Monday, January 07, 2008


This may have appeared before, in an amended form, but I can't find it in my archives.

An open letter to the editors of every magazine and newspaper in the English language, but most especially Boris Johnson* and Ian Hislop.

Dear Sirs,

Could I ask: why the sodding hell do people continue to hire the cartoonist Heath? Yes, Boris, I'm looking at you particularly. Heath cannot draw (although neither can Fantoni). Heath is not funny (although the traditional "cartoon" was never meant to be laugh-out-loud amusing anyway, merely a sketch). But most heinously, he is not perceptive. He says nothing of either interest or originality. Please stop hiring him, as he is starting to seriously annoy me.

Sorry, what I meant is that, over the last decade (at least), I have found his work to be full of nothing but prosaic banality and lack of talent; he has thus worked me into a rage over a period of many years. Please stop: you demean your rags by printing his rubbish.

Yours faithfully,


P.S. Cartoons about witches or similar Hallowe'en archetypes being held under the Anti-Terror laws are not funny; additionally—and extraordinarily, considering the weak joke involved—they have been overused and are looking somewhat tired. If your magazine is published weekly or bi-weekly, rather than every day, please stop buying these cartoons. They have already been done in every newspaper under the sun.

* Boris was editor of The Spectator at the time. This letter applies just as much to Fat Matt d'Ancona although, because he's transformed it into a tedious load of old crap, I no longer take The Speccie.


Bretwalda Edwin-Higham said...

Astute observation, DK.

verity said...

D'Ancona hasn't just turned it into a pile of rubbish, but he has commissioned a website designer to make it impenetrable. It is impossible to move around this site online.

Plus it no longer has a personality.

The blogs are OK, though. Maybe he should just ditch the rest of the content and keep it as a group blog.

Little Black Sambo said...

Years ago, the cartoons were actually one of the reasons for buying the Spectator. Heath is only one of a heap of talentless cartoonists.
Where are there any good cartoons now, apart from the New Yorker?

Tim Almond said...

I was doing a GIS and found an old post from late 2005 about Heath:-

Is his stuff as bad as Steve Bell's?

JuliaM said...

The cartoonists at 'Cox and Forkhum' were always very good.

Umbongo said...

Matt in the D Telegraph is always good value

TDK said...

I think you'll find that Michael Heath is (or was) the cartoon editor at the Spectator. That means he decides what cartoons go in. Strangely he thinks himself good enough.

Just for comparison here are the entries to the BBC cartoon competition for an illustration of the Today show, which includes an entry by Michael Heath. I couldn't start laughing.