Edited by John Curtis and Andy Mason

Just for Kicks! Book CoverFollowing hard on the heels of last year’s inaugural ‘YEAR IN CARTOONS’, this second anthology of South Africa’s best political cartoons, punctuated by a lively Soccer World Cup section, is equally hilarious.

“JUST FOR KICKS!” narrates the story of South Africa’s epic World Cup year. Corruption scandals, counterfeit currency, dodgy judges, eco-disasters, lifestyle audits, paternity scandals, tenderpreneurs and all the usual gaffes and catastrophes are momentarily sidelined by a month of deafening soccer madness.

So infectious was the Ayoba! spirit that even the most vociferous of our political cartoonists allowed their cynicism a month’s break. But the tournament went by in a flash and we were immediately swamped once again by a tsunami of political skullduggery, to the enormous relief of our visual jesters. Co-opting vuvuzelas and makarapas as new visual metaphors, they got back to doing what they do best: giving our errant politicians the boot.

The 26 Cartoonists featured in this annual are: 

Andy, Brandan, Chip, Dov Fedler, Dr Jack, F Esterhuyse, Fred Mouton, Gavin Thomson, Grogan, Jerm, Mark Wiggett, Mghobozi, Miles, Mothowwagae, Nanda Soobben, Niël van Vuuren, Qap's, Siwela, Stent, Stidy, and Zapiro. Strips featured: Madam & Eve (by S Francis and Rico), Mama Taxi (Gavin Thomson and Deni Brown) and Trek Net (Gavin Thomson and Dave Gomersal).

Published by Jacana Media, 2010, ISBN 978-1-77009-926-5

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Reviews & Quotes


"Even better this time!" - Zapiro

"Nice Work!" - Chip

"Another fantastic job" - Gavin Thomson

"Relying on you for an annual now" - Stacey Stent

"Congratulations on another great yearbook" - Brandan

"Fantastic - even better the second time around" - Miles

"Looking forward to this every year! Good Work" - Fred Mouton


LEADERSHIP Magazine (April 2011)

This is the second time that the majority of the country's cartoonists have offered up their best jokes to be included in an annual anthology and it proves, once again, that while challenges remain in achieving a representative cartooning demographic in South Africa, our intrepid jesters are out there, doing what they do best: giving our errant politicians the boot.

Just for Kicks! celebrates the freedoms we have, and draws attention to those we are in danger of losing.  

Review by Francois Verster in DIE BOLANDER

On 9 December 2010, “Just for kicks”, the second of “The Year in Cartoons series” by John Curtis and Andy Mason was introduced to an enthusiastic audience. This took place at The Book Lounge in Cape Town, with some of the cartoonists represented in the book, also in attendance. None attracted more attention than Zapiro, He Who Takes On The Prez: shades of David and Goliath ... unofficial and unassuming leader of a resolute clan who fearlessly waves red flags in the face of bulls, bandits and other putrid political manifestations - as is  the duty of visual commentators the world over. Provided there is a free press to grant them the opportunity.

With cowboy-clowns like our police chief, foot in mouth exponents like the Springbok coach and Vuvu-lem-a and the stench corruption hanging over the Beloved Rainbow Country, there will at least never be a shortage of symbols, metaphors and caricatures to be paraded over the pages of newspapers and computer screens alike.

While the first collection, “Don’t joke” (2009), set the ball rolling, “Just for kicks” really blasts the ball into the back of the net. To answer the question of how to replicate a story of such drama and historical significance (2009’s court victory and “bloodless” coup by Zuma to become president), the editors decided to keep their eyes on the ball – the 2010 Soccer World Cup being the central theme of the book. However, several other interesting headliners also feature – from the terrible earthquake in Haiti to the timid entrance of The New Age.

Larger than life characters abound: geriatric rascal Rob Mugabe, insidious Jackie Selebi, tragi-comical Eugene Terre’Blance; they are all there, spiced and spoofed and eager to make the reader guffaw gleefully or tremble with trepidation. Indeed, what would our cartoonists do without the eager-to-please cavalcade of petty crooks, shadowy puppet masters and political charlatans? The sexcapades of the father of a nation, the rudderless meanderings of the ruling party and ineptitude of the opposition that just cannot seem to cope – it’s all there. The crux of the matter is that cartoonists record and comment on the spirit reflect current events, hark back at old sins and foibles of their times, and predict calamities as based on their understanding of human behaviour.

Xenophobia is one of these ugly recurring events cartoonists chastise their fellow citizens about, while the proposed media tribunal and Information Bill are identified as oncoming squalls which may contribute to the perfect political storm. Soon we will look back on their predictions with 20-20 hindsight and nod sadly and sagely ... then we will see what they did.  An apathetic attitude? It is up to us, the public to be more than spectators. 

Mason and Curtis know their stuff. From the well-constructed content list in front to the list of contributors at the back, the layout impresses, including colour-coding and spatial aesthetics. Like its predecessor, it is a handsome book which feels good in your hands: the cover is smooth and sturdy and the weight of 96 pages of boots to the heads of scaly tenderpreneurs, dodgy judges and wobbly community pillars are well worth the price (R179, 00) – you pay once, but enjoy the cynicism of our top modern court jesters again and again like replays of the best goals of the World Cup.

The editors reduced the number of cartoons in this second volume, opting for larger scale renditions to maximise visual impact, while not sacrificing too much white space. This creates a clean and uncluttered look and adds to the gravitas of the collection (irony intended). As the introductions states, the book celebrates the freedoms we have. And the courageous cartoonists who try to safeguard these freedoms.

Review by By Munyaradzi Vomo in Tonight!, Independent Newspapers

Some people buy newspapers for the crossword puzzle, others for the classified pages. There is a group that also buys just for the editorial cartoons as they beat reading through a thousand words. If you are one of these then this book is for you. All of South Africa’s top artists, including the Star’s own award-winning Wilson Mgobhozi, have their finest works of yesteryear for you to laugh at again.