Blog Syndicate

Daryl in Belgium

Last Spring I had a lovely exhibition in Virton, Belgium, with my France-Cartoons buddies, who you can see below, lined up around a sign promoting the exhibition.

The organizers of the exhibition are Raphael Donay Rafagé (just to the left of the sign) and Angelo Frade, third from the right.

The exhibition included about 100 framed prints of my cartoons in a cool, medieval labyrinth with nifty vaulted ceilings.

The French and Belgian cartoonists know how to party. They have an annual festival in Virton and neighboring Rouvroy, charming places that were the home of some of the most savage fighting in World War One.

There was a nice municipal building with more exhibitions, in neighboring Rouvroy, where we sat at tables drawing for the public, as they do at the French cartoonists’ other big festival in St Just le Martel.

Drawing for the public is a strange concept for American editorial cartoonists. Most visitors ask for caricatures of themselves; American cartoonists might think this is more appropriate for a caricature artists’ convention or an amusement park, but editorial cartoons are much appreciated in Belgium and France and I enjoy doing the caricatures. It gives the public a way of interacting with the “press-cartoonists” at festivals throughout the day, and it is great fun. We don’t charge for the drawings, although some cartoonists ask for a beer in exchange for a caricature.

The French cartoonists argue among themselves about why they draw free caricatures at their festivals; they don’t draw caricatures as part of their regular press-cartooning business, these drawings are only a schtick for festivals. I’m told that the festivals often insist that cartoonists don’t charge for drawings and this annoys some cartoonists who want to be paid (I don’t know if Virton/Rouvroy had this policy and cartoonists regularly sell their books at the festivals). The “press cartoonist” festivals make an ongoing circuit for the Euro-cartoonists who enjoy getting together to party much more frequently than their American colleagues do.

I think the free caricatures make municipalities feel like they are providing something special for the public in return for their support for the festivals. Some cartoonists argue that, as their print clients crash and burn, and their business model collapses, they should be able to make income from drawing at the festivals. Others complain that there are sometimes not enough visitors at the festivals, and they end up drawing each other –this is true, but cartoonists drawing each other is fun. It is all fun for me.

Eating and drinking are the most important activities at “press cartoonists” conventions in Belgium and France. Here’s I’m sitting down for dinner with some charming colleagues, from the left, Nol (from France and Holland), Marilena Nardi (Italy), me, Kap (Barcelona, Spain), Antonio Antunes (Portugal) and Christina Sampaio (Portugal).
French cartoonist, Alain “Nalair” Roche, asked me to draw him as an elephant squirting wine – something I draw all too often, but Nalair makes a handsome elephant and the wine was excellent.
These charming Belgian ladies, Olivia and Zoe, asked me to draw them together, as ice skating penguins.
I should have put this young lady’s name into the drawing so I would remember it. She did a lot of traveling and likes kitties, so she is a traveling kitty with stickers on her suitcase showing where she has been. For some reason, I’m asked to draw lots of kitties when I take requests.
The festival in Virton happens every Spring. Everyone who loves editorial cartoons should go! Many thanks to all the France-Cartoons guys, and to Raphael and Angelo for a wonderful festival and a great exhibition!

Sketch Freedom in Sweden

My buddy Kianoush Ramezani is putting on a big editorial cartoon exhibition in Gothenburg, Sweden with many of the top editorial cartoonists from around the world. The show is being hosted with the Gothenburg Film Festival with the support of Le Memorial de Caen, the big D-Day Museum in Normandy, France that is a big supporter of editorial cartoonists and hosts a cartoon festival each year (I attended in 2012 and I was impressed).

Kianoush is an interesting guy. He is a political refugee who had to flee the regime in his native Iran which wanted to punish him for his cartoons; he was given asylum in France and lives in Paris. Kianoush’s exhibition, Sketch Freedom, is about freedom of expression. I know most of the cartoonists in the exhibition through Cartooning for Peace, and some are cartoonists.

See if you can spot these cartoonists’ mugs in the collage below: Angel Boligan, Damian Glez, Daryl Cagle (me), Kap (who also did the poster), Kianoush, Peter Broelman, Riber Hansson and Tjeerd Royaards. The second big head under mine in the collage is Liza Donnelly, a New Yorker Magazine cartoonist; I expect the size of our big heads will shrink as new cartoonists are added to the exhibition – although Kianoush would be the first to say that it would take more than that to deflate my big head.



Here’s the full list of artists in the show and poster:

  • Adjim Danngar – Chad 
  • Angel Boligan – Mexico 
  • Ann Telnaes – USA 
  • Assad Binakhahi – Iran
  • Ayako Saito – Japan 
  • Bernard Bouton – France
  • Cristina Sampaio – Portugal 
  • Damien Glez – Burkina Faso 
  • Daryl Cagle – USA
  • Elena Ospina – Colombia 
  • Eray Ozbek – Turkey 
  • Guy Badeaux – Canada 
  • Hassan Karimzadeh – Iran 
  • Jaume Capdevila – KAP – Spain 
  • Jim Morin – USA 
  • Kianoush Ramezani – Iran 
  • Liza Donnelly – USA
  • Mohammad Sabaaneh – Palestine
  • Peter Broelman – Australia 
  • Phil Umbdenstock – France 
  • Riber Hansson – Sweden 
  • Tjeerd Royaards – Netherlands 
  • Victor Bogorad – Russia 
  • Vladimir Kazanevsky – Ukraine 
  • Xavier Bonilla – BONIL – Ecuador
  • Zulkiflee Anwar Haque – Zunar – Malaysia 

See the World Cartoonists in Caen This Weekend

I’m headed out to a big Cartooning for Peace meeting in Caen, Normandy, France. Cartoon fans in France are in luck, here are the highlights.

Cartooning for Peace On Sunday, April 15th there are general meetings and signing by the cartoonists in the Main Hall of the Memorial de Caen from 11:00am to 4:30pm. There are four impressive panels in the afternoon in Auditorium 296.

1:30pm-2:15pm, The Arab Spring with Dilem, Ferzat, Mykaia (from Tunis), Z, Bahgory and Elchicotriste.  Looks like this will be in Arabic with translation into French.

2:15pm-3:00pm, Daily Local and Opinion Press with Chaunu, Boligan, Kap, Jim Morin (of the Miami Herald, who used to be on our site), Vadot, Zapiro and Rousso.

3:00pm-3:45pm, Internet, New Risks. with me, Damien Glez (the cartoonist from Burkina Faso and a longtime contributor to our site), Kianoush (my exiled cartoonist buddy from Iran), Z, and Ali Ferzat, the famed cartoonist from Syria who was beaten and had his hands broken by Bashar Assad’s thugs. I’m very interested to meet Ali Ferzat who is a hero for standing up to the Assad regime.

3:45pm-4:30pm Cartooning for Peace, Myth or Reality, with Plantu, Damien Glez, Michel Kichka, Izel, Vadot and Dilem.