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Jane Mattimoe’s UK Case for Pencils (4): Jonesy

September 23, 2021 in General

A selfie by © Jonesy

Another of our occasional dives into the pencil case of a UK cartoonist from Jane Mattimoe’s A Case for Pencils series. In this instalment it’s the turn of PCO’s very own committee compadre:

Jonesy (aka Steve Jones)

Bio: So far I’ve been published in Private Eye, New Statesman, Prospect, Harvard Business Review, The Oldie, Reader’s Digest (UK), The American Bystander, The Phoenix, CAM (Cambridge University Alumni Magazine), Resurgence and Ecologist, London Evening Standard and The Spectator.

Cartoon published in Private Eye. © Jonesy

Tools of choice:

Traditional: Pentels, pencils (seldom anything harder than a B), Uni-balls, Sharpies, brush pens and dip pens. Allsorts, really. For instance, you’ll find various other weird and wonderful oddities in my arsenal like Pilot Parallel nib pens and folded brass dip-pens. The Pilots are intended for use by calligraphers but I enjoy drawing with them. As for the dip-pen, a HIRO Leonardt 41 Copperplate is my nib of choice, nib fans.

I use Higgins Black Magic and Daler Rowney FW ink and White Knights (formerly St. Petersburg) watercolour paints plus various makes of brushes. I find a toothbrush comes in handy too. (Not for my teeth, obviously: I’m British.) Oh, and a diffuser.

My favourite paper for ink and watercolour work is Saunders Waterford High White HP 140lb, and Canson Bristol mostly for ink only.

I draft out rough ideas on Daler Rowney layout pads. I also use various sketch and note pads and have been known to scribble ideas on anything to hand including pets, plants and passers by. Anything alliterative, really.

Sometimes when I’m out and about I also recite cartoon ideas into my mobile so I can pick them up off my voicemail when I get home. Saying stuff out loud like “lighthouse with a bowling alley” and giggling can attract strange looks from passers by. Scribbling on them, however, invokes a much stronger reaction.

Digital: I use MacBook Pros (x2), a Wacom Intuos 4 pad and stylus. I started off with Photoshop and Painter Essentials but now use Clip Studio Art and Affinity software. Both are much cheaper and – for my purposes anyway – just as good.

Recently I was considering an iPad but I think my newer Macbook Pro is about to give up the ghost so bang goes that idea for the time being. My 2010 MBP has been hammered day and night without giving me a moment’s complaint: a wonderful workhorse. I wish I could say the same for my 2015 version. In their efforts to make the laptop thinner and lighter, Apple, sadly, seem to have sacrificed build quality and durability. How about u-turning on this skinny/lightweight malarkey and making the upcoming model a bit sturdier, eh, Apple? Go on, you know you want to…

Tools I wish I could use better: All of them.

Tools I wish existed: Scanvision – ie: Just looking at the drawing equals instant scan filed on your computer.

Command z on dip-pens. Failing that, an effective ink eraser.

Tricks: Not so much a trick of the trade as sound advice: join the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation. Only if you’re a cartoonist, like. Or a caricaturist. If you’re a shepherd, say, you probably won’t get too much out of it. Anyway, it’s been an enormous help to me.

Don’t spill coffee on your freshly drawn artwork. All other beverages are fine.

Cartoon published in Prospect. © Jonesy

Never throw away ideas. Sometimes I return to cartoons I initially rejected and get a fresh angle on them. Absence can make the thought grow stronger. (Sorry, that last sentence reads like one of those crap motivational posters…)

I find I get the best results by holding the pointy end of my pen to the paper.

Try to avoid cleaning your brushes in your tea/coffee/whatever cup/mug/glass/beaker/whatever. Or, indeed, drinking from your brush water container. (I’ve done both.)

Try to avoid typing sentences with lots of/too many/an excess of options/alternatives/choices/whatever.

Rejection comes with the cartooning territory, I’m afraid. Easier said than done, I know, but try not to let it get you down: use it as motivation to do better. Or try blackmail.

Miscellaneous: Be as helpful as you can to people starting out. I appreciated the kindness of, and learned a great deal from senior pros who took the time to help me with my first steps. (See “Tricks” section above as proof.)

Websites, etc:

My social media empire, such as it is, comprises the following…

Website (I should update this more often)

Instagram (I should update this more often)

Twitter (I should visit this less often)

Here’s a PCO blog bonus Jonesy:

Cartoon published in Private Eye. © Jonesy

You can see previous UK ‘Case for Pencils’ by PCO members:

Ralph Steadman

The Surreal McCoy

Bill Stott

Plus see many more on the following link Case For Pencils

Eaten Fish nets Norwegian award

September 6, 2021 in Comment, News

Cartoon by © Eaten Fish

Honorary Overseas PCO member Eaten Fish, also known as Ali Durani, has received the prestigious Fritt Ord Foundation award. This scholarship is given to nine cartoonists living in Norway who use the medium of visual satire.

 

Fritt Ord aim to strengthen the position of satire drawing in Norway, because it is an expression at the intersection of art and journalism that enriches written journalism and makes us see political issues with a new perspective.

 

Cartoon by © Eaten Fish

 

“After the terrorist attacks on Charlie Hebdo, many have had their eyes opened to the significance of visual satire. At the same time, it seems that it is disappearing from the newsrooms, perhaps especially for financial reasons. They are nice to have, but not absolutely necessary. We would like to give some artists the opportunity to continue working with this genre, of course with a view to publishing opportunities,” said Fritt Ord project manager Joakim M. Lie.

Photo of Ali by © Bengt Sigve Heggebø

 

Among the recipients of the scholarship are both Norwegian and international artists. Iranian Ali Dorani has been living in Stavanger since 2017 when he arrived through ICORN’s program for persecuted artists and writers. Prior to this, he spent five years in a refugee camp on the island of Manus Island, off Papua New Guinea, and his work as a satirist has been about documenting and communicating living conditions in refugee camps based on his own experiences.

“I have been in a difficult place in life without income and work, and this gives me the opportunity to continue drawing and communicating on behalf of refugees around the world”, he said.

 

Each recipient of the work grant receives NOK 100,000. each (about £8,300), which will cover four months’ work during the autumn of 2021. During the same period, guidance, advice and development will be offered by professionals and jury members, and the cartoonists will also have to opportunity to work with newspapers or other media. Fritt Ord will give a further grant of up to NOK 100,000 if any work results in a publication agreement or self-publication during 2022.

 

Many of you will have contributed fish to our #DrawEatenFish digital shoal where we joined the global campaign to get ‘Eaten Fish’ released from internment on Manus island. It’s great to see Ali now thriving in Norway

Resistance, Rebellion and Revolution exhibition

August 2, 2021 in General

Sarah Boyce writes:

‘Resistance, Rebellion and Revolution’ is a project on the life and works of Libyan artist and satirist Hasan ‘Alsatoor’ Dhaimish (1955-2016). His son Sherif, has organised a London exhibition of his father’s works, as well as a book ( A Libyan Artist In Exile by Sherif Dhaimish) and an online archive – 6,000 cartoons and counting – alsatoor.com

Born in Benghazi, Libya, Hasan came to the UK as a 19 year old in 1975 and spent his life in exile in Burnley, Lancashire, where he started publishing cartoons.

He was a prolific, influential and popular satirist driven for four decades by his desire to see a Libya free of Gadaffi. But his artistic inspiration led him to paint portraits of blues and jazz artists he loved, abstract and African scenes and Libya, expressions of a life in exile.

The exhibition runs from 17th-30th August at Hoxton 253, 253 Hoxton Street, London N1 5LG

Add Ink: Cartoon Chronicles of Life in Hong Kong

May 13, 2021 in Events, News

PCO member and award-winning South China Morning Post’s political cartoonist Harry Harrison has just launced his new book ‘Add Ink: Cartoon Chronicles of Life in Hong Kong’,

Recognised for more than 20 years as one of Hong Kong’s top political cartoonists, Harrison’s 329 page book is carefully curated by SCMP’s editors from the daily editorial cartoon ‘Harry’s View’. It illustrates the most gripping events from the last five years while providing a pointed and humorous critique on the city’s many contradictions, satirising global events through a Hong Kong lens, as well as the Covid-19 pandemic.

Cartoon © Harry Harrison

Harry writes: “Hongkongers always have a dark sense of humour no matter how difficult things get, and the book is a tribute to the people in the city who inspire me every day,…While my cartoons are not able to make the city’s problems magically disappear, I hope they can provide some relief by encouraging us to laugh at ourselves.”

More info plus you can get hold of a copy here.

A Plague Be Upon Us

April 6, 2021 in Events, General, News

 

Glenn Marshall writes:

Martin Rowson, the South London sonnetist who also does a bit of drawing, has just released his poetic lockdown diary ‘Plague Songs’ . Full of customary Rowson bile and twisted humour these ‘rhymes of our times’ address the accursed last year under the dark shadow of Covid.

Tomorrow night sees an online book launch event where Martin will be talking to the comedian and writer Robin Ince and reading from the book. I already have my warm Liebfraumilch and party nibbles ready for the occasion. Limited tickets available here.

Musician & playwright Jon Tregenna has also put Martin’s verses to music. CD available here.

Cancer Sells

December 9, 2020 in Comment, General

Tat Effby writes:

Cancer isn’t funny. I wouldn’t dream of making jokes about it. Or so I thought until I got it, after which point I’m afraid it was open season.

I’ve written about my experience of breast cancer in a graphic short story called Cancer Sells. It was my entry for the Jonathan Cape / Observer graphic short story competition and I’m pleased to share it here. I wasn’t a cartoonist when I was going through treatment but I was a writer, so all the appalling, demeaning, disgusting and absurd incidents got squirrelled away where they percolated for a long time. It’s now 10 years since my brush with cancer, although it was less of a brush and more like being beaten about the body with a broom.

I actually have quite a lot to thank cancer for; first it didn’t kill me, second it led, in a round about way, to me becoming a cartoonist. It was one of those crossroads moments (not a Crossroads moment – that involves a lot more wobbly scenery) where the simple act of not-dying made me consider a change of direction. So I left my job as an advertising creative and eventually evolved into a cartoonist, and let me tell you I’m glad I did: I’ve never had so much sex or money.

This story won’t be to everyone’s taste, cancer is an awful disease and I couldn’t countenance making jokes about someone else’s experience, but this was mine, so here it is.

All artwork and story © Tat Effby

You can support and get more information on breast cancer here:

Breast Cancer UK

Pink Ribbon Foundation 

Cancer Research UK

Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival – The Exhibitions!

October 20, 2020 in Comment, Events, General

Exhibition poster cartoon by festival organiser © Roger Penwill.

Lovely to see a REAL cartoon exhibition on REAL walls! Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival may have been cancelled earlier in the year but the accompanying ’20-20 Vision’ show lives on at the wonderful Bear Steps Gallery in Shrewsbury. It opened this week and features 70 cartoons by 43 cartoonists including Steve Bell, The Surreal McCoy, Pete Dredge, Jonathan Cusick, Tat Effby, Wilbur Dawbarn, Ralph Steadman, Royston Robertson, John Landers, Steve Best, Jeremy Banx, Kathryn Lamb, Sarah Boyce, Tim Harries, Glenn Marshall, Andy Davey, Clive Goddard & Zoom Rockman.

The Bear Steps Gallery, a fifteenth century restored building. Photo © Glenn Marshall.

There is also a bonus exhibition in the upstairs gallery of cartoons responding to the coronavirus pandemic.

Photo of the team hanging the artwork last Sunday © Tony Clarkson.

The PCO blog featured some of the cartoons selected for the ‘Vision’ exhibition earlier in the year and you can see them here.

Another photo of the hang © Tony Clarkson.

Here is a selection from the ‘No One Saw It Coming’ coronavirus cartoons display.

Ralph Steadman did a HUGE painting. A video of him in action as he creates it is displayed next a much smaller print of the work.

Cartoon © Ralph Steadman.

Cartoon © Peter Schrank

Poignant cartoon by Peter Schrank about isolation, particularly for the elderly and vulnerable during lock down.

Cartoon © Steve Bell.

Unsurprisingly Boris featured heavily in the exhibition. This by The Guardian’s Steve Bell…

Cartoon © Andy Davey.

…and another from Andy Davey.

Cartoon © Chris Williams

…and yet another. This by ‘Dink’

Cartoon © Grizelda.

Over-indulgence cartoon from Grizelda…although some of us didn’t drink sensibly even before the pandemic.

Caricature © Jonathan Cusik.

Fine caricature of Chris ‘Now Go Wash Your Hands’ Whitty by Jonathan Cusick.

Cartoon © Pete Dredge.

Back to school with Dredge.

Cartoon © Ken Pyne.

Ken Pyne takes us on holiday….remember those?

Cartoon © Royston Robertston…and Phil.

Pirate material by Rrrrroyston Rrrrrobertson.

Cartoon © Henny Beaumont.

No exhibition on this theme would be complete without a wave to the super-spreader himself. Henny here channeling Hokasai.

Cartoon © The Surreal McCoy.

Finally as we head into the second wave this cartoon by the Surreal McCoy seems perfectly timed.

Through the exhibition run we’ll be publishing more of the ‘No One Saw it Coming’ exhibits across the vast PCO media empire so keep an eye on our Facebook (@UKProfessionalCartoonists), Twitter (@procartoonists) and Instagram (@procartoonists) feeds.

For more Covid ‘fun’ we published a selection of infectious laughter earlier in the year here.

The exhibition at Bear Steps runs until 31st October and the gallery is open 10.00am – 4.0pm daily. (Covid measures at the gallery: hand sanitiser at the door, 6 visitors at a time with an eye kept on flow, in one door out through another. Face coverings to be worn)

Puppet caricature © Jonathan Cusik.

Here’s a fine video of the cartoon-form Mayor of Shrewsbury Philip Gillam introducing the show.

Congrats to all those involved from Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival and Bear Steps Gallery for putting the shows together in tricky times. Fingers tentatively crossed that the festival can return in all its glory next Spring!

  • Thanks to festival committee member Sarah Knap for extra info in this post.

Oh We Did Like To Be Beside The Seaside!

July 31, 2020 in Events, General, News

In the ‘old normal’ this weekend would have seen cartoonists flocking like seagulls to the wonderful Herne Bay Cartoon Festival. With this year’s event c19ncelled here’s a trip down memory lane with the fabulous posters from previous years and links to the festival holiday snaps.

2013 Poster by © Hunt Emerson

The Herne Bay event started as a bolt-on to the Duchamp In Herne Bay centennial festival and featured much Marcel Duchamp toilet humour including cartoons exhibited in the latrines of local pubs.

2014 ‘Cartoonists Beside The Surrealside’ by © Ian Baker

The following year in 2014 the cartoon festival became a thing of its own, but still keeping it surreal.

2015 ‘Cartoonists Beside The Surrealside II’ by © Jeremy ‘Banx’ Banks

The art theme carried on in 2015 with cartoonists manning easels in the bandstand.

2016 by © Dave Brown

In 2016 once more we stuck our toes in the water and drew seaside postcards..

2017 ‘The End of the Pier Show’ by © Chris Burke

In 2017 the live drawing moved over from the bandstand to the pier.

2018 ‘Turning the Tide’ by © The Surreal McCoy

2018 had the seaside theme ‘Turning The Tide’ with an extra focus on female cartoonists in celebration of the centenary of women getting the vote in the UK.

2019 ‘Fly Me To The Moon’ by © Martha ‘Marf’ Richler

Last year’s 2019 spacey theme was the Apollo moon landings. Little did we know it would be the last time cartoonists landed on Herne Bay pier for some time.

Fingers crossed we’ll be heading back with our buckets and spades, cramming the beaches in 2021!

Bottle Moments: Cartoons for Key Workers

June 3, 2020 in General, News


Rob Murray writes:

Six weeks ago, in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic and with the country on lockdown, I joined forces with psychologist and author Dr Kevin Dutton to launch Bottle Moments: a project using personalised cartoons to bring some much-needed joy — and to say ‘thank you’ — to frontline key workers.

Kev is a longstanding client of mine, with whom I have collaborated on several projects in the past (most notably illustrating some of his bestselling books, including The Good Psychopath’s Guide to Success, co-written with Andy McNab).

No 34: “Giving my little niece, born just before lockdown, a big squeeze and telling my parents’ pup that he’s such a good boy” – George, NHS comms officer  

The idea for Bottle Moments is a simple one: we asked frontline key workers to contact us on social media and tell us about something that is getting them through this difficult time: a happy memory, an aspiration, or perhaps simply a special friend or relative they can’t wait to see again when this is all over. A moment they wish they could bottle and keep forever — something they think about to help them get through the tough times.

No 15: “Looking forward to cuddling this lovely fella, my Dad.” – Marion, general surgical nurse.

Key workers provide a photo or two for reference, and I bring their Bottle Moment to life as a quick cartoon, encapsulated in a bottle — which we then post on Instagram and Twitter.

The response has been incredible. Most importantly, the reaction of key workers themselves to the cartoons I’ve drawn for them has been wonderful — they have hugely appreciated the drawings and said they’ve brightened their days after a tough shift; some have even told us they’ve been moved to happy tears.

The media response has also been amazing. Amongst the highlights, Kev and I appeared on The Ian Collins Show on TalkRadio on 22nd May, and we were featured in the Daily Mirror on 28th (above).

But the biggest boost to our project came last Friday, when we were interviewed on ITV’s Good Morning Britain (viewable here). Aside from giving us a platform to explain Bottle Moments to an enormous TV audience, the segment also featured two key workers being surprised with a cartoon I’d produced for them.

No 55:“I’m a key worker in a school and my wife works in mental health. We go to a lot of horror conventions which are stopped at present, including the Walking Dead convention. We’re looking forward to being back at these events.”  – Tim, school cleaner

Mental health was already a talking point before the pandemic, and lockdown has only increased people’s awareness of the need to hold onto positive memories and relationships. It’s also been very rewarding for me to see the positive impact a cartoon sketch can have on an individual.

So far I’ve drawn about 70 and counting — and we’re aiming to tackle as many as we can. Key workers can contact us with their requests via @BottleMoments on Twitter and Instagram, also using the hashtag #bottlemoments.

UPDATE: Anyone wanting to take part in the Bottle Moments ‘Draw Your Dream’ can find all the details here

Mike Turner 1942 – 2020

March 17, 2020 in News

Mike and Anita O’Brien at Ayr Cartoon Festival

Pete Dredge writes:

Like many cartoonists of a certain age, I first met Mike in the late 1970’s through membership of the Cartoonists’ Club of Great Britain. In those days the Club would meet monthly in The Cartoonist Pub in London’s Shoe Lane, as well as regularly arranging various “out of town” weekend, brewery-sponsored jaunts and an annual 5 day convention at Butlins. Mike, being one of the most sociable of chaps you’d ever wish to meet, was in his element. Nothing cliquey about Mike, he would find the time to talk to anyone and everyone in the room. This of course was no mean feat and Mike would usually sustain this time-consuming endeavour with a pint of best bitter and pin-sharp wit to hand.

Mike was a slightly built Mancunian but had the constitution of an ox and would often be found propping up the bar into the wee small hours as others fell pathetically by the wayside. I have only twice gone 24 hours without sleep and both times were in Mike’s wonderful, mischievous company. The first was on the CCGB’s 1979 trip to New York and, more recently, at the Ayr Cartoon Festival in 2001.

Sadly Mike contracted prostate cancer about 7 years ago and this put paid to his legendary imbibing and although his treatment appeared to be successful the cancer returned a few months ago with devastating effect . I last saw Mike about 3 years ago but spoke to him regularly on the phone over the years. Latterly the usual ‘mock bewilderment ‘ conversations about the machinations of cartoon editors was gradually replaced by more serious discussions of a medical nature.

Mike was a great gag cartoonist (Private Eye, The Spectator, The Oldie etc) who should have graced the pages of magazines much more frequently than he did. He served the CCGB well, not only as a lifelong member but as a distinguished chairman and put great store on the importance of the newsletter as a means of keeping distant, more remote members in touch with what was going on. As well as being a member of the PCO, Mike was also a member and regular attendee of BCA dinners.

Mike and joyous laughter (seasoned with a hint of cynicism) were synonymous and I, and all his colleagues will miss him greatly.