The best of British cartooning talent
‘So much for clearing out the shed - turns out it was only all the junk holding it up.’
FOGHORN Issue 41
Published in Great Britain by the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation (FECO UK)
PCO Patrons Libby Purves Andrew Marr Bill Tidy Foghorn Editor Bill Stott tel: +44 (0) 160 646002 email: email@example.com Foghorn Sub-Editor Roger Penwill tel: +44 (0) 1584 711854 email: firstname.lastname@example.org Foghorn Layout/Design Tim Harries tel: + 44 (0) 1633 780293 email: email@example.com
FOGHORN The magazine of the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation (FECO UK)
Your Foghorn is making an impact! Yes, all those long dark hours under the stairs are paying off. The UK’s Chief Medical Ofﬁcer says, “Foghorn is wonderful. If there’s anybody out there who doesn’t laugh at it just once, there’s probably something awful wrong with them” So that’s ok isn’t it? And this issue’s bursting with great gags certain magazines missed out on [you know who you are. And if you don’t, there’s a list on p98] as well as the Harries solving of The Great Moleskine Mystery, i.e., is it catching?
will there be stains? There’s a Big Draw report and a typically modest account of team Bloghorn’s OUTSTANDINGLY BRILLIANT VICTORY, whilst Chris Madden explains why walls get written on, plus all the usual features without which, let’s face it, life would be that little bit duller. Bill Stott, Foghorn Ed
PCO Press Ofﬁce email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web info PCO (FECO UK) website: http://www.procartoonists.org BLOGHORN http://thebloghorn.org/
What is Foghorn? British cartoon art has a great, ignoble history and currently boasts a huge pool of talent. It deserves a higher media presence than it currently enjoys. Our aim is to make sure it gets it. We want to promote cartoon art domestically and internationally by encouraging high standards of artwork and service, looking after the interests of cartoonists and promoting their work in all kinds of media. Copyright All the images in this magazine are the intellectual property and copyright of their individual creators and must not be copied or reproduced, in any format, without their consent. Front Cover: Wilbur Dawbarn Back Cover: Jonathan Cusick Foghorn (Online) ISSN 1759-6440 Glossop Watch: 2
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Foggy gets digital
Back issues now available online. Joy! Good news for lovers of all things humorous. The Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation has released the back-catalogue of Foghorn online. Yes, you too can laugh at that article from issue 27! Chuckle at that gag in issue 32! Count the number of times Glossop is
mentioned in issue 38! All this and more, available right now at: http:// issuu.com/bloghorn You can also buy an annual subscription to six full-colour print copies of Foghorn for only £30. Email foghorn@procartoonists. org for more details. WWW.PROCARTOONISTS.ORG
FEATURE CHICHI PARISH
Close Encounters Chichi Parish ﬁnds hugs in unexpected places. Sometimes you’ve got to take the plunge, kick open a different lifedoor in hope of experiencing something extraordinary, unexpected and indeed, uplifting. I ejected myself out of my comfort zone last May by witnessing my ﬁrst ever Random Huggers event in London’s Covent Garden. Hugging is all the rage these days, don’t you know. This year, at the G20 proceedings, the Queen, in a candyﬂoss pink coat dress (I thought you might appreciate the sartorial detail), broke Royal protocol by hugging America’s First Lady, Michelle Obama (she wore blue- I forget the CMYK number). Questions arose over who hugged whom, but that is beside the point, whether the Queen instigated the embrace or not, the gesture was done with an air of appreciation and good will, the press naturally revelled in it. Is it a sign that Britain is de-frostifying in a global heart warming kind of way? Heartfelt intentions are always reassuring in my book but then such gestures can also make for good PR. Everyone notices a bit of contact time in non-contact Criminal Record Bureau Britain though it’s not usually endorsed or encouraged. Michelle Obama continued to demonstrate her expertise at cuddling at a North London girls school where she gave her ﬁrst solo ‘go-get em girls’ type speech. She wore an Andy Williams diamond cardigan over a turquoise dress. Very nice she looked too. Following her high butane motivational speech, she dished out hugs and high ﬁves. ‘I do hugs’ she said. Well that’s nice I thought, but my god, the teachers must have spluttered all over their de-caffenated coffee in the staff common room afterwards. If you don’t have a dog, partner, lover, kids, friends, family, or a personality, where else are you going to get a hug apart from at a football match or a funeral or maybe an airport deparWWW.PROCARTOONISTS.ORG
ture lounge. Cemeteries and football pitches are permissible contact-time nurturance zones in the UK, but they don’t sell Duty Free. Hugging is good for you. Full stop. I could give you the science bit but I’m on a word count here. Mayella Reynolds, set up London’s Random Huggers back in 2003 in response to a remark made on LBC radio by award winning radio presenter Nick Ferrari. You know the fellow, he looks like he enjoys a high carbohydrate diet and speaks to an audience comprising of London cabbies and depressives discussing issues such as women’s handbags, beneﬁt cheats, the London Underground, oh, and terrorism. It was Nick Ferrari’s rant on terrorism that ignited Mayella into spearheading Random Huggers. He said: “It seems you can ﬁnd random terrorists on the streets - why don’t we ﬁnd random huggers?” So, in a nutshell, Random Huggers, a group of do-gooders promoting healing and wellbeing, simply go about hugging people in the street. They do ask permission of course, and from what I saw, very few pedestrians turned them down. In May, forty seven Random Huggers convened in 5 different locations throughout Britain and hugged in excess of 6, 000 people. They wore Random Huggers t-shirts, worked usually in pairs in a designated area punctu-
ated by a cheerful banner. Prior to the event, huggers were issued printed guidelines including advice on how to deal with ‘unwanted moves’. The idea is simple, the effect totally and utterly life afﬁrming and there are no hippie chants or communal love-ins afterwards. It’s not that kind of organisation. I was expecting cymbals, but I only saw smiles. A response from a huggee just about sums up the morning for me: ‘I’ll remember this for the rest of my life. Brilliant. I haven’t had a hug like that in years.’ Ah, makes my heart go all tingly. I haven’t felt such warmth since the gas central heating was switched on last week. Check them out on YouTube or go and set up your very own Random Hugging group by logging on to www. randomhuggers.com
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Cameron in Caricature
The Political Cartoon Gallery’s latest exhibition This exhibition of 60 original political cartoons charts the fortunes of David Cameron since he became Leader of the Conservative Party in December 2005. Due to his upbringing and education, Cameron is often portrayed as a toff and is portrayed by Martin Rowson of the Guardian as Little Lord Fauntleroy. After Cameron called for greater transparency in the publication of both Commons’ expenses and councils’ expenditure, Steve Bell also of the Guardian now draws him as Dave the Jellyﬁsh. As well as cartoons by Bell and Rowson, there are also cartoons of Cameron by Peter Brookes and Morten
Morland of The Times, Dave Brown and Peter Schrank of The Independent, Ingram Pinn of the Financial Times, and Andy Davey of the Sun (below) amongst many other leading cartoonists. The exhibition runs until 24th December 2009 at the Political Cartoon Gallery. More details at www.politicalcartoon.co.uk
Artist of the month for August 2009 was Steve Bright. Bloghorn asked how he makes his cartoons: “I have only just become fully digital, and now require an alternative power source to coffee and Chocolate Hobnobs to produce cartoons. It’s been a gradual process however. The majority of my career has been carved out using automatic pencils, nobuff erasers, Gillott’s 303 nibs dipped in Rotring black drawing ink, sable brushes dipped in Winsor & Newton coloured inks, all employed upon A2 sheets of bleed proof marker pad paper or Bristol Board. In the past ten years or so, computer technology has replaced or diminished the role of all of those elements. The recent arrival of my Wacom Cintiq has banished them from my drawing board completely. I now do everything using
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PCOer The Surreal McCoy reports on John Jensen’s recent illustrated talk on the workings of cartoonist Rowland Emett’s imagination at the Cartoon Museum in London: Admitting he was ‘genetically propelled to enjoy Emett’s work’ John showed what an accomplished technician Emett had been with drawings of trains and planes (he had worked as a draughtsman for the Air Ministry) as well as his elaborate ﬁligree work for bizarre and outlandish machines
which are also on show at the museum until November 1st. A suitably surreal slideshow traced Emett’s career, including artists such as Saul Steinberg and Hokusai who inﬂuenced him. It also highlighted the many different mediums in which he drew, which ran from scraperboard to watercolour. During the Second World War Emett had provided cartoons for propaganda purposes including an acidly-drawn caricature of Hitler in uncharacteristically lurid colours and with a French tagline.
the Cintiq linked to my laptop, and my biggest fear is no longer a missed deadline, but a prolonged power cut. Oddly, most of the tools I’d used in the early years was pretty much the same as that used by cartoon- “Sorry, he’s busy - can you come back when you’re more important?” ists for the previous hundred years. But such is the pace grets, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recomof the technology now, I’ve outgrown a mend others to do it when the time is scanner and several drawing tablets in right for them. I know I shall revisit the a just few years. It’s a little bit scary for old methods again eventually, but for someone who swore he’d never change fun rather than commerce. There is no his drawing ways when others were dip- turning back now.” ping their toes in the cyber waters. I’ve taken much longer than some web:www.stevebrightcartoons.co.uk to become a convert. But I have no re-
FEATURE LADY VIOLET
Random acts of humour
Foghorn’s very own ‘Agony Aunt’ Lady Violet Spume, answers your nasty little personal problems. (Dictation by Lady Violet’s private secretary Clive Goddard)
“I’ve just become self-unemployed.”
Dear Lady Spume, People keep accusing me of singing hymns with terriﬁc gusto but almost three quarters of a tone off the note. Please can you help? Rowan Williams Ignore them, Rowan, dear. The fact that one is singing hymns at all in this horrid day and age offers two ﬁngers to the vulgar modernisers, obsessed with triﬂing matters like ‘tunefulness’. It is, and always has been, the degree of gusto which counts. (V) Dear Lady V, My house has cracks in the walls. Usually when people say ‘moving house’, they are actually referring to themselves, rather than their dwelling place. Not so in this instance. It’s now got tie bars which have restrained its peripatetic activities somewhat, and now I’m trying to ﬁnd someone to paper over the cracks, so to speak. However, no fewer than three so-called craftsmen ﬁxed an appointment to survey the carnage, and not one of them has actually materialised. Do you think they’ve fallen through the cracks and into a warp in the space/time continuum? Should I report them as missing persons? Your advice is eagerly awaited. Yours, Preston Rumblestrips, CBE The working class are notoriously capricious, unreliable sorts and not to be entrusted with tasks of this nature. Simply do as I do and instruct your estate manager to see to the work. (V) Hi, dudess Spume, I sent a friend a worm by accident in the post. Should I ask for it back? Thanks, Ms Chichi (spinster of this) Parish One winces at the younger generation’s ﬂippancy and thorough ignorance of correct terms of address. Have standards really fallen so low in recent years? I weep for this country’s future. As for the accidental posting of worms I have nothing to say. One ﬁnds this sort of silliness most irksome. (V)
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FEATURE THE POTTING SHED
The Potting Shed with Cathy Simpson. The chilly winds turn your cheerful smiles into fearful scowls, whilst doggies hide their dos under piles of russet autumn leaves in order to catch the careless… but welcome to the Foghorn Potting Shed! Our residents, here in the warm, are Gordon Honkmonster, Binkie Homebrew and Euphorbia Marmelade; Alan Goatrouser is the grubby one with his hand in the postbag. Let’s have it, Alan!
“Your best bet is to buy them from a takeaway. For that authentic restaurant look, actually lay the table – with a tablecloth and maybe even some cutlery – and put them on a plate instead of eating them straight from the carton. If you really want to maintain some pretence of being a gardener, put a ﬂower in a little vase. A plastic daisy or sunﬂower would look a treat! Just remember to dust it from time to time.”
Gerbil Sleet, Membership Secretary of the Timberhonger Flat Earth Society, writes:
Yep, sounds like the makings of a fantastic display there, Gerbil! Don’t suppose you’d send us a photo? Now - we have a desperate email from Myrtle Beetle-Strudwick of Nether Wallop. Myrtle says she’s never seen anything like it: “My garden’s died. All I’m left with is a load of toadstools (I’ve photographed one, though I had to chase it around as it wouldn’t keep still). Is there any connection?”
“Dear Foghorn, How do I get my bean sprouts to look like the ones in Chinese restaurants?” A bit of head-scratching at this end, but our Euphorbia’s come up with the goods:
Gordon’s fainted, but nothing a bucket of water and a slightly smaller bucket of brandy won’t sort out! He gurgles: “This is the dreaded Honey Fungus. It would wipe out the whole of Sherwood Forest - soon as look at you – and its habits make ‘The Day of the Trifﬁds’ look like ‘The Flower Fairies’. It’s probably best if you move house without leaving a forwarding address – NOW! You can get your own back by frying the toadstools in butter with garlic, which will make a tasty snack as you contemplate what used to be your shrubbery. Bon appétit!” Well, that’s it for today, readers, but keep those letters coming. If they don’t get eaten by our postie’s goat, we might even get to read them!
Random acts of humour
“Hey, if Wally says he saw a penguin, then he saw a penguin.” 6 THE FOGHORN
FEATURE TRAVELLING MOLESKINE
Naughty but Nice
Tim Harries meets the Travelling Moleskine. What happens when you take one sketchbook, mix in 16 cartoonists, and add a dash of sauce? The answer is not ‘e coli’, suprisingly, but the PCO’s entry to the Travelling Moleskine Experiment. A collaboration between online culture guide Culture Vulture and those ﬁne folks at The Campaign for Drawing, over 80 Moleskine sketchbooks were sent to arty bods throughout the world including such exotic destinations as Peru, LA, Thailand, Belgium and Putney. Some were lost, some probably sold on eBay (I was tempted) but most found their way back to Mole Central, ours included. Every book was given a theme, and we had ‘Naughtiness’ - resulting in pages and pages of wonderful artwork, including a nude vicar on a trampoline, a pop-up 21 bum salute, and the Queen getting an uninvited ﬁnger up her nose. The addition of a garter belt bookmark only added to the naughty mood. Enough talking though - here’s some contributions from Chi-
chi Parish, Ian Ellery, Noel Ford, Steve Bright, Matt Buck, Alex Hughes, Royston Robertson, Nathan Ariss and Clive Goddard.
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FEATURE CHRIS MADDEN
Chris Madden grapples with grafﬁti. Grafﬁti: art or vandalism? Or both?
Answers please in two foot high 3Deffect letters on the outside wall of Tate Modern (They won’t mind). You get extra marks for deliberate spelling mistakes (cos that shows yor contempt for conformity - rite!), and for gratuitous vulgarity (cos that shows that yor angry!). Let’s say that it’s art. After all, if Richard Long can pile a few rocks into a heap on a beach and call it an intervention in the landscape, surely someone can spray a bit of paint onto a wall and call it an intervention in the cityscape. Which sounds very much like an activity of artistic intent as far as I’m concerned. What’s more, the word grafﬁti comes to us from the Greek, via the Italian, so the very word itself sounds pretty cultured to me. Which is wot art is, n’est pas? Grafﬁti can perhaps be thought of as a genre of ultra-democratic artistic expression; one in which anybody and everybody can participate if they feel so inclined. All you need in order to take part is a wall and a spray can. Walls are everywhere, and you can pocket the spray can in Halfords for nothing. The thing with grafﬁti though, is that not everybody wants to take part. Only a particular, selfselecting type of person practices the art form. But bear in mind that only a particular, self-selecting type of person used to practice abstract expressionism, vorticism or conceptualism, so what’s new? Who exactly is this particular type of self-selecting person, the grafﬁti artist? In my observations on the matter it’s an adolescent male of the girlfriendless variety who thinks that skate8 THE FOGHORN
boarding skills are more important than social skills and who is still too young to own a car into which to channel his displaced testosterone-fuelled energies (Because of the fact that he doesn’t possess a car he can frequently be seen riding a bicycle – one that of necessity is a few frame sizes too small for him, as if to announce that ‘This isn‘t really mine, you know – I nicked it’). He’s a member of that particular slice of youth who are of an age where they crave power and recognition but possess neither (and probably suspect that they never will). Yoof with attitude.
wants to express something doesn’t mean that they should. Personally I can’t walk down the street without wanting to express myself by machine gunning half of the people I meet along the way, on account of their complete self-absorption in their current inane mobile phone conversations; their solipsistic disrespect for the rest of humanity; their hideous dress sense; their tendency to mutate nouns into verbs. Any reason really. But I don’t. Self-expression comes with a degree of responsibility. It is not an unqualiﬁed human right.
Grafﬁti is an ostentatious visual display aimed at conveying the creator’s prestige, power and independence: a way of attempting to impress other people. Which sounds very much like one of the prime motivations behind art in general. So let’s agree: it’s deﬁnitely art.
Grafﬁti seems to be the hybrid offspring of a union between art and van-
But is it vandalism? First, what’s the deﬁnition of vandalism? Surely it’s the willful destruction of something as an expression of frustrated impotence in the face of the power of an overbearing and oppressive social system? And is thus a form of self-expression. Which brings us straight back to one of the deﬁnitions of art. However. Just because a person WWW.PROCARTOONISTS.ORG
FEATURE CHRIS MADDEN
dalism. It differs from run-of-the-mill vandalism in that it adds something to whatever it’s applied to rather than simply, mindlessly destroying something. You could say that it destroys something by adding to it of course (not unlike the way that adding stone cladding to a council house can destroy a perfectly presentable residence). It can be argued that occasionally the judicious application of grafﬁti can actually improve the urban experience however. For instance the grim walls along the railway lines in my neighbourhood are brightened up no end by the valiant efforts of grafﬁti artists called what I take to be Zacko and what might be Sprztqh. As long as they stick to the railway lines they’re ﬁne, and they don’t move out into the neighbouring streets (or if they do, they only move out into the streets on the other side of the tracks). But what about when grafﬁti is applied to ancient monuments? Does grafﬁti improve the coliseum in Rome for instance? (I hear that it’s a prime target of the Roman yoof cultures’ urge for self-expression.) Perhaps it does - by dragging the ediﬁce into the twenty-ﬁrst century and thus liberating it from the atrophying and stultifying clutches of the heritage industry. I’m not sure about that one actually. And talking about heritage, can grafﬁti be said to be the modern-day equivalent of cave painting, as is sometimes suggested by cartoonists and other humourists? Actually, no. The only similarity between the two is that both are, or were, done on walls. (Some people may argue that modern grafﬁti artists could be said to have a caveman-like mentality, but that’s a gross insult to cavemen). Cave paintings aren’t on walls in the same way that grafﬁti is on walls: they are on walls in the same way that Leonardo’s Last Supper or the murals of Giotto are on walls. It is possible to hold an alternative, post-modernist view on this subject however. This goes along the lines of “It’s all art on walls: therefore it’s all the same thing”. In my non-postWWW.PROCARTOONISTS.ORG
modernist view this stripping down of all deﬁnitions to their lowest common denominator is nothing more than a lazy way of avoiding having to make unpleasant value judgments about things. A similar example would be: Shakespeare uses words: Snoop Doggy Dog uses words: therefore they must be deemed to be of equal merit, with the only difference being that Snoop Doggy’s got a really stupid name (Mind you “Shake Spear” has a dubious ring to it when it’s deconstructed). Some critics may argue that grafﬁti’s not really art because, let’s face it, it’s all a bit samey. Stereotypical blocky or squiggly lettering and so on. That doesn’t stop it being art though. Anthropologists would argue that the saminess is a deliberately deployed signiﬁer of cultural cohesion. In similar vein, look at medieval illuminated Bibles: I personally can’t tell the difference between one of them and the next, but that doesn’t therefore stop me
thinking that they are all amazing. And talking about samey, it may surprise you that, despite their superﬁcial differences, it takes a skilled eye and brain to recognize the individual artists behind the cartoons in this very publication (without looking at the signatures). Of course, if you like that sort of thing they’re all good. And talking about samey, readers of this magazine may be shocked to hear that some people can’t distinguish between the cartoonists who adorn these very pages that you now hold in your hands: they can’t tell their Ariss from their Ellery. Which reminds me of the time that Matthew Parrish, the political commentator, held up a copy of the Guardian on tv and eulogized at length about how Steve Bell’s cartoons were getting better and better. The cartoon at which he was directing his enthusiasm was by Martin Rowson. THE FOGHORN 9
FEATURE GUIDE TO SPIES
Random acts of humour
The UK has lots of spies. Not as many as the USA or Russia, but quite a lot. If you look really, really hard you can always tell a UK spy because he or she uses traditional equipment such as invisible ink and rubber noses. US spies hardly write at all and Russian spies use rubber hoses. Basically, spies keep us all safe, as was seen in the recent TV documentary, “Spooks”. They sneak about the place looking urgent and pretend to be friends with foreign spies, then they look at their emails whilst the foreign spy’s making a cup of tea, which might be poisoned, but which the UK spy switches at the last moment. Or accidentally spills into the foreign spy’s goldﬁsh tank. If the goldﬁsh die, the UK spy then shoots the foreign spy and everything’s all ok again. Sometimes, even if the foreign spy’s goldﬁsh don’t die, the foreign spy still gets shot. This is called a “double bluff” Of course, its not always as complicated as that. Much spying involves simple things like telling the Police who they should arrest, which is very helpful and saves a lot of Police time. Spies are very clever. They are usually recruited when they are at University studying Grates. Or other really hard subjects. After university they go on training 10 THE FOGHORN
courses where they are taught how to kill people with lettuce. Unless their rubber nose has been ﬁtted upside down, its very difﬁcult to tell who is a UK spy at a glance, and who isn’t. U.S. spies are easy because they have little wiggly wires behind their ears and Russian spies all buy their suits from charity shops. UK spies are harder to spot. Known UK spies include Mick Gribbin, leader of the British Nazi Party who spends his weekends smuggling Jewish plumbers out of Mozambique and on to safe houses in Glossop, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, who has poisonous eyebrows which are lethal over short distances. US spies are the best equipped though, and even if you could get close enough to stab somebody with your eyebrows, you couldn’t do as much damage as US spies can do with their drones which are not elderly male Republicans, but little remotely controlled aeroplanes with big guns and bombs which enable US spies to kill total strangers in faraway places without leaving the couch. UK spies’ rubber noses are all equipped with a tiny honking sound device which honks when squeezed. This allows UK spies to recognize each other. Even if you think you’ve spotted a UK spy, and are tempted to squeeze his or her nose to get the tell – tale honk, this course of action is not adviseable, because if you’re wrong and the nose doesn’t honk, you might be in very serious trouble. You will have committed what is called a “faux pas” and would be in hospital.
“Nothing wrong with you today?”
A Cameron Moralhighgrounder Speaks
FEATURE BIG DRAW
It’s all over bar the shouting...
Pete Dredge reports back from the Battle of the Cartoonists. There was something quite heartwarming about the sight of today’s cartoonists bent over pristine white surfaces working feverishly with pens, paints, brushes, palettes and water pots. Their faces etched with concentration, elbowing for position whilst trying not to engage in conversation with the ever-eager-to-engagein-conversation public. For an occupation that is normally carried out in isolation the feeling of exposure would have felt no less daunting had we all been naked too (a crowd-pulling idea for next year maybe. Campaign for Drawing people take note!) This was the 2009 Big Draw Battle of the Cartoonists’ with teams from The Independent, Private Eye, The
Sun and the PCO’s Team Bloghorn vying for this years bragging rights at Shoreditch’s Idea Generation Gallery. Of course, assembling the Bloghorn team was my ﬁrst mission. No mean task as my initial appeal for volunteers didn’t exactly have my inbox bulging. Fresh faces were called for but there was a danger of dragooning in Bill Stott and Robert Duncan, old hands from previous PCO campaigns, as pressure from Campaign for Drawing organisers to name my team increased. Luckily, relatively freshfaced cartoonists Clive Goddard, Nathan Ariss and Andy Bunday threw their inhibitions to the wind and stepped up to the mark. Crazy, misguided fools!
A ﬂurry of unsynchronised emails then ﬂew back and forth as ideas for the “Now We Are Ten” banner theme took shape. Some tough decisionmaking from the skip ﬁnally honed the rough edges and massaged dented egos until we had the basis of an idea that we were all happy with. The rest,as they say, is history which, for the record, was that we were clear winners on the unscientiﬁc but democratic ‘loudest cheer wins’ system. Unfortunately the organisers experienced some sort of hearing malfunction and ordered a ‘cheer off’ with the ‘dirty tricks’ Private Eye team. If anything our ‘cheer quotient’ was louder and longer second time around but still the judges couldn’t decide and declared a draw. We’re getting there!
The Art of Queuing
Cathy Simpson packs her brolly for Banksy. To quote Serena Davies of the Torygraph: ‘Every so often, art breaks out of its conﬁnes to become an event.’ That’s just how it was with Banksy at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, where the time you spent queueing outside was so much greater than the time you spent actually inside that it became an event in its own right. Armed with fellow PCO-ers, Tim Harries and Gerard Whyman, for a non-stop supply of humorous conversation and shelter from the rain, I tried this one out for four hours. A cheerful-looking guy with a t-shirt saying ‘I PEE IN POOLS’ showed what it is like to be in tune with the weather, and the ice-cream man must have been laughing all the way to the bank. As must the entrepreneurial types selling WWW.PROCARTOONISTS.ORG
an assortment of gaudy, water-damaged umbrellas. But it was all so goodhumoured; the spirit which sustained the Brits during the Blitz alive and kicking. Shortly before the home stretch (only 20 minutes to go) a pair of interlopers, claiming to be from Portugal tried to come in with people near the head of the queue. Nope, they really didn’t get it - and by that time such an afﬁnity had built up among the thousands of fellow-sufferers that nobody was going to let these cheeky blighters in, and they’d have been better off going straight to the end, which is where they probably got to anyway. Was it worth it? I should say so! My fondest memories are of Claude Lorrain’s ‘Flight into Egypt’ with an Easy-
jet sign, and this perceptive, barbed picture (below): ‘Does anyone actually take this kind of art seriously?’ ‘Never underestimate the power of a big gold frame’) The Banksy exhibition ﬁnished on August 31st. The queue is probably still there.
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Rude Health Oh dear. This is a tricky one. Its just something you don’t talk about in polite society. But recently, for reasons I don’t understand and which probably involve Spam ﬁlters, my PC is being bombarded with emails from people called Magda who can’t spell, ﬂogging Ponis Eenlagerment [sic]. I know what they’re getting at – oh yes – been around a bit, I have. I’ll give Graham a ring soon – he’s the bloke who ﬁxes my PC when it gets stroppy – and irritating messages will be immediately bunged in the willy bin. However, all these unwelcome urgings for me to acquire equine anatomy got me thinking about The Great Sexual Divide When it Comes to Making Things Bigger Debate. Breast [sensitive souls might want to substitute “ladies’ chests” here] enhancement is now accepted. It is no longer
a secret. Quite a lot of skinny ladies with commensurately small breasts pay cosmetic surgeons lots of dosh to equip them with huge mammarian kit so that it can be poked at Star readers and/or builders to make them go “Phwoaaaaar!” What’s more, its socially acceptable to wave these enhanced attractions about the place and has been for ages. Not so for men and their dangly parts. Its true that once, blokes wore false willies called codpieces to encourage hot chicks like Anne of Cleaves to get down and dirty, but not nowadays, except for wannabe youths who might stuff a King Edward down their Calvin Kliens [“You idiot Baz! down the FRONT!”] Even then, they’re not showing any of yer actual, are they? Unlike the ladies who are allowed – expected even – to give a good 60% of their wobbly areas a decent airing, declaring presumably, to chaps that they are in fact very female and would love to be good mothers. So what about those blokes who did send off their $150 for a jar of Biggadong? What if it works? They won’t be able to show it off in public. Not even a little bit of it. And what if they overdose ? Would that mean spending hard earned cash on specially tailored three – legged trousers? And an extra shoe? However you look at it, if the internet advertisers succeed, we could have a big problem on, or in our hands. [Curmudgeon would like to apologise if any of the foregoing caused offence. If you have been affected by any points raised here, send us some pics so we can go snigger in the corner.]
Letters to the Editor Snail Mail: The Editor, Foghorn Magazine, 7 Birch Grove, Lostock Green, Northwich. CW9 7SS E-mail: email@example.com
A leader writes Dear Editor, I must congratulate Foghorn most sincerely on its upholding of the values we hold so dear; freedom, the right to believe, and happiness, in a world which has gotten pretty damn hairy lately. Go Foghorn! B Obama We are most amused Dear Editor, Having followed the development of PCO over the past couple of years, and being a keen Foghorn reader, I am aware of the fact that all your good work is done in the face of ﬁnancial penury. What you need is a really loaded Patron. I should like to offer myself for that position. My name is Queen Elizabeth the Second and I have pots of money, and I will give you heaps of it if you let a few of my grandkids help with funny pictures for your cute magazine. You’d also be able to put one’s Royal Crest on your letterheads with all the “by appointment” baloney as well. Look forward to hearing from you. Elizabeth R xxx [See? Its all happenin’ Ed]
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CARTOONS ROYSTON ROBERTSON
“Brother, what is our policy with regard to hair gel?”
“I’m guessing it’s some kind of dog-food dispenser.”
“Please stop doing that annoying quote marks thing.”
“Sorry lads, but times are tough I’m going to have to let one of you go.”
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BUILDINGS IN THE FOG
Carparks I may have said it before, but much of the art of architecture is the organisation and enclosure of circulation space. Efﬁcient circulation is vital to most buildings, Users don’t want to travel about in them more than they have to. Buildings look messy with people laying on the ﬂoor refusing to walk any further. Perhaps the purist form of circulation enclosure is the multi-storey carpark, although that purity doesn’t usually extend to the smell. It might be best to accept most carpark staircases become impromptu conveniences and provide urinals on each landing, together with displayed guidance notes on how the inebriated should use them and soothing voice instructions for the paralytic. At least then some of the stuff might go down the drain and improve the ambience. Back to enclosing circulation... Most architects, in my experience, have to layout a carpark at some stage in their career and the really unlucky ones have to design a multi-storey. And mostly they fail to get it right. Be honest - how many multistoreys can you recall that were pleasant and set you into a happy, joyful mood to do whatever it was you parked your car to do? As it happens, I experienced a delightful underground carpark recently in the very centre of Cahors, Southern France. Useless for shopping in Bishop’s Stortford, though, which might be a blessing. The ﬁrst multi-storey carpark 14 THE FOGHORN
in the world was claimed to be the one built in Chicago in 1918. It was demolished in 2005 as it wasn’t considered to be of sufﬁcient landmark status. Apparently being unique when it was built just wasn’t landmarky enough. Actually, it might not have been ﬁrst - a garage in Glasgow built in 1906-1912 claims that honour. The urine in the stairwells has yet to be carbon-dated to prove it. In the 1920’s a cartoonist (anyone know who or where?) published a cartoon envisaging a hotel for cars and what he drew was (roll of drums, please) a multi-storey carpark. I hope this isn’t true - I wouldn’t like the blame to be laid at the door of our profession. Most are built of concrete; not the jolliest material, as I have certainly mentioned before. Heights between ﬂoors are kept to a minimum to save cost and reduce the bulk of what is often a pretty unattractive lump of building. This low ﬂoor height helps make the interior really oppressive and threatening. Internal columns can be avoided with skillful structural design and planning, so usually there is a forest of them. They occur alongside
every fourth car or so, positioned so as to make door-opening a challenge and wing-mirror removal a doddle. The buildings have open sides, not as commonly believed, to help ventilation and costs, but to provide somewhere for ﬁlm-makers to propel cars out of. Please refer to Bond and Bourne movies for examples. Over the past three decades or more there has been admirable attempts at lateral thinking to improve the parking experience, many of which have been so obviously doomed to failure that it is surprising they had any advocates. The most lateral, literally, is the vast carparking machine concept, some examples of which are rumoured to actually exist. Here you deliver your car to the entrance for the machine to whisk it away out of sight somewhere into its tightly packed innards. On your return your car is returned from the machine’s bowels back to you. You might be lucky and ﬁnd your battered Fiat Dyspepsia has been swapped for an Audi TT. I would just accept that and not try it again to see if you can get it in blue. Roger Penwill
THE LAST WORD
The Critic Forsyth Saga Plus
Foghorn’s resident critic Pete Dredge watches telly so you don’t have to. It’s a little known fact in media and entertainment circles that there are some artistes of a certain age who are contracted to perform right up to their last breathe. Or so it bloody seems if Mr Bruce “Doddery I Am Not” Forsyth is anything to go by! Maybe in the ever more competitive TV ratings battle, the idea that a presenter might not make it through to the credits may persuade signiﬁcant numbers to switch from the X Factor just in case they witness the veteran song-and-dance man soft shoe shufﬂe off this mortal coil. He, of course, has clinically ‘died’ many times during the seven ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ series, saved only by sharp, pacy direction, well-rehearsed ad-libbing and quick cutaways to grinning female co-host, or ‘nurse’ as might be a more ﬁtting job description these days. But sadly, even these ‘tricks of the trade’ can no longer paper over the cracks or disguise the fact that we are
witnessing a gradual, terminal decline of what was once an undoubtedly mega TV and showbiz talent. As faculties and body vie neck and neck in the race for the old performers knack-
Art: John Roberts
ers yard one can only guess at what point-size the autocue has to be set for Brucie’s lines or, indeed, how many of his much younger ex-dolly bird TV hostesses are now advertising walkin baths and stairlifts in the People’s Friend. Much loved Tommy Cooper made his ﬁnal bow live on TV a mere 62 years of age. Similarly with Eric Morecambe. Died on stage at 58, but, with a history of heart problems, his sad death came much too soon for his adoring public. They probably had another ten years of working life each to give before contemplating retirement. Forsyth seems to have bagged their combined twenty years for himself and with a well documented heathy lifestyle, diet and ﬁtness regime could still go on for some considerable time to come. Gawd help us - Jimmy Clitheroe died at 51 so that’s another possible twenty years up for grabs. Didn’t they die well!
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FOGHORN (ONLINE) ISSN 1759-6440