You are browsing the archive for 2017 November.

by Jonesy

Bill Stott’s Christmas ad vent

November 27, 2017 in General

© Bill Stott

PCO Chair, Bill Stott, writes:

Less than a month to go to Christmas. Hmm. I have to admit that Christmas doesn’t have me jumping up and down with excitement. If you’ve only got a small family – I have – and what few there are are spread far and wide, all those cosy candlelit television ads showing a dozen or so folk attacking huge Christmas dinners are a bit annoying. “Scrooge!”, I hear you cry. Not really. I quite like buying presents. And I like some Christmas music. A good choir giving “Hark the Herald Angels” the beans certainly lifts the spirits and reminds me of childhood.
But at this time of year, television ads are relentless – from laptops to foot spas, hand-crafted crisps to incontinence knickers – they’re all at it, and so many of them are very shouty too. What the hell is a hand-crafted crisp ? I don’t think any of us actually like television ads. If they’re not banal, they’re shouty – with a few exceptions like Marks and Spencer or Waitrose. Yes, yes, I know that advertising revenue pays for programmes, but so many of the ads are badly made and deeply irritating.
And I’m fed up with Brexit. Just think, if 3% had voted the other way, we wouldn’t be taking this huge step into the unknown. Three percent ! I bet the Leavers are horrified at the mess we’re in.
Cartooning’s taken a very welcome – if temporary – upswing. It always does at this time of year, with companies and individuals needing Christmas card cartoons. But cartoon publishing generally is still very poor. Looking back over a long career in cartooning, I think my generation’s had the best of it.
Meanwhile, thanks to the excellent PCO Committee, PCO continues to make a difference. For example, on Nov 21st, I went to Westminster Reference Library in London for the Private View of a cartoon exhibition called “Gagged” – in support of cartoonists across the world who are persecuted by repressive governments. Getting a London exhibition at a decent venue is very difficult. But thanks again to the PCO Committee, we managed it.

© Bill Stott
London was a very long [17 hours] day so it was midnight when I finally got home to Maggie the Dog who isn’t very well. She has to take lots of pills for heart and breathing problems and is very clever at finding them buried in food – and spitting them out. But I persevere. Maggie’s elderly and on the last lap now. I can’t imagine life without her.
I heard bits of a debate recently about whether animals have feelings or not. What a stupid, ignorant question. Of course they have. And those who are cruel to animals should be shot, or at least taken round the corner and given a good seeing-to. Whilst I know we can’t do that, lifetime bans and longer spells in jail should be the order of the day for those who are cruel to animals – including fox hunters.
End of rant.
And so – back to Christmas card cartoons – and I’m running out of red.

by Jonesy

PCO “Gagged” exhibition workshop

November 27, 2017 in General

© Rich Johnston

The Surreal McCoy writes:
Last Saturday myself and Jeremy Banx led a cartoon workshop at Westminster Reference Library for an eager group of participants. As part of our “Gagged” exhibition (which closes Friday 1 December) the theme was censorship and repression of free speech. As you can see here a very high quality of work was produced. We hope to do more public workshops like this in the future.

© Ingi Jennsen


© Ala Atar

© Andrea Sweeney

© Stephen Harrington

The “Gagged” exhibition runs until 1st December, all proceeds going to CRNI (Cartoonists Rights Network International)

by Jonesy

PCO’s “Gagged” Cartoon Exhibition

November 26, 2017 in General

Photo © Mika Schick

The Surreal McCoy writes:

Last night saw the private view of our Gagged exhibition at Westminster Reference Library in central London. Thanks to the generosity and imagination of PCO members it was an excellent showing of very different takes on the themes of censorship and freedom of speech. Representatives of Index On Censorship and Reporters Without Borders (RSF) attended, and several sales were made with all profits and donations going to CRNI (Cartoonists Rights Network International) who do important work in defending political cartoonists under threat around the world.

The exhibition runs until Friday 1st December 2017.

There was a very successful free cartoon workshop hosted by Banx and The Surreal McCoy on Saturday 25th November. (More about that to follow in another article.)

Furthermore, a free talk with Andy Davey, Martin Rowson and Jodie Ginsberg from Index On Censorship, joined via video link by Zunar, the Malaysian cartoonist, and Robert Russell, director of CRNI will take place on Tuesday 28th (6-8pm).

Book for the free talk here through Eventbrite.

Unlike the cartoonists supported by CRNI who are featured as individual case studies in the exhibition, we hope it will be able to travel to other venues around the country next year.

Many thanks again to all those who contributed.

Artwork © Glenn Marshall (Photo © Banx Cartoons)

Photo © Banx Cartoons

Westminster Reference Library, 35 St. Martin’s Street, London, WC2H 7HP

Open Monday to Friday 10am to 8pm, Saturday 10am to 5pm, closed on Sundays.

More about the work of CRNI here.

Eaten Fish Tanks (Photo © Glenn Marshall)

Photo © The Surreal McCoy

2017 Award for Courage in Editorial Cartooning

November 6, 2017 in General


This year the winner of CRNI’s award is cartoonist and activist Ramón Esono Ebalé who is currently in detention in Equatorial Guinea. His work has been very critical of the current regime and he was arrested during a visit back to his home country from Paraguay where he currently lives.

The award was made at the annual convention of AAEC (The American Association of Editorial Cartoonists) in New York. In Ramón’s absence the honour was accepted by his wife Eloisa Vaello Marco.

The presentation by CRNI’s Matt Wuerker to Ramón’s wife and daughter.

CRNI together with EJ Justice and other International organisations are launching a hashtag campaign for Ramón on 6th November. Cartoonists and artists around the world are invited to create artwork in support of Ramón and post it with  . Selected work will be shown on the EG Justice website where you can also find more details.

Submission by PCO’s  © Steve Jones

illustration © Ramón Esono Ebalé

Ramón works under the name Jamón y Queso (Ham & Cheese). Some of his work can be seen here.



by Jonesy

Political Cartoon of the Year Awards 2017

November 1, 2017 in General

© Will McPhail

Ellwood Atfield host the awards again, and they will take place at St. John’s Smith Square, Westminster on Thursday 23rd November.

The guest of honour will be George Osborne, once the victim of and now advocate for political cartooning. (In his new role as editor of The Evening Standard he re-introduced the political cartoon to its pages with the appointment of the brilliant Christian Adams. Yes, that’s right; George Osborne gave us something, as opposed to taking it away…)

Tim Benson, founder of the Political Cartoon Gallery, helped organise the awards again this year, and Heineken have been generous in their support of the event, so both deserve our appreciation.

© Lorna Miller

© Nicola Jennings

© Lou McKeever

We’re happy to see a healthy PCO presence too, with Andy Davey, Dave Brown, Will McPhail and the Steve’s Bright and Bell amongst the runners. Another heartening factor is the very strong female representation, as you can see from the superb artworks shown here by Kate Evans, Lorna Miller, Lou McKeever and Nicola Jennings.

© Kate Evans

© Andy Davey

You can vote for the political cartoon of your choice here on the Ellwood Atfield site.

Political Cartoon of the Year Awards 2017

St. John’s Smith Square


Thursday 23rd November

6.15pm onwards

More information available here