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I'll Have the Last Laugh Yet! Karl Marx 1818-2018 in Cartoons

2017; Paperback; ISBN 978-0-9558228-9-6

Marx has the last laugh

 

Cartoonist Martin Rowson said of the book: "I got my first big break doing gags about Karl Marx. The point, however, is that so did he. Any idiot who thinks of Marx as a dour, 'humourless leftie' has never read him and probably never met a proper leftie either. This splendid book should put them right on both counts."

 

2018, May 5 marks the bicentenary of the birth of Karl Marx and to celebrate one of the most important dates in world history The Ken Sprague Fund has organised an international cartoon and caricature competition, the winners of which have just been announced.

The Tony Farsky International Marx Bicentenary Cartoon and Caricature Competition drew hundreds of entries from artists from all over the world.

They were tasked with submitting work commemorating Marx and his significance and the jury awarded a joint first prize to Stefan Siegert of Germany for his caricature of a laughing Marx and Ukrainian Konstantin Kazanchev for his cartoon of Marx confronting a young skateboarder with a Che Guevara T-shirt. Second prize went to Raed Khalil from Syria for his black-and-white drawing of Marx's head with a flock of birds breaking into flight from it. Third prize went to Ehsan Ganji from Iran for his cartoon of a factory worker on an assembly line manufacturing truncheons for a police that then uses them to attack him when protesting.

The work of a number of entrants was highly commended and, along with the winners, their efforts are being published in the book I'll Have the Last Laugh Yet! Karl Marx 1818-2018 in Cartoons,, with brief quotations from Marx's works interspersed with the images.

The few surviving photos of Marx depict a deadly serious and unsmiling Teutonic-looking intellectual. But in real life Marx was a humorous individual with a sharp and satirical wit. His letters to his friend and collaborator Friedrich Engels reveal a very different person to the one in the photos.

He surely would have been tickled — and maybe honoured — to see himself caricatured, lampooned and eternalised in such humorous ways as the images in the book show.

Cartoonist Martin Rowson said of the book: "I got my first big break doing gags about Karl Marx. The point, however, is that so did he. Any idiot who thinks of Marx as a dour, 'humourless leftie' has never read him and probably never met a proper leftie either. This splendid book should put them right on both counts."

What these cartoons and caricatures reveal is a wide range of political interpretations &emdash; some portray Marx himself, others indict capitalism and yet others vilify the whole Marxian outlook or ridicule its impact. Some are sharply funny, some deadly serious and yet others acerbic.

The book is available online from bookshops: £8.99 plus p&p.

1 copy, including P&P