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by Royston

BBC Radio Four peeps into Clubland

February 20, 2009 in General

_45489730_racecartoonCartoon by Stan Eales, owned by the Royal Automobile Club

BBC Radio Four’s Today website has a series of pictures on A Peep into Clubland, the new exhibition at the Cartoon Museum.

There’s more on the show here.

Symbolism in cartoons

August 18, 2008 in General

Ever wondered why some newspaper cartoons have so many symbols and badges in them? Let PCOer Martin Rowson explain a little about it in this Radio 4 interview about the symbolism of Russia as a giant bear. Clip from the Today programme.

British cartoon talent

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by Royston

Cartooning in the media: It's not all bad news

July 25, 2008 in General

PCOer Royston Robertson says we cartoonists need to lighten up about media coverage of our profession

There’s no doubt that cartoons are enjoying an unusually high profile in the British media at the moment.

We’ve seen acres of coverage for the launch of new kids’ comic The DFC (left), the 70th anniversary of The Beano and Phill Jupitus’s comic strip programme on Radio Four. There has even been a graphic novel serialised in The Times.

So, are cartoonists happy about this? Not a bit of it.

I agree with Neil Dishington, who wrote on this blog yesterday that the Phill Jupitus thing was nothing special, but is that because we’re cartoonists and therefore he’s preaching to the converted? I think it’s likely that many listeners would have found Jupitus’s sincere enthusiasm about comic strips quite infectious.

Isn’t it a good thing that shows like these exist? Is it not the case that the only thing worse than the media talking about cartoons is the media not talking about cartoons?

But they misrepresent cartooning, some cartoonists cry, it’s obvious they don’t know what they’re talking about. Well, maybe. I’m sure I heard James Naughtie talking about “animators” at The Beano on the Today show on Monday, but is there a single profession that doesn’t think it is often misrepresented by the media? I know journalists who think the media misrepresents them.

Another common complaint is that any media obsession with cartoons is just a passing fad. Again, that may be true, perhaps they’re using cartoons to cheer us up amid all the credit crunch stuff, but then that is the role of most cartoons. And let’s not forget that the media treats many subjects in a faddish way before moving on to the next thing.

And as for the grumbling over celebs such as Jupitus drawing cartoons, cartooning has always been something where everyone wants to have a go. That’s because it’s fun. We often encourage that attitude, at events such as The Big Draw and the Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival.

All you can do is keep on doing good cartoon work and hope that those who commission cartoons for publication will realise that it is best to go to a professional.

The PCO: Professional cartoon talent

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by Royston

Cartoons on the radio

April 24, 2008 in General

Above: Low takes on Hitler and Mussolini. Click to enlarge

Cartoons were back in the spotlight this morning with an item on BBC Radio Four’s Today show about the David Low exhibition currently running at London’s Political Cartoon Gallery.

Tim Benson of the gallery appeared on the show to discuss the work with politicians Douglas Hurd and Ken Clarke. You can see a selection of the cartoons in an online gallery at the Today website.

The Best of Low is at the Political Cartoon Gallery until June 7. Low (1891–1963) is considered by many to be the greatest political cartoonist of the 20th Century. This exhibition of his work includes more than 60 original cartoons from before the First World War to the early 1960s. None of the cartoons on show have been exhibited before.

The Political Cartoon Gallery is at 32 Store Street, London WC1E 7BS, and is open Monday to Friday 9.30am – 5.30pm and on Saturdays between 11.30am – 5.30pm.

Click here for top British cartoonists that are still with us!