A cartoon about the use of personality profiling in job interviews.
The use of Rorscharch tests for assessing people’s personalities.
The interviewee is interpreting an X-ray crystallography image that resembles a spider
An example from my cartoon strip published in Chemistry World, the magazine of the Royal Society of Chemistry.
Here are more of my chemistry cartoons from Chemistry World magazine.
A cartoon about espionage, spying, subversion, secret police, state repression.
Transgender cartoon – a praying mantis seeking a sex change operation
In the world of the paying mantis, the female mantis eats the male mantis following mating.
The theory is that this means that the female gets a good protein meal that will help the development of the resulting next generation. It all seems unnecessarily excessive to me though.
In the cartoon a male praying mantis is seeking gender realignment surgery or sex change surgery so that he becomes a female and thus avoids death at the hands of his/her mate.
The cartoon is inspired by the high profile of transgender and sexual realignment issues in the current personal identity and lifestyle culture.
Graphic or illustration of a superorganism – a colony of individual ants forming one giant ant
Ants are probably the best-known example of superorganisms
A superorganism is an organised colony consisting of many organisms, usually where individual organisms perform specialised functions and where individuals are incapable of survival by themselves.
The illustration could be used as a metaphor for human behaviour or of co-operation or as a literal illustration of the expression “The whole is greater than the sum of the parts”.
Cartoon reference: a630
Butterfly flight design
Illustration of flying butterflies
A butterfly with hawk talons
An illustration of a butterfly that has talons, turning it into a predator
A surreal digital image of a hybrid butterfly/hawk.
Some of the tension in the image comes from the fact that butterflies are perceived as being benign (which they are, being primarily nectar feeders), while birds of prey are perceived as being powerful and aggressive.
Professor Brian Cox cartoon
We are made of stardust
A humorous comment about the fact that all of the elements apart from hydrogen and helium were created inside stars – so everything is made of stardust
The joke here is that when the tv astronomer Professor Brian Cox says that everything is made of stardust he really lays it on thick in a way that many people, especially women, find very attractive. So here the woman is actually saying that she finds Brian Cox attractive, and it even affects her attitude to slugs
From my selection of science fiction cartoons
Creatures from earth that look like aliens from another planet
A cartoon showing that life on earth is as weird as extraterrestrial life
This cartoon was drawn many years ago, but is relevant today due to the BBC series Alien Nation, about the bizarre and otherworldly appearance of insects. Fish look pretty weird too don’t you think?
Cartoon reference number: a560
A cartoon about selective pesticide – butterfly and ladybird friendly insecticide
A joke about insecticide that kills only ugly insects
The cartoon has deeper meanings about how we judge things by appearance, by prejudice or by attractiveness.
It’s also about gardening and the aesthetic values that are deployed in the garden (such as in the selection of plants and flowers, not just in the selection of pests). However it’s also about the wider phenomenon of judging everything, including people, by appearance
Cartoon reference number: a472
Polluting the planet with pesticides
A cartoon showing an insect being sprayed with insecticide.
The insect is a beetle with the pattern on its shell being a map of the earth
The cartoon illustrates the concept of the global impact of the use of toxic chemicals such as pesticides, herbicides and insecticides.
It reflects the ideas in such books as Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
An earlier version of this cartoon appeared in my book of environmental cartoons, When Humans Roamed the Earth, published by Earthscan/WWF in 1991
Cartoon reference number: a460
Endangered species cartoon
Cartoon of big game hunters shooting a butterfly because other species of animal are going extinct due to human pressure and lack of conservation measures
A humorous illustration about endangered species, conservation, species extinction, extinct species
An previous version of this cartoon was published in my environmental cartoon book, When Humans Roamed the Earth, published by WWF/Earthscan
Cartoon reference number: a451
Illustration of a person wearing a snail shell as a hat
This picture doesn’t mean anything specific. I just made it up. Having said that, it obviously has hidden unconscious meaning.
This hat may be a fashion item or a helmet.
It may imply that the wearer is a slow thinker, with a snail brain. Slow thinking isn’t necessarily a bad thing by the way – it might mean considered thinking rather than rash impulsive thinking. Maybe you were being rash to jump to the conclusion that slow thinking might be bad!
An illustration about thinking, unusual headgear, molluscs.
Cartoon reference number: a361
An illustration of a snail with its shell on fire
Burning snail image
This is a disturbing image, without any specific meaning in mind, but nevertheless very evocative.
It could be an environmental illustration symboliseing the destruction of the ecosysten or the environment.
The fact that a snail is a slow creature could symbolise the way that nature cannot run away from the destruction of the environment that is occurring.
The image is a digital painting, based quite closely on photos of snails so that it looks realistic (which is important for the impact of the image).
The image could be used in environmental campaigns or media articles and reports about the environment.
Cartoon reference number: a342
Insect cartoons – house fly cartoon
Cartoon of a house fly reading a book (or a magazine)
The book is a pulp fiction horror book
An anthropomorphic cartoon of a housefly sitting in an armchair, reading
Part of the humour in this cartoon is that the housefly is sitting in such a ‘homely’ setting, and is obviously not an unpleasant creature at all.
Notice the pattern on the chair cover – composed of insects (where the human equivalent would show flowers), and the piece of cake, which is going nicely mouldy.
This cartoon is in a similar vein to a Gary Larson cartoon from his Far Side cartoon feature. However, the similarity is coincidental, as I’ve been producing cartoons like this since before Gary Larson became established. It’s a sort of zeitgeist thing, where different people working in the same field produce similar work at the same time, because it’s in the air.
A slightly different version of this cartoon first appeared as a greetings card published by Paperlink
Cartoon reference number: a338
Gardening humour – how to repel midges
How to repel midges when outdoors
Midges are a pest in the garden and outdoors. They may be small but they go around in swarms and their bites can drive a person to the point of distraction. However, a slight breeze is all it takes to get rid of them.
This cartoon shows a method of producing such a breeze.
Cartoon reference number: a665
Garden insects cartoon
Cartoon about garden insects on flowers.
A gardener looking closely at a flower and noticing the tiny insects that are living on it that had been unnoticed until he examined the bloom closely.
The gardener is saying ” It’s wonderful how every spring I’m newly surprised by the incredible shapes and colours of the flowers in the garden – and of the insects that are hiding between their petals.”
A cartoon about garden wildlife, secret life in the garden, invertebrates, nature, natural gardening, organic gardening, eco-friendly gardening.
Cartoon reference number: a288
Vegetable gardening cartoon – a cabbage white butterfly in the veg patch
Cartoon showing a girl seeing a cabbage white butterfly in her parents’ vegetable garden
She is saying “Daddy – a lovely white butterfly has just landed on your cabbages!”
A cartoon about the innocence of childhood, garden pests, gardeners’ banes.
Cartoon reference number: a250
Gardening cartoons – butterflies are like flying flowers
Cartoon showing butterflies in a garden
The gardener is saying “I like to think of butterflies as aerial flower displays”
A cartoon about attracting insects to the garden, butterfly gardening, garden design.
Cartoon reference number: a249
Garden pests cartoons. Ants in the garden
Cartoon about garden insect pests – ants eating food on a garden table
Cartoon showing a man relaxing at a garden table, but with a column of ants eating his cake on the table. The man is reading a manual titled “How to get rid of ants”.
A cartoon about insect pests in gardens, ants attracted to sweet food in a garden.
Cartoon reference number: a239
Gardening cartoon. A bug’s guide to garden pests
A comic illustration showing a caterpillar or grub (a garden pest) looking at a gardening book or manual about garden pests. The pest shown in the book is a gardener with a canister of pesticide.
The cartoon is in the anthropomorphic tradition common in cartoons.
Cartoon reference number: a196
Garden cartoon. Signs of spring in the garden – the first slug of spring
Humorous illustration showing the first butterflies of spring and the first slugs of spring.
In the early months of the year gardeners are eagerly on the lookout for the first signs of spring.
They are pleased to see the first green shoots of spring, the first butterflies and the first swallows of summer. However the changing seasons also bring less welcome visitors such as, as shown in this cartoon, slugs and snails.
Draw: March 2009
Cartoon reference number: a185
A cartoon about slugs
A humorous illustration about how children learn about the world around them
Children in a garden discovering that slugs don’t have bones.
This is a slightly macabre and unsettling cartoon illustrating the way that kids come across information and facts about the world through play, outdoor activities and general curiosity. Some of these activities are in decline now due to the amount of time children spend in front of their computers.
Drawn: May 2004
Cartoon reference number: a183
Butterfly print design
Butterfly greetings card design
A design in the style of a linocut or a woodcut, influenced by the cut outs of Matisse
An illustration of butterflies suitable for a greetings card design, a poster, a framed print or more.
Design created: 2011
Design reference number: but001
Creepy crawly cartoon.
An adult insect admiring a baby insect, saying how cute and adorable it is. The baby insect is a maggot.
This cartoon is about the way that what we find attractive (or repulsive) is governed by factors of psychology and perception that are dependant on factors within the framework of our existence – such as whether we’re humans or insects. Evolution plays a big part.
Aesthetic judgement is not an independent quality.
Adults are hardwired to find babies attractive, cute and appealing.
A cartoon about aesthetics, beauty, prejudice, larva, larvae, grubs, maggots, aesthetic taste, bias, revulsion, repulsion, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, aesthetic relativism, entymology, evolution.
Cartoon reference number: mag710
A climbing frame for climbing plants, in the form of a spider’s web or cobweb
A cartoon about insects and spiders (arachnids) in the garden, wildlife gardening and wildlife-friendly gardens