I ran an article a while back showing how the general populace and the media perceived the Loch Ness Monster through drawings and satire. I came across some more cartoons recently and have put them on here for comment and display.
Going back to the earliest days of the Nessie phenomenon, the Daily Express published this cartoon on the 14th December 1933, shortly after the first picture of the monster, taken by Hugh Gray, came to the world's attention. Click on the cartoon for a better image. The text of each cartoon is shown under it.
Diver to Nessie, "I can not help you to go, but good advice: stay at the bottom and have fun!"
Whether the artist referred to the Hugh Gray photo to draw his Nessie is arguable, but they do bear some resemblance to each other. The scene of various sceptics and party poopers trying to solve the mystery and consign it to history seems to meet with short shrift by the cartoonist. Whether there was anything in the loch or not, the newspapers wanted the story to run and stuff the naysayers!
The next cartoon is from The Daily Herald, some time in 1933. This is probably the least Nessie-like Nessie I have come across and one wonders where on earth the template for this monster came from. The backdrop to this cartoon was the discussion in Parliament as to what to do with this strange new phenomenon in a remote Scottish loch.
LOCAL RESIDENT: "Ye poor feckless beastie - get oot o' sicht while ye're safe! D'ye no ken the Hoose o' Commons, Nineteen-thirty-three, has its eye on ye!"
From the Daily Mirror, 5th May 1971. The sign on the left says "Loch Ness Monster, £1,000,000 Reward". In 1971, whisky makers, Cutty Sark, offered an award of one million pounds to anyone who could capture the Loch Ness Monster. However, they began to get cold feet, and so asked Lloyds of London to underwrite the contest. The insurance company initially refused, saying the risk was too great. After being called chickens by the press, Lloyds agreed, on the condition that they got to keep Nessie!
"After all, what's a million quid these days."
The Daily Mail published the next cartoon on 3rd April 1972. It came after the police were unwittingly involved in the interception at the Forth Road Bridge of an alleged dead Nessie being taken out of Scotland. To the police's embarrassment, it turned out to be a dead elephant seal and an April Fool's Joke.
"Ignore it, Hamish McPherson - I'm damned if we'll be taken in again!"
From the Daily Sketch of 11th September 1970. A piece of newspaper lies beside Nessie with the headline, "Sex Potions in Loch to lure Nessie". This was a gift to cartoonists as the Loch Ness Investigation Bureau began to use the ground up reproductive organs of various animals such as eels as bait introduced into the loch. It didn't work.
"Ah warned ye if ye went swimmin' ye'd get covered wi' the stuff!"
On the 11th September 1973, The Sun parodied the arrival a few days earlier of a Japanese expedition to find Nessie. Despite having a miniature submarine at their disposal, the search was an unqualified failure as they headed back two months later having found some non-descript bones and recorded a strange noise.
"Ah so. Honourable Nessie - unable to resist traditional Japanese bait!"
And to finally bring us up to date, here's one of the many cartoons depicting Nessie's view on the recent Scottish Referendum on independence (Daily Mail, 10th September 2014). More cartoons to follow in a future post.
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