2014: A Graphic Review

A selection of editorial cartoons depicting events from the last 12 months; graphic expressions, both textual and pictorial of an eventful year. They were predominately produced for the New Zealand print media.

The editorial cartoon is intended to make you think, not necessarily laugh. It is not a comic strip. They are usually placed on the publication’s editorial page where ‘opinion’ dominates. The editorial cartoonist has a number of devices at his disposal – caricature, irony, ridicule, satire, stereotypes, symbols, analogies, among a raft of conventional and unconventional codes.

Humour is only one of the tools available. As pictorial chroniclers of history, we encompass the full spectrum of current issues, both controversial and comical, serious and otherwise. An effective editorial cartoon combines a number of layers of meaning – both intended and those open to the reader’s interpretation.

If you’d like to use any of the cartoons below, please purchase via Cartoon Stock.

_1_Scientific Research 7 Jan _2_Wailing 7 Jan _3_European Elections 26 May _4_Match Fixing 30 May Continue reading


Drawing: Colt and Goldie (Brian McKechnie and Jeff Wilson)

Double Blacks

Only seven men have played both rugby union and cricket for New Zealand. The last two – Brian McKechnie and Jeff Wilson – are both from my home province of Southland and likely to be the last dual internationals dubbed “Double All Blacks”. It is a rare achievement from a forgotten era unlikely to be repeated because rugby has morphed into a year round code.

Jeff, nicknamed Goldie, played four ODIs as a 19 year old all rounder against Australia before turning his attention to rugby where he became an All Black legend with 44 tries in 60 appearances on the wing. After retiring from footy he returned to cricket after a 12 year gap and played two more ODIs and a one off Twenty20 in 2005.

Brian, known as Colt, was an unwilling participant in controversies in both sports. In 1981 he was the batsman on the receiving end of Trevor Chappells’ infamous underarm delivery  at the end of the third final in the World Series against Australia at the MCG. Oz captain Greg Chappell ordered his brother to bowl the controversial final ball to prevent a six being hit to tie the match. It was an incident he later described as the biggest regret of his career.

Three years earlier McKechnie kicked a late penalty that gave the All Blacks a 13-12 win over Wales at Cardiff, securing the ‘Grand Slam’. Andy Haden’s ‘dive’ from a line out near full time was thought to be the reason for the penalty, but years later the referee said it was a completely separate incident – which video footage clearly verifies.

An economical right-arm pace bowler and useful lower-order batsman, McKechnie played 14 ODIs for the Black Caps. The underarm incident was his final match. He played 26 matches for the All Blacks at first five-eigth (fly half) and full back, between 1977-1981.

I drew these two caricatures of Colt and Goldie sometime in the 1990s. Twenty five prints were signed by both as part of a fundraiser for charity.

With apologies to Jackson Pollock

Oyster Festival 2

Nearby my hometown of Invercargill, New Zealand, there’s a small town named Bluff, right at the southern tip of the South Island.

Every year they celebrate their world class oysters with the Bluff Oyster & Food Festival. Every year (almost) the weather is wild and wet, and this year it was so stormy that the festival was forced to close early.

Inspired by Abstract Expressionism, and following in the footsteps of ‘Jack the Dripper’ I created this cartoon to mark the event. Unfortunately, it wasn’t published. But I had fun doing it. The published specimen is here:

Oyster Festival 1

Drawing: Jessie Buckley in The Tempest at Shakespeare’s Globe

jesse buckley

Irish singer and actress Jessie Buckley made her Globe debut in April 2013, playing “a tomboyish” Miranda opposite Roger Allam‘s “delicatedly handled” Prospero in The Tempest. The Bard’s last great masterpiece with a modern twist.

Described as “an ambiguous but magical production of Shakespeare’s problem play”. The Stage reviewer Catherine Usher said Jessie’s “energetic, rebellious, vaguely feminist Miranda is very enjoyable.”

Jessie signed my sketch, which I left at The Globe and wrote me a lovely note, appreciating my support and the rendering.

Drawing: Arthur Darvill in Once at the Phoenix Theatre

arthur darvill

British musician and actor Arthur Darvill’s small screen notoriety includes the concerned vicar of Broadchurch, and Rory Williams, the eleventh Doctor’s companion in Dr Who for three seasons, until he disembarked from the Tardis, killed off by the Weeping Angels.

Arthur has composed music for three London productions, The Frontline (Globe), Been So Long (Young Vic) and The Lightning Child (Globe) and has trod on the city’s boards in Our Boys (Duchess), Doctor Faustus (Globe) and Been So Long (Young Vic) and Swimming With Sharks (Vaudeville) with Doctor Who co-star Matt Smith.

And he also collects taxidermy, which seems to be a common hobby for a few people I’ve sketched. After an eight month run as Guy, the Irish busking vacuum cleaner repairman, in the musical Once at the Bernard B Jacobs Theater on Broadway, Arthur continued the role in the London production in march this year for a limited engagement.

I caught up with him at the Phoenix Theatre stage door midweek with my drawing. He said “It looks better than me,” but signed it anyway with a ‘nice’ comment.

Cartoon: Russell Crowe

Russell Crowe

The Gladiator himself Russell Crowe was in fine form at the Noah premiere in Leicester Square yesterday. He spent more time than usual walking amongst the gathered throng.

This cartoon I did for The Southland Times – relating to his failed attempt to get Pope Francis to see the film – brought a smile to his face and the Sharpie to paper.

Drawing: Ian McDiarmid in A Life of Galileo

Ian McDiarmid

Scottish actor Ian McDiarmid’s resumé of rich classical stage roles and critical accolades was elevated into popular culture when he appeared as the Emperor in 1983s Star Wars, Return of the Jedi, and subsequently Senator Palpatine / Darth Sidious in the prequel trilogy.

Ian is currently back on stage in A Life of Galileo, the translation of Bertoit Brecht’s masterpiece by the Royal Shakespeare Company’s writer-in-residence, Mark Ravenhill. The RSC’s production opened last year at Stratford-Upon-Avon before a national tour.

The year is 1609 and the brilliant Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei used the invention of the telescope to discover the ‘eureka moment’ realising the earth orbits the sun. The play’s central focus however it his conflict with the Catholic Church, who denounced him as a heretic and threat to their religious dogma.

Ian signed my sketch at the Rose Theatre, Kingston last week. A Life of Galileo moves to the Arts Theatre in Cambridge this week until 5 April.

Drawing: Freddie Fox and Rupert Everett in The Judas Kiss

The Judas Kiss

Rupert Everett and Freddie Fox proved an inspired piece of casting in Neil Armfield’s critically received revival of David Hare’s 1998 play The Judas Kiss. The production, about Oscar Wilde’s scandal and disgrace at the hands of his young lover Bosie (Lord Alfred Douglas).

It opened at the Hampstead Theatre in September 2012 before a West End transfer to the Duke of York. Rupert’s portrayal of Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde was recognised in the theatre awards, nominated for an Olivier, longlisted in the Evening Standard and winning the WhatsOnStage Best Actor gong – voted by over 60,000 theatre goers. Both Rupert and Freddie signed my sketch at the Duke’s in January 2013.

Drawing: Tracie Bennett in The End of the Rainbow at Trafalgar Studios

Tracie Bennett

Tracie Bennett is best known for her work in the both dramatic and musical theatre, receiving Olivier Awards for her performances in She Loves Me and Hairspray.

In February 2010 she took on the role of Judy Garland in the months leading up to her death, in the first London production of Peter Quilter’s play The End of the Rainbow at the Trafalgar Studios with critical success. Tracie received an Olivier nomination for her performance. The production transferred to Broadway in March 2012 at the Belasco Theatre with Tracie reprising her role, winning the Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Actress in a Play and a Tony nomination.

Tracie signed this quick sketch of her in the Garland role at the Olivier Awards in Covent Garden in March 2011.