I graduated the Naval Architecture Institute of 5 years of study. In the ceremony of ending the school, my colleague asked me to make a funny speech about our school and read it in front of all students and professors. I did it. It was a big general laugh. In that moment, I realized that I started this high and famous school to become an Architect and I finished it as a Humorist. It was the moment which changed my life.

After one year I started to draw cartoons. It was spring 1985.

During five years of artistic experiments I found a stile. Then I met the famous cartoon collector Dieter Burkamp from Oerlinghausen, Germany, who turned me into a professional cartoonist. We both signed a contract. This is still valuable today, after 17 years. 

What are the divisions of cartoon? And which is more important for you?

Almost all cartoonists consider themselves as artists. But how many of them ever displayed their cartoons near works of the most famous modern artists in the world Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali?

How many of them displayed near Honoré Daumier, William Hogarth or Toulouse-Lautrec?

Considering as most important criteria of appreciation “prizes” – is a big mistake and a sign of ignorance.

We should take into consideration more the cartoonists who changed the cartoon world like André François, Loriot, Ronald Searle, Ralf Steadman, Sempé, Roland Topor, Adolf Born. How many of the world cartoonists have as idols these names? Not so many. Instead, we choose idols from the amateur “class”.

How many cartoonists displayed solo exhibitions in Warsaw or Gabrovo, in Basel or Hannover?

Almost all of cartoon Internet sites are full of all-life-beginners. The cartoon competitions are 90% amateurs. Shall we spend the entire our cartoonists life acclaiming the prize winners? In the world cartoon Internet sites there are few exceptions. One is that made by Shojai Massoud Tabatabai and I would like to congratulate him.

Which is preferable for you: cartoons with or without words?

 I don’t care about cartoons with words. It is not art, only fun. I know very few exceptions.

Who is your favorite international cartoonist?

When I started to make cartoons I didn’t follow an idol, but later I discovered the great Saul Steinberg. His work extremely impressed me.

Do you prefer colored or black-and-white cartoons?

The color gave a new dimension to cartoon. It was very welcome. How tedious should be that we all draw in black and white. The world would become dark, at most grey.

What is your favorite place for finding ideas?

Since my debut, 20 year ago, I made my cartoons in bed – no joke. Then I draw it normally on my table. In oil painting, a technique which brought me where I am now. 


What do you think about the Iranian cartoonists? Have you a message for them?