As the pencil of 2010 contacts the eraser of 2011, Bloghorn thought it was time to record some of the year’s highs and lows – and to speculate about the new year.
But first, news of a PRIZE competition which will be coming on Bloghorn over the New Year Bank Holiday weekend … so watch this space.
You can explore our full monthly archives of stories from the world of UK cartooning in 2010 at: January - February - March – April – May - June – July – August – September – October – November and December.
As you can see it’s been a packed show, featuring a fantastic Ray Lowry retrospective, above, at the Idea Generation Gallery, mixed with the odd rotten moment like losing Les Gibbard. We have had the fantastic highlights of our traditional events such as the Big Draw and Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival and, happily, the late great Alan Coren rose from the grave and provided a shot of welcome wisdom.
The promised appearance of The House of Illustration in London has long cheered many as this will be a sister organisation to our long-time favourite The Cartoon Museum, which lies close to the proposed new attraction at King’s Cross in London. The £6.5m fundraising target is stiff but site building has started and you can read more about the full plans here. Meanwhile, the crew at The Cartoon Museum excelled themselves with a fine range of shows and events, excelling with a fantastic Ronald Searle display as the man reached his 90th birthday.
What’s the difference between cartooning and illustration Bloghorn hears you ask?
Try these definitions from the Merriam-Webster dictionary, although we thinks Searle shows the interchangeability of the terms about as well as anyone.
Car-toon – noun
From the Italian cartone pasteboard, cartoon, augmentative of carta leaf of paper.
Something that serves to illustrate: an example or instance that helps make something clear : a picture or diagram that helps make something clear or attractive.
Happily, the past year has also seen terrific development in the way cartoons are being used in media and the possibilities, and markets will grow in the new year. We’ve got evidence below from The Times and its current TV advertising. You can find a link to the cartoon they are promoting lower down this article …
Of course, we work on non-mobile television too, check out the titles to the new BBC adaptation of Just William and bow to the pen of cartoonist Ed McLachlan.
You’ll find a fantastic selection of the UK’s finest cartoonists working in all forms of the art at our UK Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation portfolio site which we will also be updating during 2011.
On the site the new and less-and-less unusual Government can expect its usual share of drawn innovation and horror – try Strictly Coalition for a start. In similar fashion, we wrote disobliging things about some parts of the Arts Council England because they sometimes deserve it.
You can follow us day-to-day by adding your email address to our mailing list, which you can find on the right hand side of this blog, by following us on Twitter, or reading us inside the strange world of Facebook.
December 31, 2010 3 Comments
Just in time for Christmas, the latest issue of Foghorn, the cartoon magazine of the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation has been published. Featuring a festive cover by the PCO’s The Surreal McCoy, the magazine is available to subscribers for the very merry price of £20 for six full colour issues – all delivered down your chimney (or through your door).
Ian Ellery treats us to a very Stanley Unwin Chrimbletide
A short history of the Christmas card by Chris Madden
Nathan Ariss relates some seasonal thespian tales of Mason Ayres
Mike Williams tells of his first taste of Punch
The partridge gets well stuffed by Neil Dishington
And you’ll find a full page of Wilbur Dawbarn cartoons!
…all the regular features - Buildings in the Fog, The Critic, The Foghorn Guide to…, The Potting Shed, Andy Davey‘s ‘Foggy’ strip and many more random acts of humour crammed in wherever we could find room.
You can read older issues of Foghorn online here, right up to our most recent issue.
December 16, 2010 1 Comment
The exhibition Fougasse – Careless Talk Costs Lives opens at the Cartoon Musuem in London on Thursday (September 9) and runs until November 24.
Kenneth Bird (1887-1965), who drew under the pen name Fougasse, was the first cartoonist to edit Punch magazine. He popularised the simple joke cartoon, with minimal lines and short captions, moving the magazine’s cartoons away from their Victorian roots. The exhibition features more than 80 works by Fougasse and shows how his style became progressively more direct and economical.
Fougasse is best known today as the creator of the “Careless Talks Costs Lives” propaganda posters which he produced during the Second World War. The “anti-gossip” campaign, which was launched in 1940 by the Ministry of Information, showed Hitler and Goering eavesdropping in the most unlikely places.
They remain some of the most memorable images of the Second World War. Fougasse’s wartime work earned him a CBE in 1946.
The exhibition coincides with the publication of Careless Talk Costs Lives: Fougasse and the Art of Public Information by James Taylor and published by Conway.
The Cartoon Musuem, in Little Russel Street, London, is open Tues-Sat: 10.30am-5.30pm and Sun12pm-5.30pm. Admission: Adults £5, Conc £4, Students £3, Free to Under-18s. Nearest Tube stations: Holborn or Tottenham Court Road.
September 6, 2010 2 Comments
This show is being promoted largely with artworks created by well-known names as a tribute to the Clash’s London Calling sleeve – a masterful piece of graphic design by Ray Lowry who was the “official war artist” for the band at the time – but it is the work of Lowry himself that is the real heart of the show.
That work can be divided into several sections: his most familiar drawings – cartoons from Punch, Private Eye, NME and the like – often on music and pop culture; a collection of lesser-known artworks, including some abstracts, sketchbook drawings, and even some photography; and reportage drawings of The Clash on tour.
The cartoons are, of course, hilarious. They still work because the absurdities of the rock and roll lifestyle which Lowry pinpoints are still with us today (as indeed are the many of the rockers, though sadly Lowry himself is not). From a cartoonist’s point of view it’s amazing how small so many of them are. With those detailed, inky drawings, I assumed Ray was one of the big canvas guys.
But the standout of the show, for me, were the drawings of the Clash live. They are so coourful, spontaneous and vibrant that you can feel the excitement of the moment in them. They are full of movement, the rapidly moving sticks of drummer Topper Headon, in particular, are brilliantly rendered.
Some of the London Calling tributes are worth a look: there’s a great collage portrait of Lowry by the artist Ian Wright, and there’s a collage by Paul Simonon of The Clash which features a piece of the bass guitar which is smashed in the Pennie Smith photo on that iconic cover. The others are a mixed bag, some not so successful.
In this show Lowry is really a tribute to himself: the rock and roll cartoonist. Go and see this encore.
June 24, 2010 1 Comment
Like many cartoonists, Bill doesn’t change his trousers with unseemly regularity. It’s a working-at-home thing. Why bother when the ones you’re wearing have a perfectly serviceable extra few weeks in them … and probably a healthy supply of mints and pocket fluff? However, the recent change of season occasioned a re-trousering, whereupon one of the pockets yielded a piece of gold dust.
It was a short note from Mr Coren, penned a short while before he died, which Bill had rammed into the pocket for filing; a paean to cartoonists intended as an introduction to the website of the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation, of which he had just accepted the title of inaugural patron. Bill hadn’t the heart to publish the piece because Coren died shortly after sending it.
In it, having left Punch, Coren mulls over what he misses. The limos, the yachts, the voluptuous assistants? No, he says, “None of these. What I miss most is those Tuesday mornings with the sadly late and very great Bill Hewison, my brilliant Art Editor, when we would sit at a huge leather-topped desk overlooking the complete absence of central heating, pull off our generously lent company mittens, and sift through the hundreds and hundreds of roughs submitted by the extraordinary numbers of extraordinary cartoonists which – and, remember, I speak as a writer – made Punch the brilliant and, most important of all, hilarious magazine it was.
“I miss the six hours of those golden-era Tuesdays when Bill and I would struggle – handicapped by constant helpless laughter – to choose, from 20 times as many, the 50-odd cartoons we needed to lift the readers’ spirits and break their ribs in next week’s magazine.”
“Cartooning is the toughest art of all. A freelance cartoonist lives and works alone, staring out of the window in the fervent daily hope that something will begin to draw itself on the sky, then murmur its caption in his ear. He needs this to happen several times a day, every day, because he has not the faintest idea whether the editors who pay his rent will laugh at the same thing he laughs at, and therefore has to send them lots and lots of things, praying that they will laugh at at least one of them, and the cartoonist can get his shoes mended.”
Coren concludes that his greatest struggle was that “we couldn’t put a thousand gags in the paper, so how to select the best when ten are equally funny?” Enough, enough already. We cartoonists couldn’t possibly be so immodest about our talents. But … thank you, Mr Coren.
He and the organisation welcome your comments, and your contact with us at our artist portfolio websites, through our social-media services, or via direct contact with our media team led by Pete Dredge.
April 30, 2010 7 Comments
Coming soon: John Jensen writes for Bloghorn about ideas, wit versus humour, and the international language of cartoon competitions. Watch this space.
John Jensen rugby illustration © Punch Ltd
February 8, 2010 7 Comments
The Daily Mail has announced that pocket cartoonist Ken Mahood is retiring. Mahood, who next year will celebrate his 80th birthday, has drawn news and sports cartoons for the Mail since 1982. His first cartoon was published in Punch in 1948, a magazine for whom he was later Assistant Art Editor, and in 1966 became the first political cartoonist on The Times.
December 24, 2009 1 Comment
Thelwell is best remembered for his fat ponies and their long-suffering young riders, but he was a wide-ranging artist, who tackled many subjects for many papers and magazines, including Punch, with which he developed a close relationship over 25 years.
He had a strong understanding of the British character, and may be considered the post-war heir to Pont of Punch. From estate agents to battery farmers, hunt protesters to harassed motorists, Thelwell chronicled the minutiae of our lives.
An accomplished landscape painter, Thelwell produced detailed, naturalistic settings for lively, comic figures that represent what he called, “the endearing lunacy of human behaviour”. The Definitive Thelwell provides a comprehensive cross-section of this work, with more than 150 drawings and watercolours. The show includes landscapes and seascapes as well as cartoons.
The Chris Beetles Gallery, at 8 and 10 Ryder Street, St James’s, London (nearest Tube Green Park or Piccadilly Circus) is open Monday to Saturday, 10am – 5.30pm.
For more details visit the website: chrisbeetles.com
May 11, 2009 3 Comments
We are sad to report the death of the cartoonist ‘‘Donegan.’’ John was born in London in 1926 and after many years in the advertising industry he became a freelance cartoonist in the early 1970s. By the time he retired in 1991 he had become one of Britain’s favourite cartoonists, featuring regularly in Punch magazine. Although he never actually owned a dog, some of his most recognised works were his books “Dog Help us” and “Dog Almighty”. He retired to France in 1991 and died in April after a battle with cancer, aged 83. He is survived by his wife, two children and three grandchildren.
May 1, 2009 5 Comments
The clocks have fallen back, and subsequently the nights are drawing in, so as we race towards Christmas publishers are putting out books on cartooning. Here’s a selection of recent example that may be filling stockings come December.
First up is The History of the Beano: The Story so Far, a comprehensive round-up of the iconic DC Thompson comic from the last 70 years, here reviewed by the Daily Record and by Danny Baker in The Times. This book also ties in with the recent exhibitions in Dundee and the Cartoon Museum in London.
The History Of The Beano – The Story So Far is published by D.C. Thomson and Waverley Books, priced £25. The Beano and Dandy Birthday Bash continues at the The Cartoon Museum, 35 Little Russell Street, London WC1A 2HH until 2nd November 2008.
Next is Cartoons and Coronets: The Genius of Osbert Lancaster on the life and times of the late Daily Express pocket cartoonist Osbert Lancaster, which is reviewed in the New Statesman, the Spectator and by cartoonist Nicholas Garland in the Telegraph. This book also ties into an exhibition at the Wallace Collection (reviewed in the Telegraph, the Guardian, and the Independent) .
Cartoons and Coronets: The Genius of Osbert Lancaster, edited by James Knox, is published by Frances Lincoln Publishers Ltd, priced £25. The exhibition continues at The Wallace Collection, Hertford House, Manchester Square, London W1U 3BN until 11th January 2009.
And finally we come to The Best of Punch Cartoon, a collection of cartoons from the legendary satirical magazine spanning over 150 years of humour, the launch of which was attended by the PCO’s own Pete Dredge. Reviewed here by cartoonist Peter Brookes of the Times, by Michael Heath, cartoon editor of the Spectator, and in the Independent.
The Best of Punch Cartoons, by Helen Walasek, is published by Prion Books, priced £30.
October 27, 2008 No Comments