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Who pocketed the cartoon awards?

November 30, 2018 in Events, General, News

Clive Goddard writes:

The Political Cartoon Awards have been running for 18 years now, but this year there was something new. The event takes place in a large, swanky hall in central London with subdued coloured lighting, tasty little unidentified canapes being offered by attractive young people and more free booze than anyone has time to drink. The nominated cartoons appear on three enormous screens and, in the very centre of the room, stands a black box surrounded by voting slips. It’s a seriously impressive affair.
At 7pm precisely the voting stops and ballots are counted (probably in a secret room by someone wearing white gloves, I don’t know I couldn’t see that bit) and the winners names are entered into the gold envelopes.

For the last 18 years there have been awards for the country’s best political cartoon and best political cartoonist. These are the fine, upstanding chaps (pretty much exclusively chaps) who draw the editorials for the nation’s newspapers and this year was no exception. Steve Bell, Brighty, Ben Jennings, Mac and other household names were in the running. The ‘new’ element for 2018 was the addition of two awards for pocket cartoons, sponsored by the PCO (Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation – aka: us) to celebrate the work of those other cartoonists not lucky enough to have a regular gig with a national publication.

Once the gold envelopes had been stuffed, the speeches began. The evening’s host, Ben Atfield, managing director of the event’s major sponsor, Ellwood Atfield, kicked everything off and introduced his fellow organiser, Tim Benson of The Political Cartoon Gallery. Dr Benson’s speech was unusually tame compared to his normal performances which have long divided audiences into warring factions, mostly along the lines of those who were born in the fifties and those who were born sometime thereafter. He noted that he had been ‘neutered’ which presumably meant he had been ‘asked to tone it down a bit’ for the sake of everyone’s blood pressure. Some cartoonists who normally appeared at the event, notably the Guardian’s Martin Rowson, were boycotting it this year and a lively Twitter spat was in full … er … spatter so there was an underlying current of controversy in the air but luckily nothing controversial happened. The Doc, however, did find time to plug his new book which is, after all, what it’s all about.

Clive Goddard at the podium.

Then came my turn to take the podium. As chair of the PCO I’d been asked to say a few words about the current state of cartooning in Britain which, inevitably, resulted in a few minutes of moaning about how dire it has become. I had been asked to keep it light and not to mention gender but as the inclusion of the pocket cartoon awards had tipped the gender balance to include more women it would have been churlish of me not to welcome the change. The fact that I already knew the inaugural ‘Pocket Cartoonist of the Year’ award had been won by a woman made it a little hard to conceal my pleasure.

Grizelda receiving her award.

Claire Calman introducing the Mel Calman Award.

Next up was Claire Calman, daughter of the late Mel Calman, a pocket cartoonist’s pocket cartoonist who we sadly lost back in 1994. She was followed by Labour’s Yvette Cooper, member for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford and wife of some bloke who is famous for dancing on TV. It quickly became clear that Yvette had not received the memo about avoiding the gender issue (or had chosen to ignore it) and gave a strong, impassioned speech about improving the representation of women in the cartooning world. There was much applause and the peasant folk did sing and dance in the streets with joy.

Last to the microphone was one of the twenty seven ex-Brexit ministers in attendance that night, David Davis, who much to his credit then hung around for the rest of the evening chatting to the proles and doing his best to use up the remaining free Heineken.

The winners were as follows:

Political Cartoon of the Year: Peter Brookes
Runner-up: Harry Burton
Political Cartoonist of the Year: Morten Morland
Runner-up: Bob Moran
Pocket Cartoonist of the Year: Grizelda
Pocket Cartoon of the Year: Russel Herneman

 

Cartoon © Peter Brookes

Cartoon © Harry Burton

Cartoon © Russel Herneman

The winners and presenters.

The new awards themselves are a pair of chunky transparent doorstop type things made from the finest hand-crafted Tibetan resin and laser etched with a Calman original and an Osbert Lancaster, both funded by the PCO (Hooray for us). All in all it was a very good evening. No bloodshed, very little vomiting and a lot of love and respect shown for Britain’s cartoonists. The PCO walked a successful line through the controversial bits and established a wider, more inclusive view of what constitutes a political cartoon. (Hooray for us again!). Congrats to all who have pressed for it.

Next year it will all be smooth sailing.

You can see Clive’s full speech here

Most photos © Ellwood Atfield

Politics and plebs at awards bash

December 6, 2013 in Events, News

Andrew Mitchell presents Steve Bell with the Political Cartoon of the Year award. Photo © Kasia Kowalska

Andrew Mitchell MP presents Steve Bell with the cartoon of the year award. Photo © Kasia Kowalska @ Procartoonists.org

Kasia Kowalska writes:

The annual Political Cartoon of the Year Awards, hosted by the Ellwood Atfield Gallery, in Smith Square, Westminster, were full to the brim with guests and cartoonists alike.

You didn’t have to move far to rub shoulders with the elite of political cartooning in Britain today – most of the nominees, from Christian Adams to Ingram Pinn, Bob Moran to Martin Rowson, were there.

In his welcoming speech, Dr Tim Benson of the Political Cartoon Society, thanked the organisers and said: “We do not lead the world in many things, but we certainly have always led the world with regard to political cartoons.”

Following the introduction of online voting for the Political Cartoon of the Year for the first time, he hinted that, in the future, members of the public would also be able to vote for the Political Cartoonist of the Year.

This year’s awards were presented by the Rt. Hon Andrew Mitchell MP, the former Chief Whip, who has found himself at the sharp end of many a cartoonist’s pen over the past year, during the Plebgate scandal. In spite of this, he admitted that he could not resist accepting the invitation, as he is an enthusiastic collector of political cartoons.

He did not resist giving the gathered cartoonists a taste of their own medicine by reflecting on the unique relationship between politicians and cartoonists as he recalled a recent interview by the head of the Israeli intelligence service who said “he didn’t like politicians because they tended to leave their wounded on the battlefield”.

He added: “It struck me that that’s basically what politicians may do … and then cartoonists come along and finish them off.” He stressed that it is, nonetheless, an enduring relationship.

Steve Bell Margaret Thatcher cartoon

Political Cartoon of the Year © Steve Bell @ Procartoonists.org

Steve Bell was announced the winner of the coveted Gillray Cup for Political Cartoon of the Year for his portrayal of Margaret Thatcher, above, with Andy Davey as the runner up. Morten Morland was named 2013 Political Cartoonist of the Year.

Upon accepting the award from Mr Mitchell, Steve Bell said: “it’s a great honour to get the Gillray goblet, it’s the one to win, that’s for sure.”

Andy Davey accepts his award, flanked by Andrew Mitchell and Tim Benson

Andy Davey accepts his award, flanked by Andrew Mitchell and Tim Benson. Photo © Kasia Kowalska @ Procartoonists.org

The acceptance speech by Andy Davey, who was recently let go in cuts at The Sun, was greeted with a cheer when he addressed the room by saying: “Either you lot are masters of paradox and satire or you’re a bunch of plebs.”

Morten Morland said that he was “as surprised as everyone else and very glad to win the Low Trophy”.

Political Cartoonist of the Year Morten Morland, with the cartoon collector Geoffrey Buchler

Political Cartoonist of the Year Morten Morland, with the cartoon collector Geoffrey Buchler. Photo © Kasia Kowalska @ Procartoonists.org

The exhibition of the political cartoons will run at the Ellwood Atfield Gallery until 23 December.

Many thanks to Kasia for the report and photographs. You can follow Kasia on Twitter: @katyrosesmith

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by Royston

What nonsense! A tribute to Lear

May 8, 2012 in Events, News

Edward Lear event poster

A group of cartoonists and illustrators have got together to pay tribute to Edward Lear, who was born 200 years ago on May 12.

Forty artists have created the show Happy Birthday Edward Lear in honour of the writer and artist who was famed for his nonsense verse, including The Owl and the Pussycat.

The exhibition, which is at at the Poetry Café, in Betterton Street, Covent Garden, London, until June 8, features the cartoonists Morten Mørland, Glen Baxter, Peter Blegvad, Woodrow Phoenix and Procartoonists.org member Chichi Parish, among many others.

For more details, visit the website: Happy Birthday Edward Lear.

In other news: The aforementioned Chichi Parish has written a profile of Molly Crabapple, creator of Dr Sketchy’s, the burlesque life-drawing event, who visited London to promote Week in Hell, a new art project. Read it here.

Cartooning in real-time

July 21, 2011 in Events, News

Response to printed and digital cartoons is now pretty much instant as this tweet about a drawing by Peter Brookes of The Times shows.

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Peter’s colleague Morten Morland (a PCO member) had a swift response below

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The standard response of editorial cartoonists to feedback like this is

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Or complete silence, but when the controversy crosses the oceans in seconds to other influential commentators…

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This speed of interaction between opinion, response and offence  pose, in Bloghorn’s view both a challenge and an opportunity to makers of drawings. What do you think cartoonists should do in the social media era?Answers welcome in the comments.

Updated: 2pm

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Further response from the internet

Updated: Wednesday 27th JulyThe Guardian is reporting a letter from seven UK academics complaining about the publication of this cartoon. Read the story here and please comment below if you would like.

Top spot for cartoons

September 3, 2010 in News

Blair cartoon from The Times by PCOer Morten Morland

The advent of statistics recording visits to web sites has allowed web publishers to see exactly which pages readers head for. Unsurprisingly, many have embraced this technology to show you – the reader – which pages are most popular.

So, I ask you to go to The Times website. Scroll down. No, you don’t have to get past the Great Pay Wall of Murdoch to do this – no small denomination payments are required. Look at the “Most Read” list of sections which are – as you might guess – the paper’s most popular click-through reads.

Of course, I don’t know when you’re reading this but I bet you that coming in the top three with a bullet will be “Cartoons”. I have checked assiduously for the past several weeks. “Cartoons” has been at or near the top spot for almost all of my visits (many times at Number One).

As I write, I am not chastened by the fact that nestling at number 2 is “Top Ten Chinos”.Well, a chap’s got to look the part while perusing the best of cartoon art online. Standards, you know. (Of course, if you want to actually look at the cartoons, you WILL have to pay at this point).

It’s a subject close to the hearts of us cartoonists. The popularity of The Times’ cartoons is, of course, not unrelated to the fact that they boast two fine cartoonists in Peter Brookes and Morten Morland, together with legend-inna-lifetime Gerald Scarfe at the Sunday title.

But it’s not just that. Readers love cartoons. We know that. It’s such a pity that this simple fact doesn’t prevent culls of cartoonists to cut costs at newspapers facing hard times. It seems counter-intuitive to us. For example the loss of almost all cartoon content from The Observer recently was mourned widely. So Bloghorn says hats off to the wildly good taste of Times readers.

2010 Election cartoon round-up

May 12, 2010 in General

Keep Calm and Cameron cartoon ©Nathan Ariss Find his portfolio at http://www.procartoonists.org UK Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation

Alex Hughes reports.

You may have not noticed, but there’s been a general election in Britian recently. And a general election means it’s open season for the political cartoonists, so here Bloghorn presents a brief summary of the events of the last month or so in cartoon form, starting at the beginning of the election with Dave Brown of the Independent on the runners and riders and the Guardian‘s Martin Rowson on the approaching media obsession.
During the campaign The Guardian‘s Steve Bell talks about drawing at the manifesto launches, the Sky debate, and drawing Nick Clegg, Peter Mandelson and David Cameron (and the cartoon that came from this).

The TV debates may have changed the direction of the election, but they were seen differently by Tim Sanders in the Independent, Dave Brown, Peter Brookes of the Times, Steve Bell and Paul Thomas of the Daily Expesss,whilst Morten Morland of the Times produced a series of short animated responses to each of the debates (ITV, Sky, BBC).

The debates lead to widespread Cleggmania as seen by Stephen Collins in Prospect, Matt in the Daily Telegraph, Martin Rowson and Paul Thomas, and the inevitable media backlash as satirised by Peter Brookes and Dave Brown.

Gordon Brown made what was probably the biggest political gaffe of the campaign by calling a member of the public a “bigoted woman”; Peter Brookes, and Dave BrownMac of the Daily MailPaul Thomas provided their own takes on Bigotgate.

The election night itself inspired Tim Sanders and Matt, but as we now know it resulted in a hung parliament, as shown variously the Sun‘s Andy DaveyDave Brown, Matt, Peter Brookes, Paul Thomas and Mac (and even a hung parliament themed game), Gordon Brown’s departure as seen by Nick Garland and eventually the Con-Lib coalition Christian AdamsTim SandersMorten Morland and Martin Rowson.

Looking forward to the challenges for the new Government were Harry Venning’s Clare in the Community and Kal in the Economist, and looking back, Bloghorn‘s very own Matt Buck produced a series of  weekly despatches for the Guardian from the 1710 campaign as seen by Tobias Grubbe (2, 3, 4, 5).  The Times produced a 9 page comic summary of the election campaign available for download here (PDF, 7Mb).

(“Keep Calm and Cameron” cartoon by Nathan Ariss).

The Editor adds: We are bound to have missed many other great examples of cartooning so please do feel free to add things you have seen in the comments. Thanks.

Clean sweep for The Times at PCS Awards

December 11, 2009 in General

As we reported yesterday evening, Peter Brookes of The Times won the Political Cartoonist of the Year Awards for 2009. His colleague Morten Morland completed an excellent evening for the News International print title by winning best single image for a drawing of Gordon Brown and President of the US, Barack Obama.

The Times has coverage and Morland writes here too.

This post was corrected for a glaring misidentification of the US president at 12.26pm 11th December.

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by Royston

Two political cartoon shows to open

October 5, 2009 in General

brookes_times
Two political cartoon exhibitions open in London next week, at the Chris Beetles Gallery and the Political Cartoon Gallery.

PeterBrookes: The Best of Times, above, is at the Chris Beetles Gallery from Monday (October 12) until October 31. More than 100 of Brookes’s most recent cartoons from The Times will be on display. Signed copies of the book accompanying the show are available from the gallery.

The Chris Beetles Gallery, at 8 and 10 Ryder Street, St James’s (nearest Tube Green Park or Piccadilly Circus) is open Mon-Sat, 10am–5.30pm.

Drawings by Peter Brookes also feature in Cameron in Caricature, an exhibition of cartoons on the Tory leader David Cameron is at the Political Cartoon Gallery from next Tuesday (October 13) until December 24.

morland_cameron
Cameron’s infamous Twitter faux pas, as seen by Morten Morland

The exhibition of 60 original cartoons charts the fortunes of Cameron since he became leader in December 2005. It will feature cartoons by political cartoonists such as Martin Rowson, Steve Bell, Morten Morland, Dave Brown, Peter Schrank, Ingram Pinn and Andy Davey.

The Political Cartoon Gallery, 32 Store Street, is open Mon-Fri 9.30am–5.30pm and Sat 11.30am–5.30pm.

Cartoonists talk to Artists and Illustrators magazine

August 12, 2009 in Comment

The August 2009 issue of Artists & Illustrators magazine features an interview with six prominent British cartoonists. Nick Newman, Peter Brookes, Posy Simmonds, and PCOers Morten Morland, Kipper Williams,and John Jensen talk about how they got started in the ‘business of satire’.

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by Royston

Cartoon Pick of the Week

July 31, 2009 in Links, News

Bloghorn spotted this great work during this week ending the 31st July 2009.

One: Mike Williams in The Spectator: “Excuse me, could you pass me that magazine?”

Two: Martin Rowson in The Guardian: Waiting for the Iraq inquiry

Three: Morten Morland in The Times: Too many twits

The PCO: Great British cartoon talent
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