Political cartoonist and PCO member Steve Bell has been busy on the party conference circuit over the past few weeks for the Guardian, which has posted a selection of his sketches from this week’s Tory get-together in Manchester.
Maus, the Pulitzer-winning graphic novel by underground cartoonist Art Spiegelman, is 25 years old. In a new book, MetaMaus, he tells the story of how he created his epic Holocaust allegory. NPR has a 30-minute interview with Spiegelman here.
US satirical cartoonist Peter Bagge – who received advice from Spiegelman early in his career – has been interviewed by Reason, the libertarian magazine for which he has been a contributor since 2003. Bagge talks about his political views and how they have affected his comics work – watch the video here.
Ahead of an exhibition of magazine illustrations by Edward Sorel at the School of Visual Arts in New York, the cartoonist and illustrator has been interviewed by The Atlantic about his long career. You can read the article here.
October 7, 2011 No Comments
It’s hardly surprising that you would hear snorts of laughter, as this is a show celebrating more than 30 years of the cartoons of Steve Bell.
The Big Man stepped up on to the seating area plinth-type thing – specially reinforced, the chairman of the Cartoon Museum, Oliver Preston, joked – to make a speech.
He graciously attributed his success to a range of cartoonists – from Ronald Searle to Leo Baxendale, Wally “Trog” Fawkes to Kipper Williams – not forgetting to mention his wife, and the ideas he gets when the couple shout angrily at the radio together, berating those political upstarts who dare to lead us.
Bell is one of the leading political cartoonists of our age, but it was interesting to see through this exhibition that it took him a while to arrive at his famous depictions of leading villains such as Major and Blair. One pre-Guardian image of Thatcher, from Time Out, is almost complimentary.
Also on show are notebooks, early strips from kids’ comics, a new cartoon featuring Monsieur L’Artiste as a brothel voyeur watching Thatcher et al prostitute themselves, and a plank carved into the image of John Major. Major Plank, of course.
What else can we say about this exhibition, other than, Go see! It’s the blockbuster cartoon exhibition of the year and runs until July 24. More details at the Cartoon Museum website.
In the meantime here is an article about the show by Steve Bell, with accompanying video piece:
Plus a Bell Époque picture gallery
May 26, 2011 1 Comment
This week Gary Barker, a member of the PCO which runs the Bloghorn, is covering for Steve Bell at the Guardian. His Monday editorial cartoon is above, he will also do the Thursday and Saturday drawings.
Gary told the Bloghorn that he had covered at various national papers, and had been hoping to have a go at the Guardian. “My last cover was for the Trevor Kavanagh column in the Sun and I know he is an influential character Westminster. So I emailed the Guardian art director and mentioned Trevor’s name. It was either that or my timing was lucky, because I was offered a couple of days almost straight away.”
Covering is a tricky business though. By moving from paper to paper the cartoonist may have to adapt to different stances on political issues.
“All newspapers have different approaches, from almost ‘Hands-off and do as you like’, right through to ‘Can we have A standing in such a way, and B saying this and carrying a cabbage and a gramophone’. I’ll leave you all to make your minds up as to which political slant is likely to be the more prescriptive,” said Gary.
Covering for others is a rite of passage for political cartoonists. Other PCO members who have taken that route include Patrick Blower, Andy Bunday, Alex Hughes, Morten Morland, Martin Rowson, and Bloghorn’s own Matt Buck.
Matt said: “Me and my cartoon shadow is a hard game to play. It takes time to build a personal relationship with an audience of readers so stepping into someone’s ‘spot’ can feel like mission impossible.”
May 24, 2011 1 Comment
Two prominent political cartoonists have exhibitions opening in London in the next couple of weeks. On Wednesday 25 May, Bell Époque, featuring the cartoons of Steve Bell opens at the Cartoon Museum. The exhibition, which celebrates 30 years of Guardian cartoonist Steve’s work runs until 24 July.
Not to be outdone, on Monday 30 May Rogues’ Gallery, opens at Westminster Reference Library. Featuring the classical art parodies of the Independent‘s Dave Brown the exhibition runs until 18 June. Dave will also be giving an illustrated talk, titled ‘Mimicking the Masters’ on Tuesday 7 June, 7pm. To book a free place, email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 020 7641 5250.
Bell Époque, Cartoon Gallery, 35 Little Russell Street, London WC1A 2HH, 25 May to 24 July. For opening times and admission prices, go to cartoonmuseum.org.
Rogues Gallery, Westminster Reference Library, 35 St Martin’s Street, London WC2H 7HP, 30 May to 18 June. Free entry. Opening hours: Monday – Friday 10am to 8pm, Saturday 10am to 5pm.
May 12, 2011 No Comments
As Prince William and Kate Middleton prepare to tie the knot on April 29, Marriage à la Mode: Royals and Commoners In and Out of Love promises “a bouquet of barbed wit” on the subject of marriage.
It will feature musings on matrimony from cartoonists past and present, including William Hogarth, who created a series of works that give the show its name, James Gillray, H.M. Bateman, Donald McGill, Carl Giles, Mel Calman, Ralph Steadman and Posy Simmonds.
The Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation, which runs the Bloghorn, is represented with cartoons by Steve Bell, Rupert Besley, Noel Ford, Martin Honeysett, Ken Pyne, below, Royston Robertson, and Bill Stott.
Despite being its inspiration, the royal couple are unlikely to give the show their seal of approval. As well as looking at some of the less successful aspects of marriage, some cartoons remind us of a certain royal wedding from 30 years ago that did not go too well, as seen in this 1995 Time magazine cartoon by Arnold Roth, right.
William and Kate may also not want to be associated with the work of Reg Smythe, who features in the exhibition and is famous for creating the less-than-idyllic marriage of Andy Capp and Flo.
Other cartoonists featured include Ros Asquith, Ian Baker, Biff, Nicholas Garland, Grizelda, Peter “Pak” King, David Langdon, Peter Schrank, Geoff Thompson, and Robert Thompson.
For more details visit the museum website. Marriage à la Mode runs until May 22, by which time those commemorative royal wedding tea towels may well be frayed at the edges.
March 21, 2011 No Comments
An exhibition that is sure to bring some warmth and cheer to the winter opens at the Cartoon Museum in London on Wednesday 24 November.
Ink and the Bottle is billed as “a merry exhibition on the pleasures and perils of the ‘demon drink’ starting with a swig of gin from Hogarth and Cruikshank”. We move on to Gillray, Donald McGill, Heath Robinson and Giles before downing “a heady cocktail of contemporary cartoons”.
That includes a generous measure of PCO members, including Steve Bell, Andrew Birch, right, Clive Collins, Neil Dishington, Denis Dowland, Pete Dredge, Roger Penwill, Ken Pyne, Royston Robertson, Bill Stott and Mike Turner.
As if that’s not enough binge cartooning, there’s work by Sally Artz, Ian Baker, Hector Breeze, Dave Brown,
Chris Duggan, top, Grizelda, Andrzej Krauze, Matt, Tim Sanders, Ronald Searle, Gerald Scarfe, Silvey & Jex, Ralph Steadman, and Judy Walker.
If you fancy three more for the road, there are also contributions from the Viz cartoonists Graham Dury, Davey Jones and Simon Thorp, who are no strangers to creating characters that “like a tipple”.
Ink and the Bottle – Drunken Cartoonists and Drink in Cartoons runs until February 13. See the Cartoon Museum website for more details.
November 22, 2010 2 Comments
A quick follow-up of stories we’ve covered recently on Bloghorn.
- The Forbidden Planet blog reports on Steve Bell in conversation with Martin Rowson, Gary Trudeau and Alan Moore at Edinburgh International Book Festival (previously).
- New Yorker cartoon editor (and cartoonist himself) Robert Mankoff responds to the recent Kanye West cartoon re-captioning internet phenomenon.
- downthetubes.net has the first review of CLiNT magazine (previously), whilst also informing us that Jonathan Ross and Mark Millar will be signing copies on Thursday 2nd September at 4.30pm at WH Smiths in London’s Victoria station.
- Posy Simmonds is interviewed in the Guardian about the upcoming Stephen Frears’ film adaptation of her graphic novel, Tamara Drewe, which opens in UK cinemas on 10th September (previously).
September 2, 2010 3 Comments
“Double Dip and Toil and Trouble !!” by Nick Hayes,
from the Guardian’s summer cartoonists showcase.
Since the last week of July, the cartoons of Anna Trench, Lou McKeever (aka Bluelou), Ben Jennings, Tanya Tier, Bob Moran and Nick Hayes have been adding their own visual takes on the day’s news. Their contributions haven’t been without controversy, with many cartoons receiving over 100 comments each, including numerous pieces or rebuttal from fellow Guardian cartoonist, Martin Rowson. As Martin says in the comments:
The reason for giving these cartoonists an airing here – including, of course, the opportunity to fail – is that these days it’s almost impossible to undergo that kind of baptism of fire in a national newspaper , and thus hone your native skills.
and on the subject of the comments:
[...] these six debutants have overturned an original editorial decision not to have comments on their work when it appears on this site. I think that’s quite brave of them, so it might be worthwhile some of you repaying the compliment by being constructive in your criticism, rather than just trolling about as usual, beating up this particular bus shelter on the side of the information superhighway with the kind of reckless abandon that seems to come so easily to the heroically anonymous.
On a related note, Steve Bell and Martin Rowson will be in conversation at the Edinburgh International Book Festival this weekend, whilst Steve will also be chatting to American political cartoonist Garry Trudeau and comic book writer Alan Moore.
August 18, 2010 12 Comments
We are both constantly badgered by young cartoonists waiting for us to die (as indeed Martin himself once urged me to), as well as editors complaining about how difficult it is to find fresh talent. He suggested using our longer than normal holiday period of six weeks to showcase some of the talent we know full well to be out there.
And he offers a short explanation of what the independently-minded artist does. Bloghorn thinks this definition is useful when trying to identify the drawn work of an illustrator or a cartoonist.
It does require a certain arrogance to sit in judgment over the great and good, as well as the not so good and the less great who rule our lives, but I’ve had a political agenda as long as my arm since I was in flared trousers, and have never been expected to express any point of view other than my own.
If you have things to say about what Steve has written please add them in the comments below.
July 27, 2010 16 Comments
The documentary is one hour long. Parts two and three can be seen tonight and tomorrow night on BBC Four or on the iPlayer.
June 15, 2010 1 Comment