Saturday, September 29, 2012

Big Draw and Battle of the Cartoonists

Yes indeed! Once again a bunch of cartoonists have been invited along to the Big Draw's opening event in London, taking workshops, having a good natured battle (I'll explain later!) and working alongside loads of other artists, illustrators and wonderfully creative folk - all with the one purpose of getting everyone to draw! This year's event is called 'Big draw, Big Make and takes place in London's Victoria and Albert Museum.

Download the Big Draw Big Make Map and guide here

One of my roles this year will be taking a cartoon workshop in Room 48a, where the Raphael cartoons are hanging. (I've got an image of ninja turtles now!)  They start at 11am with Robert Duncan. I'll be on at 12.30, then Cathy Simpson at 2pm and Wilbur Dawbarn at 3.30pm. They should all be quite varied and will be a jolly good laugh. Hurrah! 

My workshop will be 'Creating Comic Strips' and will take kids and adults through the steps to writing and drawing a 3 or 4 panel mini strip. If you can't make it, don't despair, you can download the worksheet free of charge and have a go in the comfort of your own home! Still, if you can come along, we'd all love to see you.

Download the 'Creating Comic Strips Worksheet 2012' here

So, what's this battle I mentioned earlier? It's the Battle of the Cartoonists no less, where the weapons are a rapier sharp wit and large marker pens. This year there will be 7 teams from the newpapers and cartoon organisations, all furiously drawing for 2 hours on huge banners and aiming to win the crowd over. The prize? A warm glowing sense of worth and the envious glares of your peers. Plus a small trophy probably. I'll be taking part for Team Sun, alongside Andy Davey and Clive Goddard, so if you're there, come and heckle the other teams to put them off.

A banner for 2006 at Somerset House
A banner from 2007 at Covent Garden

And here's a report I wrote about the 2006 Battle of the Cartoonists. Stirring stuff!

We will fight them on the Piazza.
The PCO’s war correspondent Tim Harries reports from the frontline at last year’s ‘Battle of the Cartoonists’ and looks forward to this year’s event in Covent Garden. Chaaarge!

 Only an hour in and there were already casualties. The Guardian sustained heavy cadmium yellow losses attempting to paint the Sun to scale, Private Eye (who he? - Ed) were suffering extensive nib rot in the trenches, and The Independent spent most of the time searching out a ladder for their shorter recruits. Yes, the 2006 ‘Battle of the Cartoonists’ was in full swing and they had the scars to prove it.
Having gained access to the front-line by pushing aside some old women and a small child, I found myself in the danger zone and feeling nervous. All around me, civilians were equally jittery - there were reports that a live caricature had gone off earlier in the day. I barely had time to move before a loaded sable brush streaked past. I instinctively ducked. Luckily I landed on some old women and a small child. Despite these distractions the valiant cartoonists battled on, occasionally agreeing with each other about what they were drawing. As impartial onlookers we were eventually asked to judge the winning banner, and by the fair and democratic process of who can shout the loudest, top honours went to The Guardian (though even they agreed The Independent was robbed).

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