AN independence-supporting political cartoonist has released a new collection of her work which takes aim at Boris Johnson. 

Lorna Miller, who works under the name Mistress Of Line, graduated in fine art, drawing and painting from the Glasgow School of Art in 1994.

Since then, she has worked as a political cartoonist for the likes of Private Eye and The Guardian.

Her latest book, The Posh Boy, The Pants & The Pandemic, is a selection of over 40 cartoons Miller drew during Johnson’s time as prime minister.

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“He made the job so much easier as a cartoonist. He became such a caricature of himself without us even having to elaborate too much on his own bumbling effort at being PM”, Miller told The National.

She continued: “People say political cartoons are kind of old news. They think the day after they’ve been done they're irrelevant but when I looked at the body of work I had done I thought this serves as a record of a really insane time in most people’s lives.

“It was something they had never experienced or had to cope with before. I think it gave everybody a whole new awareness of how we are governed and who we put into power.

“It made me think about how we collect these kind of experiences and express them because there was so much happening. We live in a crazy world, there’s so much going on all the time. This is a record of that.

“The practice of looking at the news and coming up with something was strange because I was having to find funny ways of doing this at a time when it was all so bad.”

The National: Lorna Miller's new book is made up of cartoons created during the pandemicLorna Miller's new book is made up of cartoons created during the pandemic (Image: Lorna Miller)

After graduating, Miller self-published a comic called Witch which she described as her own “mad wee stories and drawings”.

Following a positive review in the arts and culture magazine Variant, Miller started to think she could make a living out of her work.

She said: “I think when you first come out of art school, it’s hard to know what area you’re going into, how you can carry on as an artist and pay the bills. It’s not easy.

“I liked the fact you had a certain level of control over everything you do, a lot of people were self-publishing when I first started.

“Even if you didn’t have a name or money, cartoons were an art form anyone could get into with paper, pen and ink.”

She laughs as she recalls the launch of another comic, Parade, which took place in Glasgow.

Miller said: “I remember putting on a comics exhibition at a Java Café on Woodlands road. It was an internet café which was very exciting at the time because it was all completely new.”

Eventually, she made the move to Brighton which was where her career really took off as she started writing for children’s magazines and doing colouring work.

Her time working on a Thomas the Tank Engine comic inspired the work below. 

The National:

Commissions were coming in from all across the globe. “I was being asked to do illustrations in my own style. Even though I was being commissioned, I wasn’t having to do anything different to how I wanted to work.

“I had a lot of control over the kind of work I was getting; it was fun and I felt as if it wasn’t just all commercial.

“It was me being able to do my own artwork but also making a living from it as well.”

More recently, Miller produced the cover for a book which focuses on the legacy of the Glasgow School of Art fires.

Throughout her career, she has noticed that the focus on Scottish politics has increased, particularly as the independence movement has grown.

“When I first started, Scottish politics weren’t high on the agenda but things have completely changed and so many more are aware of independence.

“Having moved back from a Tory dominated area of England, I was energised by the independence movement and people coming together with a shared vision.”

“There’s always arguments in politics but in Scotland, it feels like most of us don’t want the Tories and that attachment to Westminster.

“I think the pandemic highlighted how dangerous it was to be tied to somebody like Boris Johnson running the country.”