Bloghorn asked him what’s the future for cartooning in the digital age?
I’m sure cartoons will thrive and flourish, after they emerge from this difficult period, but in what form they will do this, I have no idea. It may be that animation will provide the extra selling point they seem to need in the rush to digital. It seems many people under 30 now think of animated cartoon art when they hear the word “cartoon”, so the deed may be already be done.
It’s increasingly difficult to get any kind of still, newsprint cartoon published at a reasonable fee, so it may have become less attractive to new entrants and this may lead to a downward spiral in the quality of work. But there are, still, good new people coming in*.
Interestingly, the route to being a cartoonist is usually circuitous or tangential; there aren’t any really useful training schools. This means it still attracts lateral thinkers, oddballs and eccentrics – thank goodness. Long may it do so. Satire and drawn humour are as natural (and enduring) as camel farts. The art-form might mutate but it won’t die.
Can I go now?
Bloghorn says click D for Davey.
* See some of it at this link British cartoon talent
August 29, 2008 1 Comment
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
February 1, 2008 No Comments
The profession and craft of cartooning (from gag drawings and pocket-sized newspaper jokes to comics strips and magazines, from editorial drawings and commercial advertising to digital monitors and billboards) has suffered some economic blows over the past decade. These have often been connected to the decline in the fortunes of the print industry.
But, despite this, the PCO is sure that – though undervalued by some in the UK – intelligent drawing remains an art-form which people continue to love to see and read. The map below, bears this knowledge out, as it shows you the locations of some of our many digital visitors this week.
We want to put our art in front of those people in a more direct way than we have previously done and we are, as an organisation, set up to promote and advertise the best of the active UK cartoon art world.
We seek to reach the three major constituencies which support our art form – editors of media outlets, both traditional and digital, art buyers in commercial companies and the reading public. We are doing this through three channels – the internet, our own printed magazine, The Foghorn, and at large public events like the Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival and The Big Draw. We also help to make and run bespoke, or single-issue, cartoon exhibitions like this one, which are often on tour and shown in major cities in the UK and Europe.
As you’d expect, we have excellent connections in the world of art and business and work closely with the national Cartoon Museum, the Cartoon Hub at the University of Kent, the Political Cartoon Gallery and other interested galleries and arts bodies, including the cartoonists’ social clubs, the British Cartoonists’ Association and the Cartoonists’ Club of Great Britain. We,in our own way, cover the UK. We also have excellent links abroad through our collaboration with European cartooning organisations inside Feco. If you are curious about our work and what it can do for you, you can contact us from our main portfolio site which lives here.
Andy Davey – Chairman of the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation
November 12, 2007 No Comments
Here is our last episode from our artist of the month for October, Colin Whittock. If you’d like to click through the other three examples of Colin’s work we have showcased on Bloghorn this month, just click the underlined term – PCO Artist of the Month – which you’ll find underneath this text, or in the PCO Interests cloud which is on the right hand side of the site. Bloghorn says click W for Whittock
26th October 2007
British cartoon talent
October 25, 2007 No Comments
A lovely piece of simple observation brought to you anonymously via You Tube. Whoever did it, really should have signed it.
The best British cartoon talent
October 11, 2007 No Comments
PCO cartoonist Bill Stott writes;
ONE of TV’s most irritating programmes is “Click”. It usually crops up when you expect news and concerns itself with the geekier end of things computerish, or the needs of those whey-faced wannabes who claim not to be able to live without their Blackberrys. More than once in the hearing of your correspondent, Click’s cutting edge presenters have referred to events “way back in the 90s”. I wonder how old are Click’s younger viewers? Seven?
It might have been our patron, Libby Purves, or perhaps Bill Tidy, who suggested that cartoons demand a certain level of knowledge, historical or otherwise, for them to raise a smile.
If you didn’t know about the Titanic, Bill’s famous “No news of the iceberg ?” gag would fall flat. PCO member Mike Williams tells of a young person not understanding a fine joke about Vikings – “I’m a Viking. I’m SUPPOSED to leave rings on the table!” Said young person remarked, “Vikings wore lots of rings, did they?”
Cartoonists aren’t just history buffs. Cartoonists are interested in everything. They have to be. That’s what the job’s about. Everything. Very little is beyond humour’s scope. Maybe that’s why cartoonists come from all sorts of other lives – education, science, banking, road mending, string manufacture – and why many are tolerably able in fields other than drawing folk with big hooters.
So when the freelance cartoonist is commissioned to produce twelve sure-fire gags for a double glazing company – and companies are very keen on “product placement“ – then that freelancer had better be up to speed on all things transparent and still be able to make it funny.
September 30, 2007 1 Comment
Is this really the future of print cartoons?
Bloghorn offers a hat-tip to the Daily Cartoonist for a thoughtful analysis on the business issues around the future of commercial drawing.
September 27, 2007 No Comments
Cartoonists can spend a lot of time arguing about the merits of how they do what they do. Some artists stick to traditional methods, some experiment and some try not to worry about it too much. In the spirit of the final theme, Bloghorn found this, which is posted above. The skill remains the same, just draw it.
The art in the video is made by a US cartoonist called Meredith Gran, who draws a strip called Octopus Pie.
September 18, 2007 1 Comment
PCO member Bill Stott writes;
The conductors of the country’s five main philharmonic orchestras
have issued a manifesto to the government, deploring levels of understanding and accessibility to classical music with regard to “the majority of young people” in the UK. One of many recommendations, amongst the usual cries for more and better teaching of music, is for orchestras to offer free admission for young people to certain concerts. A small group were interviewed on radio and individuals said that it had been a positive experience. AND that they’d go again.
I think that one of the reasons behind the shrinking cartoon market in magazines and newspapers is the relative youth of editors. If that’s a problem now, it will be a much bigger one in ten years time when some young high flyers will have been toddlers when Punch breathed its last, and in the interim, many more mags will have dropped cartoons. Even the long and honourable tradition of political cartooning isn’t immune to the insiduous creep of young people with Photoshop palsy.
So, if the musicians can get ‘em young, why can’t cartoonists?
Obviously, unlike the musicians we can’t have a group of kids peering over our shoulders while we work. Quite a few cartoonists work, with the approval of LEAs (Local Education Authorities), doing cartoon workshops in schools and colleges. But I suspect those workshops deal with the HOW of cartooning, and not the WHY. I don’t envisage a whizzbang powerpoint light show with FAQs. Work of different types available, yes, and a hardcopy handout, but mainly a Q&A session with sixth formers (or equivalent) – a discussion with a successful, freelance cartoonist (or two) who may well demonstrate their preferred techniques, but would NOT be running a how-to workshop. In my experience, schools are always on the lookout for able professionals from all sorts of jobs to come and talk about what they do. How does a joke happen? How do you say a hundred disparaging things about the American president in one picture?
Given the quality, experience, and communicative skills embodied in the PCO, the organisation might do well to take a leaf from the musicians’ book.
It has been pointed out that the PCO and Foghorn the Bloghorn do have some history with music…
August 9, 2007 2 Comments
I’ll probably never use a computer to make cartoons – notwithstanding Wacom board and magic pens etc. I’m too old. The irritating language of computers makes me very tired. Boot up = Switch On. Groan. I won’t join their gang. I don’t have a Tesco clubcard either. I like there being nothing between me and the picture. I make the marks.
But that doesn’t make computers any more or less than a way of making pictures.That I don’t like digital perfection – and I really don’t – is irrelevant. A digitally produced cartoon is as valid as one produced using a sharpened vole on buckskin.
Verification of originality lies in a signature, always assuming that those artists completely reliant on computerised whizz-bangery can still write their own names.
(The editor says click S for Stott to see Bill’s resolutely non-digital, watercolour cartoons.)
August 6, 2007 2 Comments