Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Herne Bay Cartoon Festival 2017

In early August I received a text from my old Rubber Balls mucker Rosie Duffield inviting me to the Herne Bay Cartoon Festival. Now, Rosie had upset the political world in the June 2017 General Election by winning for Labour, against all expectations, the erstwhile safe Conservative seat of Canterbury, which had been solidly Tory since the Great Reform Act of 1832! It was in her capacity as a newly-minted MP that she was hosting a talk at the Festival on Saturday 5 August being given by the august cartoonist and scourge of political arseholes Martin Rowson, one of my all-time satirical heroes, and would I be free to attend and meet the great man himself?

Would I 'eck as like! So I turned up with long-suffering boyfriend in tow, and suitcase in hand containing three puppets (Donald Trump, Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson - a fortuitous selection, as it transpired), met Mr Rowson beforehand and attended the talk itself, a wonderful mixture of musings on the history and nature of cartooning and satire, anecdotes from Mr Rowson's long career, smidgens of gossip about various public ne'er-do-wells, and a glimpse of Martin's magnificently repellent Nigel Farage pinata, which was in a rather sorry state having had the crap beaten out if it some time before by the comedian and activist Mark Steel...

Not only that, but Martin used my Farage and Johnson puppet heads during his talk as props for a couple of anecdotes, and afterwards we ended up going for drinks, visiting a gallery showing his work, attending another gallery for a wine & nibbles reception where I met several fascinating (and incredibly welcoming) people, including the charming on-the-spot caricaturist Helen Pointer (who drew me in mere minutes whilst we chatted), went to a dinner afterwards and finally only just managed to make the last train home to London!

What an extraordinary day...

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