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Upcoming cartoon events

October 7, 2010 in Events

Foghorn Bloghorn for The UK Professional Cartoonists’ OrganisationAside from the previously mentioned The Big Draw, there’s a few events that may be of interest to cartoon and comic fans coming up in next couple of months.

This coming Saturday the 9th October is Canterbury Anifest, an animation festival featuring appearances by Wallace and Gromit, Bagpuss, the Gruffalo and Phil Jupitus at Canterbury Christ Church University.

The following weekend (16-17th October) British International Comics Show (BICS) returns to Think Tank in Millennium Point in Birmingham, and features guests including comic fan and CLiNT collaborator Jonathan Ross, Simon Tofield (of Simon’s Cat fame), Vern & Lettuce‘s Sarah Mcintyre, Watchmen artist Dave Gibbons and Brum’s very own comic legend, Hunt Emerson.

On 29th-31st October the London MCM Expo at Excel will feature the Comic Village, and also will be hosting the Eagle Awards, the comic industry’s longest standing award.

On Sunday 7th November the Ellis Room at the Royal National Hotel plays host to the Comica Comiket Independent Comics Fair.

Finally,on the 18-21st November Thought Bubble (the Leeds Sequential Art Festival) features the Leeds Graphic Novel Awards for comics books aimed at 11-14 year olds.

Cartoon secrets revealed

April 7, 2010 in General

News reaches Bloghorn of a couple of British cartoonists revealing the tricks of the trade. Firstly there’s The TimesPeter Brookes explaining how he’ll be caricaturing the party leaders in the upcoming General Election. On drawing the current Prime Minister:

With Gordon Brown I’ll start with the hair, increasingly grey and much more coiffured these days. Then come the heavy, angry eyebrows above creased eyes, one unsighted because that is the unfortunate reality. The nose is short and stubby, with a flat base. The fleshy-lipped mouth is open in that odd gurning movement he makes with his jaw as he speaks. The ears are large, round and red. There are deep marks on the cheekbones that, with the bags under his eyes, give him that knackered, saturnine look, particularly when I add a blue-grey wash for five o’clock shadow. Sometimes I think I’ve just drawn Nixon.

Secondly, from the other end of the British cartooning spectrum we have Watchmen artist Dave Gibbons demonstrating, with video, how he goes about drawing a character digitally using a Wacom Cintiq tablet and Manga Studio software.

Of course, if you would like to see cartoonists demonstrating their skills in the flesh, we would heartily recommend you head to this years Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival, 22nd to 24th April 2010. But, if you can’t make it in person, we’ll be providing full coverage here on Bloghorn.

Who's Going to Watch the Watchmen?

March 4, 2009 in News

watchmenIn case you’ve missed the hype, the film version of one of the most acclaimed graphic novels of all time opens in Britain on Friday 6 March. The movie is, of course, Watchmen, based on Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon‘s groundbreaking series of 12 comics, first published in 1986. Set against a alternative vision of 1980s Cold War America it follows the investigations by ‘costumed vigilante’ Rorschach after an ex-superhero is found murdered – although, there’s a lot more to it than that…

Unsurprisingly, there has been a lot of interest and speculation out there in the internet, bolstered by an effective viral campaign on the New Frontiersman (the conspiracy magazine within the comic) and if you can get a copy of the free newspaper Metro (according to the Forbidden Planet blog) this Friday’s edition will come wrapped with a copy of the New Frontiersman. You can get Watchmen coffee and Watchmen condoms, or even an DVD of the Tales of the Black Freighter, an animated version of the pirate comic that features in the narrative.poster_manfalling

There’s a video of Watchmen artist Dave Gibbons, on how the film visually stays close to the comic, and an interview in the Times, and Wired has a feature on the comic and film, including an interview with writer Alan Moore. Even New Scientist has got in on the act with the Science of Watchmen.

There’s also a rare chance to see where it all started. Original artwork from issue 1 Page 1 of Watchmen, featuring an excerpt from Rorschach’s diary and the iconic blood-spattered Smiley badge is going to be on display at Orbital Comics, 8 Great Newport Street, London WC2H 7JA until the 19th March (thanks to Blimey! for the link).

Lets just hope it lives up to the hype…

PCOer Royston Robertson adds:

Raymond Chandler was once asked what he thought of Hollywood ruining his books. He took the questioner through to his study and pointed to the crime novels on the shelf, saying, “Look, they’re all fine.”

That is kind of how I feel about Watchmen. The graphic novel is an excellent piece of work, and that fact remains, regardless of how good or bad the film adaptation turns out to be.

I would urge anyone, whether they intend to see the film or not, to read Watchmen. It’s the superhero comic for people who don’t like superhero comics. I have never been a fan of the genre myself but in 1988 I was urged by a friend to read Watchmen, so I did. And I’ve read it several times since.

Each time, I get something new out of Watchmen and I’m always bowled over by it. It’s funny, wry, clever, and is a cracking good story. Not unlike the novels of Raymond Chandler, in fact.