If you have not yet watched the behind-the-scenes video about Private Eye on the V&A site, you should take a look, particularly if you are in any way responsible for content in newspapers, magazines or websites.
Ian Hislop, Editor of Private Eye, one of Britain’s most successful magazines — which has seen its circulation rise of late, bucking the trend for the industry — reveals one of the keys to its success:
“Cartoons are fantastically popular — people love them. And I think most publications miss a trick …”
The video shows Ken Pyne, a member of the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation, which runs the Bloghorn, drawing a cartoon. Then one by the PCO’s Alexander Matthews is singled out for praise by Hislop. And when he lauds the benefits of cartoons he shows a page that includes gags by seven PCOers. Get the message? Check out the PCO portfolios here.
October 20, 2011 2 Comments
After much media hoopla, Private Eye: The First 50 Years opened at the Victoria & Albert museum in South Kensington, London, yesterday. The exhibition will run until January 8.
The free exhibition explores the wealth of artistic talent that the magazine has showcased since 1961 and features original artwork for some of the funniest Private Eye cartoons.
Cartoonist Nathan Ariss attended the private view. He writes:
“According to one insider it was ‘the most fun’ the reverent halls had witnessed in decades. Yes, the PE PV at the V&A was AOK, and deemed a rather fine night indeed.
“A [insert collective noun here] of cartoonists were interspersed with some serious marble statues and seriously well-off people and then somewhat embarrassed by a warm and gracious speech from the Editor, [Is this guy after an OBN? – Ed], Ian Hislop, who paid full tribute to the importance that cartoons have played in the magazine’s success.
“I imagine the exhibition will be equally as enjoyable as all the sparkling repartee and champagne on the night itself, but I’m afraid I became somewhat tired and emoticon as the night wore on. Thankfully the exhibition is still on until the new year.”
Many cartoonists started their careers at the magazine, and they can be seen in this show, including Gerald Scarfe, Ralph Steadman, Willie Rushton, Barry Fantoni, Nick Newman and Michael Heath
There are lots of cartoons in the show by members of the PCO, which runs the Bloghorn, such as Andrew Birch, Wilbur Dawbarn, Neil Dishington, Pete Dredge, Len Hawkins, Martin Honeysett, Tony Husband, Ed McLachlan, Alexander Matthews, Ken Pyne, above, Royston Robertson, Mike Turner, and the PCO patron Bill Tidy.
The cartoons are in themed sections, on politics, royalty and social observation. There are single-panel cartoons, long-running strips and caricatures.
Hislop has chosen 50 of the best front covers, one from every year the magazine has been published. The exhibition also evokes the atmosphere of the magazine’s Soho office, with a recreation of the Editor’s desk, right, and a messy production table.
Here’s a round-up of some of the many Private Eye: The First 50 Years features you can currently see on the net:
A behind the scenes look at the production of the Eye, including a video of how a Ken Pyne cartoon progresses from idea to page, can be seen on the V&A site.
The Private Eye blog has a piece on putting the exhibition together.
Fifty years of Private Eye as seen by The Wall Street Journal …
… and by Creative Review.
And finally, to coincide with the 50th celebrations, the Chris Beetles Gallery has an online exhibition selling artwork by Private Eye cartoonists.
October 19, 2011 1 Comment
Another Pair of Underpants, an exhibition of cartoons by Tony Husband, is at Tom’s Chophouse, Cross St, Manchester, until November 10.
It features around 350 pieces — strips, topical gags and sports cartoons — along with a series of large photos of Tony at work by the photographer Wolfgang Webster.
Everything in the exhibition is for sale and the final day will see a charity dinner. Half of the proceeds will go to the Genesis Breast Cancer Prevention Appeal. Prints and originals are for sale, along with books and cartoon placemats.
Tony has been a regular contributor to Private Eye since 1985. He also draws sports cartoons for The Times and the Sunday Express and his cartoons have appeared in many magazines including The Spectator, The Oldie and Playboy.
The exhibition moves to Sam’s Chophouse, 8 South Parade, Leeds, on November 14, where it will run until Christmas. Tony plans to exhibit his cartoons again next year and tells The Bloghorn that the Groucho Club in London has expressed an interest in showing them.
October 7, 2011 No Comments
An exhibition of Apparently strips from Private Eye, by the cartoonist Mike Barfield, is being held at the City Screen Picturehouse, York.
The free exhibition, of around 100 strips, opens tomorrow (October 5) and runs for a month.
On Sunday 23 October, Mike will be in the gallery from 1pm onwards selling original artwork — along with some of his music CDs. Bloghorn readers may remember that he wrote a World Cup song last year.
The City Screen is at 13-17, Coney Street, York. Call 0871-902 5726. On November 4, Mike will talk about cartoons and writing, and will perform poems and songs at An Evening With Mike Barfield at the Millennium Hall, Helperby, near York. Tickets are £5. Call 01423-360 364
October 4, 2011 No Comments
The Wilderness Years: 1963 – 2011 is at the 3 Bedfordbury gallery, which is at 3 Bedfordbury Court, logically enough, Covent Garden. It starts on Tuesday 4 October and runs for one week.
September 29, 2011 No Comments
For Commando, ze war is never over, as the pocket-sized comics have featured non-stop bashing of the Boche since 1961. The 50th anniversary has been less heralded than that of Private Eye, but it is a notable one, particularly in the volatile comics market.
Draw Your Weapons: The Art of Commando Comics, held in partnership with the publisher DC Thomson, showcases key artwork and illustrations from the comics’ history. Alongside the artwork there are original artefacts, photographs and films relating to the inspiration behind the comics – the British Army Commandos themselves.
September 20, 2011 No Comments
Private Eye celebrates its 50th birthday next month and appears to be in rude health, bucking the downward trend for magazine circulation in the digital age.
The anniversary is October 25 but the celebrations start on Tuesday (September 20) with the release of a new book Private Eye: The First 50 Years, a history of the magazine written by the Eye journalist Adam Macqueen that charts its rise from 300 copies of the first edition in 1961, below, to a fortnightly circulation of more than 200,000.
The book features interviews with key players in the Private Eye story, rare archive material and unseen photos. (There are some “seen” ones too.) And, of course, there is an abundance of the cartoons that are so central to appeal of the magazine.
You can see more of those, including many by members of the PCO, which runs The Bloghorn, when the famously anti-establishment magazine puts on a First 50 Years exhibition at the very establishment Victoria and Albert Museum [Shurely shome mishtake? – Ed]. It opens at the V&A on October 18 and runs until January 8.
Cartoons will be shown in themed sections, on politics, royalty and social observation, and there will be gags, long-running strips and caricatures. The Bloghorn will have more on the exhibition nearer the time.
Ian Hislop, Editor of the magazine, has said of the 50th anniversary: “I do not want anyone to think that this is all just a huge celebration of ourselves. Our 50th year is a chance to look back and take a dispassionate view of how marvellous we are.”
You can read more on how marvellous they are in a Media Guardian article this week and even Vanity Fair is on the case with a piece by Christopher Hitchens. Updates on the 50th anniversary celebrations will appear on the Private Eye at 50 blog.
September 13, 2011 2 Comments
The magazine’s website shop has been carrying a “sold out” notice for some days now – proof, if it were needed, of the enduring popularity of cartoons as a way of spreading cheer.
Every year the magazine sells packs of 12 Christmas cards, featuring colour cartoons by 12 different artists. This year four of those were by members of the PCO, which runs The Bloghorn: Noel Ford,
Ed McLachlan, Royston Robertson, and Mike Turner.
*December 21 for First Class, December 18 for Second, since you ask.
December 13, 2010 1 Comment
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 2010 London launch event of the Big Draw starts today and runs into this weekend – the 22nd and 23rd of October. Many members of the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation will be working there and we’d be delighted to see you.
You will find us running free workshops on the craft and skill of cartooning and also participating in the annual Battle of the Cartoonists with many of our members playing for Private Eye, The Guardian and our own Foghorn magazine.
Bloghorn at the The Big Draw 2010 in a larger map
Of course, we think the events at number six on Saturday steal the show, but as you can see below, the organisers at the Campaign for Drawing have done a terrific job in making a great long line up of events along a large stretch of the River Thames. Bloghorn says don’t miss it.
October 22, 2010 1 Comment