Jonathan Lemon was born in London, England and moved to the US via Cuba and Honduras.
Lemon produced the comic strip "Bigshot" for Film World magazine for five years (1996-2001). He also drew a weekly cartoon for the HybridCars website from 2005-2007. His political cartoons have graced the pages of the Boston Globe, San Jose Mercury News, San Francisco Chronicle and numerous newspapers around the globe. He is a longtime member of the American Association of Editorial Cartoonists (AAEC).
As a freelance illustrator and animator, he has produced cartoon illustrations for such diverse institutions as Lego, Pez, the US Government and the San Francisco Zoo. His animations have appeared in numerous software titles and his work has been displayed in art galleries in London, Tokyo and San Francisco.
He has been involved in the cartooning community in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1992. Last year he taught a successful workshop at the Alternative Press Expo on developing a comic strip. He has also taught cartooning classes in school across California including a class in writing for comics at U.C. Berkeley Extension, and in Brooklyn (PS94) and continues to support--and be a huge proponent for--the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco where he has also had his work displayed. He was a featured artist at the Charles M. Schulz Museum in 2010. Additionally he draws cartoons for terminally ill children in hospitals as one of the Cartoon Crusaders and is a member of the International Cartoonist Conspiracy. He was one of the first contributors to the Team Cul-De-Sac Book which benefits the Michael J. Fox Foundation to support Parkinson’s Disease research. He is also fast becoming a respected comics historian having contributed many segments on cartooning history to the popular Tall Tale Radio podcast.
From 2009 to 2011 he was President of the Northern California chapter of the Graphic Artists Guild where he also served in the cartoonist chair position. He is a member of the National Cartoonists Society.
A PERSONAL HISTORY
Jonathan Lemon was born at an early age in a small town in Western Europe on Friday 13th of April sometime in the mid-sixties. His misspent childhood consisted entirely of self-absorption, reading comics, bad drawing, and disappointments to his family. Despite having his body hardened by daily sadistic beatings from the neighborhood bullies, he turned out to be an overly sensitive, severely introverted, sad little sissy-boy. He aimlessly drifted through schooling despite being afflicted with buck teeth, impaired vision and lack of any kind of social skills.
After attaining the entirely impractical graduate degree in Visual and Performing Arts he worked his way through a series of unglamorous occupations including cleaning toilets, stand-up comedy, peeling stickers off records and walking up and down the beach wearing a sandwich board, handing out leaflets to topless bathers. However he spent most of his time doodling in small notebooks and fantasizing about impossible relationships with unobtainable women.
As a reaction to a life of bitter regrets and dashed idealistic hopes he took up writing songs and by pure luck and good fortune become a very minor pop star in the eighties when any pretty boy with a synthesizer on an ironing board could sign up with a record label and make tens of dollars releasing vinyl containing songs with corny nonsensical lyrics and quirky titles. His band toured the world where they completely failed to get laid, took very few drugs and were more known for tidying up dressing rooms instead of trashing them.
At the tender age of 24, he was orphaned and moved illegally to California where he scraped out a living washing dishes, working at the zoo, evading the INS, scraping road kill off the asphalt and racing cockroaches.
Somewhere in between he learned Spanish and moved to Cuba to attend the University of Havana where he turned his back on the materialism for a few months until he missed easy hedonistic access to cheap music and vegetarian food.
He has lived in the City by the Fog for about 5000 years which a few years back enabled him to become a US citizen in time to cast an all important vote for Ralph Nader in the 2000 presidential election.
He stupidly quit a decent job during a depressive fit, most likely brought on by a soured relationship, and then promptly and utterly failed to eke out a living as a freelance illustrator and cartoonist. After several minutes of falling in love with the wrong people and watching his life unceremoniously crumble away he finally met the love of his life whom he wed in Mexico and still thinks is pretty hot.
Just when things were starting to go well he took his new bride on a bizarre two year excursion to make cartoon tourist maps in Central America. They lived in a tiny two bit one horse town where they went crazy with boredom. Then, just because life is full of the unexpected, they moved to the capital to work for the United Nations and lived the highlife of ex-pats.
Now back in his cozy Mission district Victorian on the same street as legendry Last Gasp press, he's actually a wistful, sensitive, sweet-natured fellow who is still conscious of his near intelligible foreign accent. He is now still trying to eke out a living again as an illustrator/ cartoonist/ web designer, which suddenly seems to involve an inordinate amount of networking and competing for work among insanely talented 18-year olds—another cruel irony of fate for this hermit-like, nostalgic Luddite. Nowadays he spends unhealthy amounts of time in the basement drawing cartoons, recording music that no one is interested in and doing the New York Times crossword. He drives a fire engine red 2001 Toyota Echo, likes world cinema and has no cats.
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