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The Round up

December 22, 2013 in Events, General, Links, News

Kasia Kowalska writes:

The Winter Solstice is behind us and the traditional festive fun is in full swing.

Christmas season is upon us © Martin Honeysett @ procartoonists.org

© Martin Honeysett @ procartoonists.org

Also high on the agenda is freedom of speech after the London School of Economics apologised to two students who had been banned from wearing T-shirts featuring cartoons of the prophet Mohammed and Jesus Christ.

Twitter was also accused of losing its sense of humour. The microblogging site ran into trouble when it removed tweeted cartoons by the Indian political cartoonist Manjul.

The truth Hits Everybody art by Daniel Clowes :: scanned from 20th Century Eightball :: Fantagraphics Books :: 2002 © procartoonists.org

The truth hits everybody. Art by Daniel Clowes from 20th Century Eightball by Fantagraphics Books 2002 @ Procartoonists.org

The Hollywood actor Shia LaBeouf is likely to be crossed off Daniel Clowes’ Christmas card list following accusations that he plagiarised the Ghost World creator’s 2007 comic Justin M. Damiano in his short film HowardCantour.com. Removal of accreditation for cartoonists in this age of digital ubiquity is a not an uncommon experience as a similar story from Rachel Duke illustrates.

Moving from theft to sharing, the CEO of Bitstrips has rebuffed claims that the social-media platform is a flash in the pan. The self-generated storytelling programme was the second most downloaded app in the world during November. Stuart Dredge found out why.

Movie interactives mashups from the Guardian © procartoonists.org

Matt Blease drawing for the Movie Mashups interactive app at The Guardian website @ Procartoonists.org

We note, see above, that other sites are also following this new fad. (Yes, we are looking at you The Guardian).

Seventeen years ago this month one of the founders of Private Eye, Willie Rushton, died. Adam Sonin remembers him as “the greatest satirist of them all” and explains the origins of the eccentric radio game Mornington Crescent.

For all the culture vultures out there, desperate to avoid last-minute Christmas shopping, there is still a chance to see The Age of Glamour at the Cartoon Museum which ends on Christmas Eve. Also, Cartoons and Caricatures at the Bank of England finishes on 31 December and The National Theatre’s Lampoon exhibition will end on 5 January.

Trippin' through the rain @procartoonists.org

Trippin’ through the rain from Toddles’s Comic Almanac 1862 @ Procartoonists.org

If you would rather stay inside than brave the current weather, you can always entertain yourself by trying out different cartoon styles. Which is exactly what Mike Holmes did when he created 100 cartoons of himself and his cat.

A Merry Christmas to us all.

Updated: 24th December with the sad news that political image maker Leon Kuhn has died.

work_pay © Leon Kuhn @ procartoonists.org

© Leon Kuhn @ procartoonists.org

Heard the one about Twitter jokes?

February 13, 2013 in Comment, General

Procartoonists.org member Royston Robertson on the rise of Twitter jokes

“Everyone’s a comedian” is a phrase often uttered sarcastically, but with the rise of the Twitter joke it almost seems true.

If you’re not familiar with the phenomenon you need to be hanging around on Twitter when a major news story breaks. Recent stories such as the horsemeat scandal, the resignation of the Pope, and the unearthing of the body of Richard III, have provoked huge numbers of jokes (click those links to see some of them). Some are by those in the business of writing jokes but most are not.

Twitter cartoon by Royston Robertson

© Royston Robertson @ Procartoonists.org

Of course there are plenty of clunkers, and quite a few groaners, but a lot of them are really rather good. And it leads to a bit of a problem for cartoonists: how do you follow that?

It can be tricky to come up with new and original ideas, possibly to be seen a day – or several days – later, in an age when a colossal wave of jokes travels around the world as soon as a story breaks.

Well, the simple answer is that you just have to up your game. Of course, you can’t read every tweet to make sure your joke hasn’t been done, you just have to get on with it. Twitter is clearly here to stay, so there’s no point in complaining.

For political cartoonists, the problem is even more acute as people have taken to predicting on Twitter how the following days cartoons will turn out, most notably when the Richard III story broke on the same day that the MP Chris Huhne changed his plea to guilty.

As predicted by the Twitterati, some cartoonists did combine the two stories. But if it is done with enough skill and original thought, it’s clear that there is a big difference between a beautifully crafted cartoon and a 140-character quip.

Ultimately, what the trend for Twitter jokes tells us is that millions of people love to look at the world and all its problems through the prism of humour.

And that has to be good news for cartoonists.

Editor asks: Do you agree? Please tell us what you think in the comments.

The cartoonist and the twits

July 17, 2012 in Comment, General

Our man Bill Stott reports:

Well, I tried. Caved in to peer pressure and signed up to Twitter. Did the same with Facebook years ago. Finally managed to un-Facebook myself a while back. At least, I think I did. You can never tell with these things. Joining’s easy. Leaving’s a lot more complicated. A bit like marriage.

So I’m not about to find out how to LEAVE Twitter. I’m just not going to tweet and watch it wither on the vine. Better still, I’m not even going to watch it. Yes, yes, I know that this might be dangerous and that when the revolution explodes I’ll be the only one in our street wondering whose tanks are rolling across next door’s lawn and why my hair is on fire.

Cartoon Twitter © Bill Stott @Procartoonists.orgNo Facebook? No Twitter? How can this be? Am I a monk of austere order? Am I a berk with nothing to say? No, and most of the latter appear to be on Facebook or Twitter anyway. And austere monks? I have no idea what they do with their thumbs.

Let me explain: I have a mobile phone, a humble little grey thing – almost a collector’s item now. Only three people know my number. Why have I got it? It’s in case my car breaks down or some other emergency. What it’s NOT for is “chat”. I do not check it every five minutes to see if anybody’s tried to tell me something underwhelming. I do not feel the need to blunder through shopping malls, head down, thumbs blurring, texting somebody about being in a shopping mall.

And so it was with Twitter. I did actually tweet three or four times. Admittedly, the first one was to say that I thought Twitter was crap and what a pain it was going to be – checking to see if anybody had tweeted back. They didn’t. People like me are beyond the social-network pale. We (I really hope there are others out there) hate the idea of being instantly accessible. We are irritated by tweeters who call themselves “Red Necco” or “Juli”. Its JulIE, OK? Not Judi, or Nikki, or Debbi. And its “gossip”, not “goss”, right?

Come the day my PC can accurately classify incoming tweets as Important, Moderately Important, Mildly Interesting or Vapid, I might take part again (the world will be relieved to know). Until then I shall remain mildly interested in the extreme level of banality achieved in 140 characters.

I like emails. They’re like writing letters. Remember them? When you had to actually WRITE? When you used at least three digits to hold the pen, and a whole handful more to keep the paper from sliding about? OK, my emailing’s of the one finger variety, but I’m not limited to the silly 140-character tweet rule. I can rant on and on, despite knowing full well that the recipient will immediately identify the sender, think, “Oh, its him!” and press “DELETE”

Tea and sympathy or well-meaning advice can be offered to Bill here. You can follow the rest of us, should you be so minded, here.

Now following, some short messages…

June 27, 2012 in General, Links, News

Profile photo of Royston

by Royston

Mocking the twits of the 19th century

June 21, 2011 in News

Prince Regent by George CruikshankTwitter is a thorn in the side of the courts today, with the superinjunctions row, but in the early 19th century the publisher William Hone used the communications technology of his day — pamphlets and cartoons — to keep one step ahead of the law.

Jonathan Freedland looks at these seditious cartoons, and takes a trip to the Cartoon Museum to view the work of George Cruikshank, in the first in a new series of Radio 4’s The Long View.

This 1819 caricature of the Prince Regent by Cruikshank, right, is from Hone’s The Political House that Jack Built. Freedland finds that as with Twitter today, information spread through the populace far ahead of the law’s ability to keep up with it, via the collaboration between Hone and Cruikshank.

The Long View is on BBC Radio 4 at 9.30pm tonight, and is available on the BBC iPlayer now. It is also available as a podcast for 30 days.

Go ahead punk… CLiNT hits the stands

August 11, 2010 in General, News

A new British adult comic, CLiNT, launches on the 2nd September. Featuring writers including TV’s Jonathan Ross and contraversial comedian Frankie Boyle, the magazine is a collaboration between Kick Ass artist Mark Millar and Titan Publishing. The comic, that Millar describes as “The Eagle for the 21st Century,” is aimed at men aged 16-30. You can find out more information about CLiNT via twitter.com/clintmag or Facebook.

In case you’re wondering why the magazine is titled CLiNT, Bloghorn suspects it has more to do with a piece of US comic folklore than a certain Mr Eastwood.

CLiNT number 1 is on sale 2nd September in the UK from all good retailers and specialist comic stores.