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Summer is here and our thoughts turn to holidays, so the latest issue of Foghorn, the magazine of the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation, looks at the behaviour of the British abroad. The cover is by the PCO’s Robert Duncan. The magazine is available to subscribers for the annual price of £20 for six full colour issues.
Roger Penwill on on a travel adventure worthy of Samuel Beckett.
Rupert Besley on the holidays of his youth, when anything foreign was the subject of deep mistrust.
Clive Goddard on America, and how it is really rather big.
Clive Collins on the freelancer’s fear of taking time off.
And you’ll find a full page of cartoons by Andrew Birch.
Plus lots more: the Critic, the Foghorn Guide, the Potting Shed … and several straining suitcases packed with funny cartoons about what we did on our holidays.
You can read older issues of Foghorn online here, right up to our most recent issue.
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June 7, 2011 in News
Cartoons are inextricably linked to the seaside, so it was no surprise that when the new series of BBC Two’s Coast headed to Margate for a piece on the heyday of seaside landladies, they chose to illustrate that with a cartoon postcard.
For Rupert, who has drawn hundreds of postcards, almost all for the holiday trade, national TV exposure was a mixed blessing, as the cartoon they chose was drawn more than 30 years ago. Rupert told the Bloghorn:
“If you’re lucky enough to get a cartoon taken up for use in a television programme, it does seem a bit mealy-mouthed then to start complaining about the one selected, given the choice available. But which would you rather have fill the screen, a recent cartoon that you were secretly quite pleased with or something done more than 30 years back, an early hamfisted attempt at a cartoon? Well, they said they’d pay me, so I won’t go on about it.”
Bloghorn will gloss over Rupert’s comments – the typical insecurity of the cartoonist! – and say it’s a great cartoon, perfectly illustrating the subject matter at hand.
March 21, 2011 in Events
As Prince William and Kate Middleton prepare to tie the knot on April 29, Marriage à la Mode: Royals and Commoners In and Out of Love promises “a bouquet of barbed wit” on the subject of marriage.
It will feature musings on matrimony from cartoonists past and present, including William Hogarth, who created a series of works that give the show its name, James Gillray, H.M. Bateman, Donald McGill, Carl Giles, Mel Calman, Ralph Steadman and Posy Simmonds.
The Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation, which runs the Bloghorn, is represented with cartoons by Steve Bell, Rupert Besley, Noel Ford, Martin Honeysett, Ken Pyne, below, Royston Robertson, and Bill Stott.
Despite being its inspiration, the royal couple are unlikely to give the show their seal of approval. As well as looking at some of the less successful aspects of marriage, some cartoons remind us of a certain royal wedding from 30 years ago that did not go too well, as seen in this 1995 Time magazine cartoon by Arnold Roth, right.
William and Kate may also not want to be associated with the work of Reg Smythe, who features in the exhibition and is famous for creating the less-than-idyllic marriage of Andy Capp and Flo.
Other cartoonists featured include Ros Asquith, Ian Baker, Biff, Nicholas Garland, Grizelda, Peter “Pak” King, David Langdon, Peter Schrank, Geoff Thompson, and Robert Thompson.
For more details visit the museum website. Marriage à la Mode runs until May 22, by which time those commemorative royal wedding tea towels may well be frayed at the edges.
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.
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.”
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’.”
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.”
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?”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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’
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.
June 27, 2008 in Events
June 6, 2008 in Events
Besley has been widely published for over 20 years. Most of his detailed watercolour work has been in providing illustrations for schoolbooks, educational publishers and business presentations in need of charm and direct communication. But he has also supplied gag cartoons for many books of cartoon jokes, often focusing on travel and holidays inside Britain.
His postcard art is notorious, especially if you’ve had an experience of the weather in Wales, or the midges in Scotland. He has also been published in a large number of magazines including Country Talk, The Oldie and Country Life. Resident on the Isle of Wight, he is, naturally, a chronicler of all life there and had a one-man exhibition – Island Fling – recently.