Sunday, October 25, 2009

Louis Raemaekers (1869-1956) - cartoons and exhibition

Last Friday I was invited at the opening of the the War Witness Louis Raemaekers exhibition in the In Flanders Fields Museum in Ypres (Belgium). I was very surprised seeing the exhibited collection of original drawings, cartoons and 'vintage' publications . Many old, often rare Raemaekers books are shown and are a pleasure to look at. As I can't afford buying some original Raemaekers cartoons or books, I bought the lovely exhibition catalogue, written by Ariane de Ranitz (Holland, works on a Raemaekers biography and website) and Jan Dewilde (IFFM). This is how the cover looks like:

'I want people to know, to think, to see the war as it is'
Louis Raemaekers

Here are some cartoons out of the book:

1. Our sacrifice for the world 1919/ Consumatum Est

2. Belgium, 1919 (in America in the war):

3. Belgium resists against German attack:

4. About this drawing, Ariane de Ranitz told an interesting story. It will be all written in the biography.

'Louis Raemaekers, the biting anti-German cartoonist of the 1914-18 War, died on July 26, 1956 at Scheveningen, naar The Hague, at the age of 87. It has been said of Raemaekers that he was the one private individual who exercised a real and great influence on the course of the 1914-18 War. There were a dozen or so people - emperors, kings, statesman, and commanders-in-chief - who obviously, and notoriously, shaped policies and guided events. Outside that circle of the great, Louis Raemaekers stands conspicious as the one man who, without any assistance of title or office, indubitably swayed the destinies of peoples.'
(The New York Times, Raemaekers obituary, summer 1956)

Authors Jan Dewilde and Ariane de Ranitz at the presentation of the catalogue:

Some impressions of the exhibition:

The Catalogue costs 18 euro -
Where to find: IFFM Ypres.

Learn more:
Visit the exhibition in Ypres 24 October 2009 - 3 January 2010

Monday, October 19, 2009

André Nollet - 40 years of cartoon art

Andre Nollet (Wervik, January 16, 1946) is a Belgian cartoonist. He teaches digital design at the Karel de Grote-Hogeschool in Antwerp.

André Nollet formerly drew sports cartoons for the newspaper Het Nieuwsblad, and comic strips for the magazines Stipkrant, RAAK, Belgian Business & Industrie and is the cartoonist for 't Pallieterke.
He also designs advertisements, and created Oscar Palmkes for Palm beer. André also draws cartoons for enterprises. I saw of series of very nice cartoons that André made about safety and prevention. It's a practical use of cartoons in daily life and at work.

In the ECC you can visit his personal exhibition untill 20 December 2009.

Congratulations André for your 40 years of drawing such nice cartoons... upto another 40 years of cartoon humor!

How to become a cartoonist... a frequently asked question...
(you find the answer at the exhibition)

From a distance, all problems seem smaller.
My passion: watch the world from a tree...
and wish a lot of people...
into the tree (sorry, difficult to translate this Duth saying... )

without words

EXPENSIVE OIL... "capitalist"

Monday, October 12, 2009

Jazz - by Blachon, Bridenne and Samson

Earlier this year, I visited our local theatre to watch the really fantastic show SAX MACHINE of Les Désaxés.

"With their brass pipes and their « Sax machine », Les DéSaxés reinterpret pieces of music from every where in the world, picked up from every area. Their performance is filled with humour. Their music speaks to one’s ears as well as one’s heart.The quartet compile theme musics and amalgamate different styles from Jazz to flamenco, from pop music to samba, from reggae music to rhythm and blues to rap and funk music. From time to times, their music takes on traditional accent which takes us as far as to Ireland, China, Russia, Africa, Mexico... They even pass on Gregorian chant to Gospel. Their mastery allows themselves a lot of daring In a miscellany of boisterous, whacky and comical scenes." ( the official Les Désaxés website)

What has this to do with cartoons?

Well, when I take a look at the JAZZ cartoon book (La Boutique Editions,2005) with cartoons drawn by Roger Blachon, Michel Bridenne and Samson, I get that same good feeling as while watching les désaxés. Here it are not musicians, but 3 cartoonists that let their cartoons swing and their cartoons speak to one's eye (not ear here) and to one's heart...
Here are some saxophone cartoons out of this excellent Jazz cartoon book:

In the same series of anthologies as "Jazz", there is also one whose title is "La Fanfare" and another titled "Musique Classique" (Classical Music). The last cartoon book published was "Le rugby et sa musique".

It's the kind a book you'd love to give as a humourous present to any (young) musician ...

Learn more:
Cartoonbook file

Monday, October 5, 2009

Carton - Les Cahiers du Dessin d'Humour : Sempé

Carton "Les cahiers du dessin d'humour", was a French journal that theoretically would appear every 3 months. It was founded in April 1974 by Jacques Glénat. Its first issue is devoted to
Sempé, the following to Cabu, Chaval, Dubout, Mordillo, Philibert-Charrin, Samivel, Serre, Tetsu and Topor. It folds in April 1980 after only nine titles.

Carton... some pictures from inside:

The following YouTube video introduces you to other books and art of Sempé. It's a video that refers to , a Russian website dedicated to various favorite cartoonists and their best gag cartoons.

JEAN-JACQUES SEMPE (born 1932) is a French cartoonist, poster artist and set designer born in Bordeaux, France. He began his career in 1950.Most a Sempé's work has been reissued in albums, more or less on an annual basis. The most important and funniest are Rien n'est Simple ('Nothing is simple', 1962), M. Lambert (1965), Des Hauts et des Bas ('From Highs and Lows', 1970) and L'Ascension Sociale de M. Lambert ('Mr Lambert's Social Climb', 1975). He has also collaborated with René Goscinny (of Astérix fame) on a series of books relating the amusing adventures of Young Nicolas and his friends (1960-64).

Like Dubout, Sempé is fascinated by crowds, not, however, for their hilarious confusion but as minuscule nonentities lost in a cavernous department store, at the terrace of a café, on a long waiting line or at the bus stop at rush hour. His characters are pompous, phony intellectuals, unhappy husbands and wives forever dreaming of killing one another, presidents happy to be loved by crowds rushing for the subway entrance, nouveaux riches who have not quite forgotten their petty origins. Even children have something who makes the ugliest and most disgusting faces in a mirror, until the last drawing reveals not a mirror but a picture of his parents. His cartoons all have a beautiful balance among protagonists, setting and action, pense, impact and euphoric explosion of laughter.
Jean-Jacques Sempé had exhibited his work in museums and art galleries all over the world and received numerous prizes.

Learn more: