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by Royston

A Monday Round-up

April 16, 2012 in News

"Is there any news of the Iceberg?" © Bill Tidy

You may have noticed a lack of blog posts last week, this was caused by various changes going on behind the scenes to this website. To make it up to you, we offer an early round-up of cartooning links this week, as later we’ll be concentrating on this week’s Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival (April 19-22).

First up, you may have noticed that it’s 100 years since a certain large boat sank, and if you’ve not had enough of the excessive media coverage, here’s Bob Mankoff of the New Yorker on The world’s largest comedy cliche. We also revisit the definitive cartoon on the subject, above, originally in Punch in 1968, by the patron Bill Tidy.

Still on matters New Yorker, Liza Donnelly has transcribed one of her talks so you can read it on her blog: Word and image: The art of cartooning. And Carolita Johnson outlines her somewhat unusual career trajectory for the women’s website The Hairpin inHow to become a cartoonist in about 20 jobs.

Robert Crumb continues to be lauded by the art establishment in France, where he lives, and talks to AP about how odd he still finds it to see his art on walls in galleries. And talking of Art with a capital A, Charles Saatchi has his eye on a cartoonist.

Here’s something of which we were aware, from the AOI’s magazine, Varoom, but we hadn’t realised was now online. It’s a great read too. Martin Colyer, design director at Reader’s Digest, talks to cartoonists John CuneoSteve Way and Tom Gauld aboutThe process of cartoons.

Mark “Andertoons” Anderson does a bit of soul-searching on his blog and tells us Why I’m a cartoonist.

The popular DC Thomson comic strip The Numskulls is 50 years old, so comics artist Lew Stringer looks at how this story of little people in our heads fascinates and considers its many imitators, in Variations on a small theme.

The little people in my head tell me that’s enough links to be going on with. Expect Shrewsburyness tomorrow.

The Round-up

April 11, 2012 in Links, News

Former Punch cartoonists Bill HewisonEd McLachlan (above) and Mike Williams are the stars of a new show opening later this month at the Chris Beetles Gallery in London. The selling exhibition features work from Punch itself, alongside cartoons published in Private Eye, The Spectator and elsewhere. See the Chris Beetles site for more details.

Annie Tempest, the cartoonist behind the longrunning ‘Tottering-by-Gently’ cartoon stip in Country Living magazine, has told The Mail on Sunday about branching out into sculpture following the death of her teenage son. You can read the interview here, and information about her upcoming sculpture show can be found here.

The Montreal Gazette considers the personal risks taken by political cartoonists, pointing out that some of the risks do not only apply to those living under dictatorships. Read more here.

Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette looks back at the work of Adalbert Volck, a lesser-known contemporary of Thomas Nast, and how their respective cartoons reflected their differing political views during the American Civil War. Read more here.

by Royston

Mad about Bateman

April 11, 2012 in General, News

HM Bateman self portrait
H.M. Bateman: The Man Who Went Mad on Paper opens at the Cartoon Museum in London next Wednesday (April 11).

The exhibition covers all aspects of Bateman’s career, from his early theatrical subjects to his famous The Man Who cartoons. It also includes examples of wordless strips, sketchbooks and other private works that are exhibited here for the first time.

Visit the Cartoon Museum website for opening times and admission details. The show runs until July 22.

Cartoonist ambassador

April 3, 2012 in General, News

Andy Davey, the Sun cartoonist and member, tells us about his recent experience as an ambassador for British cartoons: 

I was recently interviewed by Olena Gnes, a foreign news correspondent at the Ukrainian station Inter TV. She was interested in presenting a piece on the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations and was looking for an interesting hook.

Her first port of call was the Cartoon Museum in London, which had just opened its current show Her Maj, looking back at 60 years of cartoons about the Queen. The nice people there sent Olena over to me, mistakenly hoping that I could string a few aperçus together on taboos for cartoonists when depicting the Queen.

The charming Ms Gnes expected a sensible answer to the following: Do such taboos result from censorship, self-censorship or professional ethics and respect? She sought to contextualise the piece with interesting shots of finished cartoons in my rather uninteresting studio.

What could I do but accept such an invitation to make a fool of myself in front of several million people on national Ukrainian news?

In preparing a few thoughts, it struck me that her questions were interesting. There has been considerable taboo around representations of the Queen. She was never portrayed in cartoons until the 1950s and thereafter, for a decade or so, only from behind or in silhouette. It is only since the 1960s and the famous “family firm” BBC documentary of 1969 that the mystique has been lifted.

Depictions have since become less respectful – see Scarfe, Steadman, Spitting Image and Steve Bell­. But it would still, even now, be impossible to get a hurtful cartoon past the editor of any tabloid – in fact, probably more so now than ever.

I would feel pretty weird doing a hatchet job on Her Maj. It would feel like kicking my Nan. Besides, she bought one of my cartoons (HMQ, not my Nan), so she can’t be all bad [Ed’s note: it was the Bruce Forsyth cartoon above].

In the event, they came and filmed a cartoon on the studio wall [detail above] for which I provided a hugely complex explanation, together with a short interview.

The questioning was less demanding than expected and I ended up ranting about all things royal for a few minutes until Olena wisely instructed Ivan, her cameraman, to cut and run, obviously fearing I would send Kiev to sleep.

In this online clip from the news programme, a translator covers my voice, so I haven’t a clue what I said. I hope he made up something sensible.

Last few days: Her Maj: 60 Years of Unoffical Portraits of the Queen is at the Cartoon Museum until Sunday (April 8).


Shrewsbury cartoon festival 2012

April 3, 2012 in Events, General

Not long to wait

Submission to festival exhibition Flights of Fancy © The Surreal McCoy