2020 cartoon showing right-wing politician Thierry Baudet calling out to the media to tell the public it's all the media's fault.

Tom Janssen is a Dutch political cartoonist for Trouw and several regional newspapers, active since 1976. He signs his work with simply "Tom", and is known for his sharp, but subtle and nuanced commentaries on national and international politics.

Early life and career
Janssen was born in Breda in 1950. He studied at the Rietveld Art Academy in Amsterdam, with the intention of becoming a cartoonist. One of his major influences is the Australian-American cartoonist Pat Oliphant. After graduation, the Catholic cartoonist was hired by Trouw, a newspaper aiming at a Dutch Reformed demography. His first political cartoon was published in 1976, and he has remained affiliated to the newspaper since. He generally makes two cartoons for the paper's opinion pages, and he also illustrates news and background articles.

Cartoon from December 2005 about the Iraqi elections.

Other publications
Besides Trouw, Janssen is also a regular contributor to several Dutch local and regional newspapers. Since 1983, his drawings have appeared in Brabants Dagblad, Utrechts Nieuwsblad, Dagblad van het Noorden, Leeuwarder Courant, Limburgs Dagblad and Noordhollands Dagblad. He also works for Cobouw, the independent newspaper of the Dutch construction industry, and for company magazines such as Nestor (UnieKBO), Diagonaal (VWS) and the Consumentenbond (the Dutch "Consumers' League). Internationally, his cartoons and syndicated through the agencies Cagle Cartoons, Cartoonists & Writers Syndicate and Le Courrier International to publications like The International Herald Tribune (nowadays The International New York Times), Time Magazine, Le Monde and The New York Times.

"Not one cent extra!" "Not one!"
Cartoon about the Dutch thriftiness with regard to the European Union (23 February 2018). Janssen stated in Noordhollands Dagblad of 23 November 2020 that he enjoys drawing Dutch Prime-Minister Mark Rutte, because of his lively appearance.

Throughout his career, Tom Janssen has caricaturized a great many national and international politicians. Most of his cartoons are single panels, but he sometimes uses the sequential comics format. Recurring themes are the relationships between citizens and governments, successful business people and average workers and different population groups. While his humor gives sharp commentary on the news, it is seldomly agressive, controversial or offensive. Janssen's style is nuanced, ironic and intended to disarm and spoof mankind's absurd behavior.

2005 cartoon about the genocide in Darfur.

Janssen was awarded the annual Inktspotprijs two times, in 2004 (with a cartoon about the genocide in Darfur) and 2008 (about the economic crisis). In 2006 his 'Roadmap to Paradise' cartoon won the third prize in the World Press Cartoon contest in the category "Editorial Cartoons 2005". That same cartoon, showing a terrorist with backpack checking the London subway network with final destination "Paradise", won him the 2006 BeNe Prize. He became second in World Press Cartoon 2009 for his drawing about New York skyscrapers turned into dominoes. In 2011 he was awarded the Markiezenhofpenning, a Dutch cartoonists'
oeuvre prize.

With a career of over 45 years, Tom Janssen's cartoon output is estimated at 15,000 drawings. In 2018, he donated his archives to the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision. The institute opened an overview exposition of the man's work in its The Hague division in September 2020.

Tom Janssen admiring his inspirator Pat Oliphant, published in Trouw on the occasion of the cartoonist's 70th anniverary on 4 December 2020.


Series and books by Tom Janssen in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:


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