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PCO’s Gagged at St-Just-Le-Martel 2019

October 8, 2019 in Events, General, News

The Surreal McCoy writes:

Our exhibition had two outings this year: one at the high-profile Defend Media Conference in London during the summer and then again at the St-Just-Le-Martel Salon d’Humor in France over September/October.

58 cartoons by 25 members were displayed at the Centre Permanent’s exhibition space that saw many visitors over the two weeks of the festival. Very positive feedback was received from the educators who guided around 50 groups of schoolchildren around our exhibition. Yes, the art of cartooning is taken very seriously in France!

‘Steve Bell: 40 Years of Political Cartoons’ exhibition

There was a major exhibition featuring the PCO’s very own Steve Bell, plus cartoons from the Scottish Art Studio. Also on show was an exhibition that included some PCO members on the theme of Brexit.

Brexit exhibition curated by Terry Anderson, poster image by Steve Bright. All photos from Glenn Marshall



Entente cordiale at St Just festival

October 22, 2012 in Events, News

The Surreal McCoy reports on the recent St Just Cartoon Festival

Spotlights on the Brits exhibition

Nathan Ariss salutes the Spotlights on the Brits exhibition, and an Olympics cartoon from the show by © Roger Penwill @

Entente cordiale. Sounds like something you find on the shelf alongside the bottles of elderflower and blackcurrant flavours right? Wrong.

Actually, the final weekend of the St Just Cartoon Festival, near Limoges in France, was full of such friendly understanding, with 100-plus cartoonists and caricaturists mingling with each other and the general public with great bonhomie.

I was attending as the European liaison officer for, along with chairman Nathan Ariss, to represent UK cartoonists, most of them members of our organisation, whose work was being exhibited as Spotlights on the Brits.

The St Just committee had asked for cartoons on the themes of the Queen’s Jubilee and the London Olympics. Our members duly responded with a wide variety of caricatures and cartoons that were prominently displayed in the purpose-built exhibition hall.

Billeted with local familes for the weekend, we were treated with great hospitality. Food and drink was plentiful, long tables were the order of the day. There was much to see on the walls, from the Cartooning For Peace display on elections around the world to the extraordinary rat paintings.

Manu at work

The cartoonist Manu draws for the crowds at St Just @

Cartoonists set up shop with their books and comics for sale on the big round tables. Visitors were caricatured and cartooned, business cards exchanged, contacts made.

The American editorial cartoonists Daryl Cagle (Cagle Post Syndication) and Eric Allie gave a presentation on the state of political cartooning in the US.

On the Saturday afternoon, a brown carpet was rolled out and more mystifying visitor arrived. The area is famous for its Limousin cows so the festival was being honoured with a visit from one of them. It was not, as we had initially thought, the French penchant for a Surrealist installation.

The St Just cow

The St Just cow. Not a Surrealist installation @

The cow also doubled up as a prize for cartooning achievement – this year it went to the French cartoonist Aurel. (Apparently it’s the same cow every year, which would explain why she was completely unfazed by the paparazzi’s flash bulbs.)

Sunday morning saw a large assembly of cartoonists crammed into the local priest’s drawing room for the traditional drinks party he hosts each year. We all spilled out into the courtyard in front of the 12th century church in a pastis-induced blur of congeniality before boarding the special cartoonists’ carriage of the Paris train.

A little knowledge of French can get you a long way, mais oui!

2008 in cartoons – a look back at St Just

January 5, 2009 in Comment

PCOer Alex Noel-Watson reports on last year’s version of one of the drawing things we have to look forward to in 2009:

Deep in the heart of the French countryside of the Limousin, in the department of Haute Vienne where characteristic tan-coloured cattle roam the lush meadows, nestles the village of Saint-Just-Le-Martel, near Limoges.

Saint-Just-Le-Martel could be described as the unofficial world capital of cartoons, thanks to the vision and energy of its mayor, Gérard Vandenbroucke, who 26 years ago started the annual Salon International de la Caricature, du Dessin de Presse et d’Humour.

St Just cartoonists @ The BloghornThe Salon runs for ten days at the end of September and beginning of October, and approximately 200 cartoonists converge upon the village from all over the world, 100 for the first weekend and the remainder for the second. A small number of cartoonists stays for the whole ten days. All the cartoonists who attend the Salon are happily billeted with local families.

The Salon is the biggest exhibition of cartoons in Europe, probably the world. The vast main exhibition, displaying cartoons from every imaginable country, is supplemented throughout the Salon site and beyond (in Limoges) by numerous others.

This year these included the historic works of Daumier, a presentation revealing the astonishing versatility of the veteran French cartoonist, Roger Mofrey, exhibitions by Brito, Avoine, Tignons, Kerleroux, Cambon, Puig-Rosado and others; caricatures by Nalair, a large display of caricatures by Sterpone, Moine and others in the main area; the Cartooning for Peace exhibition, conceived by Plantu and already shown at the United Nations in New York and around the world, most recently in Jerusalem, Hollon, Bethlehem and Ramallah; cartoons from Québec, Cuba, Turkey, Portugal and Germany.

Saint-Just, however, is not resting on its laurels. For a long time Gérard Vandenbroucke has nursed the ambition to build a permanent world centre of cartoons. This dream is nearing fruition. Two years ago, the first symbolic bricks were laid, and Gérard told me that construction will begin at the end of this year.

“There will be 18 months of building works and the centre will be officially opened in 2010,” he said.

The PCO: Great British cartoon talent
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