Skiing uphill cartoon
A cartoon showing skiers skiing in opposite directions – one is skiing downhill while the other is skiing uphill.
The image is on its side, so when viewed initially the viewer is confused by conflicting visual cues, mistaking the direction of the slope (look at the trees).
Cartoon reference number: a497
Sat-nav cartoon – a car guided by sat-nav taken to the wrong destination
The sat nav (GPS) has guided to car to the wrong M31 (the Andromeda galaxy instead of the M31 motorway).
The M31 motorway doesn’t actually exist by the way – it was planned but never completed.
The cartoon is about the way that car drivers will blindly and slavishly follow the instructions of their sat-navs even when they are completely wrong, sometimes going to the wrong destination of the same name
It says something about the way that the human race can follow the wrong path without realising the potential consequences
This is an astronomy cartoon
Cartoon reference number: a496
Mayan calendar cartoon
Mayan 2012 prophecy wrong – what next?
The world didn’t come to an end on 21st December 2012 – what news story will take its place?
A cartoon about the Mayan ‘prophecy’ of the end of the world at the winter solstice 2012.
The prophecy didn’t come true, so the huge news hype that surrounded the story will have to end. The drawing shows a press newsroom where editors and reporters are cynically on the lookout for a similar tabloid doomsday story to replace the Mayan prophesy story in the news cycle
The cartoon is about people’s seeming need for end of the world stories. It is about millenarian stories and millenarianism. Millenarianism is the phenomenon of wishing for or expecting a huge upheaval that will either end the world or will change it radically.
Cartoon reference number: a482
2012 Mayan calendar cartoon
The world didn’t come to an end on 21st December 2012 after all
A cartoon about the Mayan ‘prophecy’ of the end of the world at the winter solstice 2012
The cartoon shows a Mayan gift shop selling a Mayan calendar for 2013, which has been put on display immediately after the world didn’t come to an end on 21st December 2012 (winter solstice).
Part of the joke is that the Mayan calendar was not put on display until after the prediction of the end of the world had passed – because the owners of the Mayan gift shop were busy making money out of the Mayan prophecy of the end of the world until then.
A cartoon about millenarian cults, millenarianism, end of the world cults.
Cartoon reference number: a481
Charity collection methods cartoon, showing a ‘charity mugger’ or ‘chugger’.
A charity mugger or chugger is person employed by a charity, or by an intermediary fundraising agency that is employed by the charity, who stands in the street and tries to stop people and persuade them to make donations to charity, usually in an over-assertive manner. This method of collecting for charity became an issue at the time that this cartoon was drawn, hence the derogatory name that was coined for the collectors.
Rather than saying “Not now” (as is usual) the passer-by is wearing a t-shirt with the message “Not now” printed on it.
A cartoon about charity fund raising techniques.
Drawn: Nov 2012
Cartoon reference number: chug001b
High rise office blocks architecture, with the architects having trouble designing the buildings’ tops.
The buildings are modern bland, glass and steel designs apart from the tops
A cartoon of an architect’s office with models of high-rise buildings on a table, each high-rise building having an unusually shaped top.
The cartoon illustrates the way that modern architecture often relies on gimmicky shapes to give the buildings an identity (such as the ‘Gherkin’, the Shard, the “Pinnacle”, the “Cheesegrater”), so that cityscapes look more and more bizzare.
Cartoon reference number: a427
Life as a game of chess – cartoon
Showing a chess board on which people are standing, with chess pieces on their heads like hats
A slightly surreal cartoon about chess. The concept is that life is a game of chess, and we are all players
It’s also about life strategies, competitiveness, power struggles, inter-human dynamics, interpersonal politics, sociology, game theory.
Cartoon reference number: a426
Chess cartoon – hole in chess board
A cartoon showing a chess board on which one of the squares is a hole.
A chess piece (a bishop) os looking out of the hole from the top of a ladder
A slightly surreal drawing about chess, where a hole in the chessboard looks a bit like a trapdoor
Cartoon reference number: a425
Cartoon – who reports on the reporters?
This cartoon is about the subject of press manipulation of the news, press regulation, and who should police the press and broadcasting media.
A cartoon about press freedom, censorship, press reporting, press bias, the influence of the press on public opinion.
Also a Leveson Report cartoon Lord Leveson’s report on the future of the press in Britain is due out on 29th November, 2012
Cartoon reference number: a424
Cartoon. Health and safety gone mad.
A cartoon about the petty rules and over-zealous implementation of laws concerning health and safety regulations.
A humorous illustration showing an officious official making a judgement on a health and safety issue. A child wrapped in cottonwool to protect it from danger – but the cotton wool leaves the child’s face exposed to danger.
Cartoon reference number: a423
Pareidolia – an orchid flower as a man’s head
A photograph of an orchid flower that looks like a human head
I took the photo of the orchid in Kew Gardens. I then drew the man’s body to go with the photo.
The orchid looks like the head of a man with a beard and a hat.
Cartoon reference number: a422
Politician and celebrity child abuse cartoon
In the wake of the Jimmy Savile affair there is a danger that unscrupulous lawyers will jump on the current wave of awareness of child abuse and will fish for victims, in a similar way that some law firms fish for victims of accidents in order to profit from the compensation claims that can be made.
A cartoon about paedophiles, paedophilia, compensation culture, litigation culture andchild sexual abuse.
At the time that this cartoon was drawn the list of celebrities and politicians who were being accused of historic sexual abuse was growing by the day – Jimmy Savile, Dave Lee Travis, Cyril Smith, Max Clifford, Stuart Hall…
The cartoon shows an advert in a gents toilet, where adverts for slightly dodgy legal practices can sometimes be found (such as for firms offering to win you compensation for mis-sold insurance protection plans)
Cartoon reference number: a418
Clock tower and watch tower cartoon
A cartoon showing a clock tower with a clock in it, and a watch tower with a wrist watch in it.
A visual pun on the word watch, exploiting the different meanings: to look out for and a small personal timepiece
A cartoon about architecture, time, puns, towers, clocks
Cartoon reference number: a416
An illustration hand prints in circles
Hand prints in rings creating a sun-like effect.
To see a similar illustration please click here
Prints of hands have appeared in art since the days of prehistoric cave paintings.
This image looks both modern and primitive at the same time (Modern in the sense that a lot of corporate design and logos, trademarks, etc attempt to invoke nature, tradition, the pseudo-spiritual and so on
An illustration or clipart about hands, prints, logos.
Cartoon reference number: a405
A drawing of people with heads made out of hand prints/h3>
The people with hand print heads are about to shake hands
Hand prints have been used in art since the beginning of art itself. Handprints have been used in prehistoric cave paintings for instance.
A cartoon about communication.
Cartoon reference number: a402
A cartoon about communication.
A drawing of a mushroom
A drawing of a toadstool, mushroom or similar fungus, inspired by a walk in the park in autumn
The fungus in this drawing is a purely impressionistic one, made up on my sketch pad in my studio. It is meant to give the feel for the fungus rather than being a scientific representation of one
A drawing about autumn, fungi, mushrooms, toadstools.
A digital painting of fungus.
Cartoon reference number: a400
A humorous quotation about pedantry
“I’m not a pedant (in the strict definition of the term)
The quote is my own
A typography-based image showing a funny quote about pedants
The humour is in the fact that only a pedant would qualify their lack of pedantry as quoted here
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.
Cartoon reference number: a284
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.
Cartoon reference number: a255
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.
Cartoon reference number: a192
Cartoon about advise on how to live your life. The sort of woman to marry – how attractive should she be?
The cartoon shows a ‘lifestyle guru’ telling some young men what sort of woman it’s advisable to marry.
Part of the joke in the cartoon is that the situation depicted is absurd, because the young men are obviously unmotivated members of disaffected youth culture. Marriage is obviously not on their agenda. Especially marriage to the sort of women to whom the adviser is referring.
This cartoon is part of a series about the phenomenon of gurus, personal counsellors, lifestyle coaches (a recent and rather ludicrous twist on the phenomenon of personal fulfilment), motivational speakers and suchlike. In the series the guru, counsellor or what-have-you is a very ordinary middle aged woman rather than someone who is removed from the humdrum of everyday life.
The speaker is meant to represent to some extent a parody of lifestyle advisers and self improvement gurus.
Cartoon about matchmaking, attractive women, marriageable women, marriage guidance, never marry a pretty woman, wisdom, counselling, engagement in society.
Cartoon reference number: a128
Cartoon showing the result of the Occupy St Pauls eviction. Discarded V for Vendetta masks
Cartoon showing the aftermath of the eviction of anti-capitalism protesters from the Occupy camp outside St Pauls cathedral
The cartoon shows discarded V for Vendetta masks in a litter bin.
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.
Cartoon reference number: a122
Margaret Thatcher cartoon caricature as the iron lady and mad axewoman
This cartoon of Margaret Thatcher was drawn during Margaret Thatcher’s premiership as a response to her policies.
Margaret Thatcher was known by the iron lady (because of her resolve) and the mad axewoman (because of the cuts that she made to the welfare state).
The cartoon was used widely in political campaigns and left wing publications. It featured in the 1981 Big Red Diary, published by Pluto Press, and was used by the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) in their newspaper, Socialist Worker, and on posters such as the one shown in the photograph here.
A copy of the poster featured in the 2012 film The Iron Lady starring Meryl Streep. The poster even features in the official UK trailer for the film
See this cartoon on a Mad Axewoman protest placard
See this cartoon on an anti-Thatcher political lapel badge
Cartoon reference number: a121
Ockham’s razor cartoon (or Occam’s razor cartoon)
Ockham’s razor cartoon (or Occam’s razor cartoon). Occam’s razor is the name given to the principle that from among competing hypotheses or ideas the one that gives the simplest and least complex explanation or that makes the fewest new assumptions is more likely to be correct.
Occam’s razor gets its name from William of Ockham, an English Franciscan friar and philosopher. He didn’t actually originate the maxim that the simpler an explanation was the more likely it was to be correct, but he used the concept frequently so the maxim became associated with him.
The joke in the cartoon is that Occam finds all of the razors in a shop too complicated, as he thinks that a simpler one will do the job better.
Cartoon reference number: a102
Cartoon about the sometimes unnecessary use of therapy and psychiatry.
This isn’t a criticism of all therapy and psychiatry by the way, despite appearances. It’s more a questioning of some of the characteristics of some of the practices – their philosophies, policies, politics and so on.
A cartoon about counselling, therapy, psychiatrists.
Cartoon reference number: a093
A cartoon about identity.
Cartoon about identity and masks – person wearing a mask, with the face behind the mask being the same as the mask itself
Cartoon about masks. The joke in the cartoon is that the face behind the mask is exactly the same as the mask. Is it a mask itself? It’s ambiguous.
A cartoon about hidden identities, the subconscious, personality projection, true self, anonymity, psychology, psychiatry, alternative identities.
Cartoon reference number: a091
Happiness cartoon. The pursuit of happiness
Happiness cartoon – the pursuit of happiness. Showing a person chasing party balloons like a donkey pursuing a carrot on a stick.
The cartoon illustrates people’s innate desire to pursue happiness.
The cartoon illustrates the concept that happiness is transient and can’t be grasped and kept permanently (symbolised by the idea of grabbing and hanging onto the party balloons in the illustration).
The cartoon depicts the pursuit of happiness as a motivation for people doing things.
A cartoon about people’s expectations of happiness, the elusiveness of happiness, the search for happiness, the pursuit of happiness, thwarted expectations, motivation, sense of discontentment, motivational activities.
Cartoon reference number: a090
Happiness cartoon or contentment cartoon.
Happiness cartoon – some people are never happy.
Cartoon showing a person flying in a hang glider, which is a form of high octane, high stimulation extreme sport, thinking “There must be more to life than this”.
The cartoon illustrated people’s innate sense of discontentment (which is one of the reasons why people are so achievement orientated, so it’s not necessarily a bad thing – or is it?).
A cartoon about people’s expectations of happiness, the elusiveness of happiness, the search for happiness, the pursuit of happiness, thwarted expectations, motivation.
Cartoon reference number: a089