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Trophy Toon a World Winner

Rod Emmerson goes global


Trophies cartoon. France wins the World Cup in Moscow, Djokovic wins Wimbledon, and Putin wins over Trump in Helsinki. Image / Rod Emmerson

A Kiwi cartoonist has put the success of one of his recent drawings, which went viral and even appeared on French television, down to "an aligning of the planets".

Rod Emmerson, editorial cartoonist for the Herald, found his work thrust into the limelight around the world this week after a cheeky play on three major global events - the Football World Cup, Wimbledon and the meeting between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin.

Since the cartoon was posted on Twitter on Tuesday morning, and featured in the day's NZ Herald, it had been viewed on Twitter 352,000 times liked nearly 4000 times and shared nearly 2000 times. In comparison, his other popular cartoons were viewed by an average of 20,000 people.

"For me it was a bit of an aligning of the planets because you had three really big events within 24-48 hours of each other – that being the World Cup Final, the men's final at Wimbledon, and then the forthcoming summit with Putin and Trump," Emmerson said.

"With all those factors in mind, I wanted to try and pull them all together but I couldn't find something in common.

"I started researching photographs and that wasn't hard because when you look at photographs of Wimbledon finals and World Cup finals, everyone is holding up trophies - so it was a shoo-in."

The finished cartoon highlights three caricatures of; a French footballer holding the World Cup, Novak Djokovic lifting the Wimbledon trophy after winning the men's singles, and Russian President Vladimir Putin lifting US President Donald Trump in a nod to their rivalry during the Helsinki summit.

It also featured on French television during a profile on the France 24 news channel.

Emmerson said he got the "shock of his life" seeing his cartoon on French TV.

"It was a bit of a laugh. There were four cartoons profiled; one American, one from the Netherlands, one from France, and myself.

"I was a bit chuffed to have my stuff thrown in with that mix," he said.

"You never know whether it is going to work or not. Some days they fire and some days they don't. This was just one of those days where it did take off and it is still going."

Emmerson thought the success of the cartoon came down to timing and appealability.

"I think it was all about timing, plus anything on the World Cup final, anything on a Wimbledon final and anything on the Russian summit is going to attract attention.

Rod Emmerson - NZME cartoonist. Photo / Doug Sherring
Rod Emmerson - NZME cartoonist. Photo / Doug Sherring

"So when you can put a needle and thread through those three elements and put them all together, you are getting three areas of passionate followers and the chances of it being fairly popular are good," he said.

Part of article by Meghan Lawrence NZ Herald 18.7.18