Telegraph cartoonist Bob Moran’s angry tirades seriously alarmed his peers
When The daily telegraphEight-year-old political cartoonist Bob Moran delighted his friends but angered his teacher by caricaturing a classmate “remarkably overweight” struggling “to lift his weight” on the running track on sports day .
Although he has since expressed regret for that cruel first comic book, which made his young subject cry, recently Moran has been less than sympathetic to Dr Rachel Clarke, a hospice doctor and author he met in line.
“She deserves to be verbally assaulted in public for the rest of her worthless existence,” the cartoonist said.
Dr Clarke, who previously tweeted about verbal attacks she received for wearing a mask on public transport, spoke to lawyers and police after Moran continued his tirade, accusing her of supporting “disgusting ideologies” and worse.
His tweet was deleted by Twitter for violating its policies and the Telegraph has suspended his cartoonist while the matter is investigated by his HR team.
In the small world of professional comics, Moran’s behavior has been the cause of ink spills and the snapping of fallen pens.
“Why would you want to do this?” asks Tim Benson, owner of the Political Cartoon Gallery in London. “He got this job he worked for all his life and now he’s destroying it. “
As Benson points out, there are barely a handful of political cartoon jobs left in the British media.
Moran occupies a privileged platform alongside Steve Bell and Martin Rowson at The Guardian, Peter Brookes and Morten Morland at The temperature, Ben Jennings at I and Dave Brown at The independent.
But as these artists remain at their easels, focused on their acerbic portrayal of the Westminster Theater, Moran has found another role as an anti-vaxx activist.
Time and again he has allowed anger and venom – which most political cartoonists channel only through their drawings – to bring a tinge of violence to his social media posts.
“If the mask warrant goes away, I’ll see whoever is still wearing one the same way I would see someone wearing a t-shirt with ‘I think child abuse is okay,'” he said. tweeted in July.
He bragged about having “never” followed a Covid rule and described those who defend it as “the enemy”.
This ideological stance has helped draw a large number of acolytes to Moran’s Twitter account, where he has 41,000 followers, more than any other British political cartoonist.
He uses this base for the private sale of his cartoons, with his Covid-themed pieces attracting prices far above those charged by more famous peers.
A painting by Moran showing Boris Johnson driving a ‘Save Lives’ bulldozer through a scene of traditional British life is for sale on his website for £ 8,000. It was commissioned for an event by the Reclaim Party, which opposes blockades and is led by Laurence Fox, an admirer of Moran.
The Telegraph has published many, but not all, of Moran’s articles on Covid.
A drawing of a child dragged away from his grandmother by a masked policeman, which the newspaper published last year, won the 2020 Political Cartoon Awards, as Moran’s army of followers voted as the Covid Cartoon of the Year.
“People who have spent months relentlessly trying to crush these values will ultimately fail,” he said in his acceptance speech. “Because love and human decency will always win in the end.”
He suffered immense personal pain. He wrote in the Telegraph in 2018 on hospital failures related to the birth of his eldest child, suffering from cerebral palsy.
Benson has had arguments with Moran online and says he is “unrecognizable” to the “lucid, gentle-mannered” young cartoonist he once knew.
When Morland from Times berated Moran last May for using “mean” language in accusing a woman of approving the murder of children, Telegraph the artist told him, “Thank you for your condescending advice. “
While some cartoonists view Moran’s situation with sympathy, others are horrified by what they see as Trump’s urge to gain social media attention.
Clive Goddard, president of the Professional Cartoonists’ Organization, says the cartoon is touched by the backlash against Moran for being a cartoonist who claims to be a health expert. “We are all tainted with the brush of being ‘scribblers and fools’ – it is detrimental to the profession as a whole.”
All of this is deeply uncomfortable for the Telegraph, who could have acted earlier.
He has a great cartoon tradition that includes Nicholas Garland and Matt (Pritchett), whose brilliant gags in the “pocket” of the front page make him the newspaper’s biggest star.
After making his young classmate cry, Moran claimed to have learned the cartoon’s “simple rule”: “Only knock upwards.”
It’s a lesson he seems to have forgotten.