Chappatte’s Covid cartoon wins top award

Chappatte's 'Planet Coronavirus' cartoon © Chappatte in Der Spiegel - Source:

Political cartoonist Patrick Chappatte has won the Swiss Cartoon of the Year 2020 for Planet Coronavirus. It’s the third time the cartoonist from Geneva has received the honour.

This content was published on March 5, 2021 - 11:53

Planet Coronavirus was published in the German news magazine Der Spiegel on March 28, 2020, and the following month in the Swiss satirical magazine Nebelspalter, the oldest such title in the world.

Patrick Chappatte © Keystone / Laurent Gillieron

The prize for best cartoon is traditionally awarded at the Gezeichnet (sketched) exhibition, held annually at the Museum of Communication in Bern. This year the exhibition could only be seen online from December to February. Planet Coronavirus can also be seen in the accompanying book GezeichnetExternal link, which has a foreword by Swiss Health Minister Alain Berset.

“[The award] crowns – no pun intended – 12 months of work marked by the haunting presence of this spiky virus,” Chappatte, 54, told the Swiss news agency Keystone-ATS.

“Never in my career, nor in that of my colleagues, have we ever had a single subject that could swallow up all the others. And if I had to pick just one of my drawings, I would have chosen this one – Earth being eclipsed by the dark star of Covid.”

Chappatte spoke to SWI in November about his graphic novel Au coeur de la vague (At the heart of the wave), which tells the story of the Covid-19 health crisis and the upheaval the virus has caused locally and globally.

The pandemic prevented the public from voting for the Swiss Cartoon of the Year 2020. Instead, 46 press illustrators chose the winners.

Comments under this article have been turned off. You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

Share this story

Join the conversation!

With a SWI account, you have the opportunity to contribute on our website.

You can Login or register here.