Alliance Française Dublin and Ilustrators Ireland are celebrating 6 years of partnership in presenting the Fête de l’Illustration & de la Bande Dessinée, with the support of the French Embassy in Ireland. Their goal is to bring together French and Irish talent to showcase the growing platform of comics, graphic novels and narrative art. With the French reputation for outstanding visual language, and the Irish history of storytelling, this blending of talents is sure to result in a festival of exciting international comics work.
The 6th Comic Book Festival Dublin is part of the BD 20>21 initiative which celebrates the 9ème art in France and abroad. The Festival will host from 11th to 15th May a series of online events including discussions, live readings, a screening and children’s creative workshops.
Admission is free for all events but booking is essential.
This month Galway Cartoon Festival talks to cartoonist Osama Hajjaj.
Name: Osama Eid Hajjaj
Where are you from? From Amman the capital of Jordan.
When did you become interested in drawing cartoons? Since I was 20 years old. My father was the one who encouraged me to enter this field because of the nature of his work at this time as a news translator. I was unemployed at this time but I was full of talent for drawing. The drawing was just as a hobby for me in this time. Then I got into the newspaper where my father works, not as a cartoonist, but as an expressive graphic artist, especially for newspaper topics with very low salary, so From here I started my way to be a cartoonist.
Who are your big influences? There’s many… not just one… Since I was young I loved comic books & tv cartoons program my big influences in this time like Stan Lee & Frank Miller, and in cartoon art like… Hajo de Reijger & Angel Boligan.
Where were you first published? My first published cartoon was in the same newspaper that my father works for, and the first newspaper I worked for as a cartoonist. It was an indescribable feeling I remember having when I saw my first cartoon published on paper. I bought 5 newspapers at that time in 1993 ☺
What’s your favourite cartoon (single panel or strip)? Mmmm .. I love them both, But most likely single cartoon
What materials do you use? In the past I was using paper and ink colors, pencil, free hand drawing. More fun, but more difficult and needs time… but now with technology I use ipad pro
And drawing programs so I am now digital artist.
On a scale from 1-10, where 1 is the thing you hang wet clothes on and 10 is the thing Gandalf rode in on, how are you at drawing horses? Hahahah… nice question… 7/10
Did you scribble in the margins of your books in school? Oooh this is a big story on my life ، I’ve always scribble on my school books. It made me a lot of trouble and rebukes with my teacher, but that period or habit for me was like learning to draw and this is one of the sacrifices that affected my studies in this time. My friends liked my drawings and called me an artist. I miss those books that have so many sketches ☹
Do you have any advice for aspiring cartoonists? My advice to aspiring cartoonist… to never give up & keep trying… And to take this art a very seriously… And to keep learning I am still learning until now.
And keep updated: every time the cartoon artist needs to read and follow news and events and be educated. This time is easier on their way than in the past because you don’t need a newspaper or magazine to be a cartoonist. The future is now the social media, make your page and go.
It’s that time of year again where the Galway Cartoon Festival must rattle our fundraising can to ensure this year’s Cartoon Festival happens! We are a completely voluntary organisation that seeks to promote the art of the cartoon each year through exhibitions, talks and workshops. It is the public that gets us over the line each year and this year is no different! So if you’ve ever laughed at a Larson or cracked up at a Keyes please consider getting the card out!
This month Galway Cartoon Festival talks to cartoonist Kathryn Lamb
Name: Kathryn Lamb
Where are you from? I was born in Bahrain (my father was a Middle East expert in the Foreign Office), and I grew up in Abu Dhabi and Kuwait. My father is Welsh, from Swansea.
When did you become interested in drawing cartoons? I remember drawing in chalk on the pavement (back in home leave in England) when I was about six, getting in trouble, and having to wash it off.
Who are your big influences? I copied characters from the Peanuts strip by Charles Schultz. I adored Ronald Searle’s drawings. Also Arthur Rackham’s illustrations and those by Tove Jansson in the Moomintroll books.
Where were you first published? I I drew cartoons for the Cherwell newspaper while reading English at Oxford, and had my first cartoon published in Private Eye in May 1979.
What’s your favourite cartoon (single panel or strip)? I love Ronald Searle’s series of ‘Revolting Cats’ drawings – the one that stood out for me was captioned ‘Particularly Revolting Cat Startled by a Gesture of Affection’.
What materials do you use? I use Staedtler fine liners, an A5 pad (although currently using the lovely book of paper from the Galway Cartoon Festival!), and occasionally a set of unremarkable colouring pencils. I work on my lap, which is not recommended for posture, but fitted in well with family life (single parent of six children – now grown up).
On a scale from 1-10, where 1 is the thing you hang wet clothes on and 10 is the thing Gandalf rode in on, how are you at drawing horses? I’d give myself a strong 4 (one point for each leg).
Did you scribble in the margins of your books in school? Not just in the margins but all over the books. And on one unforgettable occasion, all over the walls of the male teachers’ cloakroom. I left the school shortly after this.
Do you have any advice for aspiring cartoonists? Don’t give up!
This month Galway Cartoon Festival talks to cartoonist Martyn Turner
Name: Martyn Turner
Where are you from? Born in Essex. Family cockney for generations except an outlier great grandfather who was an Irish traveller called Johnny Cash (I’m not making it up).
When did you become interested in drawing cartoons? when i was knee high to a grasshopper.
Who are your big influences? Trog, Emmwood, Ronald Searle.
Where were you first published? Primary school I wrote edited and illustrated a magazine. Ditto secondary school. Ditto university. Ditto post graduation.
What’s your favourite cartoon (single panel or strip)? Aongus Collins’ cartoon of Dick Spring at the “Lost’ desk: ”Excuse me, have you seen the run of myself?” I think it should be permanently stuck on every wall in the Dáil.
What materials do you use? Pentel fude brush pens, Bristol board, carpenters pencils and Clip Studio Paint on the computer for colouring.
On a scale from 1-10, where 1 is the thing you hang wet clothes on and 10 is the thing Gandalf rode in on, how are you at drawing horses? 2 and a half.
Did you scribble in the margins of your books in school? Yes and on everyone else’s too…
Do you have any advice for aspiring cartoonists? Don’t let the buggers wear you down.