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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

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by Royston

Back to the cold days

January 10, 2012 in Events, News

Cold war cartoon

The exhibition Drawing the Curtain: Soviet Cartoons from the Cold War, hosted by Guardian News and Media, opens on January 19.

It marks the publication of the book Drawing the Curtain: The Cold War in Cartoons by Tim Benson of the Political Cartoon Society. The book takes key moments in cold war history, such as the space race and the Cuban missile crisis, and shows how they were represented in Soviet and Western cartoons.

The exhibition runs until February 16, and is open each day from 10am to 6pm. Guardian News and Media is at Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1.

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by Royston

Two political cartoon shows to open

October 5, 2009 in General

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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.

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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.

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by Royston

Dave Brown on new cartoon exhibition

June 22, 2009 in General

prudence
Prudence and Stability, by Dave Brown, after Dignity and Impudence by Edwin Landseer (1839)

The Independent today features a new article by cartoonist Dave Brown, about his exhibition Rogues’ Gallery: More Misused Masterpieces which is currently at the Political Cartoon Gallery in London.

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More rogues on show at cartoon gallery

June 16, 2009 in General

rogues-1
Dave Brown’s take on William Blake’s Newton

Dave Brown’s new exhibition, Rogues’ Gallery: More Misused Masterpieces, is at the Political Cartoon Gallery in London from tomorrow (June 17) until September 19.

It is the second Rogues’ Gallery show and sees Dave Brown once again channelling the spirits of the Old Masters as they guide his paintbrush across the broad canvas of 21st century politics.

A book will accompany the show, which collects 76 images from the long-running series, seen weekly in The Independent.

The Political Cartoon Gallery, at 32 Store Street, London, is open Monday to Friday 9.30am – 5.30pm and on Saturdays between 11.30am – 5.30pm.

John Jensen on Trog and Illingworth

June 3, 2009 in Comment

Leslie Illingworth by Trog (via www.camdennewjournal.co.uk)

Leslie Illingworth by Trog

PCOer John Jensen writes on cartoonists Wally Fawkes (Trog) and Leslie Illingworth:

Two great cartoonists were seen recently at Tim Benson’s Political Cartoon Gallery. One of them was dead, the other elderly but very much alive. Wally Fawkes ‘TROG’, a wonderful caricaturist, was paying his respects to an old friend, the late Leslie Illingworth (1902-79) whose drawings were on display in a new exhibition. Tim Benson’s book – Illingworth, political cartoons from the Daily Mail 1939-69 – was also making its debut.

TROG is no longer drawing and for the cruellest of reasons: his eyes have let him down. This is a tragedy for Wally and a loss to the many people who appreciate and love his skill. I’ve known his work since the early 50s and known him personally, but slightly, for more than forty years. Yet, in company with many people who ‘know’ Wally, I barely know him at all. He doesn’t mind making a display of himself when trumpeting his jazz, but when it comes to drawing he rarely puts in an appearance, refuses to make speeches let alone give a talk or lecture. When he does turn up he is invariably a quiet presence and, for some of us, far too modest. But that modesty doesn’t derive from uncertainty: Wally knows his worth, he just doesn’t shout about it. His qualities speak for him. Unlike his jazz,Wally’s drawing is not spontaneous nor is it laboured. Instead, his caricatures result from observation and analysis of his subjects: forensic dissections.

Three collections of his work have been published none of which do him justice though they are better than nothing. First, from Canada, Trog, the Cartoonist of the Year, Le Pavillon International de l’Humour, Montreal, 1976; The World of Trog, Robson Books, 1977, and finally, Trog, Forty Graphic Years, Fourth Estate 1987. All in black-and-white. All lacking colour! Colour is one of Wally’s strengths.

Leslie Illingworth would have been pleased Wally turned up for the occasion. They were old friends. Leslie is generally considered to be the last of the great pen-draughtsmen in the Punch, Victorian tradition. Sad, therefore, that none of his drawing for Punch appear in Tim Benson’s selection. This is not for the want of trying, but circumstances said No. Draper Hill a collector of Illingworth’s vintage originals, and author of the definitive James Gillray biography, died recently. He had been ill for quite a while and uncontactable. A future volume, perhaps, in due course? Leslie, like Wally, was a wonderful colourist. If Illingworth had a fault, and he had, it was that power and emotion were in thrall to his precise draughtsmanship. That said, it is the penwork, the superb scraper-board cartoons and his colour illustrations that remain to be admired in the pages of Punch and, when possible, collected.

Illingworth was the kindest of men. Too generous sometimes. His Welsh accent was beguiling and his huge bushy eyebrows were the only alarming thing about him.

The exhibition of cartoons by Leslie Illingworth continues at the Political Cartoon Gallery, 32 Store Street, London WC1E 7BS. You can contact them at 020 7580 1114 or info@politicalcartoon.co.uk.

You can read more of John Jensen’s contributions to Bloghorn here.

Illingworth exhibition opens

May 28, 2009 in General

illwrth_cvrsml

The exhibition celebrating the life and work of the Daily Mail cartoonist Leslie Illingworth was opened on Tuesday evening at the Political Cartoon Gallery in London by celebrated cartoonist and artist Ralph Steadman.

Leslie Gilbert Illingworth (1902 – 1979) was perhaps one of the last great practitioners of penmanship to take up political cartooning. This book is not only a biography of one of the twentieth century’s most important cartoonists, but also a visual and detailed chronicle of thirty years of history through roughly three hundred cartoons that were originally published in the Daily Mail.

The Political Cartoon Gallery is open Monday to Friday 9am – 5.30pm and on Saturdays between 11am – 5.30pm. Phone Dr Tim Benson on 01923 242769 for further details or email him at info@politicalcartoon.co.uk

UPDATED: Christian Adams has a write up of the opening night here

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by Royston

Must-see cartoon exhibitions

May 18, 2009 in Comment

There are many fine exhibitions to see in London at the moment, all have been covered in detail here on the Bloghorn. Here’s a round-up in “last chance to see” order.

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Barry Fantoni – Public Eye, Private Eye, above, cartoons and paintings, at the Thomas Williams Fine Art Gallery, Old Bond Street. Open 10am – 6pm, Monday to Friday. Until May 22

Posy Simmonds’ original artwork from the 1970s to the 1990s at the new offices of Guardian News and Media, Kings Place, 90 York Way. Open daily from 10am – 6 pm, admission free. Until June 4

The Definitive Thelwell at the Chris Beetles Gallery, 8 and 10 Ryder Street, St James’s. Monday to Saturday, 10am – 5.30pm. Until June 6

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Yankee Doodles! Barack Obama in Cartoons, above (cartoon by Christian Adams), at the Political Cartoon Gallery, 32 Store Street. Open Monday to Friday 9.30am – 5.30pm and on Saturdays between 11.30am – 5.30pm. Until June 13

Maggie! Maggie! Maggie! – Margaret Thatcher, Mother of the Nation or Monster from the Blue Lagoon at the Cartoon Museum, 35 Little Russell Street, Bloomsbury. Open Tuesday-Saturday 10.30am to 5.30pm and Sundays 12pm to 5.30pm. Until July 26

London's Political Cartoon Gallery is in rude health

February 11, 2009 in Events, News

Bloghorn can report London’s Political Cartoon Gallery is not going to be closing, contrary to reports in the capital’s Metro newspaper.

According to the Metro, the cartoon gallery, which is the only display space in the world dedicated to the art of the editorial cartoon, is facing closure because of soaring rents and collapsing demand.

But, talking to Bloghorn, gallery owner Tim Benson said the Metro story was confused about a simple renegotiation of the business lease on the premises.

The gallery opened five years ago, and is currently hosting the exhibition Browned Off, featuring cartoons on Gordon Brown’s first 18 months as Prime Minister.

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Cartoon courtesy of The Political Cartoon Gallery and Copyright of Peter Brookes of The Times.

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by Royston

Cartoon exhibition: Browned Off!

January 19, 2009 in General

Gordon Brown cartoon by Morten Morland

Gordon Brown cartoon by Morten Morland

The Political Cartoon Gallery’s Tory Blues exhibition has now closed so, in the interests of balance, attention is turned to the Labour Party.
Browned Off! A cartoon exhibition on the first 18 months of Gordon Brown as Prime Minister, opens at the gallery on Wednesday (January 21) and runs until March 14.

The show will feature Britain’s top political cartoonists, such as Peter Brookes, Steve Bell, Dave Brown, Nicholas Garland and Christian Adams, and include PCOers Martin Rowson, Morten Morland, Andy Davey and Matt Buck.

Gordon Brown cartoon by Andy Davey

Gordon Brown cartoon by Andy Davey

The Political Cartoon Gallery, at 32 Store Street, London, is open Monday to Friday 9.30am – 5.30pm and on Saturdays between 11.30am – 5.30pm.

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