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Cartoon festival hopes to draw a crowd

With pens and pencils poised, planning if well underway for the annual International Cartoon Festival being held in Shrewsbury next month.

Attracting artists from across the globe, the event promises to be a fund day out for all involved.

This year's theme is transport and cartoonists and caricaturists are busy putting the finishing touches to their masterpieces.

Live in Shrewsbury's Square on April 21, there will be workshops, Big Board cartoons, talks and exhibitions.

The festival is a unique event which brings a small army of professional cartoonists from all over the UK and overseas to draw for the public.

The event draws a huge audience every year with live drawing of giant cartoons in the Square as its centrepiece, alongside live caricaturing by some of the UK’s top professionals. There are also cartoon workshops for aspiring cartoonists and exhibitions of themed cartoons.

The focus of the live event will see 30 cartoonists from around the world set loose to caricature and cartoon to their heart’s content.

The festival presents a unique opportunity for the public see cartoonists at work, meet them in person and learn some tricks of the trade.

Now in its 15th year, the festival has become a tradition on the Shrewsbury calendar.

Among those taking part is American cartoonist Maria Scrivan. She is a syndicated cartoonist and licensing artist. Her daily comic Half Full appears in newspapers across the US including the LA Times and on

Her work is published in MAD Magazine, National Lampoon, American Bystander, Parade Magazine, Prospect Magazine and many other publications.

Irish cartoonist Wendy Shea from the Irish Times will be exhibiting at Participate Gallery, Riverside.

The ‘Are We Nearly There Yet?’’ exhibitions at Bear Steps Gallery and Theatre Severn has over 100 cartoons for sale. The exhibition at the Bear Steps, St Alkmund’s Square, Shrewsbury will run from April 9-28 from 10am-4pm daily.

American and Belgian cartoonists will be showcasing their work at exhibitions at Theatre Severn at Frankwell Quay, from April 4– May 27 and at the VAN Gallery from April 17-28.

On April 20 a panel discussion will be held at The Wightman Theatre in Princess Street with leading cartoonists chaired by radio presenter Alex Lester at 7.30pm.

Alongside what is being served up in The Square on April 21 cartoon and animation workshops will take place at Shrewsbury Baptist Church on Claremont Street and English Bridge Campus.

Last but not least is a coffee, cake and cartoon trail around town throughout April.

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