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by Royston

New cartoon show opening

April 12, 2010 in General

Larry's Van Gogh Collection at Chris Beetles Gallery
A new exhibition devoted to cartoons opens at the Chris Beetles Gallery tomorrow (April 13) and runs until May 1.

The 4th Annual Cartoon Show, at the the gallery in St James’s, London, is a selling exhibition which features more than 20 top artists from the past 100 years of cartooning, plus the following three highlights:

In Memoriam. David Levine’s Caricatures: A celebration of the work of the American caricaturist who died last December. The show features more than 40 pieces, including John Updike, Ezra Pound, and Hemingway.

Larry’s Van Gogh Collection: Cartoons about Vincent Van Gogh and his work by Terence Parkes, aka Larry, above, to coincide with the hit show currently at the Royal Academy. A group of ceramic sculptures by Larry will also be on display.

A Year with Matt: A selection of the best works by Matt Pritchett of the Daily Telegraph from the past year, as well as the latest Matt cartoons from the days leading up to and throughout the show.

Other artists on display include contemporary cartoonists such as Peter Brookes, Tony Husband, John Jensen, Ed McLachlan, Nick Newman, Martin Rowson, Mike Williams and Kipper Williams, alongside artists from the past including H.M. Bateman, Giles and Thelwell.

For more details, visit the Chris Beetles Website.

What sort of cartoonist?

April 8, 2010 in Comment

Bloghorn_cartoonists ©http://thebloghorn.org for the UK Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation http://www.procartoonists.orgBill Stott writes for Bloghorn about different sorts of cartoonist:

The UK boasts quite a few inventive, informed and highly skilled political cartoonists many of whom don’t fool easily and must be the bane of leader writers’ lives in their ability to prove that the picture is often worth more than words.

However – don’t you love the word  cartoonist? It usually presages a disagreement, and here is a head above the parapet.

Peter Brookes, of the Times, was recently named “Cartoonist of the Year” [read it here – Ed]. I wouldn’t have started digging this hole if the title had been “Political Cartoonist of the Year” because that is essential and its remit is admirably fulfilled, not least by Mr Brookes. But political cartooning is only part of the whole picture of cartooning.

The vast majority of cartoonists in the UK are not political cartoonists. Logic suggests that, because this majority has not just politics to lampoon but the whole of life as we know it, Jim.

So, I think there’s a problem. The usually non-political joke or gag cartoonist is disappearing fast from newspapers. Quite a few publications are buying in cheap syndicated stuff which struggles to be relevant. Recently a long-established Welsh newspaper dropped its regular gag and used a Canadian cartoon poking fun at Obama’s healthcare reforms instead. Cheaper, but hardly relevant and deeply unfunny to boot.

Stalwart magazines like Private Eye, the Oldie, Prospect and the Spectator do what they can, but they can only run so many cartoons. The UK’s never been big on nationally recognised cartoon users and nowadays Punch, and more recently Readers’ Digest, are either memories or at risk.

The cavalier way newspapers and many magazines presently ignore good joke cartoons makes the political cartoonist into a sort of protected species, and suggests that editors only think a cartoon is funny or useful if its got a very direct political subject.

So, long live our superb political cartoonists. Long live awards for our political cartoonists. But call the award “Political Cartoonist of the Year”. Otherwise folk might get the idea that political cartooning is THE only cartooning form.

Bloghorn agrees that variety is key to good cartooning. After all, it’s drawing life, innit? This also applies to where cartoons are seen and it doesn’t just have to be on pieces of dead tree.

Cartoon secrets revealed

April 7, 2010 in General

News reaches Bloghorn of a couple of British cartoonists revealing the tricks of the trade. Firstly there’s The TimesPeter Brookes explaining how he’ll be caricaturing the party leaders in the upcoming General Election. On drawing the current Prime Minister:

With Gordon Brown I’ll start with the hair, increasingly grey and much more coiffured these days. Then come the heavy, angry eyebrows above creased eyes, one unsighted because that is the unfortunate reality. The nose is short and stubby, with a flat base. The fleshy-lipped mouth is open in that odd gurning movement he makes with his jaw as he speaks. The ears are large, round and red. There are deep marks on the cheekbones that, with the bags under his eyes, give him that knackered, saturnine look, particularly when I add a blue-grey wash for five o’clock shadow. Sometimes I think I’ve just drawn Nixon.

Secondly, from the other end of the British cartooning spectrum we have Watchmen artist Dave Gibbons demonstrating, with video, how he goes about drawing a character digitally using a Wacom Cintiq tablet and Manga Studio software.

Of course, if you would like to see cartoonists demonstrating their skills in the flesh, we would heartily recommend you head to this years Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival, 22nd to 24th April 2010. But, if you can’t make it in person, we’ll be providing full coverage here on Bloghorn.

Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival video

April 6, 2010 in Comment


Clive Goddard and Nathan Ariss report for Bloghorn from Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival‘s past. This year’s event takes place 22nd-25th April.

A name up in prints

April 5, 2010 in General

Foghorn Bloghorn for The UK Professional Cartoonists’ OrganisationBloghorn is pleased to see that Royston Robertson, one of our writers, is the new cartoonist of the month at Prospect magazine. You can read the interview with him here.  Fittingly it was published on April 1st. Along with many of his colleagues from the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation, Royston will be taking part in the upcoming Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival towards the end of April.

New patrons for Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival 2010

April 2, 2010 in General

Comedian, TV host and and cartoon fan Phill Jupitus has given his public support to this year’s upcoming Shrewsbury cartoon festival by signing up as a patron of the annual event. Phill and broadcaster Libby Purves will also be joined by BBC Radio 2 DJ Alex Lester.

The Festival’s full programme for 22-25 April is now available online and in a downloadable pdf brochure. You will be able to follow coverage of the event here at the Bloghorn and on our Twitter feed.

The festival, now in its seventh year, also enjoys support from long-time patrons Professor Colin Pillinger (the inspiring scientist from the Beagle 2 Mission to Mars) and TV news pundit Andrew Marr.


Bloghorn Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival Magic, Myth and Mystery cartoon 2010

Highlights of this year’s event include an illustrated talk by one of Britain’s finest political cartoonists, Martin Rowson. His talk ‘Giving Offence – the Greatest Gift’ is at the Old Market Hall, 12.30pm on Saturday 24 April. Tickets are £5 from the Box Office which you can contact at 01743 281281.

Libby Purves presents an evening of conversation and cartoons with cartoonist Bill Stott at The Lion on Thursday 22 April at 7.30pm. Tickets are also £5 from Bear Steps Gallery , telephone 01743 356511

Full details of the many other free events, workshops, talks and cartooning activities are in the brochure linked above or from the official festival website.

Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival is organised by Shropshire Council, Shrewsbury Civic Society, The Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation, and Agate Design with support from the Arts Council and many volunteers and private sector sponsors. If you would like details of opportunities around this and future festivals you can make contact using the form below.

[contact-form 1 “Contact form 1”]