Kent County Council has a humour bypass as Herne Bay Cartoon Festival returns

Cartoonist Andrew Birch came up with a fun design for the poster promoting this year’s upcoming Herne Bay Cartoon Festival – but its content didn’t please everyone.

Andrew revealed on Twitter that Tory run Kent County Council “threw their toys out of their pram when they saw that my poster for the Herne Bay Cartoon Festival made fun of the government, and demanded that their logo be removed.”

The initial Herne Bay Cartoon Festival poster, before KCC got cross

A bizarre decision, given how many leading Tories elsewhere in the country are keen collectors of cartoons, and many have lent their support to London’s Cartoon Museum, for example. But perhaps recent events have made them a bit more prickly than usual…

The poster now being used to promote the popular Herne Bay Cartoon Festival, sans KCC logo

“My understanding is they’re miffed it’s just Tories,” noted fellow cartoonist Royston, perhaps best known for his work for Private Eye. “KCC is Conservative-controlled, of course. Previous political posters have included opposition figures too. But all the news stories are about Tories these days, they’ve been in power so bloody long!”

Several cartoonists have pitched into the debate on Twitter, including the Guardian’s Martin Rowson and Banx, cartoonist for the Financial Times, and The Spectator.

Herne Bay Cartoon Festival, returning on Sunday 7th August 2022 from 12 noon, is the only regular celebration of cartooning in the South East of England. All the event’s exhibitions and events are delivered free and are fully accessible to everyone.

Founded as part of the Marcel Duchamp Centenary Festival held in Herne Bay in 2013, it has been held annually ever since (apart from 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic).

The Festival, this year’s theme “Crossing the line”, showcases the art of cartooning with exhibitions, workshops, talks and a Cartooning Live event.

This year’s associated exhibition Crossing the Line will run from 22nd July to 18th August at Beach Creative CIC.

The festival’s live event will once again be on Herne Bay Pier, taking place on Sunday 7th August from 12 noon. Cartoonists attending will be drawing big board cartoons, seaside peep boards, caricatures and creating a big strip cartoon.

This year’s cartoonists are: Jeremy Banx, Andrew Birch, Dave Brown, Des Buckley, Chris Burke, Pete Dredge, Clive Goddard, Tim Harries, Alex Hughes, Kathryn Lamb, Glenn Marshall, James Mellor, Rob Murray, Ed Naylor, Martin Rowson, Royston Robertson, Pete Songi and Zoom Rockman.

A Microbiology graduate, Andrew Birch started off as news cartoonist of Nature, the science journal. Since then he’s worked for many British papers and magazines, plus the Spanish press. Currently, he has several strips going, plus regular topical cartoons, joke cartoons, and illustrations.

Andrew also write occasional pieces for Private Eye and The Independent and a sitcom he wrote based on his Oldie strip, “The Rebel”, starring Simon Callow, was first broadcast in the Summer of 2016.

Check out the full discussion thread here on Twitter

From Bayeux to Now - A History of Comic Strips exhibition

Herne Bay Cartoon Festival is online at | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

From Bayeux to NowA History of Comic Strips exhibition runs at the Seaside Museum,12 William Street, Herne Bay until 10th September 2022. Entry is free throughout August, and it’s open Tuesday to Saturday 11.00am – 4.00pm. Web:

Crossing the Line” exhibition, Beach Creative, Beach Street, Herne Bay, CT6 5PT, runs until 18th August, open daily 10.00am – 4.00pm. It features a huge variety of gags and political cartoons responding to the Festival’s theme

Andrew Birch is available for more scurrilous poster designs and cartoons via

Categories: Comics, downthetubes Comics News, downthetubes News, Events, Exhibitions

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