WITH 50 days remaining to the start of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics a book called Toon In was launched. The book uses cartoons to take readers on a journey of the Olympic Games.
The author Michael Payne is a former director of the International Olympic Committee and a longtime Olympic commentator.
A media release said, “A collector of Olympic political cartoons, Michael, during lockdown, pulled together more than 1,200 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.”
Cartoonists from all over the world got involved in the book as over 3,000 cartoons from over 500 cartoonists were shortlisted for inclusion in Toon In. Eventually, 360 cartoonists from 47 countries were chosen.
On Thursday, speaking about the book in a virtual media conference, Payne said, “Toon In is a very unusual book. It is a compilation of the world’s greatest cartoonists…the cartoons are often very edgy, political, very provocative…I have spent more than 40 years working with the Olympic movement and so I have written an insider’s commentary as to what is happening behind the scenes.”
The covid19 pandemic gave Payne the time to produce the book.
“Covid provided the perfect opportunity because I could not run for any planes. I could not go anywhere, I was locked down like many people so I thought let’s have a look and I began the research to identify all of the greatest cartoons around the world on the Olympics. Then (it was time) to track down the cartoonists which is easier said than done…it was a challenge to track down all the cartoonists, get their permission to allow me to reprint the cartoon in the book, then go back to all the cartoonists to get them to go through their archives to find high resolution images.”
It took one year to compile the book.
Payne wants the book to bring a smile to people who have all endured so much during the covid19 pandemic.
“Everybody has been through a difficult 18 months. The Olympics is about fun, it is about engagement, it is about bringing the world together and hopefully this little book will remind people how special it is, learn a little bit. I am convinced when we all get to Tokyo in 50 days time we will actually see a brilliant Olympic Games.”
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23-August 8. It was postponed by one year because of the pandemic.
Profits from the book will go to charity.