Visual Culture: A Q+A with Cartoonist Clovis Brown

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August 30, 2012

LU: You have constantly portrayed Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller as a virago or common vulgar street side higgler, are you biased against her?

CB:No Iโ€™m not biased but first impression last very long.

Portia Selling To The Country

LU: Roger Clark as a cow eating up everything?

CB: Well he did tell the Jamaican people that he could eat a whole five acres of rice.

LU: What do you think of Vybz Kartel?

CB: He is a very interesting piece of low down artist who tries to gain attention in every little way. He will say and do anything to cause controversy, anything that goes against the norm.

Kartel All Bleached Out With Cakesoap At UWI

LU: Do the cartoons reflect your own views or are they meant to reflect the prevailing sensibilities of Jamaicans?

CB: It tends to reflect what some people are up against, because people will call to give me their opinions and ideas.

LU: So you talk to people on the street to get a feel for what is going on?

CB: No they usually contact me by e-mail and phone calls.

LU: Has your work ever gotten you in trouble?

CB: Yes, I have two cases before the court.

LU: What were some of your most controversial cartoons?

CB: The one with Portia talking about her constituency eating from a garbage bin.

LU: Your cartoons are very sharp and in a small place like Jamaica where people take things very personal and it can turn violent, have you ever covered any subject or person that made you fear for your safety?

CB: No I’m not fearful because I keep a private life, most people don’t really know me in person.

LU: Tell me about some the types of threats you have received and what was the cartoon?

CB: I received two threats when I was at the Gleaner Company and one at the Jamaica Observer but I can’t recall the cartoons.

LU: Have you ever done a cartoon that you later regretted doing?

CB: No.

LU: Have you ever felt you went too far?

CB:Yea, because sometimes I do knock them hard.

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