Friday, February 29, 2008

PCO Artists of the month

On this special leap year Friday 29th February, Bloghorn would like to invite you to scroll back through a few month's worth of PCO talent in our regular Friday feature. The featured cartoonists have been among the finest joke and editorial artists in the UK; they are Martin Honeysett, Pete Dredge, Colin Whittock, Chris Madden, Clive Collins, John Landers and our latest, Lee Healey. There will be a new artist of the month next Friday.
British cartoon talent

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Cartoon documentary: Born Dead, Still Weird

A new documentary entitled Gahan Wilson: Born Dead, Still Weird, has to be high on the list of must-see films for anyone interested in cartoons.

Steven-Charles Jaffe's portrait of the famed New Yorker and Playboy cartoonist is currently on the festival circuit in the US. It features interviews with fans including Neil Gaiman, Stan Lee, Randy Newman, Guillermo del Toro and Hugh Hefner and includes an exclusive behind the scenes look at how cartoons for The New Yorker are pitched, bought, or rejected.

There's no word yet on whether the film is coming to the UK, and there doesn't even seem to be a trailer online. There is, however, a clip of Wilson designing a "dark and twisted" image used to decorate a skateboard ...

British cartoon talent

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival

Submitted work for the 'But is it art?’ exhibition at this year's Shrewsbury Festival. Caricature of former PM Anthony (Tony) Blair by PCOer Adrian Teal.
British cartoon talent

Monday, February 25, 2008

Animated cartoons

Well, it didn't win the prize for best animated feature at the Oscars, but perhaps it should have. If you haven't already taken a look at Marjane Satrapi's film, Persepolis which is about growing up Iran during the 1980s, here is another short chance to explore. It is due to open in some British cinemas in April.

British cartoon talent

Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival

PCO cartoonist William Rudling on the joy of painting.
This is another sneak preview of submitted work for the Is it Art exhibition from the forthcoming Shrewsbury cartoon festival.
British cartoon talent

Friday, February 22, 2008

PCO Artist of the month - Lee Healey

Here is our last offering from PCO Artist of the Month Lee Healey, if you click on the term Lee Healey under this text you will see three other terrific examples of his work, or you can just go here and click H.
British cartoon talent

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Cartoon exhibition: Dave Follows

The family of the late Dave Follows has organised an exhibition to celebrate the cartoonist’s work and legacy at the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent, from April 19 – June 29.

Dave, who died in 2003, left a significant legacy of artwork that spans three decades. His work appeared in newspapers, comics, and magazines all over the world, including the Sunday Times supplement Funday Times (weekly for 15 years), more than 20 local newspapers, such as the North Staffordshire Evening Sentinel (daily for 20 years), and Buster comic.

Dave lived in Stafford all his life. He had a special soft spot for the Potteries and its people. His daily cartoon strip May un Mar Lady, written in Potteries dialect, first appeared on July 8, 1985, in the Sentinel and was a local institution for nearly 20 years.

The exhibition, May un Mar Lady: Three Decades of Cartooning by Dave Follows, includes a huge selection of Dave’s original cartoons, a reconstruction of his work area, life-size cartoon figures, a May un Mar Lady pilot animation, and a preview screening of a documentary exploring the Potteries dialect in the context of Dave’s cartoons by the Stoke-On-Trent based film production company Inspired Film And Video.

British cartoon talent

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

His master’s line – veteran cartoonists hit the road

Cover of His Master’s Line and a self-caricature of PCO contributor John Jensen

The wily old dogs of European cartooning, or at least the ones not being chased by would-be-assassins*, are on the move, as PCOer John Jensen reports.

Dieter Burkamp, organiser of the annual Zemun International Salon of Caricature, and Branko Najhold, have had a wonderful idea: why not celebrate elderly cartoonists before they pop their clogs, rather than after? All exhibitors to the show would have to be 75 or over.

As Branko's introduction to the resulting book, His Master's Line, succinctly puts it, all 30 cartoonists, from Western and Eastern Europe, each supplying three drawings, fairly recent, not more than ten years old, who "were at one time in the summit of European cartooning". However, "glory is passing ... and as it happens, the most famous cartoonists of their time sink slowly in oblivion." (Some not so slowly, I can tell you). "Some of them with trembling hands and with the eyesight weakening". Yup. But a "master always stays a master". Yup, again.

Suitably buttered up, and as the only representative from the UK – why? Britain is filled with brilliant decrepitude – I was proud to take my place among the others to show "the new drawers" a thing or two.

The exhibition began its travels in Zemun, Serbia and, after several journeys, will wind up in Oerlinghausen, Germany during 2008.

A hardback book accompanies the show, costing about 25 Euros and Bloghorn will be publishing John’s review of the book soon. Bloghorn says click J for Jensen.

Link to the Zemun festival of Caricature.

* Check the recent entry for news on the Mohammed cartoons controversy.

British cartoon talent

Monday, February 18, 2008

How they used to cartoon

Here's a link to a book on cartoon drawing by B. "Tack" Knight from 1923. It's a fun read. The complete book has been posted on Flickr by Dave Blog (possibly not his real name) and you can read it as a slideshow here: Tack's Cartoon Tips. Not for those offended by images from a pre-politically correct era ...

British cartoon talent

Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival

More from our sneak preview of the "But is it Art?" exhibition which will be one of the highlights at this spring's Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival. PCOer Steve Bright made this piece. Click on the Shrewsbury link under this text for more...

British cartoon talent

Friday, February 15, 2008

PCO Artist of the Month - Lee Healey

An example of comic strip or sequential art from our PCO Artist of the Month for February 2008, Lee Healey. Click on the term Lee Healey underneath this text to see some or his back catalogue of work or go here and click H for Healey.
British cartoon talent

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Political cartoon exhibition: Shooting the Witness

Shooting the Witness, an exhibition by the Palestinian cartoonist Naji Al-Ali, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of his assassination in London, is at the Political Cartoon Gallery in London from March 6 until April 12.

Naji Al-Ali was one of the most prominent cartoonists in the Arab world. He had no political affiliations and the absence of slogans and dogma in his work brought both success and criticism. His bold and illustrative cartoons, widely published over the past 20 to 30 years, reveal the tragic state of the Middle East. His work sadly still rings true today.

His cartoons portrayed the bitter struggle and plight of the Palestinian people against Israeli oppression. He also campaigned against the absence of democracy, widespread corruption, and gross inequality in the Arab world. He was said to have antagonized virtually everyone in the Middle East.

He produced around 40,000 drawings, on average two cartoons a day, working for various publications in the Arab world. Naji Al-Ali draws a critique of all sides in the conflict, and the world’s complicity in the prolonged occupation of the Palestinians.

For the first time in London, 60 of Naji Al-Ali’s original artworks will be exhibited. The Political Cartoon Gallery is organising the exhibition in cooperation with the SOAS Palestine Society, the Nakba60 group, Cartoon County and the family of Naji Al-Ali.

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

British cartoon talent

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Danish cartoon controversy

Developments as reported by The Times
More from the BBC on republication of some of the images. Morten Morland has some more interesting context to the saga here too.

Images of Mohammed
and the consequences of publishing them for the collaborative encyclopedia, Wikipedia

British cartoon talent

Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival

A sneak preview of more 'Art' from the upcoming Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival. This piece is by PCOer Wilbur Dawbarn.
British cartoon talent

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival

Cartoon by PCO member Royston Robertson (after Damien Hirst) submitted for the "But is it Art?" exhibition

The Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival is fast approaching. The 2008 event takes place on the weekend of April 18-20.

The theme this year is "Art" and one of the highlights will be an exhibition of new work by festival cartoonists, including many PCO members, entitled "But is it Art?" which will run from March 30 until April 26.

British cartoon talent

Coming up on The Bloghorn

Forthcoming attractions include sneak previews of art from the 'ART' show at the forthcoming Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival. Andy Davey will be blogging on the loneliness of the long-distance cartoonist and John Jensen on the joy of being in touring exhibitions.
British cartoon talent

Friday, February 8, 2008

PCO Artist of the Month - Lee Healey

Del Boy, Rodney, Uncle Albert, Trigger and Boycie from Only Fools and Horses by PCO member Lee Healey.
This is our second featured piece of original artwork from Lee, if you click on the term Lee Healey underneath this text you will find the first. Bloghorn also urges you to click the phrase PCO Artist of the Month too, and explore some of the other talent that lives around here.
British cartoon talent

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Teaching cartooning in Japan

Martin Honeysett spent two years in Japan teaching cartoon drawing at a university. He talks about his experiences here.

Note: PCO members can read more in The Foghorn, the PCO magazine. If you are an editor or art buyer and would like a PDF copy of the magazine, click the Foghorn panel on the right.

One of PCO member Martin Honeysett's cartoons from his time in Japan

How do you teach cartooning? All the cartoonists I know are self taught, although some may have done an arts course at some time. I can see how you can teach the elements of drawing but is it possible to teach the elements of satire and humour, the creation of ideas?

These were some of the many thoughts that buzzed round my head prior to and during the long flight to Kyoto, Japan, in late March 2005. I was due to become the first visiting professor at the Kyoto Seika University Cartoon Faculty. I was excited and somewhat nervous, not really knowing what to expect or what was expected of me.

I first visited Japan 20 years ago as one of a group of English and French cartoonists. A sort of cultural exchange organised by James Taylor, a publisher and cartoon enthusiast who’d managed to squeeze some funding from the Japan Foundation. The English element apart from James Taylor, consisted of Bill Tidy, Clive Collins, Roy Raymonde, Michael Ffolkes and myself.

The French contingent included Avoine, Bridenne, Nicoulard and Mose, the patriach of French cartooning, It was a great trip, two weeks of non-stop meetings, sightseeing and entertainment supplemented with warm and generous Japanese hospitality. Most of the time was spent in Tokyo but we also spent a few days in historic Kyoto, once the Capital. Professor Yasuo Yoshitomo who inaugurated and runs the cartoon department at Seika had invited us there.

The English contingent at least, was somewhat sceptical about the idea of a university teaching how to draw cartoons. I remember Bill Tidy, forthright as ever, standing up during a question and answer session holding a sheet of paper. "What you should do," he said, "Is write down all the theories and teaching about cartooning and then ..." He crumpled the paper into a ball and tossed it to the floor. Fortunately perhaps, the Japanese staff and students, looking on in bafflement, had no idea what he was on about.

I always hoped that I might return at some stage but thought less and less about it as the time passed. I heard later that Mose and Roy Raymond were regularly invited out for the bi-annual exhibition and I kept in contact by entering works for it and winning the occasional award.

One of PCO member Martin Honeysett's drawings from his time in Japan

Then in 2002, out of the blue, I received an invitation to visit Kyoto for the exhibition. Not for the first time I was stepping into dead man’s shoes, for sadly, Mose had died.

I flew out with Roy and we joined another two cartoonists. Ponnappa from India and Pere from Spain. It was during this trip that I was asked if I would be interested in the idea of being a visiting professor. I said I was very interested but was cautioned that this was a tentative enquiry and in that Japan these things take some time to be decided.

So I returned home trying not to be too excited, looking forward to some sort of confirmation to arrive. It never did, so after a while I thought they’d given up on the idea . Then, two years later, I was again invited out for the exhibition and again asked if I’d be interested. I replied in the affirmative and this time it was confirmed.

For more, see issue 31 of The Foghorn.

British cartoon talent

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Hello to the National Portrait Gallery!

...who have been looking around here. We have a very nice and large exhibition of work disputing the theme of "art" opening in the spring which is looking for a nice London venue later in the year. If you are interested, please do get in touch here.

Cartoon caricature of Keira Knightley by Matt Buck - Hack

On matters 'art' we would also like to direct the attention of readers to this YouTube video about the exhibition of "humour" art which is currently on at the Hayward Gallery. Creative credits are due to the Culture Show and presenter Karl Pilkington.

And last, but not least, London’s Political Cartoon Gallery has an opening night tomorrow, Wednesday 6th February, for the much anticipated show about James Gillray. Bloghorn has blogged about this before. The show should be absolutely fantastic.

British cartoon talent

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Cartoon clichés

Susha Lee-Shothaman, cartoon editor at Prospect magazine, has compiled a list of the most common scenarios she sees in cartoons, for the magazine's First Drafts blog:

The Top Ten Cartoon Clichés

"While clichés and good writing do not mix, a hackneyed setting is no bar to a funny cartoon. In fact, the cliché often adds to the humour, with the joke lying in the updating of the familiar setting to recent events."

Susha also gives us her take on the job of cartoon editing:
"It is, as you’d expect, a fun job, involving a lot of laughing, something which cannot be said about the chore of sorting through the articles that we are sent."

British cartoon talent

Friday, February 1, 2008

PCO Artist of the month - Lee Healey

PCO member Lee Healey caricature of kate Moss and pete Doherty
Cartoonist & illustrator Lee Healey, is a freelancer with over 17 years experience. Lee's art has appeared in many magazines and comics, including Viz, Maxim, and The Dandy. Other clients have included the CBBC channel, Roy Chubby Brown,and video artist Mark Leckey. Lee prides himself on his versatility, and is able to turn his hand from simple cartoons to cartoon, comic or strip illustrations. Like many modern cartoonists, Lee completes, and delivers, his work digitally. Bloghorn says click H for Healey
British cartoon talent