in the end, but they were what everybody wanted. Beware success.”

David Law cartoon

8. David Law (1908-1971). Picked by Steve Bright: “Beautifully fluid and loose line, amazing perspectives and angles, and the master of life and motion in all that he drew. Law inspired millions of kids to pick up a pencil through his marvellous work in the Beano, Dandy and Topper.”

Phil May cartoon

9. Phil May (1864-1903). Picked by Mike Turner: “A breakthrough in culling captions down to a minimum. Great art, brilliant caricatures, sheer good humour relating to ‘the man in the street’ or the ‘man on the horse-drawn omnibus’

Bill Tidy cartoon

10. Bill Tidy (Born 1933). Picked by Bill Stott: “For his excellent gags and consummate drawing, especially in his history-based stuff.”

What do you think of the list? Got a favourite cartoonist you’d like to add to it? Let us know in the comments below.

Comic festivals return

November 5, 2009 in General

comica_logoThe three-week London-centred comic festival Comica opens today, featuring the usual mix of talks, workshops and exhibitions including the Cartoon Museum‘s 30 Years of Viz celebration (previously on Bloghorn) and a collection of original artwork from American underground comic legend Robert Crumb (previously). Also happening is the small press and self-publisher’s fair, Comiket, this coming Sunday at the ICA. There’s a full program of everything that’s going on here (or in PDF form here). Comica continues until the 26 November at various locations across the city.

thoughtbubble

Coming later in the month is the Thought Bubble festival in Leeds, happening between Thursday 19 and Sunday 22 November, and features more workshops, talks and exhibitions and incorporates the Thought Bubble one-day comic convention on the Saturday at Saviles Hall, opposite the Royal Armories.

A pick of Posy Simmonds

October 23, 2009 in General

posysimmonds
Cartoonist and social satirist Posy Simmonds will be talking about her graphic novel adaptations of classic literature in London on Saturday 24th October.

Posy will be demonstrating and discussing her work and particularly her recent book Tamara Drewe which was based on Thomas Hardy’s novel Far From the Madding Crowd. The film adaptation of Posy’s work is in production now.

You might even get a sneak preview of her next project too.

Her distinct and successful method for adaptations and adjustments would certainly make a interesting contrast with Robert Crumb‘s efforts to rewrite the book of Genesis. Perhaps one day we will get them both talking on the same stage…

Posy Simmonds is performing at Hall One of King’s Place at 4pm on Saturday as a part of The Guardian’s Hay Festival.