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The post-Christmas Round-up

December 28, 2012 in General, Links, News

© Robert Thompson

The gifts may have been exchanged and the turkey polished off, but there’s still time for a few festive treats of the cartooning variety that may have escaped your attention over the Christmas period.

You can enjoy every installment of Peattie and Taylor‘s 15-part seasonal Alex tale, It’s A Wonderful Crisis, as it unfolds over at the Telegraph site.

Quentin Blake becomes a Sir in the new Year’s Honours. The BBC describes him as  an illustrator*. member Royston Robertson has put together a cartoon advent calendar again this year, with a different gag posted to his blog each day in the run-up to Christmas. Take a look at Royston’s festive goodies here. Elsewhere, The Telegraph’s Matt Pritchett provides a topical – but far less appealing – advent calendar of his own.

Ben Jennings brings a Dickensian feel to proceedings over at The Guardian, while Martin Rowson riffs on the Slaughter of the Innocents for the same paper. At The Telegraph, Christian Adams has his own take on Plebgate.

For The Independent, Dave Brown cautions against festive overeating and Peter Schrank brings a topical slant to the Christmas sales. Finally, Stephen Collins takes the PM on a merry chase for The Spectator.

* Please feel to discuss ‘what’ he is in the comments should you be so minded.

Fine scones and lessons

December 23, 2012 in Comment, General

There now follows an extract from a recent Radio 4 programme by Mr Andrew Marr. * **

This unbroadcast segment from a Start the Week interview was with Gordon and Muriel Wellbeloved, members of the House of Laity within the Church of England.

Marr Well, good morning both and I’ll get right to the point – the House of Laity appears to have scotched the Archbishop elect’s plans to have women bishops.

Seasonal_goodwill @

Seasonal Goodwill © Bil Stott @ Marr Made what? The scones?

Gordon [for it is he] I think Muriel should answer that.
Marr Muriel?
Muriel Lovely scones.
Marr Thank you
Muriel I like a good scone.
Marr But you don’t like the idea of women bishops?
Muriel No I certainly don’t, do I, Gordon?
Gordon No you don’t, Muriel.
Muriel I mean, its not natural is it? God’s a man.
Marr Well, I don’t know how you can know that frankly, but the head of the Anglican Church, Her Majesty the Queen, is a woman, is she not?
Muriel Well, yes, but I’m not THAT keen on having a woman king, quite honestly.
Marr So you’re opposed to women holding high office of any sort?
Muriel Yes. Women are the home-makers, the carers of children, the creators of good scones … and these really are very good.
Marr Well thank you again, but …
Muriel Who made them?
Muriel Yes. I bet it was a woman.
Marr I’m at a loss what to say …
Gordon [for it is he] That makes a change. Fnaar.
Marr I mean, the Anglican Church has for years striven to achieve sexual equality in its clerical structure and now …
Muriel Oooh, I don’t care for that word at all, do I, Gordon?
Gordon No you don’t, Muriel.

Muriel & GordonWellbeloved @

© Bill Stott @

Muriel And I’ll tell you another thing: I’m not keen on women vicars either. Just a load of man-ladies if you ask me. I mean, just look at their haircuts – all short back and sides, parading about the place reciting the holy words like God the Father, see? The Father! Its not God the Mother is it?
Marr So you see women in an entirely subservient role?
Muriel I never said that!
Gordon No, she didn’t
Muriel Quiet, Gordon! But no, I do not. Men like to be top dog. They like to be boss. Gordon likes to be boss, don’t you, Gordon? Gordon’s a Mason and wears silly praphernalia, don’t you, Gordon?
Gordon Yes I do, Muriel.
Muriel And I allow him to demonstrate to the outside world that he IS the boss. He is allowed to choose which hat to wear and which route we take to church. Aren’t you, Gordon?
Gordon Yes, Muriel.
Muriel So it follows that bossy roles in our church should be fulfilled by men, thoughtfully assisted by women who can organise cake sales and collections for the needy of the parish.
Marr So it might be imagined that your vision of a perfect Anglican church is closer to Rome with its male head and male clergy?
Muriel To the papists? Never! Can’t be doing with all that Latin mumbo-jumbo and all their miracles. You just don’t know where you are with them with their Virgin Birth nonsense. No, but I just know in my bones that a man should be boss, don’t I, Gordon?
Gordon Yes you do, mine own, so that you can help us be the sort of boss you think a boss should be.
Muriel Careful, Gordon
Marr Well sadly, we’re out of time, and I notice, scones.

* As heard by Bill Stott
** Mr Marr denies everything

The Round-up

December 22, 2012 in General, News

© Jamie Smart – @

They said it would be the end of the world, but they were wrong … The Dandy is still with us (albeit in digital form), as mentioned here last week. There is, however, a documentary on 75 years of the comic, Just Dandy, showing on BBC One on New Year’s Eve, featuring contributions from the likes of Frank Skinner, Brian Cox, Bill Paterson and Nick Park. The programme is only being shown in Scotland, sadly but perhaps it will turn up on the iPlayer.

Following on from last week’s series of articles in the New Statesman celebrating British comics, the Economist chips in with an article on the rise of the webcomic, whilst their editorial cartoonist Kevin ‘KAL’ Kallaugher reflects on 35 years of drawing for the magazine.

For another perspective on the state of British comics check out Dandy contributor Jamie Smart’s blog post “I love stupid comics”.

Less happily, The Guardian reports the death of its longtime cartoonist and illustrator Peter Clarke.


Christmas is a time for sharing

December 18, 2012 in Comment, General, News

We are taught that Christmas is a time for sharing and this habit has been institutionalised with the gifts of the social media.

If you will forgive the spirit of “Bah humbug’”, we spotted a revealing story about what social-media sharing can mean for those image makers who choose to use such free services.

The picture-sharing monster Facebook purchased Instagram, a popular and growing image-sharing site, for $375 million earlier this year and has just announced a significant change to its terms for its more than 7 million daily users.

© Len Hawkins @

© Len Hawkins @

There’s a lively online reaction, largely against the changed terms of service, but the proof of this change will be in the future of online picture sharing and Facebook’s attempts to make money from what used to be other people’s pictures.

Scrooge and others say be careful what you share and who you share it with. If you have a view, please do, er, feel free to share it in the comments below.

Updated: 19th December 2012 Instagram/Facebook have responded to the global concern about their change of terms and you can read that response here.

End of an era at Private Eye

December 17, 2012 in Events, News

Tony_Rushton_private_eye @

Tony Rushton, for sometime of Private Eye @

Private Eye magazine says farewell to its longtime art director Tony Rushton tomorrow, with a party near its offices in Soho, London.

Tony has been with the magazine for 50 years, joining at issue 11, and is responsible for the old-school “cut n’ paste” look to which Britain’s leading satirical magazine has doggedly stuck over the decades.

He’s also the man the cartoonists deal with, though the ultimate decision on what goes in the mag is made by Ian Hislop, the editor. Pete Dredge, a member and Private Eye veteran (sorry, Pete) told us:

“Receiving a ‘Good morning, good morning, it’s Tony Rushton’ phonecall is usually a precursor of good news for cartoonist contributors to Private Eye. An acceptance of a single gag idea, or more rarely, a cartoon strip commission, is usually heralded by a call from Tony.

“Things do change at the Eye but usually inperceptibly – when did Colemanballs become Commentatorballs? – so it will be interesting to see how Tony’s departure after 50 years will have an impact on the unique look of the mag, a look that has borne the Rushton stamp for all these years.”

The Independent has a profile of Tony here, which features this key quote:

“If you took away the cartoons from Private Eye it would be a very boring magazine, a worthy, boring magazine.” says amen to that and wishes Tony Rushton the very best for his retirement.

Photo from V&A’s Private Eye at 50 video, via Eye magazine (a different one)

The Round-up

December 14, 2012 in General, Links, News

© Axel Scheffler for Royal Mail

Axel Scheffler, the illustrator best known for his work on the Gruffalo books, has produced the designs for Royal Mail’s Christmas stamps this year. Scheffler talks to the BBC about this latest commission, and looks back at his early work, in this short video.

After widespread publicity about falling sales and the decision to cease printing, The Dandy has now gone digital. Check out the first issue of the interactive web comic here.

Newsagent Des Barr requested 50,000 copies of the last print edition of The Dandy and has been selling them from a pop-up store in Glasgow, as well as via the internet. Somewhat ironically, sales have apparently been strong – read about it here, or buy a copy.

In related coverage, New Statesman looks at the UK children’s comic industry – from the online Dandy to The Phoenix and others – and finds it is in rude health. The article is one of several published as part of a week-long celebration of British comics by the magazine. Find the other pieces here.

As part of The Guardian’s coverage of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, illustrator in residence Chris Riddell writes that he has high hopes for the future of illustration in the digital realm.

And finally, member Royston Robertson has written an article for Sabotage Times in which he lists 10 cartoonists who have influenced him.

The added-value cartoonist

December 13, 2012 in Comment, General, News

Noel Ford @ procartoonists.orgNoel Ford writes:

It’s ironic that quite often corporate clients seem more aware of the added value that a cartoonist can provide than those clients from the entertainment media of magazines and newspapers do. The use of a cartoon, or cartoon illustration, is well recognised by those in business as a way to make or emphasise an important point.

One of my corporate clients regularly commissions me, via an agency, to illustrate the concept of sustainable energy. Okay, not so much fun to draw as a good, solid gag cartoon but satisfying, nonetheless, especially when you get positive feedback as to the effectiveness of your work. As an example, I just received this message from the agency:

“Just wanted to let you know that Imtech won at the Construction Marketing Awards last week for ‘Sustainability as a Marketing Strategy’.  The cartoons you have produced for Imtech made up part of the submission.  So thank you and well done!”

Sustainable development © Noel Ford @

"Known sustainability… KS3 Carbon savings at Howdon for Northumbrian Water will be the equivalent to the benefit of a forest of two million trees." © Noel Ford @

Editor adds: This sort of work is a typical output for many of our members and we always welcome news about the usefulness of drawn communication.

Procartoonists bag couple of CATs

December 10, 2012 in Events, News

The Cartoon Art Trust Awards, an annual fundraiser for the Cartoon Museum in London, were held last week, and this year’s winners, including two members were as follows:

Christmas cartoon by KJ Lamb

Cartoon © KJ Lamb

Joke cartoonist Kathryn Lamb, above, (Private Eye, The Oldie, The Spectator)

Strip cartoonist Steve Bell for “If …” (The Guardian)

Pocket cartoonist Banx (aka Jeremy Banks, Financial Times)

Caricaturist James Ferguson (Financial Times)

Political cartoonist Christian Adams (Daily and Sunday Telegraph)

Congratulations to all the winners.


Young Cartoonists of the Year 2012

December 6, 2012 in Events, General, News

The results of the competition are in and Procartoonists sends congratulations to Saffie Patel and Lawrence Lamborn for their awards in the two categories run by The Cartoon Museum and our sister organsation the British Cartoonists’ Association. You can enjoy their winning work below. A cheerful selection of cartoons by the runners-up is now also available at the museum’s own website. This selection includes a particularly splendid  Mule Log, if you enjoy puns.

Saffie_Patel_Young_cartoonist_winner_2012 @

© Saffie Patel Young Cartoonist Winner 2012 - Under 18 years category @

You can also read the background to the event and get a dash of the controversy surrounding the criteria for entry here.


© Lawrence Lamborn Young Cartoonist winner 2012 - Under 30 years category

by Royston

The Dandy in the news

December 5, 2012 in General

You can’t have failed to hear the news about the end of the print edition of The Dandy, which ran across all the media yesterday.

BBC news had the story, national newspapers covered it, The One Show ran a profile of Desperate Dan (why do TV people always have to put the presenters in boxes with speech bubbles when they cover comics?) and there were early thoughts on the new digital edition.

But here are a few links you may have missed, blog posts from those closer to the story: Dandy contributors Andy Fanton, Jamie SmartLew Stringer and Wilbur Dawbarn.