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Thinking big at mini cartoon festival

September 2, 2014 in Events, General, News

Rog Bowles caricatures the public at the Southport Mini Cartoon Festival

Rog Bowles caricatures the public at the Southport Mini Cartoon Festival

Paul Hardman reports on the first Southport Mini Cartoon Festival, which took place on the August bank holiday weekend and was arranged at the very last moment, with little or no budget or publicity

I have for many years thought that my now-hometown of Southport in the North West of England would be an ideal location for a cartoon festival.

I was approached by Brendan Riley, a comedian and friend, and he put me in contact with Tony Wynne, our local arts project manager, who had been asked by the council to put on the Southport Festival of Art as part of an event to promote a regeneration funding bid.

Tony wanted to know if I could come up with something at very short notice and with a very limited budget. My response was to call on some of my old friends and a tried-and-tested formula. A hasty budget and plan was arrived at and it was decided to have a big-board event in the centre of town.

Pete Dredge works on a big board cartoon at Southport. You can see Bill Stott and Rich Skipworth hard at work too

Pete Dredge draws a big board cartoon. You can see Bill Stott and Rich Skipworth hard at work too

I was delighted when Noel Ford, Bill Stott, Pete Dredge and Rich Skipworth immediately jumped at the chance to come up and draw a big board here in Southport. I then asked Rog Bowles and Tim Leatherbarrow to assist with the arduous task of caricaturing the public.

The two-day event proved to be a success and the lads delighted the crowds, who stopped in their hundreds to enjoy the skill on show. Bill, Peter, Noel and Rich produced eight magnificent boards, which were all on display by the second day.

There was also an impromptu gallery of A3 gag cartoons, which hung alongside brief biographies of the cartoonists.

Southport Mini Cartoon Festival

Sunny weather ensured a great turnout for the Southport Mini Cartoon Festival

The weather was very kind to us and the visual impact in the town centre was nothing short of spectacular. Far more successful than I could ever have hoped for and I know each of the team was delighted with their stay.

This is hopefully a foot in the door and the beginning of a regular event for our cartoonists’ community. Here’s to the next successful year.

Many thanks to Paul and we echo that last thought.

Professional cartoonist workshops at the Big Draw

October 22, 2008 in General



The PCO provided the all-day cartoon and drawing workshops at The Big Draw. Here, two of our members report on what they did there. Click the images to enlarge

Paul Hardman writes:

The title of the workshop I ran was “Who Do You Think You Are?” It involved a very long roll of paper on which I had drawn about twenty train carriages. Participants were invited to draw a self portrait in each window and then put their names and where they were from underneath. After a slow start (10am) the activity grew and proved to be a great success, continuing throughout the day until we had run out of carriages and children were left asking for more!

An interesting metamorphosis developed as several windows became visual puns on the word “coach”. We had the football coach and the stage coach for example. The results were pasted to the side wall of the “Battle Arena” and made a very effective display.


Tim Harries
writes:

Judging by the of amount paper and sponsored pencils we went through, this year’s workshops were thoroughly enjoyed by cartoonists and public alike. Any available large space (blank walls, concourse pillars, some of the heavier cartoonists) was turned into a gallery to proudly display the transport-themed cartoons, comic strips and characters produced. Next door’s Starbucks aided flagging artists and parents as the kids kept us busy from 10am til 5pm, with quite a few families staying the entire day and taking part in each of the five workshops.

My “Creating First Class Comic Strips” workshop was fun to do, as always, and produced some quality work from quite a few attendees who, thanks to the microphone provided, could actually hear my instructions (including the slightly loud and embarrassing “How do you switch this thing off?”)


Other participating PCO cartoonists were Terry Christien, Chichi Parish, Robert Duncan and John Landers. Photos by Gerard Whyman and Royston Robertson.

The PCO: Great British cartoon talent

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by Royston

The PCO at the Big Draw: update

October 16, 2008 in General

The PCO is running workshops for all ages at the Big Draw event at St Pancras International Station in London on Saturday (October 18). If you’re interested in cartooning and fancy having a go, come along and get involved.

PCO cartoon workshops at the 2007 Big Draw

The workshop timetable is as follows: Paul Hardman – Who Do You Think You Are? 10am-11.25am; Chichi Parish – Time Travel, 11.30am-12.55pm; Robert Duncan – Drawing Near the Station, 1pm-1.55pm; Tim Harries – Creating First Class Comic Strips, 2pm-3.25pm; Terry Christien – On Track for Drawing Cartoon Characters, 3.30pm-5pm.

The PCO is strongly represented in the Battle of the Cartoonists (3-5pm) where four teams slug it out to produce the best cartoon banner, because not only does it have its own team but there are PCO members on each of the other three teams.

They are: Martin Rowson and Andy Davey (Guardian team), Ken Pyne (Private Eye) and Matt Buck (the Independent).

The Big Draw: Get involved

The PCO: Great British cartoon talent

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by Royston

The PCO at the Big Draw

October 15, 2008 in General

PCO members will be taking part in “Transports of Delight” at St Pancras International Station in London on Saturday (October 18). The event is part of the annual, month-long Big Draw campaign, which is designed to get the nation drawing.

The PCO will be running cartoon workshops at the event and taking part in the ever-popular Battle of the Cartoonists. Under the expert stewardship of the PCO’s Festival and Exhibition Co-ordinator, Pete Dredge, a crack team of volunteers has been assembled for the day’s activities.

Workshops by members Paul Hardman, Chichi Parish, Robert Duncan, Tim Harries and Terry Christien (plus guests) will take place between 10am and 5pm. Come along if you want to learn how to draw cartoons, caricatures and comic strips.

The Battle of the Cartoonists kicks off at 3pm and runs for two hours. The PCO team, featuring Robert Duncan, Kipper Williams and Royston Robertson, and captained by Pete Dredge, will take on Private Eye, The Guardian and the Independent.


The PCO’s 2007 Battle of the Cartoonists team in action

Previous Big Draw attendees will know that the winning team is decided via extremely vocal public approval, so please come along and do bring any loudhailers and male voice choirs you have lying around. And how will you know who the PCOers are at the Big Draw? Oh, we’ve thought of that …
Yes, red is most definitely the new black. This is the Team PCO T-shirt to be worn by workshoppers and the Battle of the Cartoonists team. Team captain Pete Dredge told the Bloghorn: “Some unscrupulous attempts at ‘tapping up’ team members by other team leaders have been firmly stamped on, and I’m confident my lads will deliver on the day.”

Activities will take place in The Circle – 2nd side entrance on St Pancras Rd and opposite the German Gymnasium. The dedicated area will be marked out with artificial grass and picket fencing for that summery October feeling. Hope to see you there.

The Big Draw: Get involved

The PCO: Great British cartoon talent

PCO Professional Cartoonists at London’s Big Draw 2008

August 26, 2008 in General

Breaking News on Bloghorn…

The PCO team for this year’s London Big Draw event is confirmed. Team skipper, Pete Dredge (Private Eye regular) will be leading Robert Duncan (Not particularly orange cards), Kipper Williams (The Guardian) and Royston Robertson (Prospect, Readers Digest, Private Eye) into the suitably absurd Battle of the Cartoonists.


The 12 feet long, two-hour epic PCO banner from 2007, hung up, or out, to dry.

You can find details and a report from Bill Stott on the 2007 event here.

PCO members will also be running workshops throughout the day, featuring the many coloured skills of Tim Harries, Chichi Parish, Matt Buck, Andy Davey and Paul Hardman among others.

We will be publishing more details in the run up to the big day on Saturday 18 October.

It’s British cartoon talent

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by Royston

Cartoon workshops: inky fingers and flying pickles

May 7, 2008 in General

Workshops and cartoon “clinics” were a major part of the Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival as usual this year, and PCO members Andy Gilbert, Paul Hardman and Tim Harries were at the forefront, helping members of the public to develop their cartooning skills.

Here’s Tim Harries on how he ran his “Create a Comic Strip” workshop:

“I explained the mechanics of producing a three panel strip, from character design, story refinement to actual drawing techniques. This was all duly noted and I suspect roundly ignored by several of the more boisterous participants, judging by the finished strips. I’m not complaining mind you, invariably the strips produced that day were energetic, great fun and frankly bonkers.

“Children have a terrific ability to just get on with the business of drawing, unencumbered by any doubts regarding their artwork. The young chap finishing off his 12-panel creation Bob the Flying Pickle was in no doubt that Bob was indeed a pickle that flew. More critical eyes would have perhaps renamed him ‘Bob the wobbly squiggle’ but that’s missing the point. Fun was being had, ideas were being explored and pickles were indeed flying. And you can’t say fairer than that.”

Photos by Gerard Whyman.

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Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival

March 5, 2008 in General


Preview of a submission to the “But is it Art?” show at this year’s Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival. Thanks to PCOer Paul Hardman – click H for Hardman.

British cartoon talent