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by Royston

The Round-up

March 29, 2013 in General, Links, News

Birmingham Arts Lab by Hunt Emerson

Birmingham Arts Lab © Hunt Emerson

Hunt Emerson has been interviewed for Birmingham’s Flatpack Festival as part of a respective on the Birmingham Arts Lab, above, the influential arts collective that ran from the late 1960s to the early 1980s. The article is here.

Meanwhile, Pete Ashton, who carried out the interview, talks about meeting one of his cartooning heroes on his blog.

It’s ten years since the invasion of Iraq and The Guardian has a video of Steve Bell talking about his cartoons on the subject. It’s every bit as angry and vitriolic as you might expect.

“Ask most people in Wales to name a famous cartoonist, and the odds are that an overwhelming majority would say Gren” , the BBC correctly surmises, but it points out that J.M. Staniforth,whose work first appeared in 1890, blazed a trail. The work of the Western Mail cartoonist is now being digitised.

The issue of same-sex marriage is as current in the US as it is here, with the matter being discussed by the Supreme Court. The International Business Times has a round-up showing how cartoonists have responded. While The New Yorker has a round-up of marriage cartoons, same-sex and otherwise.

David Cameron drawings by Ian Cater

David Cameron drawings © Ian Cater

Cartoonists are not usually too pleased when politicians approve of their work, but in the case of a series of cartoons of David Cameron, at least it’s in a good cause.

The Prime Minister gave a thumbs-up to the drawings by Ian Cater, above, showing him in the garb of various musical genres, which were originally drawn to publicise the Witney Music Festival, in the PM’s constituency. Now they are being sold to raise money for a local hospice.

Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival 2013 exhibition opening

March 28, 2013 in Events, General, News

Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival 2013 Poster @

Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival 2013 @

The festival exhibition opens from Tuesday (2 April) at The Market Hall Gallery in the heart of Shrewsbury. The live weekend, as you can see above, is the weekend of 19-21 April.

The Round-up

March 24, 2013 in General, News

Dave_Gibbons-Whaat! on Roy Lichtenstein + Pop Art @

© Dave Gibbons after Irv Novick @

Whaat? by Dave Gibbons fires first on the vexed question of the artist Roy Lichtenstein and his use, or abuse, of comic imagery for the purposes of fine art.

There’s a flight of similar pieces that coincide with the Lichtenstein retrospective at Tate Modern in London. We particularly commend a learned piece by the comics historian Paul Gravett.

Down under, the Adelaide Advertiser cartoonist Jos Valdeman found himself ejected from the upper house of the South Australian parliament for sketching the president of the legislative council John Gazzola.  It’s an interesting dogfight in the Aussie journalism wars, which are not unlike our own arguments about the media after the Leveson inquiry.

To demonstrate that ages past were no more civilised than today, whatever the state of the law,  comes a retrospective exhibition of Henry Bunbury, the 18th century gentleman caricaturist. Read all about it at the East Anglian Daily Times.

Out in the digital world,  Zen Pencils immortalised the story of Malala Yousafzai, the Afghan girl shot by the Taliban who has just returned to school, albeit in the English Midlands, following surgery.

Also in the modern fashion is the following speech at a TEDx event in Wyoming by Kal, of The Economist. He’s worth seeing and hearing.

Have you seen anything we should know about? Please let us know here. Thanks!


How to protect your work in public

March 20, 2013 in General, News

Following on from our recent post about copyright, heres some straightforward advice from Silvia Baumgart, Programme Manager at Own-it, about how a cartoonist (or any other kind of artist) can protect their work online and elsewhere:

  • Sadly, it is practically impossible to ensure that work appearing on the internet is not being downloaded, copied or amended without permission. Own-it strongly recommends that any images of your work are uploaded at low resolution (typically 72 dpi) and watermarked, both of which will make it harder for someone to misappropriate your work.
  • All watermarks should include the copyright symbol (©), your name, and ideally the date of creation or date of first publication.
  • Another option – when emailing images to potential clients – is to use Creative Barcode, a service that protects your images and requires a client to click through and agree to terms of use before they can even see your work.
  • If you’re happy for your work to be used by others in limited circumstances, you can use Creative Commons licences. This non-profit service enables creative work to be shared, with the copyright holder deciding how it is used and for what purpose.
  • Silvia describes Creative Commons as a legally simple and flexible licensing system, but also sounds a note of caution. Disadvantages can include the fact that the licences it grants are perpetual and irrevocable (so you cannot change your mind at a later date). If you allow other users to make “derivatives” of your work, you have no control over the extent to which they modify it, and there is also a grey area when it comes to what is classed as commercial or non-commercial use. Find out more before making a decision.
  • Social-networking sites have created another potential minefield for artists. Twitter, Facebook and the rest all have their own particular terms and conditions, but in general, by sharing your work on these sites you indemnify all service providers against any claims brought against them by third parties in relation to the content you post.
  • When it comes to social networks, Own-it recommends that you only post your own work, unless you have permission from the copyright holder. If you don’t have permission but are confident that you are sharing the work in order to promote it, you should always credit the author, with a link to their website, and ideally let them know you have posted it.
  • If pitching for a job and sharing your designs with a potential client, Silvia recommends that you ask the client to sign a non-disclosure agreement in advance, use Creative Barcode (as above), or send an email ahead to say that anything discussed or shared will be treated as confidential.
  • Copyright also gives a cartoonist or illustrator the moral right to object to a publisher cropping or editing their images. In reality this is rarely done for fear of losing repeat business – but it is important to note that, in principle, the copyright holder has the right to expect their work to be used as originally supplied.

Own-it provides free legal advice to help artists solve intellectual property issues. Our thanks to Silvia for allowing us to share some of her advice on the blog.


Counting days to cartoon festival

March 19, 2013 in Events, News

Time cartoon by Pete Dredge

© Pete Dredge @

Cartoonists are sharpening their pencils as it is a month today until the tenth Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival.

The big weekend for the festival, when live drawing events will take place, is 19-21 April. For the first time there will be a full programme of events on the Sunday.

Before that, the main festival exhibition, on the theme of “Time”, will open on 2 April at the Upper Floor Gallery in the town’s Market Hall. The above cartoon was submitted for the exhibition by member Pete Dredge.

The exhibition runs until 6 May and will then appear at the Qube Gallery in Oswestry. We will have more detail nearer the time. You can also visit the official website and follow the hashtag #shrews13 on Twitter.

The Round-up

March 15, 2013 in General, Links, News

© Colin Whittock

Our colleagues in the Cartoonists’ Club of Great Britain (CCGB) have produced The Little Red Nose-E-Book Of Cartoons in aid of Comic Relief. It features 101 cartoons by CCGB members, including the gag above by Colin Whittock, who is also a member. The e-book costs just £1.59 (with all proceeds going to the charity) and can be downloaded here.

Also to coincide with Comic Relief, Forbidden Planet asks comics professionals to pick their favourite humorous strips. The list includes the dark and desolate Viz strip, Drunken Bakers, drawn by member Lee Healey. Read the full article here and see if you agree with the selections.

Ralph Steadman, the world-renowned cartoonist and yet another of our members, is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at London’s Cartoon Museum. Steadman at 77 opens on 1 May. and runs until 21 July. Find more details here.

Ian Hislop and his frequent collaborator,  the cartoonist Nick Newman, have written a new film for BBC Two that focuses on a First World War forerunner to Private Eye. Read more here.

Finally, the illustrator Alex Mathers explains how he found himself drawing Google Doodles — arguably the most widely seen drawings in the world on any given day — and draws some useful conclusions. Read it here.

by Royston

Sporting chance for cartoonists

March 13, 2013 in Events, News

North Stand strip by Huw Aaron

© Huw Aaron @

The members Huw Aaron and Nick Newman are among the nominees in the sports cartoonist category at the 2012 Sports Journalism Awards.

Huw is nominated for his strip North Stand (above, full-size version here) in The Rugby Paper, and Nick for Sunday Times and Private Eye cartoons. Other nominees are Paul Wood, Kerber and Black, Matt Pritchett and Russell Herneman.

We wish all the nominees the very best.

Ten things you might not know

about copyright

March 12, 2013 in General, News

Our man Rob Murray attended a recent talk by Silvia Baumgart of Own-it, based at the University of the Arts London (UAL). Own-it advises creative practitioners and small businesses on intellectual property matters.

Over to Rob:

The session focused in particular on copyright and the increasing need for artists and illustrators to protect their work in the online era.

Listed here are ten key facts about copyright that might either be news to you, or a useful refresher.

  1. Copyright is automatic – it does not need to be applied for or registered – and protects a creative work until 70 years after the creator’s year of death.
  2. You cannot copyright an idea – only the way in which that idea is expressed.

    © Rob Murray @

  3. Moral rights, which come with copyright and give the creator the right to be credited as the author of a work, cannot be assigned to another party. But the creator can waive moral rights in writing. If assigning (selling) copyright to someone else, a creator should assert their moral rights.
  4. If a magazine “buys” a cartoon to appear in its pages, unless otherwise stated in writing it is buying a licence to be the first to publish it. This does not prevent the cartoonist selling the cartoon elsewhere at a later date, or using it for any other purpose.

    Matthew_Buck_Hack_Copyright_ARTWORK @

    © Matthew Buck Hack Cartoons @

  5. When a freelancer is commissioned to produce a cartoon or illustration, he or she automatically holds the copyright unless otherwise agreed in writing.
  6. By contrast, if work is created during the course of your employment, your employer holds the copyright and you have no moral rights over the work.
  7. Design work is treated differently, and falls under design right rather than copyright. When a designer is commissioned to develop or create a product, the commissioner owns the unregistered design right in the UK — which protects the appearance of the product (excluding surface decoration) for 15 years from creation or ten years from first sale. As with copyright, it is automatic.

    Ideas cartoon by Royston Robertson

    © Royston Robertson @

  8. An image being easily accessible — for example on the internet — is often taken to mean that it is in the public domain, but this is often not the case, even when the creator’s name is missing. An artwork is only “public domain” if the creator (or copyright holder) has declared so, or if the copyright has expired.
  9. Selling a physical object you have created (for example, the original artwork for a cartoon) does not mean you are permitting reproduction or dissemination. Unless formally agreed, the buyer does not have the right to reproduce or distribute the image (with the exception of advertising the resale of the artwork).
  10. As a general rule, the decision to assign all rights to a client should not be taken lightly, and the creator should agree a substantially larger fee than they would for granting a licence. Once intellectual property rights are sold, they cannot be taken back and the creator will never again be able to profit from licensing that piece of work.

Own-it offers free legal advice to help artists solve intellectual property issues. Visit the blog again soon for a look at some of Silvia’s recommendations for how to protect your work online and elsewhere.

Miranda’s Comic Relief

March 11, 2013 in Events, General, News

Clive Goddard @ Procartoonists.orgProcartoonists member Clive Goddard is helping comic Miranda Hart with her Comic Relief challenges this week. He will be drawing each of her tasks in turn and we will feature some below over the course of the week.

You can of course also follow the course of events by following the #mirandasmarch hashtag.

Clive Goddard Miranda Hart cartoons at

Updated 12th March: You can see Clive’s first cartoon about Miranda and the underarm waxing here.

Updated 15th March: An exclusive! The sneak preview of Miranda’s marriage for Day Five of #mirandasmarch. Hats tipped to our best man Clive Goddard .

@Mermhart for Comic Relief © Clive Goddard @ procartoonists,org

© Clive Goddard @ procartoonists,org

Our week in tweets

March 8, 2013 in Events, General, News

  1. <Seeing> Good opportunity – – if you are under 17 and draw. H/t our friends @theaoi @illogallery @ifru_london
  2. Our members are the exhibitors and performers @TimKingShrops so will drop in some great <cartoons> for the next #shropshirehour 🙂 #shrews13
  3. Thank you @TimKingShrops will do #shrews13 <Question> Do you think we should advance post work from the cartoon exhibitions?
  4. Whoop woop #shropshirehour look whats coming #shrews13 my favourite thing Real live cartoonists drawing in the square
  5. Hello #shropshirehour Many of us planning a trip to the 10th birthday of the #shrews13 cartoon festival next month –
  6. Hello #shropshirehour Many of us planning a trip to the 10th birthday of the #shrews13 cartoon festival next month –
  7. Hello #shropshirehour – looking forward to #shrews13 cartoon festival next month 🙂
    Brief details up at @procartoonists blog
  8. Hello #shropshirehour – looking forward to #shrews13 cartoon festival next month 🙂
    Brief details up at @procartoonists blog
  9. Yes @louiseacohen the foundation has also been notable for its unhelpfulness regarding parody of images such as Wham!
  10. @procartoonists Ah, thanks! Fascinating – post here mentions how Novick helped #Lichtenstein start out as an artist:
  11. @procartoonists @tate Would love to know if they met at all, #Lichtenstein and Kirby, Abruzzo etc – can’t find anywhere so guessing not
  12. @procartoonists yes, we can’t wait. We are so proud to be partners of this exciting new festival.
  13. Calling cartoonists! This is the last chance to get your entry form for the Summer Exhibition #RASummer @royalacademy
  14. Cartoonists live on big boards, not live cartoons. Come and see #shrews13 A whole eye boggling wknd #shrewsbury @procartoonists
  15. Cartoonists live on big boards, not live cartoons. Come and see #shrews13 A whole eye boggling wknd #shrewsbury @procartoonists
  16. Cartoonists live on big boards, not live cartoons. Come and see #shrews13 A whole eye boggling wknd #shrewsbury @procartoonists
  17. Good news @geeksyndicate re the planned Lakes Comics Festival – a welcome partner to #Shrews13 which is 10! –
  18. Cartoonists live on big boards, not live cartoons. Come and see #shrews13 A whole eye boggling wknd #shrewsbury @procartoonists
  19. Cartoonists live on big boards, not live cartoons. Come and see #shrews13 A whole eye boggling wknd #shrewsbury @procartoonists
  20. @AliShrops @vshropshire @procartoonists Thanks Alison that’s good to hear and happy to help from this end.
  21. @carole_manley @vshropshire @procartoonists Cartoon Fest has been submitted for Summer Season brochure also to Virtual Shropshire website.
  22. @vshropshire Hi have you listed Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival in April? Contact @AliShrops or @procartoonists Sorry to bother if already on it
  23. If you would like to make an application for membership @procartoonists the details you need are at…
  24. If you would like to make an application for membership @procartoonists the details you need are at…
  25. 🙂 @lucygreenhalgh We will have to try harder to get a new shot at this year’s cartoon festival