You are browsing the archive for Viz.

Borderline Funny

June 13, 2019 in Events, General

Rupert Besley writes:

On the banks of the Tyne at Wallsend, downstream from Newcastle, is Segedunum, the large Roman fort that marked the eastern end of Hadrian’s Wall. A century back, the space was crammed with terraced housing and rang to the sounds of shipbuilding in the Swan Hunter yard. It was here in 1906 that the Mauretania was launched, then the biggest moving structure ever made.These days the houses have gone and site cleared to reveal the foundations of the mighty garrison. Shipyard buildings have been converted to form a superb museum, impressive for its collection of Roman finds, its reconstructions and its many activities. The museum’s Viewing Tower is a welcome sight to those completing the 84-mile Hadrian’s Wall Walk from Bowness-on-Solway. And this summer, for all who like cartoons (that’s everyone, isn’t it?), there is one further attraction: an exhibition of Hadrian’s Wall in cartoons.

The museum exterior.

Many congratulations to all involved, notably the volunteer Friends of Segedunum who have so well researched, resourced and curated Borderline Funny. With generous support from a variety of directions (including Lottery funding), they have put together a handsomely mounted show that includes contributions from a good few PCO members along with cartooning colleagues well known from Private Eye and Viz.Prominent in the exhibition, and rightly so, is the work of Roger Oram (1952-2016), an archaeologist who worked for 20 years at Segedunum and was also a spare-time cartoonist with an eye for satirical barbs.

One of the contributions from the children of Richardson Dees Primary School.

The exhibition spills over into the adjoining gallery with its cartoon contributions from visitors and local children, notably those from Richardson Dees Primary School in Wallsend, who worked on the project with Beano artist Nigel Auchterlounie.

Time was when printed publications had plentiful space for cartoons. Such outlets are shrinking fast, so it’s a most welcome thing that the enterprising folk of Tyne & Wear have done. A themed cartoon show makes an attractive add-on for any event or site – not just museums or places of interest: think sporting occasions, food fairs, professional conventions, local festivals, cultural happenings…

The PCO has regularly engaged with such undertakings, but the costs and logistical problems of such an exercise are really too much to expect one or two volunteers to manage. The task of assembling originals from all round the country, storing these, mounting, framing, hanging, insuring, supervising, handling sales and return despatch, is prohibitive, unless done in partnership with a gallery set up full-time for such activity.

Cartoon original by © Tony Husband

Top panel by Viz cartoonists © Graham Dury and Simon Thorp, courtesy of Dennis Publishing. Plus below cartoons by ©  K J Lamb and Clive Goddard.

At Segedunum they found another way through. Dispensing with originals (apart from the two generously donated by Tony Husband for fundraising purposes), they first obtained permissions and digital scans from the artists and then had these plus text printed by a local firm (to a very high standard) on to thick display board, cut to appropriate shapes. (A note advises visitors of contact details available to anyone interested in buying.) Still a way that needs money, hard work and much input from volunteers, but a very neat solution. Borderline brilliant, I’d say.

©  Rupert Besley’s take on the theme.

List of contributors

The exhibition runs right until Sunday 22 September.

Profile photo of Royston

by Royston

The Round-up

October 14, 2014 in Events, General, Links, News

© Viz for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival

© Viz for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival

The Lakes International Comic Art Festival starts this Friday, 17 October, and runs through the weekend. Taking place in Kendal, it features talks, panels, workshops, screenings and more for cartoon and comic enthusiasts of all ages.

Those appearing at the event include creators of graphic novels, kids’ comics and newspaper strips, such as Dave Gibbons, Scott McCloud, Sarah McIntyre, Eddie Campbell and Stephen Collins along with cartoonists from The Phoenix and Viz. The latter’s promotional image, above, is a cheeky Fat Slags parody of the British Library’s Comics Unmasked exhibition poster.

A new exhibition called Hogarth’s London opens at the Cartoon Museum in London next week (22 October). It will feature William Hogarth’s images of the London of 250 years ago, both the highs and lows, which are some of the most recognisable pictures in the city’s history.

As usual the musuem will have a series of events to tie in with is main exhibition (which runs unril 18 January) including and evening of Baroque music and dance, gin, beer (and some cartooning) called The Hogarth Hop

"The postcards down here are positively disgusting! I must send you one!" Cartoon by Donald McGill

“The postcards down here are positively disgusting! I must send you one!” Cartoon by Donald McGill

Also opening on 22 October at the Chris Beetles Gallery in St James’s, is a new selling exhibition of original artwork by Donald McGill, the acknowledged master of the saucy seaside postcard who was dubbed “the Picasso of the pier” by Dennis Potter. The show, which features more than 100 cartoons, runs until 8 November and ties in with a new biography of McGill by Bernard Crossley.

Also also on 22 October (busy day), Procartoonists member Chris Burke can be seen drawing and painting live at The Porterhouse in Covent Garden, in an event called Turner on the Terrace to promote the release of the new Mike Leigh film about the great artist (Turner that is, not Chris Burke). More details here.

Finally, our thoughts go out to the family of the cartoonist Bryan Reading who has died, aged 79, after battling cancer. He was a friend of many Procartoonists members and is remembered as a very funny cartoonist and a master draughtsman, as this cartoon shows.

"But Arthur, you could land in a very unfashionable postal district." Cartoon by Bryan Reading

Cartoon by Bryan Reading

The Round-up

March 15, 2013 in General, Links, News

© Colin Whittock @Procartoonists.org

Our colleagues in the Cartoonists’ Club of Great Britain (CCGB) have produced The Little Red Nose-E-Book Of Cartoons in aid of Comic Relief. It features 101 cartoons by CCGB members, including the gag above by Colin Whittock, who is also a Procartoonists.org member. The e-book costs just £1.59 (with all proceeds going to the charity) and can be downloaded here.

Also to coincide with Comic Relief, Forbidden Planet asks comics professionals to pick their favourite humorous strips. The list includes the dark and desolate Viz strip, Drunken Bakers, drawn by Procartoonists.org member Lee Healey. Read the full article here and see if you agree with the selections.

Ralph Steadman, the world-renowned cartoonist and yet another of our members, is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at London’s Cartoon Museum. Steadman at 77 opens on 1 May. and runs until 21 July. Find more details here.

Ian Hislop and his frequent collaborator,  the cartoonist Nick Newman, have written a new film for BBC Two that focuses on a First World War forerunner to Private Eye. Read more here.

Finally, the illustrator Alex Mathers explains how he found himself drawing Google Doodles — arguably the most widely seen drawings in the world on any given day — and draws some useful conclusions. Read it here.

Round-up: What the Bloghorn saw

November 11, 2011 in Links, News

The Washington Post profiles two US cartoonists – the right-leaning Nate Beeler and the left-leaning Susie Cagle – and looks at how they are engaging with the anti-capitalist protests in their cities. Click here for the full article.

Long-time Viz contributer Alex Collier is working on a series of Olympics-themed educational cartoons for children, according to the Sunderland Echo.

Nuts, the cult comic strip by New Yorker, National Lampoon and Playboy cartoonist Gahan Wilson, has been collected in book form by Fantagraphics. Publishers Weekly examines the strip and its creator here.

Bil Keane, the creator of syndicated comic strip The Family Circus, has died aged 89. Examiner.com looks at his life and work here.

Oor Wullie under the hammer

May 11, 2011 in News

Rob Murray writes:

An oil painting of iconic Scottish cartoon-strip character Oor Wullie is due to be auctioned in Glasgow on Thursday night, and has been valued at between £2,500 and £3,500.

Oor Wullie Oil Painting by Graham McKean

© STV – Scottish Television – Image by artist Graham McKean

The painting, by Irvine-based artist Graham McKean, shows D.C. Thomson‘s Wullie – and his trademark upturned bucket – away from his Dundee home and sat on a sandy beach.

McKean has called the painting ‘Oor Wullie, Your Wullie, A Holiday Wullie’ – a play on the strip’s tagline of ‘Oor Wullie! Your Wullie! A ‘body’s Wullie!’

The character is celebrating his 75th birthday this year, having first appeared in the Sunday Post in 1936.

“I have painted many famous people over the years but I wanted to do a real Scottish icon this time, and that was when I thought of Wullie,” McKean told STV News.

“Like many Scottish youngsters, I grew up reading Oor Wullie and The Broons, although when I was deciding where to set the piece I decided to take him away from Dundee and put him in a location closer to my own home,” he added.

The auction raises the age-old question about the relative value of different art forms.

If McKean’s painting reaches its expected sale price, it will have made roughly double that of a sketchbook containing Wullie drawings by the character’s original artist, legendary Thomson cartoonist Dudley D. Watkins – which sold last year for £1,600.

Meanwhile, Wullie has been reinterpreted in a very different way in the current issue of Viz. A one-page strip titled ‘Oor Frankie’, drawn by Davey Jones, casts comedian Frankie Boyle in the role and, for a limited time, can be viewed here for free.

Bloghorn says if you would like to share a view on the value of art and cartoon, or even of cartoon and art, please do in the comments below.

The Dandy relaunches (again)

October 20, 2010 in News

The Dandy, Britain’s longest running comic, published by DC Thomson, is due to relaunch next week with a new look.

Not much has been made public about the makeover, but the current unpopular fortnightly magazine-style incarnation,  Dandy Xtreme, is expected to be ditched in favour of a return to a weekly comic almost entirely composed of cartoons and strips.

Unconfirmed reports suggest that there’ll be new strips by Beano and Viz cartoonist Lew Stringer (but not, apparently, called ‘Blurp’), newcomer Andy Fenton and the PCO’s very own Alexander Matthews, alongside current favourites Cuddles and Dimples by Nigel Parkinson and Desperate Dan by Jamie Smart, who also drew the new logo, above.

The Dandy‘s website, www.dandy.com, is also expected to be revamped, and you can follow developments on its Twitter stream as well. The new-look Dandy goes on sale on 27th October at the new price of £1.50.

Profile photo of Royston

by Royston

Viz gets respectable

August 9, 2010 in General, News

Viz at the Lit and Phil
Uh-oh, it looks like Viz has finally achieved respectability in it’s home town, as this week sees the opening of an exhibition of original artwork from the adult comic at the Literary and Philosophical Society of Newcastle upon Tyne (that’s Lit and Phil, for short).

The show, featuring the likes of the Fat Slags and Roger Mellie (the Man on the Telly), above, opens on Thursday, August 12, and runs until September 4. Opening times are Mon-Thurs 10am – 7pm, Friday 10am – 5pm, Saturday 10am – 1pm, and admission is £4, or £2 for members.

There is a series of talks and events to tie in with the exhibition. We particularly like the sound of co-founder Simon Donald’s “How to make yourself popular and successful using gutter language”.

More details at the Lit and Phil website.

Thanks to Pete Dredge for drawing our attention to this.

Beetles and Cats

August 4, 2010 in General, News

"You'd better release their ball. They've kidnapped the cat" by Norman Thelwell

The Chris Beetles Gallery in London has an exhibition of cat cartoons, illustrations and paintings opening later this month, titled Louis Wain and the Summer Cat Show 2010.

This show marks the 30th annual exhibition of British cat art at Chris Beetles. Alongside work by the eccentric Edwardian cat artist, Louis Wain, the exhibition features cartoons and sketches by William Heath Robinson, Norman Thelwell and Ronald Searle, although some of the paintings on show do remind Bloghorn of the infamous Viz commemorative plate The Life of Christ in Cats.

Louis Wain and the Summer Cat Show will be showing at the Chris Beetles Gallery, 8 & 10 Ryder St, St James’s, London, from August 14 to September 4, opening hours 10am – 5.30pm, Monday – Saturday. For more details go to www.chrisbeetles.com

Profile photo of Royston

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

Comic festivals return

November 5, 2009 in General

comica_logoThe three-week London-centred comic festival Comica opens today, featuring the usual mix of talks, workshops and exhibitions including the Cartoon Museum‘s 30 Years of Viz celebration (previously on Bloghorn) and a collection of original artwork from American underground comic legend Robert Crumb (previously). Also happening is the small press and self-publisher’s fair, Comiket, this coming Sunday at the ICA. There’s a full program of everything that’s going on here (or in PDF form here). Comica continues until the 26 November at various locations across the city.

thoughtbubble

Coming later in the month is the Thought Bubble festival in Leeds, happening between Thursday 19 and Sunday 22 November, and features more workshops, talks and exhibitions and incorporates the Thought Bubble one-day comic convention on the Saturday at Saviles Hall, opposite the Royal Armories.