Thursday, April 26, 2012

Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival 2012 flies by

"Take over, Number Two, I'm updating my Facebook status."

The Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival was held last weekend and was as great a success as ever, despite the presence of rain this year (we've been lucky in the past).

Above is a cartoon of mine from the Flights of Fancy exhibition, which can be seen at the Visual Arts Network gallery in the town's Market Hall until the end of the month (the exhibition then goes on to other venues, details here). I've got three others in the show, all original drawings (this is a signed print of a cartoon drawn for a PR company a few years ago, on the theme of "social not-working" in the workplace).
"Insert funny caption here ..."

This cartoon was used on the Reader's Digest stall at the festival, as one of the drawings for the Beat the Cartoonist caption contest on the Friday. They'd packed up for the day before I made it to the stall, so I've no idea what the public came up with, and the cartoon has not yet been published, so I'm not going to tell you the original caption.

I was not an official participating cartoonist this year, so I was able to get around and see more than usual, without having to worry about getting a Big Board painted. So this year I managed to get to the Reader's Digest talk by Steve Way, the cartoon editor, and Martin Colyer, the design director.

Cartoonists work in isolation and part of the fun of Shrewsbury, for us, is meeting the public and getting feedback for our work, which is hard to find. You don't usually get to hear anyone actually laugh at your gags. The Digest talk gave me that as they showed all the cartoons from the past year and I had 11 gags in those 12 issues. Martin put a few questions to me and, as readers of this blog will know, I'm always happy to yak on about cartoons ...


I'll spare you the pics of drunken, singing cartoonists this year, but here's one of Matt Buck and I (thanks to Nicolette Petersen) at the Humurals, where cartoonists do on-the-spot drawings to create an instant exhibition. Here's one I came up with, on the festival theme of Flying.


Lots of us involved in the festival, and others, were tweeting about #shrews12 throughout the weekend and posting pictures. You can see a round-up of lots of that here, and we've put lots more words and pictures at the Procartoonists.org blog. I'm already looking forward to next year's festival which, amazingly, will be the tenth.

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