You are browsing the archive for 2007 September.

PCO Procartoonists – The Big Draw

September 16, 2007 in General

The PCO will be fielding a team of cartoonists at this year’s Big Draw event on Sunday October 14th.

Part of the annual festival of drawing is being held in London’s Covent Garden this year and the PCO team have been invited to participate in the ‘Battle of the Cartoonists’ where professional artists bid to outdo each others’ creations in an art time-trial. Our competition is going to include cartoonists from The Guardian and Independent newspapers and Private Eye magazine.

The Big Draw is one of the activities of the national Campaign for Drawing.


Here is a picture of last year’s event at Somerset House which took place when the PCO was little more than a twinkle in the eye of some cartoonists…

In the run-up to this year’s big day, Bloghorn will be posting a few more photographs and we’ll obviously, also be reporting on our activities after the event itself.

Bloghorn must thank PCO member Gerard Whyman (Ger) for the photographs of last year’s event and recommends clicking a W for Whyman here

PCO Procartoonists – The power of images

September 16, 2007 in General

A nasty story about the power of drawn imagery. The power to make such things, also brings responsibility in being able to justify what you create. The link, is as reported by the BBC.

UPDATED: 18th September
A response to this story from the USA,
linked here.

And coverage of the aftermath of the event from Sweden

Artist of the month: Pete Dredge

September 13, 2007 in Events


Pete Dredge is the PCO’s Artist of the Month for September. Bloghorn says click D for Dredge for more

PCO Procartoonists – Comics Britannia REVIEWED

September 11, 2007 in General


PCO member Royston Robertson reviews the first episode of Comics Britannia, broadcast on BBC Four 10th September 2007.

VARIOUS bigwigs at the Beeb have suggested recently that BBCs Three and Four could be axed, in a cost-cutting move. The former is fine by me – there’s only so many times you can watch Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps repeats – but on the evidence of Comics Britannia, we should get the placards out and start a “Save BBC Four” campaign right now.

The documentary was nothing groundbreaking, it was a straightforward, chronological, talking-heads history of British humour comics, but it was informative and intelligent and mercifully free of the kind of dumbed-down script and constant re-capping that afflict so many contemporary documentaries (see BBC Two’s British Film Forever series).

The first of a three-parter (the others are on boys and girls comics, and the grittier work that emerged in the 1970s and led to the graphic novel boom) it was a chronological potted history from the birth of The Dandy in 1937 to the present day. It began with a serious misstep that some commentators have already noted, the claim that “speech balloons were a key innovation” of The Dandy – in fact they’d been around for hundreds of years – but it soon redeemed itself as it took us on a nostalgic journey through the story of DC Thomson’s iconic Beano and later IPC rivals such as Whizzer and Chips.


Issues that arise out of a study of comics, such as the early racism, their role in brightening up a grim postwar Britain, and the debate over whether comics are “bad” for you, were discussed intelligently by the likes of Guardian cartoonist Steve Bell, poet Michael Rosen, Aardman animator Nick Park and a whole roster of cartoonists and writers from the glory days of comics.

What was particularly satisfying, from this cartoonist’s point of view, was that the documentary, narrated by comedian Armando Iannucci, stated that its mission was to uncover the artists behind the strip and give them due recognition. And it did just that. It was a joy to hear the names of Dudley Watkins, David Law and Ken Reid mentioned on TV and particularly great to see the genius that is Leo “Bash Street Kids” Baxendale being interviewed. It was also great to see artwork presented in all its glory, so close you could see the pencil marks.

I’m looking forward very much to parts two and three, as well as to the other shows in BBC Four’s comics season (see link below for details). In the meantime, I’ve got placards to write.

Here’s a link to the Beeb’s comics Britannia site and thanks for the review Royston. Bloghorn says check out R for Robertson here

PCO Procartoonists – A history of comics art

September 9, 2007 in General

Bloghorn would like to offer sincere respects to the BBC for making a whole series of TV programmes about the history of graphic novels – or comics, as we used to know them. Read about episode one here, and set your televisual recording devices for the times listed here

(Above image, courtesy of the BBC)

Artist of the month: Pete Dredge

September 5, 2007 in Events

Pete sold his first cartoon to Punch in 1976 and has been going strong ever since. He has been a regular contributor of gag cartoons and cartoon strips to Private Eye for many years – as well as working for many other publications and businesses.

In between all the work, Pete also managed to set up and run a highly successful cartoon festival in his hometown of Nottingham. Sadly, this eventually became a victim of its own success and got too big for Pete and his volunteer team to maintain without the help a funded, full or part-time, organiser. At this point, the Arts Council failed its audition for the role of hero.

There’s an interview with the enterprising Mr Dredge, courtesy of BBC Nottingham, here.

Bloghorn says click D for Dredge

PCO Procartoonists – Foghorn

September 3, 2007 in General

It’s only a month to the new issue of the Professional Cartoonists cartoon magazine.