“The Standard Oil Octopus”, Daily Graphic, Tues 4th Feb 1879, New York. Vol LXVIII, No.1. Octopus constructed of pipes and barrels, and capitalist harpies in a wasteland. Very early (1879) octopus political cartoon. “$10,000,000 Profits in 4 Months.” “Railroad monopolist & stock market manipulator William Vanderbilt is the top right vulture flying overhead. The other two vultures, are brothers William (left) […]

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Landlordism: a vampiric octopus (Northrop, circa 1910) This postcard copyright by W B Northrop shows the octopus of “Landlordism” – renting out a property (or absent landlord) –  with its arms enclosing parts of London. In the enclosures are the names of the landlords and their earnings from rent. An interesting aspect to this, is according […]

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Russian Gas Octopus (2009) Two cartoons depicting Russia as an octopus over the dispute between the Ukraine and the Russian company, Gazprom. The first shows Putin as the Octopus5, and the second shows Gazprom as the octopus with Europe in its grip6. The cartoons are in response to the Russian company, Gazprom, cutting off natural gas […]

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Greenspan and the Economic Slowdown (Anderson, 2003) Alan Greenspan sits in a boat beset by rough seas and the octopus of ‘Economic Slowdown’, and is attempting to fend it off with arrows and harpoons of ‘Rate Cuts’ (Artist: Nick Anderson). Source: Nick Anderson (2003), Washington Post Writers Group,http://www.cartoonistgroup.com/store/add.php?iid=4626

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The Forty T—-s (Rogers, 1888) Another octopus antitrust cartoon from Harper’s Weekly. Proof that octopus cartoons can be more imaginative than just putting an octopus on a building or map and tattooing it with whomever you want it to represent. “The Forty T—-s: Baba Jonathon: I don’t like your looks, Mr. Merchant, you had better move […]

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Will It Hurt The Octopus? (Walker, 1904) Artist: Ryan Walker, SOURCE (image altered from) July 1904: “Will it Hurt the Octopus?”/”Anxious Teddy”, The Comrade, vol. 3, no. 10, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University,http://beinecke.library.yale.edu/dl_crosscollex/photoneg/oneITEM.asp?pid=39002053601226&iid=5360122&srchtype= (Accessed 04 Jan 2009). Via ZPi

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Hunting The Octopus (Rogers, 1900) ‘Hunting the Octopus’ by W.A. Rogers was published as the cover of Harper’s Weekly on October 6th 1900 (Vol XLIV No. 2 285). The politicians and companies represented are: Richard Croker (as previously featured) as an ‘ice trust’ octopus, Senator James Jones as a ’round cotton bale trust’, and William A Clark as a […]

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