Cartoon Travel and Tourism

By | Category: Travel rumblings

Last night the Political Cartoon Society held the voting and the presentation of the political cartoon of the year award. Try as I might, I can’t think of an angle which relates political cartooning to tourism. Despite the gaffe yesterday by James Naughtie on Radio 4’s Today programme and his spoonerism over the Culture Secretary’s name, Jeremy Hunt, (who is responsible for tourism) that was as close as I could get.
But then I thought some more. Cartoonists are there to ridicule the quirks and idiocies of life. We just don’t have many cartoonists who concentrate on tourism and travel. We have enough absurdities such as ATOL bonding that discriminates between one traveller and the next. We have a liquids ban on more than 100ml in a bottle but you can carry umpteen pens in your pocket that might have more than that amount of liquid in them. Knives are banned yet I could collect one from a restaurant once I had passed through security. Rarely do cartoonists cover the subject except in extreme cases. Last week Matt in The Daily Telegraph had a rail passenger being asked by the booking clerk whether he would be staying with them for just the one night. That said more about the transport difficulties that a lot of us faced last week than acres of newsprint. In 1933 Bert Thomas drew a cartoon of a crowded beach with a mother telling her child not to use all the sand but to leave some for the others. It said more about the popularity of the seaside holiday than almost anything other than a Donald McGill postcard could. And what of the one-upmanship of holiday takers who impress with tales of far distant lands when they’ve only been a few miles away? Willie Gall of the Glasgow Evening Times once drew a wife telling her husband, as they left their neighbours to go on holiday, to cover the Barbados labels with their real destination, Saltcoats. Steve Sack in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, had many a cartoon showing the dominance that North West Airlines had over the airport there. At one stage the plane seemed doomed as high energy costs and later terrorist efforts took the toll. Trog once drew a jumbo jet in a glass case (as stuffed fish or birds used to be) on one side and a dodo in another. Was it that close?
There is only one competition of which I’m aware, held in Turkey, for cartoons in tourism. Would they were more to highlight some of the strange things that happen in tourism and travel. (If you’re interested in the results last night, Martin Rowson of The Guardian won the Low Award and Dave Brown of The Independent won the Gillray Goblet for the Cartoonist of the Year

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