You are browsing the archive for Cartoonists’ Club of Great Britain.

Noel Ford 1942-2019

September 30, 2019 in Comment, General, News

Noel with daughter Sara at Nottingham’s Big Grin Cartoon Festival 2003. Photo © Pete Dredge

Pete Dredge writes:

It’s a cruel irony that it is only when someone passes  that the outpourings of love, praise and acknowledgement spill out from friends, colleagues and acquaintances. Such has been the response to the sudden and unexpected death of ace cartoonist and one of the founders of PCO, Noel Ford , who died on September 27th after a cruel return of the kidney cancer that was first diagnosed two years previously.

I suspect Noel would have been, on the one hand, hugely embarrassed, but on the other, quietly delighted by the tributes that have been pouring in on the forums and social media, not only for his cartooning skills but also to the nature of the man.

One of Noel’s many Punch covers.

Noel was a modest chap, never one to blow his own trumpet but was someone who would go about his business with the supreme confidence of knowing that he was, and had been for many years, on the top of his game. His game, of course, was cartooning, particularly gag cartooning and, at his peak, was producing double page spreads and covers for Punch magazine with audacious regularity.

Punch original from the recent ‘London Cartoon Show’ exhibition.

It’s pointless listing Noel’s professional credits, there are far too many to mention, but one of his many gifts was his ability to rally, organise and deliver cartooning projects. A professional cat herder, if ever there was one. I’ve seen Noel’s patient diplomacy, wisdom and common sense work effectively at close hand on many occasions when others’ egos, intransigence and misconceptions – no names! – would lock horns and all it would take was a few choice words from Noel to smooth over troubled waters. Such was the respect that his fellow professionals had for him. Take Noel out of the equation and many of these initiatives would never have seen the light of day.

A digital drawing for the PCO ‘GAGGED’ censorship exhibition currently on display at Saint-Just-le-Martel cartoon festival.

The Cartoonists’ Guild, College of Cartoon Art and, most successfully, the PCO had all benefitted hugely from Noel’s vision, perseverance and professionalism. Add to this his invaluable committee work on the Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival and The cartoonists’ Club of Great Britain, Noel certainly put in much more than he took out from these extra-curricular calls of duty.

Clipping from ’80s magazine, either Weekend or Tit Bits (via Davey Jones)

Noel was born in Nuneaton on 22 December 1942 and  apparently displayed early signs of his future calling, drawing cartoons in chalk on the pavement outside the front door of the Ford family house. After leaving school it was at the Birmingham College of Arts and Crafts where Noel received the oft repeated advice we have all probably received, to “forget about any ambitions of becoming a cartoonist. You’ll never make a living that way”. The rest is Noel Ford cartooning history. Sadly, today, that  lazy, dismissive piece of advice is probably more pertinent that it would have been in the 1960’s and 70’s. More’s the pity that today the markets for showcasing Noel’s and other’s superb gag cartoon craft have all but disappeared.

Caricature of Noel by Bob Monkhouse and a picture of Bob drawing it (via Royston Robertson)

Noel was irritatingly multi-talented. Not only was he a superb draughtsman, he was also a gifted musician, writer and an early pioneer of the digital art platform as well as being a fine exponent of the Argentine Tango (check this.Ed).

Cartoon from the exhibition at the ‘Music’ themed Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival 2014.

It has to be said, Noel enjoyed the good things in life. Good food, fine wine, a good book, comradeship, country living, dogs and, above all, the love of his family and friends.

Noel demonstrating his equestrian skills at Herne Bay Cartoon Festival 2017. Photo © Karol Steele

I’ll miss his mischievous twinkle and Muttley-like chuckle when something, invariably, would tickle his proverbial fancy.

Noel at one of the Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival ukulele-thons. Photo ©The Surreal McCoy

With deepest sympathy to Margaret, Sara and family from all your friends at PCO.

Young Cartoonist of the Year 2013

October 3, 2013 in Events, General, News

 

Will McPhail cartoon @procartoonists.org

© Will McPhail cartoon @procartoonists.org

We are particularly pleased to say that one of our members has won the annual award although none of our membership were too surprised.

Hearty congratulations go to Will McPhail who secured the under 30 years prize from our friends at the British Cartoonists’ Association and The Cartoon Museum.

Harry McSweeney carried off the under 18 years prize for this natty observation on the human condition.

Cartoon: Harry McSweeney Young cartoonist of the Year 2013 @procartoonists.org

© Harry McSweeney Young cartoonist of the Year 2013 @procartoonists.org

Harry told us:

He was especially chuffed that he had beaten such a lot of entries and the £250 was the icing on the cake. The congratulations letter from Martin Rowson really appealed to Harry’s sense of humour. He was made to feel very special at the awards ceremony and he enjoyed his 15 minutes of fame. He appreciated the advice he received from the professional cartoonists, mostly  to keep on drawing! He especially took on board the advice from Will McPhaill who having made it as an artist/cartoonist which would be Harry’s dream job. They shared a comedy moment on the podium with a mix up with winners certificates (Harry feeling he had the better deal receiving the Under 30 certificate which will last him another 16 years!)

This whole experience has definitely boosted his confidence and encouraged him to keep on drawing.As one former Punch cartoonist told him getting in to bother at school for doodling, never did him any harm! 

It’s good to see our fine old trade being renewed in this way and so we also tip our hats to the Spectator magazine which has also dipped a toe in the murky waters of running cartoon competitions. This undertaking is supported by John Lobb, the bootmaker which may be handy in the event of an online kicking.

If you would like some evidence about the challenges of running a public competition, you can read all about Cartoon Idol of recent years past or some lively public comment about the Spectator’s latest prize offering over at the public forum of the Cartoonists’ Club of Great Britain.

The Round-up

March 15, 2013 in General, Links, News

© Colin Whittock @Procartoonists.org

Our colleagues in the Cartoonists’ Club of Great Britain (CCGB) have produced The Little Red Nose-E-Book Of Cartoons in aid of Comic Relief. It features 101 cartoons by CCGB members, including the gag above by Colin Whittock, who is also a Procartoonists.org member. The e-book costs just £1.59 (with all proceeds going to the charity) and can be downloaded here.

Also to coincide with Comic Relief, Forbidden Planet asks comics professionals to pick their favourite humorous strips. The list includes the dark and desolate Viz strip, Drunken Bakers, drawn by Procartoonists.org member Lee Healey. Read the full article here and see if you agree with the selections.

Ralph Steadman, the world-renowned cartoonist and yet another of our members, is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at London’s Cartoon Museum. Steadman at 77 opens on 1 May. and runs until 21 July. Find more details here.

Ian Hislop and his frequent collaborator,  the cartoonist Nick Newman, have written a new film for BBC Two that focuses on a First World War forerunner to Private Eye. Read more here.

Finally, the illustrator Alex Mathers explains how he found himself drawing Google Doodles — arguably the most widely seen drawings in the world on any given day — and draws some useful conclusions. Read it here.

Profile photo of Royston

by Royston

Cartoonists' Club celebrates 50 years

March 22, 2010 in News


The Cartoonists’ Club of Great Britain is 50 years old next week.

Members will be celebrating this weekend in a pub which stands on the site of The Feathers, just off London’s Fleet Street. This is where the CCGB was launched at 2pm on April Fool’s Day – appropriately enough for cartoonists! – in 1960.

The CCGB, like the British Cartoonists’ Association, is a social club for cartoonists and their families. Many members of the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation, which runs Bloghorn, are also members of the CCGB and/or the BCA.

Bloghorn wishes the Cartoonists’ Club a very happy birthday.

Link: The Cartoonists’ Club of Great Britain

Profile photo of Royston

by Royston

Caption competition with a difference

November 30, 2009 in General

An informal cartoon caption competition, which began as a one-off on the Cartoonists’ Club public forum in the summer, is now into its 20th week. Matt Buck spoke to Noel Ford, moderator of the forum along with Nigel Sutherland and Ian Ellery, and asked how this is different to any other caption contest.

The competition is similar to the readers’ caption competitions that were once so popular in Punch magazine, but with one major difference: instead of competitors being provided with a cartoon to which they have to think of a caption, it’s the caption that is provided and they must draw a cartoon to suit.

NF_can_t_take

Noel’s entry from week three of the competition – “Honestly, I can’t take you anywhere” – was voted the winner

How did it start?
It was the brainchild of part-time cartoonist Chris Cooper (CLIB) and PCO member Ian Ellery. Chris originally wondered, in July this year, how different cartoonists would interpret a single cartoon scenario, and Ian suggested that, rather than a scenario, we should give the same caption to a group of cartoonists and see what they came up with. The idea was quickly taken up and what was at first intended as a one-off experiment, quickly became the popular competition that it now is.

Who can take part?
Anyone registered on the forum can have a go: full time pros, part-timers and people who aren’t cartoonists at all. We have had cartoons from people whose entry was the first cartoon they had ever drawn. The winners, so far, have come from a wide spectrum of full-time and part-time cartoonists. Apart from the fame and the kudos, the winner has to provide the caption for the next competition.

honest_tim
Tim Harries’ take on “Honestly, I can’t take you anywhere”

When does it take place?
Entries are posted on the forum between 12 noon on Saturday and 12 noon on Sunday. Voting takes place, using a points system, between 1pm Sunday and 6pm Monday. All entrants can vote and non-entrants can vote, too, subject to certain conditions.

How did you end up managing it?
Cynics might say it was the only way I can guarantee winning (twice!), but the truth is that, as a moderator on the forum, it was a natural progression. And, I’m also a control freak – so my wife tells me!

Why do you think it started?
Cartoonists are natural show-offs. We love drawing cartoons but we crave an audience. For the the new kids on the block it provides an opportunity to have their work viewed by a niche audience and to elicit comments from the more experienced contributors. For all of us it is an opportunity to draw whatever we like without editorial considerations. And, it’s great fun!