Contains Male Nudity – The Privates View

August 14, 2018 in Events, General, News

Away from the Herne Bay Cartoon Festival proper was the exhibition improper ‘Contains Male Nudity’ which is still running at One New Street Gallery. PCO’s intrepid senior staff photographer Kasia Kowalska was at the ‘Privates View’ to cover events as they unfolded.

Readers are warned that some of the following content may be of an adult nature.

Cartoonists ‘low five’ outside the gallery. Left to right Royston Robertson, Dave Brown, The Surreal McCoy, Alex Hallet, Alex Hughes and Pete Dredge.

Martin Rowson in the gallery studio creating a late entry to be inserted into the exhibition.

Cartoonists Kathy Lamb & Chris Burke plus Rob Murray with Andrew Birch. All caught visiting the show.

The ‘Room of Filth’ mostly so named because of the Jeremy Banx contributions.

Cathy Simpson pointing at a genuine ancient Greek artefact.

Royston Roberston’s ‘buff envelope’ gag proved very popular (actually framed in a window envelope). Royston priced the cartoon in first class stamps (some tax avoidance scam no doubt)

Zoom Rockman with one of his life drawings. Photo © Zoom Rockman

And some more ‘art’ from the walls:

One of the Danny Noble strips featuring nude Ollie Reed and Alan Bates spending their lives together after their naked wrestling scene in Ken Russell’s ‘Women in Love’.

‘Agent Dale Cooper’ from the mind of Dr Julian Gravy aka Tony Horseradish.

Drawing by illustrator Ian Pollock.

‘Peter’s Penis’ strip by Andrew Birch…naturally in the ‘Room of Filth’

All photos by © Kasia Kowalska unless otherwise stated.

Thanks to Torin Brown and  The Bouncing Barrel for providing the lovely cask of ale.

The exhibition continues to run at One New Street Gallery until 1st September (open Friday and Saturday or by appointment)

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by Royston

Feeling the heat at yet another sunny Herne Bay Cartoon Festival

August 9, 2018 in General

You might argue that in this record summer the sun was always going to shine on the 2018 Herne Bay Cartoon Festival. But at the time of writing it is chucking it down with rain, so the festival still seems to be somewhat blessed. Perhaps the gods of weather are all fans of funny and clever live cartooning.

Photos © Kasia Kowalska unless otherwise stated

We've arrived: The Herne Bay town crier announces this year's cartoonists

We’ve arrived: The Herne Bay town crier announces this year’s cartoonists

The cartoonists who took part on Sunday (5 August) were: Nathan Ariss, Andrew Birch, Dave Brown, Des Buckley, Chris Burke, Pete Dredge, Clive Goddard, Alex Hallatt, Tim Harries, Alex Hughes, Kathryn Lamb, Glenn Marshall, Lou McKeever, Rob Murray, Royston Robertson, Martin Rowson, Cathy Simpson, Rich Skipworth, The Surreal McCoy and Steve Way.

Watch this space: Alex Hallatt begins work. The cartoonists battled the heat to produce 6ft tall big board and peep board cartoons

Watch this space: Alex Hallatt, visiting from New Zealand, begins. Cartoonists battled the heat to produce 6ft big board and peep board cartoons

Nice day for it: Nathan Ariss at work in his board, left. Martin Rowson seems to be done

Nice day for it: Nathan Ariss at work in his board, left. Martin Rowson’s Brexit board appears to be finished. Photo © Fiona Hayes

Clive and Amy Goddard produced on the #MeToo theme that paid tribute Donald McGill, king of the seaside postcard

Saucy stuff: Clive Goddard and Amy Amani-Goddard paint a board that pays tribute to Donald McGill, king of the seaside postcard

Caricatures are always hugely popular. Alex Hughes and the team worked tirelessly for five hours

Here’s looking at you: Caricatures are always popular, with neverending queues. Alex Hughes and the team worked tirelessly. Photo © Gerard Whyman

Stars of the stage: Cathy Simpson and Pete Dredge caricaturing

Cathy Simpson and Pete Dredge caricaturing on the stage. It was a little cooler there, which may explain the expression on the face of shorts-wearing Pete

Karol Steele and family, who attend every year, are happy customers once more

Karol Steele and family, who attend every year, are happy customers once more

Strike a pose: Cartoonists Alex Hallatt, Kathryn Lamb, Cathy Simpson, The Surreal McCoy and Lou "Bluelou" McKeever

Strike a pose: Cartoonists Alex Hallatt, Kathryn Lamb, Cathy Simpson, The Surreal McCoy and Lou “Bluelou” McKeever

Rich Skipworth's take on plastic in the oceans. Kathryn Lamb drew a compilation of gag cartoons on #MeToo and #TimesUp

Different strokes: Rich Skipworth tackles plastic in the oceans while Kathryn Lamb draws a compilation of gag cartoons on #MeToo and #TimesUp

Andrew Birch adds detail to his Perseus and Medusa big board

Snakes on a pier: Andrew Birch adds detail to his Perseus and Medusa peep board. Photo © Gerard Whyman

Cover up: Tim Harries found the weather a bit much. He's from Wales

Cover up: Tim Harries finds the weather a bit much. He is from South Wales

A different picture: Steve Way produced a peep board on the controversial Video Assistant Referee

A different picture: Steve Way presents his landscape peep board on the controversial World Cup video assistant referee. Photo © Fiona Hayes

The public board, for kids young and old, is also a key part of the event. This year it was run by Lou McKeever

Big draw: The public board, for kids young and old, is also a key part of the festival. This year it was run by Lou McKeever. Photo © Gerard Whyman

Lou brought along her remote control Trump hair, which was a big hit

Lou brought along her remote control Trump hair, which was a big hit

As usual Glenn Marshall painted a backdrop for his own art happening before a swift costume change ...

As usual Glenn Marshall painted a backdrop for his own unique art happening. Photo © Gerard Whyman. Then there was a swift costume change …

... to become Mystic Marshall, reader of minds and fortunes. Possibly.

… to become Mystic Marshall, reader of minds and fortunes. Possibly

Surreal McCoy took a look at some endangered species with her big board

Animal magic: The Surreal McCoy takes a look at some endangered species. Photo © Karol Steele

Royston Robertson'a Judy declared #TimesUp. Des Buckley wilts in the heat.

We two: Royston Robertson’s Judy tells Mr Punch that #TimesUp, while Des Buckley wilts in the heat. Photo right © Gerard Whyman

Chris Burke's King Canute David Attenborough attempts to hold back the wave of plastic

Canute’s you: Chris Burke’s Sir David Attenborough attempts to hold back the wave of plastic in the oceans

... Rob Murray took a collage approach to the same theme

 Rob Murray took a collage approach to the same topical theme, sticking plastic bottles to his cartoon. Photo © Gerard Whyman

Finished board by the Guardian political cartoonist Martin Rowson

Pointed satire: Finished board by Guardian political cartoonist Martin Rowson

It wouldn't be Herne Bay without a big board from the Independent's Dave Brown

Bigly board: It wouldn’t be Herne Bay Cartoon Festival without a cartoon from the Independent’s Dave Brown

As has become traditional, the cartoonists rounded off the day with a carousel ride. Left to right: Nathan Ariss, Steve Way and Des Buckley

What goes round: As has become traditional, the day ended with a carousel ride. Left to right, big kids Nathan Ariss, Steve Way and Des Buckley

You can see more by visiting @HBCartoonFest on Twitter or Facebook.com/ HBCartoonFest.

Herne Bay Cartoon Festival is sponsored by the Professional Cartoonists Organisation and supported using public funding by Arts Council England.

Contains Male Nudity

July 29, 2018 in Events, General, News

 

An exhibition where the nudes splayed on the gallery walls are male for a change!

Cartoon by © Jeremy Banx

The show is made up of art and cartoons. For the most part it’s figure painting, sculpture and drawings, but as in previous years’ exhibitions there will be a room given over to theme-related cartoons.

Cartoon by © The Surreal MCoy

Artists and gallery owners Helen Wilde and Terry Sole curate the exhibition with cartoons gathered from PCO members (or cartoon members gathered from the PCO) by Glenn Marshall.

Painting by © Helen Wilde

One New Street is a small, independent  gallery and studio space in Herne Bay.

Cartoon by © Steve Bright

Leonardo cartoon by © Rob Murray

If you have a Leonardo you have to have a Michelangelo. This by © Clive Goddard

The exhibition runs until 1st September. There will be a ‘Privates View’ on the opening weekend.

 

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by Royston

Sixth Herne Bay Cartoon Festival begins

July 27, 2018 in Events, General, News

Herne Bay Cartoon Festival 2018

[Poster by The Surreal McCoy]

Exhibitions are now open at the sixth Herne Bay Cartoon Festival and more than 20 of the UK’s top cartoonists will descend on the Kent seaside town next weekend for three days of talks, workshops and live drawing.

The first event is a discussion featuring The Surreal McCoy and Rachael Ball. They will talk about their work-in-progress graphic novels The Wolf of Baghdad and Wolf Man. The event is hosted by Alex Fitch, journalist and critic behind the Panel Borders radio show. It takes place on Friday 3 August at 5.30pm.

Surreal McCoy and Rachael Ball talk
On Saturday 4 August, Alex Hallatt will run a workshop for kids at Beach Creative from 11.30am-1pm. Creator of the syndicated comic strip Arctic Circle, she is British but lives in New Zealand and is visiting the festival while on a trip to the UK.

Arctic Circle by Alex Hallatt
Roger Todd will run a puppet caricature workshop at the same venue from 1.30pm. Political cartoonist and PCO member Martin Rowson will host a caricature workshop at Pettman House from 2.30pm.

The main festival day is the Sunday 5 August. The cartoonists will gather on Herne Bay Pier from midday to draw big-board cartoons, seaside peep boards, caricatures and more. As ever, there will be a chance for the public to get involved with drawing on big boards, plus they can play drawing games with the Guardian cartoonist Ros Asquith.

Cartoon from the Turning then Tide exhibition by Tat Effby

Cartoon from the Turning the Tide exhibition by Tat Effby

The festival exhibition Turning the Tide is now open at Beach Creative and runs until Sunday 12 August. The theme, which is always linked to the seaside location, acknowledges that the past year has been eventful for women. It is 100 years since the first women won the vote, we’ve seen the birth of #MeToo and #TimesUp, the protests over the gender pay gap … and even the first woman Doctor Who.

Of course, the festival always lets cartoonists interpret the theme however they want, so the choppy waters of Brexit are visited once more and there are also Turning the Tide cartoons about plastic in the oceans.

There will be a private view of Turning the Tide on Saturday 4 August, 6.30pm-8.30pm.

Tim Sanders cartoon from Turning the Tide

Tim Sanders cartoon from Turning the Tide

Also open now is Funny Women, an exhibition held jointly at the Seaside Museum and Bay Art Gallery, both on William Street. The show runs until Sunday 19 August.

Funny Women cartoon exhibition

It looks at women cartoonists and illustrators from the past 100 years and includes Mary Tourtel, creator of Rupert the Bear, and Tove Jansson of Moomins fame, alongside contemporary cartoonists such as Riana Duncan, Posy Simmonds, Nicola JenningsGrizelda, Martha Richler (Marf) and many more. The exhibition is held in conjunction with the British Cartoon Archive in nearby Canterbury.

There will be a private view of Funny Women on Friday 3 August at the Seaside Museum, then the Bay Art Gallery, 7pm-8.30pm.

Also this year, a group of US women cartoonists were invited to give their perspective on the festival theme, and the work of Isabella Bannerman, Maddie Dai, and Liza Donnelly will feature in both the Turning the Tide and Funny Women exhibitions.

Cartoon by Maddie Dai

Cartoon by Maddie Dai

Alongside the main show at Beach Creative, the festival also hosts the PCO’s Gagged exhibition in the Rossetti Room. It ran at the Westminster Reference Library last year. The Herne Bay version runs until Sunday 12 August.

Gagged cartoon exhibition in Herne Bay

The full list of cartoonists scheduled to attend the festival is as follows: Nathan Ariss, Ros Asquith, Rachael Ball, Andrew Birch, Dave Brown, Des Buckley, Chris Burke, Pete Dredge, Clive Goddard, Grizelda, Alex Hallatt, Tim Harries, Alex Hughes, Kathryn Lamb, Glenn Marshall, Lou McKeever, Rob Murray, Helen Pointer, Royston Robertson, Martin Rowson, Cathy Simpson, Rich Skipworth, The Surreal McCoy and Steve Way.

For updates on the Herne Bay Cartoon Festival, follow @HBCartoonFest on Twitter or go to Facebook.com/HBCartoonFest.

The Independent cartoonist Dave Brown at last year's festival

The Independent cartoonist Dave Brown will return this year

Herne Bay Cartoon Festival is sponsored by the Professional Cartoonists Organisation and supported using public funding by Arts Council England.

John Jensen 1930-2018

July 6, 2018 in General, News

John with a ‘selfie’ which he did for an exhibition at the cartoon archive, Kent University. Photo © Pat Jensen

Sadly, it has been reported that John Jensen has passed away at the sprightly age of 88. John was a well respected and fondly thought of member of the cartoon community. He was a supreme and very versatile draughtsman.

 John was born in Sydney in 1930, the son of the cartoonist Jack Gibson (he took his stepfather’s surname in the 40’s)  In 1946 he studied at the Julian Ashton Art School, Sydney. His first cartoon was published in the Sydney Sun in 1946, and he then began contributing cartoons to various Australian publications.

John in Birmingham, 1953, Photo © Pat Jensen

In 1950 John worked his way to England on a cargo ship, and briefly became an actors’ dresser at London’s Piccadilly Theatre, before becoming a cartoonist full-time. From 1951 to 1956 he drew cartoons, caricatures and illustrations for the Birmingham Gazette and then for various publications in Glasgow including Scotnews, The Glasgow Bulletin and daily pocket cartoons for the Glasgow Evening Times.

Illustration of French cellist Paul Tortelier, © John Jensen

John had his first cartoon in Punch magazine in 1953 but became a Punch regular in the 70’s, prolifically drawing cartoons, illustrations and caricatures. He writes here about his memories of Punch.

Caricatures of Samuel Beckett & Joan Collins © John Jensen

He was also the theatre caricaturist for Tatler, and social cartoonist for The Spectator. He drew a strip for the short-lived Now magazine and on top of this he was the political cartoonist for The Sunday Telegraph from 1961-79 (he was one of the very first political cartoonists to work in colour.) Over this long career John has illustrated around 70 books.

From his  ‘Figures of Speech’ collection © John Jensen

John was a founder member and Chairman of the British Cartoonists’ Association, and of the Cartoon Art Trust. In 2002 he was given a ‘Grinny’ Lifetime Achievement Award from the Nottingham Cartoon Festival. During his time as a member of the PCO he regularly wrote for and featured on this blog.

Receiving his ‘Grinny’ award (pictured with Dave Follows), Photo © Pete Dredge

John was a regular at cartoon festivals and on one trip to New York ended up at the celebration dinner where Marylin Monroe sang ‘Happy Birthday Mr President’ to JFK. On a visit to Cuba in the 60’s he also endured one of Castro’s extremely long speeches.

Among the many anecdotes circulating about John over the past week I particularly enjoyed this one from the wonderful cartoonist Kevin ‘Kal’ Kallaugher:

‘Back in the 1980’s while I was still living un the UK I had arranged to meet John for a pint one lunchtime. When he arrived to the pub, I noted that he had a brace on one of his wrist which made his hand quite incapacitated. I was immediately concerned that this might be his drawing hand and that the brace might have consequences on his freelance career. When I raised this question with him, he shrugged it off.

“I just draw with the other hand” he said.

When I pursued this further I learned to my astonishment that John used both hands to draw his cartoons. He explained that each hand had a personality. His left hand (as I recall) was the imaginative, loose artistic hand and his right hand was the more technical and exacting hand. He would often do his conceptual sketches with the left and finish off the art with his right. Later he showed me samples of his cartoons that had contrasting styles which he explained was due to the amount of time one hand spent rendering over the other.

Soon afterwards, I wrote an article for a scholarly US cartoon related periodical called Target, where I interviewed John pointed out his amazing bi-manual drafting skills and displayed his work. Throughout the exercise, John was characteristically polite and kind…but still really did not quite see what all the fuss was about. This after all seemed quite ordinary to him.

This may have been ordinary to him, but to me John Jensen and his cartoons will always remain extra-ordinary’.

Mozart cartoon © John Jensen

More of John’s work can be found on his website.

A favourite family memory of John is how he could never resist an ice cream © Pat Jensen

Our sympathies go to John’s wife Pat and his family and friends.

I’m indebted to the British Cartoon Archive for much of the biographical detail.

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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

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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
@mariascrivan
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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

Cartoonists in Conversation

April 30, 2018 in Events, General

Jonathan Cusick writes:

A Friday evening talk has traditionally opened the public programme of the Shrewsbury cartoon festival. This year ‘Cartoonists in Conversation’ aimed to give the public an insight into the lives of cartoonists, whose work they would probably be familiar with but know little about the people behind them.

The number of cartoonists gathering in the town (this year there were 30) meant we had a stellar line-up to choose from. Jeremy Banx (Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, Private Eye) resplendent in his beret, The Surreal McCoy (The Spectator, Reader’s Digest, The Sunday Times), Royston Robertson (Private Eye, Reader’s Digest, The Spectator) and Wilbur Dawbarn (The Beano, Private Eye, The Spectator) were joined by Ken Krimstein (New Yorker, Harvard Business Review) who was over from Chicago and brought an international perspective to the chat. Our host for the evening was BBC radio presenter Alex Lester,  a festival patron and cartoon enthusiast.

Line up: Alex Lester, The Surreal McCoy. Royston Roberston, Ken Krimstein, Wilbur Dawbarn & Jeremy Banx. Photo © Gerard Whyman

The discussion covered various aspects of life as a cartoonist, alongside some superb examples of their work. Topics covered included the creation of the work and their workspace, some ‘greatest hits’ over the years, stories of rejection slips, offence, their influences and inspirations, and of course a mention of Trump. After the main panel discussion came questions direct from the audience.

A silhouetted Banx talks about one of his cartoons. Photo © Gerard Whyman

An abominable Royston Robertson cartoon. Photo © Gerard Whyman

 

 

An influential cartoon by Bernard Kliban.

We were delighted that the event was a sell-out, and indeed extra chairs were added for latecomers.

Photo © Gerard Whyman

Hearty thanks for the success of the evening go to the cartoonists on the panel, and Alex Lester for all being fabulous. The Wightman Theatre set us up wonderfully and Andy McKeown of WildStrawberry.com’s wonderful projection made the evening such a treat visually.

Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival in the rear-view mirror.

April 25, 2018 in Events, General

Jonathan Cusick, Pete Dredge, John Roberts and Helen Pointer ‘drawing the crowds’.

Rupert Besley writes:

The sun shone on the righteous – and on the cartoonists in Shrewsbury. It was a bumper gathering in the town this last weekend, with visitors and participants drawn from far and wide. Few more so than festival regular Dean Alston from Down Under, whose ace Big Board, along with a Noel Ford classic, was among the first things to greet arrivals in The Square. Close by worked guest cartoonists from the States, Maria Scrivan and Ken Krimstein, while further input to the international flavour of the day came from the strong deputation of Belgians, all involved in the European Cartoon Centre at Kruishoutem near Ghent.

Big boards by Australia’s Dean Alston and the UK’s Noel Ford.

US cartoonists Maria Scrivan and Ken Krimstein with their big boards.

Cartoon by Nikola Hendrickx from Belgium and Nikola in action.

The private view of the ‘Are we nearly there yet?’ exhibition at The Bear Steps Gallery.

This was the 15th Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival and the theme of Transport was a fertile and perfect choice. The galleries (Bear Steps, Theatre Severn & V.A.N, plus Wendy Shea exhibition at Participate) gave proof, if ever needed, of what can be done from kicking around a good subject and, back in The Square, heads spun towards the reassuring sight of Air Flight Marshall at the check-in desk for budget airline Icarus Air.

The GORGEOUS Glenn Marshall at the Icarus Air check-in desk.

Roger Penwill fronts the Drawma while Noel Ford, Wilbur Dawbarn and Royston Robertson take to the boards accompanied by The Surreal Accordionist. 

You can count on Shrews for good live music from beneath the Market Hall and so it proved throughout. Mid-afternoon came the Drawma, with mellow accordion softening the oohs and aarrghs of those there for quick-drawn gags and terrible puns.

Caricaturists Alex Hughes suitably in tropical attire for the unseasonal heatwave.

Elsewhere in The Square, the line-up of top caricaturists was kept hard at it all day (Hughes, Roberts, Pointer, Cusick, Leatherbarrow, Dredge & Ryder, with Christelle Jones at Bear Steps). Meanwhile, other Big Boards got filled by the likes of (with apologies to anyone inadvertently missed) Clive & Amy Goddard, Steve Best, Royston Robertson, Wil Dawbarn, Ross Thomson, Ger Whyman, Hunt Emerson, Rich Skipworth, John Landers, The Surreal McCoy, Jeremy Banx, Roger Penwill, Nikola Hendrickx & present writer, not forgetting fine graphic contributions too from Zoom Rockman and Patrick Holden.

PCO Chair-human Clive Goddard with PCO’s Treasurer-human Amy Amani-Goddard.

Steve Best applying blue.

Maria Scrivan ‘likes’ Royston Robertson’s twitter cartoon. 

Gerard  Whyman hogs some limelight.

The top of Rich Skipworth.

The Surreal McCoy and her surreal cartoon.

Jeremy Banx creates Noah’s limo.

Semi-big boards by John Landers and Roger Penwill.

Ross Thomson & Hunt Emerson drawing and colouring in.

Dean Alston and Wilbur Dawbarn doing some more drawing and colouring in.

Rupert Besley on a familiar scene from a cartoonists daily life.

Zoom of Crouch End draws Clive of India.

Helen Pointer’s ‘Introduction to Caricature’ workshop.

The cartoon workshops are an important part of the festival – this year tackling caricature, movement in drawings, an automobile barn dance plus Stop Motion animation (Barry the Shrew) and some fun paper planes (from Biggles Rudling). Festival patrons Alex Lester and Martin Wainwright came up trumps in their support of the Festival, the former using his radio interview skills to host the panel of cartoonists in conversation at the Wightman Theatre on the Friday evening. The latter was able to apply some of his editing experience to the list of rules drawn up for the Air Cartooning contest that rounded off the following evening. And, on the Sunday morning, while bikers gathered in their droves on the outskirts of the town, festival participants were treated to a fascinating tour of Historic Shrewsbury.

Rupert Besley wins the inaugural ‘Air Cartooning’ Cartoon Off ® Noel Ford

Thanks and full credit to all responsible, beginning with organisers Sarah Knapp, Bill McCabe, Tim King, Roger Penwill, Noel Ford, and Jonathan Cusick, along with all the volunteer helpers, and not forgetting the many participants (including visitors) who made the whole thing so successful.

Thanks also to Mika Schick for the excellent photographs.

More detail on the festival: Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival