“My experience in China assured me that the power of the cartoon is so mighty that that government would just hunt me down, harass my family, everything they can to stop me from drawing. If it is all for nothing, then why are they doing it?”
The perfect example, [Badiucao] says, is the viral meme of portraying Chinese president Xi Jinping as a cartoonish Winnie the Pooh, a meme he played a role in spreading and popularising. It’s banned on the Chinese internet.
“The cartoon is the haiku of what I’m trying to do,” [Megan Herbert] says. “When you really nail it you know it, and it’s usually the simpler the better.”
While Badiucao approaches a cartoon visually, Herbert usually finds the words first.
“It’s always about the narrative,” she says. Her work illustrating children’s books satisfies the artist part of her brain: when she’s cartooning “the words are so important that the image gets maybe 20% of my concentration and the rest is going into getting the words right”.
In Australia The Age has a couple new cartoonists, Badiucao and Megan Herbert,
The Sydney Morning Herald profiles them.
On the other side of the world Boris Johnson continues to be a never ending source of, among many other things, cartoon ridicule.
Editorial cartoonist Martin Rowson sounds like United States cartoonists during the Trump years:
With his unkempt blonde hair and clown-like antics, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has often been a target for political cartoonists.
And right now he’s keeping them particularly busy following numerous allegations of parties at his Downing Street residence being in breach of coronavirus restrictions over the course of 2020 and 2021.
“Now it is unfolding so quickly and it takes me 4 or 5 hours to produce one of these full colour cartoons for the Guardian and by the time I file the story might have completely changed so I’ve always got to put a gap in it to put in some last-minute breaking news story,” says Rowson.