Falkirk cartoonist's work appears in Olympic history book

The work of The Bairn cartoonist Jim Barker features in a prestigious book about the history of the Olympics.

By Fiona Dobie
Tuesday, 21st June 2022, 7:00 am

One of Jim’s cartoons was chosen to be used in the book Toon In!, written by Michael Payne, former director of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and longtime Olympic commentator.

The book was released last year to tie in with the postponed 2020 event in Tokyo, but Jim only recently discovered his work was among those to feature in the book which uses captivating cartoons to help reveal the extraordinary story behind the modern Olympic Games.

Over 3000 cartoons were submitted from over 500 cartoonists were shortlisted for inclusion in the book, and only 360 cartoonists from 47 countries made the cut – including Jim.

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The Bairn cartoonist Jim Barker. Pic: Michael Gillen.

Jim, who has been the Herald’s cartoonist, drawing The Bairn for more than 30 years, explained: “I got an email out of the blue from the guy that did the book asking if I had anything that could be included in a book about the Olympics.

"I’d had a look and sent in one I’d done before.

"I never heard anything more about it, but a colleague had ordered a copy of the book.

"She said to me ‘did you know you got this in the book?

Jim's Olympic-themed cartoon in the book Toon In! (Cartoonist: Jim Barker, UK)

"I didn’t know until then it had been included.

"I’m delighted to have it in the book and to be in such distinguished company.”

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A collector of Olympic political cartoons, Michael pulled together more than 1200 Olympic-themed cartoons, accompanied by a personal 100,000 word commentary to produce a one-of-a-kind, 500 page, very large coffee table book.

Profits from the book have been pledged to four charities and special causes – Back Up Trust, Cartooning for Peace, Peace and Sport and Yunus Sports Hub.

Author Michael Payne said: “I have always admired the great skill of the cartoonist.

"When I worked at the IOC, I had several edgy Olympic cartoons hanging in my office that would always prompt surprise.

"With the Covid-19 lockdown, I had the time and opportunity to research over 3000 Olympic-themed cartoons and found many untold Olympic stories.”

To find out more about Toon In! visit www.olympiccartoon.com.