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The PCO has a new Chairleg

February 26, 2018 in General, News

After a very successful tenure as PCO Chairleg the venerable Bill Stott has decided to step down to spend more time with Joan Baez and his Jaguar XK8 – happily Bill will remain on the committee. Step forward Clive Goddard, who will be fitting into Bill’s Chairleg trousers. Clive needs no introduction but here’s one anyway penned by great man himself:

I was born in Berkshire at the very beginning of the swinging sixties. Unfortunately I managed to miss all the swinging by being at school and, of course, by being in Berkshire. 

As soon as I was old enough to hold a crayon I decided I wanted to be a gag cartoonist. Personally, I blame the late, great Roland Fiddy whose cartoons I grew up with in the otherwise tedious ‘Look & Learn’ magazine. Blessed with generous parents, I was hurriedly furnished with a copy of ‘How to be a Cartoonist’ by Walter T Foster which I studied thoroughly despite it being about 40 years out of date.


Published in Private Eye © Clive Goddard

At 19 I was hired by the Newbury newspaper to produce a strip which could be about any local issue so long as it wasn’t contentious, offensive or funny. A mere thirty years later I finally sold a cartoon to my first national publication, Private Eye. It was a joke about BSE; a dreadful livestock disease but an excellent source of humour and a major breakthrough in my fortunes. 

© Clive Goddard

Since then I have drawn for the likes of Private Eye, New Statesman and Prospect as well as for the likes of Playboy, Zoo and the Sun on Sunday, so I’m evidently not fussy. I have been commissioned by the BBC, OUP, Paperlink, the Metropolitan Police, the RNLI, The NHS, Mars Confectionary and just about everyone inbetween. I’ve also illustrated a huge bunch of ‘Horrible’ books for Scholastic Children’s books and written three comedy adventure novels for kids.


© Clive Goddard

Happily married with approximately four children, numerous cats and a drawer full of Sharpies, some of which still work. 

PCO Cartoon Review of 2017

January 1, 2018 in Comment, General, News


Everyone else is doing it so we thought we’d have our own look back at the year…with cartoons by PCO members. The Big Issue drawing above by Andrew Birch manages to fit the whole year into just one cartoon!

© Ralph Steadman

We started the year with Trump’s bigly attended inauguration. Trump was undoubtedly (Mad) Man of the Year although he was closely followed by Kim Jong-Range Missile. This flattering portrait of Trump is by the inimitable Ralph Steadman.

© Steve Bell

At the beginning of the year Theresa May visited Washington to hold hands with The Donald. This cartoon from Steve Bell on the ‘special relationship’. You can see more of Steve Bell’s favourite cartoons of the year on the Guardian website.

© Wilbur Dawbarn

June saw Mrs M making another bad decision in calling a snap election. Who’d of thunk this would turn Jeremy Corbyn into a headline act at Glastonbury! This on the election race by Private Eye regular Wilbur Dawbarn.

© Andy Davey

The election didn’t go too well for Theresa. Here’s Andy Davey on the costly deal she was forced to do with the DUP (from The Indy). Unsurprisingly the figures weren’t heralded on the side of a bus.

© Jeremy Banx

Russian cyber interference in overseas elections has been a big story in 2017. This cartoon by FT cartoonist Banx. (although this could easily be a drawing of The Daily Mail newsroom)

© Martin Rowson

In June we had the terrible fire at Grenfell Tower. This is Martin Rowson’s response in The Guardian on the Government hiding from responsibilities.

© Zoom Rockman

…another illustration on Grenville Tower by prodigious talent Zoom Rockman taken from Private Eye. ‘Things That Wouldn’t Happen’. Would the House of Parliament use cheap cladding for the renovation work?

© Ros Asquith

The NHS is still desperately underfunded. This was a very funny cartoon by Ros Asquith after doctors warned in July about Government plans for ‘brutal’ NHS cuts.

© Dave Brown

October started with the awful mass shooting in Las Vegas – one of many atrocities in 2017. This was Dave Brown’s reaction in the Independent.

© Sarah Boyce

In a year where it seems every male in a position of power is a sexual predator an excellent cartoon from Sarah Boyce in Private Eye

© Will McPhail

Workplace equality has also been an issue throughout the year. This perfectly summed up in a Private Eye cartoon by New Yorker regular Will McPhail.

© Steve Bright

We couldn’t review the whole year without mentioning B****t. Here’s a fine summing up of how negotiations are going by Brighty in The Sun.

© Royston Robertson

…we have though restricted ourselves to just two on the ‘B’ word. This corker by Royston published in Private Eye.

© Matthew Buck

Ok, that was an ‘alternative truth’ we now have three ‘B’ word cartoons, this from Matthew Buck for Tribune.

© Guy Venables

…and on the same subject word(s) of the year was ‘Fake News’. This take on it from Guy Venables in the Private Eye 2017 Annual.

© Steve Jones

Trump has recently been denying global warming again because the East Coast has had a bit of a heavy cold spell. Here’s a strip on Trump’s view on climate change by Jonesy (from Resurgence & Ecologist magazine)

© Mike Turner

Finally, on a rather apocalyptic note to end the year, this is from Mike Turner in The Spectator.

Happy New Year from the PCO…although I suspect 2018 will be another year of global calamity and abject misery – at least we’ll have plenty to draw cartoons about. 

Eaten Fish Thanks

December 22, 2017 in General, News

As many will have seen, young Iranian cartoonist Ali Doarani’s (AKA Eaten Fish) ordeal in Papua New Guinea is now over.

He has been moved to a safe country aided by ICORN (The International Cities of Refuge Network) who promote freedom of expression and offer sanctuary around the world to writers and artists under threat.

Ali had been in detention on Manus Island since 2013 living in harsh conditions, which badly affected his health. His cartoon record of his time on the island was widely shared and published. In 2016 CRNI handed Ali the ‘Courage in Editorial Cartooning Award’.

PCO and CRNI protest outside the Australian Embassy in London

The PCO has been pleased to help in a small way by launching the #AddAFish digital campaign. We’d like to thank our members and cartoonists from all corners of the world who contributed to the huge digital shoal of fish we created with their drawings.

The poster for the Herne Bay exhibition

Particular thanks to Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival who allowed us to display the banner, and Herne Bay Cartoon Festival who put on an exhibition and workshop in support of the appeal.

The Eaten Fish Tanks

Thanks also to Westminster Reference Library in Central London who displayed an ‘Eaten Fish tank’ as part of the recent ‘Gagged’ Exhibition.

We were honoured to be involved with other organisations and campaigners around the world who also fought for Ali’s cause.

Very good news indeed and we wish Ali well!

However, we do not forget the refugees who remain in Papua New Guinea living in such a perilous environment as well as all the cartoonists around the world who are being persecuted for their work.

Profile photo of Royston

by Royston

Herne Bay Cartoon Festival 2017:
The End of the Pier Show

August 10, 2017 in Events, General, News

The Herne Bay Cartoon Festival main event was held on the Pier for the first time on Sunday, after four years at the Bandstand. It proved a perfect fit for a live cartooning event. The sun shone and a good time was had by all.

Photos © Kasia Kowalska unless otherwise stated

The cartoonists' parade

The cartoonists’ parade their way on to the Pier with HBCF pencils, led by
Rob Murray, Chris Burke, Martin Rowson and Dave Brown

Cartoonists' group pic

The town crier announces the event as many of the cartoonists assemble

The cartoonists who took part were: Nathan Ariss, Jeremy Banx, Rupert Besley, Andrew Birch, Dave Brown, Des Buckley, Chris Burke, Pete Dredge, Noel Ford, Clive Goddard, Alex Hughes, Glenn Marshall, Rob Murray, Roger Penwill, Helen Pointer, Royston Robertson, Martin Rowson, Tim Ruscoe, Tim Sanders, Rich Skipworth, The Surreal McCoy, Steve Way and Chris Williams.

Chris Burke draws a seaside peep board

Where to begin? Chris Burke makes a start on creating a seaside peep board

Chris Burke's finished board

Chris Burke’s finished board is peerless. Photo © Richard Baxter

Martin Rowson and Andrew Birch

A day of contrasts: Martin Rowson with Andrew Birch

Martin Rowson draws

Martin Rowson’s Jeremy Corbyn cartoon drew a few disapproving glances but the kids loved it. Photos © Jason Hollingsworth

Click here for our blog post on Martin Rowson’s talk at the festival.

Caricaturists in action

The caricaturists — Helen Pointer, Alex Hughes and Pete Dredge — were kept constantly busy. Photo © Jason Hollingsworth

Family caricatured

Happy customers with caricatures by the three artists. Photo © Kerry Riley

Glenn Marshall's Punch and Judy v The Zombies

Glenn Marshall created a cartoon Punch and Judy show with a modern twist. That, as they say, is the way to do it

Public drawing board

As ever, the public were given a chance to draw, overseen by cartoonist the Surreal McCoy. Photo © Kerry Riley

Royston Robertson's Brexit board

Royston Robertson did board entirely filled with Brexit cartoons

Andrew Birch draws

Andrew Birch draws a seaside-themed board

Fake cartoons

Many of the cartoonists contributed to the Fake Cartoons shared board, mostly gags about Donald Trump. SAD! Photo © Richard Baxter

Rob Murray's The Scream big board

In the frame: Rob Murray poses with his board based on The Scream, with an info panel from “Tat Modern”. Photo © Richard Baxter

Dave Brown with big board

No Herne Bay Cartoon Festival would be complete without big board cartoon from The Independent’s Dave Brown

Cartoonists on the merry go round

To end the day, the cartoonists went on the merry-go-round. Pictured are
Noel Ford, who made his Herne Bay debut, Chris Williams and Alex Hughes. Photo © Karol Steele

Caricaturist Helen Pointer

The caricaturist Helen Pointer also appeared at Herne Bay for the first time. Photo © Jason Hollingsworth

That’s all, folks. You can see more by visiting @HBCartoonFest on Twitter or HBCartoonFest.

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

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by Royston

Martin Rowson (and mini Farage) visit the Herne Bay Cartoon Festival

August 9, 2017 in Events, General, News

Martin Rowson took part in the Herne Bay Cartoon Festival for the first time this year, where he gave a talk and was interviewed by Rosie Duffield, the first ever Labour MP for nearby Canterbury.

All photos © Kasia Kowalska unless otherwise stated

Martin Rowson and Rosie Duffield at the Kings Hall, Herne Bay

Martin Rowson and Rosie Duffield at the Kings Hall, Herne Bay

But the Guardian cartoonist brought an extra guest to the event at the Kings Hall last Saturday, a rather disturbing Nigel Farage piñata — already beaten up from a party — that sat on the stage throughout the event.

Duffield, Rowson ... and Farage

Duffield, Rowson … and Farage

Ronald Searle was described by Martin Rowson as the greatest cartoonist of the 21st century.

Ronald Searle was described by Martin Rowson as the greatest
cartoonist of the 21st century. Photo © Andy Miller

Martin’s wide-ranging talk and slideshow covered the reasons we laugh at our so-called betters and ridicule them through drawings, taking in his own influences and his motivations behind drawing cartoons.

After the talk he was interviewed Rosie Duffield, who has put her own career as a satire writer on hold since becoming an MP.  The floor was then opened to questions.

At one point, cartoonists in the audience were heard chuckling at the often-asked “where do you get your ideas from?”

Martin Rowson is skewered by one of the HBCF pencils

Martin Rowson is skewered by one of the many HBCF pencils that
have appeared around the town over recent weeks.

An exhibition of Martin Rowson cartoons continues at the Bay Art Gallery in Herne Bay until Sunday 13 August.

 The piñata on the Pier

The piñata on the Pier. Pics © Jason Hollingsworth

The Farage piñata was shown a good time during the live cartooning day on the Pier the following day … before being stuffed with chips and thrown into the sea for the gulls to peck at.

We have more on the live event on the Pier on this blog. In the meantime you can see plenty of pictures by visiting @HBCartoonFest on Twitter or HBCartoonFest.

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

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by Royston

Fifth Herne Bay Cartoon Festival begins

July 27, 2017 in Events, General, News

Herne Bay Cartoon Festival 2017 poster
[Poster by Chris Burke]

The fifth Herne Bay Cartoon Festival is under way, and this year the event features a change of venue for its main live event and a guest appearance by one of the UK’s top political cartoonists.

After four years at the town’s Bandstand, the live event will be held on the bustling Herne Bay Pier.

More than 20 of the UK’s top cartoonists will be there on Sunday 6 August from midday to draw big-board cartoons, seaside peep boards, caricatures and more. There will also be a few surprises and chances for the public to get involved with drawing.

The change of location has inspired the title of the main festival exhibition, The End of the Pier Show, which opened this week at the Beach Creative gallery and runs until Sunday 13 August.

An exhibition by the political cartoonist Martin Rowson also opened this week at the Bay Art Gallery. It also runs until Sunday 13 August.

Martin Rowson exhibition poster

Fresh from being described by the Daily Mail as “sick and disgusting”, Rowson will appear at the Kings Hall on Saturday 5 August, from 3pm-5pm, where he will be interviewed by Rosie Duffield, the first ever Labour MP for nearby Canterbury, wearing her other hat as a comedy writer and satirist.

Admission is free, but tickets can be reserved at Eventbrite.

Also open now at the Seaside Museum is the exhibition Cartoonists All At Sea, a selection of cartoons from the British Cartoon Archive in Canterbury, which runs until Sunday 10 September.

Cartoonists All at Sea poster

As has happened since the third festival, there will be a “fringe” event organised by Glenn Marshall. This year it is Mona Lisa – Not Happy, which sees the da Vinci painting “reworked, reimagined and regurgitated” by Marshall and other cartoonists and artists. The show opens at the One New Street gallery on Friday 4 August and runs until Saturday 2 September.

Mona Lisa Not Happy poster

Alongside the main show at Beach Creative, the festival also hosts Eaten Fish, an exhibition of work by cartoonists from all over the world supporting the plight of the Iranian cartoonist and political refugee known as Eaten Fish. He has been held at the Australian Detention Centre on Manus Island since 2013. The exhibition is in the gallery’s Rossetti Room until Sunday 13th August.

Eaten Fish poster

A key element of the End of the Pier Show exhibition — which features Steve Bell (Guardian), Dave Brown (Independent) and Jeremy Banx (Financial Times) alongside dozens of cartoonists seen in magazines such as Private Eye and The Spectator — are the “Fake Cartoons”, the festival cartoonists’ take on the fake news phenomenon that has emerged over recent years. Expect more than a few appearances by Donald Trump.

Trump Tweet cartoon by Nathan Ariss

To celebrate its fifth year, the festival is awarding a £250 cash prize, which it has dubbed the Paul Dacre Prize — after the Daily Mail editor who recently railed against a Rowson cartoon about the Finsbury Park Mosque attack, below — to the most provocative, unusual or offensive topical cartoon submitted for the exhibition.

Martin Rowson Firsbury Park Mosque attack cartoon

Workshops for budding cartoonists will also be held as part of the festival. Royston Robertson and Des Buckley host one at Beach Creative this Saturday (29 July) from 2.30pm-4pm.

And on Saturday 5 August, from 12-1.30pm, The Surreal McCoy will host the Eaten Fish Family Cartoon Workshop. Inspired by the Rossetti Room show it will be “a fishy exploration into all things fish”.

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

The cartoonists assemble at last year's Herne Bay Cartoon Festival

The cartoonists assemble at last year’s Herne Bay Cartoon Festival

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

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by Royston

Cartoon praise always appreciated

April 3, 2017 in General, News

Cartoon strip by Royston

Cartoon strip by Royston Robertson, commissioned by Home Retail Group

As regular readers here will know, the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation is always banging on about the benefits of publishers and other businesses using cartoons, it’s our raison d’être. So it’s nice when someone else, unbidden, decides to do the same.

The journalist Sophy Buckley interviewed me, as well as the cartoonist Nick Schon, for an article on a blog run by First Word, a content-marketing company.

Click here: In praise of cartoons

Its all about the benefits to businesses of using cartoons in their communications, to get messages across and also add some humour to otherwise difficult or dry concepts. In an age of short attention-spans, cartoons are just the job.

First Word have clearly got the message, we can only hope that other businesses and publishers do too. In the meantime, we’ll carry on with the banging on about it, if that’s all right with you.

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by Royston

Cartoonists conquer new festival

October 20, 2016 in Events, General, News

The festival was officially opened at the Martin Honeysett exhibition and Hastings Museum and Art Gallery

The Hasting & 1066 Country Cartoon Festival was officially opened at the  Honeysett exhibition held at the Museum and Art Gallery

The first Hastings & 1066 Country Cartoon Festival took place on the weekend of October 15 and 16, to coincide with the 950th anniversary of the battle that changed the course of English history.

The cartoonists, mostly Professional Cartoonists Organisation members, expected to do battle with the elements, as it’s unusual to have an outdoor cartoon festival in October, but in fact the sun shone brightly on the Big Festival Day — 11am-5pm on the Sunday — and there was quite a buzz around the event.

Big board cartoons were drawn in a marquee on The Stade, on Hastings seafront. There were also two “community boards” for members of the public, both children and adults, to draw on, as live music and magic was performed throughout the day.

Bill Stott at work

Bill Stott, the PCO chairleg, at work on his big board

The Marquee on The Stade, where big board cartoons were drawn

The Marquee on The Stade, where big board cartoons were drawn

Opposite the marquee, in the slightly warmer Stade Hall, the main festival exhibition could be viewed and there were workshops, much drawing of caricatures and festival merchandise for sale.

Glenn Marshall attempted a recreation of the Bayeux Tapestry — but with funnnier gags — on a roll of wallpaper. But he hadn’t realised that the Tapestry is 70 metres long so he didn’t even make it to the battle. He has pledged to finish it by the 1,000th anniversary in 2066.

Passers-by and other artists helped Glenn Marshall recreate the Bayeux Tapestry (up to a point ...)

The public and other artists helped Glenn Marshall to recreate the story of the Bayeux Tapestry (up to a point …)

Workshops in The Stade Hall

Thinking and inking: workshops in The Stade Hall

The workshops for all ages were very well attended

The workshops for all ages were very well attended

It was one in the eye for Harold in this workshop

It was one in the eye for Harold in this workshop

On the Saturday there was a reception for an exhibition by the late Martin Honeysett, who lived in Hastings, at the town’s Museum and Art Gallery.

At this event, the festival was officially opened with a speech by Bill Stott, the PCO chairleg, and was followed by a cartoonists’ panel discussion and Q&A, including a slideshow of cartoons, with Royston Robertson, The Surreal McCoy, and the aforementioned Glenn Marshall.

The Surreal McCoy, centre, refused to take part in an eyebrow-raising contest with Royston, left, and Marshall

The Surreal McCoy, centre, refused to take part in an eyebrow-raising competition  with Royston Robertson, left, and Glenn Marshall

The other cartoonists taking part in the festival were Nathan Ariss, Jeremy Banx, Rupert Besley, Andrew Birch, Chris Burke, Denis Dowland, Clive Goddard and Cathy Simpson. They were joined by the French cartoonists Robert Rousso and Emmanuel Cerisier.

French cartoonist Robert Rousso, centre, in red, draws in The Stade Hall

French cartoonist Robert Rousso, centre, in red, draws in The Stade Hall

Also taking part in the event, and in workshops in the weeks leading up to the Big Festival Day, were the local artists James Brandow, Loulou Cousin, Scott Garrett, Ottilie Hainsworth, Julian Hanshaw, Jon Higham, Christopher Hoggins, Rachael House, Emily Johns, John Knowles, Robin Knowles and Andy Willard.

Many thanks must go to the organisers of the event: Penny Precious, Erica Smith and Pete Donohue. They hope to do it all again next year — and, who knows, maybe it will last until the 1,000th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings.

Visit the website:

Photos: Denis Dowland, Royston Robertson and Mika Schick.

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by Royston

Herne Bay Cartoon Festival 2016

July 24, 2016 in Events, General, News

Herne Bay Cartoon Festival 2016
The fourth Herne Bay Cartoon Festival takes place next month. The festival’s flagship live event will be held, as usual, in the Bandstand on the seafront, on Sunday 31 July.

More than 20 cartoonists from all over the country will be there to draw big-board cartoons, cartoon murals, caricatures and to host workshops. There will also be opportunities for the public to release their inner cartoonists and a few surprises and other general silliness.

The main festival exhibition, Postcards from the Seaside, is currently being put together and will feature cartoons all about the seaside, many offering modern spins on the classic saucy seaside postcards drawn by the likes of Donald McGill, much as the Independent cartoonist Dave Brown has done in the brilliant poster, above.

The exhibition opens at the Beach Creative gallery on Tuesday 26 July and runs until Sunday 14 August.

There will also be an exhibition of the work of the Punch cartoonist David Hawker, who died last August. Original cartoons by Hawker, who specialised in poking fun at petty middle-class concerns, can be seen at the Bay Art Gallery, on the same dates as the Beach Creative show.

Giles at the Seaside

Kicking off the festival, from Saturday 2 July, the Seaside Museum will host the exhibition Giles at the Seaside. Featuring a selection of seaside-themed cartoons by the much-loved Daily Express cartoonist, and spanning more than five decades, it is run in conjunction with the British Cartoon Archive in Canterbury.

This year also sees the launch of the festival’s first East Kent Young Cartoonists competition. There will be prizes for the winners and the best entries will be displayed during the festival.

To link in with that, there will be cartoon workshops at the Seaside Museum on 9 July, with myself and fellow PCO member Des Buckley.

Herne Bay Cartoon Workshop

And there’s more … but it’s all still being worked out. For updates follow @HBCartoonFest on Twitter or go to

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

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by Royston

On the fringes at Herne Bay

July 7, 2016 in Events, General, News

Glenn Marshall Not Funny poster

Like any good festival, the Herne Bay Cartoon Festival has a fringe. And his name is Glenn Marshall. He writes:

The cartoonists who get exhibitions are the successful, good ones. This exhibition sets to redress the balance.

Full of ideas that don’t quite work, drawings that don’t quite look right and text that is completely illegible, it’s a story of pain, ridicule and regret. Let’s celebrate the mediocre!

Sadly my cartoon anthology that the exhibition was due to coincide with is still in early development, see below, but I will be having “The Book Launch Without A Book” over the festival weekend.

Glenn Marshall Not Funny portfolio

Thanks Glenn! The cartoon exhibition is at One New Street gallery and is sponsored by The Bay Brewer.