Steve Bell (cartoonist)

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Steve Bell
Steve Bell, 2016 Labour Party Conference 2.jpg
Bell working at the 2016 Labour Party Conference
Born (1951-02-26) 26 February 1951 (age 68)
Walthamstow, London, England
OccupationPolitical cartoonist, artist

Steven Bell (born 26 February 1951) is an English political cartoonist, whose work appears in The Guardian and other publications. He is known for his left-wing views.

Cartoonist visual artist who makes cartoons

A cartoonist is a visual artist who specializes in drawing cartoons. This work is often created for entertainment, political commentary, or advertising. Cartoonists may work in many formats, such as booklets, comic strips, comic books, editorial cartoons, graphic novels, manuals, gag cartoons, graphic design, illustrations, storyboards, posters, shirts, books, advertisements, greeting cards, magazines, newspapers, and video game packaging.

<i>The Guardian</i> British national daily newspaper

The Guardian is a British daily newspaper. It was founded in 1821 as The Manchester Guardian, and changed its name in 1959. Along with its sister papers The Observer and The Guardian Weekly, the Guardian is part of the Guardian Media Group, owned by the Scott Trust. The trust was created in 1936 to "secure the financial and editorial independence of the Guardian in perpetuity and to safeguard the journalistic freedom and liberal values of the Guardian free from commercial or political interference". The trust was converted into a limited company in 2008, with a constitution written so as to maintain for The Guardian the same protections as were built into the structure of the Scott Trust by its creators. Profits are reinvested in journalism rather than distributed to owners or shareholders.

Contents

Early life

Born in Walthamstow, London, and raised in Slough, Bell moved to North Yorkshire with his family in 1968, where he trained as an artist at the Teesside College of Art. He graduated in film-making and art from the University of Leeds in 1974 and trained as an art teacher at St Luke's College, Exeter (now St Luke's Campus at the University of Exeter) in 1975. He taught art for one year in Birmingham before becoming a freelance cartoonist in 1977. His comic strip Maggie's Farm appeared in the London listings magazine Time Out from 1979 and later in City Limits , and Lord God Almighty appeared in The Leveller in the 1970s. In 1980 he contributed a cartoon interpretation of the lyrics to Ivan Meets G.I. Joe to the inner lyric bag of the Clash's triple album Sandinista!

Walthamstow district of the London Borough of Waltham Forest in east London, England

Walthamstow is a major district in North East London and is part of the London Borough of Waltham Forest. It is located 7.5 miles (12.1 km) North East from Charing Cross. Historically in the county of Essex, it significantly increased in population as part of the suburban growth of London and was incorporated as the Municipal Borough of Walthamstow in 1929 before becoming part of Greater London in 1965. Walthamstow is situated between the North Circular Road to the north, the Lea Valley and Walthamstow Reservoirs to the west, and Epping Forest to the east.

London Capital of the United Kingdom

London is the capital and largest city of both England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.

Slough Town in Berkshire and Greater London, England

Slough is a large town in Berkshire, England, within the Greater London Urban Area, 20 miles (32 km) west of Charing Cross, central London and 17 miles (27 km) north-east of the county town of Reading. It is between the Thames Valley and London and at the intersection of the M4, M40 and M25 motorways.

Cartoonist

Steve Bell is probably best known for the daily strip called If... , which has appeared in The Guardian newspaper since 1981, and since the mid-1990s he has also been that newspaper's principal editorial cartoonist.

If... is an ongoing political comic strip which appears in the United Kingdom newspaper, The Guardian, written and drawn by Steve Bell since its creation in 1981.

Collections of his cartoons have been published, and he has also illustrated original books in collaboration with authors. He has made short animated films with Bob Godfrey, including a short series of animated cartoons for Channel 4 television in 1999 to mark the 20th anniversary of Margaret Thatcher's rise to power, entitled Margaret Thatcher – Where Am I Now? He has appeared in a radio programme about the life of 18th century caricaturist James Gillray. Earlier in his career he wrote and drew the Gremlins comic strip for the British comic Jackpot .

Roland Frederick Godfrey MBE, known as Bob Godfrey, was an English animator whose career spanned more than fifty years. He is probably best known for the children's cartoon series Roobarb (1974–75), Noah and Nelly in... SkylArk (1976-77) and Henry's Cat (1983–95) and for the Trio chocolate biscuit advertisements shown in the UK during the early 1980s. However, he also produced a BAFTA and Academy award-winning short film Great (1975), a tongue-in-cheek biography of Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Further Academy Awards nominations received were for Kama Sutra Rides Again (1971), Dream Doll (1980), with Zlatko Grgic, and Small Talk (1994).

Channel 4 British public-service television broadcaster

Channel 4 is a British public-service free-to-air television network that began transmission on 2 November 1982. Although largely commercially-self-funded, it is ultimately publicly-owned; originally a subsidiary of the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA), the station is now owned and operated by Channel Four Television Corporation, a public corporation of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, which was established in 1990 and came into operation in 1993. With the conversion of the Wenvoe transmitter group in Wales to digital terrestrial broadcasting on 31 March 2010, Channel 4 became a UK-wide TV channel for the first time.

James Gillray English caricaturist and printmaker

James Gillray was a British caricaturist and printmaker famous for his etched political and social satires, mainly published between 1792 and 1810. Many of his works are held at the National Portrait Gallery in London.

Bell's parodies include Goya's The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters (in an editorial cartoon about the UK Independence Party [1] ); William Hogarth's The Gate of Calais about the ban on UK meat exports following outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease and bovine BSE; and – before the 2005 General Election when it briefly seemed as if the Liberal Democrats might seriously threaten LabourJ. M. W. Turner's The Fighting Temeraire , in which a chirpy Charles Kennedy as tug-boat towed a grotesque and dilapidated Tony Blair to be broken up. [2] Following the death of Margaret Thatcher, for his cartoon the next day, 9 April 2013, Bell adapted an illustration by Gustave Doré of Farinata in Dante's Inferno , giving Thatcher the speech bubble "Why is this pit still open??" with reference to the closure of coal mines after the miners' strike of 1984–85. [3]

<i>The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters</i> aquatint by Francisco de Goya from the series Los Caprichos

The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters is an etching by the Spanish painter and printmaker Francisco Goya. Created between 1797 and 1799, it is the 43rd of 80 etchings making up the suite of satires Los Caprichos.

UK Independence Party British political party

The UK Independence Party is a hard Eurosceptic, right-wing political party in the United Kingdom. It currently has one representative in the House of Lords and three Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). It has three Assembly Members (AMs) in the National Assembly for Wales and one member in the London Assembly. The party reached its greatest level of success in the mid-2010s, when it gained two Members of Parliament and was the largest UK party in the European Parliament.

William Hogarth English painter, printmaker, pictorial satirist, social critic, and editorial cartoonist

William Hogarth FRSA was an English painter, printmaker, pictorial satirist, social critic, and editorial cartoonist. His work ranged from realistic portraiture to comic strip-like series of pictures called "modern moral subjects", perhaps best known being his moral series A Harlot's Progress, A Rake's Progress and Marriage A-la-Mode. Knowledge of his work is so pervasive that satirical political illustrations in this style are often referred to as "Hogarthian".

Bell's cartoons regularly feature grotesque caricatures, and have sometimes caused controversy as well as receiving critical acclaim. During the November 2012 Israel/Gaza conflict The Guardian published a cartoon by Bell showing the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, as a puppeteer controlling William Hague and Tony Blair. [4] Dave Rich, blogging for the Community Security Trust, said that the illustration was comparable to those featured in Nazi and other antisemitic publications. [5] While Bell defended his cartoon, [6] the newspaper's readers' editor Chris Elliott concluded in an article on 25 November: "While journalists and cartoonists should be free to express an opinion that Netanyahu is opportunistic and manipulative, in my view they should not use the language – including the visual language – of antisemitic stereotypes." [7] The UK's Press Complaints Commission PCC received 22 complaints, but ruled on 19 December that it was unable to take the matter further. [8]

Operation Pillar of Defense eight-day Israel Defense Forces operation in the Hamas-governed Gaza Strip

Operation Pillar of Defense was an eight-day Israel Defense Forces (IDF) operation in the Hamas-governed Gaza Strip, which began on 14 November 2012 with the killing of Ahmed Jabari, chief of the Gaza military wing of Hamas by an Israeli airstrike.

Benjamin Netanyahu Israeli prime minister

Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu is an Israeli politician serving as the 9th and current Prime Minister of Israel since 2009, previously holding the position from 1996 to 1999. Netanyahu is also currently a member of the Knesset and the Chairman of the Likud party. He is the first Israeli Prime Minister born in Israel after the establishment of the state.

William Hague British politician

William Jefferson Hague, Baron Hague of Richmond, is a British Conservative politician and life peer. He represented Richmond, Yorkshire, as its Member of Parliament (MP) from 1989 to 2015 and was the Leader of the Opposition from 1997 to 2001. He was Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs from 2010 to 2014 and was the Leader of the House of Commons from 2014 to 2015.

In the run-up to the United Kingdom general election, 2015, there was outrage on Twitter over an If... cartoon strip depicting Scottish National Party (SNP) leader Nicola Sturgeon as refusing to compromise on their "core demand" for "incest and Scottish folk dancing". Numerous tweets branded Bell as racist, while others said that it was no more outrageous than his cartoons mocking other politicians. [9] There were over 300 complaints made to The Guardian and nearly 1,000 comments under the online cartoon, mostly negative. The wording referred to a quotation attributed to Sir Arnold Bax, who said a Scottish friend had told him "You should make a point of trying every experience once, excepting incest and folk dancing". [10] During the Scottish independence referendum, 2014, Bell's cartoon strip depicted Sturgeon's "Yes" campaigning as promising "No Noness ... and Yes Yesness; Nationalism, Socialism: together they go so well!!" [11]

Awards, books and exhibitions

See also

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References

  1. "09.06.04: Robert Kilroy-Silk and the UKIP - Cartoons - guardian.co.uk". www.theguardian.com.
  2. "26.04.05: Tony Blair and Iraq - Cartoons - guardian.co.uk". www.theguardian.com.
  3. Bell, Steve. "Steve Bell on Margaret Thatcher's death – cartoon" via www.theguardian.com.
  4. "Steve Bell on Tony Blair and William Hague's role in Israel-Gaza clash – cartoon", The Guardian (website), 15 November 2012
  5. Dave Rich "Jews, puppets and the Guardian" Archived 29 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine , Community Security Trust *(blog), 16 November 2012,
  6. Jennifer Lipman "Steve Bell defends Guardian cartoon", The Jewish Chronicle, 22 November 2012
  7. Chris Elliott "Open door: The readers' editor on… accusations of antisemitism against a political cartoon", The Guardian, 25 November 2012
  8. Jennifer Lipman "PCC rules no breach over Steve Bell Gaza cartoon", The Jewish Chronicle, 19 December 2012
  9. Jack Sommers "SNP Guardian Cartoon By Steve Bell Branded 'Racist' In Social Media Outrage", The Huffington Post, 11 March 2015
  10. Elliott, Chris (15 Mar 2015). "I may not always agree with Steve Bell, but I defend his right to draw". the Guardian. Retrieved 30 Sep 2016.
  11. Bell, Steve (13 November 2014). "Steve Bell's If ... on Nicola Sturgeon's new Scotland". the Guardian. Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  12. Press Gazette , Roll of Honour Archived 16 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine , accessed 24 July 2011
  13. The Independent , 19 February 1994, Reporter nurtures a scoop
  14. 1 2 Steve Bell, Biography