The Cartoon Museum and British Cartoonists’ Association announces winner of Young Cartoonist of the Year 2021

The Cartoon Museum and British Cartoonists’ Association has announced the winners of the 26th Young Cartoonist of the Year competition. Over 150 entries were received from all over the UK, with winners decided by a panel of judges comprised of luminaries of British newspaper and comic cartooning.

Cartoon by Cara Grainger
Cartoon by Cara Grainger

In the Under 30s category, the winners is Cara Grainger, age 22, from Stoke-on-Trent, and in the Under 18s category, Rohan Rooney, age 13, from Trim, County Meath.

Cartoon by Rohan Rooney
Cartoon by Rohan Rooney

The Woodcock Prize goes to Bianca Hsu, age 9, from London.

Each of the winners receives prize money and a certificate. The certificates will be presented to the winners at an event at The Cartoon Museum in May, alongside a display of the artwork winners and runners-up.

Cartoon by Woodcock Prize winner Bianca Hsu
Cartoon by Woodcock Prize winner Bianca Hsu

The 2021 awards were judged by a panel that included Martin Rowson (BCA Chairman and The Guardian cartoonist), Christian Adams (The Evening Standard), Banx (The Financial Times), Ella Barron (The Sunday Times), Steve Bell (The Guardian), Grizelda (The Spectator), Matt (The Daily Telegraph), Nick Newman (Private Eye), and Oliver Preston (Chairman of The Cartoon Museum).

The Young Cartoonist of the Year competition was originally set up as the ‘Mel Calman Young Cartoonist Competition’, in memory of the great Times cartoonist and Cartoon Arts Trust founder. In 2001 the competition morphed into its current form, led by Martin Rowson who recruited judges from each national newspaper, leading to wide publicity for the competition. The competition, now in its 26th year, has produced winners including Nick Edwards (2009) who went on to win an Emmy for his work on Uncle Grandpa in the US, New Yorker cartoonist Will McPhail, and political cartoonist Matt Buck.

“For the last 21 years I’ve always joked that the real purpose of the annual Young Cartoonist Competition, awarded by the British Cartoonists’ Association, is to remind everyone that ours is a crowded and frequently beleaguered profession and that the last thing we need is competition from the whippersnappers,” commented Chair of the British Cartoonists Association, Martin Rowson. “So this way we can identify the best ones and break their fingers. And if it’s the kind of gag which causes offence to the winners, that sort of suggests they’ve chosen the wrong path in life.

“But to be serious for a fleeting second, the wealth of talent which we see coming up each and every year shows Cartooning is alive, kicking and screaming, just like it should be.”

“A huge congratulations to Cara, Rohan and Bianca on their wonderful winning entries,” said Joe Sullivan, Director of The Cartoon Museum. “This comptition is so important to the museum and to the cartooning community, encouraging young artists to pick up a pencil and draw a cartoon, and displaying the very best on our walls alongside the greats of Hogarth, Gillray, Darly, Low, and the rest.

“It is fantastic to see so many great cartoons roll in each year, and we look forward to continuing to unearth the brightest and best young cartoonists in the years to come.”

• The Cartoon Museum can be found at 63 Wells Street, Fitzrovia, London, W1A 3AE. Tel: 020 7580 8155 | Web: www.cartoonmuseum.org

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.



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