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The Round-up

August 12, 2014 in Events, General, Links, News

Cartoon © Bill Stott

Cartoon © Bill Stott. Click to enlarge

It’s the summer lull. So we offer you a short round-up of cartooning news before we hit the beach with a very large book that will never be finished. Normal service will be resumed in September.

The Edinburgh International Book Festival has a series of events called Stripped 2014, celebrating comics and graphic novels and the artists who create them. And if you’re in the city for the various festivals, Procartoonists.org member Martin Rowson is speaking at the Fringe today.

When is a conference not a conference? When it’s the Comics Unconference, which takes place in Glasgow in February. Meanwhile, a website called Comic Soapbox Scotland is showcasing politically engaged comics created in Scotland. The site wants to hear from all parties, on the subject of the looming referendum or not.

The Observer has an interview with Roger Law of Spitting Image fame. There’s a gallery here. Law has since moved on to other forms of art, which can be seen at Sladmore Contemporary.

This is nicely done, an interactive version of William Hogarth’s Gin Lane, from the BBC website.

First World War Commemorations continue, and a set of satirical cartoons from the time have gone on display in Camberley, Surrey.

Finally, we said we wouldn’t go on about it again, but the Cartoonists Beside the Surrealside event in Herne Bay got a rather nice write-up in the local Herne Bay Gazette. Click image to enlarge.

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The Round-up

June 4, 2014 in Events, General, Links, News

Never Again, World War One in Cartoon and Comic Art, will be held at the Cartoon Museum

Never Again, World War One in Cartoon and Comic Art, will be held at the Cartoon Museum

Kasia Kowalska writes:

The next exhibition to at the Cartoon Museum in London is titled Never Again and will be on the subject of cartoons drawn during the First World War. It will run from 11 June to 19 October. Until then, there is still time to catch the Spitting Image 30th anniversary exhibitionwhich ends on 8 June.

Private Eye’s Scene & Heard comic strip, by Procartoonists.org member David Ziggy Greene, is to be published in hardback at the end of the month. The cartoonist is currently choosing the 50 strips that will feature.

The artist/cartoonist David Shrigley talks to The Guardian about how it is difficult in the world of fine art to have a comic voice.

Alex Salmond cartoon © Brian Adcock

Alex Salmond cartoon © Brian Adcock. Click to enlarge

The Norfolk-based cartoonist Brian Adcock is celebrating a hat-trick at the Scottish Press Awards this year. He is best known for his political cartoons for The Scotsman and The Independent.

Meanwhile, another political cartoonist, Christian Adams of the Telegraph, has given behind-the-scenes access to his cartooning process via Instagram. And if you have Sky Atlantic, you probably want to tune in at 9pm tonight (4 June) to see For No Good Reason, the documentary about Ralph Steadman.

© Michael Heath. The cartoonist's first ever cartoon for The Spectator

© Michael Heath. The cartoonist’s first ever gag for The Spectator, from 1960

A new Twitter feed has been set up to showcase cartoons from The Spectator, old and new. It kicked off this week with the magazine’s first ever cartoon by Michael Heath, its cartoon editor, from 1960, above.

If you are a fan of the comics artist Dave McKean, do not miss the UK premiere of 9 Lives at the British Library on 6 June. The collection of songs, images and animation was first shown at Sydney Opera House last October and coincides with the Comics Unmasked exhibitionMeanwhile, it has been announced that the 5th International Graphic Novel and Comics Conference will be hosted at the library in July.

Returning to the centenary of the First World War, two other exhibitions open this month: Enduring War: Grief, Grit and Humour at the British Library, which is to examine how people coped with life during the conflict, and Charley’s War at Durlston Country Park, near Swanage, which will display artwork by Joe Colquhoun from the acclaimed comic strip.

Finally, this is great fun and very clever: the storyboard artist Marty Cooper takes an animated look at ordinary objects.

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by Royston

The Round-up

March 19, 2014 in Events, General, Links, News

Boredom by Thomas Rowlandson

Boredom by Thomas Rowlandson @ Procartoonists.org

A new exhibition called The Long Nineteenth Century, which looks at British art from 1789 to 1918, opened at the Chris Beetles Gallery in London this week.

Many of those charting the huge changes in society over this period were cartoonists, of course, and the show features work by Gillray and Rowlandson, above, through to Tenniel and Heath Robinson. The exhibition runs until 12 April.

A study of 20th century satire, the Arena documentary Whatever Happened to Spitting Image?is to be broadcast on BBC Four tomorrow (20 March). See clips and more here. It ties in with the puppet show’s 30th anniversary celebrations.

Still on BBC Four documentaries with questioning titles, the Scottish comic book artist Frank Quitely has been profiled in What Do Artists Do All Day?, which you can watch now on iPlayer.

The organisers of the Melksham Comic Con in Wiltshire are looking to expand the event in 2014 and have turned to Kickstarter for help. They clearly had fun making this “charity appeal” for the non-profit event. The target is just £5,000 and they emphasise that every £1 counts.

Salmond and Cameron From The Auld Acquaintance © Scottish Cartoon Art Studio
From The Auld Acquaintance © Scottish Cartoon Art Studio


The Scottish Cartoon Art Studio is injecting some much-needed humour into the independence debate with an international touring exhibition called The Auld Acquaintance, above. Find out more here.

This year Finland is celebrating the centenary of the birth of Tove Jansson, creator of the Moomins. If you don’t know your Moominmamma from your Moominpappa, you can get up to speed with this article by Mark Bosworth.

Finally, as if last week’s Bananaman vs Stephen Hawking photo wasn’t enough for fans of the Dandy superhero, we now hear that there is a Bananaman film in the works, though so far all we have to go on is this teaser campaign. The Metro suggests five other TV cartoons that should follow it to the big screen.

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by Royston

The Lady is for returning …

March 6, 2014 in Events, General, News

 

Steve Nallon as Margaret Thatcher. Photo © Kasia Kowalska

Steve Nallon as Margaret Thatcher, watched by Roger Law, right, one of the Spitting Image creators.  Photo © Kasia Kowalska. Click to enlarge

Spitting Image: From Start to Finish was launched in style at the Cartoon Museum in London last week, with an appearance by the late Baroness Thatcher.

Steve Nallon, the actor who voiced the Thatcher puppet in the TV series, brought his most famous creation back to life to open the show (click the link for a short video excerpt, courtesy of Oliver Preston).

The exhibition includes images of the satirical sculptures created by Peter Fluck and Roger Law – or “Luck and Flaw” as they were known – before Spitting Image hit our TV screens 30 years ago last week. They were a regular feature of magazines and newspapers in the 1970s and 1980s.

Heavily featured are preliminary pencil caricatures that were the templates for the show’s puppets. You can see sketches of all the major celebrities of the day alongside the Royal Family and Margaret Thatcher’s Cabinet and political opponents.

The show also reunites some of the best-known puppets, including the Queen, Princess Diana, Mr Spock, Alan Bennett, Roy Hattersley (the only Spitting Image puppet regularly seen spitting) and, of course …

Margaret Thatcher puppet. Photo © Hilary Foster

Margaret Thatcher puppet. Photo © Hilary Foster

Procartoonists.org member Simon Ellinas, who was at the opening, told us: “As always with such shows, it’s the preliminary sketches and some complete caricatures that are of great fascination to us cartoonists. The stunning work of David Stoten, Pablo Bach and Tim Watts predominated and some early Fluck and Law models were on show.

“This is a definite date for your diaries for whenever you happen to be in London.”

The exhibition runs until 8 June. All material in the exhibition is © Spitting Image Productions Ltd, Spitting Image Archive

The Round-up

February 23, 2014 in Events, General, Links, News

Thatcher Cutting Up Britain © Spitting Image Workshop

Thatcher Cutting Up Britain © Spitting Image Workshop

Kasia Kowalska writes:

The exhibition Spitting Image: From Start to Finish opens at the Cartoon Museum in London tomorrow (26 February) – 30 years to the day since the TV series burst into our living rooms and put satire back at the heart of British comedy.

The BFI is also joining in the celebrations with an anniversary event and a screening of the BBC Four Arena documentary Whatever Happened To Spitting Image? on Thursday. It will be broadcast in spring.

The anniversary has already prompted a debate on the current state of satire on TV, with the Spitting Image producer John Lloyd and the Private Eye editor Ian Hislop, a former writer for the show, putting forward opposing views

Booktrust has appointed a new online writer in residence, The Observer’s political cartoonist Chris Riddell, to write a weekly blog in the form of drawings. Meanwhile, The Beano’s, Barrie Appleby, lent a helping hand at a pre-school playgroup where he shared cartooning tips with children as part of the Annual National Storytelling Week.

Escaping the UK weather can be a funny business. The Cartoonists’ Club of Great Britain got together for its 3rd Mighty Malta Minicon last week and if you were not lucky enough to go, you can still find out what they got up to.

 

Doonesbury © Garry Trudeau

Doonesbury © Garry Trudeau

The syndicated Doonesbury comic strip is taking a long-term break from this week, the cartoonist Garry Trudeau has announced. Fans should not worry though, as older strips will be revisited.

Comic art continues to court controversy: the Angoulême International Comics Festival got into hot water over its sponsorship by SodaStream which is the target of an international boycott; a newspaper office in Baghdad suffered a bomb attack following the publication of a cartoon criticising Ayatollah Khamenei;  and the thought police are very much alive and well in Algeria, where the cartoonist Djamel Ghanem has been threatened with imprisonment for a cartoon that was not even published.

Across the border in Tunisia, there may be hope for the international campaign “100 drawings for Jabeur” to free Jabeur Mejri, who has been pardoned and offered asylum in Sweden. The blogger was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison for publishing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed on Facebook in 2012.

Finally, we note with sadness that Gordon Bell, cartoonist for The Beano and the Dundee Courier, and Tony Harding, who drew football stories for Scorcher, Hotspur, and Action, both passed away recently.

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by Royston

Standing up for caricature

April 25, 2008 in General

PCOer Adrian Teal (click to enlarge his Daniel Craig drawing, above) discusses the neglected art of the caricaturist:

If press cartoonists are feeling neglected, press caricaturists are feeling doubly so. The PCO is pursuing an admirable policy of singing the praises of the cartoon to anyone who’ll listen. The highly specialized trade of caricature is even more threatened, however, and I humbly submit that this noble profession should be given equal standing in the campaign.

Perhaps it’s the caricaturists’ fault. The standard (and standing) of British caricature has been in steep decline since the press lost interest in it after Spitting Image’s demise, and really good caricature is hard to find these days. Unless we can show the world how potent the art form can be, we will perish, and deservedly so.

When faced with something humorous and visceral, people often overlook the care and thought which has gone into a drawing. To a large extent – and I know I’m treading on a few corns here – cartoons are the fast-food of journalism; enjoyed briefly, and then discarded. But good caricatures have a staying power, which is lacking in pocket cartoons. They usually do not have the luxury of a caption to help them along. And the sheer amount of work which goes into them can be out of all proportion to the attention (and fees) they are given.

It is this kind of attention to detail, and plain hard slog, which marks the caricaturist out as the sturdy, muscular workhorse of cartooning, and I urge the PCO to help the journalistic world recognize his worth.

Thanks to Adrian Teal. Bloghorn says: Click T for Teal

UPDATED 28th April 2008: Some responses to Adrian’s opinion can be found in the comments section immediately under this edit

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