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Joseph Nowak's unobvious and slightly “blackish” caricatures.

Joseph Nowak's unobvious and slightly “blackish” caricatures.

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For any self-respecting cartoonist, the main thing in artwork, in addition to, of course, a sense of humor, is the ability to tell a funny story in one or more drawings, to look at our lives from the perspective of the absurd, because it is the absurd that most often causes laughter. And then you can no longer hit directly in the forehead, creating pictures “for single-cell”, and at the same time get rid of below-the-belt jokes, which although in demand on the web, but for serious newspapers, magazines and websites that are willing to pay good money for quality cartoons, are unacceptable.

All roads lead to Rome

One of these serious authors, who has been drawing caricatures professionally for 12 years, is Joseph Novak. They are absurd in a good way, make you think a little and use imaginative thinking, sometimes a little “black”, but this is just the case when black humor does not repel, but rather allows you to make full use of the comic effect.


Nowak is originally from Canada, but has now settled in Berlin, where he lives and works, creating his “one-page comics”, as caricatures are called in the West, to the delight of his audience.

An evil octopus and a really evil octopus

They are not too obvious, sometimes they require from the viewer some cultural savvy, the ability to understand at least the basics of painting, as in the picture “Magritte's Apple”. But, on the other hand, laughing at them is of a higher order than snorting at simple “Petrosian's” jokes. A fool won't understand - this phrase can be applied to some of Nowak's caricatures.

Magritte's apple

According to his creative method one should take a funny situation, bring it to absurdity, add a touch of black humor, but without any unnecessary cruel details, but as a probability of the development of events, involving the imagination of the viewer.

A married couple

Nowak is a young man, so he is at ease with modern technologies and computers. In his opinion, they allow him to avoid the need to draw dozens of sketches in an attempt to find the most correct solution, “not to smear the paper unnecessarily”. He draws a basic picture with a pencil, then scans it and can already change it in a graphic editor, remove something or, on the contrary, add something, and at the same time color it.


“But I didn't even expect to become a cartoonist in my youth, I didn't think I was witty enough for that. It wasn't until I was in permanent artwork that I started to make up funny stories out of boredom and sketch them in my notebook to brighten up my workday. Gradually everything began to work out, and one day I thought that I could not sit in a dull office for 8-10 hours, but make up all kinds of jokes at home. I've been doing it ever since.

What a beautiful landscape!

“The main thing in my artwork is funny ideas, they are often like insights, then, if I have the opportunity, I drop everything and start drawing. However, in the end less than half of them become caricatures: sometimes an idea that is so well built up in my head, on a piece of paper seems playful and silly. Sometimes a new, even more interesting idea that has nothing to do with the original one emerges during the artwork.

Uninhabited Island

In general, the fate of a cartoonist is a constant creative search, which is often stressful: you want to think about something else, sometimes just relax, but you can't always do that. At first I was afraid that I would run out of ideas and be out of artwork, but I've been drawing for 12 years and my brain still generates them, so I think it's for life, you can always find something funny, the more so because nothing stands still.

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