New Internationalist

Your move…

polyp-cartoon-chess-board-600.jpg [Related Image]

This one’s passionately dedicated to the Arab Spring and Occupy the Square movements - some of the most exciting things to happen in radical politics for ages… unless your only source of news is the corporate media, who are studiously and blatantly following Chomsky’s description of how they behave - to paraphrase - "Good censorship consists of mentioning something just a little bit, but mainly ignoring it … particularly when it threatens your own vested interests."

Polyp's chess board cartoon, with pawns surround fallen kings

Despite its apparent simplicity, I can’t remember the last time the editorial process for a cartoon was so complex - I got through about 6 different versions of this before it became fixed. Perhaps good ideas are the ones that, after an initial flash of inspiration, involve the most fussing and faffing..?

And that process hasn’t stopped yet… it’s proving as difficult to choose even an informal name for this, as it was to finalize it. Any ideas? I’ve a few, but hey, you’re the audience… the comments form is below… your move!

By the way, this cartoon is 100% copyright free… please feel free to share it any way you see fit… particularly with all those fine rebellious pawns taking over the squares themselves…

Polyp is one of New Internationalist’s regular cartoonists. His website can be found at

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  1. #1 Tom Ash 13 Oct 11

    Occupy the Squares?

  2. #2 Ash Lydiate 13 Oct 11

    New rules, new game.

  3. #3 Laurens Libeton 13 Oct 11

    Pawns Protest, Kings Collapse

  4. #4 Mitch 13 Oct 11

    The King is Dead

  5. #5 James R 14 Oct 11

    Counter Power

  6. #6 Nick H-B 14 Oct 11


  7. #7 ciderpunx 14 Oct 11

    Be-queen a rook and a hard place?

  8. #8 ciderpunx 14 Oct 11

    Take the sons-of-bishops down?

  9. #9 ciderpunx 14 Oct 11

    No justice no piece?

  10. #10 James R 14 Oct 11

    Pawn Again

  11. #11 Polyp 14 Oct 11

    These are really funny! Keep 'em coming!

  12. #12 littleblacknemo 14 Oct 11

    Check mates.

  13. #13 JJR 14 Oct 11

    One step at a time.

  14. #14 griffin 17 Oct 11

    The worlds last gambit.

  15. #15 Nick Harvey 17 Oct 11

    Squaring up for freedom.

  16. #17 Phill 19 Oct 11

    the pawns are revolting, the revolting kings are pawned

  17. #18 pete 19 Oct 11


  18. #19 Miguel Webb 19 Oct 11

    With the leaders ahead or with the heads of the leaders

  19. #20 Greig Crockett 25 Oct 11

    ’The End Game’

  20. #21 Dustin Demontigny 26 Oct 11

    The game of chess has finally been solved and it leads to world peace.

  21. #23 James Bennett 17 Oct 12

    This chessboard depiction is a simple yet thought-provoking representation of the Arab Spring uprisings and Occupy the Square movements. Now that you have illustrated it as a chess game and the players as chess pieces, one can’t help but wonder how come no one thought of it before. I believe it was Einstein who said genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. That has proven true for some of my work in a creative capacity. Going through six different versions before arriving at this one doesn’t seem to me to be many, having seen other illustrators or designers at work. It would be interesting to find out what the fallen kings among the chess pieces on the board represent to you, on a deeper level. Please do share your insight. There are some really great, and amusing, title suggestions in the comments but perhaps the best chess-related title would be that of your entry: “Your move...”

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