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Cartoonist with bite, Dinah Priestley

Murdoch: The Cartoons of Sharon Murdoch
Sharon Murdoch (with commentary by Melinda Johnston)
Potton and Burton, $40.00,
ISBN 9780947503239

Anne Tolley crouches watchfully inside a beneficiary’s uterus, high heels digging into the soft pink flesh, her two fists blocking the fallopian tubes. The cartoon is startling, funny and elegant. Labelled “Reproductive Politics”, it illustrates the Health Minister’s remark that she wanted to find ways to stop “at risk” beneficiaries having more children. I used to believe that most of us women do not have the bite to be successful editorial cartoonists. But I was wrong. The editorial cartoons of Sharon Murdoch have plenty of bite and anger, which she manages to combine with elegance and subtlety. In seven years, Murdoch has gone from being the cartoonist of her popular crossword cat Munro to being represented as editorial cartoonist in major New Zealand papers, notably the Press, Dominion Post, Waikato Times and Sunday Star Times.

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Posted in Media, Non-fiction, Review, Sociology

Pretence and defence, Melinda Johnston

Bromhead: Scratching a Living Peter Bromhead Penguin Books, $38.00, ISBN 9780143574200 In the Cartoon Archive at the Alexander Turnbull Library there is a marvellous ink caricature captioned “The loveable fun-loving Monsieur Bromhead”. Drawn in 2001 by caricaturist Dinah Priestley (a

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Posted in Memoir, Non-fiction, Review

A quality of incision, Megan Dunn

Lateral Inversions: The Prints of Barry Cleavin  Melinda Johnston Canterbury University Press, $55.00, ISBN 9781927145470 Lateral Inversions: The Prints of Barry Cleavin contains over 120 colour plates and is a beautifully produced book that affords serious consideration to Barry Cleavin’s

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Posted in Art, Non-fiction, Review
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