You are browsing the archive for 2018 May.

by Jonesy

We Shouldn’t Be Doing This, You Know

May 24, 2018 in General


© Rupert Besley

Rupert Besley writes:

Every so often someone comes up with the idea of a cartoon competition. Trouble is, for most cartoonists, every day is competition.

Getting any cartoon into print was never a doddle. It took New Yorker regular David Sipress 25 years of submissions to get his first acceptance there. And it doesn’t get any easier.

Recent years have seen a drastic reduction in the market for cartoons of any kind – gags, strip, caricature, pocket, editorial. Certain humour publications have ceased to exist; other types of periodical have gone for saving pennies by first shrinking, then dropping, their cartoon content. Result: ever tougher competition to get into the few cartoon-friendly publications that remain. The odds on achieving success are stacked heavily against any brave soul who tries.

In such circumstances, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the natural instinct of any cartoonist on meeting another would be to plunge a sharpened 6H into the back of the other. But that tends not to happen. For one thing, cartoonists like cartoons. And so does the general public. Cartoonists enjoy each other’s work (even if the first thought is why the hell couldn’t I have thought of that?).

In business, it’s dog eats dog out there. In cartooning, it’s more like sniffing and licking. Cartoonists should be at each other’s throats. Just occasionally they are. But, more often, they team up to share tips and moans and to fight together for the survival of their art. That’s what the PCO, the Cartoonists’ Club (CCGB) and similar organisations are all about.

It is inconceivable, surely, that cartoons could die out. There’ll always be demand for the brilliant cartoons that come from those at the top of the tree. But that tree needs healthy, long roots to sustain it. Cartoons take time and money to do and, for cartooning to flourish, it has to provide a proper living. Cartoonists bring sanity and wit to a barmy world, one where vast sums can be found for charmless and bewildering artworks, while cartoons can be deemed no longer worth the paper they were once printed on.

Rupert Besley

by Jonesy

An American cartoonist in Shrewsbury

May 6, 2018 in General

The author pictured before starting work on her big board…
…and standing behind the finished artwork
Maria Scrivan writes:
I am thrilled and honored to have been part of the Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival this year. 
It was an incredible group of artists from the UK, Belgium, Germany, Australia and the US. The exhibition, spread across three galleries in the town, was filled with top cartoonists from around the globe. 
We kicked off Friday afternoon with a luncheon at the Golden Cross, a restaurant so charming that I must have stopped to photograph it three different times. 
The medieval town of Shrewsbury, lined with storybook tudors, felt like you were walking through a fairy tale. It wouldn’t have surprised me to see a knight jousting a dragon to save a princess.
Jeremy Banx and his big board
The Saturday festival in the town square was amazing. There were caricature artists drawing the crowds and a bunch of us drawing “big boards” while a band played in the background. 
Drawing a “big board,” a 6 x 9 foot cartoon, was a new challenge. The event organizers provided us with red, yellow, blue and white acrylic paint to create all the colors we would need. Some cartoonists worked solely in black and white. 
I started with some loose pencil guidelines for proportion and ended up initially drawing the characters too small for the size of the canvas. One passerby remarked that she was surprised to see that I erased. I told her she should come by my studio and see the minefield of crumpled paper when I’m working.
Wilbur Dawbarn, Chris Ryder and the author in The Shropshire Star’s report
Royston Robertson and his big board
The town square brought out thousands of spectators of all ages, including the Mayor. It was so wonderful to chat with everyone and hear their stories. 
That evening, we had dinner in the Lion Hotel, that had once hosted Darwin and Charles Dickens. We ate in the same ballroom where Paganini once played, followed by a late night ukulele sing along. The Belgian cartoonists graciously brought Belgian chocolate (which makes me want to move to Brussels) and a few of us made the cover of the Shophire Star with a perfectly puntastic headline.
Caricaturists at work in The Square (l to r) Jonathan Cusick, Pete Dredge and John Roberts
I am so grateful for the new experiences and friends and to be part of such a lovely event. The volunteers were wonderful as was the town and the energy of the artists and spectators.
Maria Scrivan
Syndicated Cartoonist and Creator of Half Full

by Jonesy

Marx and sparks from Martin Rowson

May 1, 2018 in General

© Martin Rowson/SelfMadeHero

SelfMadeHero is to mark the 200th anniversary of Karl Marx’s birth with a graphic novel adaptation of The Communist Manifesto created by Guardian cartoonist and PCO stalwart Martin Rowson.

The publisher says “Martin Rowson employs his trademark draughtsmanship and wit in this lively adaptation, which is both an incisive introduction to the ideas of Communism and a lucid explanation of its aims.”

© Martin Rowson/SelfMadeHero

The book is officially launched tomorrow, Wednesday 2nd May, 6.30pm, at The Water Rats pub, 328 Grays Inn Road, London, WC1X 8BZ

You can see more of Martin Rowson’s work here

Visit the SelMadeHero website here

© Martin Rowson/SelfMadeHero