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Hoping the cartoonist draws the crowd

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Ed O'Loughlin, The Irish Times, 21 May 1992

Hoping the cartoonist draws the crowdEdit

Cartoon festival 2002

Crowd drawers: The cartoonists (from left) Tom Mathews, Martyn Turner and Terry Willers at a reception in Dublin yesterday to announce details of the Harp International Cartoon Festival to be held in Rathdrum, Co Wicklow, from May 28th to June 1st. Photograph: Eric Luke.

Thirty cartoonists from around the world are to attend the Republic of Ireland's first international cartoon festival in Rathdrum, Co Wicklow, over the bank holiday weekend of May 28th to June 1st.

Organised by Irish-based cartoonists Terry Willers and Martyn Turner, together with the people of Rathdrum, the festival will feature exhibitions and films on cartooning, as well as the more usual festival fare, such as street artists, buskers, carnival and sports. In addition, people attending the festival will be able to stop the cartoonists on the street and commission an on-the-spot cartoon.

According to Martyin Turner of The Irish Times, the festival is the result of a happy coincidence — "Rathdrum wanted a festival and we wanted to promote cartooning." Cartoonists are a solitary species, according to Mr. Turner, but occasionally they can be persuaded to converge on festivals, where they drink alcohol, talk shop and complain about editors. "It's like a big therapy group," he explained.

Foreign-based cartoonists participating will include Steve Bell of the Guardian, Peter Schrank of the Sunday Business Post, Jeff Danziger of the Christian Science Monitor and Marten Toonder, one of Holland's best-known cartoonists. The editors of the Beano and Dandy, Euwin Kerr and Maurice Heggie, will also be attending.

Among the Irish-based participants will be Ian Knox (Blotski), Jim Cogan, Gerard Crowley, Tom Halliday, Aonghus Collins (Scratch), Sean Lennon, Arja Kajermo, Tom Mathews, John McCrea and Barbara Nolan.

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