You are browsing the archive for 2013 April.

by Royston

Fear and loathing at Cartoon Museum

April 30, 2013 in Events, News

Self Portrait © Ralph Steadman 2006

Self "Poortrait" © Ralph Steadman 2006

A major retrospective on the work of Ralph Steadman to mark the acclaimed cartoonist’s 77th birthday on 15 May opens at the Cartoon Museum in London tomorrow (1 May). 

Steadman @ 77 will feature more than 100 original artworks and span the full range of his work including his first Punch cartoon, from 1956, and material from Private Eye, The Observer, New Statesman and others, as well as drawings that illustrated Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by his longtime collaborator Hunter S. Thompson.

The show also has drawings from Steadman’s takes on Alice in Wonderland and Animal Farm, and there are wine drawings for Oddbins, political cartoons and examples of  real and imaginary birds from his most recent book Extinct Boids.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas © Ralph Steadman for Rolling Stone

Hunter S. Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas © Ralph Steadman for Rolling Stone

Accompanied by a 160‐page full-colour catalogue – with contributions by the actor Johnny Depp, the writer Will Self and the cartoonist Martin Rowson – the exhibition runs until 8 September.

The Cartoon Museum is in Little Russell Street, close to the British Museum. It also shows cartoons, comics and caricatures from the 18th century to the present day and is open Monday to Saturday 10.30am-5.30pm and Sundays 12noon – 5.30pm. For more information visit the Cartoon Museum website.

The Round-up

April 28, 2013 in Events, General, Links, News

North Stand © Huw Aaron

Kudos to member Huw Aaron, who was recently highly commended in the Cartoonist of the Year category of the 2013 Sports Journalism Awards for his rugby-themed strip, North Stand (the prize was eventually won by The Telegraph’s Matt Pritchett for his coverage of the London Olympics). Huw has also been busy with other projects, including producing stop-motion animations for S4C science programme Corff Cymru.

Following the recent publication of his Gin Lane Gazette, PCO member Adrian Teal has been leading guided tours of London.

Harry Venning, the cartoonist and comedy writer behind Clare in the Community, is opening up his Brighton studio for four weekends during May as part of the Brighton Festival. See the brochure to find out more about the Artists Open Houses event. Harry’s studio is at 93 Islingword Road.

Amazon has launched a new tool enabling cartoonists and comic creators to produce digital versions of their work for Kindle. Read more here.

Graphic journalist Dan Archer tells the BBC about how he uses comic strips to report on major political and social issues. Elsewhere, New Yorker cartoonist Liza Donnelly writes for Forbes about the importance of cartoons by women around the world.

Cartoonists and illustrators including Simon Tofield, Sir Quentin Blake and Peter Brookes are among the artists taking part in Gromit Unleashed, painting statues of the beloved Aardman dog for charity.

And finally, any cartoonist will appreciate the humour in this series of letters about rejection from Mad magazine.

If you come across a piece of cartooning news we might not have spotted, please let us know.


The Big Boards from Shrewsbury Cartoon 2013

April 24, 2013 in Events, General, News

The huge drawings made in the town Square in Shrewsbury on Saturday 20th April at the tenth edition of the cartoon festival.

The huge drawings made in the town Square in Shrewsbury on Saturday 20th April at the tenth edition of the cartoon festival.

Shrewsbury Cartoon 2013 – report

April 22, 2013 in Events, General, News

Cartoonists_at_Shrewsbury_Cartoon_Festival_2013 @

Pete Dredge and Noel Ford cooperate in the Melodrawma at Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival 2013 © Mika Schick @

A small selection of photographs from the Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival 2013.

Alex Matthews at Shrewsbury Cartoon 2013

Cartoonist Alex Matthews concentrates on his Big Board at Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival 2013 © Geoff Ward


John_Landers at Shrewsbury_Cartoon_2013 © Geoff Ward @

John Landers - coping just fine with an eight foot by six foot canvas at Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival 2013 © Geoff Ward @


Cathy Simpson_Draws_at_Shrewsbury_Cartoon_2013_©_Mika_Schick @ procartoonists

Cathy Simpson gets down to detail on a tablecloth during a function at Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival 2013 © Mika Schick @

There will a longer post with details of the artwork made over the weekend coming soon.

Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival 2013

April 20, 2013 in Comment, General, News

You will be able to follow some of the events at the festival  by following the stream below.

The members of the UK Professional Cartoonists at the tenth edition of the festival.




by Royston

Bill Stott to address the nation

April 15, 2013 in Events, News

Bill Stott at Big Board

Bill Stott at last year's Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival

Bill Stott, cartoonist, founder member of and all-round raconteur, is to appear on this week’s edition of Midweek on Radio 4, chatting to Libby Purves and fellow guests.

He told us: “Libby is very pro-cartoonist. I have worked with her many times over the years. Hopefully she’ll ask me nice questions. It’s all unscripted, so it’s anybody’s guess.”

Bill is also a member of the organising committee of the Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival, so we’d hazard a guess that the 10th festival, which is held this weekend, might come up.

Midweek is a famously eclectic show which sees Libby Purves, who is a patron both of the festival and of, steering the conversation among a wide variety of guests. So who will be be sharing the microphone with Bill?

Bill: “Fellow guests include a brother and sister who have a remarkable collection of letters from their father, and an American sailor who sailed the wrong way around the world. I’m reliably informed that this does not mean blunt end first. The only spanner in the works is that the programme clashes with Mrs Thatcher’s funeral.”

That sounds to us like a useful listening alternative.

Midweek is on Radio 4 at 9am on Wednesday and will be available online.

The Round-up

April 12, 2013 in General, Links, News

© Ed Fisher/Cartoon Bank

Cartoon captions are a major theme in this week’s Round-up. Bob Mankoff, cartoon editor of The New Yorker, looks back at the work of Ed Fisher (including the excellent meta-cartoon above), and also recalls some of the best caption contest entries by Roger Ebert. Both Ebert and Fisher passed away recently.

Over at The Telegraph, editorial cartoonist Christian Adams has unveiled his first caption competition, and is offering the original artwork as a prize for the best suggestion. Each contest will be topical, and this week’s features the late Baroness Thatcher. Head over to his blog to enter.

Unsurprisingly, Thatcher has been the subject of many cartoons in the past week or so. Gerald Scarfe, a cartoonist famous for his savage depictions of the former PM, talks about his relationship to his subject in this Q&A for the BBC. Elsewhere, David Ziggy Greene posts a piece he wrote and drew for French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo back in 2010. Read it here.

One of our members, the delightfully talented Gabriel Alborozo, has launched a new project. Simple Pleasures celebrates those small moments in life that make everything a little better. Alongside his own ideas, Gabe is taking suggestions from visitors to the site. You can also follow the project.

A new documentary film, Dear Mr. Watterson, celebrates the world of Calvin and Hobbes, while the strip’s creator, Bill Watterson, is also discussed in this article from Salon which argues that we should all respect the great man’s privacy.

Laugharne has the last laugh

April 11, 2013 in Events, News

Martin Rowson writes for about Dylan Thomas, drink and cultural vandalism at the Laugharne Weekend

Last weekend I was in Laugharne in South Wales for the annual Laugharne Weekend, a dependably wacky and eclectic mix of comedians, musicians, writers and, for the second year in a row, one cartoonist.

When they asked me along for this year’s bash, I offered the organisers some added value on top of my usual foul-mouthed guide to the 37,000 year long history of visual satire. Given that Laugharne famously was where Dylan Thomas lived and about which he wrote Under Milk Wood, would they like me to do a really (and I mean REALLY) big visual representation of their most famous resident? Like, for instance, on a distant hill?

That, in practice, proved too daunting, but it was agreed that I would produce an image on the large lawn beneath Laugharne Castle, employing as my brush whatever you call one of those things they use to mark out football pitches. And the image itself? Obvious! Dylan Thomas as the Cerne Abbas Giant!

Then, just days before the gig, I was told the local council had nixed the idea of using the lawn. Still, they’d got the agreement of the Three Mariners Pub, in which Dylan used to drink himself stupid, so I could knock off a nice big mural on the wall opposite there instead.

So, last Saturday morning, slightly hungover from the night before (when I’d managed to draw Sir Peter Blake at dinner, which vague likeness the great man signed) I clambered on top of a pub table and, with a pot of emulsion and some brushes from the nearest hardware store, I produced my artwork, to a few grunts of admiration from the small yet critical mass of early drinkers settling down for the duration.

Martin Rowson Laugharne mural

Dylan Thomas mural in Laugharne © Martin Rowson

I spent the rest of the day hanging out with the likes of failed cartoonist Phill Jupitus, going to some gigs, doing my own gig and, late at night, drinking fine wines with the legendary Bard of Salford John Cooper Clarke, until 4am. He too I drew, with a very great deal of black ink.

Notwithstanding, I got up reasonably early, checked Dylan was still on the wall and set off back for London, a tiny part of my brain wondering how long that emulsion would last in the damp Welsh climate.

What I didn’t expect, quite so soon, was the email from one of the organisers saying there had been complaints from the locals; complaints, moreover, about the aspersions I was casting, by inference, on their sexual capacity when in drink (or so it was reported to me). I spoke to the local press about these complaints, but before the interview was even over, the Giant had been entirely removed from the wall, with a power hose.

Well, what can you say? Either this is the greatest piece of cultural vandalism since Lady Churchill burned Graham Sutherland’s portrait of her husband or the Taliban blew up those Buddhas, or it’s how you’d expect a mucky scrawl on a wall to be treated by a decent and responsible local authority. Personally, I’m rather flattered, and not entirely bothered as it only took me about 15 minutes, and it only took that long because my hand was slightly shakier than usual. And, of course, next year I can do one even bigger.

Still, it’s a warning to all of us who engage in very public cartooning. So I have this piece of advice for anyone who’ll be ‘tooning in the Square in Shrewsbury (alas I won’t be there as I work weekends, and Laugharne claimed my time off for April). Make it mean, but keep it clean!

Mrs Thatcher and the cartoonists

April 10, 2013 in Comment, General, News

Peter Brookes of Times on Margaret Thatcher @ procartoonists

© Peter Brookes of The Times @

Powerful people in politics with wealth and helpers mix myth and reality to help deliver a projection of their achievements to the public. Parts of the same formula also drive the work of many cartoonists.

Dave Brown of The Independent on Mrs Thatcher

© Dave Brown of The Independent @

Both sorts of visual trickery are now at work in the national catharsis following the death of the former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

Matt Pritchett of the Telegraph on Mrs Thatcher

© Matt Pritchett of The Telegraph @

We’ve gathered ten cartoons for you to enjoy, whatever your opinion of the politician. We are sure you will have seen more, please do add links in the comments.

There is a mixture of reactions here from fresh-off-the-drawing-board images to retrospectives from the 1980s like this one.

Noel Ford of the Daily Star on Mrs Thatcher @ procartoonists

Noel Ford from the Daily Star @

There are reactions from the regions …

Frank Boyle Edinbugh Evening News on Mrs Thatcher

© Frank Boyle of the Edinburgh Evening News @

delayed jokes …

Christian Adams of The Telegraph @ procartoonists

Christian Adams of The Telegraph @

iconography …

Steve Bell of The Guardian on Mrs Thatcher @ procartoonists

© Steve Bell of The Guardian @

futurology …

Hack Cartoons on Mrs Thatcher from Tribune @ procartoonists

© Matt Buck Hack Cartoons for Tribune @

appeals …

Banx of the FT on Mrs Thatcher @ procartoonists

© Banx of the Financial Times @

and pathos.

Steven Camley of The Herald on Mrs Thatcher @ procartoonists

Steven Camley of The Herald @

To repeat, we are sure you will have seen more and please do add them below in the comments.

Updated: Saturday 13th April. One national newspaper commissioned a whole supplement on Mrs Thatcher and gave the commission to Posy Simmonds – read it here. You will find more about Posy if you use the search tool on the sidebar of this site.


The Round-up

April 7, 2013 in General, Links, News

Above: The Gin Lane Gazette, produced by member Adrian Teal, has now hit the shops. The book receives an enthusiastic academic review here, showing that it’s not only a lot of fun, but also bang on target. Elsewhere, Ade explains how he went about crowd-funding the project.

Mike Barfield, the man behind Apparently in Private Eye, has also been working on a new book. Swat! A Fly’s Guide to Staying Alive is published on 16 April. In the meantime, you can read an interview with Mike here.

Cartoonist Simon Chadwick will be abseiling down the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth on 27 May to raise money for the Myositis Support Group. Simon has previously written and illustrated a children’s book, Teddy-Bo’s Feeling Tired, a copy of which is given to every child diagnosed with the condition. To sponsor Simon and support his abseil attempt, click here.

Rachel Cooke of The Observer describes a favourite cartoon by Tom Gauld, in a comment piece about the need to separate art from artist.

And finally, the comics artist Lew Stringer has launched a new blog. It focuses solely on his own work, old and new – unlike his previous venture, Blimey!, which became a Herculean task as he looked at the entire history of British comics. We say fair play to Lew (and, after all, Blimey! can still be seen here) and it’s always nice to see works in progress. Check it out.