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Cartoonists in Conversation

April 30, 2018 in Events, General

Jonathan Cusick writes:

A Friday evening talk has traditionally opened the public programme of the Shrewsbury cartoon festival. This year ‘Cartoonists in Conversation’ aimed to give the public an insight into the lives of cartoonists, whose work they would probably be familiar with but know little about the people behind them.

The number of cartoonists gathering in the town (this year there were 30) meant we had a stellar line-up to choose from. Jeremy Banx (Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, Private Eye) resplendent in his beret, The Surreal McCoy (The Spectator, Reader’s Digest, The Sunday Times), Royston Robertson (Private Eye, Reader’s Digest, The Spectator) and Wilbur Dawbarn (The Beano, Private Eye, The Spectator) were joined by Ken Krimstein (New Yorker, Harvard Business Review) who was over from Chicago and brought an international perspective to the chat. Our host for the evening was BBC radio presenter Alex Lester,  a festival patron and cartoon enthusiast.

Line up: Alex Lester, The Surreal McCoy. Royston Roberston, Ken Krimstein, Wilbur Dawbarn & Jeremy Banx. Photo © Gerard Whyman

The discussion covered various aspects of life as a cartoonist, alongside some superb examples of their work. Topics covered included the creation of the work and their workspace, some ‘greatest hits’ over the years, stories of rejection slips, offence, their influences and inspirations, and of course a mention of Trump. After the main panel discussion came questions direct from the audience.

A silhouetted Banx talks about one of his cartoons. Photo © Gerard Whyman

An abominable Royston Robertson cartoon. Photo © Gerard Whyman

 

 

An influential cartoon by Bernard Kliban.

We were delighted that the event was a sell-out, and indeed extra chairs were added for latecomers.

Photo © Gerard Whyman

Hearty thanks for the success of the evening go to the cartoonists on the panel, and Alex Lester for all being fabulous. The Wightman Theatre set us up wonderfully and Andy McKeown of WildStrawberry.com’s wonderful projection made the evening such a treat visually.

Publishers, the patrons of the art

January 29, 2013 in Comment, General, News

A public kerfuffle over a Gerald Scarfe cartoon published after the recent Israeli elections has resulted in a public apology from Rupert Murdoch the publisher of The Sunday Times, the paper in which the image appeared.

A publisher apology is a rare thing in journalism of any sort but it should be noted that neither the paper, its acting editor or the cartoonist himself have apologised for the publication of the image itself. Any regret expressed has been directed towards the timing of publication, as the cartoon appeared on Holocaust Memorial Day.

If nothing else, this story reveals that even within strictly hierarchical print-publication businesses, dissent and, perhaps, mistakes are still possible.

Updated 10am: You can listen to a lively debate on Radio 4 Today between cartoonist Steve Bell (one of our members) and Stephen Pollard, editor of The Jewish Chronicle.

Updated 6.15pm: The cartoonist has issued a short statement. The acting editor of the newspaper, Martin Ivens, has now also offered an apology stating that the cartoonist “had crossed a line”. You can read the full statement from the newspaper here.

Updated 9am, 30 January: Press Gazette (UK journalism trade magazine) reports that Scarfe’s cartoon is now also removed from all e-editions of The Sunday Times.

You may also watch the BBC Newsnight segment on the story on iPlayer.

101 uses for a cartoon

February 24, 2010 in General


Whilst some other Sunday newspapers are cutting back on their cartoons, the Sunday Times has expanded its cartoon content with the inclusion of 101 Uses for a Celebrity.

The regular  feature will appear in the Style section and is drawn by The Surreal McCoy, a former Bloghorn Artist of the Month and a member of the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation (the group which makes this web site).

Surreal tells us;

I had originally drawn a cartoon with a couple of old ladies sitting in a car parked in front of Thora Hird who was balanced sideways on 2 traffic cones. One old lady was saying to the other ‘‘Oooh, isn’t that Thora Hird?’’ and the caption read ‘Celebrity Roadblocks’. I soon started wondering to what other uses could celebrities be put? Then to find out who was flavour of the month it was a matter of reading as many celeb magazines I could lay my hands on, whilst using that great excuse ‘‘its for research purposes, no really’’, and drawing them in all manner of undignified poses. This was a few years ago and of course they did the rounds of editors’ desks, dutifully returning each time with the usual ‘‘we really liked your idea but don’t have the money/space/imagination/etc’’ rejection note. Until the art editor at the Sunday TimesStyle magazine had a look at the PCO‘s website, chanced upon my portfolio, visited my site and offered me the gig. Joining the PCO has got to be one of my better decisions.

Bloghorn thinks a lot of publications, print and digital, could benefit from the skills, fun and entertainment that people like this can bring to developing and keeping readerships.

Profile photo of Royston

by Royston

Cartoon Pick of the Week

March 13, 2009 in Links, News

Bloghorn spotted this great work during this week ending the 13th March 2009.

One: Tim Sanders in The Independent on bankers retraining as teachers

Two: Nick Newman in The Sunday Times on Heston Blumenthal’s woes

Three: Alex Hughes in Tribune on Northern Ireland

The PCO: Great British cartoon talent
Subscribe to The Foghorn – our print cartoon magazine

Profile photo of Royston

by Royston

Cartoon Pick of the Week

December 5, 2008 in General


Bloghorn spotted this great work this week…

One: Stephen Hutchinson (aka Bernie) in Private Eye on child protection officers

Two: Gerald Scarfe in the Sunday Times on India

Three: A spot of blowing our own Foghorn … Noel Ford on the cover of the new Christmas issue of the PCO’s cartoon magazine. (Below – click image to enlarge). Subscribe to The Foghorn here

The PCO: Great British cartoon talent

Profile photo of Royston

by Royston

Cartoon Pick of the Week

November 14, 2008 in General


It’s a US Elections Comedown Special this week…

One: Garry Trudeau’s Doonesbury strip in The Guardian on withdrawal symptoms

Two: Gerald Scarfe in the Sunday Times on sweeping up

Three: Liza Donnelly in the New Yorker on the woe of winning

The PCO: British cartoon talent

Profile photo of Royston

by Royston

The British attitude to words and pictures

April 30, 2008 in General

If you perused the Sunday Times this week, you may have come across a couple of sentences that neatly sum up all that is wrong about the British attitude towards drawings that accompany words.

Cosmo Landesman opens his review of the film Persepolis, which is based on the graphic novels by Marjane Satrapi, with this paragraph:

“I must confess that I have always thought graphic novels were just comic books with literary pretensions. I casually dismissed them as a symptom of our culture’s increasing infantilisation; adults read books, children stories with pictures. Well, having seen Persepolis I’m happy to admit I was wrong.”

Perhaps we can take heart from the last sentence – Cosmo has seen the error of his ways! – but it’s a little depressing to think that anyone could have got that far in life with the attitude that words=good, pictures=bad.

Clearly the PCO has a mountain to climb. But, hey, we’re wearing sturdy boots. Thanks to Rod McKie for drawing the article to our attention.

Let these people put pictures alongside your words …