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The PCO has a new Chairleg

February 26, 2018 in General, News

After a very successful tenure as PCO Chairleg the venerable Bill Stott has decided to step down to spend more time with Joan Baez and his Jaguar XK8 – happily Bill will remain on the committee. Step forward Clive Goddard, who will be fitting into Bill’s Chairleg trousers. Clive needs no introduction but here’s one anyway penned by great man himself:

I was born in Berkshire at the very beginning of the swinging sixties. Unfortunately I managed to miss all the swinging by being at school and, of course, by being in Berkshire. 

As soon as I was old enough to hold a crayon I decided I wanted to be a gag cartoonist. Personally, I blame the late, great Roland Fiddy whose cartoons I grew up with in the otherwise tedious ‘Look & Learn’ magazine. Blessed with generous parents, I was hurriedly furnished with a copy of ‘How to be a Cartoonist’ by Walter T Foster which I studied thoroughly despite it being about 40 years out of date.


Published in Private Eye © Clive Goddard

At 19 I was hired by the Newbury newspaper to produce a strip which could be about any local issue so long as it wasn’t contentious, offensive or funny. A mere thirty years later I finally sold a cartoon to my first national publication, Private Eye. It was a joke about BSE; a dreadful livestock disease but an excellent source of humour and a major breakthrough in my fortunes. 

© Clive Goddard

Since then I have drawn for the likes of Private Eye, New Statesman and Prospect as well as for the likes of Playboy, Zoo and the Sun on Sunday, so I’m evidently not fussy. I have been commissioned by the BBC, OUP, Paperlink, the Metropolitan Police, the RNLI, The NHS, Mars Confectionary and just about everyone inbetween. I’ve also illustrated a huge bunch of ‘Horrible’ books for Scholastic Children’s books and written three comedy adventure novels for kids.


© Clive Goddard

Happily married with approximately four children, numerous cats and a drawer full of Sharpies, some of which still work. 

PCO Cartoon Review of 2017

January 1, 2018 in Comment, General, News


Everyone else is doing it so we thought we’d have our own look back at the year…with cartoons by PCO members. The Big Issue drawing above by Andrew Birch manages to fit the whole year into just one cartoon!

© Ralph Steadman

We started the year with Trump’s bigly attended inauguration. Trump was undoubtedly (Mad) Man of the Year although he was closely followed by Kim Jong-Range Missile. This flattering portrait of Trump is by the inimitable Ralph Steadman.

© Steve Bell

At the beginning of the year Theresa May visited Washington to hold hands with The Donald. This cartoon from Steve Bell on the ‘special relationship’. You can see more of Steve Bell’s favourite cartoons of the year on the Guardian website.

© Wilbur Dawbarn

June saw Mrs M making another bad decision in calling a snap election. Who’d of thunk this would turn Jeremy Corbyn into a headline act at Glastonbury! This on the election race by Private Eye regular Wilbur Dawbarn.

© Andy Davey

The election didn’t go too well for Theresa. Here’s Andy Davey on the costly deal she was forced to do with the DUP (from The Indy). Unsurprisingly the figures weren’t heralded on the side of a bus.

© Jeremy Banx

Russian cyber interference in overseas elections has been a big story in 2017. This cartoon by FT cartoonist Banx. (although this could easily be a drawing of The Daily Mail newsroom)

© Martin Rowson

In June we had the terrible fire at Grenfell Tower. This is Martin Rowson’s response in The Guardian on the Government hiding from responsibilities.

© Zoom Rockman

…another illustration on Grenville Tower by prodigious talent Zoom Rockman taken from Private Eye. ‘Things That Wouldn’t Happen’. Would the House of Parliament use cheap cladding for the renovation work?

© Ros Asquith

The NHS is still desperately underfunded. This was a very funny cartoon by Ros Asquith after doctors warned in July about Government plans for ‘brutal’ NHS cuts.

© Dave Brown

October started with the awful mass shooting in Las Vegas – one of many atrocities in 2017. This was Dave Brown’s reaction in the Independent.

© Sarah Boyce

In a year where it seems every male in a position of power is a sexual predator an excellent cartoon from Sarah Boyce in Private Eye

© Will McPhail

Workplace equality has also been an issue throughout the year. This perfectly summed up in a Private Eye cartoon by New Yorker regular Will McPhail.

© Steve Bright

We couldn’t review the whole year without mentioning B****t. Here’s a fine summing up of how negotiations are going by Brighty in The Sun.

© Royston Robertson

…we have though restricted ourselves to just two on the ‘B’ word. This corker by Royston published in Private Eye.

© Matthew Buck

Ok, that was an ‘alternative truth’ we now have three ‘B’ word cartoons, this from Matthew Buck for Tribune.

© Guy Venables

…and on the same subject word(s) of the year was ‘Fake News’. This take on it from Guy Venables in the Private Eye 2017 Annual.

© Steve Jones

Trump has recently been denying global warming again because the East Coast has had a bit of a heavy cold spell. Here’s a strip on Trump’s view on climate change by Jonesy (from Resurgence & Ecologist magazine)

© Mike Turner

Finally, on a rather apocalyptic note to end the year, this is from Mike Turner in The Spectator.

Happy New Year from the PCO…although I suspect 2018 will be another year of global calamity and abject misery – at least we’ll have plenty to draw cartoons about. 

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.

Get Colouring

December 7, 2017 in General

Jonathan Cusick writes:

Support the festival this Christmas by giving the cartoon fans in your life a copy of the Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival Colouring Book!

More than 40 black line cartoons from top cartoonists for your shading enjoyment. Relax, be inspired or just have a giggle. Fun for all ages.

Sold to raise funds for the 2018 Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival

Importantly, last order date for Christmas delivery is the 14th December.

The book can be ordered from the following link; … 6591.html#

The Rupert Besley and Andrew Birch spread

Full list of those in the book; Steve Best, Neil Bennett, Rupert Besley, Andrew Birch, Steve Bright, Jonathan Cusick, Andy Davey, Wilbur Dawbarn, Neil DIshington, Pete Dredge, Robert Duncan, Tim Harries, Chris Madden, Roger Penwill, Ken Pyne, Royston Robertson, John Roberts, William Rudling, Bill Stott, The Surreal McCoy.


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.

Alice in Cartoon Land at Cartoon Museum

July 16, 2015 in Events, News

alice banner

ALICE IN CARTOON Land is the current exhibition at the Cartoon Museum in London. 150 years after the publication of Lewis Carroll’s world famous story about the little girl’s magical adventures with a bewildering array of strange characters and weird experiences, the Cartoon Museum has put up a display organised by writer and broadcaster Brian Sibley, a prominent member of the Lewis Carroll Society.

Cartoon Museum Brian Sibley

Photo by Kasia Kowalska

The exhibition features works from across the decades by cartoonists who have featured Alice themes in their cartoons. Artists represented range from Low, Vicky, Shepard and Illingworth to via Searle and ffolkes to Scarfe, Steadman and Rowson. There are Alice posters by Gilroy advertising Guinness, cartoon strips featuring Flook and Snoopy, pages from comics and graphic novels and original animation art from film and TV versions of Alice. There is also one wall of freshly-drawn cartoons by Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation members.

Cartoons by PCO

The event was very well attended, with cartooning luminaries such as Steve Bell and Dave Brown and Bryan Talbot, writer and artist of many graphic novels.

cartoonists Bell and Brown

Photo by Kasia Kowalska




In the view of the blog editor, this is one of the best cartoon exhibitions the Museum has put on in a long time, such is the length, breadth and variety of artworks and ephemera on show. Perhaps it just goes to show how inspiring to artists Charles Dodgson’s original masterpiece has always been. Well worth a visit and a vote of congratulations and thanks to Brian Sibley and Carton Museum curators, Anita O’Brien and Sarah Batten.

Cartoon Museum's Anita O'Brien and Sarah Batten

Photo by Kasia Kowalska




Draw The Line Here cartoon book launch in London

July 9, 2015 in General, News

Draw The Line Here Cartoon Book for Charlie Hebdo Cartoonists

DRAW THE LINE HERE, the cartoon book produced by the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation with English Pen and Crowdshed, was officially launched last night at an event hosted by Crowdshed in London.

Crowdshed owner Henry Freeman at the Draw The Line Here cartoon book launch

Photo by Mika Schick

The proceedings were kicked off by Crowdshed owner Henry Freeman who welcomed everyone to the event which has been the culmination of more than six months activity ever since the tragic events in Paris back in January.

Libby Purves speaks at Draw The Line Here cartoon book launch

Photo by Mika Schick

Foreword writer and PCO patron, the journalist, broadcaster and novelist Libby Purves spoke to an impressively large audience in the comfortably appointed performance space above the Crowdshed offices.

PCO Chairman Bill Stott speaks at the Draw The Line Here cartoon book launch

Photo by Mika Schick

Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation Chairperson Bill Stott gave an impassioned speech about the role of cartooning and satire in upholding the human right of freedom of speech.

Independent Cartoonist Dave Brown addresses the crowds at the Draw The Line Here cartoon book launch

Photo by Mika Schick

The Independent Newspaper cartoonist Dave Brown backed this up from his own perspective as a leading daily poilitical cartoonist well-used to sticking his neck out in the interests of Satire, Truth and the Cartoonist’s Way.

Robert Sharp of English Pen at Draw The Line Here cartoon book launch

English Pen organiser Robert Sharp also spoke about Draw The Line Here’s contribution to their ongoing global campaigns for freedom of speech.

Audience at Draw The Line Here Cartoon Book Launch

Photo by Mika Schick

There was an impressively large audience of enthusiasts, supporters and cartoonists and the event was well covered in social media.

Draw The Line Here cartoon Book Launch Tweets




BUY DRAW THE LINE HERE –  HERE (amazon) >>> or HERE (English Pen)>>> All funds go to help the families of Charlie Hebdo victims and to English Pen’s campaigns for freedom of speech. Not only that, but it’s also a fantastic collection of cartoons given completely freely by some of the UK’s best cartoonists in response to a terrible historic event.





Draw The Line Here cartoon book in national press

July 3, 2015 in News

Cartoon book by cartoonists in Morning Star

(IMAGE cropped to remove accompanying article about Jimmy Savile play)

THE PROFESSIONAL Cartoonists’ Organisation‘s collection of cartoons inspired by the Charlie Hebdo murders has received a very positive review in the UK national newspaper The Morning Star.

“Draw The Line Here is a spontaneous response by British political cartoonists to the murderous violation of . . . freedom of satire”

With some of the book’s cartoons shown, by Bill Stott, Jonathan Pugh, Matthew Pritchett and Martin Rowson, the article goes on to say, “The phrase ‘the pen is mightier than the sword’ might well be something of a cliché but it encapsulates the belief and intentions of both the individual artists and those who made this publication possible.”

You can buy Draw The Line Here HERE>>> on the English Pen site or HERE>>> on Amazon. Proceeds go towards a fund for the families of the Charlie Hebdo massacre and towards English Pen’s global Freedom of Speech campaigns.





Cartoon News – Round Up – links

July 1, 2015 in News



Women in Cartooning – a talk by Ann Telnaes at Moses Znaimer’s IdeaCity Conference in Toronto earlier this month.

Ann Telnaes


RONALD SEARLE – a tribute site covers lesser-known facets of his life complete with wonderful illustrations

American politician “jokes” about wanting to shoot a cartoonist…


Astonishing case of Cartoon Plagiarism. American cartoonist Bob Englehart reveals how his flags cartoon was brazenly ripped off.

Scotland’s comic book festival is now on in Glasgow:

The internet’s most TROLLED Cartoonist

June 8, 2015 in General, News

FROM THE NIB, an unsettling report of how a cartoonist can become the target of various hate groups from behind the safety of their bedsit laptops:

The Internet’s Most Trolled Cartoonist

Ben Garrison Troll Cartoon



The trolls were taunting Ben with their twisted insistence that they had as much right to their ‘freedom of speech’ by using his work to spread messages of hate as he did with his own libertarian-principled cartoons.

Ben has drawn and written a detailed account of his traumatic experience HERE.