Political Cartooning – Art and Intervention, and Aussie Slang

 © Pope/The Canberra Times

© Pope/The Canberra Times

David Pope, an editorial cartoonist at The Canberra Times, the daily paper in the Australian capital, does some of the most beautiful editorial cartoons around, and some of the most acute. [Personal disclosure: I know him personally, and he’s a beautiful and acute guy, as well, with a beautiful and acute family.]

© Pope/The Canberra Times

© Pope/The Canberra Times

You can find more editorial cartoons like the ones above at his website, Scratch Media, as well as samples of his other work.

David also provided illustrations for three books published by the National Museum of Australia in conjunction with its exhibit on Australian English. Aussie English for Beginners (Books One, Two and Three) explore the origins and meanings of some unique Australian words and phrases, with definitions provided by the Australian National Dictionary Centre. The National Dictionary people should get David to illustrate as many words as possible, since David’s work in this series is so wonderful, and does such a great job of capturing and conveying, humorously, the meaning of the words.

Tragically, all three books of Aussie English are out of print, though reprintings are being considered. (For years, these were my gift of choice for non-Australian friends; I must have given away almost two dozen copies.) Some copies can still be found through various sources (eg, here).

You can also see many of the definitions and illustrations from Aussie English on the National Museum of Australia website. There’s an adult version in the section for the exhibit on “Symbols of Australia” – but the Kids section of the website has a much more fun – and more complete – selection [here].

One last example of David’s editorial cartooning – this one an oldie but a goodie, not up to his current artistic levels, but displaying the same wit and acuity, and given the trends in global warming more relevant today than it was when he first did it:

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