Digital Cartoons and Sharon Murdoch

Valerie Love, ATL Research Librarian, Digital Materials, is a specialist in archiving digital cartoons.

“When people think of research libraries and collecting archives, it’s often books and older papers that they think of. And indeed we do have a lot of historic printed materials in the collections. But we also have significant contemporary collections, such as the born-digital cartoons that we receive from political cartoonists around the country, literally on a daily basis. It’s always fascinating to see the different perspectives on New Zealand politics, social issues, and international events through the unique lens that political cartoonists offer.

“Sharon Murdoch, as the only female editorial cartoonist ever published in mainstream New Zealand newspapers, has an especially important perspective to share. In 2016, Murdoch won the Canon Media Cartoonist of the Year award, the first woman to do so. Murdoch’s cartoons are bold and incisive – wry and witty at times, and heart-breaking at others.

“Murdoch donates her cartoons to the Library’s Cartoon Archive on a regular basis. This past year her cartoons covered topics as varied as the flag referendum, the plight of Syrian refugees, the dairy industry in New Zealand, superannuation, reproductive rights, mental health services, detention at Nauru, child poverty, and the environment. And in 2016, Murdoch definitely didn’t shy away from satire and representations of New Zealand politicians, as well as depictions of United States president-elect, Donald Trump.”

Valerie Love
Valerie Love