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Herne Bay Cartoon Festival 2019 launch countdown

July 29, 2019 in Events, General, News

This year’s poster was created for the festival by © Marf.

Sue Austen (Festival Organiser) writes:

The Herne Bay Cartoon Festival has landed for another year. This is the seventh consecutive festival in the lovely Kent seaside town. The theme for this year is Fly Me to the Moon referencing the fiftieth anniversary of the first manned mission to the moon in 1969.

The Fly Me to the Moon exhibition is now open at Beach Creative featuring new work by PCO members including Dave Brown, Martin Rowson, Kathryn Lamb, Andrew Birch, Noel Ford, Tim Harries, Roger Penwill, Royston Robertson, Des Buckley, Kipper Williams, Jeremy Banx, Gerard Whyman, The Surreal McCoy, Rob Murray, Sarah Boyce, Glenn Marshall, Chris Burke, Neil Dishington, Jonesy and others.

Poster cartoon by © Steve (Jonesy) Jones.

Also open now is Book Marks at the Bay Art Gallery in William Street. Book Marks is a PCO exhibition on the theme of literature and books which has come to Herne Bay from Westminster Reference Library as the first small step on a planned tour of the solar system. The show features work by over 30 members of the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation (PCO) including a host of familiar cartoonists from the pages of The Guardian, The Independent, Private Eye and the rest of the British press.

The festival’s third exhibition is One Giant Leap which will be open from Friday 2nd  August at The Seaside Museum, 12 William Street, CT6 5NR. This show features work on loan from the British Cartoon Archive held at the University of Kent. The exhibition includes original cartoons and artwork from the time of the moon landing in 1969, other Apollo missions and moon related stories.  Artists represented in the show include Giles, Trog, Garland, Jensen, Homer, Emmwood, Langdon, Gary Barker, Rowson and Dave Brown.More than 20 cartoonists and caricaturists will descend on Herne Bay for the weekend of 2nd- 4th August.  On Saturday 3rd Zoom Rockman hosts a cartoon workshop at Beach Creative and later the same day Roger Todd will run a puppet caricature workshop there.

On Sunday 4th the weekend culminates with the annual Cartooning Live event on Herne Bay Pier where the visiting artists create giant cartoons, aunt sallies and peep boards. We are promised a balloon Boris will be attacked by seagulls whilst astronaut ‘John’ Glenn (Marshall) will be attempting Herne Bay’s first moon landing on the town’s iconic pier.

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

With thanks to all our sponsors and supporters including Arts Council England, Canterbury City Council, British Cartoon Archive, University of Kent and the PCO.

Hector Breeze RIP

January 6, 2019 in General

Cartoon from Private Eye – A Cartoon History

Rupert Besley writes:

The sad news of the passing of Hector Breeze not long after celebrating his 90th birthday, has, unsurprisingly, brought in a flood of tributes from fellow cartoonists, all recognising the greatness of the man along with the warmth, charm and wit of his cartoons. Hero, wonderful, great, favourite, brilliant, classic, prolific… are words piling up on the PCO forum from the pens of Pete Dredge, Noel Ford, Roger Penwill, Mike Turner, Neil Dishington, Andrew Birch, Glenn Marshall – and expect more to come as the news spreads.

Hector Breeze

Hector Breeze developed what was surely the perfect cartooning style for the kind of pocket-sized gags he churned out so prolifically and successfully over so many years (since the late 50s). With their robust lines, economy of detail and strong use of solid blacks, HB cartoons were instantly recognisable as his and stood out a mile off as funny. Central to them were his stock characters, ever charming, ever bewildered. Tramps, army chaplains, oddballs, kings. You had to warm to them.

‘Gentle humour’ is a damning phrase, usually coded for ‘not funny’. Hector Breeze cartoons were never savage or angry, but they were funny. Damned funny.

Private Eye cartoon

He sold his first cartoon to Melody Maker in 1957 and over the following five decades and more, Hector Breeze cartoons brought sheer enjoyment to national publications that included Private Eye, Punch, the Evening Standard, the Mirror, Sketch, Guardian and Express. Having begun in a government drawing office, he later worked in advertising. Among his other skills (no surprise from the clarity of his signature) was letter-carving in stone.

A collection of Hector’s work produced by Private Eye in 1973

As with Sprod, it took me some while to discover that Hector Breeze was his real name and not something dreamt up as pen-name (he couldn’t have hit on better if he had tried).

In 2011 the PCO Blog team put together a piece on the Top Ten of Cartoonists’ Favourite Cartoonists. Pete Dredge’s choice was Hector Breeze, illustrated with a perfect gag and summed up exactly right:

‘Out of the mouths of his mundane, benign, chunkily drawn characters comes the sharpest of captions.’

In 1996 Ralph Steadman wrote that Breeze’s “clumsy bewildered characters restore my faith in the seriously daft.”*

Cartoon from the Hector Breeze Private Eye Cartoon Library

From Pick of Punch, 1973

Our thoughts are with Hector’s family.

*Quote and photo courtesy of  The British Cartoon Archive

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 Royston

Herne Bay Cartoon Festival approaches

July 1, 2015 in Events, General, News

Herne Bay Cartoon Festival poster by Jeremy Banx

With the scorching hot weather we’re having, it’s a good time to think about planning a trip to the seaside. And Herne Bay in Kent is just the place to go.

The third Herne Bay Cartoon Festival begins later this month with an exhibition called Lines in the Sand opening at the Beach Creative gallery on 28 July. As you can see from the excellent poster above, by Procartoonists.org member Jeremy Banx, there will also be a live cartooning day in the Bandstand on the sea front once again, with big board cartoons, caricatures, and a few surprises. That takes place on Sunday 2 August.

This year there will also be an exhibition of cartoons from the British Cartoon Archive, on the history of cartoons and people taking offence at them, as well as a show in tribute to the late Martin Honeysett, who exhibited and appeared at the first two Herne Bay cartoon events.

This year’s event builds on the success of the first one, when it was part of a Marcel Duchamp celebration, and last year’s standalone Cartoonists Beside the Surrealside. It sponsored by the PCO and supported using public funding by Arts Council England.

We’ll have more on the festival nearer the time. Meanwhile, you can seen lots more PCO coverage of the previous two events, including great videos by David Good, in the Herne Bay archive.

Tales from Herne Bay

August 9, 2013 in Events, General, News

Cartoonist_Ralph_Steadman_and_Karol_Steele_meet_Duchamp_in_Herne_Bay@_procartoonists.org

Ralph Steadman and Karol Steele finally meet at Duchamp in Herne Bay Photograph: © Andy Steele @ Procartoonists.org

Photographer Kasia Kowalska writes:

It was 30 years ago that Ralph Steadmancame to give a talk on cartoon drawing and political satire at The University of Kent.

At that time the British Cartoon Archive was still a fledgling. After the talk, Ralph gave a practical presentation on political caricatures by drawing members of the audience.

A young student Karol Steele was in the audience that day. She dearly wished to speak to Steadman but in spite of her friends’ encouragement, she hid in the back paralysed by most crippling shyness. She always regretted it bitterly.

And so passed 30 years and the much admired artist was due to pay a visit to Herne Bay during the Duchamp Festival. Karol was determined not to let the opportunity pass her for the second time!

Full of hope and anticipation she came to the Bandstand on 3rd August in search of her hero.

When we spoke she reflected that “most of the truly embarrassing things that can happen to a person already have happened” to her so there was nothing left but to pluck up the courage and make amends for her shyness of her student days.

Having heard this story early in the day and realising we were both alumni of the same university, I was keen to help her and promised to look out for her and let her know when Ralph Steadman would arrive at the Bandstand. And so it came to pass that I was lucky enough to find her in the buzzing crowd and point her in the direction of the artist.

She found him a most generous and obliging man who listened to her story with avid interest and who, without hesitation, agreed to draw a picture for her.

“30 years of regret wiped out in 10 minutes!” said Karol clutching a splendid drawing of herself and her husband. Even the family dog was immortalised and included in the artwork.

Ralph_Steadman_for_Karol_Steele_@_procartoonists_org

Extracted from a drawing by Ralph Steadman for Karol Steele @ Procartoonists.org

I believe Karol got over her shyness. She will be starring in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest at The Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury in September.

Ed adds: Thanks to Kasia for the news, the photograph and for a heart-warming story to end the week. Good luck to Karol for her upcoming show.

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by Royston

Cartoonists at the Olympics

June 5, 2012 in Events, News

“]Cartoon by NEB

"It's not that I really mind getting wet – only my glasses get steamed up so." (Cartoon by NEB)

The exhibition Cartoonists at the Olympics, featuring work from the British Cartoon Archive selected by community sporting groups, opens this weekend.

It features Olympics cartoons from years gone by, including this 1948 Daily Mail cartoon about the Games in London that year by Ronald Niebour, who drew as NEB. On the evidence of the Diamond Jubilee weekend this could be a prediction of more “weather events” at this year’s Olympics.

The exhibition can be seen a the Herne Bay Museum and Gallery in Kent. The British Cartoon Archive is based in nearby Canterbury at the University of Kent’s Templeman Library. It opens this Saturday and runs until September 2. Admission, which includes entry to the museum, is £2.

Welcome back to ‘obscene’ postcards

September 23, 2011 in Comment, News

Bob Wilkin postcardBloghorn is pleased to report the recent Margate cartoon postcard exhibition will be back on display in the British Cartoon Archive Gallery, at the University of Kent, from 24 September. This time it will run for six weeks.

The original exhibition ran for only ten days but will get a longer run in nearby Canterbury.

Details here and you can read the original report on Bloghorn here.

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by Royston

Obscene postcards? You be the judge

July 18, 2011 in Events

Saucy postcard by Bob Wilkin
An exhibition of seaside postcards that were banned by local councils in the 1950s opens in Margate this week.

I Wish I Could See My Little Willy named after a postcard by Bob Wilkin, above, enraged the authorities in the prudish post war years. The show is being held at the Pie Factory gallery, opposite Margate’s old magistrate’s court where the publishers of the day would have been prosecuted.

Across the country the authorities confiscated and destroyed thousands of ‘‘saucy’’ postcards as they feared that that the nation’s morals were in decline after the Second World War.

The free exhibition, which opens on July 23 and runs until August 2, is held in conjunction with the British Cartoon Archive, which has been digitising the postcards and putting them online, along with their associated obscene publications index cards, as seen above.

Nick Hiley of the British Cartoon Archive, which is based at the University of Kent in nearby Canterbury, told Bloghorn:

‘‘We are organising the exhibition with the Dreamland Trust in Margate. I will be giving a talk in the magistrates’ court where the cards were condemned — they have a wonderful witness box on casters that I hope to lecture from.’’

The old court is now the Margate Musuem. The talk is at 2pm on July 30. The organisers are hoping to follow it with an airing of the Radio 4 play Getting The Joke by Neil Brand (BBC permission pending). It tells the story of the trial of Donald McGill, acknowledged master of the saucy postcard, in 1953.

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by Royston

Cartoon coasts along for 30 years

June 7, 2011 in News

Postcard cartoon by Rupert Besley

Cartoons are inextricably linked to the seaside, so it was no surprise that when the new series of BBC Two’s Coast headed to Margate for a piece on the heyday of seaside landladies, they chose to illustrate that with a cartoon postcard.

Being very well looked after, detail above, by Rupert Besley, a member of the PCO, which runs the Bloghorn, was featured to illustrate the stereotype “battleaxe” and her endless lists of rules.

For Rupert, who has drawn hundreds of postcards, almost all for the holiday trade, national TV exposure was a mixed blessing, as the cartoon they chose was drawn more than 30 years ago. Rupert told the Bloghorn:

“If you’re lucky enough to get a cartoon taken up for use in a television programme, it does seem a bit mealy-mouthed then to start complaining about the one selected, given the choice available. But which would you rather have fill the screen, a recent cartoon that you were secretly quite pleased with or something done more than 30 years back, an early hamfisted attempt at a cartoon? Well, they said they’d pay me, so I won’t go on about it.”

Bloghorn will gloss over Rupert’s comments – the typical insecurity of the cartoonist! – and say it’s a great cartoon, perfectly illustrating the subject matter at hand.

You can see more seaside postcards in Margate in July, when a selection those digitised by the British Cartoon Archive goes on show. Bloghorn will have more on this nearer the time.

Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival 2011

April 14, 2011 in Events, News

Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival kicks off tonight with a drop-in cartoon workshop at the Bear Steps Gallery at 4.30pm, and a talk by Dr Nick Hiley from the British Cartoon Archive on the cartoons of Carl Giles at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery at 7pm, tickets £5.

In the meantime, the exhibition Personal Bests opened on Monday (also at the Bear Steps Gallery) and features cartoons on the Festival’s Olympic theme, including these:

Bloghorn Shrewsbury 2011 Olympics cartoon © Pete Dredge

Bloghorn Shrewsbury 2011 Olympics cartoon © Chichi Parish

Bloghorn Shrewsbury 2011 Olympics cartoon © Noel Ford
Bloghorn Shrewsbury 2011 Olympics cartoon © Royston Robertson

 

Come back to Bloghorn for coverage of the festival as it happens, or follow the hashtag #shrews11 on Twitter.