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Artist of the Month – Neil Dishington

February 20, 2009 in Events

bloghorn_dish_cartoon

Bloghorn asked February’s Artist of the Month, Neil Dishington which other cartoon work had helped to inspire him:

I was influenced by David McKee and Mike Williams…his recent exhibition at the Cartoon Museum (and the Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival) was a real gem. Larry (the late Terence Parkes) of course and a few artists for the New Yorker. Sam Gross is a particular favourite.

I also believe my work has been much influenced by films…especially the early Woody Allen films and the Marx Bros. I just love the one-liners.

Artist of the Month: Neil Dishington

February 13, 2009 in Events

bloghorn_dish_cartoon_no2 PCO Artist of the Month, Neil Dishington – “Dish” – explains to Bloghorn how he creates his loose graphic style:

As with most of my generation I used a dip pen to start with, but could never find the right nib or a free-flowing ink. Thank goodness for fibre tip pens which I use now plus really white paper. I also discovered Ecoline inks, they are brilliant, lovely vibrant colours and when overlayed create wonderful effects… see my , or, Mike Williams work for evidence. I do use Photoshop sometimes, drawing the image and flooding colour, but I still feel a novice with it. I try.

Artist of the Month: Neil Dishington

February 6, 2009 in Events

Bloghorn cartoon © Neil Dishington Bloghorn’s Artist of the Month for February is Neil Dishington – he signs his work as Dish.

Dish has been widely published in Private Eye, The Spectator, Punch, The Daily Express, The Guardian, The Oldie and in many trade and professional publications including Financial Advisor, Medican Publishing, Save and Prosper and Scottish Banker. He specialises in one-line jokes and in “interpreting” written articles.

Bloghorn asked him how he started out as a cartoonist:

Well, I was always one of those children who drew “cartoons” on the back of my maths book rather than listening to the teacher explaining the Pythagoras Theorem, so I guess that was the start.

After five years at Art College painting pictures that were going to change the world, I took up teaching in order to pay the rent. I met a certain David McKee, he of Mr.Benn and Elmer the Elephant fame. We shared a flat and I discovered he had started cartooning. He was a big influence on me. Then I got married and within months my wife was expecting, so in order to boost funds I sent some cartoons to The Daily Mirror and sold one for £5 … never looked back after that!

Bloghorn’s interview with Dish will be running here for the next four Fridays – or you can check out our previous featured cartoonists in the links on the right hand side of this page.

by Royston

Cartooning in the media: It's not all bad news

July 25, 2008 in General

PCOer Royston Robertson says we cartoonists need to lighten up about media coverage of our profession

There’s no doubt that cartoons are enjoying an unusually high profile in the British media at the moment.

We’ve seen acres of coverage for the launch of new kids’ comic The DFC (left), the 70th anniversary of The Beano and Phill Jupitus’s comic strip programme on Radio Four. There has even been a graphic novel serialised in The Times.

So, are cartoonists happy about this? Not a bit of it.

I agree with Neil Dishington, who wrote on this blog yesterday that the Phill Jupitus thing was nothing special, but is that because we’re cartoonists and therefore he’s preaching to the converted? I think it’s likely that many listeners would have found Jupitus’s sincere enthusiasm about comic strips quite infectious.

Isn’t it a good thing that shows like these exist? Is it not the case that the only thing worse than the media talking about cartoons is the media not talking about cartoons?

But they misrepresent cartooning, some cartoonists cry, it’s obvious they don’t know what they’re talking about. Well, maybe. I’m sure I heard James Naughtie talking about “animators” at The Beano on the Today show on Monday, but is there a single profession that doesn’t think it is often misrepresented by the media? I know journalists who think the media misrepresents them.

Another common complaint is that any media obsession with cartoons is just a passing fad. Again, that may be true, perhaps they’re using cartoons to cheer us up amid all the credit crunch stuff, but then that is the role of most cartoons. And let’s not forget that the media treats many subjects in a faddish way before moving on to the next thing.

And as for the grumbling over celebs such as Jupitus drawing cartoons, cartooning has always been something where everyone wants to have a go. That’s because it’s fun. We often encourage that attitude, at events such as The Big Draw and the Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival.

All you can do is keep on doing good cartoon work and hope that those who commission cartoons for publication will realise that it is best to go to a professional.

The PCO: Professional cartoon talent

Cartoon review: Phill Jupitus on Radio 4

July 24, 2008 in General

Strip by comedian and wannabe cartoonist Phill Jupitus

PCOer Neil Dishington reviews Comic Love, Phill Jupitus’s BBC Radio Four show in praise of newspaper comic strips

Apparently Phill Jupitus is a thwarted cartoonist.

Aren’t we all?

I should admit that he is not my favourite comedian, and I am not a particular fan of comic strips, as opposed to stand-alone cartoon jokes.

Much of what Jupitus had to say in his Radio 4 show seemed like a repeat of what most cartoonists talk about when they get together: lack of markets and indifferent editors.

The interviewees in the show were able to speak from strength – Garry Trudeau (Doonesbury), Steve Bell (If), Peattie and Taylor (Alex). But I always think that artists like this have become part of the establishment they lampoon. Is it just as easy to get stuck into royalty, celebs and the City of London when you are selling strips in umpteen countries around the world and your stuff is syndicated all over the place?

I do think Steve Bell has kept his integrity, but I wonder how much attention people pay to “cartoonists with attitude”? We, as a nation, do seem happy to accept bland publishable stuff as the norm.

I did like some of the comments by the cartoonists interviewed by Jupitus, such as Steve Bell’s call for a “missionary zeal” in making cartoons which have something to say. In contrast, I was not so keen to hear that the future of cartoons will be online.

Overall, I found the programme bland, smug and much of it decidedly familiar. A real time-filler. It was lazy broadcasting and lazy journalism.

And lo and behold, in the Guardian newspaper of July 22, an article by Jupitus retelling the same stuff as the programme, accompanied by a cartoon strip drawn by … celebrity cartoonist Phill Jupitus.

Thanks for the review Neil. Bloghorn says click D for Dishington.

The BBCs Listen again facility is here – and the program will be online until Saturday 26th July.

Full-time British cartoon talent

New Foghorn cartoon magazine

July 10, 2008 in General


A shiny new issue of the Foghorn cartoon magazine is hitting the streets imminently – and a subscription to the bi-monthly feast of drawing and jokes (no, really, we got advised we should say this sort of thing) is available via the PCO big blue Foghorn button you can see immediately to the right hand-side of this writing.
British cartoon talent

Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival – The Big Boarders

April 9, 2008 in General


Kipper Williams of The Guardian is one of this year’s PCO Big Boarders at the festival. Above is one of Kipper’s submissions to the “But is it Art?” exhibition, which is already open in the town.

The full list of cartoonist Big Boarders drawing at this year’s festival, over the weekend of Friday 18th and Saturday 19th April, is:

Steve Bright, Clive Collins, Bill Stott, Ross Thomson, Martin Honeysett, Alex Hughes, Pete Dredge, John Roberts, Matt Buck (Hack), Royston Robertson, Mike Turner, Noel Ford, Steve Best (Bestie), Dave Brown, Ian Baker, Chris Burke, Andy Davey, Neil Dishington, Paul Hardman, and Andy McKay (NAF).

PCOer Pete Dredge will be blogging tomorrow about how it feels to do a big board at Shrewsbury.

British cartoon talent

The sex appeal of the creative mind

January 2, 2008 in General

PCOer Neil Dishington, spots, paraphrases and even quotes from an item from The Times newspaper, as follows;

“The sex appeal of the creative thinker was in part because the possession of a lively creative mind is considered an attractive feature in either sex.”

“These lucky people started with the advantage of being considered attractive before they had begun their chat-up line.”

“Even being in a regular relationship doesn’t stop their tally rising, for they are usually forgiven any infidelity as this is expected of a creative person.”

Neil summarises, cartoonists are creative thinkers…aren’t they?

Bloghorn can only applaud the wisdom of this last observation, the vigilant eye of Mr Dishington, and agree wholeheartedly with parts of the claims made by the research and original words. Although, it ought to be pointed out that the journalist responsible for reporting the original piece, which you may find here, is known by Private Eye as Dr Thomas Utterfraud.

Belief might also be shaken by personal field research, certainly the sound of female cackling chez Bloghorn, has not ceased since the subject was raised.

The last word (and picture) to Mr Dishington.


He’s ’oozing’ something but it’s not sex appeal
3rd January 2008
British cartoon talent