You are browsing the archive for 2011 December.

Happy New Year from the UK Procartoonists

December 31, 2011 in Comment

Bloghorn: Happy 2012 from the UK Professional Cartoonists' Organisation

Good fortune to all our readers on behalf of the members of the UK Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation.

And in an attempt to keep up with the arrival of the new year we will be back to normal publishing this week.

Happy Christmas and Best Wishes for 2012

December 24, 2011 in Comment

With the seasonal greetings of the UK Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation

Bloghorn cartoons - Happy New Year of 2012

Order and disorder, disorder

December 19, 2011 in Comment

John Bercow, Speaker of the House of Commons, bought a cartoon that appeared in The Sun for for his Christmas card this year.

Bloghorn: John and Sally Bercow cartoon

It was drawn by Andy Davey, chairman of the PCO, which runs the Bloghorn, and satirises the appearance on Celebrity Big Brother by the Speaker’s wife, Sally.

Unsurprisingly for a high-profile political figure, Mr Bercow’s choice has been subject to much analysis by friends and foes. You can read all about them here, here and here.

The Speaker bought the original artwork before using for his card. Buying artwork does not give the purchaser any rights to use a cartoon, so the cartoonist asked that Mr Bercow makes a donation to charity.

Cartoon republished by permission of Andy Davey.

by Royston

Plagiarism row goes on

December 16, 2011 in Comment

The row over alleged plagiarism by the American cartoonist Jeff Stahler rumbles on, with many commentators looking at what the case says about the state of US editorial cartooning, and wondering about long-term implications.

Stahler, who was suspended by his employer, the Columbus Dispatch, has since resigned.

Most prominent among the commentators is the cartoonist Ted Rall who says on his blog that he hopes “editors and publishers at newspapers, magazines and websites … consider their own role in encouraging plagiarism”. Rall says that for at least 30 years editors and publishers have discouraged originality and have hired cartoonists whose drawing style “slavishly mimics” the Pulitzer-award winning Jeff MacNelly, who died 11 years ago. Read the full article here: Editors and publishers, heal thyselves

The implications for editors are also discussed in a piece by Katherine Travers at who asks: “What is plagiarism, what is an homage? What is a coincidence, what is not?” She says such questions have prompted speculation about the creation of an ethical code for cartoonists. An article at the Washington Post covers some similar ground, and asks: Is a newsroom’s political cartoonist a “journalist”?

Finally, the comments benath the Daily Cartoonist’s piece on Stahler’s resignation, from cartoonists and other interested parties, proves that this is one that will run and run …

Gin and opinions

December 14, 2011 in Comment

Gin Lane Gazette

Cartoonists have long adopted the technique of writing about the future or the past as a good way of talking about the present day.

But PCO member Adrian Teal is adapting this artifice with a crowd-funded project on the history of 18th century Britain, which he explains in a short video pitch. 

Adrian is working with the Unbound book site which provides a platform for authors to pitch their products to would-be book buyers for self-funding.

His Gin Lane Gazette – an 18th century version of Heat magazine – follows a similar path to The Opinions of Tobias Grubbe, the news cartoon that appears weekly in the digital Telegraph.

Tobias Grubbe animated cartoon © Michael Cross and Matthew Buck hack Cartoons

The young guns

December 12, 2011 in Comment

If the average age of cartoonists is generally at the high end of the scale, as mentioned by Private Eye in its 50th celebrations, there a couple of young guns currently working to change that.

Ben Jennings Alistair DarlingBen Jennings, 21, and PCO member Rob Murray, 30, have been chosen to draw cartoons for the i newspaper in the new year. It announced the result of its Cartoonist Idol competition today.

Ben who is in the final year of an illustration degree at the University of Westminster, has also been given the Gillray Goblet for political cartoon of the year at the Political Cartoon Society Awards. He won for the above cartoon, which appeared in the Guardian in August.

A suitably startled Ben was presented with the goblet by the former chancellor Alistair Darling, at the awards ceremony last week. (Photo by Colin Dodds.)

He will draw political cartoons at the i and Rob, who writes regularly for the Bloghorn, will be drawing pocket cartoons. Rob is also fairly new to the cartooning game, but has already been widely published in magazines such as Private Eye and The Spectator.

Edited: 14th December 2011

Peter Brookes of The Times won best Cartoonist of the year and Steve Bell of The Guardian was runner up in the single cartoon competition.

Round-up: What the Bloghorn saw

December 9, 2011 in Comment, Links

The biggest cartooning story of the week unfolded in the US, where Columbus Dispatch cartoonist Jeff Stahler has been accused of plagiarism and suspended from the paper. The Daily Cartoonist has details here, and Bloghorn will be looking at the story – and possible ramifications – in more detail in a dedicated post next week.

Bloghorn is sad to report that veteran gag cartoonist Hugh Burnett has died. Best known for his jokes featuring monks, one of which is reprinted by Private Eye this week to acknowledge his passing, Burnett was also a television producer who pioneered in-depth TV interviews for the BBC. You can read more about this side of his career from The Scotsman’s obituary.

In other sad news, Jerry Robinson – the comic-book artist who helped create iconic Batman characters including Robin and The Joker – has died aged 89. Newsarama has tributes from other comics creators here.

Martin Rowson – political cartoonist for The Guardian and a member of the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation, which runs the Bloghorn – will present My History of the World in 15 Minutes in a free talk at the Southbank Centre in London this Saturday. See the website for details.

Alan Moore has defended the Occupy protestors following negative comments by fellow comics legend Frank Miller, according to The Guardian.

Comics artist and teacher Chris Schweizer has begun a series of instructional blog posts about cartoon composition by looking at the perils of the tangent (thanks to Drawn for bringing this to our attention).

Finally, “this week’s guest publication”, Caravan Times, is offering one lucky reader the chance to be caricatured, along with their caravan, by the Bloghorn’s very own editor, Matt Buck. See the site for details.

Private Eye gets services to cartooning award

December 7, 2011 in Comment, Events, News

Nick Newman Private Eye

Private Eye was presented with the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation Award for Services to Cartooning last night.

A small delegation from the PCO descended on the Eye’s Soho offices to present the award to Nick Newman, cartoonist and writer at the magazine, above, on behalf of the Editor, Ian Hislop.

Accepting the award, Nick said that the Eye had always been a staunch supporter of cartoons, from the early days when it would run two or three Willie Rushton cartoons to the present day which sees dozens of gags and strips in each issue.

Noting that the PCO gave the Award for Services to Cartooning last year to the Church Times, he added: “Obviously the Church Times is a much more humorous magazine …”

Pete Dredge, PCO member and regular Eye contributor, handed over the award, which he described as “a stylish, crystal-fashioned engraved paperweight recognising Lord Gnome’s 50 years of supporting the best of British cartooning and cartoonists”.

PCO Award for Services to Cartooning

He told the Bloghorn: “It is understood that the paperweight will be on display amongst the Eye’s other trophies, rather than holding down the ever-growing pile of cartoon submissions on the Editor’s desk.”

The PCO thanks the Eye for accepting the award, and appreciates the fact that the Ed did not say “Sorry not to use. Thanks for sending.”

by Royston

Blake lets them eat cake

December 6, 2011 in Events, News

A selling exhibition of Quentin Blake drawings, called Chocolate Fudge Banana Cake and Other Delicacies, opens at the Chris Beetles Gallery in St James’s, London, on Sunday (December 11).

Blake will be at the gallery on the opening day and there will be music from the Jelly Rollers and, the organisers promise, a “sweet mountain”. Visit the Chris Beetles Gallery website for more details. The exhibition of 120 pictures will be on display until January 7.

The child inside the Monster Engine

December 5, 2011 in Comment, Links

Bloghorn for UK Professional CartoonistsBloghorn rather enjoyed this excellent post about interpreting the visual imagination of children.

The resulting gallery of compare and contrast iamges from adults and children is worth a visit to the Monster Engine.

If you see something we should know about, we welcome details here – or contact the writers direct on Twitter @mattbuck_hack, @roystoncartoons, @alexhughes and @RMurrayCartoons.