About the cartoonist

Robert Black is a cartoonist based in Melbourne, Australia. After working as a graphic designer for 15 years and in need of a new challenge, he abruptly changed careers in 2011 to become a full-time corporate cartoonist. Focused on creating visual ideas and metaphors as business tools in live settings, he learnt to draw ‘on the job’ while working with many of Australia’s largest corporations.

The Sharp End is a personal side-project Robert started in 2013 to exercise his love for bad puns and visual gags.

(In 2015 and again in 2016 Robert was a finalist for Australia’s Single Panel Gag Cartoonist of the Year for his work on The Sharp End, as voted by Australia’s professional newspaper cartoonists. In 2017, 2018 and 2019 he was a finalist for Animation Cartoonist of the Year)


What have been your influences?
The Far Side, B Kliban, Tintin, and The Wizard of Id, in that order.
How often do new cartoons come out?
About once a week, on or near Friday. Infrequently. My paid corporate work means that sometimes I can’t be precise about the timing. The best thing you can do is sign up for the news­letter so you get an email notification as soon as a new cartoon’s ready.

Can I share an idea for a cartoon with you?
It’s incredibly kind of you to offer! Coming up with new ideas is really hard, but I take great pride in doing all my own concepts, writing and artwork. This means that, with regret, I can’t accept any outside help.

(Complicating matters, unsolicited ideas are an ethical and legal quagmire, so I can’t even look at it — bummer :-/)

But, you still have this really great idea for a cartoon — YAY! — what can you do with it? The best thing I can advise is to draw your own ideas yourself, because then they’re all yours.

The good news is, it’s probably easier to do than you think, and there are plenty of tutorials on the web! Search for help here, or you can try watching video tutorials.

Good luck!

Why do you only post linked previews to your cartoons on social media sites like Facebook instead of the full cartoon?
The reason I post (clearly labeled) linked previews instead of full cartoons is because I don’t want to build up an audience that only views my work on someone else’s website, who might turn around later and impose a toll for access to my own audience (Hi Facebook!)

When you click a link and it takes you to another website… well, that’s how the internet works (hyperlinks!). You can always click the Back button, or just skip my cartoon — I promise I won’t mind.

Can I get a discount for buying multiple items in your store?
Other than the 3-pack for cards, no. It’s a limitation of the shopping-cart software I’m currently using :-/    updated 21 May 2016
Do you draw caricatures?
Yes… badly.

The Pencil Sharpener logo, logotype and
all artwork and content on this site are
Copyright © 2000-2021 Robert Black