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A name up in prints

April 5, 2010 in General

Foghorn Bloghorn for The UK Professional Cartoonists’ OrganisationBloghorn is pleased to see that Royston Robertson, one of our writers, is the new cartoonist of the month at Prospect magazine. You can read the interview with him here.  Fittingly it was published on April 1st. Along with many of his colleagues from the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation, Royston will be taking part in the upcoming Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival towards the end of April.

Artist of the Month – Robert Duncan

February 26, 2010 in Events

Bloghorn Cartoon on rubbish and housing © Robert Duncan at

Bloghorn asked Robert Duncan, our Artist of the Month for February, how he sees the future for cartoonists in the digital age.

The future is fantastic. More and more, clients will want the hand drawn non-computery art for it’s simplicity and pure cleverness.

Walls will be decorated with the clarity of a few lines, and television ads will continue to use simple and highly effective animation – especially helped along by the development of software such as Toon Boom.

Add websites, all the normal printed things, live drawing events when we can show off our ability in public and the future is rosy!

Bloghorn agrees and would like to thank Robert for having been our artist of the month for February 2010.

101 uses for a cartoon

February 24, 2010 in General

Whilst some other Sunday newspapers are cutting back on their cartoons, the Sunday Times has expanded its cartoon content with the inclusion of 101 Uses for a Celebrity.

The regular  feature will appear in the Style section and is drawn by The Surreal McCoy, a former Bloghorn Artist of the Month and a member of the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation (the group which makes this web site).

Surreal tells us;

I had originally drawn a cartoon with a couple of old ladies sitting in a car parked in front of Thora Hird who was balanced sideways on 2 traffic cones. One old lady was saying to the other ‘‘Oooh, isn’t that Thora Hird?’’ and the caption read ‘Celebrity Roadblocks’. I soon started wondering to what other uses could celebrities be put? Then to find out who was flavour of the month it was a matter of reading as many celeb magazines I could lay my hands on, whilst using that great excuse ‘‘its for research purposes, no really’’, and drawing them in all manner of undignified poses. This was a few years ago and of course they did the rounds of editors’ desks, dutifully returning each time with the usual ‘‘we really liked your idea but don’t have the money/space/imagination/etc’’ rejection note. Until the art editor at the Sunday TimesStyle magazine had a look at the PCO‘s website, chanced upon my portfolio, visited my site and offered me the gig. Joining the PCO has got to be one of my better decisions.

Bloghorn thinks a lot of publications, print and digital, could benefit from the skills, fun and entertainment that people like this can bring to developing and keeping readerships.

Artist of the month – Robert Duncan

February 12, 2010 in Events

Bloghorn_cartoon on Respect ©Robert_Duncan_No2-400x400

This month’ featured cartoonist on Bloghorn is Robert Duncan. He told us how he likes to produce his work:

I always pencil out the cartoon, ink it in with a cheapo Pilot pen, then photocopy it. That turns the 90% black to 100% – and removes all the cut-out corrections/Tippex/patches etc. I then colour them in my quite limited palette of Copic Markers and scan them quickly before they start fading…

He also told us about a few cartoonists he personally admires. 

My biggest cartoonist hero was Wally Fawkes (Trog). Loved his stuff right from the early Flook strips in the fifties. Whatever happened to Moses Maggot and Sir Cloggy Bile? I met the man at the Daily Mail once. A big moment, especially when he smeared his ink because he’d tried to rub out the pencil lines too quickly – and I can do that. Second favourite is our very own Noel Ford. I love his easy line and great humour. I still haven’t met him…

There will be more from our talk to Robert here next Friday. You can check out our archives of previous featured artists here and here.

Artist of the Month – Tim Harries

November 27, 2009 in Events


Tim Harries, Bloghorn’s Artist of the Month Tim Harries reveals the names of other artists who have inspired him:

I think my favourite form of cartooning is the newspaper comic strip and there are plenty of cartoonists in this field I admire. The worlds they created and the quality work they produced over decades is something I certainly envied and wanted to emulate. Charles Schulz’s ‘Peanuts’ and Reg Smythe’s Andy Capp were early favourites, and later on Bill Watterson’s ‘Calvin and Hobbes’ and Jim Meddick’s ‘Robotman’ became my comic strip obsessions.

Currently I enjoy Stephan Pastis’ ‘Pearls before Swine’ and Darby Conley’s ‘Get Fuzzy’. Outside of newspaper comic strips, I admire Peter Bagge, Jeff Smith, Kazu Kibuishi, Jamie Hewlett. Oh and Pete Dredge. And Roger Kettle. Really like Pete’s artwork and Roger’s writing. There’s loads more but it would get tedious…

And what does Tim think is the future of cartooning in the digital age?

I’ve certainly embraced digital cartooning. It allows me to work for clients all over the world. The other side of the digital age is of course the decline of print media, but with the advent of iPhones, Kindles, Sony Readers, the fabled Apple Tablet and all manner of future gizmos I think there’s a definite market for cartoons and comics in the digital age. It’s just a different way of delivering our content.

The tricky part is no doubt working out how we can get paid for our skills in an online world that expects everything for free. “Interesting times ahead”, as someone much cleverer than me once said…

Bloghorn thanks Tim for being our Artist of the Month for November.

Artist of the Month – Tim Harries

November 20, 2009 in Events


Bloghorn’s Artist of the Month, cartoonist Tim Harries, gives his tips for would-be cartoonists:

  • Keep practicing. Nothing wrong with copying other people’s work for practice if you want to learn, as long as you don’t try to pass it off as your own. You’ll find your own style as you progress.
  • If you’re aiming to become a professional cartoonist, you’ll need to get yourself a web site and get yourself advertised. If you want to be taken seriously put your best stuff on there, not some sketches you did for Auntie Flo when you were 10. You can save that stuff for your inevitable blog
  • Nearly all work is done via the internet these days – receiving and answering enquiries, sending roughs and final art, invoicing are all expected to be done online, so be prepared for this.
  • Don’t miss deadlines. Clients don’t like it and probably won’t use you again. Simple!
  • Develop a thick skin. If you’re sending cartoons anywhere speculatively, be prepared for rejection somewhere along the line.
  • Also be prepared to diversify – there is work out there, but if you’ve got your heart set on just working in one field of cartooning “Right I’m only going to draw gag cartoons… about Aardvarks!” it may be a struggle, so the skills you learn producing gag cartoons, comic strips and humorous illustrations can be used in all manner of work – greetings cards, calendars, advertising, comic books, trade mags. Some may not be the glamorous ‘high profile’ gigs you’d like but they pay the bills.

Bloghorn will have one more week of thoughts from Tim next Friday, in the meantime,you can enjoy our Bloghorn Artist of the Month archives whenever you want.

Artist of the Month – Tim Harries

November 13, 2009 in Events


Bloghorn’s Artist of the Month is freelance cartoonist Tim Harries. We asked Tim how he produced his cartoons.

Nearly all my work is done digitally these days. I say nearly, since I still produce my daily strip using traditional methods (in my case – pencils, Staedtler Pigment Liners, Pitt brush pens and a nice bit of paper!). The strip is something I could do digitally, but I quite like ‘keeping my hand in’ with actual pen and paper. It’s a good backup if the computer ever dies on me!

All my other work is done (technophobes look away now!) on Photoshop with my PC and Wacom Cintiq, which I upgraded to recently from the Intuos tablet. The Cintiq is a great piece of kit, well worth the cost if you’re serious about digital cartooning. After all these years of PC use, I’ve finally bought my first Mac, the 13in Macbook Pro, so will be eager to see how it performs.

There will be more from Tim here at the Bloghorn next week. Remember, you can enjoy our Bloghorn Artist of the Month archives at any time.

Artist of the Month – Tim Harries

November 6, 2009 in Events

The Bloghorn Artist of the Month for November is Tim Harries.

Tim is a freelance cartoonist whose clients Readers Digest UK and USA, Punch, New Statesman, Oink, The Sun, The Star, Future Publishing, Grant Thornton, Nelson Thornes, Kodak and many others.


Bloghorn asked Tim what made him decide to become a cartoonist.

Despite obsessing over cartoons at an early age, avidly reading from The Beano, Dandy, Nutty, etc, and drawing cartoons constantly, I didn’t consider it as a possible career ’til my mid-twenties, having spent my school leaving years in a variety of boring office jobs. My interest in cartoons was still there, and my reading matter was now Squib, the shortlived ‘The Cartoonist’ broadsheet, and the occasional copy of Punch and Private Eye.

The call of the cartoon was too great and I started submitting speculative gags to the usual suspects. I managed to get one accepted in my very first batch (to The Sun), and subsequently didn’t sell another for 3 months. Things got better though! The work increased (gags, comic strips, illustrations) and I took the leap from part-time to full-time cartooning in 1998.

There will be more from Tim here at the Bloghorn next week. Remember, you can enjoy our Bloghorn Artist of the Month archives at any time.

Artist of the Month – Chichi Parish

October 30, 2009 in Events


In our last chat with Artist of the Month Chichi Parish Bloghorn asked if she had any hot tips for wannabe cartoonists?

Be curious, experiment, knowledge-share, join online forums, try all sorts of digital or traditional media until you find one which sings your song. Never be afraid to ask questions, no matter how dumb you may sound. I never went to art school, so it’s still a huge learning curve for me and I am never afraid to say “How did you do that?”

So, what’s the future of cartooning in the digital age?

Unimaginable potential.

Bloghorn thanks Chichi for the words and pictures over the past four Fridays. Remember, you can enjoy our Artist of the Month archives at any time.

Artist of the Month – Chichi Parish

October 23, 2009 in Events


Our PCO Artist of the Month Chichi Parish, spills the beans on which other cartoonists’ work have inspired her.

During my formative years, I was brought up and educated in Spain. As a 7 year old kid, devoured Francisco Ibáñez’s ‘Mortadelo y Filemon‘ a comic about two detective agents and the cartoon strip ‘Mafalda‘ the creation of Argentine cartoonist, Quino.

It’s hard to choose which other cartoonists’ work I admire because there are so many. Gillray always takes my breath away. Other cartoonists’ whose work I like are: Steinberg, Bretécher, John Glashan, Sempe, Crumb, Calman, Leunig, Charles M. Schultz . How long have you got? My list is endless.

You can explore more great words and work inside Bloghorn’s Artist of the Month archives