Ben Jennings, Dave Simmonds, Dave Brown & George Leigh. Photo © Kasia Kowalska
Kasia Kowalska writes:
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, if was the age of foolishness, if was the epoch of belief, if was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, if was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted of its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
Charles Dickens “A Tale of Two Cities”
It is widely acknowledged that the collective noun for cartoonists is a whinge.
At the beginning of the year, I had asked a whinge of cartoonists to make good on their bellyaching about not seeing one another often enough. They complained that they were sick of solitary sobbing over their paint pots and drawing boards and were vexed with venting into the void about the state of the world. And so, Ye Olde Whynge was born. Seemingly, out of frustration.
Jeremy Banx & Tim Sanders in compulsory berets. photo © Kasia Kowalska
The Whynge is an informal and unaffiliated cartoonist gathering in a small, friendly pub in central London. Topics of conversation have historically included: the B-words, the T-word, the state of the nation and the state of the world, not to mention the occasional heated debate about gouache and appropriate sharpness of pencils.
Marten Minkema interviews Ros Asquith. Photo © Kasia Kowalska
The September Whynge played host to a special guest from the Netherlands, Marten Minkema, who was gathering material for a radio programme commissioned by the Dutch National Radio, NPO 1.
The subject of the report was Brexit from the view point of British cartoonists, as a means to elucidate the current situation in the UK and explain it to those living across the Channel, with a prevailing motto of ‘show me your cartoons and I’ll show you your country.’
Marten Minkema attempts to interview Steve Way while Rob Murray savages the microphone. Photo © Kasia Kowalska
Marten wanted to find out whether the dynamics of Brexit provide inspiration, or whether it is difficult for cartoonists to surpass reality. The voices of Steve Way, Ros Asquith, Martin Rowson, Bob Moran, Martin Newman, Mac (Stanley McMurtry) and Dave Brown provide some of the answers.
Many raised eyebrows when Marten said he’d brought over a substance for us all to try…turns out it was a fine Dutch cheese.
‘Brexit: De Spotprent Voorbij’ (‘Brexit: Beyond the Cartoon’) is available on NPO1 (the Whynge section begins at 06:57)
Cartoonists are welcome to come along to the next Whynge and have a good whinge.
Additional cheese photography by Glenn Marshall.