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Can cartoons be both funny – and diverse?

September 16, 2021 in Comment, General

Cartoon © Nick Newman

By Nick Newman and courtesy of The Spectator. 

Of the many challenges cartoonists face — rejection, money, drink, or lack of — one of the trickiest is the growing pressure to depict diversity. Nowadays readers often write to publications complaining about the dearth of ethnic minorities in our drawings and demand for cartoons to be more inclusive.

It’s like being trapped in a bad political cartoon, walking a tightrope above a minefield. A quick survey of my colleagues in the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation highlighted the following:

  1. Cartoons involve laughing at someone. If that person is black, you risk appearing racist; even including a BAME character in the background of drawing can lead to accusations of tokenism (‘background box-tickers’).
  2. Including any minority character in a cartoon can run the risk of implying that the cartoon is about race and so can inadvertently politicise the cartoon.
  3. At the end of the day, it’s safer to make the pale, male and stale the butt of the joke.

Gag cartoons are about speed and recognition. Stereotypes are a form of visual shorthand designed to get an idea across quickly. The French? Man in stripy shirt. Teacher? Mortarboard. German? Fat man with sausage. Cartoons amplify for comic effect, which runs the risk of promoting race hate when depicting BAME characters. ‘I draw a lot of idiots saying daft things and don’t want any accidental inference that it is because of their race,’ says PCO chairman Clive Goddard. ‘Better to stick to white idiots than be misunderstood.’ British newspaper and magazine cartoonists are predominantly white, which can make any joke about ethnicity feel awkward or patronising. Cartoonists may be cowards, but we are not afraid to admit to our cowardice in avoiding the issue.

Cartoonists’ drawing styles present another problem. Characters with big noses can lead to accusations of anti-Semitism. One political cartoonist has been told to reduce the size of all Middle Eastern noses. Attempts to make cartoon characters more diverse can be tricky. Kathryn Lamb likens ‘inking in’ her cartoon faces to ‘blacking up’.

For caricaturists whose stock-in-trade is exaggeration, the problem is, appropriately enough, exaggerated. Morten Morland, The Spectator’s cover artist, says that whenever he draws Diane Abbott or Priti Patel, someone always complains. ‘It’s usually because they disagree with the cartoon itself,’ he says, ‘and need something to hit back with. So by hinting that the caricature is racist they aim to discredit the whole cartoon.’

In 2018, a caricature of Serena Williams by the Australian cartoonist Mark Knight of the Herald Sun was reported to the Australian Press Council for depicting her with ‘large lips, a broad flat nose… and [being] positioned in an ape-like pose’ while throwing a tantrum on court. The National Association of Black Journalists said the caricature was ‘unnecessarily Sambo-like’ and even J.K. Rowling weighed in, tweeting: ‘Well done on reducing one of the greatest sportswomen alive to racist and sexist tropes.’

Accusations of racism in cartoons stretch back to Gillray and beyond. The Georgian cartoonists depicted Africans as threatening and comical, with grotesque features and appetites. Cruikshank’s ‘The New Union Club’ (1818) is one of the most racist prints of the 19th century, depicting a debauched dinner held at the African Institution and attacking abolitionists such as Wilberforce. Two hundred years later the Commission for Racial Equality called for Hergé’s 1931 comic Tintin in the Congo to be withdrawn from sale because of its depiction of black Africans as simple, childlike and uncivilised. The New York Public Library locked its copy away. ‘Tintin in the Congo is a racist book,’ says the FT’s Jeremy Banx, ‘but Hergé was on a long journey, from King Leopold II to the Beatles, in which he ended up in a very different place to where he started.’ In later life Hergé himself referred to his early books as ‘youthful sins’.

There are lessons to be learned from history. In 1925 a glib cartoon by David Low portrayed England cricket’s run machine Jack Hobbs as a colossus compared with figures from history, including Caesar, Charlie Chaplin and a caricatured Muhammad. It led to rioting in Calcutta. As the staff of Charlie Hebdo found out, these days a cartoon of the Prophet is likely to get you cancelled — permanently.

We live in a sensitive age. Cartoonists agree on the need to promote diversity, but the complications are endless. Diversity itself is becoming a dirty word, suggesting ‘diverging from the white mean’. Meanwhile ‘inclusive’ is said to imply whites doing the including.

As the Sun’s Steve Bright says: ‘You’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t. If you don’t, you’re racist on the grounds of exclusion. If you do, unless there’s a perfect balance, you’re accused of tokenism, which is also racist. And if you achieve that mythical perfect balance — you’d have to draw 100 people in every cartoon, and colour them according to percentages of population — you’re obsessive, and quite possibly insane.’

Unfortunately, deconstructing cartoons also sucks all the fun out of them. As the great Barry Cryer says: ‘Analysing comedy is like dissecting a frog. Nobody laughs and the frog dies.’

This article first appeared in the 11 Sept 2021 issue of The Spectator

You can see Nick interviewed about this piece by Spectator TV here. Bonus points to Nick for sporting his PCO badge.

A Peer at Herne Bay Cartoon Festival 2021

September 8, 2021 in Comment, Events, General

A carousel of cartoonists. Photo by © Ray Covey

Apologies for the late running of our usual photo gallery of the Herne Bay Cartoon Festival but pictures were delayed by the HGV lorry driver shortage…so blame Brexit/Covid.

Join me now as we take a not-so virtual tour up the pier…

Photo by © Jason Hollingsworth

The start of the traditional cartoonists’ parade, pencil led by Zoom and Ace Rockman who are also carrying the Steve Coombes Memorial Trilby. It was festival co-organiser Steve who instigated the annual musical ‘March of the Cartoonists’. Steve sadly passed away earlier in the year.

Board by © Zoom Rockman. Photo by © Jason Hollingsworth

Zoom’s was the first board you were greeted by on the pier. A splendid rendition of Boris Johnson’s bottom that you were invited to speak out of.

Board by © Zoom Rockman,

Martin Rowson demonstrating where Boris generally talks from.

Board by © Royston Robertson

I’ve often wondered how Royston constantly produces such a large volume of great gags…here’s your answer, he’s cloned himself!

Board by © Des Buckley. Photo by © Jason Hollingsworth

We had plenty of Covid at the festival this year, thankfully in the cartoons rather than in the cartoonists.

Here’s Des Buckley’s ‘JABS’ movie poster. Next year we’ll be expecting ‘JABS II – THE BOOSTER’.

Board by © James Mellor. Photo by © Karol Steele

A flotilla of topical cartoons from James Mellor.

Board by © The Surreal McCoy. Photo by © Karol Steele

I’m a huge fan of the absurdist humour of The Surreal McCoy.

Board by © Guy Veneables. Photo by © Karol Steele

Guy Venables – a man preparing himself for post big-board beer ownership.

Beachwear collection by © Glenn Marshall

Andy & Karol Steele before entering the ‘m a r s h a l l interactive plastic wave machine’.

Board by © Clive Goddard. Photo by © Karol Steele

Clive Goddard with his chief colourist Amy Amani.

Board by © Clive Goddard. Photo by © Karol Steele

Procartoonist Chairhuman Clive on the exulted PCO podium.

Board by © Rob Murray, Photo by © Ray Covey

Rob Murray about to launch his dating app for shingles.

Finished board by © Rob Murray

Board by © Chris Burke. Photo by © Ray Covey

A second wave of Boris cartoons. This one brushed up by Chris Burke.

Board by © Jeremy Banx. Photo by © Karol Steele

Banx draws a blank.

Board by © Jeremy Banx. Photo by © Karol Steele

Jeremy’s board with filling.

Board by © Martin Rowson. Photo by © Ray Covey

More Boris, this time from the venerable Martin Rowson. He’s left the best bit to last.

Board by © Kathryn Lamb. Photo by © Karol Steele

Finally at the end of the pier K J lamb has yet another Boris stranded out at sea in a ‘Lie Boat’. Surely a typo?

Photo by © Karol Steele

Alex Hughes manning (or should that be personing?) caricature corner.

There is also a great film record of the event by Dave Painter of HUTC productions. You can enjoy it here.

Plaudits to Sue Austen and the team for getting the festival together this year under such trying circumstances.

Thanks to festival regulars Karol Steele and Ray Covey plus festival coordinator Jason Hollingsworth for the photos in the absence of usual PCO snapper Kasia Kowalska.

Eaten Fish nets Norwegian award

September 6, 2021 in Comment, News

Cartoon by © Eaten Fish

Honorary Overseas PCO member Eaten Fish, also known as Ali Durani, has received the prestigious Fritt Ord Foundation award. This scholarship is given to nine cartoonists living in Norway who use the medium of visual satire.

 

Fritt Ord aim to strengthen the position of satire drawing in Norway, because it is an expression at the intersection of art and journalism that enriches written journalism and makes us see political issues with a new perspective.

 

Cartoon by © Eaten Fish

 

“After the terrorist attacks on Charlie Hebdo, many have had their eyes opened to the significance of visual satire. At the same time, it seems that it is disappearing from the newsrooms, perhaps especially for financial reasons. They are nice to have, but not absolutely necessary. We would like to give some artists the opportunity to continue working with this genre, of course with a view to publishing opportunities,” said Fritt Ord project manager Joakim M. Lie.

Photo of Ali by © Bengt Sigve Heggebø

 

Among the recipients of the scholarship are both Norwegian and international artists. Iranian Ali Dorani has been living in Stavanger since 2017 when he arrived through ICORN’s program for persecuted artists and writers. Prior to this, he spent five years in a refugee camp on the island of Manus Island, off Papua New Guinea, and his work as a satirist has been about documenting and communicating living conditions in refugee camps based on his own experiences.

“I have been in a difficult place in life without income and work, and this gives me the opportunity to continue drawing and communicating on behalf of refugees around the world”, he said.

 

Each recipient of the work grant receives NOK 100,000. each (about £8,300), which will cover four months’ work during the autumn of 2021. During the same period, guidance, advice and development will be offered by professionals and jury members, and the cartoonists will also have to opportunity to work with newspapers or other media. Fritt Ord will give a further grant of up to NOK 100,000 if any work results in a publication agreement or self-publication during 2022.

 

Many of you will have contributed fish to our #DrawEatenFish digital shoal where we joined the global campaign to get ‘Eaten Fish’ released from internment on Manus island. It’s great to see Ali now thriving in Norway

Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival exhibition comes to the High Street

September 6, 2021 in Comment, Events, General, News

Poster illustration by © Jonathan Cusick

Festival Organising team member Sarah Knapp writes:

Delayed by lockdowns, and consequently without it’s usual live events,  Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival exhibition is going ahead this year represented by two exhibitions at the Bear Steps Gallery, Shrewsbury from 6th to 18th September.

The show goes up.

Our theme is ‘The High Street’ as we felt it’s time to show support to the many shops and eateries that have suffered so badly over the last 18 months.

Poster cartoon by © Fawzy Morsy

 

We are also pleased to also announce the return of international cartoons; in the upstairs gallery ‘Over the Shroopshire hills and Pharoah Way’ showcases over 25 cartoons from Egypt, Syria, Iraq, UAE and Saudi Arabian cartoonists.

Cartoon by © Farouk Mousa

The result of the two exhibitions is a plethora of original cartoons showing different styles and humour gathered together in one place for your delight and amusement. A mixture of originals and prints, they are all for sale.

Started in 2004 by Shropshire based cartoonist Roger Penwill, the town’s Cartoon Festival is now a Shropshire treasure attracting locals plus visitors, artists and collectors of cartoons from further afield.

 

Illustration by © Ralph Steadman

Above is a signed print from Ralph Steadman entitled “Shopping Sisters”.  The cartoon was painted 12 years ago when Ralph was on a wine-tasting trip with Oddbins. Following the exhibition this oak-framed signed cartoon print will be auctioned in the

October Fine Art online timed auction to be held by Halls Fine Art, Shrewsbury. Ralph kindly signed the print for the Cartoon Festival and proceeds of the sale will be donated to the festival.

As in 2020 we would have liked to have brought more of the Festival to the town. However it will return as a full festival in its usual format in April 2022.

Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival has support from Shropshire Council as well as invaluable sponsorship from the Professional Cartoonists Organisation.

Below are a few shop samples from the show.

.

Cartoon by © Clive Goddard

Cartoon by © Rupert Besley

Cartoon by © The Surreal McCoy

Cartoon by © Ian Baker

Cartoon by © Royston Roberston

Cartoon by © Jason Chatfield

 

Herne Bay Cartoon Festival Sets Sail Again

July 3, 2021 in Comment, Events, General, News

Herne Bay Cartoon Festival is back this year. We weren’t able to gather in 2020 for obvious reasons, and when we meet again this summer we will sadly be missing some friends including festival co-organiser Steve Coombes who passed away last December. His tireless enthusiasm and joi de vivre will be missed so much at the festival. Here is a wonderful tribute to Steve that appeared in The Guardian by his partner Sue Austen. Sue ran the festival with Steve since it started in 2013 and she is at the helm this year.

Caricature of Steve Coombes on the Herne Bay Pier carousel by © Dave Brown

This year’s title and theme is Herne Bay Cartoon Festival Takes to the Waves. We are expecting a flood of cartoons about the oceans with the kind of jokes we have come to expect from our cartoonist contributors. (See Royston Robertson‘s fabulous poster for examples)  Our exhibition of new work and old jokes will be open at Beach Creative, Beach Street, Herne Bay, CT6 5PT from 23 July until 19 August.

Des Buckley mid hang at Beach Creative. Photo by Yagmur Coombes.

Cartooning Live will once again be on Herne Bay Pier on Sunday 1 August from 12 noon. Amongst those involved are PCO members Martin Rowson, Rob Murray, Clive Goddard, The Surreal McCoy, Jeremy Banx, Chris Burke, Kathryn Lamb, Alex Hughes, James Mellor, Des Buckley, Guy Venables, poster boy Royston Robertson plus last and least Glenn Marshall.

And there will be an exhibition of the popular Daily Express cartoonist Giles at The Seaside Museum, 12 William Street, Herne Bay, CT6 5EJ open from 10 July to 7 August. In 2020 the Giles Family celebrated its 75thanniversary. We had planned an exhibition last year in collaboration with the The British Cartoon Archive at the University of Kent. So, a year later, we are presenting The Giles Family Holiday at Home. From the start the family enjoyed many holidays together and days out. So, in a year when we are all encouraged to take a ‘staycation’ our exhibition explores some of the joys of the British seaside holiday, whatever the weather!

On Saturday 31 July 2.00pm at Beach Creative there will be ‘Raise Three Fingers for Myanmar’. It’ll be a workshop run by The Surreal McCoy for all the family to create a wall of three finger salutes in support of the people of Myanmar.

Interview with Myanmar cartoonists

July 1, 2021 in General

A military coup on February 1st of this year has returned the southeast Asian country of Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) back to full military rule. After the election in November 2020 was won by the National League For Democracy in a landslide victory, the military, known as the Tatmadaw, refused to accept the result citing voter fraud. Peaceful protest against the coup quickly turned deadly as people were killed and wounded by security forces. Anyone in opposition to the government quickly found themselves vulnerable to arrest, detention and torture. 

This is an interview conducted by Carol (The Surreal McCoy) on behalf of the PCO with two prominent members of the Myanmar Cartoonists Association who have had to flee their country for their own safety: Waiyan Taunggyi and Lagoon Eain (their pen names).

PCO members provided the questions and a fuller version of this interview will be available soon as a video on the PCO Youtube channel.

Waiyan Taunggyi

Lagoon Eain

PCO: Please tell us a bit about yourselves.

WT

Mingalarba (‘hello’ in Burmese). I am cartoonist Waiyan Taunggyi. I am from Myanmar and have been a cartoonist for over twenty years. I have been drawing cartoons for local media, NGOs, INGOs the United Nations and I also do commercial cartoons for businesses. Sometimes I teach basic drawing lessons for kids and adults. I especially do political cartoons and illustrations.

LE

Really, I’m an artist. I do painting, animating, sculpting and music. But I draw cartoons, especially political cartoons as a duty of citizenship. So I [have] created a lot of cartoons since 2010. I criticised governments, candidates and military groups. Since 2012, President U Then Sein wanted to arrest me because of [my] cartoons and now the dictator Min Aung Hlaing wants to arrest me in this military coup. So, our family is running from them.

Cartoon by © Waiyan Taunggyi

PCO: Before the coup were you able to draw your thoughts and opinions as freely as you liked or did you have to censor yourself? Were any subjects off-limits?

WT

I got what I deserved. However, there have been cases where the Burmese military has filed lawsuits under Article 66D.* The Burmese military has previously banned freedom of expression. So even if we make fun of the military, we have to [do so] indirectly with pictures of ancient Burmese Commanders.

[*’The Telecommunications Law was introduced in 2013 and since then it has been used repeatedly to restrict freedom of speech and expression. Defamation charges under Section 66 (d) of the law have been brought against reporters, politicians and social media users. Many people have been arrested for criticising the military, the government or merely posting on Facebook.’- The Burma Campaign UK.]

LE

I publish my cartoons on social media such as Facebook, some media websites and some  printed journals. Sometimes, other media are afraid to use my cartoons because of [lack of] freedom of expression. So, I published all of my cartoons on my own Facebook page. I always consider about justice. So, I don’t think about other opinions and censorship.

Cartoon by © Lagoon Eain

PCO: What role do cartoons have in the Myanmar Spring Revolution?

WT

Cartoons played a very important role in the Spring Revolution. My cartoons gave motivation to the people. I comforted sad people with my cartoons. When in the February revolution most protesters used my cartoons as a sign board. When protesting in front of Chinese Embassy, they printed my cartoon and used it. I was so glad when I saw them I even took a photo with them. Editorial cartoons against the Burmese Military Terrorists bothered them a lot. It was effective and they even threatened my life. I’m so proud to draw effectively and I believe editorial cartoons played an important role in Spring Revolution.

LE

I think that cartoons can entertain the civilians who are tired of this coup, can give motivation for fighting this military group. And then can show what is important during this time with a single picture. So I have a duty to draw.

Cartoon by © Waiyan Taunggyi

PCO: How have your cartoons been regarded by the military?

WT

The dictatorship might have thought I was loathsome monster and they use imposters online to criticise my work. I am certain that these coordinated attacks were an attempt to drag me down.  They really are afraid the power of pencils. They thought that cartoons were a propaganda machine used to make people hate them. Also, the military terrorists didn’t have a cartoonist who can draw high quality cartoons in response to our political activism.

LE

How military regard is not my business but I think they really hurt. Because they want to arrest and search me. 

Protesters in Yangon

PCO: Because there is so little free press and internet access is limited, how are artists getting their work out to the public? Is there an underground movement? 

WT

I was in Myanmar until the first week of April. I first hid in my brother’s house. However, after the dictatorship used the military to target and kill civilians who protested peacefully and even targeted people suspected of being against the regime, I thought if I stayed in Myanmar my life was no longer safe. I knew I would have to leave Myanmar to create my art freely. When I began to flee, I was in constant fear of being caught by the police and military and that they would discover my external hard disks /the tablet I draw because there’s a lot of anti-coup pictures.

I can sigh with relief when I arrived in the safe zone. I think I arrived in April second week to the safe zone with cartoonist Lagoon Eain. Then I send my cartoons to the media from the safe zone. Most Cartoonist in Myanmar would not dare to create cartoons anymore because their life is in danger. I feel it is my responsibility to draw anti-coup cartoons on behalf of my partner cartoonists. Now that I am in safety, I can send my cartoons to the journal who will print out weekly and spread it secretly to the people. Some protesters print out my cartoons as a stickers and they quietly stick to the army walls at night.

LE

About February first week, they closed [the] internet. I tried [to get] my cartoons published on fliers. And then I can publish again on social media with [the] help of VPN apps.

Cartoon by © Lagoon Eain

PCO: What materials do you use in your art? Digital or pen and ink?

WT

I draw [in] all mediums, but mostly create digital works. Previously, I used a Huion Tablet with a Windows Platform. However, when I fled from Myanmar, I took only an iPad. I currently draw with my iPad now.

LE

With my iPad and laptop.

PCO: How are you managing at the moment with the practicalities – money, food, shelter?

WT

Currently I’m ok for now, but I am not sure what to do when my savings run out.

LE

For practicalities, I get support from my friends.

Cartoon by © Waiyan Taunggyi

PCO: What is next for you? Do you think you will return to Myanmar?

WT

I want to live a place where I can create my art freely and safely and have human rights. Hopefully, when the revolution is over I can go back to Myanmar.

LE

We are in second county and we have the only choice to go to [a] third county. Really, I want to return [to] my country again. I love Myanmar. I want to live in this country, but now I can’t live in Myanmar. The military group want to kill me.

#threefingers for Myanmar campaign

March 21, 2021 in Comment, General, News

The Surreal McCoy writes:

In collaboration with artists and creatives in Myanmar (formerly Burma), PCO are running #threefingers a social campaign in support of local cartoonists and artists, and in recognition of the deteriorating situation there. A landslide election for the National League for Democracy party was overthrown by a brutal military coup on February 1, 2021, sparking a national Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM). 

Cartoon © Steve Bright

PCO members have been drawing a selfie giving the three fingered salute in solidarity with the movement. The three-fingered salute has become a symbol of resistance in protest and in art. Across the milk tea nations, from Myanmar to Thailand to Hong Kong, the gesture represents a global solidarity for democracy, defiance against tyranny, and the fight for freedom.

Cartoon © Dave Brown

The Tatmadaw (Burmese Army) has cracked down hard on protestors, as they have in previous civil uprisings. They have reigned with terror in Myanmar’s border states for generations, leading a vicious campaign to remove the Rohingya minority from the country, in 2017.

Cartoonists protest in Yangon.

Myanmar artists have used their art to project the nation’s voice and call upon artists and allies from all nations to raise three fingers for human rights, freedom and democracy.

Cartoon © Zunar

We are partnering with the Burma Campaign UK and Three Fingers.org, to bring the campaign to a global audience. The artwork will be displayed on the site with a view to selling (with the creator’s permission). All proceeds will be directed to Mutual Aid Myanmar, an organisation assisting civil society in Myanmar.

Cartoon © Kerina Stevens

Please retweet/repost whenever you can with the hashtag #threefingers and these social media handles:

https://twitter.com/Raise3Fingers

https://www.instagram.com/raise3fingers/

https://www.tiktok.com/@raise3fingers

Cartoon © Jeremy Banx

Cartoon © Rupert Besley

Cartoon © Steve Jones

Cartoon © Des Buckley

Cartoon © Martin Rowson

Draw The Coronavirus – The eBook!

December 17, 2020 in Comment, Events, General, News

The ‘Great’ Glenn Marshall (WINNER of Draw The Coronavirus competition) writes:

Many cartoonists, illustrators, artists and fly-by-nights have been taking refuge from the cruel world by joining in Martin Rowson’s regular cartoon challenges. He sets a subject and we all vent spleen (most of us were in lock down and online twiddling our thumbs-up emojis anyway so it gave us something to fill time between Joe Wicks and hitting the cooking sherry)

Cartoon by © Steve Bell

At the end of April, the Museums Association and the BBC launched ‘Museums From Home Day’. Martin, in collaboration with The Cartoon Museum, set the challenge of #DrawTheCoronavirus. The Musuem has now launched a fabulous ebook of the entries, featuring around 200 cartoons by 71 different artistes including Ralph Steadman, Glenn Marshall, Steve Bell, Ben Jennings, Glenn Marshall, Nick Newman, Jeremy Banx, Glenn Marshall, Steve Bright, Zoom Rockman, Grizelda, oh and Glenn Marshall.

Cartoon by © Rob Murray

ALL proceeds from the book are going towards the Cartoon Museum’s fundraising appeal to secure their long-term future after a difficult year with the pandemic. The eBook will be available to buy for a modest £10 from their online store,

Cartoon by © Grizelda

Here are couple of quotes from the press release:

Joe Sullivan, Cartoon Museum Director:

“It has been fantastic to see the creativity and humour of these artists in the face of coronavirus, reflecting issues everyone has been struggling with through lockdown, and using it as fuel to make us laugh. It is a pleasure to work with them all and share their amazing, work with everyone in this e-book. All proceeds from sales of the e-book go directly to helping the museum to secure our future, and we are very thankful to all the artists involved for donating their work to the e-book. Thank you too all our supporters for helping us to survive through the pandemic, and we hope this book brings you as much fun reading it as we had making it!”

Martin Rowson:

“Faced with an invisible enemy, a question should be nagging away at the back of each of our minds: what’s this virusy bastard LOOK like? And, as it’s our job to reimagine our leaders the better to enable us to laugh at them, who’s more qualified to define Corona in all its Pandemic Covidness than cartoonists? Forget electron microscopes – here you’ll find the truest & most accurate depictions of our Common Foe!”

.….and another quote from Martin Rowson:

“Challenge won by the Great @marshallcartoon

Here’s Martin talking about ‘Draw The Coronavirus’ on BBC Radio 4 Today programme back in April:

 

Cartoon by © Steve Bright

Cartoon by © Nick Newman

For anyone wanting to join in with Mr Rowson’s caricature challenges they’re frequently set on his twitter feed @MartinRowson

Cartoon by © Zoom Rockman

By the way, did I mention who won it?

 

Cartoons For Change child labour initiative

December 10, 2020 in Comment, General

Fernando Morales-de la Cruz of Cartoons For Change writes:

On the 72nd anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Cartoons for Change denounces violation of the human rights of 300 million child workers

The Cartoons for Change initiative brings together hundreds of cartoonists, illustrators and artists from all continents committed to the eradication of child labor and the strictest respect of human rights. 2021 is the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labor.

The truth about Fairtrade & Ben and Jerry´s by Chavo del Toro from Mexico

Berlin, Germany – December 10, 2020. On the seventy-second anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Guatemalan journalist and activist, Fernando Morales-de la Cruz, founder and editor-in-chief of Cartoons for Change, denounces the continuing violation of the human rights of almost 300 million children. That is the number of boys and girls around the world who still today have to work in order to survive, deprived of the basic rights and freedoms supposedly guaranteed by the Declaration and numerous laws and treaties that followed it.

Although developed nations are bound by international and national laws to respect human rights and the rights of children, the European Union is today the largest financial beneficiary of child labor and misery in the rural communities that produce coffee, cocoa and many other agricultural products.

Fernando Morales-de la Cruz in front of the Euro sign in Frankfurt, Germany. Photo by Ferhat Bouda/AgenceVU

Switzerland claims to be an exemplary democracy, but Swiss-registered companies have more children in their supply chain of coffee, tea and cocoa than there are boys and girls studying in Swiss schools. Around the world, there are more than four million children working in the Swiss supply chain. This belies the assurances from Professor Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum and main promoter of the Swiss business model, that his organization, the most powerful business lobby in the world, is “Committed to Improving the State of the World”.

Industrialized countries such as the United States, Canada, Japan and South Korea also profit by acquiring products and raw materials that exploit tens of millions of poor children. All of this happens despite the fact that all States have officially committed to respecting human rights and supporting Sustainable Development Goals. Even Norway, which claims to respect the human rights of all, has a huge sovereign pension fund which still invests in companies that profit from the sweat of hundreds of thousands of children.

Cartoon by © Glenn Marshall

The Republic of Germany benefits fiscally by charging very high taxes on products harvested with child labor and modern slavery. Germany collects a tax of € 2.19 for each kg of roasted coffee and € 4.79 for each kg of instant coffee. The German coffee tax is equivalent to almost 100% of what the globally-powerful German coffee industry pays to the increasingly poor coffee growers in Latin America, Africa and Asia. In 2019 the coffee industry paid up to 75% less than the inflation-adjusted price established in the 1983 International Coffee Agreement. Germany has collected more than 54,000 million euros in coffee tax since 1950, while the coffee regions that supply Germany suffer the increase of misery, hunger, malnutrition, child labor and forced migration for economic reasons. In contrast to the German coffee tax, in most of the coffee regions that supply the German coffee industry there is an almost total lack of schools, hospitals, nurseries, decent housing, living wages, pensions or social security.

“It is urgent to stop the exploitation of hundreds of millions of defenseless girls and boys. All industries, corporations and countries that profit from child labor must stop it even if it helps them generate billions of dollars yearly in additional profits and taxes. Today, December 10, 72 years after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and 31 years after the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, there are still too many industries, such as chocolate, coffee, mining, clothing and many others in which child labor continues to increase, because it is highly profitable for multinationals and developed nations, ”says  Morales-de la Cruz, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Cartoons for Change.

To denounce this cruel reality and defend 300 million child workers, Cartoons for Change has successfully convened cartoonists, illustrators, artists, teachers and students from across the world to participate in the global protest #365DaysAgainstChildLabor and in the event #BerlinWall2021.

Concept of Cartoons for Change protest at #BerlinWall2021

“Our unique worldwide protest and exhibitions will also use the Berlin Wall, a symbol of freedom in Germany’s capital, and other walls in other continents. Our objective is to pressure governments and multinationals to take urgent and concrete actions to stop the cruel, illegal but highly lucrative business models based on child labor and slavery” says Morales-de la Cruz.

Cartoons and illustrations should be sent to the email cartoons@itima.org with the highest possible resolution for printing, as some of them will be printed to be placed on the Berlin wall in sizes up to 1.6 by 2.40 meters. The Cartoons for Change are also being published in the press and shared on the Twitter and Instagram accounts @cartoons4change and @BerlinWall2021 and via Facebook @Cartoons4ChangeNow.

Cartoon by © Steve Jones

If you want more information about Cartoons for Change or would like to know how you can contribute to eradicate child labor and abolish slavery, please contact Cartoons for Change through any of the social networks, by email at info@cartoonsforchange.org or through the page www.cartoonsforchange.org

The Olden Phrase

September 30, 2020 in General, News

Tat Effby writes:

So, the idea for my cartoon series In The Olden Phrase came to me a while ago. But it seems in these Unprecedented Times™ of mixed messages, sneezing into elbows and talking out of arses, there’s never been a better time to share my guide to contemporary buzz-speak.

Language is ever-evolving and I’m not complaining, I love words and I’m no grammar fascist; less po-tay-toes, fewer po-tah-toes… whatevs.

But when did ‘getting in contact’ become Reaching Out, ‘in the future’ turn into Going Forward, and ‘household hints’ equate to Life Hacks? And when did Platform get ideas above its station?

As the buzz-phrases kept coming, and kept grating, so did the opportunities to take the mick, so I started to compile a phrase book guide to the new vocabulary, the idea growing out of my previous series, Back in My Day, that appeared in Private Eye, back in the day.

The series is launching on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram at @oldenphrase where you can follow my easy-to-use guide to help sort your Big Dick Energy from your Big Dick Emery or your Pansexuals from your Pan’s Peoples.

Yes, In The Olden Phrase is a means to poke fun at topical verbal guffery, but, if I’m being completely honest with myself, it’s also a Safe Space for me to understand the screaming insanity of the modern world. I hope it may help others too.

You’re welcs.

(So also… when did sentences have to start with So?)