Thursday, 11 September 2014

Auld Acquaintance: Cartoons and the Referendum

'How these curiosities would be quite forgot, did not such idle fellowes as I put them down.'

- John Aubrey

'Oh roads we used to tread, 
Fra' Maryhill to Pollokshaws - fra' Govan to Parkhead! 

- Kipling, 'McAndrew's Hymn'

'Photography can be a mirror and reflect life as it is, but I also think that perhaps it is possible to walk like Alice, through a looking-glass, observe the puzzles in one’s head and find another kind of world with the camera.' - Tony Ray-Jones

Welcome to my wee photoblog on Glasgow, where we feature the  joys and unjoys of walking and cycling through a fascinating, beautiful and often badly run city. For the blog's origin and a  list of all posts see the  'Introduction' post  -

 Feel free to drop me an email with suggestions, offers of £20 notes etc. The address is I have had to start watermarking the pics as I have come across one big website using a pic without permission - I suppose there must be others.

If you are a private individual and want to use any of the pics for non-commercial purposes please get in  touch and I will usually be happy to say 'Aye' for free - just give the Album a credit. If you want to use a pic for commercial purposes a small mutually agreed fee and a credit will suffice. And you can follow me on Twitter if you wish: Edwin Moore@GlasgowAlbum.

Today is Tuesday 9 September 2014 and we are off to Glasgow's Leiper Art Gallery, for a video presentation by the great Scots-Canadian cartoonist Cinders McLeod and the Auld Acquaintance  exhibition of Referendum related cartoons.

From the website -

]The Auld Acquaintance is a touring exhibition organised by the Scottish Cartoon Art Studio currently on show at Leiper Fine Art, Glasgow. It consists of caricatures, comic strips, and editorial cartoons from both sides of the independence debate, featuring over 100 cartoons by 50 cartoonists from Scotland, the UK and around the world.
Prior to opening at Leiper Fine Art, the exhibition was shown through the spring and summer in France at the Centre International de la Caricature du Dessin de Press et d’Humour, St.Just -le-Martel. Whilst showing at Leiper Fine Art, Glasgow it is simultaneously showing at the Guardian News & Media Gallery, Kings Place, London. In the autumn the exhibition will move onto the Institut d’Estudis Ilerdencs, Lleida, Cataulunia, and the Université de Limoges, France.
The Glasgow leg of the exhibition is sponsored by the National Union of Journalists.
Contributing cartoonists include: the Scottish Cartoon Art Studio, Brian Adcock (The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday), Gary Barker (Freelancing Matters), Steve Bell (The Guardian), Frank Boyle (Edinburgh Evening News), Steve Bright (The Sun), Dave Brown (The Independent), Chris Cairns (Wings Over Scotland), Steve Camley (The Herald), Andy Davey (The Sun), Danny Cardle, Iain Green (The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday), Ranald MacColl, Cinders McLeod, Greg Moodie (National Collective), and Frank Quitely (DC, Image, Marvel).'

Here is Cinders's video -

From the Leiper website -
'Alexander Reid (1854-1928) was one of the most influential art dealers in Europe in the early 20th century, exhibiting and selling  artworks by some of the finest artists of his period, including the Impressionists, the Post-Impressionists, the Glasgow Boys, Scottish Colourists and Picasso.  Many of the works he dealt with now feature in major private, civic and national art collections all over the world.  Reid’s Glasgow-based art gallery was located where our gallery now is, operating from 1904 until 1932, continuing for four years after his death.'
There is a very fine portrait of Reid by Van Gogh in Kelvingrove Art Gallery

Note George Galloway caricature top right. He has been in. It seems he did not like it.

Well, guess whose side is Mr Moodie on? Note the palleted Alisdair Gray not quite storming some disputed barricade beside the Super Senga figure

I agree with Muriel

Paisley boy Andrew Neil in the middle

The much missed Margo at the top above Andrew Neil. She helped me last year with a piece I was writing to a tight deadline. So kind, so bright in every way

Cinders' video. Here is the link again -

Everything here will be for sale later on in some form or other - some cartoons will certainly be collectors' pieces. Contact the gallery for advice

I do like this one

Tommy Sommerville. One of the most popular Scottish cartoonists among his peers. Tommy has got many projects off  the ground. See
'Tommy Sommerville is a professional caricaturist at the Scottish Cartoon Art Studio in Glasgow, celebrating ten years in business in 2009.  He is the creator of the Fizzers concept; highly rendered caricatures of famous Scots in a European style, for which the Studio is most well known.  In the nineties he was familar to cartoon enthusiasts for his co-creation and editing of the (in)famous humour comic Electric Soup and co-founding the Scottish Cartoonists & Comic Artist Members (SCCAM) Club.  Through both SCCAM and the Studio, Tommy has taken the lead in exhibitions of cartoon artwork that have travelled as far afield as Zagreb, Croatia and Jonzac & St.Just-le-Martel, France.  Today he specialises in both gift caricatures (suitable for presentation at special occasions such as birthdays, retirements and weddings) and live caricature (another favourite at weddings, but also as corporate entertainment for some of the biggest companies in the country).'

Cinders and Tommy meet again

Terry Anderson introduces  the video

The middle figure on Cinders' right is Lorna Miller who does the remarkable Rotten Boroughs cartoons in Private Eye - wonderful stuff

Event over,  everyone mills around. Most of the people here are Yessers and I am a No so I cautiously gauge my reactions to the evangelism.  It's like being trapped in a lift with Jehovah's Witnesses who have just sharcd a bag of magic mushrooms

Let's take refuge in looking at the sceptic album again. Andy Murray, yep

Paulo Nutini, sensible

Ian Rankin, shrewd one

David Steel, boring

Midge Ure, aye weel

James McAvoy, subtle that

Armando Ianucci, great man. Anyone else never tire of 'Except for Viewers in Scotland'? -

Not an uncommon view, Tam

Billy Connolly telling it like it is. The vicious element among the nationalists hate Connolly with a passion - twice in the last month I have had the finger stabbers poking me in the chest calling him a traitor, a turncoat. It's easy to take refuge here in the notion that the bottom feeders on one side can be as bad as the other, but I'm not buying that - the Yes side have more of the bottom feeders, and they are drip fed from the top

Peter Capaldi. The doctor keeps his counsel.

John Byrne being gnomic

Burns was always a man for the main chance, whether with a female servant or an influential rich man . Whig or Tory ? Who cares? The actor Brian Cox has said he wishes to 'reclaim'  Burns Suppers but the truth is that Burns would have been very much at home at a modern Ayrshire Burns Supper, trying to grope the Polish waitresses, sucking up to the businessmen's wives and exchanging funny handshakes with their hubbies. Burns was a great, indeed world-class poet - he was not a great man.

Carol Craig has good pieces in the  Scottish Review and the Guardian on voting No -

What Scotland is experiencing  at the moment is a secular version of past religious revivals - Scotland shall be made anew through True Belief.  But it is a funny sort of Campaign of Light given the allies. As Euan McColm and others have pointed out, the only safe prophecy of the consequence of a Yes vote is that the Radical Left will as ever be disappointed. Disappointment seems highly probable for those on the soft Left as well.  
This is not quite a Tolkien movie we are in. The airy Elves are the most prominent voices in the campaign (with a few grumpy dwarves) but with the likes of Souter and McColl, Mordor has its tents staked down firmly within the Yes camp.
And of course Eck's friend Rupert Murdoch (one of Scotland's largest private employers) seems quite relaxed about the prospect of independence

Walking home with Mike and Alice - not sure what lies ahead of us (great hat there) but whit's comin' fur ye will no go by ye. As Billy Connolly says, we will get the Scotland we deserve 

Thank you for browsing, dear visitor. 

My other barking wee blog is

(Cartoon by Katherine Grainger created for the St Wilfrid's Hospice annual Charity Auction 2014. No connection with my Scotland book - I just like it) 

Reviews of Scotland: 1000 Things You Need to Know


'I love it - I'm giving this copy to a friend and buying another for myself' - Darren Adam, Presenter, Radio Forth, 17 November 2008

‘It’s a great wee book’ – Stephen Jardine, introducing Edwin Moore on Scottish Television’s Five-Thirty Show

'A fantastic book' - Scott Wilson , talk 107 Breakfast Show host 

'A great read' - Dougie Jackson, Drivetime host, Smooth Radio 105.2


'Despite its apparently humorous format, this is a serious and extensive dictionary on all things Scottish; from Jean Redpath to Lorne sausage, from Flodden to the Corries. Is particularly good on history and minutiae. There's a useful chapter on famous Scottish legal cases and another on literature. Excellent' - Royal Scottish Legion, Feb 2009

'This is the ultimate Scottish reference book' - Waterstones Christmas catalogue, 2008

'This is a fascinating look at the history of Scotland: its languages, politics and great achievements, from its origins in the ancient landmass of Laurentia 400 million years ago, to devolution and Billy Connolly. Edwin Moore has collected a thousand important facts about this beautiful country, covering Scottish history and culture, correcting misconceptions, and examining the mysteries of haggis and bagpipes with insight, warmth and impressive attention to detail' - The Good Book Guide, November 2008

'This is a recipe for revealing how horribly ill informed you are about your country. Although, if you are skillful, you can nod sagely as you read some new fact and mutter 'Ah, yes!' as if recalling the information from your excellent schooling. Where else will you find a real recipe for making haggis from scratch side by side with a potted biography of David Hume; a section of the Declaration of Arbroath and the curiously touching fact that Lulu was only 15 when she had a hit with 'Shout'? The whole thing is of course, silly - but oh so addictive.' - Matthew Perren, i-on Glasgow, December 2008

'. . . well crafted and witty' - Bill Howatson, Aberdeen Press and Journal, 18 October 2008

‘While most of Edwin’s entries are entertaining and scholarly – he writes like a Scottish Bill Bryson – it is when he takes an interest in the backwaters of history, the details lost down the back of the sofa, that he is at his best’ – Jack McKeown, The Courier, 27 October 2008

'History, it is said, is written by the victors. Trivia, meanwhile, is written by the guys with the smeared spectacles and the breathable rainwear. The first discipline is linear and causal; to quote from Alan Bennett’s play The History Boys, history is “just one f****** thing after another”. Things look different, though, when viewed through the prism of trivia. The past is reduced to one big coleslaw of fascinating facts that in their randomness tell a more mixed-up tale entirely.
The first approach leads to big, frowning books by the likes of Tom Devine and Michael Fry. The latter results in small, cheerful books such as Scotland: 1,000 Things You Need to Know, Edwin Moore’s valiant attempt to navigate the more trivial contours of enlightenment and clearances, crown and parliament, dirt and deity.
Moore proceeds from a sincere and controversial first principle: Scotland is really a rather pleasant and interesting place. . .As a work of popular scholarship, though, it’s in a different league to the Scottish novelty titles that get stocked next to the bookstore tills as potential impulse purchases, those little handbooks of parliamo Caledonia and regional braggadocio, such as Weegies vs Edinbuggers.' - Allan Brown The Sunday Times, 21 September 2008

'In his book, Scotland: 1000 Things You Need to Know, Edwin celebrates all that sets us Scots as a race apart - our language, law, flora, food, and of course, our people. From our poets, architects and inventors, to our artists, entertainers and fighters. But he doesn't shy away from the more unpleasant aspects of our history. . .' - Robert Wight, Sunday Post, 14 September 2008

‘We think we know all about William Wallace, Robert the Bruce and the Union of the Crowms. However, according to Edwin Moore, author of , Scotland: 1000 Things You Need to Know, we’re still in the dark about many aspects of our history and culture. . . The Big Issue looks at 20 of the most astonishing examples of secret Scotland.’ – The Big Issue, 18-24 September 2008

'What's the connection between Homer Simpson and Larbert, and why are generations of lawyers grateful to a Paisley snail? Need to know more? Author Edwin Moore has gathered 1000 facts like these about Scotland in a quirky new book. Brian Swanson selects a few favourites. . .' - Scottish Daily Express, 13 September 2008

'The palm for Christmas-stocking books seems to have passed recently to popular science, with best selling titles every year such as Why Don’t Penguins’ Feet Freeze? This year there has been a gallant attempt at a historical fight back. Scotland: 1,000 Things You Need to Know(Atlantic Books, £12.99) asks (and answers) such post-turkey questions as ‘How many kings of Scotland died in their beds?’, ‘Who on earth decided that the Declaration of Arbroath was the cornerstone of modern democracy?’ or ‘Why is iron brew spelled Irn-Bru?’ Mark Mazower,History Today; The Best of History in 2008, December 2008

'A real treat for the serendipitous Scotophile' - Reginald Hill

FROM THE INTERWEB (on the new paperback edition)
Book of the Month, May 2010
'Whether it's Scottish lochs or Enlightenment philosophers, the facts of the devolution referendums or the mysteries of Irn-Bru, myths will be debunked and truths revealed in this light-hearted but rigorous overview of Scottish history and culture.'

Also available for download on Amazon's e-book store is my 100 Brief Encounters 

Here are some reviews of the print edition (published by  Chambers in 2007) -

Edwin Moore's quirky collection of a hundred encounters between (mostly) important historical figures is a gem of a book. Where else could you get concise enlightening accounts of Henry VIII wrestling with Francis I, Geronimo surrendering to General Miles, Ernest Hemingway presenting Fidle Castro with a fishing trophy or (as seen on the books cover) a baby faced Bill Clinton shaking hands with John F Kennedy. A marvelous 'little window on human history. ' - Dominic Kennerk, Waterstone's Product Planning and Promotions Co-ordinator (From the Waterstone's 'We Recommend' list for 2008)

Witty, light and packed with information -- The Sunday Herald

In 1936, in the wake of winning a clutch of gold medals at the Berlin Olympics, the great athlete Jesse Owens was snubbed by an imperious leader, on racial grounds. Popular belief would have it that the leader was Hitler, who is said to have stormed off, furious to see a black man beating European athletes. In fact the man in question was President Roosevelt, who worried that paying attention to Owens' triumphs might be a vote loser. Although Owens and the German Chancellor never talked, Owens claimed that Hitler greeted him with an enthusiastic wave. Such near-misses, shakings of hands and ships-in-the-night meetings are the subject of Brief Encounters – Meetings between mostly remarkable people, a likeable new book by Edwin Moore (Chambers £7.99). Flicking through the index, you will find some expected encounters (Dante stares at Beatrice, Corday stabs Marat, The Beatles strum along to a Charlie Rich record round at Elvis's house), and the book's intriguing and memorable cover shows a baby-faced Bill Clinton manfully gripping the hand of JFK. But Moore has navigated past some of the more obvious collisions, collusions and confrontations of history (there is no Dr Livingstone, I presume) and much of the book's pleasure derives from lesser known incidents.

Inevitably, some of the accounts of earlier meetings are somewhat sketchy but Moore offers some piquant speculation, laced with humour (the book is tagged Reference / Humour, rather than History and this feels right, but the book, though wry and opinionated, never stoops to wackiness). I was intrigued to discover that, though Attila the Hun did die on his wedding night, it was not in drunken and lecherous debauchery, as his enemies maintained, but supposedly because he was generally a simple and clean-living man who had a few too many which brought on a particularly bad nosebleed.

Moore's book is full of such tales – it would be wrong of me to steal the tastiest morsels of his research and pepper this article with them, but look out for a subsidiary reason for the Gunpowder Plot (too many dour and powerful Scots in Parliament); a great meeting of great beards, as Castro wins the Hemingway prize for sea-fishing; Dali bringing a skeptical Freud round to the art of the surrealists; Buffalo Bill's wife claiming an aged Queen Victoria had propositioned him; Oscar Wilde getting a kiss from Walt Whitman, while Walter Scott was more taken with Burns's charismatic eyes. This is an enjoyable and vigorous rattle through some fascinating and believable yarns. My only quibble is that it's a little on the short side – let's have Volume 2 please Chambers! - Roddy Lumsden, www.Books from 

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