Shrewsbury News

Festival draws top cartoonists to Shrewsbury

Festival draws top cartoonists to Shrewsbury Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival is gearing up for its annual long weekend of humour and art from Thursday 14 April 2011–Sunday 17 April 2011.

This year’s theme is sport, chosen to contribute to the celebration of Shropshire’s role in the heritage of the Olympic Games.  The first Olympian Games were held in Much Wenlock in 1850 and inspired the modern Olympic movement – and on Friday 15 and Saturday 16 April will inspire the Festival cartoonists to draw giant cartoons in The Square.

For the first time Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival will this year team up with the recently relaunched Reader’s Digest.  The magazine runs a regular cartoon caption competition, ‘Beat the Cartoonist’, which they will be bringing to The Square on Friday 15 April and Saturday 16 April 2011.

Members of the public are invited to make up captions for the cartoon on display with prizes for the three best entries each day.  The editor, cartoon editor and design director of Reader’s Digest are also offering a unique opportunity to aspiring cartoon artists to find out what makes a good cartoon and how to get published.  Their informal talk and one to one advice clinics are at Theatre Severn on Saturday 16 April 2011.

Gill Hudson, editor of Reader’s Digest said: “As one of the main magazine publishers of gag cartoons in the UK, we’re really looking forward to coming along to Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival and meeting up with artists and Festival visitors. Above all, it’s going to be great fun!”

There are plenty of opportunities to get involved in fun drawing activity throughout the festival with a range of free workshops for all ages.  All are free, although some do need to be booked in advance.

The festival exhibitions also follow the sporty theme and include ‘Personal Bests’ – a selling exhibition of new work from festival cartoonists at Bear Steps – and Joking for Gold, a special exhibition of original Giles cartoons loaned by the British Cartoon Archive.

Mike Owen, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member responsible for tourism, said: “This year’s festival once again promises be a fantastic few days, and offers something for people of all ages.  I hope it will encourage people from across Shropshire and further afield to visit Shrewsbury to support the events, and local businesses.”

The full Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival programme is at and in a leaflet available from the Visitor Information Centre, Shrewsbury Museum, tel: 01743 281200.

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