EVENTS IN THE world over the last couple of years have left all of us reeling in horror, amazement and bewilderment. Newspapers and online media send out a continual barrage of reports, comment, opinion and analysis with words and photos. Facebook and Twitter commentaries are of the blink-and-miss-them soundbite variety with rarely any depth of perception.
On Have I Got News For You recently, Ian Hislop said what all humorists have been thinking: The Trump election and the growing threat of global nationalist fervour is great news for comedians – okay, there’ll be World War Three but at least we’ll able to laugh about it!
The seeds to topical or political cartooning were planted by eighteenth century satirist and social critic William Hogarth. The art blossomed during the French Revolution with London artists James Gillray and Tomas Rowlandson coming to the fore, swiftly followed by George Cruikshank. No member of the establishment or royal family were safe from the satirical barbs and, in general, their approach was far less partisan than today’s cartoonists such as Steve Bell and Martin Rowson (The Guardian), Peter Brookes (The Times), Christian Adams (The Telegraph) and Dave Brown (The Independent).
The purpose of a topical cartoonist is to put international events into perspective with a succinct image that reflects the feelings of the people. As the Guardian’s Steve Bell once said: “Its not an exalted art form. It’s lonely, low, scurrilous and rude. Its supposed to be. But I think you can be serious at the same time as the piss taking. There is a serious point buried in there, somewhere. But the point is also to make people laugh and the best ones are when you do both , when you hit the spot and make people laugh.”
Although this isn’t my prime activity (for more details about my offerings, please see http://www.caricatures.org.uk), I am very often impelled to encapsulate my thoughts and feelings on global or, even local events in cartoon form. Over the years, of course, I have done this for various magazines and websites but, more often, these days, I just produce them for my own pleasure (and anyone else who cares to view my various social media feeds!)
You can use cartoons, based topically on your own business websites and blogs in order to add that little bit of extra professional journalistic quality and to encourage visitors to linger that little bit longer.
Here are a few recent topical cartoons based on global news. I hope you enjoy them and keep up to date with me by following me on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/simon.ellinas) and Twitter (@cartoonelli).
All the best,
Cartoonist, caricaturist and writer