Here are some cartoons I have drawn:
Bottled Fossil Fools
Cartoon finished in October 2014 that has been bubbling in my mind for a while… trying to show the link between addiction and violence – fossil-fuel and war, especially in the Middle East. George Marshall helped with the concept of the row of bottles. Reminds me of the excellent work of Richard Heinberg at the Post Carbon Institute whose latest book exposes the sham that is fracking – “Snake Oil“.
I read a while ago that one of the main causes of the first world war was the competition between Britain and Germany for middle Eastern oil. Both countries were using coal to power their navy, but switching to oil was a great way to have faster battle-ships – but relied on securing supplies of oil – which just happened to be under other peoples’ sand, in the Middle East. I am reminded of a great poem by Biff Vernon “I-will-not-commemorate-war” which is well worth a read.
Another Climate Book
Cartoon to provoke thought on ‘western society’s inability to face the multiple threat of climate change, September 2014. This was inspired by a late night camp-fire chat with George Marshall who has just published his new book “Don’t even think about it: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Ignore Climate Change”. George works with COIN, the Climate Outreach and Information Network, in Oxford. And… I have finally started reading Naomi Klein‘s new book “This Changes Everything: The Climate vs Capitalism“.
A cartoon inspired by the excellent work of the folks at Drone Wars UK, and Drones Campaign Network. This horrible ‘sales pitch’ summarises the main reasons why drone warfare is so wrong, dangerous and open to abuse. As my friend Dan G says: “Bush Jnr used to kidnap and torture his enemies, but Obama just sends in a drone to kill them.” I stumbled across this quote from the time of Napoleon:
“Scientific progress makes moral progress
a necessity; for if man’s power is increased,
the checks that restrain him from abusing it
must be strengthened” – Madame de Stael.
A fun cartoon based on a true story, as witnessed by my uncle, Peter. He is publishing a series of amusing memoires and this cartoon will be used for the booklet covering his time as a scout-leader. (The phrase “elbow grease” means ‘physical effort’ in most western english-speaking societies).
Cartoon strip exploring the idea of “sustainable capitalism”. Is it possible? Many think that this term is an oxymoron. Could it work? Can we hope to transform our eco-cidal economy without changing the way big business operates?
Climate Denial by Privilege
This is the fifth cartoon in an ongoing series that explores different forms of people’s denial of climate change. The other four are shown further down on this page, and are on my old website homepage at shtig.net. I have a few more brewing. If you can think of a funny but poignant idea for a cartoon in this series, and want me to draw it, let me know. Clive Hamilton in Australia and Naomi Klein in Canada have written very powerfully on climate denial, and inspired these cartoons.
Cartoon explaining the extent of the ecological impacts of so-called “high-tech” gadgets. This reminds me of a great concept I heard the other day in the novel “Entropia”: you have heard of ‘Less Developed Countries” (LCDs). Well how about the “Over Developed Countries” who have developed a lifestyle that is beyond the carrying capacity of the planet. What a useful concept!
Energy Saving house
A fairly complex and accurate drawing to show many of the ways to improve the efficiency of energy-use in a house. The carton was done for the Energy Saving Coop who used it in leaflets, posters and banners.
Cartoon for the New Internationalist magazine 2012
A cartoon-infoposter and Xmas card from Durban 2011, summarising what happened at the COP17 Climate Conference.
Daddy, what did YOU do in the Climate Crisis?
Cartoon poster from autumn 2011 for a project of the Green Party (UK) called New Home Front. The image is a spoof of the famous British propaganda poster from the first world war (shown below on the left). It has been parodied by many designers over the years. In my version, humanity has somehow managed to survive run-away climate change. The background includes some clues on how we managed it: a pair of earthships are on the left, harnessing passive solar, with raised beds, a large wind turbine and solar PV. My favourite bit is the returning bike-trailer of the local “Landfill Mining Cooperative”. Given how wasteful modern society is, our descendants will spend a lot of time sifting through our trash. As Ralph Nader once said: “We need to learn how to be good ancestors”. In 2000 I painted a scary mural that was never completed (shown below on the right) which was a more pessimistic interpretation. It seems right to show it here, as I wouldn’t want anyone thinking I was some kind of unrealistic optimist. 😉
October 2011 – Cartoon / logo for my friend Joel who thought up this clever idea, a parody of the ‘Welfare State’, under attack in Britain from the ‘austerity’ movement. If you want to use this logo for your own protest / event / blog, we’d be delighted. There is room at the bottom for your own message or website address. Email us if you want a larger / print-quality version.
Welcome to Cancun
December 2010 – Cartoon for the Cancun COP16 UN meeting on climate change in Cancun, Mexico.
Bail-out and Cuts
Cartoon from 2010 that was devised by my friend Dan, a teacher in Bath, who is quite involved in anti-“austerity” activism. It’s been used in a number of places.
Cartoon based on an idea I heard in a speech from Michael Parenti.
Cartoon from 2010 that was brewing in my mind for many years. Finally I made the time to draw it and it has been used in many places.
Syn-Sugar Economy Monster
Cartoon for the ETC Group to explain the ‘new sugar economy’, in 2009.
Cartoon for the New Internationalist from 2009.
Lets look before we leap
A simple cartoon for the ETC Group in 2009 who were calling for Technology Assessment at the Copenhagen Climate conference. It’s a simple yet powerful idea that there should be open and transparent testing of ‘new technologies’ BEFORE they are rolled out commercially, and dumped into poor countries.
Cartoon from 2008 comparing ambulances from before, during and after the ‘oil bubble’, inspired by Richard Heinberg of the Post Carbon Institute. I do not really agree with the idea of petrol-powered vehicles, but I do think that fire-engines and ambulances are exceptions, for now.
Three cans of Corporate Capture
Cartoon from 2008 for a Corporate Watch investigation into the corporate take-over of our food systems – where huge multi-nationals buy up and corrupt “organic” foods, then “fair trade” and then even “local” foods.
Cartoon for InsightShare in 2007, who teach “participatory video” skills across the world. This cartoon tries to convey four ways that people can improve their home-made films: getting a speaker to move nearer; using a microphone to improve audio; opening the door to let more light in; and using a tripod to reduce camera-shake. This cartoon is a great example of how a good cartoon can transcend language boundaries. Below is another 2-tone cartoon for nsightShare, also used in their handbook:
Cartoon exploring different responses to climate change, from 2007.
Cartoon from 2006 for Corporate Watch (UK) playing with a more ‘spiky’ angle on dialogue with the ‘demigods’ of our era – Transnational Corporations. My pal Danny recently suggested that today’s energy corporations are probably the most powerful man-made entities in all history. And they are acting in ways that threaten life on earth just to maximaise profits – the vampire analogy seems quite fitting.
Cartoon for Seeds for Change from 2005, showing how a variety of diverse campaign tools an be combined in one campaign. The characters are from the popular ‘Magic Roundabout‘ TV show that many people may know from the 1970s and 1980s.
Cartoon from 2005 for some Oxford friends who are campaigning against the new Oxford University Animal-testing laboratory. Some folks believe that testing on animals is useful for developing new medicines. Others are very sure that animal testing is not helpful as some chemicals work differently in animals as compared to humans. Abusing and killing animals to help students learn about biology seems quite wrong to me. There is a lot of interesting information on the SPEAK website.
A 2004 cartoon for People & Planet who were bringing their student campaigning network out into Europe
A cartoon drawn for the cover of the very useful “Green Guide to Oxford” booklet published by Oxford GreenPrint, around 2003, and used in many other places.
Miffi tank knot
A cute little cartoon from around 2003 used in a number of places over the years..
A fun and silly cartoon I made around 1999 for People & Planet.
One of the first cartoons I ever drew that got published, back in 1998, for Rising Tide UK. This cartoon has been re-published in many places.
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A cartoon strip I drew back in 1988, at school. The words were crafted by my friend the talented Peter Kempsall. Its amusing and sad how the issues raised in this cartoon strip have only got worse in the 25 years since I drew this.