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
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 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
Aside from the previously mentioned The Big Draw, there’s a few events that may be of interest to cartoon and comic fans coming up in next couple of months.
This coming Saturday the 9th October is Canterbury Anifest, an animation festival featuring appearances by Wallace and Gromit, Bagpuss, the Gruffalo and Phil Jupitus at Canterbury Christ Church University.
The following weekend (16-17th October) British International Comics Show (BICS) returns to Think Tank in Millennium Point in Birmingham, and features guests including comic fan and CLiNT collaborator Jonathan Ross, Simon Tofield (of Simon’s Cat fame), Vern & Lettuce‘s Sarah Mcintyre, Watchmen artist Dave Gibbons and Brum’s very own comic legend, Hunt Emerson.
On Sunday 7th November the Ellis Room at the Royal National Hotel plays host to the Comica Comiket Independent Comics Fair.
October 7, 2010 1 Comment
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
Sue Grayson Ford Director of the Campaign for Drawing launched Big Draw 2010 on Monday. This year - Make Your Mark on the Future – will feature events and activities around the country throughout October.
The event also saw the official launch of the website drawandfoldover.com (as mentioned previously) with a special drawing by Posy Simmonds, Steven Appleby, storyboard artist Nesta Morgan and Bloghorn’s own, Matt Buck. The results were projected on a giant screen in the auditorium as they drew.
Winners of the Drawing Inspiration Awards received a certificate drawn by Quentin Blake and a cheque. These were presented to a variety of organisations and institutions for their work in promoting drawing and it’s use in education and for the public benefit. Winners included the Prema Arts Centre in Gloucestershire, Stockport College and Worcester Porcelain Museum. The Arts Award Prize was presented to 15 year old Phoebe Hill for her Giant’s Garden project at Lyme Regis ArtsFest. The Awards this year also featured the first overseas winners, with the Playeum Play Centre in Singapore being co-winner of the Barbara Whatmore Charitable Trust Awards and the Kecskemét Cultural and Conference Centre in Hungary being a runner-up.
Bloghorn should add that the adaptation of Posy’s drawn book Tamara Drewe premiered in Cannes at the film festival and will be out later in the year.
May 26, 2010 3 Comments
Bloghorn enjoyed this Drawandfoldover from contributors to the service made by our friends at the Campaign for Drawing. We were at the 2010 Big Draw national launch event yesterday and will have a report about it soon.
May 25, 2010 2 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
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