August 7, 2014

Political cartoons

The past three weeks I was a part-time political cartoonist!
For the summer period I was asked to make 6 cartoons for newspaper Trouw.
They 'hired' me after this cartoon about the World Soccer Championships. (Orange is the Dutch
national colour). This was a test, so it wasn't published.

Then, a few days before I had to make my first official cartoon, the MH17 was shot down, killing
almost 200 Dutch people.
I was shocked about the comments online of people wanting revenge and war, and it inspired
me to this cartoon. But I was too early, the rest of Holland was still in shock and mourning, and
my idea (people thinking too lightly about war, and with a war we'd do the same to the innocent
people in Russia and the Ukraine as what happened to us) didn't come across well enough.
The newspaper turned it down (oops, great start...) and I quickly had to draw a new one.
This one was about the lack of houses for people who flew their countries and finally got to
stay in Holland legally. Sometimes there was no other place than tents.
The text says 'Greeting from Holland' and there's a 'Green card' on the washing line.
For my next cartoon I still wanted to draw something about the MH17 disaster. At the time
the government was unsure about what action to take against Russia, and our prime minister
Rutte (the R guy) tried to keep calm. This drawing was based on the saying 'the last drop makes
the cup run over', in the Dutch translation the cup is a bucket.

I wasn't completely happy with this cartoon, since it felt too 'standard' and cartoony, and caricatures
aren't my forte.
So for the next one I aimed for a more illustrative style.
The government was still contemplating (military) action,  but over time it went from sending
soldiers, to soldiers without weapons, without uniforms, etc.
This Dutch soldier is now only bringing some 'stroopwafels', the classic Dutch cookie we offer to
all our foreign friends.
The text says Dutch Military (crossed out) Mission.
Then the rain came pouring down in Holland and many streets were flooded. I combined it with
all the mourning and sadness of the past days.
The text says 'flooding' but in Dutch it's more like 'the burden of water'.

The style of this cartoon was the one I felt most happy about that far.

Now I wanted to focus on the 'conflict' between Israel and Palastine. This cartoon is about
how protesting against war, quickly turns into accusations of antisemitism.
The text says 'against war'.

But the newspaper had ran another cartoon with a swastika just a few days before (that resulted
in a lot of angry mail from readers) and that many swastikas was a bit too much for them. They suggested that
I added some other symbols as well, so this is how it was printed in the newspaper.
(no angry letter that I know of, was sent)

Then it was time for my last cartoon already!
This one is about the sanctions Russia has been putting on the import of flowers and vegetables,
but meanwhile their oil and gas is still flowing.

Actually I wanted that last cartoon to be about Obama's speech on torturing their prisoners.
This news was never mentioned in the newspaper though (....), so they couldn't use it (the readers
wouldn't understand). But I decided to draw it anyway and just post it online.
It's been a great three weeks!


  1. Woow, fantastic! And it's very clear that cartooning isn't 'a peace of cake', it's hard, hard work!

  2. It was a nice surpice to see your cartoons show up in my newspaper! Always nice to try something new. To be continued?