'Henson banned' cartoon by Peter Nicholson, the Australian, 2008


This is a cartoon by Peter Nicholson showing portraits of Miss Piggy, Kermit the Frog and Big Bird - puppet characters created by Jim Henson. An elderly couple are viewing the portraits, with one saying, 'They're right. Henson's work should be banned, but I'm glad we came to see it.'

Educational value

On 22 May 2008, the opening night of Bill Henson's exhibition at the Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery in Paddington, Sydney, was cancelled after complaints were made to police voicing concerns about an email invitation from the Gallery to a Private View' that depicted photographs of a nude 13-year old girl. A controversy ensued, with some arguing Henson's work to be art, whilst others called it child pornography.

Political cartoons have a long history in Australia, and remain one of the most popular forms of political commentary. Though caricatures and satirical illustrations appeared in some of Australia's earliest newspapers, it was not until the 1830s that they became a frequent and respectable feature of the print media. Publications such as the Melbourne Punch, the Sydney Punch, the Bulletin featured both caricatures and cartoons, and it was through these publications that political cartoons became a popular element of the Australian press.

Peter Nicholson is the editorial cartoonist for the Australian. He also produces political animations and was the creator of the popular Rubbery Figures television series.

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