Monday, July 24, 2006

Scouse blues

Here's a belated report on the goings on at the Second Liverpool cartoon festival, which is running at the Royal Court Theatre. (Handily close to Lime Street station.)

More than 30 of Britain's top gagsmiths sent work on the theme of performance thanks to the organisers Bill Stott, John Roberts and Paul Hardman. These three heroes have been trying to establish the festival as a regular event and to tie it in with the celebrations around 2008, which is going to be Liverpool's year as European capital of culture.

Despite an excellent launch and a fine exhibition in a vast subterranean bar, it remains to be seen whether they can batter down the walls of prejudice which surround cartooning as an art form in Britain.

In the UK it is too often and too easily dismissed as childish and simple, when time spent examining it would reveal in very many cases, the exact opposite.

Of course, those who like to condemn the virtues of childishness and simplicity are usually among the many jaded old adults have lost their own sense of fun and wonder at the world's absurdities.

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