Saturday, August 28, 2010

Visiting London - part 1: The Cartoon Museum

This summer I had a city trip to London and...
the first museum I've visited in London was the Cartoon Museum. The Cartoon Museum is located just a few hundred meters from the world famous British Museum. So if you are in London and want to go to the Britsh Museum, don't forget to visit the nice Cartoon Museum in Little Russell Street. It's small, but cozy. I was welcomed by Kate Owens, who is Assistant Curator of the Museum. She gave me a short explanation about the history of the museum and let me take a short look at the museum's cartoon book library.
A promotional leaflet says:
"The Cartoon Museum shows the best of British cartoon and comic art. You can discover the roots of Britsh cartooning in the works of Hogarth, Gillray and Cruikshank, explore the worlds of Heath Robinson, H.M. Bateman, Donald McGill and David Low and chuckle at the wit of many of today's funniest artist. There is also great comic artwork from 2000AD and some of the leading creators of graphic novels".

The museum organizes changing temporary exhibitions (like the ECC) and the museum pays much attention to children by organising cartooning and animation workshops. In the museum shop, you can buy interesting cartoon books, cards, posters, etc.

I was there...

enter the museum through the cartoon wall...

part of the cartoon books collection

exhibition: the history of Britsh cartooning

second floor dedicated to comic strip
In the shop I bought the catalogue of the Heath Robinson exhibition, the museum held in 2005.

Some highlights from this unique Museum (source: museum's press release)

* Rare and original artwork on loan from The Beano, the Dandy, and Topper including The Bash Street Kids, Roger the Dodger, Billy the Whizz, Desperate Dan, Beryl the Peril and of course Dennis the Menace.
* Classic works by Gillray including The Plumb Pudding and, John Bull - taking a luncheon, and The Zenith of French Glory.
* Cartoons in 3D including Gerald Scarfe¹s memorable Chairman Mao, Scarfe's caricatured original leather armchair from 1971.
* Great gag cartoons by Larry, Kipper Williams, Tony Husband, Nick Newman and many more.
* Classic war cartoons including Sir David Low’s ‘All Behind you, Winston’, and Bruce Bairnsfather’s, ‘If you know a better ‘Ole...’
* Colour mural painted by top cartoonists including Steve Bell, Dave Brown, Martin Rowson, Peter Brookes, Chris Riddell, MAC and Hunt Emerson.
* Annual cover drawings by Carl Giles featuring the Giles family and his immortal Granny.
* A Museum shop packed with books, prints, cards and cartoon ephemera, and a Young Artists’ Gallery with facilities for drawing and learning about cartoons, children¹s and adult cartooning, animation classes and family fun days.
* The 4000 books in The Heneage Library, is available, by appointment, for browsing and research as well as a dedicated comics library upstairs.
...and over 250 original cartoons over two floors!

Learn more:

Friday, August 20, 2010

Michael Kountouris cartoons

Rudy Gheysens, president of the European Cartoon Center, was present at the opening of the cartoon exhibition celebrating 25 years of cartoons by the great Greek cartoonist and illustrator Michael Kountouris on the isle of Rhodes.

Ther artist was born in Rhodes in 1960. Since 1985 he has been working as an editorial cartoonist in Greek newspapers and has been cooperating with magazines. He currently works at the ELEFTHEROS TYPOS newspaper.

Since 2005 he has been cooperating with COURRIER INTERNATIONAL. Since 2006 he is member of the CAGLECARTOONS.INC.
He has participated in many exhibitions in Greece and abroad and has been awarded with numerous prizes.

Rudy returned from the isle with 3 nice cartoon books of Michael issued following the exhibition at Rhodes. (published by Kasseris in Rhodes, each book has 62 pages.)

"Home sweet home" is a collection of cartoons about the environment, global warming, etc.
"Game over" is a collection of crisis cartoons
and "Politicosaurus" contains political cartoons.

Learn more:  website and blog
Bio and Awards
Some work at Brazil Cartoon
Michael Kountouris on Facebook 

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The best of PUNCH cartoons

Hurray, next weekend I'm going to London. The Cartoon Museum is on my list of places to visit. To prepare for the trip and to learn more about the British humour I bought the excellent and most British cartoon book: "The Best of Punch cartoons" (ISBN 978-1-85375-679-5, Prionbooks, 2008).

"The Best of Punch Cartoons" is the biggest and best collection of cartoons ever published from the greatest humour magazine of them all. For over 160 years Punch cartoons amused, enlightened and annoyed its readers. Quintessentially British, Punch cartoons were famous the world over for their witty observation of the British character, their social commentary and their outstanding artistry. "The Best of Punch Cartoons" is packed with magnificent gags and beautiful artwork by some of the finest illustrators of the past two centuries.At more than 600 pages, this superbly produced book is an essential purchase for any fan of cartoons, humour or Punch magazine. Special features showcase major artists and an array of favourite themes from the Great Exhibition of 1851 and Early Motoring to the Space Race, from Psychiatry to Lemmings. This enormous selection, which must rank as one of the best British cartoon compilations ever, has been specially selected by Helen Walasek of Punch Cartoon Library and former curator of the Punch Collection.

The cartoons are portrayed in chronological order, from 1841 to the end of the twentieth century, with special features on themes that inspired Punch's artists, the magazine's famed political cartoons - the 'Big Cuts' - and some of the magazine's most prominent cartoonists. Artists: John Leech; Charles Keene; George du Maurier; Phil May; HM Bateman; EH Shepard; Fougasse; Pont; Arthur Watts; Paul Crum; Sillince; Anton; Andre Francois; Gerard Hoffnung; Rowland Emett; Norman Thelwell; Michael ffolkes; Bud Handelsman; Mike Williams; Michael Heath; Peter Birkett; Tony Husband; Ronald Searle.; Special features: Railways; Photography; The Great Exhibition of 1851; Women's Rights; Early Cars; Big Cuts; WW2; The Space Race; New Technology; Holidays; Psychiatry; Lemmings; Caricatures."

Learn more about Punch:
Punch magazine (Wikipedia)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The beach, cartoons, a gnome and Cowboy Henk: cartoons at the Belgian coast 2010

Last weekend I've visited the Knokke-Heist Cartoonfestival 2010. This year the exhibition is in a big nice pavilion on the beach of Knokke. An excellent location to introduce lots of people into the magnificent world of cartoons. I think the organizing committee took a good decision to do so.

main entrance

seaview from the back of the tent
exhibition flyer

Jan De Maesschalck section

Herman Van Rompuy cartoon by Karl Meersman

This year's main exhibition is the first 'Kabouter Wesley' retrospective. Kabouter (gnome) Wesley is a very popular comic strip and cartoon character here in Belgium (and Holland) and he attracts many young visitors to the cartoon exhibition. His creator, Jonas Geirnaert is guest cartoonist of the festival.

"I hate visitors! Go away!" (says Kabouter Wesley)

Kabouter Wesley video game

Another exhibition is of drawings and cartoons by guest cartoonist Jan De Maesschalck.
There are the two other exhibitions: a selection of the winners and selected work of the international cartoon competition (won by Ludo Goderis, Belgium) and the Press Cartoon Belgium and Press Cartoon Europe works.

Check the Press Cartoon Belgium and Europe 2010 catalogue.(ISBN 978-94-61-31002-6, 17,50 euro)

immigration cartoon by Agim Sulaj (La Stampa, Italy)

Ryanair cartoon by Marec (Het Nieuwsblad, Belgium)

This book offers a fascinating mix of the cartoons form Press Cartoon Belgium 2010 (98 cartoons from 22 Belgian artists) and 50 nominations for Press Cartoon Europe 2010 by 33 cartoonists form no less than 30 European countries. Together, these images provide a topical, hilarious and sometimes poignant look back on the stories that dominated the Belgian and European news in 2009.

In Bredene, 20km West of Knokke, you can visit the Cowboy Henk exhibition (for free). Cowboy Henk is an extraordinary comic book character created by Herr Seele (Peter van Heirseele) and absurd cartoonist Kamagurka.(Luc Zeebroek). Here are some photo impressions of the expo:

the town of Bredene is famous for its nude beach...

Cowboy Henk painting (cartoon)

Cowboy Henk T-shirts

To school: 2450 km. "Shit, and it's raining too!"

Cowboy Henk piano
Humo magazine covers with Cowboy Hnek

Learn more about all this cartoonists and cartoons if they are new to you:
Cartoonfestival Knokke-Heist website (French, English, German, Dutch)
Press Cartoon Belgium
Jan De Maesschalck
Herr Seele