You are browsing the archive for 2012 July.

Shrewsbury cartoon: On the road

July 16, 2012 in General, News


Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival 2013 promotion at RAF Cosford

Regular readers will know we have a longtime relationship with the Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival, the UK’s sole event devoted to the arts of the cartoonist, so we were pleased to see the show going on the road as a part of this year’s Diamond Jubilee.

A team of Noel Ford, Roger Penwill, Steve Bright, John Roberts and Jonathan Cusick, pictured, entertained at an event at RAF Cosford last week.

Jonathan told us:

It wouldn’t surprise me if our stall was genuinely one of the most popular in the hangar, though a drawing was certainly one of the more personal souvenirs available.  Once HM had left, the afternoon became progressively crazier. It was a busy but brilliant event.

Regrettably, no one was able to get close enough for a speedy drawing of the monarch because the queues for cartoons and caricatures were too busy. But when you’ve go pre-existing portraits like the one from Trog (Wally Fawkes), below, who is to worry?

Her Majesty by TROG - Wally Fawkes

© TROG - Wally Fawkes

And that’s time!


The Round-up

July 14, 2012 in General, Links, News

© Cathy Simpson @

We bring news of an exhibition of work by the member Cathy Simpson who helpfully writes about Twitterings and Catcreeps here. Another member, Wilbur Dawbarn, talks about his latest cartoon for Private Eye, which may well be the first in a series.

Christian Adams, The Telegraph’s editorial news cartoonist, writes about the need to plan ahead to be able to cover all bases. Perhaps this will help you win the Graphic Short Story Prize 2012 which has been launched by Jonathan Cape, Comica and The Observer.

Further from home, South Africa’s governing ANC party has reacted with disgust at a cartoon by Zapiro that depicts President Jacob Zuma as a penis. You can view the offending item here.

Cartoonists who draw digitally may be interested in the following products. Wacom have released a new version of the Cintiq, their longstanding digital drawing board, while Leap Motion is a 3D tool that promises to revolutionise the way we interact with computers. (All together now: Oh, yeah!)

© Mike Williams Broken dreams cartoon @

© Mike Williams @

Does my cartoon look big in this?

July 13, 2012 in General, News

If a cartoon is visual communication, legibility is key to every image that needs to use words. But technology can be disruptive, of course. And so, to The Guardian website for some proof:

Cartoon: Digital display of cartoon clip

Digital display of cartoon clip at The Guardian. Screengrab image is at 1:1

Reader reaction: I need a bigger cartoon for legibility

In a similar vein: What’s the point in employing a great cartoonist … ?

Reader reaction: Leave the cartoon off the digital version of the paper

Cartoonist responds: In detail

Why is this happening?

When the internet was young, pictures used to be displayed in very small shapes. This was usually to keep bandwidth demands low so that your dial-up modem could cope. You could compare this technique to the great expense of paper at the start of the age of print.

Now, the bandwidth that enables digital communication is much bigger, with broadband, and picture sizes have grown as a result. And not just in the physical dimensions of width and height. This also applies to the amount, or weight, if you prefer, of information inside each image you see. This applies to image display on the web, on your mobile phone or perhaps now on your tablet PC.

Detail, commonly stored as picture resolution, or dots (of data) per inch has increased massively and this potentially allows download of print quality imagery direct from the web. Of course, this is both a marvellous opportunity (Big cartoons, yay!) and a problem (Easier to nick, boo!)

Cartoonists might think about their own behaviour, if they distribute images by web, by noting how each third-party provider they use deals with image resolution. Of course, the simplest way to do this is to manage the resolution at the traditional 72 dots per inch before you supply to any other production house.

Downloading of artwork is an old problem that we have written about before. There are tools you can use to control unbidden usage of your work. And we have a short series of posts on some of these tools coming up.

If you enjoy what we do here, please consider subscribing to our email updates on the right-hand side of this page.

Foghorn expresses himself

July 12, 2012 in Comment, General

Our anthropomorphic Foghorn takes a look at cartoons and “art”.

Foghorn July 14

© Andy Davey @

Cartoonists? We’ve got ’em

July 10, 2012 in General, News

This blog, we hope you know by now, is run by, which is home to the UK’s finest professional cartoonists.

Cartoon by RGJ

Cartoon © Richard Jolley @

We’re happy to announce that several leading names in the cartooning business have decided to join recently, including the Private Eye regular RGJ, aka Richard Jolley. He has uploaded a biography and some images here.

This week we are also welcoming Hunt Emerson, the underground comics supremo, Robert Thompson, another Private Eye regular, Rich Skipworth, whose work you will have seen on greetings cards and mugs. UPDATE:  The multi-skilled cartoonist Ian Baker, cartoon below, has also just joined us.

Cartoon: © Ian_Baker_@

© Ian_Baker @

From these cartoonists of note you can tell that we are a diverse lot. If you are looking to commission cartoons, you’ll find a huge variety of styles to suit your requirements in the portfolios. Take a look at them here.

The Round-up

July 6, 2012 in General, Links, News

"Casino Karl" (detail) © Chichi Parish

Following a successful run at the Poetry Cafe in Covent Garden, an exhibition inspired by the work of poet and illustrator Edward Lear is now being shown elsewhere. Happy Birthday Edward Lear features work by 25 cartoonists and illustrators, among them the member Chichi Parish, above. It can be seen at Penny Fielding Gallery & Interiors in Walthamstow Village, London, until August 26. It is then due to be shown at a gallery in Southampton during the autumn. Chichi has written about the exhibition on her blog, which is always worth a read.

The extraordinary lawsuit against the Oatmeal cartoonist Matthew Inman has been dropped. You can read a useful recap here, or see our previous posts on the subject here and here.

Two separate cartoons have become the subjects of race rows based on their depictions of Barack Obama and the footballer Mario Balotelli.

The Cartoon Museum in London will celebrate 75 years of The Dandy with a dedicated exhibition this autumn.

Finally, Forbidden Planet has details of the launch of the British Comic Awards, and the official awards site features an interesting piece about the origin of its logo design.

The Fog Days of Summer

July 6, 2012 in Comment, General

Foghorn cartoon strip  for July 07

© Andy Davey

Cartoon round-up: Bob Diamond and the MPs

July 5, 2012 in Comment, General, News

Stanley McMurtry in The Daily Mail @

“You fool, Bob! How are we going to manage now?” © Stanley McMurtry for The Daily Mail @

Following our post on Monday about Bob Diamond of Barclays bank, here is how some of the UK’s cartoonists have responded to his resignation and appearance at the Treasury Select Committee at Westminster.

Dave Brown Independent cartoon on Barclays @

© Dave Brown for The Independent @

Steve Bell for The Guardian

© Steve Bell for The Guardian @

Matt Pritchett in the Telegraph @

© Matt Pritchett for the Telegraph @

Matt Buck cartoon for MSN

© Matt Buck Hack cartoon for MSN @

Andy Davey cartoon in the Sun @

© Andy Davey for The Sun @

Kerber and Black at The Mirror @

© Neil Kerber and David Black for The Mirror @

Kipper Williams for The Guardian

© Kipper Williams for The Guardian


If you have seen any more we should feature please let us know in the comments. Our membership portfolios are also full of work like this.

Face time comes to an end

July 4, 2012 in Events, News

The Faces and Voices experiment conducted by the member William Rudling has come to an end. It was part of the “So You Want to be a Scientist?” project run by the BBC radio show Material World.

Faces and Voices poster

Detail from the Faces and Voices poster designed by William Rudling

You can read our earlier reports on the experiment here and here. The final took place at The Times Cheltenham Science Festival. Here, William brings us up to date:

I didn’t win, but to be one of four finalists was special and the experience of promoting and researching the Faces and Voices experiment was amazing.

During the Spring Bank Holiday I was in Sheffield as part of the Bang Goes the Theory roadshow. During the run up to the science festival, finalists attended a roadshow event in Birmingham or Edinburgh. I loved “working the crowd” choosing random faces and voices – 885 Sheffield folk helped us that weekend, the highest number out of the four experiments.

A highlight was a visit to the BBC Academy, when all four finalists travelled to London for a crash course in speech and drama. Our coach was an actor and she puts through various exercises for relaxation and voice projection. I wouldn’t have missed that for all the pen nibs in Cornelissen’s. It certainly gave an insight into how actors prepare themselves.

The results of all the preparation work? Online, we had 2,258 people who took part via the web. Now that finals are over and the deadline met, my mentor and I can investigate 3D face recognition and the academic interest the BBC challenge has stimulated.

Many thanks to William. We wish him future success with the follow-on work.

Cartoon round-up: Bob Diamond and the banks

July 2, 2012 in General, Links, News

Sometimes a news story just demands a round up of cartoons. Some from our members, and some not. We’ll be adding to them as we can this week. Please do make suggestions and offer links for other cartoons you may have seen on this subject in the comments below.

Barclays Bank in the UK © Chris Madden

© Chris Madden

Chief Executive Bob Diamond is a particular target, perhaps for an angry mob.

Bob Diamond of Barclays © Steve Bright for The Sun

© Steve Bright for The Sun

Of course, this may not bother him.

Bob Diamond © Andrew Birch for Private Eye

© Andrew Birch for Private Eye

Bob Diamond of Barclays © Bill Stott

© Bill Stott

Of course these few examples contain a great variety of visual references including popular culture…

© Dave Brown for The Independent
© Dave Brown for The Independent

old films…

© Martin Rowson from Guardian

© Martin Rowson for The Guardian

recent news events…

© Kipper Williams in the Guardian @

© Kipper Williams for The Guardian

and other pieces of art.

Cartoon: Barclays Bank - a love of money © Matthew Buck Hack Cartoons for Tobias Grubbe

© Matthew Buck Hack Cartoons for Tobias Grubbe