The Bleak Humour of Joan Cornellà


In an age of excessive political correctness, thank god for Joan Cornellà.

The Spanish cartoonist and illustrator is the king of black humour, and a quick scroll through his catalogue will confirm that no topic is off limits. It’s pretty hard not to laugh at his stuff, and it’s also pretty hard not to feel guilty for doing so. Along with his 1.6million other Instagram followers, I get a daily cackle followed by an immediate pang of regret from his macabre posts. But still, I follow.

Influenced in his early days by American cartoonist Robert Crumb, Cornellà has developed his own style and aesthetic, swapping black and white for bright, vibrant colour. His cartoon strips tell hilariously bleak, at times unsettling, and almost always offensive stories about anything from suicide to incest. In fact, it’s the latter that had Cornellà himself admitting earlier this year that “sometimes I see it and I am shocked by my own shit.”

Anyway, his stuff’s not for the faint of heart. Consider yourself warned.