Now, news reaches us of a performance event in New York, above, featuring three teams of cartoonists from The New Yorker coming up with improvised drawings based on a selection of words.
The New York Observer has the story: Battle of the Sharpies: Cartoonists square off with their pens. The author of the piece, Alice Gregory, explains the appeal of this kind of live cartooning event:
There’s nothing more impressive than good improv. To see spontaneous wit at work may be the most humbling form of entertainment. What, no Google to confirm spelling? No coffee to spur that sparkle? On-the-spot illustration is fun to witness.
The voting system sounds familiar to any cartoonist who has taken part in the Big Draw’s Battle of the Cartoonists:
In lieu of a scientific system—tallied points, say—the victors were determined by subjective shouts. The decibel levels were ambiguous, but an executive decision was made for the sake of efficiency.
We feel the losers’ pain! But, it’s all just for fun, of course, and the greater goal is achieved: reminding people how much fun cartoons can be.
Thanks to The Surreal McCoy for the link.
Footnote: The Big Draw 2011 is looking for help with funding.
Go here: The Big Give
December 6, 2010 3 Comments
A burst of British Weather meant that Saturday’s Big Draw events on the South Bank in London had to be swiftly moved, from the open-air space of The Scoop, next to City Hall, to the nearby Hay’s Galleria.
The cartoonists’ spirits were not dampened by this turn of events, however, even though the move meant that many of us precious artists, unused to heavy lifting as we are, had to carry our own trestle tables.
PCO members were on hand to provide workshops throughout the event, for budding artists young and old. These were run by Wilbur Dawbarn, Tim Harries, Chichi Parish, above, and The Surreal McCoy.
The Hay’s Galleria proved to be a great venue with lots of members of the public passing through and stopping to take part in the workshops and watch the Battle of the Cartoonists banners being created.
The Battle was hosted – impressively without the usual microphone or megaphone – by Maxwell Hutchinson, the architect and Sony award-winning radio broadcaster, seen here brandishing a copy of Foghorn, who did a sterling job of talking up the noble profession of cartooning in a suitably erudite manner.
For the Battle, the PCO’s victorious Team Bloghorn from 2009 was this year rebranded as Team Foghorn, in order to give a push to our sister print magazine.
The PCO team was, left to right, Cathy Simpson, Ian Ellery, Royston Robertson, Robert Duncan and Nathan Ariss. Cathy was standing in as captain for Pete Dredge, who co-ordinated planning of the banner beforehand but was unable to attend on the day. All banners were on the festival theme of “Make your mark on the future”.
We competed against three other teams: Private Eye (Andrew Birch, Henry Davies, Simon Pearsall and Steve Way), The Guardian (Steve Bell and Martin Rowson alongside Ben Jennings and Anna Trench who made their debut in the newspaper over the summer) and, due to the fact that the Financial Times team was unable to make it, a hastily assembled “Coalition” team (formed the day before by Matt Buck, Alex Hughes and David Trumble).
Each of the groups that Team Foghorn faced included at least one PCO member, such is the reach of the organisation: Bell, Birch, Buck, Hughes and Rowson are all in the PCO.
This made losing – as the Private Eye team romped to victory in the traditional “cheer-o-meter” from the public – slightly easier to take! As did the usual camaraderie from cartoonists from all teams in the pub afterwards.
Another marvellous Big Draw then, and Bloghorn would like to say many thanks, as ever, to Sue Grayson Ford and all at The Campaign for Drawing.
Photos by Gerard Whyman and Denis Dowland.
October 25, 2010 7 Comments
The London launch takes place over the weekend of October 22 and 23 on the South Bank, between London Bridge and Tower Bridge.
Highlights will include free cartoon workshops run by the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation and the returning Battle of the Cartoonists, featuring a Bloghorn team who will be defending their title following their glorious (and surprising) victory in last year’s cheer-off.
Other events include talks and workshops by artists in this year’s Jerwood Drawing Prize, Walk and Draw – a sketching tour of nearby memorials and people, an exhibition of Stephen Wiltshire‘s amazing drawings of the City, and a mural by the cartoonist Quentin Blake, the long-time Roald Dahl collaborator.
September 29, 2010 4 Comments
The Campaign for Drawing – the group behind such events as the Big Draw and the Battle of the Cartoonists – have launched a website to encourage the general public to get their pencils out called Draw and Fold Over. The site is an update of the Exquisite Corpse parlour game, where the player first draws a head, then folds the piece of paper over and passes it on to a friend to draw the torso and so forth until the finished picture is revealed. In keeping with the games humble origins, you can pick to draw with a variety of implements including ballpoint pen, marker or pencil, but for the internet generation you can also share your contributions with your friends by email, Twitter, Facebook and Myspace, and watch the image be redrawn in front of your eyes.
May 20, 2010 5 Comments
October 8, 2009 No Comments
After several years as the plucky underdog, the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation’s team, this year rebranded as Team Bloghorn, has finally emerged victorious from the annual Battle of the Cartoonists.
Our team came joint first with Private Eye in the Big Draw event in which four teams completed a large banner on the theme of “Now We Are Ten”, celebrating a decade of The Campaign for Drawing. They faced stiff competition from teams from The Sun and The Independent.
Work in progress: Clive and Pete get drawing. Click here, to see the full, completed banner
In a post-match interview, Pete told the Bloghorn: “Justice and victory at last for the PCO’s Battle of the Cartoonists’ team, albeit jointly with the Eye (Shurely shome mistake – Ed). What seemed like a clear-cut decision was mysteriously drawn out into a “cheer-off” head-to-head. And even then our clearly louder decibel reading was insufficient for us to be declared outright winners. A big draw indeed!”
But the event is not just about the glory of winning. PCO members Tim Harries, and Cathy Simpson were on hand to run drawing workshops for children and adults at the event, which took place at the Idea Generation gallery in Shoreditch, London.
September 14, 2009 13 Comments
Teams of participants from the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation who run Bloghorn will be participating in the annual Big Draw next weekend. Cartoonists Clive Goddard, Andy Bunday, Pete Dredge and Nathan Ariss will be representing the trade in the Battle of the Cartoonists. Colleagues Tim Harries, and Cathy Simpson will also be a running a series of workshops for visitors at the Idea Generation gallery in central London.
UPDATED: 9th September 2009 11.30am. You can also find details of the lots for auction here
September 7, 2009 1 Comment
Clive Goddard, Andy Bunday and Nathan Ariss will be representing the PCO in the form of Team Bloghorn at this year’s Big Draw Battle of the Cartoonists challenge on Saturday 12th September, 2-5pm at the Idea Generation Gallery, 11 Chance Street, London E2 7JB (map).
Team Bloghorn is understood to be up against Dave Brown’s Independent and Andy Davey’s The Sun teams with, possibly, Private Eye too.
August 26, 2009 No Comments
PCO members will be taking part in “Transports of Delight” at St Pancras International Station in London on Saturday (October 18). The event is part of the annual, month-long Big Draw campaign, which is designed to get the nation drawing.
The PCO will be running cartoon workshops at the event and taking part in the ever-popular Battle of the Cartoonists. Under the expert stewardship of the PCO’s Festival and Exhibition Co-ordinator, Pete Dredge, a crack team of volunteers has been assembled for the day’s activities.
Workshops by members Paul Hardman, Chichi Parish, Robert Duncan, Tim Harries and Terry Christien (plus guests) will take place between 10am and 5pm. Come along if you want to learn how to draw cartoons, caricatures and comic strips.
The Battle of the Cartoonists kicks off at 3pm and runs for two hours. The PCO team, featuring Robert Duncan, Kipper Williams and Royston Robertson, and captained by Pete Dredge, will take on Private Eye, The Guardian and the Independent.
Previous Big Draw attendees will know that the winning team is decided via extremely vocal public approval, so please come along and do bring any loudhailers and male voice choirs you have lying around. And how will you know who the PCOers are at the Big Draw? Oh, we’ve thought of that …
Yes, red is most definitely the new black. This is the Team PCO T-shirt to be worn by workshoppers and the Battle of the Cartoonists team. Team captain Pete Dredge told the Bloghorn: “Some unscrupulous attempts at ‘tapping up’ team members by other team leaders have been firmly stamped on, and I’m confident my lads will deliver on the day.”
Activities will take place in The Circle – 2nd side entrance on St Pancras Rd and opposite the German Gymnasium. The dedicated area will be marked out with artificial grass and picket fencing for that summery October feeling. Hope to see you there.
October 15, 2008 No Comments
Breaking News on Bloghorn…
The PCO team for this year’s London Big Draw event is confirmed. Team skipper, Pete Dredge (Private Eye regular) will be leading Robert Duncan (Not particularly orange cards), Kipper Williams (The Guardian) and Royston Robertson (Prospect, Readers Digest, Private Eye) into the suitably absurd Battle of the Cartoonists.
You can find details and a report from Bill Stott on the 2007 event here.
PCO members will also be running workshops throughout the day, featuring the many coloured skills of Tim Harries, Chichi Parish, Matt Buck, Andy Davey and Paul Hardman among others.
We will be publishing more details in the run up to the big day on Saturday 18 October.
August 26, 2008 No Comments