Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Biology cartoon: It's only natural

This is one of four cartoons I submitted for the "Science of Nature" (working title) exhibition which is part of the 2009 Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival. The festival takes place from April 23-26, though the exhibitions will open before that.

As 2009 is the bicentenary of the birth of Charles Darwin, and he was born in Shrewsbury, the festival has a Darwin-related theme. The organisers suggested that "Science of Nature" be interpreted widely though, presumably so they weren't inundated with too many "Ascent of Man" gags.

This is a cartoon that I was touting around some months ago. It has got a great reaction from everyone I've shown it to, but the magazine editors have not bitten. I suppose it is a bit of a weird one, it doesn't look like your usual magazine gag cartoon. Maybe they don't want people to turn the page and suddenly think they're reading a textbook on sexual reproduction.

Royston's portfolio website


  1. Royston, let me join the others who have seen this cartoon by saying I love it! Already becoming one of my favourites of yours actually. It looks like this is hand-coloured too - is that a new direction for you, or a one-off?

    Cartoons that don't 'look' like cartoons are always striking - the eds have missed a trick. Have you thought about the New Yorker? The caption might need a tinker though...

    Hope you're well,


  2. Thanks, Rob. Actually, all my cartoons are hand-coloured, but usually I use the hands to work Adobe Photoshop ;-) With the Shrewsbury cartoons I revisited my old watercolours, as I wanted to exhibit originals rather than signed colour prints.

  3. Yeah, I noticed the watercolour - looking good, funny gag too!

    Haven't got any cartoons in Shrewsbury this year - didn't get organised in time (despite having months to prepare of course)

  4. It's a great gag, Royston. Can't believe there were no takers.

  5. Delayed thanks, Alex! UPDATE: This sold at the Shrewsbury Festival. So it has the approval of Joe Public, if not the people that pick cartoons ;-)

  6. AnonymousMay 09, 2009

    Hi Royston. I loved the gag, seemed like a sensible enough stance on life. And I loved the fact it was a watercolour so I was the festival goer who bought it! Good luck with getting it published. Funnily enough, both of my kids think they've seen it before.
    All the best and thanks.

  7. Hi Eustace, thanks for dropping by, and extra thanks for buying the cartoon ;-)

    As for having seen the cartoon before, it's possible that the joke has been done by someone else, thinking up similar ideas is an occupational hazard for cartoonists. It did appear in The Jester, newsletter of the Cartoonists'Club, some time ago, but I suppose it's unlikely that they saw it there!



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