Introduction to cartoons

Shimon was introduced to the world of cartoons and journalism when Betzalel Narkis took him to the headquarters of the Hebrew Communists in Hayarkon Street, Tel Aviv in 1948:

[......] Sitting there and waiting for Betzalel to finish his business, I listened to the conversation around me. I understood that these young people were members of a small group called the Hebrew Communists, a splinter group of the Palestinian Communist Party and that they were publishing a weekly called Ahdut (Unity). They had a problem. Their cartoonist, Yosi Stern, had not sent a cartoon for that week's edition. The moment I heard this, I jumped from my seat, offered my services, and produced a political cartoon on the spot. This was my introduction to this tiny communist group. I became their official cartoonist. As it happened, my third cartoon for Ahdut was reproduced by Ma'ariv, the best selling evening paper at the time. This is how I began my journalistic career.

[......] I was lucky in the sense that I could make a good living not far removed from art. I did illustrations, book covers and occasionally I wrote an article or a short story. My main income at that time came from political cartoons that I sold to weekly magazines. Every morning I sat in cafe Ma'or on Allenby Street, reading the daily newspapers and taking notes of the events of the day. Once I had such a list, I tried to find a connection between one of these events and an idea that was familiar to everybody. Such an idea could have come from the Bible, ancient history, literature, proverbs or from anywhere else. Once I found a connection, I had a cartoon. All I had to do was to put it on paper. This was not a secret recipe. All cartoonists use it. Karl Gardosh (Dosh), who sometimes joined me in café Ma'or used the same recipe with even better results than me. On Fridays we would meet again in the waiting room of an editor, trying to sell our cartoons.[......]

Few months later Schocken offered me the chance to do a political cartoon in Ha'aretz three days a week. I don't think that my political cartoons were very good because I had to tread a very fine line between my own and the paper's political convictions. One day a colleague who worked in the same paper, Amos Eilon, came to me and suggested that I could do anti Communist cartoons for good money. I did not take up the offer and I wondered (and still do), how much and from what pocket this extra cash would have come from.