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An acquaintance to remember

April 17, 2014 in Events, General, News

The Auld Acquaintance show. Alex Salmond caricature © Bill Houston

The Auld Acquaintance show. Alex Salmond caricature © Bill Houston

This year is both the 15th anniversary of the Scottish Cartoon Art Studio and of political devolution in Scotland. We’ve organised a new touring exhibition entitled The Auld Acquaintance, taking our cue from Rabbie Burns’ Auld Lang Syne, sung whenever folk leave one chapter of their life behind and start another.

Our call for contributions attracted over 350 caricatures, editorial cartoons and strips by artists from around the world responding to the same question that will be put to Scots in a referendum this September: “Should Scotland be an independent country?”

Having whittled the pile down to a workable number, we’ve selected a balanced cross-section of opinion that reflects healthy scepticism as well as enthusiastic support for independence. There will be a number of showings around Europe in the year ahead. The first is taking place in Saint-Just-le-Martel, France’s own little capital du dessins.

Grasp the thistle! A cartoon by Steve Bright

Grasp the thistle! Steve Bright’s view

Steve Bell's take on Scottish independence

Steve Bell’s take on the subject

My colleague Tommy Sommerville and I travelled to the Espace Loup for a vernissage on 10 April. We found the work displayed sequentially according to its origin: Catalonia, Scotland, the rest of the UK, Québec and the wider world, with the studio team’s own contributions in the middle of the space.

Featured cartoonists include the PCO members Gary Barker, Steve Bell, Steve Bright, Chris Cairns, Andy Davey and Malc McGookin. The locals added whimsical touches including a “Nessie” monster made by the village’s school children.

Also present and correct was the perennial mascot of Saint-Just and its annual Salon International, the Limousin cow. 

AA-France-70

The Auld Acquaintance, at Espace Loup, Centre International de la Caricature, du Dessin de Presse et d’Humour, Saint-Just-le-Martel, will run until 14 August. There will be further showings around Europe to be announced in the coming months.

Politics and plebs at awards bash

December 6, 2013 in Events, News

Andrew Mitchell presents Steve Bell with the Political Cartoon of the Year award. Photo © Kasia Kowalska

Andrew Mitchell MP presents Steve Bell with the cartoon of the year award. Photo © Kasia Kowalska @ Procartoonists.org

Kasia Kowalska writes:

The annual Political Cartoon of the Year Awards, hosted by the Ellwood Atfield Gallery, in Smith Square, Westminster, were full to the brim with guests and cartoonists alike.

You didn’t have to move far to rub shoulders with the elite of political cartooning in Britain today – most of the nominees, from Christian Adams to Ingram Pinn, Bob Moran to Martin Rowson, were there.

In his welcoming speech, Dr Tim Benson of the Political Cartoon Society, thanked the organisers and said: “We do not lead the world in many things, but we certainly have always led the world with regard to political cartoons.”

Following the introduction of online voting for the Political Cartoon of the Year for the first time, he hinted that, in the future, members of the public would also be able to vote for the Political Cartoonist of the Year.

This year’s awards were presented by the Rt. Hon Andrew Mitchell MP, the former Chief Whip, who has found himself at the sharp end of many a cartoonist’s pen over the past year, during the Plebgate scandal. In spite of this, he admitted that he could not resist accepting the invitation, as he is an enthusiastic collector of political cartoons.

He did not resist giving the gathered cartoonists a taste of their own medicine by reflecting on the unique relationship between politicians and cartoonists as he recalled a recent interview by the head of the Israeli intelligence service who said “he didn’t like politicians because they tended to leave their wounded on the battlefield”.

He added: “It struck me that that’s basically what politicians may do … and then cartoonists come along and finish them off.” He stressed that it is, nonetheless, an enduring relationship.

Steve Bell Margaret Thatcher cartoon

Political Cartoon of the Year © Steve Bell @ Procartoonists.org

Steve Bell was announced the winner of the coveted Gillray Cup for Political Cartoon of the Year for his portrayal of Margaret Thatcher, above, with Andy Davey as the runner up. Morten Morland was named 2013 Political Cartoonist of the Year.

Upon accepting the award from Mr Mitchell, Steve Bell said: “it’s a great honour to get the Gillray goblet, it’s the one to win, that’s for sure.”

Andy Davey accepts his award, flanked by Andrew Mitchell and Tim Benson

Andy Davey accepts his award, flanked by Andrew Mitchell and Tim Benson. Photo © Kasia Kowalska @ Procartoonists.org

The acceptance speech by Andy Davey, who was recently let go in cuts at The Sun, was greeted with a cheer when he addressed the room by saying: “Either you lot are masters of paradox and satire or you’re a bunch of plebs.”

Morten Morland said that he was “as surprised as everyone else and very glad to win the Low Trophy”.

Political Cartoonist of the Year Morten Morland, with the cartoon collector Geoffrey Buchler

Political Cartoonist of the Year Morten Morland, with the cartoon collector Geoffrey Buchler. Photo © Kasia Kowalska @ Procartoonists.org

The exhibition of the political cartoons will run at the Ellwood Atfield Gallery until 23 December.

Many thanks to Kasia for the report and photographs. You can follow Kasia on Twitter: @katyrosesmith

The Round-up

November 26, 2013 in Events, General, Links, News

© Steve Bright @Procartoonists.org

Above: This cartoon by Steve Bright – a member of Procartoonists.org – is one of 12 political cartoons selected as among the best of the year by BuzzFeed. Other PCOers, Gary Barker and Martin Rowson, are also included. See the full list here.

Elsewhere another of our cartoonists, Steve Bell, talks to the BBC about the history of political cartooning and its legacy today. Watch the video here.

An exhibition of some 90 prints by Thomas Rowlandson has opened in Edinburgh. See the Daily Record for more information.

Head over to the Forbidden Planet blog for a full overview of the winners of this year’s British Comic Awards. The Herald speaks to the best emerging talent winner Will Morris, while FP itself looks at Garen Ewing, winner of the young people’s award, which was voted for by children.

And finally, the cartoonist and illustrator Ros Asquith talks to BookTrust about how she uses her work to highlight disability and diversity.

The Round-up

October 13, 2013 in Events, General, Links, News

Cartoon © Tony Husband / Photo © Rob Doyle @Procartoonists.org

Above: It’s difficult to whinge when your work is given pride of place in a fancy art gallery, but Procartoonists.org member Tony Husband still managed to include this observation of the cartooning community in the Hey Wayne! cartoon show currently taking place in Manchester. Tony’s art-related cartoons share the walls of the Richard Goodall Gallery with the work of fellow PCOers Bill Stott and Chris Madden, as well as that of Bill Tidy. Thanks to Rob Doyle for the photo, taken at Saturday’s private view. (There are many more pictures available here on Facebook.)

Another of our members, the fresh-faced and talented Will McPhail, was featured on ITV News last week after being named Young Cartoonist of the Year.

Steve Bell will be at the University of Aberdeen next month to give a free talk about early visual satirists including Hogarth, Gillray and Cruikshank. Find more details here. Another of those early satirists, Thomas Rowlandson, will be the subject of an exhibition in Edinburgh later this year.

Denise Dorrance talks about Mimi, her new cartoon series for The Mail on Sunday’s You supplement, in this interview.

And finally, the Illustration Cupboard gallery in London will be holding a selling exhibition of Daily Express cartoons by Paul Thomas, opening on 24 October. See the invite here.

The Round-up

September 1, 2013 in Events, General, Links, News

© Stanley Franklin @Procartoonists.org

Cartoons of Margaret Thatcher – including The Pit and The Pendulum by Stanley Franklin, above, has been showing at Leeds Gallery over the summer. Read a review of the exhibition here.

The British Cartoonists’ Association is on the lookout once again for Young Cartoonists of the Year and will now also accept digitally produced artwork (although a hard copy must be submitted). Find out more about how to enter the contest here.

Artwork from Procartoonists.org member Hunt Emerson‘s adaptations of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Frankenstein will be exhibited by The Wordsworth Trust in Grasmere, Cumbria, for one month from 4 October. Read more at downthetubes.net.

Procartoonists.org member Steve Bell discusses his depictions of US presidents in this audio interview and transcript.

Those interested in going behind the scenes with cartoonists and illustrators should check out both The Tools Artists Use and 20 Questions With Cartoonists.

The Oldie, one of the most high-profile markets for UK gag cartoonists, has reached 300 issues. Richard Ingrams, founder of the magazine and former editor of Private Eye, looks back on his time with both organs in this piece from The Telegraph. A new Oldie Book of Cartoons is released next month.

Also due to land on bookshelves and coffee tables in September is Private Eye: A Cartoon History. Edited by longtime Eye man Nick Newman, the book will feature more than 1,000 gags from the past 50 years. It certainly looks jam-packed, if these sample pages are anything to go by.

Ed adds: Late entry from Sarah McIntyre, aka @Jabberworks, at the Telegraph: Comic adventures for kids of all ages.

Avatar of Royston

by Royston

The Round-up

March 29, 2013 in General, Links, News

Birmingham Arts Lab by Hunt Emerson

Birmingham Arts Lab © Hunt Emerson

Hunt Emerson has been interviewed for Birmingham’s Flatpack Festival as part of a respective on the Birmingham Arts Lab, above, the influential arts collective that ran from the late 1960s to the early 1980s. The article is here.

Meanwhile, Pete Ashton, who carried out the interview, talks about meeting one of his cartooning heroes on his blog.

It’s ten years since the invasion of Iraq and The Guardian has a video of Steve Bell talking about his cartoons on the subject. It’s every bit as angry and vitriolic as you might expect.

“Ask most people in Wales to name a famous cartoonist, and the odds are that an overwhelming majority would say Gren” , the BBC correctly surmises, but it points out that J.M. Staniforth,whose work first appeared in 1890, blazed a trail. The work of the Western Mail cartoonist is now being digitised.

The issue of same-sex marriage is as current in the US as it is here, with the matter being discussed by the Supreme Court. The International Business Times has a round-up showing how cartoonists have responded. While The New Yorker has a round-up of marriage cartoons, same-sex and otherwise.

David Cameron drawings by Ian Cater

David Cameron drawings © Ian Cater

Cartoonists are not usually too pleased when politicians approve of their work, but in the case of a series of cartoons of David Cameron, at least it’s in a good cause.

The Prime Minister gave a thumbs-up to the drawings by Ian Cater, above, showing him in the garb of various musical genres, which were originally drawn to publicise the Witney Music Festival, in the PM’s constituency. Now they are being sold to raise money for a local hospice.

The Round-up

February 1, 2013 in General, Links, News

Above: a timely rant from animator Stephen Silver about the perils of agreeing to produce creative work ‘on spec’. (Originally seen at Tom’s Mad Blog)

The HS2 rail proposal provided plenty of fodder for cartoonists on the dailies this week. For The Telegraph, Christian Adams assesses George Osborne’s involvement here and here, while Matt Pritchett suggests a get-out clause. In The Daily Mail, Mac focused on what might almost turn out to be the reality for commuters. Meanwhile, Procartoonists.org member Steve Bell looks down the track for The Guardian.

Bell’s stablemate at the Guardian, fellow PCO member Martin Rowson, is interviewed for the paper alongside comedian (and occasional cartoonist) Phill Jupitus. Read the Q&A here.

After his car was towed away, New Yorker cartoonist Corey Pandolph decided to sell some of his ‘unselected’ cartoons on Etsy to cover his costs. The Huffington Post has more on Pandolph’s plight here.

Finally, a selection of drawings by the late, great Ronald Searle is set to be offered at auction.

Publishers, the patrons of the art

January 29, 2013 in Comment, General, News

A public kerfuffle over a Gerald Scarfe cartoon published after the recent Israeli elections has resulted in a public apology from Rupert Murdoch the publisher of The Sunday Times, the paper in which the image appeared.

A publisher apology is a rare thing in journalism of any sort but it should be noted that neither the paper, its acting editor or the cartoonist himself have apologised for the publication of the image itself. Any regret expressed has been directed towards the timing of publication, as the cartoon appeared on Holocaust Memorial Day.

If nothing else, this story reveals that even within strictly hierarchical print-publication businesses, dissent and, perhaps, mistakes are still possible.

Updated 10am: You can listen to a lively debate on Radio 4 Today between cartoonist Steve Bell (one of our members) and Stephen Pollard, editor of The Jewish Chronicle.

Updated 6.15pm: The cartoonist has issued a short statement. The acting editor of the newspaper, Martin Ivens, has now also offered an apology stating that the cartoonist “had crossed a line”. You can read the full statement from the newspaper here.

Updated 9am, 30 January: Press Gazette (UK journalism trade magazine) reports that Scarfe’s cartoon is now also removed from all e-editions of The Sunday Times.

You may also watch the BBC Newsnight segment on the story on iPlayer.

The Round-up

January 4, 2013 in General, Links, News

© Gerald Scarfe @Procartoonists.org

Gerald Scarfe has revisited an old project by producing a new series of cartoons to illustrate the on-screen revival of Yes, Prime Minister. This drawing, above, of its stars David Haig and Henry Goodman, is also gracing billboards and bus shelters ahead of the show’s debut on the TV channel Gold on 15 January. Scarfe produced a memorable series of cartoons for the original Yes, Minister series. Those suffering from Thatcherite nostalgia can watch the original opening credits here.

Steve Bell guides us through a year of cartoons for The Guardian in this video (warning: contains expletives, contraceptives and bondage gear). Meanwhile, Peter Brookes selects the best from his own 2012 output for The Times (subscription required), and the Daily Mail’s Mac does the same here. Matt Buck (Hack) looks back at his own 2012 output here.

Dotter of Her Father’s Eyes, written by Mary Talbot and illustrated by her comics veteran husband, Bryan, has won the biography category of the 2012 Costa Book Awards – the first graphic novel to win in any of the five categories. Read more about the book, and what its success might mean for the medium more generally, here.

The weekly children’s comic The Phoenix has launched an app that allows readers to buy and download a digital version, and which includes free access to a sample “issue zero”.

And finally, Procartoonists.org patron Martin Wainwright brings us the story of an intriguing battle over intellectual property and the public domain.

Procartoonists bag couple of CATs

December 10, 2012 in Events, News

The Cartoon Art Trust Awards, an annual fundraiser for the Cartoon Museum in London, were held last week, and this year’s winners, including two Procartoonists.org members were as follows:

Christmas cartoon by KJ Lamb

Cartoon © KJ Lamb

Joke cartoonist Kathryn Lamb, above, (Private Eye, The Oldie, The Spectator)

Strip cartoonist Steve Bell for “If …” (The Guardian)

Pocket cartoonist Banx (aka Jeremy Banks, Financial Times)

Caricaturist James Ferguson (Financial Times)

Political cartoonist Christian Adams (Daily and Sunday Telegraph)

Congratulations to all the winners.