Dr Jack & Curtis writes:


This cartoon has an interesting background to it: In 1831, Charles Philipon, a French caricaturist, drew King Louis Philippe evolving into a giant pear [see pic beneath cartoon].

The King took exception, and threatened to charge the cartoonist for exceeding the press freedoms the King himself had introduced (ironically). 

This only lead to more ridicule from the cartoonist and other artists. Sound familiar so far? Images of pears were scrawled on walls all over France in defiance of the monarch. But unlike President Zuma’s case against Zapiro, the King had his day in court, and despite Philipon demonstrating in court how the King actually did look like a pear, he was thrown into jail for a few months to contemplate his crimes, and drawings of pears were banned throughout France!

In protest, Philipon's newspaper published the court’s findings in a cheeky front page editorial where the words were typeset to fit into the shape of a giant pear! Cartoon folklore has it that since then, cartoonists were emboldened to take a stand against authority figures, and the art of ridicule by caricature was regarded more seriously than ever before.   

Of course, our ‘Impeared Zuma’ cartoon works without anyone needing to know this piece of cartooning history, but we have acknowledged the French cartoonist for the benefit of those who might know about him (or would care to Google him) and Chip, The Cape Argus cartoonist whose ‘Impeach Zuma’ cartoon yesterday got us thinking about the many similarities between Zuma and King Louis Philippe… and we're not only talking about their pear-shaped personas! 
- John Curtis. 

Dr Jack & Curtis

Dr Jack & Curtis

DR JACK & CURTIS is a partnership between two cartoonists - "DR" JACK SWANEPOEL and JOHN CURTIS - who have pooled their talents so that each can specialise in his…>

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© Dr Jack & Curtis | Mar 26, 2014 | Eyewitness News

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Below: The 1831 cartoon of French King Louis-Phillippe (by Charles Philipon) which inspired the Dr Jack & Curtis version above. Read more about it in the cartoonists' Sidelines column, next to their cartoon.

Le Poire by Charles Philipon