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by Royston

The Round-up

May 22, 2014 in Events, General, Links, News

It’s time for another cartooning news Round-up and we kick off again with a few busy Procartoonists.org members

From The Good Psychopath's Guide to Success © Rob Murray

From The Good Psychopath’s Guide to Success © Rob Murray

Rob Murray has illustrated a new book called The Good Psychopath’s Guide to Success by Andy McNab and Professor Kevin Dutton (above, left to right).

“Part of the idea,” Rob tells us, “is to get across the message that while people immediately think of serial killers and axe murderers when they hear the word ‘psychopath’, it actually covers a wide range of people and some — like McNab — are functioning ‘good’ psychopaths.”

There’s more on the book at the Telegraph and Mail Online.

Wilbur Dawbarn appeared on Sunday Brunch on Channel 4 and showed hosts and guests how to draw Billy Whizz. You can see the show on 4oD here. Will appears at 22 minutes in and at 1hr 7mins. The show also features comics expert Paul Gravett talking about the exhibition Comics Unmasked.

Nathan Ariss at Studio 106

Nathan Ariss at Studio 106

Studio 106 in Hove is holding an open house every weekend in May, from 11-5pm, as part of the Brighton Arts Festival. Nineteen local artists including the cartoonists Grizelda and Procartoonists’ own Nathan Ariss, above, are showcasing their work and method of working. The studio is at 106 Coleridge Street.

The South China Morning Post cartoonist Harry Harrison, probably the most far-flung of Procartoonists members, celebrates 20 years in Hong Kong with a look back at his favourite cartoons.

In an edition of the Resonance FM show Panel Borders, Tom Sutcliffe talks to Nick Newman, cartoonist and editor of Private Eye: A Cartoon History, and the magazine’s editor Ian Hislop about the Eye’s most memorable and controversial cartoons.

Voteman is coming!

Look out: Voteman is coming!

Feeling apathetic about this week’s European elections? Think again! The Danish parliament decided that Voteman, a cartoon packed with sex and violence, would bring more voters to the polls. It later withdrew the video, but nothing ever dies on the internet and you can watch it here (but be warned!)

Over in the US, the New York Post dropped its comics page. Tom Richmond has something to say about that.

Pat Mills, creator of Charley’s War, talks to the BBC about the epic comic strip and argues that the First World War was the “first sci-fi war”.

The annual Observer/Jonathan Cape/Comica Graphic Short Story Competition (they really need a catchier name) is now open. The deadline for entries is 26 September.

Finally, you’ve heard of mini comics, well Forbidden Planet has details on the world’s smallest comic strip, which is drawn on a human hair.

Curators unmasked at British Library’s major new comics exhibition

May 13, 2014 in Events, General, News

Mannequins with V For Vendetta masks, which have become a symbol of protest, at Comics Unmasked

V For Vendetta masks at the Comics Unmasked exhibition. The masks have become a symbol for protest globally

Kasia Kowalska reports from Comics Unmasked: Art and Anarchy in the UK

“Have we blown your mind?” asked Paul Gravett, the UK’s leading comics expert, at the launch of Comics Unmasked. Together with Adrian Edwards of the British Library and the comics writer John Harris Dunning, he has curated the biggest exhibition of comics in the UK to date.

The simple answer to his question is: Yes.

The exhibition, which features more than 200 exhibits and took two years to prepare, is unapologetic about its ambitions. “There’s a lot of controversial, potentially alarming content here, deliberately to push the boundaries,” said Gravett.

It is organised thematically into six areas, including different sections on sex and politics. Dunning, writer of the comic Salem Brownstone, explained why: “We approached things like politics, sexuality, altered states, social issues, to really highlight the fact comics are a medium that can convey very powerful messages.”

John Harris Dunning and Paul Gravett at the Comics Unmasked opening

John Harris Dunning and Paul Gravett, co-curators of the British Library’s Comics Unmasked exhibition, at the opening

Every section explores these themes through the often troubled history of comics, including looking at the anti-comics movement that led to the formation of the Comics Code in 1950s America. A similar panic happened in the UK.

“The very first exhibition of comics in the UK was an exhibition against comics,” Gravett said. “It was meant to alarm and horrify the opinion formers and parents. Ironically, they also toured a film strip around the country. They took it to schools and we’re convinced that a lot of people didn’t know about the comics before that.”

The exhibition aims to give comics their rightful place as a literary genre and to give the authors the recognition they deserve. “The show is put on to give creators the respect that’s due them. Because that’s really something, I don’t think, that has happened enough in this country,” said Dunning.

Some filth from Porcartoonists.org member Hunt Emerson

Click to enlarge this filth from Procartoonists.org member Hunt Emerson

Dave McKean, creator of Batman: Arkham Asylum and the exhibition’s artistic director, is one of the artists whose work has put British comics creators on the map. Dunning said: “What might surprise certain members of the public is that those are American characters but they’re very much owned by British talent. British comic creators are responsible for the current popularity of superheroes.”

The most controversial part of the exhibition — Let’s Talk About Sex — aims to chart the evolution of erotic comic art and candidly explores complex themes of sexuality. Comics are often associated with men, and sometimes with men who refuse to grow up, yet comic art has been the ideal medium for women creators.

Ceasefire by Angela Martin

Ceasefire by Angela Martin

Throughout its history it has been considered subversive and has often fallen under the radar of those occupying and regulating the mainstream of creative writing. It allows for an unbridled freedom of expression and can often blossom unchecked.

“Thematically, what is interesting is that we find quite a lot of female creators”, said Dunning. “One could believe that this is a very male area but we’ve discovered it’s not really the case.”

Lawless Nelly by Jamie Hewlett

Lawless Nelly by Jamie Hewlett features on the Comics Unmasked posters

The show’s cartoon muse is Lawless Nelly, above, created especially for it by Jamie Hewlett (Tank Girl). She has a literary connection, being named after Ellen Lawless Ternan, mistress of Charles Dickens, “a half forgotten but very powerful woman in the background,” according to Roly Keating, chief executive of the British Library.

What also preoccupies the curators is the future of comics. Their intention is to throw the gauntlet down to the next generation.

“That’s the message: make comics, don’t just read them”, said Gravett. “The final frontier is the internet. Interactive hyper-comics, that’s the next form.”

Comics Unmasked presents its subject as a serious, legitimate and relevant genre. It marries the beauty and draughtsmanship of the art form with storytelling and utilises it as a vehicle to deliver a message.

Jonathan Ross, TV presenter and comics fan, said at the opening: “It’s a remarkable experience waiting for you inside. It still amazes me, and shocks me somewhat [that] we don’t yet have a proper literary appreciation of the incredible work that’s been done here, some of which is as sophisticated, more interesting and more bold than you would find in straightforward prose or fiction.”

Comics Unmasked: Art and Anarchy in the UK is at the British Library until 19 August

Photos by Kasia Kowalska and the British Library

The Round-up

September 22, 2013 in General, Links, News

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=4BJvgTO8dks

Above: the exiled Syrian cartoonist Ali Ferzat talks to the BBC about taking on a dictator’s regime with pen and ink.

Art Spiegelman, the acclaimed cartoonist behind Maus, Raw and the Garbage Pail Kids, is interviewed for NPR as he publishes a new retrospective collection. Listen to him here.

In November, Tate will publish a new book on comic art by one of the leading experts on the subject, Paul Gravett. Read more about the book here.

Following the fatal shootings earlier this month at the Washington Navy Yard, Ted Rall is critical of the responses from US political cartoonists.

Yet more evidence emerges that comics make children more successful academically. If further proof were needed, here’s another chance to see a team of Procartoonists take on TV’s Eggheads. This 2009 show  was recently posted  on You Tube, though we’re told that, all things being well, it will be repeated on BBC Two on 6 December.

The Round-up

June 1, 2013 in Events, General, Links, News

© The Surreal McCoy @Procartoonists.org

New Yorker cartoonist Liza Donnelly has curated an exhibition of work by international cartoonists on the subject of women’s rights – including the cartoon above by one of our members, The Surreal McCoy. Donnelly explains the project here.

Speaking at this year’s Hay Festival, Sir Quentin Blake has said that illustrations are vital in getting young children onto the path of reading for enjoyment. Read his argument here.

In July, Brighton will play host to an unusual conference that spans both comics and healthcare. downthetubes has more.

Across two blog posts, New Yorker cartoon editor Bob Mankoff publishes imaginary inventions, as devised by his cartoonists. Explore them in Part 1 and Part 2.

Finally, comics expert Paul Gravett reports on Sequential, a new app for the iPad that is making graphic novels accessible in digital format – including, in the first round of releases, the recently-launched compendium of work by Procartoonists.org member Hunt Emerson. Read Gravett’s article for more information.

The Round-up

August 24, 2012 in General, Links, News

© Martin Rowson for The New Statesman @ procartoonists

After The New Statesman published this cover story in its current edition, The Spectator has responded by calling on the NS to publish more cartoons. Not a bad idea, if we say so ourselves…

Comics expert Paul Gravett interviews illustrator and picture-book author Shaun Tan over on his blog. As prevously mentioned, Tan will be in conversation with Quentin Blake at a Comica event this Monday, for which tickets have sold out.

Following the announcement that The Dandy is to cease printing in December, Charlie Brooker argues that the move to online-only is only natural – and also writes about his own early experiences as a cartoonist. Read the piece here. Elsewhere, Dandy regular Jamie Smart calls on other artists and comic fans to work together for the benefit of the medium. Read his views on the direction comics should take here.

Forbidden Planet has a sneak peak of Hunt Emerson‘s new adaptation of Dante’s Inferno, due out in October.

And finally, just to disprove all those people who think that capturing a likeness is easy…

The Round-up

June 16, 2012 in General, Links, News

© Posy Simmonds

An exhibition dedicated to the work of Posy Simmonds, the creator of Tamara Drewe, has opened in Belgium. Forbidden Planet has further details here, and Paul Gravett, who co-curated the show with Simmonds, writes extensively about her life and work on his blog.

To coincide with the recent Jubilee celebrations, The Guardian looked back at a David Low cartoon published by the newspaper to widespread controversy 60 years ago. The paper observes that depictions of the Royal Family have changed dramatically since then. Read the article here. Forbidden Planet also looks at the Low cartoon, and the satire that came later, in this blog post.

Pieces of original cartoon artwork can fetch healthy sums at auction, as proven by the recent sales of these works by Hergé and Bill Watterson.

The first East London Comics and Arts Festival (ELCAF) takes place in Shoreditch this Sunday, June 17. The event will feature live drawing by established illustrators, panel discussions and interviews, portfolio critique sessions, and a free evening concert. See the website for more details. For a round-up of other dates for your diary, click here.

 

Prize guys

November 10, 2010 in General, News

Image © Stephen Collins from In Room 208

On Sunday, the winner of the fourth Cape/Observer Graphic Short Story prize was announced as Stephen Collins. His story – In Room 208won him £1,000 and a full reprint of the tale in the Observer newspaper.

Collins was chosen by a jury that included comic historian and organiser of the Comica festival Paul Gravett, illustrator David Hughes and The Time Traveler’s Wife author Audrey Niffenegger, who also highlighted Square Eyes by Anna Mill and Luke Jones as the runner up. The winning entries and five other ‘commended’ entries can be seen at the Graphic Short Story Prize Exhibition at Orbital Comics, 8 Great Newport Street, London WC2, until the 30th November.

British cartoonist and comic artist Dave Gaskill has won the award for Best Comic Book Artist at the Stanley Awards for his graphic novel Moll Perkins in America. BBC Lincolnshire has a report here. The Stanleys are awarded annually by our brother, sister, and sheila organisation – the Australian Cartoonists’ Association.

You can also  find cartoonist Frank Dickens and his character Bristow published regularly in Australia’s Melbourne Herald and Sydney Morning Herald.

The stories of a company man have been in continuous publication since they first appeared in the Aberdeen Press and Journal on the 18th September 1961 and happily this amazing achievement been included in the latest Guinness Book of World Records as the longest-running cartoon strip by a single author.

Bloghorn’s congratulations to all three.

Taking cartoons to the people

August 31, 2010 in News

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Cartoon Classroom, the project set up by comics artist David Lloyd, cartoon historian Paul Gravett and teacher Steve Marchant to take cartooning into schools, has seen a rise in the number of teachers and schools registering to use its services, following a letter to The Teacher magazine.

However, they are always keen to take on more educational organisations and more cartoonists who are interested in sharing their skills. You can register your interest at www.cartoonclassroom.co.uk or you can contact them directly here.

On the subject, of taking cartoons from the page directly to audiences, Bloghorn’s own Royston Robertson has written a blog report on a cartooning talk which he presented at an arts festival in Ramsgate.

Back to school with Cartoon Classroom

September 23, 2009 in General

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Comic artist David Lloyd (of V for Vendetta fame), cartoon historian Paul Gravett and teacher Steve Marchant (author of The Cartoonists’ Workshop) have created cartoonclassroom.co.uk. They plan to to centralize all information relating to the study of cartoon and comic strip creation in the UK.

The website launches officially in early October and the trio are currently looking for cartoonists who teach or who would be interested in sharing their skills to register interest at www.cartoonclassroom.co.uk. Alternatively, you can contact them direct here.

Steve Marchant
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by Royston

Expert's angle on Angoulême

February 10, 2009 in News

poster2009

The journalist Paul Gravett, a leading expert on comics and graphic novels, has a report on the Angoulême International Comics Festival, which is now in its 36th year, in the Books section of The Guardian.

Angoulême, a city in the Charente region of southwest France, is synonymous with comics, says Gravett, like Glyndebourne for opera or Hay-on-Wye for books.

You need to scroll down the page to read the Guardian piece, or you can read a longer, illustrated version, at Paul Gravett’s website.