You are browsing the archive for The Daily Telegraph.

How to draw a virus: spare a thought for the Covid-19 cartoonists

June 9, 2020 in Comment, General

Written by Guy Venables originally for The Spectator (with a smattering of bonus content cartoons):

While stumbling the 30 yards from bed to work, the freelance gag cartoonist is usually trying to decide which of the hundreds of news stories to draw a hilarious cartoon about that day. It used to be one of the most difficult decisions of the morning. Now, however, that question has been replaced by “are there any new angles to be had from the one, same, monolithically large single news story of the decade?”

My mother, similarly, at the end of the second world war, asked her own mother whether the newspapers would keep going because, obviously, there would be no more news to speak of now the war was over.

Cartoon © Guy Venables

Cartoonists evolve, like finches, on separate islands and rarely meet. That said, in the first week of lockdown each of us imagined we were the only ones to think of the link between the “man on the desert island” visual cliché and social distancing, so much so in fact, that the Private Eye cartoon editor asked us all politely to go back to bed and try to think of something else. So we all switched our attentions to loo rolls and stockpiling.

Then Easter came around and we all individually sent The Spectator “Jesus being told to roll back the stone and get back in the cave.” Then we all drew Joe Wicks. Then baking. A new type of mental filtering process had to be adopted, and cartoonists aren’t good at “new” (although a strangely large proportion of us have been adopted. Some several times). A proportion of us decided to concentrate on non-topical cartoons.

Cartoon © Guy Venables

But as Pete Dredge asked us all: “Do we draw everybody two metres apart even if it’s nothing to do with Coronavirus?” We didn’t know for sure but decided against it, as it would use up too much paper.

As things progressed and the death count rose there was a shift from looking at the situation to looking at the virus itself. Attack the villain of the story as we always say (We don’t always say that but we COULD). But how do you draw a virus? Somebody drew the virus. It was round with knobbly bits on. Right. We all drew gags about round things and added knobbly bits so you could tell it was biting satire. Then Matt from the Telegraph did it better and we all went back to bed again.

In my own personal sphere, it was a problem of pretence that bothered me. Now that my wife was at home all day the withering truth was slowly dawning on her of just how little work I actually do. I spend the afternoon trying to convince her that a hammock is a legitimate workplace.

I think of an idea but realise Nick Newman has already done it in the Times. Then I realise I’d just read the Times.

Long gone are the cocktail parties and trendy gatherings to which the cartoonist is never invited. Now he must rely on his own wits and hard work. Having never done this before we revert to our standard emergency operation of copying old Punch cartoons and hoping nobody notices.

Cartoon © Guy Venables

Another angle is of course to throw withering scorn at whoever’s in charge. This can limit the people to whom one can send the actual cartoon. Politically it’s a good idea to choose a point right in the middle of politics and shoot outwards. That way, come the revolution you can pin your badge on whoever runs the firing squads.

Cartoon © Guy Venables

I draw a gag about Dominic Cummings that gets lots of likes on Facebook and go back to the hammock, blissfully unaware that an hour beforehand, from some distant garret, Banx had sent a similar but much better Cummings gag to the Financial Times.

With thanks to The Spectator for allowing us to reproduce the piece.

Review of the Year

December 31, 2010 in Comment

As the pencil of 2010 contacts the eraser of 2011, Bloghorn thought it was time to record some of the year’s highs and lows – and to speculate about the new year.

But first, news of a PRIZE competition which will be coming on Bloghorn over the New Year Bank Holiday weekend … so watch this space.

The Clash by Ray Lowry

© Ray Lowry cartoons The Clash

You can explore our full monthly archives of stories from the world of UK cartooning in 2010 at: January – February – MarchAprilMay JuneJulyAugustSeptemberOctoberNovember and December.

Team Foghorn Big Draw banner 2010

Team Bloghorn with the banner at the 2010 Battle of the Cartoonists

As you can see it’s been a packed show, featuring a fantastic Ray Lowry retrospective, above, at the Idea Generation Gallery, mixed with the odd rotten moment like losing Les Gibbard. We have had the fantastic highlights of our traditional events such as the Big Draw and Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival and, happily, the late great Alan Coren rose from the grave and provided  a shot of welcome wisdom.

After that we played Draw and Fold Over before reading a freshly minted copy of Foghorn magazine. What? You haven’t yet subscribed to six issues a year for only £20? Kindly do so here, now.

The promised appearance of The House of Illustration in London has long cheered many as this will be a sister organisation to our long-time favourite The Cartoon Museum, which lies close to the proposed new attraction at King’s Cross in London. The £6.5m fundraising target is stiff but site building has started and you can read more about the full plans here. Meanwhile, the crew at The Cartoon Museum excelled themselves with a fine range of shows and events, excelling with a fantastic Ronald Searle display as the man reached his 90th birthday.

What’s the difference between cartooning and illustration Bloghorn hears you ask?

Try these definitions from the Merriam-Webster dictionary, although we thinks Searle shows the interchangeability of the terms about as well as anyone.

Car-toon – noun
From the Italian cartone pasteboard, cartoon, augmentative of carta leaf of paper.

Ill-ust-rat-ion noun
Something that serves to illustrate: an example or instance that helps make something clear : a picture or diagram that helps make something clear or attractive.

Wikipedia has a definition here for print media which references Punch, the magazine which our former patron Alan Coren used to edit.

Happily, the past year has also seen terrific development in the way cartoons are being used in media and the possibilities, and markets will grow in the new year. We’ve got evidence below from The Times and its current TV advertising. You can find a link to the cartoon they are promoting lower down this article …

What the iPad Was Made For

Of course, we work on non-mobile television too, check out the titles to the new BBC adaptation of Just William and bow to the pen of cartoonist Ed McLachlan.

You’ll find a fantastic selection of the UK’s finest cartoonists working in all forms of the art at our UK Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation portfolio site which we will also be updating during 2011.

On the site the new and less-and-less unusual Government can expect its usual share of drawn innovation and horror – try Strictly Coalition for a start. In similar fashion, we wrote disobliging things about some parts of the Arts Council England because they sometimes deserve it.

© Jonathan Pugh of The Daily Mail

You can follow us day-to-day by adding your email address to our mailing list, which you can find on the right hand side of this blog, by following us on Twitter, or reading us inside the strange world of Facebook.

Modern Toss magazine

Forza Cartone!

Bloghorn is written, edited and maintained by Matthew Buck, Royston Robertson and Alex Hughes,  on behalf of the UK Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation. You can contact the team here.

by Royston

Cartoons continue to bite

November 23, 2009 in General

cartoondone_1525709c
From 30 Years of Viz, currently at the Cartoon Museum

“Pictorial satire is so ingrained in our culture that people often don’t realise what a huge part of their lives it is. Not just in comics and newspapers, but also animations, games, advertising, greetings cards”
– Anita O’Brien, Curator, Cartoon Museum

Taken from an article in the Daily Telegraph on 21 years of the Cartoon Art Trust, the charity behind the Cartoon Museum

LINK: Funny how cartoons still have bite

Alex taps into the iPhone

October 14, 2009 in Comment

Alex, the satirical City strip in the Daily Telegraph has recently made it’s debut on the iPhone and iPod Touch. Priced at 59p, the Tapisodes app is available at the iTunes App Store and comprises 20 animated strips themed around the credit crunch crisis. The strips will be automatically delivered to your phone one a day over the course of the following month. This video explains it all:

Bloghorn had a few questions for Alex‘s creators, Charles Peattie and Russell Taylor:

How long did it take to make the 20 special episodes of Alex for the iphone?

2 months.

Why is getting Alex distributed this way important to you?

We’re always looking for new ways to present work and new people to work with. We did the stage play last couple of years using new digital projection technology. Now fascinated by small screen possibilities for narrative. I actually believe that this is the ideal form for reading comic strip material: the movement, reactions, reveals all enhanced by this medium. Newspapers are also interested in spreading into this field. Seems like a good moment.

Did you do the technological work yourselves? Or, did you use a design agency?

We designed the app and did all the animation. The app itself was developed by the awesome folks at Tag Games in Dundee.

Is the price of the App (59p) reflective of the work that went into making it?

Absolutely not. Christ, you have NO IDEA.

How many downloads have been made during the month trial?

We are not allowed to give out this information, I’m afraid, since we are releasing this first project via our friends at The Telegraph.

Do you have any plans to take the digital Alex to a subscription site?

Never say never.

So, Alex doesn’t prefer a Blackberry?

Of course he has both (plus a spare and several spare sim cards for when he’s up to no good)

Cartoon Pick of the Week

October 9, 2009 in Links, News

Bloghorn spotted this great work during this week ending the 9th October 2009.

One: Matt in the Daily Telegraph on the Conservatives becoming more frank

Two: Dave Brown in the Independent on being in it together

Three: Robert Leighton in the New Yorker on driving and texting

Bonus Video: The Guardian‘s Steve Bell explains why he draws David Cameron as a jellyfish

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

by Royston

Cartoon Pick of the Week

September 25, 2009 in Links, News

Bloghorn spotted this great work during this week ending the 25th September 2009.

One: Peter Brookes in The Times on the special relationship

Two: Nicholas Garland in The Daily Telegraph on
a very public crash

Three: Len Hawkins in The Spectator on paranoid parenting

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

Cartoon Pick of the Week: Redacted

June 19, 2009 in Links, News

foghorn_for_posting_redacted MPs are back in the news again with the release of their heavily blacked-out expense reports, so Bloghorn has a special round-up of the best of the redacted, censored and otherwise obscured cartoons for the week ending the 19th June 2009.

One: Matt in the Daily Telegraph gives us a historical perspective on the story.

Two: Mac in the Daily Mail shows us a sneak preview of the upcoming Iraq enquiry testimony from Gordon Brown.

Three: There’s a brandspanking new ceremonial role in the Houses of Parliament in Peter Brookes cartoon for The Times

Four:whilst Dave Brown lets it all hang out in the open for the Independent

Five: Steve Bell in The Guardian goes with Tony Blair’s knowledge of torture in interrogations.

Six: It’s all done in the best possible taste for Andy Davey in the Sun

Seven and Eight:and finally, Paul Thomas in the Daily Express and Tim Sanders in the Independent just can’t find the words

Note: in the spirit of openness, and unlike the Goverment, Bloghorn believes that you should know all about this. Simply highlight the text above to reveal the redacted sections.

The PCO: Great British cartoon talent

Subscribe to The Foghorn – our print cartoon magazine

Cartoon Pick of the Week

May 22, 2009 in Comment

Bloghorn spotted this great work during this week ending the 22nd May 2009.

One: Christian Adams in The Daily Telegraph on defences over MPs expenses

Two: Mac (Stan McMurtry) in The Daily Mail: “Bad news, Joanna Lumley has called a snap election.”

Three: and Tim Sanders in The Independent on bureaucracy.

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

Shrewsbury is seasonal best for cartoons

April 19, 2009 in General

Libby Purves - friend of cartoonists © John Roberts

Libby Purves - friend of cartoonists © John Roberts for Bloghorn

Libby Purves talks cartoons and the Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival in The Telegraph. The annual event which opens this Thursday, 23rd April 2009.

Cartoon Pick of the Week

March 20, 2009 in Links, News

Bloghorn spotted this great work during this week ending the 20th March 2009.

One: Christian Adams in The Daily Telegraph on banking on the polar ice-caps

Two: William Haefeli in The New Yorker on pop-cultural references

Three: Tim Bales in Prospect on Alcoholics Eponymous

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