You are browsing the archive for 2011 September.

Cartoon: To the point

September 22, 2011 in Comment, News

Bloghorn thanks reader Chris D.Williams for spotting this entertaining piece of promotion by cartoonist David Shrigley.

We also suggest that if you are keen to use cartoon art on your own or, the body of someone else, you pick from a wider menu of options. Take a random option or try the link below.

Bloghorn is made on behalf of the UK Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation



by Royston

Eat lead, Fritz! Commando is in town

September 20, 2011 in Events

The National Army Museum may seem like an odd place for a comics exhibition, but what better venue for a retrospective on Commando?
Commando comic cover

For Commando, ze war is never over, as the pocket-sized comics have featured non-stop bashing of the Boche since 1961. The 50th anniversary has been less heralded than that of Private Eye, but it is a notable one, particularly in the volatile comics market.

Draw Your Weapons: The Art of Commando Comics, held in partnership with the publisher DC Thomson, showcases key artwork and illustrations from the comics’ history. Alongside the artwork there are original artefacts, photographs and films relating to the inspiration behind the comics – the British Army Commandos themselves.

The National Army Museum is in Chelsea, central London, next to the Royal Hospital Chelsea. The free exhibition runs until April 30.

The Bloghorn is made on behalf of the UK’s Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation

Round-up: What the Bloghorn saw

September 16, 2011 in News

Rob Murray writes:

A diverse group of cartoonists and comic book artists have contributed self portraits to a new exhibition at Orbital Comics in Great Newport Street, London. The show is free to view and runs until October 15. A list of participating cartoonists can be found on Orbital’s events page.

The Chicago Tribune took the unusual step of pulling Garry Trudeau’s Doonesbury strip this week, on the basis that it did not meet the paper’s fairness policy. The strip referred to allegations purportedly contained in an as-yet unreleased book about the former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. The Tribune responds to readers’ comments on its decision here.

Yet more evidence that watching too many animated cartoons can be bad for you, as a new study suggests that exposure to fast-paced cartoons such as SpongeBob Squarepants hinders abstract thinking, short-term memory and impulse control in young children. ABC News has more.

Meanwhile, Kellogg’s has defended its use of cartoon characters on its breakfast cereal packaging, after the Cancer Council claimed that cartoons on cereal boxes help promote unhealthy foods to children.

But wait, there’s some good news regarding kids and cartoons. It turns out, according to the Daily Telegraph, that Scooby-Doo is the healthiest cartoon. Zoinks!

Bloghorn is made on behalf of the UK Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation

Cartoonist guards her rights

September 15, 2011 in News

The appearance of a cartoon in a newspaper or upon a website usually produces a frisson of joy for the cartoonist who made it – unless it has appeared without their permission.

The American cartoonist Stephanie Piro, who had this unfortunate experience recently, told The Bloghorn what happened – and more importantly what to do about it should it happen to you:

A couple of months ago a cartoonist colleague, emailed me to ask if the Guardian news website was a client of mine as she recognised my work there. I told her they weren’t and then followed the link she provided.

Guardian Bookshop @Bloghorn

Reconstructed image of the licensing infringement

This was, of course, upsetting as it appeared to have come from here or here.

Over the years I have had several major instances of my work being used without my permission. As my website rates for a single image are reasonable, I was surprised someplace as established as The Guardian would use an image without first contacting the artist and paying for it.

I eventually succeeded in contacting The Guardian through its Readers’ Editor and sent an invoice. After more prompting, I finally heard from a woman who was in charge of the books site on the Guardian site who blamed a third-party organisation and apologised.

This was unacceptable to me. When I threatened to spread the word to the NCS (the US National Cartoonists’ Society), the PCO (the UK Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation) and all the professional cartooning boards I belong to … then they responded to my invoice.

This was more meaningful than a simple apology.

The Bloghorn commends this excellent example of how you should look after your work. We also credit The Guardian and their contracted third-party agency for reacting to Stephanie’s messages and by eventually promising to pay for the use of her work over the previous nine months.

If you have anything helpful to add about the best way to manage your business interests please add it to the comments below. If you are a UK-based professional cartoonist you may also want to consider applying to join the PCO.

The Bloghorn is made on behalf of the UK’s Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation

by Royston

Private Eye: Looking good at 50

September 13, 2011 in Events, News

Private Eye at 50

Private Eye celebrates its 50th birthday next month and appears to be in rude health, bucking the downward trend for magazine circulation in the digital age.

The anniversary is October 25 but the celebrations start on Tuesday (September 20) with the release of a new book Private Eye: The First 50 Years, a history of the magazine written by the Eye journalist Adam Macqueen that charts its rise from 300 copies of the first edition in 1961, below, to a fortnightly circulation of more than 200,000.

First issue of Private Eye

The book features interviews with key players in the Private Eye story, rare archive material and unseen photos. (There are some “seen” ones too.) And, of course, there is an abundance of the cartoons that are so central to appeal of the magazine.

You can see more of those, including many by members of the PCO, which runs The Bloghorn, when the famously anti-establishment magazine puts on a First 50 Years exhibition at the very establishment Victoria and Albert Museum [Shurely shome mishtake? – Ed]. It opens at the V&A on October 18 and runs until January 8.

Cartoons will be shown in themed sections, on politics, royalty and social observation, and there will be gags, long-running strips and caricatures. The Bloghorn will have more on the exhibition nearer the time.

Ian Hislop, Editor of the magazine, has said of the 50th anniversary: “I do not want anyone to think that this is all just a huge celebration of ourselves. Our 50th year is a chance to look back and take a dispassionate view of how marvellous we are.”

You can read more on how marvellous they are in a Media Guardian article this week and even Vanity Fair is on the case with a piece by Christopher Hitchens. Updates on the 50th anniversary celebrations will appear on the Private Eye at 50 blog.

The Bloghorn is made on behalf of the UK’s Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation

Round-up: What the Bloghorn saw

September 9, 2011 in Comment, News

Rob Murray writes:

As the 10th anniversary of 9/11 nears, around 90 US cartoonists across five different syndicates have come together to produce commemorative editions of their strips. There’s more on the story at The Huffington Post and Voice of America. Meanwhile, Daryl Cagle has also asked some of America’s top political cartoonists to reflect on 9/11.

Here in the UK, the Advertising Standards Authority has banned an advert for mobile phone retailer Phones 4u, which features a cartoon depiction of Jesus, for being ‘disrespectful’. New Statesman weighs in and asks what is more offensive: the cartoon itself or the ASA’s decision to ban it. (Bloghorn is most perturbed by the apparenty lack of originality in the image – which bears remarkable similarity to this parody from the movies)

The Malvern Gazette notes that a plaque to First World War cartoonist Bruce Bairnsfather – creator of Old Bill – is to be unveiled in the village of Colwall in Herefordshire, where he lived towards the end of his life.

Finally, PCO member and fellow Bloghorner Royston Robertson has written about his recent visits to two cartoon exhibitions – both focused on the saucy seaside postcard. You can read his piece here.

Bloghorn is made on behalf of the UK Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation


by Royston

How to not get into The New Yorker

September 7, 2011 in Comment

Cartoon by James Sturm
Cartoon © James Sturm

If you don’t follow the Bloghorn on Twitter (you should: @bloghorn) you may have missed this article that we highlighted recently.

James Sturm, an artist better known for graphic novels, decided to try his hand at gag cartooning for the most competitive, exclusive market there is. He writes about his exploits for Slate magazine here: How hard is it to get a cartoon into The New Yorker?

He tells of how he enjoyed the freedom of gag cartooning, how his meeting went with the magazine’s cartoon editor Bob Mankoff, and how he ultimately didn’t get into The New Yorker. But he did have lunch with lots of cartoonists, so it’s not all bad news.

Most high-profile cartoon in the world

September 5, 2011 in Comment, News

The Google doodles – the drawings which accompany the advertising company’s ubiquitous search engine – are the most read cartoons in the world.

Bloghorn admires the company’s long-term use of drawn imagery as a piece of business promotion (do visit the archives.) Today they have moved the still cartoon image into a animated video celebrating the memory of the flamboyant leader singer of Queen, Freddie Mercury.

Agree with our view on the most high-profile cartoon in the world? Please have your say in the comments below.

Bloghorn is made on behalf of the UK’s Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation

by Royston

Powerful stuff goes on display

September 1, 2011 in Events

Has Bambi got teeth? by Peter Brookes

Artwork from the political cartoon collection of Jeffrey Archer is to go on show for the first time, at the Monnow Valley Arts Centre, Herefordshire, from Saturday (September 3).

Image of Power will feature 100 cartoons owned by the writer and former Tory MP who has been collecting cartoons for 25 years. They include this early image of Tony Blair, Has Bambi got teeth?, by Peter Brookes of The Times.

The exhibition, which spans three centuries from Gillray to Scarfe, is being curated by the art collector Chris Beetles. It features images of Churchill, Macmillan, Kennedy, Reagan, Nixon, Thatcher and more.

Lord Archer says on his website: “I continue collecting, as there are still gaps to be filled, but it’s my long-term intention to produce an illustrated book on the collection, and to leave the works to the nation. Mind you, finding a home for them may not prove easy. “

The exhibition will be opened by Lord Archer on Saturday at 3pm and runs until October 30.