You are browsing the archive for 2012 April.

New tools of the trade

April 30, 2012 in General, News


The popular growth of consumer screen devices for display of words, pictures and video have meant massive change for the publication trades and all who work in them.

Of course this includes cartoonists and we are now starting to see changes to the most traditional of tools to match the big industry trend towards personal mobile screens. This one caught the eye because it is the first brush tool input device we’ve seen – and this is how it works.

The Round-up

April 27, 2012 in General, News

Ali Ferzat

Ali Ferzat © Time magazine

Ali Ferzat, the Syrian cartoonist brutally beaten by members of the Assad regime, has been named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine. See the magazine’s reasoning here, and read more about Ferzat in a previous post.

Popeye returns to comics in a new series this month, and the first issue features a variant cover by the Pulitzer-winning cartoonist Jules Feiffer, which you can see here. Comic Book Resources gives it a positive review and asks for more.

Forbidden Planet last week highlighted the remarkable similarities between the poster design for an upcoming Brit flick and a piece of cover art from 2000AD. The film’s production company has since indicated on Twitter that it has recalled the image, but you can still compare the lookalikes here.

Rosie Brooks, “professional doodler” and Procartoonists member, has won a nine-day trip to Cuba. Increase your sense of envy by reading this.

While not specifically about cartooning, a well thought out piece from the Online Journalism Blog underlines the point that creative people are being routinely pressured into working for free, and that this can harm the industry they work in, as well as their own pockets. Read it here.

Festival shines on despite the rain

April 25, 2012 in Events, General

The Melodrawma

Roger Penwill hosts the Melodrawma at Shrewsbury, with musical accompaniment from The Surreal McCoy member Roger Penwillone of the Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival organisers, writes:

For the first time in nine years, the Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival had April weather in April. However this did not deter the crowds who came to enjoy this year’s Cartoonists Live events in the town.

More than 30 of the country’s top cartoonists, plus artists from France, Holland and Australia, were there to draw live for the public, on this year’s theme of Flying.

There were large (2.4m x 2m) Big Board cartoons painted live in the square; workshops for budding cartoonist of all ages; talks and cartooning advice clinics. Caricaturists drew caricatures for free and you could have your body drawn, rather than your head, at the Reverse Caricaturing stand.

Shrewsbury’s unique Melodrawma was performed: a comic strip drawn by 3 cartoonists to live narration and musical accompaniment. Once again Reader’s Digest was in The Square running its popular Beat the Cartoonist exhibition.

Reader's Digest display

The rain gets the better of the Reader's Digest display

There was a new venue for the festival this year, the New Market Hall, close to the Square. This is home to the Visual Arts Network Gallery, which played host to Flights of Fancy, the main festival exhibition of nearly 100 cartoons.

Thanks to a grant from the Arts Council, this exhibition will also go on tour this summer to the Qube at Oswestry, Wem Town Hall and RAF Museum Cosford (more details here).

The New Market Hall was also the venue for the annual instant exhibition of quickly drawn cartoons. Theatre Severn has an exhibition by French cartoonists, called French Flies, which runs until mid-July.

Shops around the town supported the event by displaying cartoons in their windows to form the S-mile High Trail, meandering around the town and linking the various festival venues.

It all added up to another successful event, and plans are underway for the 10th Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival in April next year.

Photos by Maria Harvey and Royston Robertson.

Picture this: the 2012 Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival

April 25, 2012 in Events, News

Huw Aaron drawing

Huw Aaron works on a rather complex Big Board in the Market Square

We promised you more coverage of this year’s Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival, so here is a visual feast. This highlights many of the events held for the public, and shows that even the erratic weather could not dampen spirits.

Hunt Emerson draws a Big Board

Hunt Emerson gets colourful with his board, creating "The Miracle of Flight"

Cathy Simpson cartoon workshop

Cathy Simpson hosts a cartoon workshop for children at the Wildlife Trust

The Melodrawma

Music, performance and live drawing in the Melodrawma in the Market Square. From left to right, Bill Stott, Pete Dredge and Noel Ford

Alex Lester, Libby Purves, Gill Hudson

Radio 2's Alex Lester, the writer and broadcaster Libby Purves, and the Reader's Digest editor Gill Hudson are all Shrewsbury supporters. Also in attendance was Martin Wainwright, northern editor of The Guardian

Reader's Digest stall

Reader's Digest ran a "Beat the Cartoonist" caption competition for the second year running

Humurals exhibition

The Humurals, an instant cartoon exhibition at the Market Hall. Tim Harries thinks of something to draw; Matt Buck utilises his surroundings

Huw Aaron Big Board

A look at Huw Aaron's finished Big Board, entitled "973 well-dressed gentlemen chasing a balloon". We didn't count

Pictures by Nathan Ariss, Matt Buck, Nicolette Petersen, Rich Skipworth and Gerard Whyman.

Car-toons and situationist satire

April 24, 2012 in Events, News

French protest cartoons
As the French presidential election rumbles on, here are two example of cartoons of protest. A car is plastered with cartoons during a 20,000-strong rally in Paris, and feelings about Nicolas Sarkozy are made clear in a piece of situationist satire.

Pictures courtesy of Andrew Nickolds, co-writer of Radio 4’s Ed Reardon’s Week, via Nick Newman, Private Eye cartoonist and member.

The festival also known as #shrews12

April 23, 2012 in Events, News

Scenes from the Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival

Another Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival has been and gone, and members were there in force adding to a weekend of drawing and superb fun.

We’ll have more on the festival as the pictures and thoughts come in, once everyone has recovered. But in the meantime … lots of us involved in the event, and others, were tweeting about #shrews12 throughout the weekend and posting pictures, more than ever before, and you can read a round-up of that coverage below or online.

A taste of cartoon festival fun

April 18, 2012 in Events, General, News

Filmed at the 2011 Shewsbury Cartoon Festival, this is a three-minute montage of what you can expect at this years event, from today until Sunday: live caricaturing, Big Board cartoons, exhibitions, Humurals, workshops, cartoon talks, a caption competition,  a live Melodrawma and, yes, more!

Click those links to see more of our coverage of Shrewsburys past. doffs its top hat to Tardy Films, which shot and produced this video on our behalf.

Speed painting at Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival

April 18, 2012 in Events, General

The 2012 edition of the festival starts this weekend – 20-22nd April 2012

Cartooning in a certain style

April 18, 2012 in General, News

Switch over to Shrewsbury cartoon festival 2012

April 17, 2012 in Events, News - Shrewsbury_flights of_fancy_cartoon © Royston Robertson

© Royston Robertson at

The annual festival weekend is, er, this weekend – 19th-22nd April