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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

The Round-up

October 28, 2013 in Events, General, Links, News

 

© Peter Steiner / Cartoonbank @Procartoonists.org

The cartoon above, by Peter Steiner, is understood to be the most popular ever to appear in The New Yorker. Journalist Glenn Fleishman talks to its creator and looks at what has happened in the 20 years since it first appeared.

Last Friday’s edition of The One Show dropped in on a host of the UK’s most high-profile political cartoonists – among them PCO members Martin Rowson and Steve Bright. Ben Jennings and Bob Moran were then invited to draw against the clock, live on air. Watch the episode on BBC iPlayer here (available until 6.29pm on Friday 1 November).

The BBC show neglected to mention that the cartoonists were appearing in connection with the launch of a new book, edited by Tim Benson. The Best of Britain’s Political Cartoons 2013 will be published on 7 November.

Two British institutions are looking back over their own histories with the use of cartoons. The National Theatre on London’s South Bank is showing a selection of cartoons in its Olivier exhibition space, as part of a celebration to mark its 50th anniversary. Across the river, the Bank of England is exhibiting classics from its own cartoon collection. National Theatre Lampoon and the Bank’s Cartoons & Caricatures are both completely free to visit. The NT show runs until 4 January, and the BoE display is open until 31 December.

For No Good Reason, Charlie Paul‘s documentary about PCO member and Gonzo icon Ralph Steadman, is to get an airing on Sky Atlantic next year.

Congratulations to Emily Haworth-Booth, who has won this year’s Observer/Cape/Comica Graphic Short Story Prize. And on the subject of prizes, Mike Barfield of Private Eye responds to his recent win at the Cartoon Art Trust Awards.

 

Profile photo of Royston

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.