The grim reaper upgrades from a scythe to a combine harvester

grim reaper buys a combine harvester

The grim reaper buys a combine harvester

The personification of death in the form of the grim reaper upgrades from his scythe to a combine harvester. The harvester is here a symbol of much greater ‘harvesting’ power than the scythe – in other words a means of achieving a much greater death toll, similar to a weapon of mass destruction.

Ref a750
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Cartoon about queuing

Queue cartoon

Queuing joke
Also about slavish rule following

A comment about pointless petty officialdom

“Doing things by the book”, officious behaviour
Ref: a635

KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON poster – parody cartoon

keep calm and carry on parody cartoon

Chris Madden cartoon parody of the Keep Calm and Carry On merchandising craze

A cartoon that parodies the current craze for variations on the KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON message or exhortation

This cartoon uses the message Keep calm and wait for this irritating fad to pass

A cartoon about crazes, fashion, catch phrases, posters

Ref: a284

Cartoon. Union jack or union flag? And which way up?

union jack or union flag pedant cartoon

Cartoon. Union jack or union flag?

Cartoon about whether the British flag should be called the union jack or the union flag, and about the common problem of the flag being flown upside down.
And about whether it matters

A cartoon showing a union jack or union flag being flown as part of the celebrations for an event.
A man is pointing out that the flag isn’t called the union jack, because jacks are only flown on ships.
He’s also pointing out that the flag is upside down. The wider white diagonal band should be at the top of the tethered side of the flag.

The flag in the cartoon is called a pennant, as it is a hanging flag and is triangular in shape.
The man is called a pedant, as he is over obsessed with trivial detail.
A cartoon about pedantry, wrong way up union jack, bunting, flags

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Solicitor cartoon – unusual wills and legacies

wills and legacies cartoon

A cartoon about solicitors and wills. Some people leave everything to animals in their wills. This cartoon shows someone who has left everything to a plant.

A cartoon about the cliche of people leaving all their worldly belongings to their pets when they die. Along the lines of “Being of sound mind I do hereby leave all my worldly belongings to Tiddles, my beloved pet cat”. Here the situation is made even more absurd by the testator or testatrix leaving everything to a houseplant.

a192

Cartoon. The film J Edgar renamed as Jedgar (as in the pop duo, Jedward)

Cartoon. J Edgar film renamed Jedgar to resemble Jedward pop duo name

Cartoon. Leonardo Dicaprio as J Edgar Hoover in the film J Edgar. In the cartoon the name J Edgar has been changed to Jedgar, to mimic the name of the pop music duo Jedward.

Cartoon. The film J Edgar renamed Jedgar, as a play on the name of the pop duo Jedward.
Jedward is a pop duo who’s members are called John and Edward, condensed to Jedward.

The members of the group Jedward are best known for their hairstyle – a strikingly high blond quiff.
Part of the joke in the cartoon is that such a hairstyle is the last thing that J Edgar Hoover would ever have.
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Cartoon. Punctuation mistakes – the grocer’s apostrophe

language cartoon grocers apostrophe

A cartoon about mistakes in punctuation use. The so-called “grocer’s apostrophe” being use in a press article (as proof of the perceived degeneration of grammar in contemporary society)

Cartoon.The cartoon deals with a topic that is discussed in the book “Eats, Shoots and Leaves” by Lynne Truss.

A cartoon about linguistics, language, misuse of grammar, grammatical errors, punctuation mistakes.
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Cartoon. Changing the clocks to double summertime – the advantages & disadvantages

BST-GMT cartoon

A cartoon about the advantages and disadvantages of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and British Summer Time (BST).
A cartoon about the proposal to put the clocks in Britain forward by another hour all year round, and the consequences of doing so.

This would change GMT to BST and the current BST to double summertime.
This system is opposed in parts of Britain, especially Scotland (where it is argued that the mornings would be too dark). The proposed change would generally be an improvement, allowing greater use of the limited daylight in winter.
It occurs to me that any campaign against changing the clocks could use the slogan “Daylight Robbery”.

A cartoon about GMT, BST, British Summer Time, Greenwich Mean Time.
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Cartoon about ‘top shelf’ magazines

top shelf magazines about bottoms

A cartoon showing top shelf magazines that specialise in women’s bottoms, with the shelf labelled ‘Bottom Shelf’

Cartoon about ‘adult’ magazines, ‘girlie’ magazines or ‘top shelf’ magazines.

The joke is that adult magazines are often called ‘top shelf’ magazines (because they are on the top shelf to keep them out of the reach of children). The magazines in the cartoon depict women’s bottoms, so the top shelf is labelled ‘bottom shelf’.

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Cartoon. How did tanks get their name?

how did tanks get their name cartoon

Cartoon illustration. How tanks got their name

Cartoon How did tanks get their name?
This cartoon would make a suitable illustration for a children’s educational book.

Why armoured vehicles are called “tanks”.
The tank was developed by the British during World War I.
In order to conceal their purpose during their development the armoured vehicles were called tanks because they resembled water tanks.
In my illustration the tank is being used as a watering can because of its association with water tanks.

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Statistics cartoon. How statistics can easily be taken out of context

Cartoon. Studying statistics through telescope

Illustration about the interpretation of statistics and the importance of context.

Cartoon showing a person studying statistics through a telescope (which is visually funnier than a cartoon showing a person studying statistics under a microscope).

Cartoon showing a person studying statistics. He is studying them so closely that he has lost sight of the surrounding context.
The principle behind the cartoon (studying things so closely that context is lost or ignored) is applicable to the study of other areas of research, and applies to politics, economics, social sciences – in fact just about everything.

Ref sta131
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Amundsen cartoon. Scott of the Antarctic cartoon

Scott Amundsen South Pole penguins pulling sledge

Scott of the Antarctic cartoon
Amundsen cartoon

A cartoon showing Captain Robert Falcon Scott (Scott of the Antarctic) on his expedition to the South Pole. The cartoon is about the race to the pole between Scott and Roald Amundsen
A messenger is approaching Scott as he crosses Antarctica with the news that Roald Amundsen is heading for the South Pole at the same time and is using dogs to pull his sledges, thus giving him an advantage over Scott

Scott didn’t use dogs – just human brawn. The cartoon shows Scott using penguins to pull his sledge
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Tomb robbers cartoon. Pyramids cartoon

Egypt tomb robbers cartoon

Egyptian tomb robbers cartoon

Egyptian tomb robbers plundering the tomb of a pharaoh – and being pursued by the police.
The tomb thieves are being pursued by police in a bizarre version of a car chase. The ‘vehicles’ in the cartoon move using the system of rollers that was thought to have been used to transport the stone during the construction of the pyramids

A cartoon about cops and robbers, car chases, treasure hunters, plundering ancient treasures

Ref: rob31

Bustle cartoon. Does my bum look big enough in this?

Cartoon. Does my bum look big in this

Georgian fashion cartoon
A woman wearing a bustle saying “Does my bum look big enough in this?”

The bustle was a type of framework beneath a dress, fashionable in the second half of the 19th century (part of the Georgian era), which was used to make the fabric stand away from the body in a bulge. This created an effect of large posteriors, a feature that is unfashionable today, as denoted in the phrase “Does my bum look big in this?”

A cartoon about fashion, body shape, aesthetics, cultural aspects of beauty

Ref bus31
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Desert island cartoon. Sitting on a cloud in heaven cartoon

Desert island cartoon - cloud

Desert island cartoon
Two recently deceased people are sitting on a cloud in heaven, in the cliche cartoon setting for heaven

The cloud has got a palm tree growing on it, in the traditional cliched desert island cartoon style.
One of the two people on the cloud is saying “I’d hoped that after the shipwreck we’d have been washed up on a desert island rather than drowned as sea.”

The joke is that the cloud is just like a desert island
Ref des123
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Charity mugger cartoon

Cartoon. Charity mugger or chugger

Charity mugger cartoon
Chugger cartoon

Charity collector trying to peruade a passer-by to stop. Rather than saying “Not now” the passer-by is wearing a t-shirt with the message “Not now” printed on it.

A cartoon about charity fund raising methods
The cartoon is available with the word Chugger on the vest rather than Charity mugger

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Illustration about hubris or overachievement

Illustration. Balloon rising dangerously as symbol of overachievement

Cartoon about overachievement
Illustration about hubris

A balloon rising dangerously into the air with a person hanging on to it – as a symbol or metaphor for overachievement or over-reaching.
The balloon in the illustration is a symbol of ambition or achievement. The meaning of the illustration is that to be over-ambitious or over-achieving can have unfortunate consequences

A cartoon about hubris, unforeseen consequences, icarus, pride comes before a fall, onwards and upwards.

The cartoon can be applied to business enterprises that over-reach their natural limits or to management styles that push people further than is advisable.
Hubris is defined as an overestimation of a person’s competence or capabilities, especially when the person is in a position of power. Technological or scientific hubris is the state of assuming that technology and scientific progress will afford us all of the answers to our problems (including those that have been brought about by the application of science and technology). The concept of scientific hubris is often over-used as a criticism of science and scientific developments

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Fairy story cartoon. The princess and the pea

Fairy tale illustration. The princess and the pea

Fairy tale cartoon
A reinterpretation of the princess and the pea

A cartoon showing the fairy tale of the princess and the pea.
In this cartoon the prince who is a suitor of the princess is being warned that because the princess is so sensitive that she feels the presence of the pea (and is complaining about the presence of the pea) he should maybe reconsider his interest in her, as she is obviously going to be very demanding

A cartoon about Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales, oversensitivity, prima donnas, spoilt children, cultural stereotypes, gender stereotyping

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The search for happiness – cartoon

Psychology cartoon. Search for meaning and fulfilment in life

Cartoon – searching for happiness
The pursuit of happiness cartoon

A cartoon showing a person walking along a road in a quest to seek happiness. He is asking a person who lives alongside the road if he will find happiness and fulfilment along this route, as that is what he is seeking.
The local man says that he thinks that the traveller has passed the place he is looking for back along the route he has already taken (without noticing it)

A cartoon about expectations, contentment, never being happy, happiness always just out of reach, seekers after meaning, the meaning of life, grass is greener on the other side of the hill

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Vegetarianism cartoon: meat eating partners of vegetarians

Vegetarian cartoon: partners of vegetarians support group meeting

Meat eating partners of vegetarians cartoon
Vegetarianism cartoon

The cartoon shows an gathering of people who’s partners are vegetarians and vegans, but who are not vegetarian or vegan themselves, and who thus crave meat (which they either aren’t allowed to, or don’t like to, eat in the presence of their partners)

A cartoon about the way that people modify their behaviour in the presence of other people, especially to accommodate the other people’s social, ethical and cultural principles or mores.
A cartoon about food, ethics, meat eating, carnivorous or omnivorous diets, annual dinners, support groups, support networks

Ref: veg251

Old age cartoon. Old age v youth culture cartoon

Old age cartoon. Old woman with walking stick stabs youth

Old age cartoon

The cartoon shows an old woman walking slowly towards a seat in a park.
It then shows a youth walking pasrt her quickly and sitting in the seat that she was heading for. The final frame shows the youth lying stabbed by the old woman’s walking stick – a punishment for his lack of consideration, selfishness and assumption of self-entitlement.
The final frame of the cartoon overturns the roles played by people in the previous frames (That’s the joke – I’m obviously not advocating that old people resort to acts of violence)

A cartoon about power, dominance hierarchies, male dominance, age discrimination, youth culture, violence, aggression, retribution, justice, respect, law and order, stereotypes, manners

Ref: age001

Cartoon style illustration – slogan T-shirts

Illustration. Person wearing a slogan T-shirt

Cartoon style illustration
Slogan T-shirt cartoon

Person wearing a T-shirt with a slogan on it reading “I don’t wear T-shits with slogans”
An illustration showing the paradox of someone wearing a tee shirt with a message on it that proclaims that the person doesn’t wear tee shirts with messages on them

A cartoon about fashion, clothes, clothing, youth culture, ideological fashion, fashion statements, fashion as a message

Ref fash22
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Stonehenge cartoon. How the bluestones were transported to Stonehenge – by glacier

Stonehenge cartoon How the bluestones got to Stonehenge - glacial erratics

Stonehenge bluestones - glacier deposits

Stonehenge cartoon strip
How Stonehenge was built

A cartoon strip explaining how the ‘bluestones’ of Stonehenge were transported the 180 miles from Wales
The standard orthodox view is that the Stonehenge bluestones were dragged overland and carried by raft from the Preseli hills of South Wales all the way to Stonehenge in Wiltshire. This would have been a super-human task, given the terrain. It would also have been a supremely pointless task, and no amount of romanticisation of the people’s purposes can really make such a task justifiable.
An alternative theory to how the bluestones reached Stonehenge is that they were carried there by a glacier and deposited nearby. Rocks deposited in this way are known as glacial erratics.

A cartoon about prehistoric monuments, stone circles, megaliths

Ref heng001
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Easter Island statue cartoon

Easter Island statue cartoon - tourist with camera

Tourism Cartoon
An Easter Island (Rapa Nui) statue (or moai) and a tourist with camera

This cartoon is an illustration of the way that tourism affects the places that are visited, with the local inhabitants modifying their behaviour as a result of the tourism.
Here an Easter Island statue has a camera round its neck.
However, the fact that the camera is carved from the same block of stone as the statue implies that the statue had the camera before the tourists arrived, making the cartoon ambiguous

Easter Island is also known as Isla da Pascua (Spanish) or Ile de Paques (French)

Ref: eas881