Monday, December 31, 2007

The PCO in 2008

The PCO's Bloghorn will be doing its best to keep you up to date with the news from Britain's cartoon community in 2008. We will be taking part in a large number of events during the year as well as promoting the work and activities of our individual members here on the Bloghorn. The list on the right hand side of this diary, under 'Interests' allows you to search through all that we did in 2007, or at least since our portfolio site was launched last July. (Just click on the term, or name, that takes your interest. A click on the headline at the top of this page will always get you home.) Of course, the new year brings with it the promise of the UK's annual international cartoon festival which is held in the medieval market town of Shrewsbury. Festival dates are 18th-20th April this year and there will be plenty of information about the event coming up throughout the spring.
British cartoon talent

Great New Year’s Eve joke: 31 December 2007

The Hayward Gallery on London's south bank is to host a exhibition of art about 'laughing.' You may read about it here. Bloghorn loves this sort of thing, but does find as a rule, laughter in art is best left to the professionals. The Hayward Gallery show runs from Friday 25 January to Sunday 13 April 2008. It includes;

the whole spectrum of humour, from jokes, gags and slapstick to irony, wit and satire. The exhibition brings together more than 70 videos, photographs and interactive installation works by more than 30 artists from all around the world.

But nothing as humble as a drawing it seems.
31st December 2007
British cartoon talent

Friday, December 28, 2007

PCO Procartoonists - Artist of the Month - Clive Collins

Our last installment of Mr Clive Collins as the PCO Artist of the Month for December 2008. Next week, Bloghorn will reveal our first featured professional cartoon image maker for the new year of 2008.
British cartoon talent

Friday, December 21, 2007

PCO Christmas card

May your holidays be bright. Cartoon from Bill Stott.
21st December 2007
British cartoon talent

Thursday, December 20, 2007

PCO Procartoonists - Artist of the Month - Clive Collins

Our Cartoonist of the month for December 2007 is Clive Collins. If you click on the phrase 'Clive Collins' underneath this cartoon, through the magic of technology, you will find more of Clive's work - or you can click C for Collins from here.
20th December
British cartoon talent

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

BBC man Andrew Marr is new PCO patron

News of an early christmas present for the PCO as Bloghorn can report that TV's Andrew Marr has signed up as one of our patrons. We don't hand these honours out lightly and as he's got to follow the late great Alan Coren, perhaps we should be extending sympathy to the poor man too. But, welcome aboard Mr Marr, we and our other patron, Libby Purves, are most pleased to have you.
19th December 2007
British cartoon talent

Friday, December 14, 2007

PCO Procartoonists - Artist of the Month - Clive Collins

Our PCO artist of the month for December 2007 is Clive Collins (click C from here to see more). Clive is our fifth choice as artist of the month, following on from Martin Honeysett, Pete Dredge, Colin Whittock and Chris Madden. You can find all of these artists and their equally talented contemporaries in our portfolio site.

British cartoon talent

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

PCO Procartoonists - Drawing for the stage

PCOer Noel Ford writes:

One of the things I love about being a freelance cartoonist is that, apart from my regular editorial slots, I never know what might be just around the corner. In more than 30 years of cartooning, I’ve had my fair share of weird, wonderful and bizarre commissions, but one that stands out in recent times is the one commissioned by the Welsh Opera singer Buddug Verona James. (Non-welsh readers should know that in Wales, a “u” is pronounced “i” and a double “d” is pronounced “th”).

The job comprised, partly, the artwork for the programmes and posters for Buddug’s one-woman show, A Knife at the Opera, a very funny tale – with singing – about a serial killer who is knocking off theatre critics. Buddug plays the detective and the six divas who are the suspects. The best part of the job was drawing the characters of the suspects which were to be blown up life-size on to door-sized panels. These panels, behind each of which Buddug would disappear to make her quick changes and reappear as the character on the panel, were to be arranged in a shallow semi-circle on the open stage so that when the audience came to take their seats they would be confronted with six of my life-size cartoons.

I have to confess that when I went to see the show, earlier this year, I felt a buzz when I sat looking at my characters, looking back at me from the stage, and hearing the packed house chuckling even before the show had started. For that reason in particular, this was one of my favourite recent jobs.

You can find out more about the show here: A Knife at the Opera

British cartoon talent

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

James Gillray: father of the political cartoon

An exhibition entitled Gillray’s Legacy: A Contemporary Perspective is at the Political Cartoon Gallery in London from January 16 until February 23.

The exhibition combines a selection of some of the Georgian caricaturist's best-known works, side by side with reworkings of these “after Gillray” by modern political cartoonists, including Steve Bell, Peter Brookes, Martin Rowson, Vicky, Dave Brown and Nicholas Garland.

These later cartoons offer both a contemporary twist and a full-blooded testimony to James Gillray’s achievements as “the father of the political cartoon”, while also showing how his powerful images of our follies and misdemeanours have continued to influence subsequent generations of artists.

The Political Cartoon Gallery is at 32 Store Street, London WC1E 7BS, and is open Monday to Friday 9.30am –5.30pm and on Saturdays between 11.30am–5.30pm.

British cartoon talent

Thursday, December 6, 2007

PCO Procartoonists - Artist of the Month - Clive Collins

Clive Collins is the PCO's Artist of the Month for December 2007. A full list of all Clive's clients would fill a large portion of the internet, so Bloghorn won't go there, but instead will let Clive describe his work in his own words (mostly).

I've worked in most areas of the profession from newspapers to book illustration to TV to magazines. The client I've been with the longest is Playboy (US) - since 1972 - and the most recent and ongoing is Metro, with many loyal, happy clients in between. I've also won awards in Europe, Canada and Japan.

Having spent most of my life working with pens and papers and inks, I now find myself having to use computer technology, simply because these days there simply isn't the time to use 'old tech'.

However, I don't believe that a computer makes a lousy drawing any better, so the old skills are still put to good use.

Bloghorn would like to commend Clive's admirably pragmatic view about technology, it's useful as long as it's useful.
7th December 2007
British cartoon talent

PCO’s Foghorn cartoon magazine - new issue

The latest issue of the professional cartoonists’ cartoon magazine is out. Joy.
British cartoon talent

The Award-winning PCO

Congratulations to PCO member Martin Rowson, who last night won the single cartoon of the year at the annual Political Cartoon Awards.
6th December 2007
British cartoon talent

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

PCO Procartoonists - Graphic humour and photomontage

Here is the last part of our trilogy of pieces about variety in graphic humour. It is written by Neil Hepburn aka Beau Bo D’Or. You can read parts one and two if you click on the photomontage 'tag' in that long list on the right hand side of Bloghorn. There's also a good response from our own Bill Stott.

One Editor's note, caution, there is some technical language here.

Over to Neil once more;

In my experience, getting noticed in the digital world means changing websites to blogs, or, in adding a blog to an existing website. While certain cartoonists maintain websites, few use blogs, which you might consider are only of benefit to those reacting to issues of the day. However, because of tagging and search engine technology, blogs can also bring enormous benefits for those who work with specific subject matter or themes.

How to speed - digitally.

If you have created images concerning credit fraud or, say, football, potential customers can discover your work reasonably quickly and efficiently. This doesn’t mean that you give away work for free to those not willing to pay. There are safeguards you can use which, although not perfect, can discourage all but the most determined web-savvy freeloaders. I argue, (somewhat controversially - Ed) in fact, that sometimes, it is worth allowing some sharing (free content), which can bring you to the attention of the paying customer. I appreciate there is a balance but we all have to work out individually what the best is for us.

I’m not claiming I’ve had any great commercial success, but, by promoting your talents using the basic methods which I stumbled upon and still use, you will get much greater exposure for the PCO and, I’m sure, help to shaft me and the photoshop artists in the process. While and its blog are a very good start, the site is, correctly, inward looking. I think you (the PCO) ideally need an additional showcase blog for potential customers, outside the PCO, running independently of blogspot, blogger and the like. It would probably cost less than £150 for the domain and hosting per year. Your own-hosted site will give you much more control over style, promotion and shared input. Possibly something similar to Daryl Cagle’s site but in blog format, allowing for feedback and linked to the main media websites but protected from ‘deep-linking’ and/or RSS feeds by the same, so the ‘resource’ is not used to provide links to illustrations that enhance their product.

One final point on digital promotion. Some websites have blogrolls that are three or four times deeper than the articles on their front page- the 21st century equivalent of the car as a penis extension. In my opinion, this is abuse of the blogroll system purely to drive traffic - some blogs linking to others, regardless of the views held on them. However, there is the case for your outward looking blog to have an extensive blogroll because you are a broad church, holding different views on politics, religion, humour and lifestyle etc. You would be quite correct in linking to a plethora of sites and reaping the benefit of the traffic and custom it generates.

So, that’s about it. There's a lot more than I thought I was going to write.
I’m not ashamed of what I do as a photomontage artist, I'm probably a bit frustrated about the limitations and envious of the talents of the ‘traditional’ cartoonist.
When I discuss the various points above, I’m not trying to ‘teach my granny to suck eggs’, I’m hopefully, imparting digital knowledge that I’ve been lucky enough to gain over the last couple of years, and also to those whose work I admire.

And it remains only to say, a big thank you to Neil for all the time and effort he put in contributing his thoughts about the world of graphic humour and digital promotion for Bloghorn.

British cartoon talent

Monday, December 3, 2007

James Kemsley 1948-2007

The PCO would like to send its condolences to the family and friends of James Kemsley, who has died. James lived and worked in Australia drawing a famous cartoon strip called Ginger Meggs, which has been a major part of Australian society for many decades. But more than this, he has been a friend and an inspiration to many other people who make their living from their skill at drawing. He was a long-time member, and President, of the Australian Cartoonists’ Association and this battled for attention with his other obsession, stuffing England at any form of cricket. He was a regular visitor to the UK, invariably timing his visits to chime with the annual cartoon festivals we organise and at which he was a powerful and charming visitor. He will be much missed.
The skill which made James Kemsley a successful professional cartoonist is best summed up with a joke. Bill Stott tells Bloghorn, the Kemsley family dog is called "Mike Outside!
British cartoon talent