You are browsing the archive for 2012 September.

Foggy and der yoof

September 14, 2012 in Comment, General, News

Our anthropomorphic friend launches himself upon the hard world of educashun.

Foghorn September 9th @

© Andy Davey @

Cartoonists and freedom of speech

September 12, 2012 in Comment, General, News

Picture from The Hindu - Protest in Mumbai about the arrest of Aseem Trivedi

Protest in Mumbai about the arrest of cartoonist Aseem Trivedi. Picture from The Hindu newspaper @

The late editorial cartoonist Doug Marlette described the job of the cartoonist as follows:

“Good cartoonists are also the point men for the First Amendment, testing the boundaries of free speech.”

In his home country of the United States, the first amendment to the national constitution famously guarantees this right. It also does in India, one of the world’s other great democracies.

Of course, national jurisdictions vary in how they apply their laws, but Marlette’s assertion notes a role that editorial cartoonists tend to fulfil wherever and however they deliver their work.

This is why the news from India about the arrest for sedition of the Indian cartoonist Aseem Trivedi  is worrying. Trivedi is a campaigner against corruption who works digitally and deploys social-media distribution tools that are principally made by US corporations.

We include the specific cartoon that brought his arrest below (the translation on the plinth is “Corruption alone triumphs”,  a parody of the original text.) Trivedi’s  drawings also frequently visually reference national Indian symbols and it seems that it is the offence derived from this that triggered his original arrest.

Trivedi corruption cartoon @

It appears this morning that Trivedi is now to be released on bail, but as the conflict between national jurisdictions and pervasive digital distribution of words and pictures continues we can expect to see more of this sort of event even inside what is sometimes described as the “largest democracy in the world”.

We’d like to encourage all friends of cartoonists to note the petition organised here on behalf of Trivedi. Many of our members have already signed it.

If you have anything to add to our knowledge of this please do use the comments facility below. We expect to be returning to this subject.

Update: 14th September 2012. The Indian High Court has according to this report in The Hindu newspaper rebuked the police for the arrest of Trivedi.

Our friends at English Pen have different information and a drawing about the issue.

Updated: 14th October 2012. The BBC reports charges against Aseem Trivedi have been dropped.

Profile photo of Royston

by Royston

More than Pooh and Mr Toad

September 10, 2012 in Events, News

Still More Fraternisation by EH Shepard

"Still more fraternisation" by EH Shepard © Punch 1935

E.H. Shepard is still best known for his illustrations for the Winnie-the-Pooh books and The Wind in the Willows, but a new exhibition aims to show that there was a lot more to his work than those much-loved drawings.

The Other E.H. Shepard, which is at the Chris Beetles Gallery in London from this Wednesday (September 12) until September 29, features 200 published drawings and studies, representing the artist’s working life across six decades (Shepard was 96 when he died in 1976).

Shepard worked at Punch magazine for much of his career. As a staff cartoonist he was called upon to produce everything from gentle social satire to biting political comment. Many of the cartoons featured are from the Second World War. Drawings for other magazines, such as The Illustrated London News, also feature, along with illustrations created for books for adults and children.

For more information visit

The Round-up

September 7, 2012 in General, Links, News

Above: Jamie Hewlett, the cartoonist behind Tank Girl and Gorillaz, talks about how absorbing drawing can be, and about his own desire to keep improving. (Thanks to Tim Harries for bringing this to our attention.)

Now that Alex Hallatt‘s Arctic Circle strip is five years old, she is celebrating the milestone by releasing an ebook collection, which can be downloaded for a small fee from or iBookstore.

The Dallas Morning News talks to several political cartoonists about how their depictions of Barack Obama – and by extension, other political figures – have changed over time as they have got to know him better. Read the article here. Elsewhere, Pulitzer-winning cartoonist Tony Auth tells The Atantic about his approach to covering the presidential campaign season.

Over on the BBC site, British illustrator George Butler shares his sketches from Syria.

In Canterbury, the Beaney Museum and Library is reopening after a £14.2 million refurbishment. It will feature seven permanent galleries for use by artists and local groups. Our man Nathan Ariss will be attending and passed on this link.

Lastly, it is with sadness that we note the passing of member Frank Jeffs, who died last month aged 77. One of Frank’s  long-time clients, The Northampton Chronicle & Echo, has this obituary.

Fog on the high ground

September 6, 2012 in Comment, General

In which our anthropomorphic Foghorn considers the horrors inherent in the role of the editorial or comment cartoonist.

Foghorn_on the High ground_August 25

© Andy Davey

After Gin Lane: Giving it all away

September 6, 2012 in Comment, General

Following From Gin Lane to the Information Superhighway we see that there are cartoonists who are positively embracing this new era of social media and sharing.

Hairy Steve © Steve Bright @

Webcomics and viral cartoons are a couple of the ways that you can effectively give your work away to the web but get paid back by other means. Successful webcomics work on a business model based on the idea that you give away a regularly updated cartoon on your website and build a following of readers who come back day after day. British examples include John Allison‘s Bad Machinery or Jamie Smart‘s Corporate Skull.

© Peter Steiner @

The profit comes from selling merchandise to the more loyal fans – bound compilations, prints, sketches, T-shirts, toys and so forth. Similarly, viral cartoons can drive lots of new readers to your website. How much money can be directly attributed to virals is arguable, although, for example, the well-known New Yorker cartoon “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog” is said to have earned its creator, Peter Steiner, more than $50,000.

The website Kickstarter has recently become one of the biggest publishers of comic books in the USA, from independent cartoonists using the crowd-funding model to raise money directly from their fan-base. Here in the UK,‘s very own Adrian Teal (The Gin Lane Gazette) and Steve Bright (Hairy Steve – in collaboration with Jamie Smart) have developed their own crowd-funded projects.

We’ll be considering another aspect of the communication change – After Gin Laneand what it means for cartoonists next week

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by Royston

Battle lines drawn for The Big Draw

September 5, 2012 in Events, News

Big Draw Big Make logo

The Big Draw 2012 takes place throughout October and will be launched at the V&A in London on September 30 with an event called Big Draw, Big Make.

The day sees the return of the Battle of the Cartoonists, with seven teams of cartoonists providing a comic, contemporary response to seven tapestries based on cartoons (the non-funny kind) by Raphael. will have a team in play and there will be a plenty of our members in the other six teams: Big Girl’s Drawers, Private Eye, Reader’s Digest, The Guardian, The Telegraph and The Sun.  Read our report from the last Battle in 2010

Free cartoon workshops will also be provided, courtesy of the members Wilbur Dawbarn, Robert DuncanCathy Simpson and Tim Harries.

The day will also feature talks by Quentin Blake and Gerald Scarfe and there will be pop-up studios, digital drawing games, portfolio advice from experts, and a visit from the CBeebies arts and crafts maestro Mister Maker.

Big Draw banner 2012

Our Battle of the Cartoonists entry from 2010, at the Hays Galleria on the South Bank, London, when we were Team Foghorn

All activities are free, but some require advance booking. For more information about Big Draw, Big Make and the Big Draw events taking place in October, visit

Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival 2013: dates announced

September 3, 2012 in General, News

The tenth Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival will run during April and May next year.

The central weekend of festival cartoon activities – Cartoonists Live – will be Friday 19 April to Sunday 21 April, with a full day of activity on the Sunday. This is a change to previous years where activities have finished by the early afternoon.

Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival @

Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival @

The festival exhibitions will be displayed at venues throughout the town during April and May and will then tour museums in the area. The theme will be Time which follows, appropriately enough, Flying, from last year.

You can look back at coverage of last year’s festival here.