Saturday, January 29, 2011


I asked my wife what springs to mind at hearing this weeks Illustration Friday topic word "Surrender" and to my shock and awe she said "Surrender Monkey". I thought she was just adding Monkey to any word I said (this is usually a complete winner with me) but I usually have heard of the term. This one I hadn't.Sounds derogatory and offensive doesn't it?

Turns out it is!

What was even more of a shock was that the phrase was coined in 2005 on The Simpsons. This is shocking as my wife has never seen an episode without switching it off.
The phrase first appeared in an episode of The Simpsons entitled "'Round Springfield" . Groundskeeper Willie, the school janitor, is teaching French due to budget cuts, dressed in a striped shirt and a beret. In a heavy Scottish accent, he greets the class with "Bonjourrr, yah cheese-eatin' surrender monkeys!" The "surrender" element of the phrase refers to the Anglo-American perception of the Battle of France as being virtually a "surrender" to Nazi Germany. The Cheese bit being self explanatory and the monkey bit being a comedy word.
This phrase was then picked up by other U.S. media outlets, such as the National Review Online, New York Post and commentator John Gibson of the Fox News Channel towards France who oppose the U.S. in international forums in particular, the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

(All of this info was stolen mercilessly from Wikipedia)

In short this was a huge turning point in my marriage. My wife gave me a an excuse to draw a monkey that was inspired by the Simpsons that might even raise a smile from my British ancestors. I have never been more in love.

ANYWAY - It's not really my thing to be posting stuff against the French so I went with my NO SURRENDER MONKEY. I hope I dodged the bullet of offending anyone.

I also had an idea for it but I had already done something similar before but here is Sir Diddymus from the movie Labyrinth done in paper cut -
Never Surrender!


  1. Aw, cute! JP gushes over KP via blog! I haven't heard "Surrender Monkey" either! Guess I'm behind the times! Geesh! She's such a smart girl! :) You're added to my blog Jamesy! ;)

  2. Hey thanks for your comment on my site! I LOVE your Sir Diddymus, picture perfect!

  3. EXCELLENT!!!! Loved Surrender Monkey!!!
    And Labyrinth is one of my favorite movies, oh! Mr. Diddymus!!
    Thanks for the comment on my site!!! ;)

  4. Hey - I'm a friend of Pete Smith and he's put me onto your page - your stuff rocks. And Sir Diddymus is absolutely gorgeous - the textures of the paper cut are v. hairy :)

  5. Hi James! You really have the perfect illo to go with this week's theme. And a great story to boot. I'll see you around the CBIG watercooler eventually.

  6. Thanks people!

    Alice, Veronica and Shakira - I originally did a set of three of the paper-cuts that I posted here:

    Thanks for adding my Alyssa!

    See you at CBIG Sharon!

  7. Nice illustration! Haven't heard of Surrender Monkey either. I learn something new everyday...

    Love the paper cut piece too!