NEW: More change at The Guardian. Steve Bell (@BellBelltoons), cartoonist since 1981 and recently accused of racism over his caricature of Priti Patel as a bull, is leaving. Contract won't be renewed next year. Decision unrelated to wider job cuts. The Guardian has no comment.— Chris Williams (@cg_williams) July 17, 2020
Saturday, 18 July 2020
The Bell Tolls
We need to talk about Steve Bell. It seems he’s out of favour with the Graun. Maybe that newspaper is belatedly trying to shed its antisemitic image alongside the Labour Party. However - if you remember CifWatch you’ll agree that’s a bit of a non-starter.
Anyway, the cartoon that broke the camel’s back wasn’t one of his most offensive. Personally, I found the ‘strip-cartoon’ format slightly reminiscent of early Mad Magazine or similarly subversive under the counter strip-cartoony publications. They used to take a theme and ridicule it and stretch it to breaking point in a cultish but oddly appealing way. However, most of Bell’s one-off efforts for the Guardian were neither amusing nor wittily drawn, but malicious, often antisemitic, repetitive and predictable. “Good riddance” seemed to be quite a popular reaction.