David Shrigley & Tom Gauld

In contrast to the more traditional graphic novel, both Shrigley and Gauld tend to focus more on single illustrations or a short series of illustrations, therefore the the ‘book’ will contain many, individual narratives instead of a single long narrative. Both illustrators use humour and the bizarre as part of their work.


With this example we can see Shrigley’s ‘Anti-drawing’ style, a deliberate naivety and limited technique that is representative of Outsider Art. This is also an example of his dark humour, implying that joy will result in arrest, trial, prison and murder and therefore that anything fun is banned.

This series is an example of Shrigley’s comic strip pieces. Again his humour is shown in the juxtaposition of a character whose work life is out of context with his home life, but who is also out of context with the time he lives in. The contrast of bizarre and normality is really interesting. Another contrast is between Shrigley’s shaky freehand drawings and the precise ruled lines of the backgrounds.


Tom Gauld is probably best known for his regular cartoons in The Guardian newspaper and London Time Out magazine. He has also produced a number of books.

As you can see from this example, Gauld’s style is more neat and accomplished than Shrigley, however you can still see that similar sense of humour and use of the unreal and bizarre. Also like Shrigley, he produces a mixture of single images and series of images, plus comic strips.

What I like about this illustration is that the whole page is essentially one illustration, but the boxes break it up to provide movement and a passing of time, so instead of reading it as one image we read it as a series of 12 images. It again shows the humour of these kind of illustrators. It is simple but engaging.