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by Royston

Performance cartooning in New York

December 6, 2010 in Comment

Live performance cartooning
We have told you many times about the Battle of the Cartoonists, part of the Big Draw and have reported on performance cartooning at the Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival.

Now, news reaches us of a performance event in New York, above, featuring three teams of cartoonists from The New Yorker coming up with improvised drawings based on a selection of words.

The New York Observer has the story: Battle of the Sharpies: Cartoonists square off with their pens. The author of the piece, Alice Gregory, explains the appeal of this kind of live cartooning event:

There’s nothing more impressive than good improv. To see spontaneous wit at work may be the most humbling form of entertainment. What, no Google to confirm spelling? No coffee to spur that sparkle? On-the-spot illustration is fun to witness.

The voting system sounds familiar to any cartoonist who has taken part in the Big Draw’s Battle of the Cartoonists:

In lieu of a scientific system—tallied points, say—the victors were determined by subjective shouts. The decibel levels were ambiguous, but an executive decision was made for the sake of efficiency.

We feel the losers’ pain! But, it’s all just for fun, of course, and the greater goal is achieved: reminding people how much fun cartoons can be.

Thanks to The Surreal McCoy for the link.

Footnote: The Big Draw 2011 is looking for help with funding.
Go here: The Big Give

by Royston

Tony and the tiger

November 15, 2010 in General, News

The cartoonist Tony Husband may be well known for his love of the tortoise, but he also has plenty of time for a much-loved and endangered animal: the tiger.

Tony has got together with a poet and a musician to organise a charity gig in aid of the wild tiger. Known as the Roar Collective, they have put together an evening of stand-up poetry, music and cartoons to be held on Monday 29 November at the Screen on the Green in Islington, London.

They have also created a promotional video, above, in the style of Bob Dylan’s Subterranean Homesick Blues, featuring Tony’s cartoons. Proceeds from the gig will go to the EIA (Environmental Investigation Agency) which campaigns against the illegal trade in wildlife and the destruction of the natural environment.

Tony told the Bloghorn: “Ive been involved with the EIA for many years and thought it would be a good idea to organise a Save the Tiger gig for them, as this beautiful creature is close to extinction.

“With poet Dan Cockrill and musician Sean Taylor we found a venue and asked our poet and musician friends to get involved. Dan and I worked on a poem with cartoons and Sean provided the music. We’ll be performing it on the night.”

Tony is no stranger to cartoons in a live setting, having toured extensively with the poet Ian McMillan.

The wild tiger is close to extinction. The population has fallen from more than 100,000 a hundred years ago, to little over 3,000 today. Debbie Banks from the EIA said: “Saving the wild tiger is not rocket science. Populations can recover if given protection from poachers. Ending the tiger trade is good for tigers and good for other Asian big cats.”

The gig will feature several acts, including the poet John Hegley and the Mercury Prize-nominated jazz group Polar Bear. Tickets cost £15 and can be bought via