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by Royston

Scenes from a mall: Big Draw 2010

October 25, 2010 in Events

A burst of British Weather meant that Saturday’s Big Draw events on the South Bank in London had to be swiftly moved, from the open-air space of The Scoop, next to City Hall, to the nearby Hay’s Galleria.

The cartoonists’ spirits were not dampened by this turn of events, however, even though the move meant that many of us precious artists, unused to heavy lifting as we are, had to carry our own trestle tables.

Procartoonists cartoon workshops at the Big Draw @ procartoonists.org

Procartoonists workshops in full swing

PCO members were on hand to provide workshops throughout the event, for budding artists young and old. These were run by Wilbur Dawbarn, Tim Harries, Chichi Parish, above, and The Surreal McCoy.

Announcer Maxwell Hutchinson with Foghorn magazine @procartoonists.org

The Hay’s Galleria proved to be a great venue with lots of members of the public passing through and stopping to take part in the workshops and watch the Battle of the Cartoonists banners being created.

The Battle was hosted – impressively without the usual microphone or megaphone – by Maxwell Hutchinson, the architect and Sony award-winning radio broadcaster, seen here brandishing a copy of Foghorn, who did a sterling job of talking up the noble profession of cartooning in a suitably erudite manner.

Team Foghorn Big Draw banner 2010

The team from Procartoonists.org

For the Battle, the PCO’s victorious Team Bloghorn from 2009 was this year rebranded as Team Foghorn, in order to give a push to our sister print magazine.

The PCO team was, left to right, Cathy Simpson, Ian Ellery, Royston Robertson, Robert Duncan and Nathan Ariss. Cathy was standing in as captain for Pete Dredge, who co-ordinated planning of the banner beforehand but was unable to attend on the day. All banners were on the festival theme of “Make your mark on the future”.

We competed against three other teams: Private Eye (Andrew Birch, Henry Davies, Simon Pearsall and Steve Way), The Guardian (Steve Bell and Martin Rowson alongside Ben Jennings and Anna Trench who made their debut in the newspaper over the summer) and, due to the fact that the Financial Times team was unable to make it, a hastily assembled “Coalition” team (formed the day before by Matt Buck, Alex Hughes and David Trumble).

Steve Bell at the Big Draw

Steve Bell starts from the beginning...

The Coalition team at the Big Draw

David Trumble and Matt Buck get the right reaction

Each of the groups that Team Foghorn faced included at least one PCO member, such is the reach of the organisation: Bell, Birch, Buck, Hughes and Rowson are all in the PCO.

This made losing – as the Private Eye team romped to victory in the traditional “cheer-o-meter” from the public – slightly easier to take! As did the usual camaraderie from cartoonists from all teams in the pub afterwards.

Private Eye Procartoonists.org at the Big Draw

Team Private Eye hard at work

Our compere looks on as Andrew Birch, Steve Way and Simon Pearsall put their backs into the Private Eye banner, while Henry Davies puts his knees in

Another marvellous Big Draw then, and Bloghorn would like to say many thanks, as ever, to Sue Grayson Ford and all at The Campaign for Drawing.

Photos by Gerard Whyman and Denis Dowland.

Big Draw sketched out

September 29, 2010 in Events


The Campaign for Drawing has announced details of the launch event for this year’s Big Draw festival, which is called Make Your Mark on the Future.

The London launch takes place over the weekend of October 22 and 23 on the South Bank, between London Bridge and Tower Bridge.

Highlights will include free cartoon workshops run by the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation and the returning Battle of the Cartoonists, featuring a Bloghorn team who will be defending their title following their glorious (and surprising) victory in last year’s cheer-off.

Bloghorn at the Big Draw from the Campaign for Drawing

Other events include talks and workshops by artists in this year’s Jerwood Drawing Prize, Walk and Draw – a sketching tour of nearby memorials and people, an exhibition of Stephen Wiltshire‘s amazing drawings of the City, and a mural by the cartoonist Quentin Blake, the long-time Roald Dahl collaborator.

For more details, go to the Campaign for Drawing’s website or download a PDF with full programme and map.

New drawing website folds

May 20, 2010 in General, News

The Campaign for Drawing – the group behind such events as the Big Draw and the Battle of the Cartoonists – have launched a website to encourage the general public to get their pencils out called Draw and Fold Over. The site is an update of the Exquisite Corpse parlour game, where the player first draws a head, then folds the piece of paper over and passes it on to a friend to draw the torso and so forth until the finished picture is revealed. In keeping with the games humble origins, you can pick to draw with a variety of implements including ballpoint pen, marker or pencil, but for the internet generation you can also share your contributions with your friends by email, Twitter, Facebook and Myspace, and watch the image be redrawn in front of your eyes.

Bloghorn at St Just

October 8, 2009 in Comment

PCOer Simon Ellinas has a report on the grand-daddy of European cartoon festivals – St Just le Martel.

by Royston

Bloghorn victorious in Battle

September 14, 2009 in General

bigdraw2009_2
After several years as the plucky underdog, the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation’s team, this year rebranded as Team Bloghorn, has finally emerged victorious from the annual Battle of the Cartoonists.

Our team came joint first with Private Eye in the Big Draw event in which four teams completed a large banner on the theme of “Now We Are Ten”, celebrating a decade of The Campaign for Drawing. They faced stiff competition from teams from The Sun and The Independent.

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A banner year: The Bloghorn team was made up of, left to right, Andy Bunday, Clive Goddard, captain Pete Dredge, holding the cup, who oversaw proceedings, and Nathan Ariss

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Work in progress: Clive and Pete get drawing. Click here, to see the full, completed banner

In a post-match interview, Pete told the Bloghorn: “Justice and victory at last for the PCO’s Battle of the Cartoonists’ team, albeit jointly with the Eye (Shurely shome mistake – Ed). What seemed like a clear-cut decision was mysteriously drawn out into a “cheer-off” head-to-head. And even then our clearly louder decibel reading was insufficient for us to be declared outright winners. A big draw indeed!”

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Joint winners: The Private Eye team, left to right, Simon Pearsall, Richard Jolley and Ken Pyne, also a PCO member, with MC Andrew Marr, who is a patron of the PCO

But the event is not just about the glory of winning. PCO members Tim Harries, and Cathy Simpson were on hand to run drawing workshops for children and adults at the event, which took place at the Idea Generation gallery in Shoreditch, London.

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Drawn to it: Cathy Simpson hosted a workshop for children

The workshoppers were ably assisted by The Surreal McCoy. All photographs here are by Gerard Whyman, who was on hand as the official PCO photographer.

Bloghorn at The Big Draw 2009

September 7, 2009 in Comment

Bloghorn@TheBigDraw

Teams of participants from the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation who run Bloghorn will be participating in the annual Big Draw next weekend. Cartoonists Clive Goddard, Andy Bunday, Pete Dredge and Nathan Ariss will be representing the trade in the Battle of the Cartoonists. Colleagues Tim Harries, and Cathy Simpson will also be a running a series of workshops for visitors at the Idea Generation gallery in central London.

UPDATED: 9th September 2009 11.30am. You can also find details of the lots for auction here

Team Bloghorn announced!

August 26, 2009 in General

bd_banner2008Clive Goddard, Andy Bunday and Nathan Ariss will be representing the PCO in the form of Team Bloghorn at this year’s Big Draw Battle of the Cartoonists challenge on Saturday 12th September, 2-5pm at the Idea Generation Gallery, 11 Chance Street, London E2 7JB (map).

Team Bloghorn is understood to be up against Dave Brown’s Independent and Andy Davey’s The Sun teams with, possibly, Private Eye too.

The Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation previously competed in the Battle of the Cartoonists in 2008 and 2007

by Royston

The PCO at the Big Draw

October 15, 2008 in General

PCO members will be taking part in “Transports of Delight” at St Pancras International Station in London on Saturday (October 18). The event is part of the annual, month-long Big Draw campaign, which is designed to get the nation drawing.

The PCO will be running cartoon workshops at the event and taking part in the ever-popular Battle of the Cartoonists. Under the expert stewardship of the PCO’s Festival and Exhibition Co-ordinator, Pete Dredge, a crack team of volunteers has been assembled for the day’s activities.

Workshops by members Paul Hardman, Chichi Parish, Robert Duncan, Tim Harries and Terry Christien (plus guests) will take place between 10am and 5pm. Come along if you want to learn how to draw cartoons, caricatures and comic strips.

The Battle of the Cartoonists kicks off at 3pm and runs for two hours. The PCO team, featuring Robert Duncan, Kipper Williams and Royston Robertson, and captained by Pete Dredge, will take on Private Eye, The Guardian and the Independent.


The PCO’s 2007 Battle of the Cartoonists team in action

Previous Big Draw attendees will know that the winning team is decided via extremely vocal public approval, so please come along and do bring any loudhailers and male voice choirs you have lying around. And how will you know who the PCOers are at the Big Draw? Oh, we’ve thought of that …
Yes, red is most definitely the new black. This is the Team PCO T-shirt to be worn by workshoppers and the Battle of the Cartoonists team. Team captain Pete Dredge told the Bloghorn: “Some unscrupulous attempts at ‘tapping up’ team members by other team leaders have been firmly stamped on, and I’m confident my lads will deliver on the day.”

Activities will take place in The Circle – 2nd side entrance on St Pancras Rd and opposite the German Gymnasium. The dedicated area will be marked out with artificial grass and picket fencing for that summery October feeling. Hope to see you there.

The Big Draw: Get involved

The PCO: Great British cartoon talent

PCO Professional Cartoonists at London’s Big Draw 2008

August 26, 2008 in General

Breaking News on Bloghorn…

The PCO team for this year’s London Big Draw event is confirmed. Team skipper, Pete Dredge (Private Eye regular) will be leading Robert Duncan (Not particularly orange cards), Kipper Williams (The Guardian) and Royston Robertson (Prospect, Readers Digest, Private Eye) into the suitably absurd Battle of the Cartoonists.


The 12 feet long, two-hour epic PCO banner from 2007, hung up, or out, to dry.

You can find details and a report from Bill Stott on the 2007 event here.

PCO members will also be running workshops throughout the day, featuring the many coloured skills of Tim Harries, Chichi Parish, Matt Buck, Andy Davey and Paul Hardman among others.

We will be publishing more details in the run up to the big day on Saturday 18 October.

It’s British cartoon talent

by Royston

Cartoon exhibition: Pont of Punch

April 11, 2008 in General


Cartoon by Punch cartoonist Pont. (Click to enlarge)

An exhibition entitled Pont: Observing the British at Home and Abroad runs at the Cartoon Museum in London from April 23 until July 27.

It features more than 90 classic cartoons about the quirks of the British by Graham Laidler, better known as the Punch cartoonist Pont.

The Cartoon Museum is at 35 Little Russell Street, London. It is open Tue-Sat, 10.30am-5.30pm; Sun 12pm-5.30pm. Admission: £4, £3, free to students and under-18s. Visit the Cartoon Museum website.

British cartoon talent