Tuesday 24 April 2012


A highlight of the the calendar each year is the Cartoon Festival in Shrewsbury which I blogged about in part yesterday.

The Dark Lady and I weren't able to attend the whole thing which started on Thursday and ran through until Sunday.

The whole town rises to the occasion, and there are lots of exhibitions, talks and cartoon "trails" as well as events in the Market Square.

Well known cartoonists rub shoulders with amateurs and also the "can't draw if their life depended on it" brigade like myself.

It is a great atmosphere, and as one cartoonist told me trying to organise them in to some sort of order is "like herding cats!"

My job was to turn up and maybe do a few PA announcements. In truth I did more turning up than PA announcements in-between the April showers. I was having too much fun watching the big boards coming to life.

We had booked into "The Lion", an ancient coaching inn which boasted the creakiest floor and the noisiest lift I think I have ever experienced.

As we lay in bed we could hear what sounded like a hunting horn. This is the countryside after all, but I didn't expect to be involved in the chase whilst lying in bed on the third floor of a hotel.

Transpired as we went down for breakfast in the morning it was the lift mechanism that was the culprit, emitting a low anguished groan as it reached its destination.

As I mentioned in the previous blog, for this year's event the theme was "flight".

I can remember at school in art class when we were told to draw "break". Most of the kids drew children in the playground playing, but my mate Libido Boy (who as you know if you have heard the show often enough marches to the beat of a different drum) drew a stick being snapped in half.

Whilst the big boards were being finished there was a "meladrawma". This was the brainchild (I am guessing) of the festival organiser Roger Penwill, who's no mean cartoonist himself. It is he on yesterday's blog dressed in a fetching small silver aeroplane.

With the help of (among others) Bill Stott and the wonderfully named The Surreal McCoy on accordion for dramatic effect, they enacted a story of derring do, stiff upper lips, dastardly foreigners and a heroine in distress. As Roger narrated, cartoonists cartooned and The Surreal McCoy (who incidentally told me I should call her "The") err... accordianed.

You can see the result on Facebook.

We had to go back to London before the big Saturday night meal, which if it was anything like a previous one that we attended a couple of years ago, was big fun with nothing left uncartooned. Nothing not drawn on!

A huge thanks to everyone who took part. In my humble opinion, cartooning should be available on the NHS.

I defy anyone not to feel better after looking at the following. Thank you too all the brilliant cartoonists who took part and as a "person who can't draw if his life depended on it", thank you for enriching my life.

A sample of the results when asked to draw "flight"

Hunt Emerson

Ian Baker

Rich Skipworth

Rob Murray

1 comment:

mwhite229 said...

great cartoons, but think you should give Libido boy more points for drawing break - how clever was that!!