Drawing The News — James Whitworth — 8th August 2016.

James Whitworth is a news­pa­per car­toon­ist and a writer. He is a local lad and is the daily car­toon­ist for the Sheffield Star; the news car­toon­ist for the Jewish Chronicle; a con­trib­utor to Private Eye and occa­sional con­trib­utor to vari­ous pub­lic­a­tions around the world. He is also an asso­ci­ate lec­turer in journ­al­ism at Sheffield Hallam University. His talk was about his life as the son of the car­toon­ist Ralf Whitworth; as a journ­al­ist with the Sheffield Telegraph and then as a pro­fes­sional car­toon­ist. Cartoons were dis­played that raised laughter through­out his talk.

James is not a car­toon­ist deal­ing with super heroes or cari­ca­tures or Wallace and Grommet type stor­ies. He does pro­duce pocket car­toons usu­ally based on a funny punch­line. The ink of Fleet Street flows through his veins and he feels it’s his job to stand up and say “the Emperor has no clothes on”. 

His father star­ted draw­ing car­toons during WW2. After a spell at freel­ance work he walked into the Sheffield Morning Telegraph to ask for a job and stayed as their daily car­toon­ist for 40 years. His father worked from home and James was always sur­roun­ded by artist mater­i­als. He felt it was nat­ural to draw and to take an interest in the work of car­toon­ists like Tony Hart. During his early adult years his draw­ing was on a back burner. In his late 20’s he star­ted to draw again and found that he was not that good at it and the only way to improve was to draw a lot and then draw some more. 

After years of gradu­ally get­ting his sketches accep­ted by minor pub­lic­a­tions and then by HI Fi News and Weekly News, he had a car­toon pub­lished by Private Eye. This was a mile­stone in his career and he moved on to his present path that now includes lec­tur­ing and pub­lish­ing books. Important sources of inspir­a­tion come from Sheffield City Council’s decisions and to some extent the teach­ing pro­fes­sion. 

This man is a Sheffield treas­ure.