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A surreally great weekend

August 5, 2014 in Events, General, News

Happy caricature subjects, we assume, drawn by Alex Hughes. Photo © Kasia Kowalska

Happy caricature subjects, we assume, drawn by Alex Hughes. Photo © Kasia Kowalska

Cartoonists Beside the Surrealside in Herne Bay at the weekend was a scorching success. Here’s co-organiser Nathan Ariss with his post-event analysis:

I have only just recently discovered the true meaning of some of those well-worn platitudes, such as “Build it and they will come” and “We really couldn’t have done it without you” etc.

The Herne Bay cartoon festival has grown organically in fits and starts, borne late from the Duchamp Festival last August. I’ve been privileged to have midwived it into being, along with many of the town’s inspirational “can-do” types.

The Procartoonists undoubtedly owe a huge debt of gratitude to Beach Creative this year, run by Mandy Broughton and Mandy Troughton; the exceptional exhibition template provided for us by David Cross; and the organisation powerhouse and savviness of Sue Austen and Steve Coombes, who opened their home and list of contacts to greet, feed and publicise a multitude of cartoonists.

They also ensured that all the ridiculous ideas and things I threw at them to produce actually came into being. Thanks must also go to Arts Council England.

A collaborative effort. Insert "drawing a crowd" picture caption here. © Kasia Kowalska

A collaborative effort on a big board. Insert regulation “drawing a crowd” picture caption here. Photo © Kasia Kowalska

But, of course, a Bandstand full of cartoonists, ready with boards and tables, workshops and games, and paper and pens and paints and ideas, is only part of the picture. Thankfully, the informative and intelligent press and TV coverage we managed to garner ensured eager and expectant waves of audience for us to entertain and amuse.

BBC News preview of the event
ITV News report on the day

The event was a hit with the public, left, as well as cartoonists such as Cathy Simpson and The Surreal McCoy © Mika Schick

The event was a hit with the public, left, as well as cartoonists such as Cathy Simpson and The Surreal McCoy. Photos © Mika Schick

Thanks to Nathan. The big boards drawn at the event will be on display at the town’s Clocktower this summer. Here are some more photos (click any image to enlarge) then we will shut up about the festival … until next year.

An ilustrated man takes part. Photo © The Surreal McCoy

An illustrated man takes part. Photo © The Surreal McCoy

The public very very willing to chat and discuss the drawings Matt Buck talks cartoons. Photo © Kasia Kowalska

The public was very keen to engage with the work and discuss the drawings. Matt Buck talks cartoons. Photo © Kasia Kowalska

The comic strip workshop run by Tim Harries was packed throughout the day. There was also one on Saturday. Photo © Kasia Kowalska

The comic-strip workshop run by Tim Harries was packed throughout the day.  He also hosted one on Saturday at Beach Creative. Photo © Kasia Kowalska

Glenn Marshall finds a unique way to display his cartoon of Dali's iLobster. Photo © Kasia Kowalska

Glenn Marshall finds a unique way to display his cartoon of Dali’s iLobster. Photo © Kasia Kowalska

Finished work: Dave Brown channels seaside postcard maestro Donald McGill and Chris Burke serves up Dali with melted ice-creams. Delicious. Photo © Kasia Kowalska

Finished work: Dave Brown channels seaside postcard maestro Donald McGill and Chris Burke serves up Dali with melted ice-creams. Delicious. Photo © Kasia Kowalska

Many thanks to Kasia Kowalska and Mika Schick and The Surreal McCoy for the photographs.

For more photos and cartoons from the event, see the Beach Creative photo gallery, and you can see more on Twitter at the #CartoonistsLive hashtag.

Success for Shrewsbury festival

April 30, 2014 in Events, General, News

Shrewsbury 2014: The music-themed festival was sponsored by Procartoonists.org

Shrewsbury 2014: The music-themed festival was sponsored by Procartoonists.org

The Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival, which took place at the weekend, drew huge crowds and was deemed a success by all involved. And it has already been given a major boost for next year.

The Shropshire Star reports that the festival has just won a £2,000 grant for next year’s event. Every penny will count as this year major funding was cut, so the 2014 festival was run on a shoestring – with a little help from Procartoonists.org.

However, as the organisers predicted, the public would not have noticed as the festival was as lively and busy as ever.

Here is a video of the Big Boards that the Shropshire Star created:

And here are more photos of the event, taken by Kasia Kowalska, that show the breadth of activities that took place at this year’s festival.

Andrew Birch and Kate Charlesworth at work on their Big Boards, the most high-profile element of the festival. They're hard to miss.

Andrew Birch and Kate Charlesworth at work on their Big Boards. The most high-profile element of the cartoon festival, the boards are impossible to miss.

Rich Skipworth, who has taken over as festival chairman from Roger Penwill, adds colour to his board

Rich Skipworth, who is tasked with organising next year’s event having taken over as festival chairman from Roger Penwill , adds some colour to his board

For the music-themed festival Rosie Brooks set herself the task of illustrating the story of Wagner's Ring Cycle in a few hours

For the music-themed festival, Rosie Brooks set herself the task of illustrating the story of Wagner’s Ring Cycle in just a few hours

Daniel Kawczynski, Member of Parliament for Shrewsbury, is caricatured by Jonathan Cusick

Daniel Kawczynski, the Member of Parliament for Shrewsbury, is caricatured by Jonathan Cusick

Alex Hughes, steampunk caricaturist outfit was enough to, er, draw a crowd

Alex Hughes’s steampunk caricaturist outfit was enough to, er, draw a crowd

Harry Venning, creator of Clare in the Community did a talk that was part cartooning part stand-up comedy

Harry Venning, creator of Clare in the Community, as seen in The Guardian and heard on BBC Radio 4,  did a talk that was part cartooning part stand-up comedy

Wilbur Dawbarn hosted cartooning workshops for all ages, as did Cathy Simpson

Wilbur Dawbarn hosted cartooning workshops for all ages, as did Cathy Simpson and Tim Harries

The participating cartoonists were: Rupert Besley, Steve Best, Andrew Birch, Rosie Brooks, Dave Brown, Kate Charlesworth, Jonathan Cusick, Wilbur Dawbarn, Noel Ford, Alex Hughes, Tim Harries, Tim Leatherbarrow, Chichi Parish, Roger Penwill, Helen Pointer, John Roberts, Royston Robertson, Chris Ryder, Cathy Simpson, Rich Skipworth, Bill Stott, The Surreal McCoy, Harry Venning and Gerard Whyman.

Instant cartoons in the Square, handed out to the public for donations to the festival, were a feature this year. John Roberts draws Dizzy Gillespie

John Roberts draws Dizzy Gillespie. Instant cartoons drawn in the Square and handed out to the public for donations to the festival were a feature this year

Royston Robertson and Matt Buck add to the instant cartoons gallery

Royston Robertson and Matt Buck add to the instant cartoons gallery

Finally the Melodrawma is a great illustration of what makes the festival unique. A live comic-strip drawn to the accompaniment of narration, music and sound effects. The Melodrawma team this year was Andrew Birch, Noel Ford, Roger Penwill, Royston Robertson, Bill Stott and The Surreal McCoy.

Finally the Melodrawma is a great illustration of what makes the festival unique. It is a live comic-strip drawn to the accompaniment of narration, music, sound effects … and audience participation. The team this year was Andrew Birch, Noel Ford, Roger Penwill, Royston Robertson, Bill Stott and The Surreal McCoy.

Profile photo of Royston

by Royston

Sherriffs in town

September 24, 2013 in Events, News

Conception of the Remote Austerity of Garbo (detail) by RS Sherriffs

Conception of the Remote Austerity of Garbo (detail) by R.S. Sherriffs @ Procartoonists.org

Here at the Procartoonists blog we’re hearing very good things about The Age of Glamour: Stars of Stage and Screen, an exhibition of drawings by the Scottish cartoonist R.S. Sherriffs.

It  focuses on the golden age of Hollywood and the West End stage and includes caricatures of Greta Garbo, above, Charlie Chaplin, Bette Davis, Ivor Novello, Buster Keaton, Laurence Olivier and many others.

Included in the show are single portraits as well as ensemble pieces. The drawings first featured in magazines such as Radio Times and The Sketch.

The Sherriffs exhibition runs until 24 December, alongside a redisplay of the Cartoon Museum collection, including many recent acquisitions. Visit  the Cartoon Museum website.

Round-up: What the Bloghorn saw

October 14, 2011 in News

Rob Murray writes:

Life magazine has compiled a diverse selection of wartime caricatures of Adolf Hitler, and points out that “in the right hands a pen, a paint brush, or a crude puppet can be an effective weapon.” You can see the slideshow here.

A new film has turned to animation to tell the story of the Green Revolution in Iran in 2009. Ali Samadi Ahadi’s The Green Wave animates written accounts that were posted on blogs and Twitter, to to tell the story of the uprising, along with mobile-phone footage posted online. The animation by Ali Reza Darvish provides a unique way of reconstructing a story that emerged via the web, as the regime blocked all media and brutally crushed the protests. For more on this, see: The Green Wave film website.

The Phoenix, a new weekly children’s comic due to launch in January, will feature a strip by The Dandy’s Etherington Brothers called Long Gone Don, as well as The Lost Boy by Kate Brown. The Phoenix is being launched by the former editor of short-lived comic The DFC, David Fickling, and has already announced new strips by Jamie Smart and by Daniel Hartwell and Neill Cameron.

Finally, a competition is offering a fan of The Beano a chance to star in a Dennis the Menace or Minnie the Minx strip, and to visit the comic’s Dundee office. See The Beano’s DC Thomson stablemate, The Courier, for more details.

The Bloghorn is made on behalf of the UK’s Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation

Round up : What the Bloghorn saw

September 29, 2011 in Links, News

Following the overthrow of Col. Gaddafi, artistic Libyans have painted caricatures of the dictator on walls throughout the country.

A Swedish cartoonist who has received death threats for depicting the Prophet Mohammed as a dog was the target of a foiled attack last month, according to the Telegraph.

Cartoonist and New Yorker cover artist Chris Ware is embracing new technology, having just released an iPad-only comic.

In some ways, though, the streamlining of technology is making the cartoonist’s job harder. So writes comic artist and illustrator Tom Papparlardo, in an entertaining entry on his blog.

Timed for the Liberal Democrat party conference this week, Gerald Scarfe caricatures Lib Dem leader Nick Cleggin a video clip (we’re promised his impressions of Cameron and Miliband in the weeks to come).

Finally, Irish political cartoonist Donal Casey has appealed for help in recovering a series of framed illustrations that were stolen from a train on Tuesday. TheJournal.ie has more on the story, including the relevant contact details in the event that you can help.

The Bloghorn is made on behalf of the UK Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation

Cartooning on the Frontline

February 4, 2011 in News

Photograph: Antje Bormann

PCO member Martin Rowson delivered a talk on Caricatures and Commentary to the Frontline Club in London this week.

In discussion with Radio 4’s Laurie Taylor Martin spoke about subjects ranging from his caricatures of patrons at the Gay Hussar restaurant to the abolition of the Licensing Act in 1695 and taking in influences from William Hogarth, James Gillray and David Low on the way.

This was followed by a lively question and answer session where he fielded enquiries about how he deals with new political figures and the Danish Muhammed cartoons.

The talk can be seen in full (all one and a half hours of it) at the Frontline Club’s website.

Profile photo of Royston

by Royston

Shrewsbury 2010 – Saturday

April 24, 2010 in General

Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival
Laughter and music has been ringing out on the streets of Shrewsbury today as the cartoon festival gets into full swing.

The market square has been abuzz with crowds who have come to see the cartoonists producing Big Boards, caricatures and “reverse” caricatures, with live bonus as an added bonus.

Cartoon workshops
Political cartoonist Martin Rowson didn’t let a power failure at Birmingham New Street prevent him from attending the festival. He made one taxi driver very happy by getting a cab all the way to Shrewsbury. He gave a talk entitled Giving Offence: The Greatest Gift, the festival’s sole non family-friendly offering.

Humurals
You can see lots more pictures, taken and tweeted throughout the day, at the Bloghorn Twitter feed.

The automated caricature

December 15, 2009 in Comment

It is a fact universally acknowledged that a supermarket retailer in possession of the No1 spot is in want of a commercial wheeze – such as this one.

Of course, Bloghorn says you’d be better off buying the real thing with a personal caricature from people who can draw like this instead of relying on a computer filter to do it all for them.

Bloghorn_caricature

Perhaps Tesco might even start to employ cartoonists to do this work live in store?

The cartoonist and the rebounding, rubber artwork

October 30, 2008 in General

PCOer Chris Burke sends a visual report on the phenomenon of rubber, or, rebounding artwork.

Clients always want artwork as soon as possible but, strangely, there is always time for it to come back for changes.

We offer here an example of Chris’s work with before and after images showing the changes requested in a complex piece of caricaturing he did recently. First, here is the original and approved piece of art.


Secondly, the unexpected changes which were subsequently requested – in this case, it was a question of different people being asked for. We’ve marked them here to help.


And at last, the final version.


It is hard work being a professional cartoonist.

The PCO: Great British cartoon talent

Profile photo of Royston

by Royston

Scarfe comes to Shrewsbury

August 20, 2008 in General

The cartoonist Gerald Scarfe is touring the UK with his show Scarfe On The Road. It comes to the Shrewsbury Music Hall on the 4th of September

Scarfe is one of Britain’s most popular caricaturists and is political cartoonist for the Sunday Times. For more details on this illustrated talk, which spans his 40-year career, see the above flyer (click to enlarge). You can book tickets here.

Shrewsbury is no stranger to cartooning as every April it hosts the Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival, the foremost event of its kind in the country.

The PCO: British cartoon talent