Peter Brookes

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For other uses, see Peter Brooks (disambiguation).
Peter Brookes
Born Peter D. Brookes
(1943-09-28) September 28, 1943 (age 72)
Liverpool, England
Nationality British
Area(s) Political cartoonist, artist

Peter D. Brookes (born 28 September 1943)[1] is an English cartoonist who has produced work for numerous publications, including Radio Times, New Society, New Statesman, The Spectator and most notably The Times, for which he is the leader-page cartoonist. He has won the title of Cartoonist of the Year at the British Press Awards in 2012, 2011, 2010, 2007, and 2002.


Peter Brookes was born in Liverpool, on 28 September 1943, the son of an RAF Squadron Leader.[1] After school, he initially joined the RAF to train as a pilot but left to go to art college in Manchester, and then to the Central School of Art and Design in London.[1]

In the mid-1970s he replaced Chris Achilleos as regular jacket illustrator for Doctor Who novelisations from Target Books but his cartoon-style artwork proved less popular than Achilleos's more naturalistic style and he completed only four covers. In the 1970s, he was also a cartoonist for the Radio Times, taking over the main back-page cartoon from Marc Boxer in 1979.[2] He had a short stint as a political cartoonist for the New Statesman, before returning to academia and lecturing at the Central School of Art and the Royal College of Art. For a time he worked as cover artist for the Spectator but, in 1992, he moved to the Times, as its leader-page cartoonist, at the invitation of its newly appointed editor, Peter Stothard.[1]

He is particularly noted for his "Nature Notes" series of cartoons, begun in February 1996,[1] which portray various fictitious beasts, based on the appearance (and supposed habits) of well-known politicians. He has noted that a benefit of using animal images is that he can show his subjects doing things that, for reasons of decency, could not be published if they were portrayed as human[3]—Brookes said: "you are able to depict crap and fornication and that sort of thing".[1]

In 2009, he drew a controversial portrayal of Pope Benedict XVI with a condom on his head, which elicited a rebuke from Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor.[4] He was also the subject of an exhibition at the Chris Beetles Gallery in London in October of that year.[5]

Brookes uses T. H. Saunders paper, on which he draws with Pelikan black ink and a dip pen, equipped with Gillott nibs, as well as watercolour and gouache. He says, "There are three stages to the way I draw cartoons: first they are rendered loosely in soft pencil, then I overlay that with pen and Indian ink, and finally I add tone and colour with watercolour."[1]

Brookes, along with his sons Will and Ben, is an avid fan of Premier League team Queens Park Rangers, holding a season ticket for over fifteen years.


  • Peter Brookes: The Best Cartoons of Peter Brookes [Hardcover] Little, Brown ISBN 0-316-72439-4
  • Peter Brookes: The Best of Times... A Cartoon Collection [Hardcover] Little, Brown ISBN 1-906779-58-9
  • Peter Brookes: Nature Notes IV. The Natural Selection' Little, Brown; 2004. ISBN 0-316-72722-9


  • British Press Awards: "Cartoonist of the Year" (2002, 2007, 2010, 2011)[6][7]
  • Political Cartoon Society: "Cartoonist of the Year" (2006, 2009)
  • Cartoon Art Trust: "Political Cartoonist of the Year" (1996, 1998, 2006,[1] 2008)
  • What the Papers Say Award: "Cartoonist of the Year" (2005)[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Peter Brookes biography". University of Kent British Cartoon Archive. Retrieved 20 September 2010. 
  2. ^ Currie, Tony (2001). The Radio Times story. Kelly. p. 146. ISBN 9781903053096. 
  3. ^ Franklin, Bob (2008). Pulling newspapers apart: analysing print journalism. Routledge. p. 77. ISBN 9780415425568. 
  4. ^ Ratzinger’s irresponsibility and religious mania bring condemnation
  5. ^ Whitworth, Damian (October 10, 2009). "A day in the scabrous life of the Times political cartoonist, Peter Brookes". The Times. Retrieved October 16, 2009. 
  6. ^ Press Gazette, Roll of Honour, accessed 24 July 2011
  7. ^ Press Gazette, 5 April 2011, Press Awards 2011: The full list of winners

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