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The Round-up

March 3, 2014 in Events, General, Links, News

Handsworth Creative cartoon by Hunt Emerson

© Hunt Emerson/Handsworth Creative cic

Kasia Kowalska writes:

Hunt Emerson, the comics artist and member, is helping launch a new project called Handsworth Creative cic.

The “cic” stands for community interest company. The not-for-profit venture is part Lottery-funded and aims to develop creative local history projects by and for the residents of Handsworth, Birmingham. Appropriately, the first product will be a comic, with input from young, aspiring cartoonists, charting the history of the area.

Cartoonists often share work on social networks these days, but Dacs and Own-It emphasise that it’s important to read the small print and have collaborated on an article: Social media: understanding the terms and conditions

What would become of us if we could not grumble? Two familiar PCO names, Andy Davey and Bill Stott, have adopted alter egos in order to let off steam in a new venture titled Men of Letters. There are some rather good cartoons there too, of course.

Bash Street sign

Bash Street becomes reality © The Beano

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of The Bash Street Kids, Dundee has named a street after the notorious Beano characters and has unveiled a unique illustrated sign, above. The Courier has a video of the event.

A different kind of street art can be seen in Newcastle, where a graffiti artist has made a stand against Russia’s “gay propaganda” laws. Meanwhile, Russia has become a focal point for cartoonists in the wake of the crisis in Ukraine, both in Russia and abroad.

A cartoonist in Germany has been accused of anti-Semitism, for depicting Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook as a hook-nosed octopus, after the company acquired WhatsApp. Burkhard Mohr apologised for any offence caused, which he said was unintentional, and provided an alternative cartoon. member Jonathan Pugh is among the nominees for Cartoonist of the Year award at the Press Awards 2013. Other nominees include Peter Brookes, Ingram Pinn, Matt, Chris Riddell and Gerald Scarfe.

In the US, the National Cartoonists Society has published nominations for the 2013 Reuben Award for Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year. Bob Mankoff of The New Yorker has more on the difference/overlap between Twitter wisecracks and cartoon captions. Ed Koren, the recently appointed Cartoonist Laureate for Vermont has got stuck in to his new role.

And the award for immortalising the Oscars in cartoon form … goes to Liza Donnelly.

Opinion: Tearing a strip off automated online cartoons

October 30, 2013 in Comment, General

Bitstrips @

Bitstrips @

The blog notes with interest the rise of Bitstrips, an app that allows anyone to make clip-art style cartoons featuring themselves.

Billed as “instant comics and cards starring you and your friends”, they are popular for Facebook e-cards and status updates.

We have seen this kind of automation of cartooning skills before. And now, as then, we believe it is a poor substitute for bespoke cartoons created by a professional cartoonist. The software may be clever but it does not produce hand-drawn, unique cartoons.

On the plus side, perhaps it is of little threat to professional cartooning, because as with previous fads the novelty appears to be wearing off quickly.

If you are interested in commissioning real cartoons by real cartoonists, take a look at the portfolios.

Christmas is a time for sharing

December 18, 2012 in Comment, General, News

We are taught that Christmas is a time for sharing and this habit has been institutionalised with the gifts of the social media.

If you will forgive the spirit of “Bah humbug’”, we spotted a revealing story about what social-media sharing can mean for those image makers who choose to use such free services.

The picture-sharing monster Facebook purchased Instagram, a popular and growing image-sharing site, for $375 million earlier this year and has just announced a significant change to its terms for its more than 7 million daily users.

© Len Hawkins @

© Len Hawkins @

There’s a lively online reaction, largely against the changed terms of service, but the proof of this change will be in the future of online picture sharing and Facebook’s attempts to make money from what used to be other people’s pictures.

Scrooge and others say be careful what you share and who you share it with. If you have a view, please do, er, feel free to share it in the comments below.

Updated: 19th December 2012 Instagram/Facebook have responded to the global concern about their change of terms and you can read that response here.

The cartoonist and the twits

July 17, 2012 in Comment, General

Our man Bill Stott reports:

Well, I tried. Caved in to peer pressure and signed up to Twitter. Did the same with Facebook years ago. Finally managed to un-Facebook myself a while back. At least, I think I did. You can never tell with these things. Joining’s easy. Leaving’s a lot more complicated. A bit like marriage.

So I’m not about to find out how to LEAVE Twitter. I’m just not going to tweet and watch it wither on the vine. Better still, I’m not even going to watch it. Yes, yes, I know that this might be dangerous and that when the revolution explodes I’ll be the only one in our street wondering whose tanks are rolling across next door’s lawn and why my hair is on fire.

Cartoon Twitter © Bill Stott @Procartoonists.orgNo Facebook? No Twitter? How can this be? Am I a monk of austere order? Am I a berk with nothing to say? No, and most of the latter appear to be on Facebook or Twitter anyway. And austere monks? I have no idea what they do with their thumbs.

Let me explain: I have a mobile phone, a humble little grey thing – almost a collector’s item now. Only three people know my number. Why have I got it? It’s in case my car breaks down or some other emergency. What it’s NOT for is “chat”. I do not check it every five minutes to see if anybody’s tried to tell me something underwhelming. I do not feel the need to blunder through shopping malls, head down, thumbs blurring, texting somebody about being in a shopping mall.

And so it was with Twitter. I did actually tweet three or four times. Admittedly, the first one was to say that I thought Twitter was crap and what a pain it was going to be – checking to see if anybody had tweeted back. They didn’t. People like me are beyond the social-network pale. We (I really hope there are others out there) hate the idea of being instantly accessible. We are irritated by tweeters who call themselves “Red Necco” or “Juli”. Its JulIE, OK? Not Judi, or Nikki, or Debbi. And its “gossip”, not “goss”, right?

Come the day my PC can accurately classify incoming tweets as Important, Moderately Important, Mildly Interesting or Vapid, I might take part again (the world will be relieved to know). Until then I shall remain mildly interested in the extreme level of banality achieved in 140 characters.

I like emails. They’re like writing letters. Remember them? When you had to actually WRITE? When you used at least three digits to hold the pen, and a whole handful more to keep the paper from sliding about? OK, my emailing’s of the one finger variety, but I’m not limited to the silly 140-character tweet rule. I can rant on and on, despite knowing full well that the recipient will immediately identify the sender, think, “Oh, its him!” and press “DELETE”

Tea and sympathy or well-meaning advice can be offered to Bill here. You can follow the rest of us, should you be so minded, here.

Go ahead punk… CLiNT hits the stands

August 11, 2010 in General, News

A new British adult comic, CLiNT, launches on the 2nd September. Featuring writers including TV’s Jonathan Ross and contraversial comedian Frankie Boyle, the magazine is a collaboration between Kick Ass artist Mark Millar and Titan Publishing. The comic, that Millar describes as “The Eagle for the 21st Century,” is aimed at men aged 16-30. You can find out more information about CLiNT via or Facebook.

In case you’re wondering why the magazine is titled CLiNT, Bloghorn suspects it has more to do with a piece of US comic folklore than a certain Mr Eastwood.

CLiNT number 1 is on sale 2nd September in the UK from all good retailers and specialist comic stores.