A cartoon about censorship and proscriptions on humour.
The cartoon reflects an aspect of the “hate speech” laws (which state that anything that may cause offence is prohibited).
Humour by its very nature frequently sets up a tension that may be misinterpreted by the more earnest and humourless amongst us (he says, patronisingly), opening it up to be a target for censorship.
A cartoon about censorship, censoriousness, woke earnestness.
Drawn: September 2022
Cartoon reference number: a999
Art education cartoon
A cartoon showing a child drawing.
The child is drawing very well, but the teacher is encouraging her to draw in a more childish way. A cartoon about the holding back of talent.
First version drawn: 2006
Cartoon reference number: a155b
Cutting a painting to fit a space.
A cartoon showing a large oil painting that has been cut down in size to fit into a room.
The oil painting in the cartoon is a grand portrait, cut down so that only the head is mounted on the wall.
Cartoon drawn: 2016
Cartoon reference number: a928
A cartoon about bowdlerisation – the rewriting of text to remove material that is considered offensive or objectionable, especially when directed at children.
Bowdlerisation is named after Thomas Bowdler (1754-1825), who published an expurgated edition of Shakespeare.
Cartoon drawn: Jan 2012
Cartoon reference number: a927
‘Is it art?’ cartoon
A cartoon about the debate concerning what constitutes or defines art.
The cartoon uses an image that is generally accepted to definitely be art as a way of questioning the question itself.
First version drawn: 2006
Cartoon reference number: a727
A cartoon showing an artist creating a self portrait.
The self portrait sculpture looks exactly like the artist.
The cartoon is partly about the self-obsession of (some) artists and about the introspection of artists and the self-referential nature of art.
Part of the joke in the cartoon is that not only is the sculptor carving a statue, but the the sculpture (the self portrait) is also working on a self portrait too (that is just protruding into the right hand side of the cartoon).
It is a cartoon about infinite regression, where the artist is creating a self portrait that is creating a self portrait… and so on.
Cartoon reference number: a158c
A Funny Year in the Garden
Gardening cartoon book
If you’re looking for the perfect Christmas gift for a gardener, this may be it!
The book contains about a hundred of my black and white gardening cartoons, most of which have been published in newspapers and magazines from Private Eye to the Irish Sunday Independent (where I had a weekly slot in the gardening pages for fifteen years or more).
Frieze art fair cartoon
A cartoon about the Frieze contemporary art fair.
Frieze art fairs are held in Los Angeles, New York, Seoul and London (where I live). They display cutting edge contemporary art. Sometimes the visitors are as interesting as the art. I’m a regular visitor myself, but not one of the interesting ones.
Drawn: October 2022
Cartoon reference number: a926
Placebo effect cartoon
A cartoon about the placebo effect.
The placebo effect is the phenomenon of people reacting to a placebo in the same way that they would if the placebo was an active drug.
Cartoon reference number: a925
A cartoon featuring the earth in a waste skip as though it is being thrown away in a similar way that the normal items of consumer waste are thrown away in skips.
Skips are often used for builders’ rubble and the waste material when a house is being refitted or modified. The house can be thought of as a metaphor for the planet on which we and all other life lives.
Drawn: September 2022
Cartoon reference number: a924
Investment bankers’ bonuses and pay
Investment banking humour
Cartoon showing a banking job interview.
The interviewer is asking “What is it that attracts you to a career in investment banking?”
A joke about the bonus culture in banking and the ethics of banking
Cartoon drawn: 2013
Cartoon reference number: a312c
Cartoon about gardening on a hot summer day
Showing a gardener relaxing in the garden rather than doing any gardening tasks.
The gardener is sunbathing on a garden lounger and is thinking “There’s an old saying – if it’s hot enough for shorts it’s too hot for gardening”.
A joke about outdoor activities, garden furniture, summer, sunshine.
Cartoon reference number: a208a
See my book of gardening cartoons here.
Metaworld – the first use of the term?
The talk about the invention of the Metaverse in 2021 reminded me that in about 1985 I developed a graphic novel with the title Metaworld.
I didn’t finish the project, although the plot did reach a second draft and several dozen of the pages were drawn to a reasonable level. They are all hidden away in the attic, and at the moment all I can find is this sketch of one of the pages, featuring one of the inhabitants of Metaworld.
This may be a very early use of the term ‘Meta’ to describe a world (Metaworld) or a universe (Metaverse). When I thought it up computer technology as we know it was in its infancy. I think I was using one of the first Macs at the time. The pages of Metaworld were drawn with pencil and paper.