New cartoonist: Helena Anillo
'I am a leader of my house’

The best cartoons of 2021

The end of December is approaching, so it’s time for our traditional top 10 of the best cartoons of the year. In 2021, we published a total of 236 cartoons (so far) as an editor’s choice on our homepage, chosen out of 8524 cartoons that were sent in by our cartoonists.

The 10 best we have selected are not all editor’s choices, but instead are based on how they resonated with our audience. We have also aimed to cover some of the most the important topics in the news this year, and to represent the geographical spread of our cartoonists. And we've tried to represent all genders, even though the profession is still very much dominated by men.

This selection is to some degree arbitrary, as limiting our selection to just 10 cartoons means we had to leave out a number of excellent cartoons about important topics. We hope you will enjoy the cartoons here nonetheless. If you would like to keep up to date with our best cartoons, consider subscribing to our monthly newsletter.


The last joke

January - Antonio Rodriguez

The only Trump cartoon in this year's selection is by Mexican cartoonist Antonio Rodriguez, with a cartoon about the attack on the Capitol in January.


Health inequality

February - Mahnaz Yazdani

Out of all the cartoons about the unequal distribution of vaccines (and there were quite a few), this one by Mahnaz Yazdani from Iran is by far the most popular.


The endarkenment

April - Max Gustafson

Another hugely popular cartoon is this one by Max Gustafson, who reflects on the time we live in.



May - Tjeerd Royaards

This year's violent outbreak in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was illustrated by Tjeerd Royaards.


Floods in Europe

July - Marian Kamensky

Another very popular cartoon, this one by Marian Kamensky from Austria, also illustrates the endarkenment (as Max Gustafson calls it). More extreme weather events, like the floods in the Europe in July, do little to sway the opinion of climate deniers.


The corporate ladder

June - Peter Sully

Mocking corporate culture is an evergreen pastime for cartoonists, and always popular with fans of cartoons. This one is by Australian cartoonist Peter Sully.


Keyboard warrior

September - Tomas

Another subject that is good for popular cartoons every year is social media, how it affects our lives, how addicted we are to it and how we use and abuse it. This cartoons by Italian cartoonist Tomas deals with that last subject.



October - Vasco Gargalo

Continuing our streak of evergreen that subjects, here is one by Portuguese cartoonist Vasco Gargalo, responding to yet another report (this time in France) about widespread child abuse by Catholic priests.


Career Perspective

2782-211122 Gender (Zamani)_small

Life in Afghanistan will be very different for girls, now that the Taliban have taken over, says Nahid Zamani from Iran.


Knowledge and peace

2740-210921 Peace (Dehgani)_small

But it is the next generation that will shape the future. Hopefully, they will do so by aiming for the stars, and not their fellow humans, as illustrated in this beuatiful visual by Mansoure Dehghani, who is also from Iran.

If your interested to see our most popular cartoons from previous, you can check out the 2020 here, 2019 here and 2018 here.


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