VAROOM 29 – The Politics issue
Illustration, Culture, Society Spring 2015
Varoom 29 highlights new directions in tackling the idea of politics, from the expanding platforms for American political cartoons in the 21st century, to politics and images presented together in the Graphic Design Festival in Breda and the challenges certain children’s books face when attempts are made to remove them from libraries – including And Tango Makes Two which is in America’s top ten of banned books of 2014.
One of the ideas driving this issue of Varoom is that ‘politics’ and illustration has multiple, alternative lines of thinking, subject matters and ways of expression. Issue 29 builds on this with a range of approaches, which includes the illustrators who were bucking against prevailing illustration trends in 1981 to forge a new direction, the experimental directions for three fashion illustrators and an animated fictional propaganda of North Korea’s guide to the USA.
Featured in this issue:
Lol: The Changing Formats of Humour
In a frank series of interviews, Jen Sorensen, Liza Donnelly, Mark Fiore, and Molly Crabapple tell Varoom about the changing forms and contents of the political cartoon in the 21st Century.
Illustrators, Designers and the Social Imagination
From The Drone Survival Guide to role-playing an immigration officer in a video game, Dennis Elbers talks about innovative ways of engaging the public with design and new directions in politics and the image.
Banning Children’s Books
You might be surprised at the extent to which children’s books are removed from US public libraries. We hear the reaction from illustrators and writers, including Tony Ross and Jeanne Willis, who didn’t even know Big Bad Bun had been challenged.
In 1981, a group of illustrators edited a special issue of the AOI’s magazine, calling it Radical Illustrators. Paul Burgess hears from the creators of a benchmark publication, including Anne Howeson, Ian Pollock, Garolyn Gowdy, Robert Mason and George Snow.
In the world of controlled fashion cool, Zoe Taylor explores playful and experimental visualisations through a series of interviews with Helen Bullock, Damien Florébert Cuypers and Florence Shaw.
Ann Field examines different uses of drawing by punk icon Raymond Pettibon and Guantanamo court artist Janet Hamlin, whose contrasting styles and commentaries illuminate 21st Century American politics.
Labour of Love
Several years ago, Andrew Foster and his wife had three consecutive miscarriages. Foster’s Labour of Love show is a visual account on the experience, as well as a “space to play with his three imaginary children.”
Shane Walter examines David O’Reilly’s Heaven’s Countryland, an animated fictional propaganda of North Korea’s guide to the US. A “bimbimbap, bonkers, batshit, crazy bowl of ridiculous fun.”
Disunited States of Satire
Paul Davis gives a personal reflection on Charlie Hebdo, crap political cartoons, political cartoons being ironic about political cartoons, poo, political satire, the Afghan graffiti artist putting Street Art controversies in perspective.
Also in Varoom 29, Paul Davis gives a personal reflection on Charlie Hebdo, crap political cartoons, political cartoons being ironic about political cartoons, poo, political satire, the Afghan graffiti artist putting Street Art controversies in perspective. Each issue, Marian Bantjes delivers a uniquely crafted double-page image, and for issue 29 Bantjes produces an illusive pattern in response to politics. Shane Walter examines David O’Reilly’s Heaven’s Countryland, an animated fictional propaganda of North Korea’s guide to the US: A “bimbimbap, bonkers, batshit, crazy bowl of ridiculous fun.”