You are browsing the archive for Wilbur Dawbarn.

Rising from the ashes

March 18, 2011 in News

Remember the DFC, the short-lived subscription-only comic weekly? Well, it looks like it might be returningsort of.

Many of the DFC’s former artists and writers including Philip Pullman, Laura Howell, Gary Northfield, Garen Ewing, and the PCO‘s own Wilbur Dawbarn attended what may have been the launch party for The Phoenix in Oxford.

Although details are a little sketchy, it appears this isn’t strictly a re-launch but a new comic edited by the DFC’s former editor Ben Sharpe. Or, as Lew Stringer puts it in Blimey!

So, a new comic with the same editor as The DFC which held a party to announce the new comic, attended by many ex-DFC contributors, and allegedly also involving Will Fickling who was previously involved with The DFC. Other than that, not a revival of The DFC.

DFC or not, it appears that the new comic is expected to launch in early 2012. You get more information by signing up for their mailing list at www.thephoenixcomic.co.uk, or by following editor Ben Sharpe on Twitter.

by Royston

Cartoonist patches things up

February 22, 2011 in News

Sometimes cartoonists find that their lovingly crafted drawings don’t look quite as intended when they appear in print.
Mr Meecher cartoon by Wilbur Dawbarn

When PCOer Wilbur Dawbarn opened the current issue of The Dandy, he was slightly confused by one of the frames in his strip “Mr Meecher, the Uncool Teacher”, above.

It seems that a Mr Meecher from a previous issue, the one on the left, made an unscheduled appearance, along with two speech bubbles from the old strip. There must have been a few confused young readers.

No-one at The Dandy seems to know exactly how this happened. But a solution can be found at Wilbur’s blog. Just as you can download “patches” to fix errant computers, so he has created a Mr Meecher patch, which is available to download.

Unlike computer patches though, this one requires a pair of scissors and a Pritt stick …

From Herriman to Holte: Another ten great cartoonists

January 19, 2011 in Comment

The cartoonist Gerald Scarfe has made a list of his ten favourite cartoonists, for the Daily Mail website. It includes some inarguable choices as well as some surprising ones.

Ronald Searle, widely regarded as Britain’s best living cartoonist, is on there. There are also choices from the worlds of fine art, such as Picasso, and film-making, which is represented by Walt Disney, more for his skill at getting great work from others than his own drawing talents.

We asked members of the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation, which runs the Bloghorn, to name their favourite cartoonists not on the Scarfe list. It’s not a poll, or a “top ten”, just an informal list of another ten great artists, and it shows the wealth of variety and creativity to be found in the world of cartooning.

Hector Breeze cartoon

1. Hector Breeze (Born 1928). Picked by Pete Dredge: “A master of the pocket cartoon. Out of the mouths of his mundane, benign, chunkily drawn characters comes the sharpest of captions.”

Robert Crumb cartoon

2. Robert Crumb (Born 1943). Picked by Royston Robertson: “He has been satirising the way we live since the 1960s with his dense, inky, cross-hatched drawings, displaying human folly in all its gory glory. Not for nothing was he described by the art critics Robert Hughes as ‘the Bruegel of the last half of the 20th century’.”

George Grosz painting

3. George Grosz (1893-1959). Picked by Matt Buck and Andrew Birch (both blatantly ignoring the brief of people not on Scarfe’s list, Bloghorn notes!) Matt says: “Grosz drew with an unsparing eye and produced powerful reflections of what people do rather than what they say they do.” Andrew adds: “For me German Expressionism was one of the most important art movements of the 20th century, whose brutal and honest line laid the foundation for many later cartoonists like Steadman.”

Heath Robinson cartoon

4. William Heath Robinson (1872-1944). Picked by Rupert Besley: “He was an original, creating a wonderful, instantly recognisable world of his own. He satirised the growth of mechanisation, but did so in a gloriously enjoyable way that always kept the human at the centre of it all. Which other cartoonist has added his name to the language and booked his place in every dictionary?”

George Herriman cartoon

5. George Herriman (1880-1944). Picked by Wilbur Dawbarn: “From the gorgeously scratchy line work and absolute poetry of the writing in the early years, to the sheer majesty of composition in the latter years, Herriman’s Sunday Krazy Kat pages are, to my mind, some of the finest examples of comic art ever penned.”

Holte cartoon

6. Trevor Holder, aka “Holte” (Born 1941). Picked by Roger Penwill: “Glorious technique, a master of expressive line and a very funny, wicked sense of humour. Some of his cartoons are timeless classics.”

Kliban cartoon

7. Bernard Kliban (1935-1990). Picked by Chris Madden: “I came across a book by B. Kliban: Cat Dreams. I’m not sure what they’re about. I’m not even sure if they’re funny (do cartoons actually have to be funny?) But they’re brilliant. Apparently he grew to detest drawing cats in the end, but they were what everybody wanted. Beware success.”

David Law cartoon

8. David Law (1908-1971). Picked by Steve Bright: “Beautifully fluid and loose line, amazing perspectives and angles, and the master of life and motion in all that he drew. Law inspired millions of kids to pick up a pencil through his marvellous work in the Beano, Dandy and Topper.”

Phil May cartoon

9. Phil May (1864-1903). Picked by Mike Turner: “A breakthrough in culling captions down to a minimum. Great art, brilliant caricatures, sheer good humour relating to ‘the man in the street’ or the ‘man on the horse-drawn omnibus’

Bill Tidy cartoon

10. Bill Tidy (Born 1933). Picked by Bill Stott: “For his excellent gags and consummate drawing, especially in his history-based stuff.”

What do you think of the list? Got a favourite cartoonist you’d like to add to it? Let us know in the comments below.

Foghorn magazine – Issue 48

December 16, 2010 in News

Just in time for Christmas, the latest issue of Foghorn, the cartoon magazine of the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation has been published. Featuring a festive cover by the PCO’s The Surreal McCoy, the magazine is available to subscribers for the very merry price of £20 for six full colour issues – all delivered down your chimney (or through your door).

What’s inside?

Ian Ellery treats us to a very Stanley Unwin Chrimbletide
A short history of the Christmas card by Chris Madden
Nathan Ariss relates some seasonal thespian tales of Mason Ayres
Mike Williams tells of his first taste of Punch
The partridge gets well stuffed by Neil Dishington
And  you’ll find a full page of Wilbur Dawbarn cartoons!

Plus…

…all the regular features – Buildings in the Fog, The Critic, The Foghorn Guide to…, The Potting Shed, Andy Davey‘s ‘Foggy’ strip and many more random acts of humour crammed in wherever we could find room.

You can read older issues of Foghorn online here, right up to our most recent issue.

[issuu layout=http%3A%2F%2Fskin.issuu.com%2Fv%2Fcolor%2Flayout.xml backgroundcolor=FFFFFF showflipbtn=true documentid=101216162137-f96aa5fe424441e2a58b459ee0529896 docname=foghorn47 username=Bloghorn loadinginfotext=Foghorn%20-%20No.%2047 showhtmllink=true tag=the%20foghorn width=420 height=296 unit=px]

Workshops at Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival 2010

May 5, 2010 in Events, News

The Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival doesn’t actually finish at the end of the weekend.

Exhibitions continue in venues across the town and organisers run workshops for people keen to explore the skills of drawing and communication.


Cartoonist Wilbur Dawbarn ran one of these events and here are photos from his workshops. Bloghorn thanks Shropshire Council’s event development team for passing these along to us.


Some of the work produced will be displayed at the town’s Wakeman School and Arts College at the end of June.

An informant tells Bloghorn that Wilbur let slip he sometimes “meditated” on a subject for a cartoon while having a lie-in in the mornings. One of the older ladies immediately produced a cartoon of him lounging in bed – you can see it below.

"It's nice to finish the day's work before breakfast!"

Bloghorn thinks: If only…

by Royston

Shrewsbury 2010 #1

April 19, 2010 in General

Cartoon by Wilbur DawbarnThe Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival starts this Thursday, April 22, and runs until Sunday, April 25. We’ll be showcasing cartoons submitted for exhibition at Shrewsbury this week, and throughout the festival weekend. All cartoons are on the theme of Magic, Myth and Mystery.

Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival 2009

April 15, 2009 in General

Bloghorn cartoon - evolution of man © Wilbur Dawbarn

Bloghorn cartoon - evolution of man © Wilbur Dawbarn

One week to go. Get evolving in these directions.

by Royston

Wilbur grins and bears it

January 23, 2009 in General

bodkin

This week’s edition of new children’s comic The DFC (issue 34, dated January 23) features the debut of a new strip by PCOer Will “Wilbur” Dawbarn.

Bodkin and the Bear is the story of a less-than-successful medieval minstrel called Bodkin who messes up every job he ever gets. But things may start to look up when he meets the mysterious Bear …

There’s more info at the DFC website where you can even read a small biography of Wilbur who reveals that he is the Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall of cartoons, as when he is not at the drawing board he enjoys nothing more than foraging for mushrooms.

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

by Royston

The 14th Cartoon Art Trust Awards

November 20, 2008 in General

The Cartoon Art Trust Awards were presented last night at The Mall Galleries in London. The trust, which runs the Cartoon Museum in London, has presented the awards annually since 1995. Gag cartoonist Grizelda, left, was among the winners.

PCOer and Private Eye regular Will “Wilbur” Dawbarn was there and sent Bloghorn this personal report:

I was fortunate enough to be invited to join the Private Eye table this year, and what a star-studded occasion it seemed to this small-town boy! I even got my suit out of mothballs for the occasion.

After a brief time spent standing around with no-one to talk to, trying to earwig Ken Clarke’s conversation (for cartoon research purposes of course), scoffing as many canapés as I could get my hands on, and examining some marvellous Giles originals, I soon fell in with the coterie of Eye cartoonists, particularly the garrulous Simon Pearsall (“First Drafts”), who chatted non-stop in my left ear (most entertainingly) during the meal, leaving me only dimly aware of cartoons being auctioned off for thousands of pounds and awards being dished out to the worthy.

In my right ear at the table was Mark Warren, the writer of the Celeb strip. It turns out it’s only Charles Peattie who does both Alex and Celeb – I’d always assumed it was the same writer-artist combo doing both.

I missed a few more awards whilst outside having a fag with Simon P. and Martin Rowson (who was very charming and gracious to the winner of the Under 18 Young Cartoonist of the Year award, telling her to email him for advice and the like – though he bluntly refused me the same courtesy when I enquired …)

The Award Winners

Joke cartoon award: Grizelda of the New Statesman and others

Strip cartoon award: Stephen Collins of the Times

Pocket cartoon award: Jeremy Banks aka “Banx” of the FT

Caricature award: Nicola Jennings of the Guardian

Political cartoon award: Nicholas Garland of the Daily Telegraph

Young cartoonists of the year: Emilia Franklin (under 18) and James Hood (under 30).

The Pont prize for drawing the British Character: Charles Peattie and Russell Taylor of the Daily Telegraph for Alex. The Pont Award was set up five years ago in memory of Graham “Pont” Laidler, whose drew the brilliant series The British Character in Punch in the 1930s and 40s.

Lifetime achievement award: Raymond Briggs. The creator of the acclaimed books The Snowman and When the Wind Blows was responsible for some of the earliest British “graphic novels” – long before the term or the form was generally known. Previous winners of the award have included, Ronald Searle, Gerald Scarfe, Fluck and Law, and Trog.

PCOer Morten Morland has a first person report here as does Christian Adams of the Telegraph has his take on the events here too and Down the Tubes also has a round up.

The PCO: Great British cartoon talent

by Royston

Cartooning on television

September 26, 2008 in General

PCOer Will “Wilbur” Dawbarn is to appear on football show Off The Bar on Sky Sports 3 tonight, as an on-the-spot cartoonist.

Newton’s sportier brother: a Private Eye cartoon by Wilbur

Talking about yesterday’s recording of the show, Will told the Bloghorn: “It was a really fun afternoon, I loved it. I got a bit of abuse from the host for being a Liverpool fan, but I managed to put my topical knowledge of Stoke City’s lethal throw-in secret weapon to some use on the show.

“My knowledge of the game wasn’t put to too taxing a test, most of the chat was left to the pundits. It was a tricky gig – I only had about 20 minutes to think up and draw gags about what they were saying, so I had to listen, brainstorm, and draw, all at the same time. Quite a challenge, but one I’m glad I took up.

“I’m certainly not the new Bill Tidy, but the cartoons I produced went down quite well and I got away without completely humiliating myself.”

Bloghorn says: the boy done good. Off The Bar is on Sky Sports 3 tonight at 9pm, with repeats at various times.

The PCO: As seen on TV