Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Boris Johnson as seen by Chris Riddell

From The Guardian.

He’s been a punk, a toddler, a narcissistic sociopath… Chris Riddell revisits his most memorable sketch of the outgoing PM, and reveals what lies in store for his successor.
I was particularly pleased with this image of Boris, because it is slightly unusual. 
Around the time of the jubilee, I was thinking back to ’77, the Sex Pistols and God Save the Queen. And it just seemed like a sort of marriage made in hell or heaven, depending on how you see it, to combine Johnny Rotten’s anti-establishment ethos with the current disgraceful incumbent of No 10. 
As a cartoonist, one is continually looking for metaphors, and this somehow worked as an embodiment of his curious position, his punkish attitude towards the establishment.

Unlike some of the other politicians I have drawn, Johnson doesn’t really have an ideology; he has a cult of personality.
He is a man of costumes, whether he’s on the end of a guy rope, or dressing up as if he’s about to drive a forklift truck. So it has felt natural to dress him up in costume, and the costume of a punk rather suited him.

I’ve tremendously enjoyed drawing Boris. I have the ambivalence of many cartoonists, in that I enjoy the more colourful and egregious politicians, and when they go, I feel a pang.
It’s often towards the end that you really feel you have captured them. Now I’ll have to do my homework on Rishi’s tiny suits and Liz Truss’s enormous forehead. 
I met David Cameron once, after he had left office, and it was so surreal: I couldn’t help looking at him as if I’d just drawn him. I dare say, if I ever meet Johnson, I’ll have a very similar feeling.

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