• 2024.06.06
  • What’s your character?
For those who live in London or visit the city for the umpteenth time, I recommend visiting the Cartoon Museum.
The museum is a delightful place where to retrace the art of comics in Great Britain from the 18th century to the present day.
The permanent collection boasts over 6,000 original pieces and, upon rotation, there are also special exhibitions and rare comics on display.

The very first Cartoon Museum opened in 2006, in a location at the time close to the British Museum.
The original site apparently closed its doors in 2018, while the New Cartoon Museum reopened in 2019.
Upon entering, a panel reads that the museum's creators spent two years searching for the perfect new location for the museum which is the one you can visit now.
The design of the new museum recalls the visual language, symbols and styles of British cartoons and comics.
The place is the first institution dedicated to comic art in the United Kingdom.
The galleries aim at preserving and showing the country's comics heritage by showing this form of art and promoting it as well.
The museum was officially inaugurated by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, himself, and he was also the subject of many comic strips on national newspapers throughout his life, being a member of the Royal Family.
During the inauguration, the Prince was greeted by a work by political cartoonist Trog, in which he depicted the Queen pouring beers behind the bar of a pub; the piece, named The Queen at the Queen Vic, is one of the museum's most famous and a highlight of its collection.
The main exhibition covers the history of cartoons and comic art, from the 18th century to the present day and the wonderful gift shop has a whole range of gifts, cards, magazines and books to peruse.

Cosplayers at Comics event

The word “cartoon” originally applied to any type of drawing that was made on sturdy paper or card. It was then used primarily to refer to full-scale preliminary drawings for finished works of art.
The term cartoon came to be used to refer to humorous illustrations in magazines and newspapers, also known as comic strips, starting with the “Punch” magazine in 1843.
The term, which had previously been used to refer to serious art, was initially used in an ironic sense.
I believe that Japan is the largest comics market on the planet, so you know what I’m talking about.
We all know manga as they arrived in the western countries in the ‘80s, making their way into the world of American comics first and European comics later on.
My personal review after visiting this small and little known museum is the following:
I would like to start by saying that my opinion is that of a casual visitor of an exhibition that is certainly worthy, but truly niche and above all designed for an English audience, given that most of the strips’ characters are British public figures, especially political ones, and therefore it requires some knowledge to appreciate such humor.
The space is very small, we are talking about two floors that are quite narrow although full of beautiful strips.
The attached shop where I spent much more than on the ticket was very nice and very attractive.
Such a temptation!
I have heard that the place gets packed during the weekend and also during the Comics Fair held in London every year - which I know little about since I’m fairly new to this topic and I’m not into manga or cosplay that much.
Overall and as I mentioned in my introduction above, I think it’s a pretty museum worth visiting if you are looking for something off the beaten track.


  • GianFranco Belloli
  • Jobblogger/musician

I moved to London over 2 years ago but only last year I started writing for a local newsletter for Expats in London telling about my experience in this big city and giving advice to newcomers. London is a very dynamic city and has a lot for everyone but it’s important to have a local point of view to navigate it without getting lost. Let me be your guide to hidden London!

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