Gardening humour – a motor mower fitted with sat nav
A joke showing a gardener buying a new lawn mower in a garden centre.
The salesman is saying to the prospective customer “This lawn mower’s for the man with a very large lawn – it’s fitted with sat-nav”.
The implication is that the mower is for a lawn that’s so big that you need gps to navigate your way round it without getting lost.
A cartoon about satellite navigation systems, large gardens, lawns, garden centres, unnecessary accessories, gimmicks, status indicators.
Cartoon reference number: a209
See my book of gardening cartoons here.
Che Guevara with V for Vendetta mask
Che Guevara wearing Guy Fawkes mask
The image of Che Guevara is based on Alberto Korda’s iconic photograph of Argentine revolutionary.
A parody of the famous Che Guevara poster, wearing a V for Vendetta mask.
The Guy Fawkes mask was adopted by the anti-capitalist Occupy movement, and protesters at the Occupy camps outside St Paul’s cathedral and elsewhere were frequently seen wearing the masks..
The idea for the image is that Che Guevara and the Occupy movement were anti-capitalist, and both images – the famous photograph of Che Guevara and the V for Vendetta Guy Fawkes mask – are iconic images. So bringing the two iconic images together seems like a logical step.
The fact that the Che Guevara image is frequently available on merchandising from posters to t-shirts produced within the capitalist system is not without irony.
Cartoon reference number: a120
Facebook cartoon. Facebook friends cartoon
Facebook internet marketing cartoon, showing a Facebook page with the message “On-line marketing wants to be your friend”.
This cartoon was drawn when Facebook was due to be floated on the stock market in 2012, based on the idea that following the proposed stock market flotation Facebook would change from being a social networking site into a commercial marketing site, appropriated by business and commercial interests as a channel for selling their goods and services.
The process had already started, with data about Facebook users’ ‘likes’ being used as a means of targeting and reaching potential customers.
The joke in the cartoon is that business interests cannot be your ‘friends’ as they are only interested in you because of your money.
A cartoon about the commercialisation of social media sites. A cynical view on what it will mean to be a Facebook friend in the future.
Cartoon reference number: a115
An anti smoking cartoon that parodies cigarette advertising.
This is an anti-smoking cartoon parody of a cigarette advertising campaign for John Player Special cigarettes in the early 1980s.
The cigarette packets were black, and the advertising campaign relied on a number of visual puns and word plays on the word black (using the similarity between the words ‘black’ and ‘back’) – word plays such as “Black chat” (with a photo of two packs of cigarettes looking as though they were talking to each other) and “Flash black” (with a photograph of a cigarette packet surrounded by flashes of lightning).
My parody or spoof advert used similar plays on the word black, but giving it a negative spin such as by using the term “Black death” (with a skull made out of cigarette packets), “Black to the land” (i.e. being in a grave, with a cigarette packet as a gravestone) “Blackstabber” (being stabbed in the back with a cigarette) and “Black against the wall” (being against a wall with a firing squad – the bullets being cigarettes).
This is an anti-smoking cartoon or illustration that was drawn when cigarettes were still advertised on bill boards or advertising hoardings in Britain.
An extra touch in the illustration is the figure who is walking out of the cartoon to the left. It is a figure who is wheeling a shopping basket in the form of a John Player Special cigarette packet. The hand clutching the basket is a skeleton, because the figure is death.
A cartoon against the tobacco industry.
Cartoon reference number: a064
Nigerian email scam cartoon.
A cartoon showing a person who has answered Nigerian email scams that he has received – and has found that they are genuine.
The humour in the cartoon is due to the fact that the scam emails from Nigeria and elsewhere, often pretending to come from a bank employee or the wife of a recently deceased finance minister or similar wealthy person ar so obviously fraudulent that no one with any sense would take them seriously or assume that they were genuine.
A cartoon about internet fraud, scam emails, con men, con man, confidence tricksters, gullibility, credulousness.
Cartoon reference number: a053
Cartoon showing a second hand car bought on ebay. The car is a toy car but the buyer thought it was a full size, real sports car.
The ebay buyer is complaining that it’s hard to judge the size of objects when you see them on a computer screen.
A cartoon about internet sales, on-line marketing, deception, deceptive size.
The joke is that it’s impossible to judge goods properly when you buy them on line over the internet, especially through web-baased auction sites such as ebay.
Cartoon reference number: a049
Diet cartoon. A cartoon about gluten intolerance, lactose intolerance, dietary fashions and food fad intolerance.
A cartoon about food intolerance, showing a person who is gluten intolerant (and who is rejecting some bread), a person who is lactose intolerant (and who is rejecting some milk) and a person who is food fad intolerant (and who eating a plate full of food that is normally labelled as unhealthy).
A cartoon about food fads, health, dietary fads, ibs, irritable bowel syndrome, nutrition, allergies, allergy, allergic reactions, food scares.
Cartoon reference number: fd001b
Men doing housework cartoons. A vacuum cleaner designed to appeal to men.
A cartoon showing a man looking at a vacuum cleaner and being interested in its design and specifications.
Some household devices such as the Dyson vacuum cleaner are very muscular and macho, and are probably designed to be targeted to appeal to male sensibilities.
A cartoon about gender differences, feminism, gender roles, masculinity, male traits, household chores, product design.
Cartoon reference number: a029
A cartoon showing a child on a swing using a hand held device such as a phone or electronic game.
A cartoon about the allure of the electronic.
Cartoon showing a father pushing his child on a swing. The child is engrossed in a hand held device (perhaps a phone or an electronic gaming device).
A cartoon about childhood, attention, play, bonding, parenting, physical play versus electronic play.
Cartoon reference number: a007
Car boot sale cartoon. One car is selling boots. Another car is selling shoes (using a sign reading “Car shoe sale”)
Cartoon showing a car boot sale, with a vendor selling shoes under a sign that reads “Car shoe sale”
A note to non-British readers – a car boot is the UK equivalent of a car’s trunk in the USA.
The joke here is that a car boot sale is a sale of bric-a-brac and other goods that can be carried in the boot of a car, and has nothing to do with the garment variety of boot.
Cartoon reference number: a005
A cartoon about 3D technology. Although 3D technology is often thought of as a modern innovation it has been experimented with in cinema almost since the dawn of the medium. Similarly, 3D images have been available in books for many years, as shown here.
Currently fashionable in cinemas, 3D technology has been around for many years, as shown in this example of a children’s pop-up book
A cartoon associated with three dimensional images, holograms, virtual reality.
Cartoon reference number: a001
Bar code cartoon.
Bar codes as prison bars
A person locked into the consumer society, symbolised by a bar code as bars of a prison
A metaphor for the way that people can become trapped by dependence on consumerism
A cartoon about capitalism, money, spending, debt, credit cards
Drawn: 4th November 2009
Cartoon reference number: bar001
Workers’ rights cartoon
Sweat shop manufacturing cartoon
A worker in a sweat shop in the developing world complaining that they have to work so hard. The western manages is saying to her “In your language there is no word for leisure.” The factory manufactures leisure wear
A cartoon about the conditions in garment factories in the developing world, where clothes are made cheaply for the western market using cheap labour
A cartoon about globalisation, free trade, consumerism, worker’s rights, exploitation
Cartoon drawn: 2011
Cartoon reference: swt002
Cartoon. Workers in a sweat shop complaining about conditions – they aren’t allowed to buy seconds at a discount.
A cartoon about the conditions in garment factories in the developing world, where clothes are made cheaply for the western market using cheap labour.
A cartoon about globalisation, free trade, consumerism, worker’s rights, exploitation.
Cartoon drawn: 2011
Cartoon reference number: sweat001
Boycott China cartoon
Cartoon about Chinese exploitation of low paid factory workers
This cartoon was drawn in 2008, but is now relevant (in 2021) due to increasing Chinese repression and the repression of the Uyghurs (Uighurs) amongst others. It shows a political activist writing a message on a protest banner that reads “Boycott Chinese products now!” The protestor discovers that the marker pen that the message is being written with was made in China
An illustration about political irony, compromise, protest movements, anti-consumerism protest, boycotting repressive regimes, free trade, international trade
Cartoon reference number: boy101
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
Cartoon reference number: fash22
Flat pack furniture cartoon
A person who has bought so much self-assembly flatpack furniture that there isn’t enough space to assemble it.
Self assembly furniture cartoon, with the furniture still packed away in its boxes, piled up in the room because there’s no room to put it up. The packs are being used as furniture in their own right.
Flat-pack furniture is synonymous with the Ikea brand.
A cartoon about interior design, ikea, modern furnishing.
Original version drawn: 2000
Cartoon reference number: fla808
Bizarre clothing cartoon
One size fits all
Surreal hats cartoon
Two people wearing hats. The hats are both the same size, but are so huge that they fit both people.
A cartoon about shopping, surrealism, fashion, hats, body sizes, clothes sizes, absurdity.
Cartoon reference number: hat710
Energy saving poster in the style of a World War II poster, with a message saying “Put That Light Out!”
A poster design showing a house with lots of lights on and a message to turn the lights off. A pastiche of a WWII poster, where a similar message would be used to avoid buildings being visible to enemy bombers. Hence the connection between war and fighting to save the environment
A cartoon about energy consumption, insulation, green architecture, energy conservation, environmental degradation, unnecessary electricity use, excessive power use, green energy
Cartoon reference number: env250
Santa’s grotto cartoon
Santa in a shopping mall tempting a child with a gift. The child’s mother saying ‘Get thee behind me, Santa!’
The cartoon uses the Biblical phrase “Get thee behind me Satan” (used by Christ when tempted by the devil) and transforms it into the words used by a mother when her child is tempted by Santa.
The cartoon is a comment about commercialisation and consumerism and has no religious significance (as I’m an atheist)
A Christmas cartoon about temptation, pester power, shopping malls, shopping.
A version of this cartoon was published in Private Eye, Christmas 2012
Cartoon reference number: xms010
Ethical investments cartoon
Piggy bank with halo (and ‘ethical investment‘ written on its side)
Cartoon showing coins dropping into a piggy bank
An illustration about ethics, ethical consumers, morals, ethical savings, finance, money, economy, economics
Cartoon drawn: 2011
Cartoon reference: eco008
For a colour version of this cartoon click here:
Bottled water cartoon
Bottled water cartoon
Water supply in the developing world cartoon
A person in the developing world sometimes has to carry water for very long distances. Meanwhile, in the west, bottled water is sometimes transported internationally before it’s consumed
A cartoon about the wastefulness of aspects of the western consumer lifestyle.
A cartoon about over consumption, decadence, bottled spring water
Cartoon reference number: env073
The Four Truck Drivers of the Apocalypse
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
The cartoon shows lorries carrying cargoes that are symbolic of the ills of contemporary western society (with other societies fast catching up).
One lorry carries toxic waste, another logs from logging activity that is depleting the world’s natural resources, another carries weapons, arms and armament while the last one carries the catering facilities for the others – fast food or convenience food
Based on the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
A cartoon about environmental degradation, war, man made disaster, over consumption, resource depletion, the end of civilisation as we know it
Cartoon reference number: env048
The rocky road to the future
The (metaphorical) road to the future, with the road breaking up under the weight of traffic. The car represents our consumer lifestyle.
A cartoon about consumerism, transport, cars, suv, four by four, 4×4, environmental destruction, unsustainable lifestyles, sustainability.
Cartoon reference number: env046
A disused quarry being used as a landfill dump for waste products.
A cartoon about environmental impact, indigenous peoples, exploitation, ecological impact, ecology,recycling, waste disposal, waste management.
For a colour version click here: Landfill cartoon
Cartoon drawn: 1991
Cartoon reference number: env068
Environment-friendly packaging cartoon
For a more recent, colour version of this cartoon click here: Non-biodegradable packaging cartoon
A cartoon about environment-friendly materials. A discarded polystyrene container talking to animals, saying that it likes nature so much that it’s decided to stay around for a long time.
A cartoon about packaging, litter, recycling, waste, consumerism, bio-decomposition, environmental impact.
Cartoon reference number: env069
A cartoon from my selection of environmental cartoons
Carbon footprint cartoon
China’s carbon footprint cartoon
Editorial cartoon or illustration on the reason why China has a large carbon footprint – because it manufactures goods for the west
A cartoon about manufacturing in China, imports, experts, trade, pollution, consumerism, the consumer society, manufacturing, carbon credits
Cartoon reference number: env065
Ronald MacDonald stealing the moon from the sky and replacing it with the MacDonald’s logo (the golden arches)
A cartoon about the spread of the fast food consumer culture and the domination of transnational companies and global corporations
Cartoon reference number: mon005