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by Royston

Sixth Herne Bay Cartoon Festival begins

July 27, 2018 in Events, General, News

Herne Bay Cartoon Festival 2018

[Poster by The Surreal McCoy]

Exhibitions are now open at the sixth Herne Bay Cartoon Festival and more than 20 of the UK’s top cartoonists will descend on the Kent seaside town next weekend for three days of talks, workshops and live drawing.

The first event is a discussion featuring The Surreal McCoy and Rachael Ball. They will talk about their work-in-progress graphic novels The Wolf of Baghdad and Wolf Man. The event is hosted by Alex Fitch, journalist and critic behind the Panel Borders radio show. It takes place on Friday 3 August at 5.30pm.

Surreal McCoy and Rachael Ball talk
On Saturday 4 August, Alex Hallatt will run a workshop for kids at Beach Creative from 11.30am-1pm. Creator of the syndicated comic strip Arctic Circle, she is British but lives in New Zealand and is visiting the festival while on a trip to the UK.

Arctic Circle by Alex Hallatt
Roger Todd will run a puppet caricature workshop at the same venue from 1.30pm. Political cartoonist and PCO member Martin Rowson will host a caricature workshop at Pettman House from 2.30pm.

The main festival day is the Sunday 5 August. The cartoonists will gather on Herne Bay Pier from midday to draw big-board cartoons, seaside peep boards, caricatures and more. As ever, there will be a chance for the public to get involved with drawing on big boards, plus they can play drawing games with the Guardian cartoonist Ros Asquith.

Cartoon from the Turning then Tide exhibition by Tat Effby

Cartoon from the Turning the Tide exhibition by Tat Effby

The festival exhibition Turning the Tide is now open at Beach Creative and runs until Sunday 12 August. The theme, which is always linked to the seaside location, acknowledges that the past year has been eventful for women. It is 100 years since the first women won the vote, we’ve seen the birth of #MeToo and #TimesUp, the protests over the gender pay gap … and even the first woman Doctor Who.

Of course, the festival always lets cartoonists interpret the theme however they want, so the choppy waters of Brexit are visited once more and there are also Turning the Tide cartoons about plastic in the oceans.

There will be a private view of Turning the Tide on Saturday 4 August, 6.30pm-8.30pm.

Tim Sanders cartoon from Turning the Tide

Tim Sanders cartoon from Turning the Tide

Also open now is Funny Women, an exhibition held jointly at the Seaside Museum and Bay Art Gallery, both on William Street. The show runs until Sunday 19 August.

Funny Women cartoon exhibition

It looks at women cartoonists and illustrators from the past 100 years and includes Mary Tourtel, creator of Rupert the Bear, and Tove Jansson of Moomins fame, alongside contemporary cartoonists such as Riana Duncan, Posy Simmonds, Nicola JenningsGrizelda, Martha Richler (Marf) and many more. The exhibition is held in conjunction with the British Cartoon Archive in nearby Canterbury.

There will be a private view of Funny Women on Friday 3 August at the Seaside Museum, then the Bay Art Gallery, 7pm-8.30pm.

Also this year, a group of US women cartoonists were invited to give their perspective on the festival theme, and the work of Isabella Bannerman, Maddie Dai, and Liza Donnelly will feature in both the Turning the Tide and Funny Women exhibitions.

Cartoon by Maddie Dai

Cartoon by Maddie Dai

Alongside the main show at Beach Creative, the festival also hosts the PCO’s Gagged exhibition in the Rossetti Room. It ran at the Westminster Reference Library last year. The Herne Bay version runs until Sunday 12 August.

Gagged cartoon exhibition in Herne Bay

The full list of cartoonists scheduled to attend the festival is as follows: Nathan Ariss, Ros Asquith, Rachael Ball, Andrew Birch, Dave Brown, Des Buckley, Chris Burke, Pete Dredge, Clive Goddard, Grizelda, Alex Hallatt, Tim Harries, Alex Hughes, Kathryn Lamb, Glenn Marshall, Lou McKeever, Rob Murray, Helen Pointer, Royston Robertson, Martin Rowson, Cathy Simpson, Rich Skipworth, The Surreal McCoy and Steve Way.

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

The Independent cartoonist Dave Brown at last year's festival

The Independent cartoonist Dave Brown will return this year

Herne Bay Cartoon Festival is sponsored by the Professional Cartoonists Organisation and supported using public funding by Arts Council England.

Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival in the rear-view mirror.

April 25, 2018 in Events, General

Jonathan Cusick, Pete Dredge, John Roberts and Helen Pointer ‘drawing the crowds’.

Rupert Besley writes:

The sun shone on the righteous – and on the cartoonists in Shrewsbury. It was a bumper gathering in the town this last weekend, with visitors and participants drawn from far and wide. Few more so than festival regular Dean Alston from Down Under, whose ace Big Board, along with a Noel Ford classic, was among the first things to greet arrivals in The Square. Close by worked guest cartoonists from the States, Maria Scrivan and Ken Krimstein, while further input to the international flavour of the day came from the strong deputation of Belgians, all involved in the European Cartoon Centre at Kruishoutem near Ghent.

Big boards by Australia’s Dean Alston and the UK’s Noel Ford.

US cartoonists Maria Scrivan and Ken Krimstein with their big boards.

Cartoon by Nikola Hendrickx from Belgium and Nikola in action.

The private view of the ‘Are we nearly there yet?’ exhibition at The Bear Steps Gallery.

This was the 15th Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival and the theme of Transport was a fertile and perfect choice. The galleries (Bear Steps, Theatre Severn & V.A.N, plus Wendy Shea exhibition at Participate) gave proof, if ever needed, of what can be done from kicking around a good subject and, back in The Square, heads spun towards the reassuring sight of Air Flight Marshall at the check-in desk for budget airline Icarus Air.

The GORGEOUS Glenn Marshall at the Icarus Air check-in desk.

Roger Penwill fronts the Drawma while Noel Ford, Wilbur Dawbarn and Royston Robertson take to the boards accompanied by The Surreal Accordionist. 

You can count on Shrews for good live music from beneath the Market Hall and so it proved throughout. Mid-afternoon came the Drawma, with mellow accordion softening the oohs and aarrghs of those there for quick-drawn gags and terrible puns.

Caricaturists Alex Hughes suitably in tropical attire for the unseasonal heatwave.

Elsewhere in The Square, the line-up of top caricaturists was kept hard at it all day (Hughes, Roberts, Pointer, Cusick, Leatherbarrow, Dredge & Ryder, with Christelle Jones at Bear Steps). Meanwhile, other Big Boards got filled by the likes of (with apologies to anyone inadvertently missed) Clive & Amy Goddard, Steve Best, Royston Robertson, Wil Dawbarn, Ross Thomson, Ger Whyman, Hunt Emerson, Rich Skipworth, John Landers, The Surreal McCoy, Jeremy Banx, Roger Penwill, Nikola Hendrickx & present writer, not forgetting fine graphic contributions too from Zoom Rockman and Patrick Holden.

PCO Chair-human Clive Goddard with PCO’s Treasurer-human Amy Amani-Goddard.

Steve Best applying blue.

Maria Scrivan ‘likes’ Royston Robertson’s twitter cartoon. 

Gerard  Whyman hogs some limelight.

The top of Rich Skipworth.

The Surreal McCoy and her surreal cartoon.

Jeremy Banx creates Noah’s limo.

Semi-big boards by John Landers and Roger Penwill.

Ross Thomson & Hunt Emerson drawing and colouring in.

Dean Alston and Wilbur Dawbarn doing some more drawing and colouring in.

Rupert Besley on a familiar scene from a cartoonists daily life.

Zoom of Crouch End draws Clive of India.

Helen Pointer’s ‘Introduction to Caricature’ workshop.

The cartoon workshops are an important part of the festival – this year tackling caricature, movement in drawings, an automobile barn dance plus Stop Motion animation (Barry the Shrew) and some fun paper planes (from Biggles Rudling). Festival patrons Alex Lester and Martin Wainwright came up trumps in their support of the Festival, the former using his radio interview skills to host the panel of cartoonists in conversation at the Wightman Theatre on the Friday evening. The latter was able to apply some of his editing experience to the list of rules drawn up for the Air Cartooning contest that rounded off the following evening. And, on the Sunday morning, while bikers gathered in their droves on the outskirts of the town, festival participants were treated to a fascinating tour of Historic Shrewsbury.

Rupert Besley wins the inaugural ‘Air Cartooning’ Cartoon Off ® Noel Ford

Thanks and full credit to all responsible, beginning with organisers Sarah Knapp, Bill McCabe, Tim King, Roger Penwill, Noel Ford, and Jonathan Cusick, along with all the volunteer helpers, and not forgetting the many participants (including visitors) who made the whole thing so successful.

Thanks also to Mika Schick for the excellent photographs.

More detail on the festival: Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival

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by Royston

Fifth Herne Bay Cartoon Festival begins

July 27, 2017 in Events, General, News

Herne Bay Cartoon Festival 2017 poster
[Poster by Chris Burke]

The fifth Herne Bay Cartoon Festival is under way, and this year the event features a change of venue for its main live event and a guest appearance by one of the UK’s top political cartoonists.

After four years at the town’s Bandstand, the live event will be held on the bustling Herne Bay Pier.

More than 20 of the UK’s top cartoonists will be there on Sunday 6 August from midday to draw big-board cartoons, seaside peep boards, caricatures and more. There will also be a few surprises and chances for the public to get involved with drawing.

The change of location has inspired the title of the main festival exhibition, The End of the Pier Show, which opened this week at the Beach Creative gallery and runs until Sunday 13 August.

An exhibition by the political cartoonist Martin Rowson also opened this week at the Bay Art Gallery. It also runs until Sunday 13 August.

Martin Rowson exhibition poster

Fresh from being described by the Daily Mail as “sick and disgusting”, Rowson will appear at the Kings Hall on Saturday 5 August, from 3pm-5pm, where he will be interviewed by Rosie Duffield, the first ever Labour MP for nearby Canterbury, wearing her other hat as a comedy writer and satirist.

Admission is free, but tickets can be reserved at Eventbrite.

Also open now at the Seaside Museum is the exhibition Cartoonists All At Sea, a selection of cartoons from the British Cartoon Archive in Canterbury, which runs until Sunday 10 September.

Cartoonists All at Sea poster

As has happened since the third festival, there will be a “fringe” event organised by Glenn Marshall. This year it is Mona Lisa – Not Happy, which sees the da Vinci painting “reworked, reimagined and regurgitated” by Marshall and other cartoonists and artists. The show opens at the One New Street gallery on Friday 4 August and runs until Saturday 2 September.

Mona Lisa Not Happy poster

Alongside the main show at Beach Creative, the festival also hosts Eaten Fish, an exhibition of work by cartoonists from all over the world supporting the plight of the Iranian cartoonist and political refugee known as Eaten Fish. He has been held at the Australian Detention Centre on Manus Island since 2013. The exhibition is in the gallery’s Rossetti Room until Sunday 13th August.

Eaten Fish poster

A key element of the End of the Pier Show exhibition — which features Steve Bell (Guardian), Dave Brown (Independent) and Jeremy Banx (Financial Times) alongside dozens of cartoonists seen in magazines such as Private Eye and The Spectator — are the “Fake Cartoons”, the festival cartoonists’ take on the fake news phenomenon that has emerged over recent years. Expect more than a few appearances by Donald Trump.

Trump Tweet cartoon by Nathan Ariss

To celebrate its fifth year, the festival is awarding a £250 cash prize, which it has dubbed the Paul Dacre Prize — after the Daily Mail editor who recently railed against a Rowson cartoon about the Finsbury Park Mosque attack, below — to the most provocative, unusual or offensive topical cartoon submitted for the exhibition.

Martin Rowson Firsbury Park Mosque attack cartoon

Workshops for budding cartoonists will also be held as part of the festival. Royston Robertson and Des Buckley host one at Beach Creative this Saturday (29 July) from 2.30pm-4pm.

And on Saturday 5 August, from 12-1.30pm, The Surreal McCoy will host the Eaten Fish Family Cartoon Workshop. Inspired by the Rossetti Room show it will be “a fishy exploration into all things fish”.

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

The cartoonists assemble at last year's Herne Bay Cartoon Festival

The cartoonists assemble at last year’s Herne Bay Cartoon Festival

Herne Bay Cartoon Festival is sponsored by the Professional Cartoonists Organisation and supported using public funding by Arts Council England.

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by Royston

Cartoonists conquer new festival

October 20, 2016 in Events, General, News

The festival was officially opened at the Martin Honeysett exhibition and Hastings Museum and Art Gallery

The Hasting & 1066 Country Cartoon Festival was officially opened at the  Honeysett exhibition held at the Museum and Art Gallery

The first Hastings & 1066 Country Cartoon Festival took place on the weekend of October 15 and 16, to coincide with the 950th anniversary of the battle that changed the course of English history.

The cartoonists, mostly Professional Cartoonists Organisation members, expected to do battle with the elements, as it’s unusual to have an outdoor cartoon festival in October, but in fact the sun shone brightly on the Big Festival Day — 11am-5pm on the Sunday — and there was quite a buzz around the event.

Big board cartoons were drawn in a marquee on The Stade, on Hastings seafront. There were also two “community boards” for members of the public, both children and adults, to draw on, as live music and magic was performed throughout the day.

Bill Stott at work

Bill Stott, the PCO chairleg, at work on his big board

The Marquee on The Stade, where big board cartoons were drawn

The Marquee on The Stade, where big board cartoons were drawn

Opposite the marquee, in the slightly warmer Stade Hall, the main festival exhibition could be viewed and there were workshops, much drawing of caricatures and festival merchandise for sale.

Glenn Marshall attempted a recreation of the Bayeux Tapestry — but with funnnier gags — on a roll of wallpaper. But he hadn’t realised that the Tapestry is 70 metres long so he didn’t even make it to the battle. He has pledged to finish it by the 1,000th anniversary in 2066.

Passers-by and other artists helped Glenn Marshall recreate the Bayeux Tapestry (up to a point ...)

The public and other artists helped Glenn Marshall to recreate the story of the Bayeux Tapestry (up to a point …)

Workshops in The Stade Hall

Thinking and inking: workshops in The Stade Hall

The workshops for all ages were very well attended

The workshops for all ages were very well attended

It was one in the eye for Harold in this workshop

It was one in the eye for Harold in this workshop

On the Saturday there was a reception for an exhibition by the late Martin Honeysett, who lived in Hastings, at the town’s Museum and Art Gallery.

At this event, the festival was officially opened with a speech by Bill Stott, the PCO chairleg, and was followed by a cartoonists’ panel discussion and Q&A, including a slideshow of cartoons, with Royston Robertson, The Surreal McCoy, and the aforementioned Glenn Marshall.

The Surreal McCoy, centre, refused to take part in an eyebrow-raising contest with Royston, left, and Marshall

The Surreal McCoy, centre, refused to take part in an eyebrow-raising competition  with Royston Robertson, left, and Glenn Marshall

The other cartoonists taking part in the festival were Nathan Ariss, Jeremy Banx, Rupert Besley, Andrew Birch, Chris Burke, Denis Dowland, Clive Goddard and Cathy Simpson. They were joined by the French cartoonists Robert Rousso and Emmanuel Cerisier.

French cartoonist Robert Rousso, centre, in red, draws in The Stade Hall

French cartoonist Robert Rousso, centre, in red, draws in The Stade Hall

Also taking part in the event, and in workshops in the weeks leading up to the Big Festival Day, were the local artists James Brandow, Loulou Cousin, Scott Garrett, Ottilie Hainsworth, Julian Hanshaw, Jon Higham, Christopher Hoggins, Rachael House, Emily Johns, John Knowles, Robin Knowles and Andy Willard.

Many thanks must go to the organisers of the event: Penny Precious, Erica Smith and Pete Donohue. They hope to do it all again next year — and, who knows, maybe it will last until the 1,000th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings.

Visit the website: 1066cartoonfestival.co.uk

Photos: Denis Dowland, Royston Robertson and Mika Schick.

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by Royston

Sun shines on the Herne Bay Cartoon Festival yet again …

August 9, 2016 in General


We’ve shown you the photos of the parade of cartoonists at the Herne Bay Cartoon Festival, which knocked the Rio Olympics opening ceremony into a sun hat, now here are some great photos of the Bandstand event itself, as well as the event’s exhibition openings.

Photos © Kasia Kowalska. Click images to enlarge.

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Where to begin? Matt Buck opts, logically enough, for the top left-hand corner

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Steve gets Way down

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Des Buckley and Andrew Birch draw on the shared boards. Many cartoonists contributed to these, helping to build up several murals of seaside gags

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A seagull’s-eye view of the proceedings

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Rich Skipworth goes nose-to-nose with his big board cartoon

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Glenn Marshall paints his Photo-U booth. Later he sat inside and drew strips of passport-style cartoons for paying customers, raising money for Amnesty International. There was a permanent queue

"Photos" from the booth (see above)

“Photos” from the booth (see above)

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Pete Dredge in caricature mode. He also drew general cartoons for the public, along with Roger Penwill, as they queued for caricatures drawn by Alex Hughes

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Dave Brown creates another masterpiece

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Festival regular Karol Steele, second right, with her family, in caricature form

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Master of ceremonies Steve Coombes, left, and cartoonist Andrew Birch, with Jacob Watts, 6, one of the winners of the event’s Young Cartoonists Competition

Alex Hughes inspires a future generation. Pix © Chris Williams

Alex Hughes inspires a future generation. Pic © Chris Williams

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Clockwise from top left, Royston Robertson, Gerard Whyman and Chris Williams tackle the boards

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The cartoon workshop with Tim Harries was popular

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Singer Amelia Fletcher, who performed at the event with The Catenary Wires, contributes to the large public board

 

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Jeremy Banx and Rich Skipworth. Note “cartoonist as rock star” pose

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Cathy Simpson, right, offered advice and tips on the public board

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The Surreal McCoy contributes a shared-board gag

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Clive Goddard’s wonderfully inventive peep board, featuring, clockwise from top left, Amy Amani-Goddard, Steve Way, Clive himself, and Royston Robertson

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Chris Burke’s peep board. All the cartoonists were certainly in need of a beer after another sunny day’s cartooning at the Bandstand

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Earlier, on the Saturday, Cathy Simpson hosted a workshop on drawing monsters at Beach Creative, where the main festival exhibition was also held. Pic © Royston Robertson

There were private views of the festival exhibitions, including Glenn Marshall's Not Funny at One New Street art gallery. Here's the man himself in front of his Wall of Rejection

There were private views of the festival exhibitions, including Glenn Marshall’s Not Funny at One New Street  gallery. Here he is in front of his Wall of Rejection

Specially brewed ale was available with bespoke Marshall labels

Specially brewed ale was available with bespoke Marshall labels and badges

Cartoonist Rob Murray takes in the exhibition by the late David Hawker

Cartoonist Rob Murray takes in the exhibition by late punch cartoonist David Hawker, at a private view at the tiny Bay Art Gallery. Pic © Royston Robertson

Rupert Besley, left who co-organised the Hawker exhibition, with Nathan Ariss

Rupert Besley, left, who co-organised the Hawker show, with Nathan Ariss

Postcards from the Seaside, the main festival exhibition, was opened by Sir Roger Gale, left, with Steve Coombes, the Thanet North MP. The postcard featured new cartoons by dozens of cartoonists riffing on the idea of seaside postcards, as well as a small exhibition of prosecuted cards by Donald McGill, king of the saucy postcard

Postcards from the Seaside, the main festival exhibition, was opened by Sir Roger Gale, left, the Thanet North MP, with Steve Coombes,

The show featured new cartoons by dozens of cartoonists on the theme of seaside postcards, here about to be hung, as well as a small exhibition of prosecuted cards by Donald McGill, king of the saucy postcard

The show featured new cartoons by dozens of cartoonists on the theme of seaside postcards, here about to be hung, as well as a small exhibition of prosecuted cards by Donald McGill, king of the saucy postcard. Pic © Royston Robertson

The show featured new cartoons by dozens of cartoonists on the theme of seaside postcards, as well as a small exhibition of prosecuted cards by Donald McGill, king of the saucy postcard. Article from Herne Bay Gazette, click to enlarge

Article from Herne Bay Gazette, click to enlarge

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by Royston

Herne Bay Cartoon Festival 2016:

No rain on this parade

August 4, 2016 in General

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The sun shone brightly on the Herne Bay Cartoon Festival for the fourth year running, bringing thousands of people to the town’s Bandstand on Sunday for a truly memorable day.

It began with a parade of cartoonists conducted by organiser Steve Coombes (above, with back to camera). They wielded large pencils and banners and played Oh, I Do Like to Be Beside the Seaside on ukuleles.

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The cartoonists then gathered for a group photo before the drawing began. Click to enlarge and see those happy, smiling faces!

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Pictured, left to right, are:

Back row: Gerard Whyman, Roger Penwill, Rich Skipworth, Rob Murray, Chris Burke, Tim Harries, Des Buckley, Chris Williams, Alex Hughes and Dave Brown. Middle row: Cathy Simpson, The Surreal McCoy, Royston Robertson, Wilbur Dawbarn, Glenn Marshall, Pete Dredge, Clive Goddard and Simon Ellinas. Front row, kneeling: Jeremy Banx, Matt Buck, Steve Way, Rupert Besley and Andrew Birch.

We’ll have more pictures from the 2016 Herne Bay Cartoon festival later.

Pictures © Kasia Kowalska.

St Just for laughs

October 22, 2014 in Events, General, News

St Just poster © Daryl Cagle

St Just poster © Daryl Cagle

Simon Ellinas writes:

I was lucky enough to be able to visit the Salon International Du Dessins de Presse et d’Humor at St Just-le-Martel in France. Impressively installed in a brand new building on the outskirts of this small satellite of the city of Limoges, this cartoon festival has been running for 33 years.

The permanent display of cartoons and caricatures from around the world makes this the largest public museum of cartoon art in Europe. The last time I was there, five years ago, the events took place inside a series of marquees, while the first bricks for the centre were being laid.

My cartoonist friend John Landers and I travelled by Eurostar to Paris where we met other cartoonists. The travel is laid on by the festival organisers and local residents put visitors up in their own homes. I was delighted to find that we had been handed over to my previous hosts, who live in a very spacious and comfortable house 12km away in Boisseuils.

Cartoonists Simon Ellinas, left, and John landers, second right, with new friends at the St Just festival

Cartoonists Simon Ellinas, left, and John landers, second right, with their hosts at the St Just festival

The whole weekend is taken up with a huge exhibition of cartoons and caricatures from around the world and a grand hall full of cartoonists drawing for the public. And the public really do appreciate this event, arriving in many hundreds on both days. The festival is actually spread out over ten or so days, with the first and second weekends being peaks of activity.

Various awards are handed out by the charismatic mayor and chief initiator of the whole thing, Gerard Vandenbroucke, the main award of the festival going to the Venezuelan cartoonist Rayma Suprani.

stjust_doc

We were treated to a French cabaret evening on the Friday and a superb visit to an old cinema in nearby St Leonard. This was to see the Cartooning for Peace documentary Caricaturistes: Fantassins de la Democratie (poster above). This featured 12 cartoonists from around the world who have been working, many under great restrictions from their governments, to uphold their rights to democracy and to free speech.

Featuring Suprana as well as the Cartooning for Peace organiser Jean Plantu, the film also revealed the difficulties faced by cartoonists as far afield as China, Palestine and Israel. A very moving film which I would urge you to see.

Daryl Cagle, left, with a caricature drawn by Philippe Moine, right

Daryl Cagle, left, with a caricature drawn by Philippe Moine, right

There was a contingent of political cartoonists from America, led by Daryl Cagle and including Monte Wolverton, Rick McKee, Steve Sack, Nate Beeler and Adam Zygler. The differences between US and UK political cartooning are interesting to compare. My impression is that the UK style is more predominantly “painterly” while the US cartoons are heavily populated with a very cartoony comic-strip style.

Jean Gouders, in the striped  shirt, and John Landers, in the traditional "defacing" of tablecloths

Jean Gouders, in the striped shirt, and John Landers, demonstrate the traditional “defacing” of tablecloths

Of course, part of the celebration and festivity are the meals with fellow cartoonists and friends. These take place at long tables in a huge marquee with the paper tablecloths becoming the centre of attention for all the artists and their arsenals of pens and markers.

All in all, a very inspiring if ultimately exhausting experience. I’ll be back.

Thinking big at mini cartoon festival

September 2, 2014 in Events, General, News

Rog Bowles caricatures the public at the Southport Mini Cartoon Festival

Rog Bowles caricatures the public at the Southport Mini Cartoon Festival

Paul Hardman reports on the first Southport Mini Cartoon Festival, which took place on the August bank holiday weekend and was arranged at the very last moment, with little or no budget or publicity

I have for many years thought that my now-hometown of Southport in the North West of England would be an ideal location for a cartoon festival.

I was approached by Brendan Riley, a comedian and friend, and he put me in contact with Tony Wynne, our local arts project manager, who had been asked by the council to put on the Southport Festival of Art as part of an event to promote a regeneration funding bid.

Tony wanted to know if I could come up with something at very short notice and with a very limited budget. My response was to call on some of my old friends and a tried-and-tested formula. A hasty budget and plan was arrived at and it was decided to have a big-board event in the centre of town.

Pete Dredge works on a big board cartoon at Southport. You can see Bill Stott and Rich Skipworth hard at work too

Pete Dredge draws a big board cartoon. You can see Bill Stott and Rich Skipworth hard at work too

I was delighted when Noel Ford, Bill Stott, Pete Dredge and Rich Skipworth immediately jumped at the chance to come up and draw a big board here in Southport. I then asked Rog Bowles and Tim Leatherbarrow to assist with the arduous task of caricaturing the public.

The two-day event proved to be a success and the lads delighted the crowds, who stopped in their hundreds to enjoy the skill on show. Bill, Peter, Noel and Rich produced eight magnificent boards, which were all on display by the second day.

There was also an impromptu gallery of A3 gag cartoons, which hung alongside brief biographies of the cartoonists.

Southport Mini Cartoon Festival

Sunny weather ensured a great turnout for the Southport Mini Cartoon Festival

The weather was very kind to us and the visual impact in the town centre was nothing short of spectacular. Far more successful than I could ever have hoped for and I know each of the team was delighted with their stay.

This is hopefully a foot in the door and the beginning of a regular event for our cartoonists’ community. Here’s to the next successful year.

Many thanks to Paul and we echo that last thought.

A look back at St Just

October 17, 2013 in Events, General, News

Terry Anderson reports from the 32nd  St Just-le-Martel cartoon festival, near Limoges in France.

St Just le Martel show © Terry Anderson @ procartoonists.org

© Terry Anderson @ Procartoonists.org

I was making my eighth trip to the event.

De Gaulle by Mougey © Terry Anderson @ procartoonists.org

Charles De Gaulle by Mougey © Terry Anderson @ Procartoonists.org

(Ed adds: That’s probably more than Charles De Gaulle managed)

Cartoonist Loup @ procartoonists.org

© Loup @ Procartoonists.org

I was delighted to learn the main exhibition space has been named the Espace Loup after an artist who has given an enormous amount of time and support to the Salon over the years.

Alongside the collections of cartoons and caricatures from around the world my eye was caught by the sculptures and drawings to be viewed with 3-D glasses by Mougey.

Also, a huge collection of American press cartoons from the Daryl Cagle website, whimsical animal illustrations by Turcios and a large selection of great cartoons by Doaa Eladl.

Midweek, I took some time out in Limoges and fell upon yet more cartoon exhibitions. The Museé de la Resistance had a showing of cartoon strips by artists from the Malmö centre, all meditations on or responses to Art Spiegelman’s graphic novel Maus. Meanwhile at the Bibliothèque Francophone there was a hugely impressive retrospective on the Valérian and Laureline bandes dessineé.

During the second weekend the focus was firmly on cartooning in the USA and Middle East.  Daryl Cagle won the prix de humour vaiche, with colleagues Pat Bagley, Bob Englehart and recent Pulitzer winner Steve Sack also honoured.  After a debate about cartooning in Eqypt, Tunisia and the wider Arab world, the stage was packed for a photo in support of missing Syrian artist Akram Raslan. (Ed adds: There’s an update on Akram Raslan available from The Cartoonists’ Rights Network.)

Daryl Cagle & Company at St Just © Terry Anderson @ procartoonists.org

The Americans receive the traditional Limousin cow © Terry Anderson @ Procartoonists.org

St.Just-le-Martel is mon maison spirituelle. I know I’ll be back and I look forward to contributing something to its next decade of success.

Ed adds: Many thanks to Terry for the report.