Draw The Line Here

The Professional Cartoonists' Organisation (PCO), in collaboration with Crowdshed and English PEN, present a volume of cartoons responding to the murders at the Charlie Hebdo office in Paris earlier this year.

Draw The Line Here collects pieces by many of the UK's very best political cartoonists and I'm honoured to be included, albeit in the least desirable circumstances.

The cartoonists have foregone any cut of the takings; the money raised will be split between the families of those who died and English PEN's campaigning work in defence of freedom of expression.

The book was reviewed in the Morning Star and a write-up of the launch event is on the PCO blog.  You can buy a copy from English PEN.

Six months on from #JeSuisCharlie and much of the heat has dissipated but as a discussion topic the value and purpose of political cartooning is still very much alive. The annual Idea City conference in Toronto devoted a whole portion of its schedule to presentations from cartoonists including a terrific talk by Dan Murphy in which one of my cartoons cameos.

I note that the Salon International de la Caricature, du Dessin de Presse et d'Humour will proceed as usual (unlike other French cartoon events) while inferring that the organisers fully expect it will be dominated by tributes to those lost in January and cartoons mocking black-clad jihadis.  But France can't have it both ways. Plantu, their most famous cartoonist, was recently in court again concerning a charge of "inciting hatred" with a cartoon of the former Pope. The Charlie crew consider Plantu to be pretty anodyne. If he were to be convicted of such a crime they'd all be in trouble.

While the recent accord in Iran is to be welcomed many colleagues have taken the opportunity to note that the country has long way to go in regard to its treatment of artists, critics and writers. Atena Farghadani and Soheil Arabi remain in custody.

We'll be talking about cartoons at the Festival of Politics in August. Join us!