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The Round-up

June 4, 2014 in Events, General, Links, News

Never Again, World War One in Cartoon and Comic Art, will be held at the Cartoon Museum

Never Again, World War One in Cartoon and Comic Art, will be held at the Cartoon Museum

Kasia Kowalska writes:

The next exhibition to at the Cartoon Museum in London is titled Never Again and will be on the subject of cartoons drawn during the First World War. It will run from 11 June to 19 October. Until then, there is still time to catch the Spitting Image 30th anniversary exhibitionwhich ends on 8 June.

Private Eye’s Scene & Heard comic strip, by Procartoonists.org member David Ziggy Greene, is to be published in hardback at the end of the month. The cartoonist is currently choosing the 50 strips that will feature.

The artist/cartoonist David Shrigley talks to The Guardian about how it is difficult in the world of fine art to have a comic voice.

Alex Salmond cartoon © Brian Adcock

Alex Salmond cartoon © Brian Adcock. Click to enlarge

The Norfolk-based cartoonist Brian Adcock is celebrating a hat-trick at the Scottish Press Awards this year. He is best known for his political cartoons for The Scotsman and The Independent.

Meanwhile, another political cartoonist, Christian Adams of the Telegraph, has given behind-the-scenes access to his cartooning process via Instagram. And if you have Sky Atlantic, you probably want to tune in at 9pm tonight (4 June) to see For No Good Reason, the documentary about Ralph Steadman.

© Michael Heath. The cartoonist's first ever cartoon for The Spectator

© Michael Heath. The cartoonist’s first ever gag for The Spectator, from 1960

A new Twitter feed has been set up to showcase cartoons from The Spectator, old and new. It kicked off this week with the magazine’s first ever cartoon by Michael Heath, its cartoon editor, from 1960, above.

If you are a fan of the comics artist Dave McKean, do not miss the UK premiere of 9 Lives at the British Library on 6 June. The collection of songs, images and animation was first shown at Sydney Opera House last October and coincides with the Comics Unmasked exhibitionMeanwhile, it has been announced that the 5th International Graphic Novel and Comics Conference will be hosted at the library in July.

Returning to the centenary of the First World War, two other exhibitions open this month: Enduring War: Grief, Grit and Humour at the British Library, which is to examine how people coped with life during the conflict, and Charley’s War at Durlston Country Park, near Swanage, which will display artwork by Joe Colquhoun from the acclaimed comic strip.

Finally, this is great fun and very clever: the storyboard artist Marty Cooper takes an animated look at ordinary objects.

The Round-up: Procartoonists special

May 7, 2014 in Events, General, Links, News

Sally Heathcote: Suffragette, illustrated by Kate Charlesworth     © Mary Talbot, Kate Charlesworth, Brian Talbot

Sally Heathcote: Suffragette, illustrated by Kate Charlesworth      © Mary Talbot, Kate Charlesworth, Brian Talbot

We’re blowing our own trumpet this week with a Round-up focusing on members of Procartoonists.org — the Professional Cartoonists Organisation — as they seem to be a busy lot at the moment.

First up is Kate Charlesworth, whose book Sally Heathcote: Suffragette, above, is out now. You can read a “behind the scenes” piece at Down the Tubes and a review at The Independent.

Ralph Steadman has been promoting the release of his documentary For No Good Reason in the US by talking to the LA Times and AV Club.

A series of cartoons by Andy Davey for the pressure group Clean Air In London  is set to put pollution at the heart of the local elections, according to ITV.com.

Take Care, Son © Tony Husband

Take Care, Son © Tony Husband

A book by Tony Husband about his dad’s dementia, Take Care, Son, is to be serialised in the Daily Mail. We’ll let you know when that happens. Meanwhile, he continues to tour his Cartoon History of Here with the poet Ian McMillan.

Many Procartoonists.org members contributed to a new exhibition called The Art of Drawing, at Stranraer Museum, after the organisers put out an urgent call to professional cartoonists to submit artwork, in order to show schoolchildren that a love of drawing can turn into a career. It runs until 7 June.

Simon Ellinas recently made an appearance on Channel 5 News illustrating a feature on David Cameron, Alex Salmond and the Scottish referendum.

Luis Suarez puts best foot forward for Phil Disley's posters. Photos © Liverpool Echo

Luis Suarez puts best foot forward for Phil Disley’s posters. Photos © Liverpool Echo. Click image to enlarge

Here’s an unusual one! Fifty paintings featuring the Liverpool striker Luis Suarez’s footprint have gone on sale. They were created by cartoonist Phil Disley. Read more at the Liverpool Echo.

Martin Rowson has been working with the Laurence Sterne Trust producing a collaborative artwork that the 18th-century satirist and creator of Tristram Shandy would have been proud of. There’s a Facebook gallery of the day here.

Cartoons on Demand © Royston Robertson

Cartoons on Demand © Royston Robertson

Cartoonist and editor of the Procartoonists blog Royston Robertson has collected together dozens of gags from Private Eye, Reader’s Digest and other magazines in a new book called Cartoons on Demand.

And finally, our patron Bill Tidy tells his local newspaper why he will never stop drawing cartoons. Quite right too.

See all the Procartoonists profiles here.

Profile photo of Royston

by Royston

Hard Times at Chris Beetles Gallery

October 11, 2011 in Events

Peter Brookes Hard Times

"Tell me about your Big Society ..."

Hard Times, a new exhibition by the Times cartoonist Peter Brookes, opens at the Chris Beetles Gallery in St James’s, London, today and runs until November 5.

The selling show features more than 120 of Brookes’ most recent editorial cartoons from The Times, and ties in with the launch of his new book, also called Hard Times.

To see the exhibition online, go to www.chrisbeetles.com

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

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by Royston

Private Eye: Looking good at 50

September 13, 2011 in Events, News

Private Eye at 50

Private Eye celebrates its 50th birthday next month and appears to be in rude health, bucking the downward trend for magazine circulation in the digital age.

The anniversary is October 25 but the celebrations start on Tuesday (September 20) with the release of a new book Private Eye: The First 50 Years, a history of the magazine written by the Eye journalist Adam Macqueen that charts its rise from 300 copies of the first edition in 1961, below, to a fortnightly circulation of more than 200,000.

First issue of Private Eye

The book features interviews with key players in the Private Eye story, rare archive material and unseen photos. (There are some “seen” ones too.) And, of course, there is an abundance of the cartoons that are so central to appeal of the magazine.

You can see more of those, including many by members of the PCO, which runs The Bloghorn, when the famously anti-establishment magazine puts on a First 50 Years exhibition at the very establishment Victoria and Albert Museum [Shurely shome mishtake? – Ed]. It opens at the V&A on October 18 and runs until January 8.

Cartoons will be shown in themed sections, on politics, royalty and social observation, and there will be gags, long-running strips and caricatures. The Bloghorn will have more on the exhibition nearer the time.

Ian Hislop, Editor of the magazine, has said of the 50th anniversary: “I do not want anyone to think that this is all just a huge celebration of ourselves. Our 50th year is a chance to look back and take a dispassionate view of how marvellous we are.”

You can read more on how marvellous they are in a Media Guardian article this week and even Vanity Fair is on the case with a piece by Christopher Hitchens. Updates on the 50th anniversary celebrations will appear on the Private Eye at 50 blog.

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

In praise of the gag cartoon

March 16, 2011 in News

Bloghorn Opinion logo

Whenever the media spotlight is turned on cartoons it is often those of a political variety. These cartoons shout the loudest and have news impact. But Bloghorn writer Royston Robertson thinks it’s time to speak up for its more modest cousin: the gag cartoon.

I have been drawing gag cartoons for the magazine market for about 15 years. I love the process of coming up with new ideas and, hopefully, getting them published.

Recently I’ve been sifting through my drawings from magazines such as Reader’s Digest and Private Eye in order to put together a book collection. I’m not friends with any famous people so I had to write my own foreword for the book and decided to to put down exactly what it is I like so much about gag cartoons as a medium. This was the crux of piece:Early man cartoon by Royston

“The single-panel joke is a perfect, self-contained unit of comedy, an instant hit of humour that doesn’t demand much of your time.”

I once heard the writer Will Self describe gags as “the haiku of cartoons”. That may sound a little pretentious (from Will Self? Surely not?) but I think it’s true.

A gag cartoon is like a poem. Or a one-liner joke, perhaps. It is a small, carefully crafted article. It doesn’t have the grandeur or the, let’s be honest, occasional self-importance of the political cartoon, but it is still designed to provoke a reaction: hopefully laughter.

I have heard some claim that the gag cartoon is in some way an old-fashioned form. This is probably because it is so closely connected with magazines, so people think of crumpled, yellowing copies of Punch in the dentist’s waiting room.

Plus, magazines and newspapers are “dead-tree technology”, and that, we are constantly being told, is on the way out. But, when you think about it, the gag cartoon is actually perfectly suited for this age of the short attention-span and sits just as easily on a web page, or an iPad app, as a magazine page. And long may it continue to do so.

Royston Robertson's cartoon book
Royston Robertson’s book Penguin vs Polar Bear and Other Ridiculous Cartoons is available online here, priced £5.99 (plus £1 p+p) or you can get a digital download version for £1.99

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by Royston

The Oldie to launch book and exhibition

September 2, 2009 in General

dishcartoon “He’s making a list of people he doesn’t want to see at his funeral.” Oldie magazine cartoon by Neil Dishington

A book of cartoons from The Oldie is to be published later this month, and an exhibition to go with it will be held at the Cartoon Museum in London.

The Oldie Book of Cartoons 1992-2009, published on September 25, will feature more than 400 of the best cartoons from the irreverent magazine.

The Cartoon Museum, in Little Russell Street, Bloomsbury, will hold an exhibition entitled Cartoons from The Oldie in its Blue Room from September 30 until December 24. The latest edition of the magazine comes with a mini book which will act as a taster.

More magazine news: Bernie is the new Cartoonist of the Month at Prospect magazine. He reveals that he usually never tells people he’s a cartoonist, because “they suggest ideas for cartoons like ‘Caution, large plant crossing’. I find it’s best to keep quiet”.

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by Royston

Cartoon market stall? They're 'avin a larf!

June 1, 2009 in News

marketstall
Most cartoonists have wondered how they can bypass traditional publication and get their work direct to a paying audience, particularly if they have ever seen rejected drawings and jokes appreciated by the general public.

PCOer Clive Goddard has joined forces with cartoon-merchandise producer Steve Willis to come up with an ingenious solution: a cartoon market stall.

They brushed up on their cheeky stallholder banter and took a spot at Oxford Castle Market this weekend, selling cartoon T-shirts, cards, mugs, key-rings, books, original art and other merchandise. Steve told the Bloghorn: “We certainly felt it was worth continuing. We’ll be at Oxford Castle Market on Saturdays for the foreseeable future.”

The pair are now set to offer free space, for a commission, to a caricaturist sitting adjacent to the stall, as there are always plenty of tourists seeing the sights of Oxford passing by.

Bloghorn wonders how long it can be before we see a cartoon market stall on EastEnders. It would cheer up Albert Square no end.

Profile photo of Royston

by Royston

Cartoon book has that Friday feeling

May 25, 2009 in General

alexander2PCOer Alex Matthews has published a book of cartoons with the rather unlikely title of Crystalline Structure Friday. It brings together dozens of single-panel “Alexander” cartoons from magazines such as Private Eye and Prospect, along with previously unseen work.

Bloghorn is amused by Alex’s twisted and surreal view of the world, so we cornered him and asked him some questions.

You’re relatively new to the world of magazine cartooning, why did you decide to do a compilation of cartoons at this stage?
I felt that the first stage of my cartooning career, where I was learning how to write gags, developing a style, and trying desperately to get my first cartoon published, was over. I also had a lot of good gags that had never seen print, so I stuck the best ones in there. It’s a really good thing to be able to give potential clients a book of your work. Better than scribbling down a website address. They’ll remember you.

What’s with the title?
I wanted a title that would make people go “What?” And then, when they’ve read the cartoon that the title is taken from, they get it. And are perhaps a little disappointed. It fits with the black cover and general feel of the book, I think.

alexandercover

As well as being a cartoonist, you teach art and design in Moscow. How do those two things complement each other?
Teaching keeps my mind lively and explaining ideas about illustration helps them to become clearer in my mind. And because my Russian is so bad, I am more isolated than in England. That actually helps in thinking up ideas. I’m less distracted by other people, TV and things. People say Russia must give you so many ideas, but it doesn’t really. My gags are more about having job interviews with pelicans and stuff like that.

Crystalline Structure Friday: A Collection of Cartoons by Alexander is available from lulu.com, priced £9.10

Cartoon books coming out

October 27, 2008 in General

The clocks have fallen back, and subsequently the nights are drawing in, so as we race towards Christmas publishers are putting out books on cartooning. Here’s a selection of recent example that may be filling stockings come December.

First up is The History of the Beano: The Story so Far, a comprehensive round-up of the iconic DC Thompson comic from the last 70 years, here reviewed by the Daily Record and by Danny Baker in The Times. This book also ties in with the recent exhibitions in Dundee and the Cartoon Museum in London.

The History Of The Beano – The Story So Far is published by D.C. Thomson and Waverley Books, priced £25. The Beano and Dandy Birthday Bash continues at the The Cartoon Museum, 35 Little Russell Street, London WC1A 2HH until 2nd November 2008.

Next is Cartoons and Coronets: The Genius of Osbert Lancaster on the life and times of the late Daily Express pocket cartoonist Osbert Lancaster, which is reviewed in the New Statesman, the Spectator and by cartoonist Nicholas Garland in the Telegraph. This book also ties into an exhibition at the Wallace Collection (reviewed in the Telegraph, the Guardian, and the Independent) .

Cartoons and Coronets: The Genius of Osbert Lancaster, edited by James Knox, is published by Frances Lincoln Publishers Ltd, priced £25. The exhibition continues at The Wallace Collection, Hertford House, Manchester Square, London W1U 3BN until 11th January 2009.

And finally we come to The Best of Punch Cartoon, a collection of cartoons from the legendary satirical magazine spanning over 150 years of humour, the launch of which was attended by the PCO’s own Pete Dredge. Reviewed here by cartoonist Peter Brookes of the Times, by Michael Heath, cartoon editor of the Spectator, and in the Independent.

The Best of Punch Cartoons, by Helen Walasek, is published by Prion Books, priced £30.

The PCO: Great British cartoon talent

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by Royston

How to publish a cartoon book

October 8, 2008 in General

PCOer Gerard Whyman on how cartoonists can use the internet to bypass traditional publishers

This month sees my publishing debut: a 112-page cartoon compilation book entitled Oddly Distracted – a collection of nearly 190 cartoons of my best published and unpublished work. The book was edited, designed, produced and published entirely by myself using a PC and Lulu.com, the world’s largest self-publishing website.

Gerard Whyman’s new book. Click the image to enlarge

I hadn’t realised until recently that next year marks my 15th year in the cartooning business – being first published in 1994 – and so this book is a timely marker of that fact. Not that it was the prime motivator – I was inspired by seeing Tim Harries’ excellent self-published cartoon books last year and decided to have a go myself. Another factor was that Tim gave me free copies of his book with the promise that I give him one of mine when it was done. Twelve months on and I’ve managed to keep my side of the bargain.

Lulu is a “print-on-demand” service which means that books are only printed when ordered. The beauty of this system is that there is no minimum print run – you can just have one copy of book if you wish. So, with no storage costs, the process is cheap; there are no set up costs and the only investment is your time and energy. You must, however, be computer literate to be able to produce a printable book. I bought an optional distribution deal with Lulu for £79.95 which gave me an ISBN number and the availability of my book to online stores like Amazon which opens up a huge market.

The process of creating the book turned out to be a bit tricky and frustrating at times. Figuring out the software to lay out the pages was one thing – it took a while to master the Page Plus package – but using Lulu’s rather complex website was quite another. It doesn’t help if you’re like me and wade straight in without reading the small print closely. One error was to initially make the book 7.5”x 7.5” square, a size ineligible for the distribution deal I had bought with them. So I had to start from scratch and redesigned the book to a crown quarto format.

Financial Adviser, from Gerard Whyman’s book. Click to enlarge

The cartoon pages are loosely themed – there are ones on couples with troubles, business, and entertainment, among many other topics. There is work that has been published in The Spectator, The Oldie and Reader’s Digest and there are several full page cartoons that were originally printed in Punch. There is also a large contingent of my favourite unpublished gags.

I’m very pleased with the way has book has finally turned out. The print quality is first class and really does justice to the original drawings. Of course, the hardest part now is to convince the buying public to part with their hard-earned cash for my product – not easy in these difficult times.

Oddly Distracted is priced £7.95. You can see a preview of Gerard’s book and order copies by clicking this link

The PCO: Great British cartoon talent