Young Cartoonists of the Year 2012

December 6, 2012 in Events, General, News

The results of the competition are in and Procartoonists sends congratulations to Saffie Patel and Lawrence Lamborn for their awards in the two categories run by The Cartoon Museum and our sister organsation the British Cartoonists’ Association. You can enjoy their winning work below. A cheerful selection of cartoons by the runners-up is now also available at the museum’s own website. This selection includes a particularly splendid  Mule Log, if you enjoy puns.

Saffie_Patel_Young_cartoonist_winner_2012 @

© Saffie Patel Young Cartoonist Winner 2012 - Under 18 years category @

You can also read the background to the event and get a dash of the controversy surrounding the criteria for entry here.


© Lawrence Lamborn Young Cartoonist winner 2012 - Under 30 years category

19 responses to Young Cartoonists of the Year 2012

  1. The Under 18 was much sharper than the Under30 IMO.

  2. Good joke in the first one, but both feature dreadful drawing. A bit depressing really.

  3. Gordon Bennett! Are these the best of the next generation of cartoonists?

  4. I enjoyed Saffie’s joke about ‘Depressionism’. I think for a 13 year old it’s a remarkably sharp point to make.

    (And I also like colour pencils)
  5. Think you’re being a touch harsh – and you should look at the hundreds we waded through to get to the shortlists.That said, as this year’s Young Cartoonist Competition seems to have become something of a cause celebre, thought I’d share some salient points with PCO members about how and why it’s run.

    It was originally set up as the MEL CALMAN Young Cartoonist Comp, in memory of the great Times cartoonist, and The Times said they’d sponsor it forever. Naturally, they stopped doing that after about three years, so when I became chair of the BCA in 2000, I inherited a competition with no sponsors, named after a cartoonist with very strong associations with a specific newspaper who no longer sponsored or supported or publicised the award, but with no hope of any publicity from anywhere else because of the associations with Mel. That year we had about 25 entries.So I decided, with regret (and apologies to his family) to drop Mel’s name and recruit the judges from each national newspaper SOLELY IN ORDER TO GET THOSE PAPERS TO RUN FREE ADS FOR THE COMPETITION. The BCA has few funds, and there is no way we could possibly pay to advertise the competition. And this year we had FREE ads in The Times (guiltily, I suspect), The Mail, The Guardian, The Independent, The Telegraph, The FT and Private Eye. On top of the publicity given here and from the Cartoon Museum itself, that resulted in us getting a very healthy number of entriues, which whatever you may think of their quality, show that we work in a craft or profession that lots of young people want to join. That, however, is the rationale behind having a elite bunch of white middle-aged old fucks from a dying industry judging this event.The administration is handled almost entirely by me, on my own, haphazardly when I grab a minute and with no support, financial or otherwise, from anyone. Ollie Preston of CAT kindly knocks up the ad I then beg national newspapers to run.

    For years we didn’t even have a sponsor and I was paying for the winners’ prizes out of my own pocket. I’m not complaining, just telling you that this is a tiny operation, run in my spare time, so if our criteria have ossified a tad over the years that’s almost entirely because I haven’t had the time to think about them or to get Ollie to change them. Following the shitrain I’ve received, being accused more or less of engaging in an evil conspiracy against our digital comrades, means next year I’ll probably change the rules. If I remember.But my response by and large to the various people who’ve bellowed at me about allthis is: please, if you want to organise this, or a similar competition that fits in with what you think should be its aims and intentions, you’re quite at liberty to do so. We’re not the industry standard, merely the only regular young cartoonist competition around (despite the Beano trying it once, and then giving up so far as I can tell). As yer man the late Chairman Mao said, in between murdering millions of his countrymen and women, “Let a Hundred Flowers Bloom”.

    As to digitally produced work and the provision of originals, that’s just the way we’ve done it hitherto, which I’m happy to change. Whether we recieve copies or not isn’t really an issue, though I think the original idea was a desire to see the little buggers’ workings. Personally, I remain a tiny bit suspicious of digitally generated stuff, because I’m an old Luddite and I think you should get your fingers dirty when you draw, but I’m open to persuasion on this too.Otherwise, not entirely sure what all the fuss has been about. This is not, after all, the Nobel Peace Prize, although the responses I get from the runners-up, who get absolutely sod all except a form letter from me with a few personalised comments scrawled at the bottom, suggest that they, at least, seem to think having their worked judged almost good enough by a pack of (by the end of the evening) pretty pissed-up professionals is worthwhile. Almost warms the cockles of me heart…

  6. Thanks, Martin, for the background to the competition and the sheer amount of work it entails. So, here’s to this year’s worthy winners… and next year’s too!

  7. (hangs head in shame at earlier comment)

  8. One man’s constructive criticism is another man’s shitrain.

    Point of information, Mr Rowson – it isn’t the digital that generates the artwork, it’s the artist that generates, using digital tools. Subtle but massive difference. It’s all done by hand linked to brain, whichever methods you use. 
  9. Brighty – stop being so chippy, for Christ’s sake. I wasn’t referring to you, but to others – but please, channel your constructivity towards, just maybe, organising a national cartoon competition, eh? And your point about digital is equally chippy: I know perfectly well a human is behind digital images: all I said was that I, personally, prefer the tactility of pen or brush on paper, and I think it helps young cartoonists to get mucky by trying out all media. And I also said everything should be fine. Now find some other Aunt Sally to kick.

  10. Now who’s being “chippy”? 

    Forgive me for my defensiveness, Martin, but when you appear to grudgingly accept the digital argument by adding a parting kick of continued suspicion, there is still work to be done if you truly are open to persuasion. I’ve created dirty-fingered artwork for more than two thirds of my career, and I’m happy to now be saving a very small fortune on Swarfega, and, in my own opinion, producing better work. That is certainly assisted by the digital tools I use, just as your own style probably works best with the messy stuff, but you can know how to use all the filters, fill tools and brush heads available in a good software package, but it means bugger all if you don’t have the talent to back it up. The same talent that makes a sable brush and a dip pen work.

    Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it, springs to mind, but meantime, it would be nice to see a little more welcoming love to the digital side, rather than a grudging acceptance that it can probably join the party. I’ve never heard anyone who has converted to digital methods knocking the ‘old ways’, and I fully understand the love for traditional methods. I will evangelise for the new methods, because I’m convinced that is the future for the vast majority of cartoonists, but in doing so, I will not disparage the tools and methods that served me extremely well for over 20 years of professional cartooning. It’d be nice if those who chose not to enter into the digital world would do so without casting doubt and suspicion over those that do, at the very least. 

    It’d be even nicer if you’d give it a decent try. You may even enjoy it, and it doesn’t make you a bad person, or even a chippy one. 
  11. Oh, sorry – forgot to add that I have been giving a considerable amount of thought to your suggestion, even before you suggested it. Just to let you know. 

  12. Steve – there really isn’t an issue worth squabbling over here, except to say that,like Oscar Wilde who said he’d try anything except Incest or Morris Dancing, there’s absolutely no need for me to try doing things digitally if I don’t want to, while recognising many people produce excellent work that way. But it’s not for me til I have enough time to try for more than tokenist reasons, and right now that looks like never. But as I say, no grounds for squabbling – unless you really want a fight, in which case buy me a pint and then spill it…

  13. What’s wrong with Morris Dancing?

    I’m a Scot. I don’t spill drinks. Slainte!

  14. More squabbling, I’m afraid … it wasn’t Oscar Wilde who said that (he didn’t say *everything* clever, you know) it was Sir Thomas Beecham. And it was folk dancing.

  15. Ah, folk dancing. That figures.

  16. My tiny colleagues and I had to take part in folk dancing at primary school. The sessions were run by a strapping young teacher called Miss Hartley who was blessed with an enormous chest. We were all frightened by it as it lurched past during The Long Eight, or more scary still, hurtled towards you in the Circassian Circle.

    But that and chippery apart – and I’ve only now read the foregoing – this and another thread suggest that many of us are thinking along the same lines. Martin’s description of the beginnings and continuation of YCotY is similar to the hand to mouth existence of Shrewsbury festival, with organisers using their own money here and there and beg, borrowing and stealing all over the place is par.

    But on balance, perhaps Martin has been more successful in making the YCotY event – London – based as it is – more of a “known” event amongst publishing movers and shakers, than Shrewsbury has been in prising said parties away from the capital.

    That Shrewsbury works – in its tenth year in 2013 – and London doesn’t have a London Cartoon Festival is possibly down in part, to Shrewsbury being tiny, having a Council which recognised the tourist/shopper attraction and Alison Patrick and Roger Penwill’s vision in the first instance.

    Shrewsbury’s the size of a London borough.

    Anyway, I just think that the strands of thinking on this issue aren’t so far apart, and maybe thinking about finding ways of widening the sponsor – base, including publishers and end-users in the selection/judging process, asking our patrons to help wave an itemised, clear plan in front of potential hosts etc., might result in a Grown – Up Cartoonist of the Year  thrash.

  17. when is the next compitition

  18. Hi Austin, it is annual and we will note it here. In the meantime, if you enjoy what we do, grab an email subscription to our posts.

  19. I only just found this website and my cartoon that has been posted- thank you for all the comments and constructive criticism, and I am honoured to have won 🙂

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