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The Round up

December 22, 2013 in Events, General, Links, News

Kasia Kowalska writes:

The Winter Solstice is behind us and the traditional festive fun is in full swing.

Christmas season is upon us © Martin Honeysett @

© Martin Honeysett @

Also high on the agenda is freedom of speech after the London School of Economics apologised to two students who had been banned from wearing T-shirts featuring cartoons of the prophet Mohammed and Jesus Christ.

Twitter was also accused of losing its sense of humour. The microblogging site ran into trouble when it removed tweeted cartoons by the Indian political cartoonist Manjul.

The truth Hits Everybody art by Daniel Clowes :: scanned from 20th Century Eightball :: Fantagraphics Books :: 2002 ©

The truth hits everybody. Art by Daniel Clowes from 20th Century Eightball by Fantagraphics Books 2002 @

The Hollywood actor Shia LaBeouf is likely to be crossed off Daniel Clowes’ Christmas card list following accusations that he plagiarised the Ghost World creator’s 2007 comic Justin M. Damiano in his short film Removal of accreditation for cartoonists in this age of digital ubiquity is a not an uncommon experience as a similar story from Rachel Duke illustrates.

Moving from theft to sharing, the CEO of Bitstrips has rebuffed claims that the social-media platform is a flash in the pan. The self-generated storytelling programme was the second most downloaded app in the world during November. Stuart Dredge found out why.

Movie interactives mashups from the Guardian ©

Matt Blease drawing for the Movie Mashups interactive app at The Guardian website @

We note, see above, that other sites are also following this new fad. (Yes, we are looking at you The Guardian).

Seventeen years ago this month one of the founders of Private Eye, Willie Rushton, died. Adam Sonin remembers him as “the greatest satirist of them all” and explains the origins of the eccentric radio game Mornington Crescent.

For all the culture vultures out there, desperate to avoid last-minute Christmas shopping, there is still a chance to see The Age of Glamour at the Cartoon Museum which ends on Christmas Eve. Also, Cartoons and Caricatures at the Bank of England finishes on 31 December and The National Theatre’s Lampoon exhibition will end on 5 January.

Trippin' through the rain

Trippin’ through the rain from Toddles’s Comic Almanac 1862 @

If you would rather stay inside than brave the current weather, you can always entertain yourself by trying out different cartoon styles. Which is exactly what Mike Holmes did when he created 100 cartoons of himself and his cat.

A Merry Christmas to us all.

Updated: 24th December with the sad news that political image maker Leon Kuhn has died.

work_pay © Leon Kuhn @

© Leon Kuhn @

Opinion: The Patron of the Arts

July 13, 2010 in Comment

Bloghorn_cartoonists © for the UK Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation
Bill Stott writes:

Mr Charles Saatchi has given the Nation a large lump of his contemporary art collection, and a gallery to keep it in. Can’t say fairer than that.

Sometimes, when we’re told that “the Nation” has stumped up daft money to keep Ravioli’s Temptation of St Botolph from disappearing into a foreign millionaire’s vault, I idly wonder, as a tiny part of the nation, whether I even had an opinion.

I can’t do that about Mr Saatchi’s munificence, though. It’s a gift. Although I do think there are still a few questions floating about. Don’t some of the items in the gifted collection already belong to people?

For example, I could have sworn somebody had bought Tracey Emin’s famous bed. Perhaps they were similarly kind and let it stay in the collection rather than carting it home to make a statement in the atrium, or to upset visiting relatives.

Or maybe they left it because the power of the piece depends on the juxtaposition of the objects within it (an art critic told me that, so it must be true). It would be expensive to keep having Trace pop in to rearrange everything after the Help had tidied it up a bit.

And which bits of “the Nation” will appreciate Mr Saatchi’s kindness? Presumably the artistic gurus who tell us what is or isn’t in this year.

Meanwhile, an art-form with a far wider appeal – UK cartooning – stutters along, self-helping as usual. Apart from a few notable, contemporary exceptions, it appears to be regarded by the artistic hierarchy snootily, and from a safe distance.

“What about Rude Britannia?” I hear you cry. Yes, it’s very posh. Lots of fanfare, but curated mainly by whom? There is due deference to Gillray and super stuff from Bell and Scarfe and Rowson … but how little Carl Giles, no Larrys, and how many Bill Tidys? These last drew, observed and commented on the way of the REAL world. And they were funny. That is cartooning’s Achilles heel. No matter how well drawn, coloured, observed a cartoon is, if it makes you laugh its not “Art”.

Good cartooning is as much an art-form as Ms Emin’s bed. And it relies on tiny, feisty outfits like the Cartoon Museum to keep banging on about it. What they could do with a new FREE gallery!