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St Just for laughs

October 22, 2014 in Events, General, News

St Just poster © Daryl Cagle

St Just poster © Daryl Cagle

Simon Ellinas writes:

I was lucky enough to be able to visit the Salon International Du Dessins de Presse et d’Humor at St Just-le-Martel in France. Impressively installed in a brand new building on the outskirts of this small satellite of the city of Limoges, this cartoon festival has been running for 33 years.

The permanent display of cartoons and caricatures from around the world makes this the largest public museum of cartoon art in Europe. The last time I was there, five years ago, the events took place inside a series of marquees, while the first bricks for the centre were being laid.

My cartoonist friend John Landers and I travelled by Eurostar to Paris where we met other cartoonists. The travel is laid on by the festival organisers and local residents put visitors up in their own homes. I was delighted to find that we had been handed over to my previous hosts, who live in a very spacious and comfortable house 12km away in Boisseuils.

Cartoonists Simon Ellinas, left, and John landers, second right, with new friends at the St Just festival

Cartoonists Simon Ellinas, left, and John landers, second right, with their hosts at the St Just festival

The whole weekend is taken up with a huge exhibition of cartoons and caricatures from around the world and a grand hall full of cartoonists drawing for the public. And the public really do appreciate this event, arriving in many hundreds on both days. The festival is actually spread out over ten or so days, with the first and second weekends being peaks of activity.

Various awards are handed out by the charismatic mayor and chief initiator of the whole thing, Gerard Vandenbroucke, the main award of the festival going to the Venezuelan cartoonist Rayma Suprani.

stjust_doc

We were treated to a French cabaret evening on the Friday and a superb visit to an old cinema in nearby St Leonard. This was to see the Cartooning for Peace documentary Caricaturistes: Fantassins de la Democratie (poster above). This featured 12 cartoonists from around the world who have been working, many under great restrictions from their governments, to uphold their rights to democracy and to free speech.

Featuring Suprana as well as the Cartooning for Peace organiser Jean Plantu, the film also revealed the difficulties faced by cartoonists as far afield as China, Palestine and Israel. A very moving film which I would urge you to see.

Daryl Cagle, left, with a caricature drawn by Philippe Moine, right

Daryl Cagle, left, with a caricature drawn by Philippe Moine, right

There was a contingent of political cartoonists from America, led by Daryl Cagle and including Monte Wolverton, Rick McKee, Steve Sack, Nate Beeler and Adam Zygler. The differences between US and UK political cartooning are interesting to compare. My impression is that the UK style is more predominantly “painterly” while the US cartoons are heavily populated with a very cartoony comic-strip style.

Jean Gouders, in the striped  shirt, and John Landers, in the traditional "defacing" of tablecloths

Jean Gouders, in the striped shirt, and John Landers, demonstrate the traditional “defacing” of tablecloths

Of course, part of the celebration and festivity are the meals with fellow cartoonists and friends. These take place at long tables in a huge marquee with the paper tablecloths becoming the centre of attention for all the artists and their arsenals of pens and markers.

All in all, a very inspiring if ultimately exhausting experience. I’ll be back.

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by Royston

Cartoonists on film

July 11, 2014 in Events, General, News

We like anything that bigs up the noble art of cartooning and a new French documentary called Cartoonists: Footsoldiers of Democracy does that with its title alone.

Details of a UK release date or TV screening have not been revealed but this English-subtitled trailer recently appeared on the internet, so hopefully we will get to see it.

The film, which focuses on 12 cartoonists from around the world, was screened earlier this year at the Cannes Film Festival. Read a review here.

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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.

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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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