Local cartoonist looks on the funny side of 2017

Cartoonist James Mellor has been poking fun at some of the most newsworthy events of the year in his latest book, ‘Drawn from 2017’.

The cartoon collect brings together James’s work over the past twelve months, skewering everything from the Trump administration to volatile Brexit negotiations, the BBC’s gender paygap to rising tensions with North Korea.

Alongside politics, the book also targets everything from business to film, TV to internet culture – with ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ both featuring.

“If there’s just one thing people can agree on after particularly divisive year, it’s that 2017 has been very eventful,” says James. “I’m often asked if the ridiculousness of 2017 has made it easier for me to come up with cartoons but it actually makes it harder.

“The characters moving about on the world stage right now, and the headlines we read every day, are so outrageous that they almost don’t need me to make them funny. In fact, some of my work this year has actually been about pulling back from the absurd and using dark humour to make light of serious situations.”

For those who enjoyed James’s previous book, ‘Drawn from History’, there is also a chapter dedicated to historic events which were either celebrated or commemorated during 2017 – including the anniversary of the Battle of the Passchendaele.

“The thinking behind the shift from history to current affairs is simple really,” James continues. “More and more, it feels as though we are living through history on a micro-level – and one day, the events we’re experiencing will be in someone else’s history book. This is a great opportunity to step back and take a look back at everything that’s happened in 12 months – you can laugh and you can think about it and, in some ways, I hope it can be cathartic for people.”

The book comes as James’s cartooning career has blossomed. Recently, his work was exhibited at All Hallows by the Tower of London, showcasing the rich and storied history of the Guild of Entrepreneurs.

‘Drawn From 2017: The Year in Cartoons’ (RRP £9.99) is available now from www.jamesmellorcreative.com and all major book retailers.