Hi. My name is @brianjohnspencr. I convert your big ideas and people into cartoons. This is my visual diary.


  • A courteous Bonaparte is politely welcoming to Paris the vulgar John Bull and his coarse bride Hibernia, representing England and Ireland, that are recently united by the Act of Union 1801. John Bull thanks his host by addressing him as Bonny Party. He also uses the word “gammon”, which has the double meaning of “nonsense, humbug,” and a cured or smoked ham; implying that for John Bull, this is not a simple courtesy visit. His wife (Ireland) interrupts him, telling him he needs to learn some manners.

    English cartoonists are beginning to represent John Bull as squire with top hat, Colorful jacket and culotte, a style of tight pants ending just below the knee, first popularized in France during the reign of Henry III. Bull’s conservative instinct is in contrast to the excesses of the Jacobins. Created in 1712 by John Arbuthnot, John Bull became widely known from cartoons by Sir John Tenniel published in the British humor magazine Punch during the middle and late 19th century. In those cartoons, he was portrayed as an honest, solid, farmer figure, often in a Union Jack waistcoat, and accompanied by a bulldog. He was explicitly used as the antithesis of the sans-culotte during the French Revolution.

    Here: http://guity-novin.blogspot.co.uk/2011/06/chapter-40-history-of-caricatures.html?m=1

  • [Annibale Carracci, Sheet of caricatures, c.1595, British Museum]

    By the end of the 17th century, Annibale Carracci had raised the status of the caricature up to a high art discipline. His exaggerated visual narratives were later followed by many caricaturists of the 18th century.

  • My cartoon on the passing of Ian Paisley, after Steve Bell and Gustave Dore.

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  • Andrew Jackson, 7th US President, doodle…

  • 4 time Pulitzer Prize winning editorial cartoonist Herb Block self-portrait.

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  • "If they’re too nice, too kind and too gentle then they don’t serve their purpose of getting people to think."
     John Green, political scientist (3m40 here)
  • Another self-portrait…

  • Cartoons of Northern Irish politicians by Gerald Scarfe for the @NewYorker (1994).

  • "I’m not interested in people who refuse to deviate from their own ideas: those people are artists, not commercial photographers or illustrators."