You are browsing the archive for 2008 April.

by Royston

The British attitude to words and pictures

April 30, 2008 in General

If you perused the Sunday Times this week, you may have come across a couple of sentences that neatly sum up all that is wrong about the British attitude towards drawings that accompany words.

Cosmo Landesman opens his review of the film Persepolis, which is based on the graphic novels by Marjane Satrapi, with this paragraph:

“I must confess that I have always thought graphic novels were just comic books with literary pretensions. I casually dismissed them as a symptom of our culture’s increasing infantilisation; adults read books, children stories with pictures. Well, having seen Persepolis I’m happy to admit I was wrong.”

Perhaps we can take heart from the last sentence – Cosmo has seen the error of his ways! – but it’s a little depressing to think that anyone could have got that far in life with the attitude that words=good, pictures=bad.

Clearly the PCO has a mountain to climb. But, hey, we’re wearing sturdy boots. Thanks to Rod McKie for drawing the article to our attention.

Let these people put pictures alongside your words …

Snapshots from Shrewsbury

April 30, 2008 in General

PCOer Kipper Williams at work on a Big Board during the recent cartoon festival. Bloghorn will be publishing more reportage from the event shortly.

It’s British cartoon talent

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

More British cartoon talent

Cartoon Artist of the Month

April 25, 2008 in General

Bloghorn has been taking a break from our regular cartoon Artist of the Month feature while busy talking about the goings on for Shrewsbury, but it will be back next Friday.
It’s British cartoon talent

by Royston

Cartoons on the radio

April 24, 2008 in General

Above: Low takes on Hitler and Mussolini. Click to enlarge

Cartoons were back in the spotlight this morning with an item on BBC Radio Four’s Today show about the David Low exhibition currently running at London’s Political Cartoon Gallery.

Tim Benson of the gallery appeared on the show to discuss the work with politicians Douglas Hurd and Ken Clarke. You can see a selection of the cartoons in an online gallery at the Today website.

The Best of Low is at the Political Cartoon Gallery until June 7. Low (1891–1963) is considered by many to be the greatest political cartoonist of the 20th Century. This exhibition of his work includes more than 60 original cartoons from before the First World War to the early 1960s. None of the cartoons on show have been exhibited before.

The Political Cartoon Gallery is at 32 Store Street, London WC1E 7BS, and is open Monday to Friday 9.30am – 5.30pm and on Saturdays between 11.30am – 5.30pm.

Click here for top British cartoonists that are still with us!

by Royston

Cartoons in the Arts section

April 23, 2008 in General

After a weekend exploring the subject of “Art” at the Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival, it was good to see The Guardian dedicating several pages of its G2 Arts section to cartoons yesterday.

Hillary Clinton by Barry Blitt, from The Guardian

The paper carried an article looking at the work of cartoonists attempting to get to grips with depicting US presidential hopefuls Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John McCain. Cartoonists were canvassed on how they approached their subject and the paper carried lots of images.

You can read the article and see the cartoons here:
National lampoon

UPDATED: Click image to enlarge

And here is some British cartoon talent

Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival video report from the Shropshire Star

April 22, 2008 in General

Here is a link to a nice video report on part of the cartoon festival. This was produced by journalist Richard Tisdale who works at the Shropshire Star newspaper. Thanks Richard.
It’s British cartoon talent

The many friends of cartoonists

April 22, 2008 in General

Cartoon events are all about spreading the news of great pictures.
The festival organisers would like to thank, via Bloghorn, the many writers, bloggers and journalists who have supported the promotion of the festival and the cartoonists who make it.
It’s British cartoon talent

Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival is a big hit

April 21, 2008 in General

Bloghorn would like to offer some applause to the official organisers and sponsors of the Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival, as the main event weekend has just passed by. More than 40 cartoonists attended and with a little light herding they provided the public with a large range of activities over three days and at numerous venues.

We shall be publishing some reports on those activities and celebrating some of the art and entertainment from the Shrewsbury festival here on Bloghorn.

British cartoon talent

Bloghorn has gone to the Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival

April 17, 2008 in General

PCOer Wilbur Dawbarn drew this cartoon of last year’s event for The Oldie magazine. Bloghorn has now left the digital arena to go to this year’s event.
British cartoon talent