You are browsing the archive for cartoonists.

Gagged Ungagged Talk

December 18, 2017 in General

Andy Davey writes:

I was honoured to be asked by those nice people at Procartoonists to “host” an evening of interviews and talks to accompany the “Gagged” exhibition of cartoons at Westminster Reference Library on the subject of the oppression, censorship and gagging of political cartoonists around the world. My experience of hosting is limited to the point of zero, so I therefore accepted with trepidation but nevertheless with complete admiration for the cartoonists who have suffered for their art and reportage. As it turned out on the evening, my admiration was justified and afterwards I felt very humbled by the experience.

Martin Rowson shows a blank slide of a cartoon censored by The Independent

The quality of the speakers was excellent. First up was the Guardian’s own superbly scatalogical Martin Rowson, giving us a short history of poo in print and advice on how to successfully offend just about anybody in power.

Cartoon by © Zunar

The evening then turned somewhat digital via Skype interviews and screenings of films of various cartoonists who fight their political systems despite hardship. A poignant dramatic intervention occurred here – we had booked the heroic Malaysian cartoonist Zunar to speak to us via video link but we could not establish connection. It was later revealed that his no-show was due to his arrest and confiscation of his phone and computer. He faces 43 years in jail because of his criticisms of the Malaysian PM but continues to draw because he feels that it is his duty to do so. Against this, it’s impossible not to feel absolutely humbled. The world needs obstinate, moral, courageous people like Zunar.

Cartoon by © Khalid Albaih

Our second cartoonist interviewee was no less impressive. Khalid Albaih, a cartoonist from Sudan (via Romania and the US) who now resides in Denmark in order to freely publish his political cartoons in a democratic environment. His cartoons (usually wordless) were used widely in Arab Spring demonstrations but he would not be able to publish such “seditious” work in those countries. Khalid was very eloquent and passionate about his need to draw political cartoons but has chosen not to associate himself with any media outlet for fear of being censored or corrupted. Consequently, he has a day job and draws at night.

Cartoonist Andy Davey with Jodie Ginsberg, CEO of Index on Censorship. Photo © Kasia Kowalska

This was followed by a rearguard action from the estimable Jodie Ginsberg from Index on Censorship, showing the visceral power of angry political cartoons from around the world and how they have been suppressed, sometimes brutally.

Video call with Robert Russell. Photo © Kasia Kowalska

Lastly we were privileged to speak to Robert Russell, the founder of Cartoonists Rights Network International – a man who has probably done more than any to help and support dozens of imprisoned, harassed and endangered cartoonists around the world.

All of this must remind us of how lucky we are in western democracies. But it is useful to remember that, even in the UK, the conditions that allow satire to flourish are not fully met. Censorship exists in practical terms because of the severe bias of the traditional media.

The future of cartoons may well be that modelled by Khalid Albaih – radical, delivered via independent social platforms…but unpaid. And the message that emerged from the evening was that cartoons most certainly have a future. Each contributor underlined the importance of political cartoons, particularly in societies with a democratic deficit.

A film of the event will be available to view online in the new year.

Re:Mona exhibition

July 31, 2017 in General

Glenn Marshall writes:

I’ve long been a Mona Lisa obsessive, now I’ve come up with a cunning way to get others to join in.

Along with Helen Wilde and Terry Sole of One New Street Gallery I’ve just hung the ‘Mona Lisa – Not Funny’ exhibition as a side-show to the excellent Herne Bay Cartoon Festival.

Some coded Monas ©Ralph Steadman

It’s an exhibition of reworked, reimagined & regurgitated Mona Lisas by artists, illustrators, designers and of course a plethora of cartoonists (mostly of this parish)

The highly acclaimed pizza restaurant ‘A Casa Mia’ next door to the gallery has even joined in with a ‘Mona Pizza’ which is available on their menu while the exhibition is running. ‘Delizioso’ as Leonardo would’ve said.

Draw The Line Here book published!

May 3, 2015 in News

Cartoons for the families of the victims of the Charlie Hebdo attacks, and in support of free speech

AT LAST, AFTER four months, the fundraising collaboration between The Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation, English Pen and Crowdshed, bears fruit. The book, Draw the Line Here is a collection of cartoons by some of the UK’s best cartoonists in response to the terrorist murders of fellow cartoonists on the French magazine Charlie Hebdo.

Including work by Ralph Steadman, Steve Bell, Martin Rowson and Dave Brown, the book was produced with great help from generous funders who donated their contributions via Crowdshed.

You can BUY IT now, below.

The books cost UK £15.00 each. UK delivery is £2.00 and international delivery is £4.00. Select whether you would like UK or international shipping and click the ‘Buy Now’ button below.



Charlie Hebdo artist Luz will cease to draw Muhammad? Washington Post article

April 30, 2015 in News

“Ann Telnaes and Signe Wilkinson will speak tomorrow at the Library of Congress on the state of political cartooning after the Charlie Hebdo attack. (cartoon by Ann Telnaes/The Washington Post)


“HAND IN HAND with the fierce freedom to draw, of course, comes the freedom to put down your hand and not draw.

“And when it comes to rendering the Islamic prophet Muhammad, the cartoonist Luz says today that he is resting his pen.

“It was Luz, the nom-de-toon of Renald Luzier, who in January drew an “apologetic” Muhammad on the cover of Charlie Hebdo, the week after the attack on the French satirical magazine’s Paris offices. The massacre by Islamic extremists left 12 dead at the site, including five of Luz’s cartooning colleagues . . . ”


Charlie Hebdo book on the launchpad

February 2, 2015 in General, News

Cartoons in Independent

AFTER A MULTI-media blitz involving the Independent newspaper (above), Mashable, Twitter, Facebook and a live interview on London Live’s Headline London, Draw The Line Here, the book aiming at raising funds for the families of the Charlie Hebdo killings and for freedom of speech campaigners English Pen, has now been more than 100% funded.


Independent journalist Gillian Orr gave the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation a generous spread within a detailed article centred around an interview with their house cartoonist Dave Brown.

London Live featured several of the cartoons during a four minute spot in which presenter ClaudiaLiza Armah asked Cathy Simpson and Simon Ellinas (above in the London Live studios) a few salient questions about the project. You can view the clip HERE as well as seeing the generous amount of info and linking on the London Live website.

Crowdshed managed to get an item about Draw The Line Here put out on internet news site Mashable (see item HERE) which very swiftly achieved over 800 shares.

All of this plus some incessant tweeting and Facebook notifications undoubtedly led to the project receiving more than 100% funding.

However, in order to further drive down print costs, Crowdshed are keen to continue receive pledges. You can do so HERE. Each book costs £15.00 and for £30.00 you can have any name printed in it.

When the design has been decided, advance glimpses of the book will be posted here, so stay tuned!






Charlie Hebdo cartoonists at work in 2006 – video

January 11, 2015 in News

The Round-up

February 15, 2013 in General, Links, News

© Katharina Greve

Above: The Pope wins the lottery and decides to quit his job, in an eerily prescient cartoon by Katharina Greve that appeared in a calendar on the very day of Pope Benedict XVI’s announcement.

Journalist Matt Geörg Moore argues that comic strips in print should be given more space and more freedom, despite the decline in newspaper revenues. Read his argument here.

Wally Fawkes, the cartoonist and jazz musician better known to cartoon fans as Trog, has been named one of the Oldies of the Year by Richard Ingramsmagazine. Read more about Fawkes, and the other Oldies, here.

Finally, some news of contests and awards. The BBC has launched a competition asking illustrators, photographers and film-makers to share their visions of the future. Meanwhile, the nomination process has now opened for the 2013 British Comic Awards.

How do you know you are a cartoonist?

May 23, 2012 in Comment, General

UK logoThis is a difficult question to answer because cartooning is a job without, for the most part, obvious qualifications.

So, how do we choose our members after they have applied to join the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation?

You can read the basic details here, but the key part is the review by peers. This is where existing PCO members, who serve on the committee (I’m one of them), vote on applications. It takes at least seven votes from the nine possible to be invited to join. This is a tough ask, although many applicants are voted in unanimously.

We all like to think we know a good thing when we see it.

Of course some applicants do not make it. We offer advice to the not-quite-this-time cartoonists and urge them all to participate in the public forums run by the Cartoonists’ Club of Great Britain. Many cartoonists, including some of our members who belong to both organisations, offer free advice there.

Oh, and you know we said  “cartooning is a job without obvious qualifications”? Well, I was wrong and we will be reporting back on this university course soon.

Free copyright seminar

February 10, 2012 in Comment

Our friends at the Creators’ Rights Alliance and Consumer Focus are holding a joint seminar on copyright for artists and illustrators to which Bloghorn would like to bring to your attention. It is being held at The Free Word Centre in central London on Tuesday 21st February from 10-5.30pm.

You can download the full PDF details here.

Profile photo of Royston

by Royston

Cartoonist has a go at cartoonists

December 3, 2008 in General

Cartoonist Stephan Pastis has used his newspaper comic strip Pearls Before Swine to take a very funny swipe at cartoonists who peddle what he sees as hackneyed and dated gags about subjects such as golf, henpecked husbands and “hot secretaries”. Bloghorn says, feel free to voice your objections to either side of the argument in comments, below.

You can see the strip here. Thanks to Mike Lynch.

The PCO: Great British cartoon talent