For archive of his work see: http://www.belltoons.co.uk.
His current work and interviews with him are available at: http://www.guardian.co.uk
“It isn’t simply a question of getting the likeness: you have to discover the character behind the face”.
History of caricature and cartoons
His general approach
In this interview Bell discusses his sketchbooks from the party conferences. His approach to exaggerating physical characteristics is pretty uncompromising. Sometimes this has a political point about hypocrisy ‘people who about complete and utter bullshit’ and ‘pure Blair bollocks’. Highlighting what he sees as a lot of empty speeches and posturing. But sometimes this does appear unnecessarily cruel on a superficial physical level, and perpetuating well-worn stereotypes. But he has a very acute observation of the different ways people talk and move. His very dynamic quick sketches use a combination of ink, watercolour and what seem to be pastel pencils.
Boris and Tory party
This interview about his series of cartoons about the hypocrisy and awful impacts of the Iraq War is very powerful. Here the caricatures are combined with trenchant symbolism with a strong underlying message. This makes the caricatures meaningful rather than simply physical distortion of demented eyes and big ears. The types of distortion are very varied depending on the point of the other elements of the cartoon.
Royal wedding. Portraits vs caricature
The following video discusses some of the issues involved when he tries to satirise people he actually agrees with.