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Quarantoons: Cartoons From the New Normal

November 18, 2021 in General

 

PCO member James Mellor introduces his new book:

The coronavirus pandemic has caused the biggest changes to our society in my lifetime.  The changes have been extreme and have affected all aspects of how we live and work.  Importantly, the new way of living has also proved to be very funny, on occasion.  Has anyone ever experienced a seamless zoom meeting?

Cartoon published in Private Eye © James Mellor

Some of these changes to our lives may remain with us, but many will pass into memory.  Creating a compendium of my favourite cartoons documenting this time seemed like a valuable endeavour.  It’s also true that nothing better reflects my work for the past two years.  Covid-19 has dominated the news and therefore my cartoons.

I have cartooned the pandemic in a variety of different arenas.  My topical, satirical cartoons on appeared in Private Eye Magazine throughout the period.  I was also commissioned by various sectors to help them communicate with cartoons.  Amongst the projects were cartoons introducing new safety measures on public transport and a successful illustrated pitch to manufacture vaccines.  Most importantly however, were all the silly, surreal, and sometimes downright strange cartoons created to make people laugh and keep them entertained during a downright strange time.

Cartoon © James Mellor

Everyone has been through a traumatic event, whether they realise that yet or not.  Human beings are meant to be social animals (yes, even we cartoonists who work alone in studios, bunkers, and crypts).  Even for those who stayed well, the isolation and distancing will have taken its toll.  Without entertainment and light relief, I think a lot of us would have gone mad.  Humour keeps us going through adversity and the cartoons that have raised a smile and raised morale have certainly been the most important.

Cartoon © James Mellor

What’s great about compiling a new book is the opportunity to bring together cartoons from all the different areas I work in.  Hopefully there’s a nice mix of satirical and silly.  Perhaps we’re near the end of the Covid story, or perhaps this is only the end of the beginning.  Either way, this book marks the strange and unexpected ways the world has changed for us and the funny side of the new normal.  Not that the old normal was very normal either.

Cartoon © James Mellor

Quarantoons: Cartoons From A New Normal will be published in softback on 18 November, priced £14.99, and is available at Amazon, Waterstones, Blackwells, etc plus online.