You are browsing the archive for 2012 February.

Flying to Shrewsbury 2012

February 29, 2012 in Comment, General

Pete Dredge submitted this charming image to the selection committee for the Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival 2012. Will it make the cut for the big exhibition? The only sure way to know, is to go! Read on for details.

Bloghorn: Pete Dredge on Flying for Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival 2012

–>Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival starts on 5th April, opening of with ‘Flights of Fancy’. The weekend for ‘Cartoonists Live’ is 19th – 22nd April and sees around 40 UK and international cartoonists descend on the medieval market town to draw giant cartoons, free caricatures and run many workshops and free cartoon advice sessions. There is also, always, a lively ‘fringe’ with many other non-performing cartoonists, friends and fans in attendance.

Watch Bloghorn for more or subscribe to our email reading service using the link at the top of the second column on this page.

by Royston

The artist as cartoonist

February 28, 2012 in General, News

David Shrigley fish cartoon

Review: David Shrigley: Brain Activity at the Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre, London

A vexed question of categorisation arises when it comes to the artist David Shrigley: Is he a cartoonist?

He and many art critics appear reluctant to use the term, but there’s no doubt that black and white line drawings, many of which are designed to provoke laughter, are what he is best known for.

And there are lots of them in this Hayward Gallery show, 117 new ones, apparently, and 42 larger painted ones. Let’s call them cartoons, for the sake of argument, and because one of them has got a desert island in it.

“The responses I would like are laughter, intrigued confusion and disquiet,” says Shrigley in the exhibition guide. That certainly sounds like the intent of a cartoonist and this stated aim is pretty much achieved here. Many of the cartoons elicited laughter and some were certainly disturbing.

Animation is also a key part of the show, most notably a very satisfying new piece called Headless Drummer, which speaks for itselfThere are also lots of sculptures. These mostly retain the wonky Shrigley style and are like 3D cartoons. There’s a sculpture of a very large tea cup, with what appears to be real tea inside it. But the best joke is on the wall alongside it, on the label that tells you the materials used: Glazed ceramic, tea, milk, no sugar.

Shrigley relies a lot on incongruity, a technique well known to cartoonists i.e. putting together objects and concepts that don’t normally sit alongside each other. So we have a gravestone etched with a short shopping list – a brilliantly simple idea that reminds me of that other cartoonist-done-good, Banksy.

This is a very playful exhibition. At one point we are invited to crawl through a hole in the wall into the next room (though normal means are available for those who wish to retain their dignity). Contemporary art it may be, but you get the feeling that nobody is taking things too seriously.

Well worth a look then, and if you pay an extra £2 on top of your £8 admission you get to see the Jeremy Deller exhibition too, which is brilliant but doesn’t have cartoons in it.

David Shrigley: Brain Activity and Jeremy Deller: Joy in People are at the Hayward Gallery until May 13.


The Round-up

February 24, 2012 in General, Links

Alex, Charles Peattie and Russell Taylor‘s City comic strip for The Daily Telegraph, is celebrating 25 satirical years. BBC Radio 4’s Today programme interviews the strip’s eponymous banker, left, and gets his take on the current state of the economy here. Meanwhile, academics at Oxford University say the Alex strip can be used to forecast the performance of financial markets.

Timed to coincide with the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens‘ birth earlier this month, the New Yorker cartoon editor Bob Mankoff took a look back at some of the Dickensian cartoons by the late Bud Handelsman. If you haven’t already seen them, it’s worth a look.

A piece of original Calvin and Hobbes artwork by creator Bill Watterson has been sold for over $107,000.

Elsewhere, one man’s inherited comic collection has been auctioned off this week for $3.5 million.

Finally, Royal Mail are to celebrate 75 years of British comics next month with a new range of stamps, and Comic Book Alliance is offering a limited edition First Day Cover featuring all 10.

For No Good Reason

February 24, 2012 in Comment

Fine news for all fans of Ralph Steadman, the drawing iconoclast and member: a long-awaited film about him is on its way. The video trailer is available at and features gratuitous sleb endorsements.


by Royston

Taking a run-up to the Shrewsbury festival

February 22, 2012 in Events, News

Here’s another cartoon submitted for exhibition at this year’s Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival, where the theme is “Flying”. This is by The Surreal McCoy.

We will be featuring more great cartoons submitted to the festival exhibition by our members ahead of the festival in April. You can see the first drawing here.

If you’re not familiar with the festival, here’s a Bloghorn report on what we got up to last year (with more here and here.)

We’re all in this together … the final Foghorn

February 20, 2012 in Comment, Events, News

All good things must come to an end, and so it has come to pass that Foghorn, the magazine of the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation has reached its final issue. Fear not, for it is going out with a smile on its face. The theme, as featured on the cover by our out-going Chairman Andy Davey, is “We’re all in this together”.–>

What’s inside?

Rupert Besley reflects on pyramids, pillocks and Gizas

How architects deal with austere times by Roger Penwill

Foghorn’s Guide to All Being In It Together

Curmudgeon calls for a National Moan

… and many, many cartoons, including a full page of work from Clive Collins MBE.

You can read the whole thing online here! 

And what now for Foghorn? well, changes are afoot. Watch this space …

The Round-up

February 17, 2012 in Links

Rosie Brooks, a member of the Professional Cartoonists’  Organisation, which runs the Bloghorn, has found a piece of her artwork adorning a US postage stamp. That’s because she painted the guitar that Sir Paul McCartney is pictured with on one of a range of stamps for the animal welfare charity PETA. You can watch Rosie painting the guitar (at high speed) here.

The Christian Institute has latched onto a recent cartoon by The Telegraph’s Matt Pritchett, arguing that his gag reflects public opinion over the recent banning of prayers as part of council meetings. You can read their take on the cartoon here.

Stephen Collins, cartoonist for The Guardian, Prospect, The Spectator and others, has contributed a range of cartoon postcard designs for the Time To Change mental health campaign. See them here.

Forbidden Planet reports here on Marvel’s legal victory over the comic-book writer Gary Friedrich, while The Daily Cartoonist points out that the legal tussle does the publisher no favours with fans.

Lord Baker of Dorking appears on the Panel Borders podcast to discuss his love of cartoons and his contributions to the Cartoon Museum’s latest exhibition, Her Maj.

And finally, Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons, Life In Hell and Futurama,  has received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Thoughts turn to Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival 2012

February 15, 2012 in Comment

As the ice melts, thoughts turn to spring and that means the annual cartoon festival at Shrewsbury.

The event theme this year is “Flying” and we will be featuring some of the terrific art submitted to the festival exhibition by our members in the coming weeks, in between explaining what you can expect when you reach the Shropshire town.

Bloghorn: Cartoon Shrewsbury 2012 - Denis Dowland on Flight

We’ve debuted the cartoon above by Denis Dowland today.

The local “fly-by-day-or-nights” from RAF Cosford are heavily involved in this year’s event as are our friends from Reader’s Digest magazine. We’ll have more details on the Bloghorn soon. In the meantime, you might like to relive some of our previous coverage from other years of the Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival in the archives of the respective “springs” you’ll find on the right-hand side of your screen.

by Royston

A cartoonist’s lot

February 14, 2012 in Comment, News

Cartoon by WilburThe struggle of the gag cartoonist is the subject for an article in the current issue of the Association of Illustrators magazine Varoom! It’s by Martin Colyer, Design Director at Reader’s Digest, who asks: “What other profession has within its job description such a huge element of rejection? Even actors, famous in the rejection stakes, don’t have to actually write the plays they perform in.”

Cartoonists must “churn” ideas, he says, and send them out knowing that “they will be placed in piles, summarily judged, occasionally accepted, mostly rejected and returned to sender”. He uses as an example, a cartoon by the PCO’s own Wilbur Dawbarn that was accepted by the Digest but was never run, owing to a change of editor.

The article includes a short interview with Wilbur about the cartoon, which is featured as Varoom!’s “Unseen” artwork. We’ve included one of Wibur’s cartoons that did make the cut at Reader’s Digest here.

Bloghorn says: Yep, it’s a tough life, but cartoonists are made of stern stuff! Onwards!

Read about and subscribe to Varoom! here

Free copyright seminar

February 10, 2012 in Comment

Our friends at the Creators’ Rights Alliance and Consumer Focus are holding a joint seminar on copyright for artists and illustrators to which Bloghorn would like to bring to your attention. It is being held at The Free Word Centre in central London on Tuesday 21st February from 10-5.30pm.

You can download the full PDF details here.