You are browsing the archive for 2010 May.

by Royston

Cartoonists at The Groucho

May 10, 2010 in General, News

Cartoonists at the Groucho Club
Revellers at the Groucho Club, London’s premier trendy media hangout, found something to distract them from the anti-climax of the General Election last Thursday night: live cartooning.

Members of the PCO, the organisation which runs the Bloghorn, were on hand to draw cartoons in an informal capacity – is there any other way in the Groucho Club? – on the subject of politics and the election, as well as drawing live caricatures. The cartoons were then pinned up on the walls, showing up the Emins and Hirsts.

Cameras are not permitted in the Groucho, and the cartoonists went untroubled by the paparazzi outside the club, so there is no photographic record. Instead, we offer you some fine drawings of the assembled scribblers by Wilbur Dawbarn.

Much fun was had by all, even if there was still no conclusive result in the election by throwing-out time at 4am. But, who knows, we may be back there for the next election in a matter of months …

Budding Cartoonists Wanted (again)

May 7, 2010 in General, News

The New Statesman magazine has a proud history of supporting drawing and in using the work of many outstanding cartoonists over the years; names like VickyDavid Low and Marc Boxer. More recently, the work of Steadman, Fleming, Matt, Simonds, ‘Ham’ Khan and  Felix Bennett have also graced its pages. 

But things changed a few years ago. All joke cartoonists (except for the marvellous Grizelda) were erased from the mag and the cover reduced to the currently  ubiquitous Photoshopped montage. The days when Messrs. Simonds, Bennett and Khan would gather in the hot-house atmosphere of the offices and attempt to out-satire each other were gone.

So, this week Bloghorn was most pleased to see a request for entries for a cartoon competition in the magazines’s pages. The tantalising prize for “budding cartoonists” is the possibility of a regular, weekly strip in the magazine. Is there someone at the 97-year-old magazine who is thinking “cartoon” again? We hope so, but we’re puzzled as to why the editors prefer “budding” over “experienced professional” cartoonists, especially given the Statesman’s proud heritage. 

The experience of our members tells Bloghorn that cartooning is not a skill that flourishes particularly early in life because it relies on experience to reflect and connect many and varied themes and suck a really good joke out of them. Surely, the magazine’s decision was not influenced by the tawdry business of how much they might get away with paying someone with little experience in business? We’re sure that’s not so, and would like to invite the NS to examine our portfolios and use some more mature talent too.

Perhaps the magazine’s relatively modest circulation of 23,000 simply reflects the current political zeitgeist and the downward spiral of traditional print titles. We would be far too modest to suggest it has anything to do with the deletion of so many fine cartoonists’ work from its pages.

Workshops at Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival 2010

May 5, 2010 in Events, News

The Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival doesn’t actually finish at the end of the weekend.

Exhibitions continue in venues across the town and organisers run workshops for people keen to explore the skills of drawing and communication.


Cartoonist Wilbur Dawbarn ran one of these events and here are photos from his workshops. Bloghorn thanks Shropshire Council’s event development team for passing these along to us.


Some of the work produced will be displayed at the town’s Wakeman School and Arts College at the end of June.

An informant tells Bloghorn that Wilbur let slip he sometimes “meditated” on a subject for a cartoon while having a lie-in in the mornings. One of the older ladies immediately produced a cartoon of him lounging in bed – you can see it below.

"It's nice to finish the day's work before breakfast!"

Bloghorn thinks: If only…

In praise of cartoonists

May 3, 2010 in Comment

Bloghorn thanks the editorial writers of The Guardian for spotting what our members and many others do in working for the media, companies and individuals. Modesty prevents us from quoting the nice things said about the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation (but do go and read them)!

The organisers of the Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival would like us to add that the event is made possible by the kind, long-term support of Shropshire Council and the members of the PCO.

Festival patron, and friend of cartoonists, Libby Purves has words in The Times today for the Greek cartoonist guests at this year’s Shrewsbury. Sadly, they were prevented from actual attendance by unanticipated volcanic activity from the direction of Iceland.