How to find the source of a 10+-year-old image
August 26, 2022 11:55 AM   Subscribe

I've used this cartoon of Isaac Newton as an avatar online, off and on, for many years now. Does anyone know where it's originally from, or have any ideas on how to track it down? I have tried Google Image search and TinEye, but they only go back so far and all I can find are other people who have copied & pasted it from somewhere else.

Any ideas about who the artist might be would be helpful as well. It looks a bit like a Larry Gonick cartoon to me, but I haven't been able to find any evidence of it.
posted by Johnny Assay to Grab Bag (4 answers total)
Best answer: TinEye finds it in one “collection” of the UK National Media Muesem from July of 2013, but the actual links it gives are now dead.

The wayback machine has it here as far back as 2010. The image is there but not cited/sourced. From context and a sales link on that page to the book Why is Snot Green? by Glenn Murphy, it appears the page might be an excerpt from the book, so I would try to figure out who the illustrator was (edit. it was Mike Phillips). Or try to find a way to ask Glenn Murphy.

I found the above by restricting tineye to “collections” as defined by them here:
What are image collections?

Collection images are images that TinEye has crawled from specific websites (e.g., etc) that can often help you identify the origin of an image. We highlight Collection images in search results to make it easier for you to find more about the image's owner and use permissions. For more information on how you can use TinEye to find the copyright owner of an image, see our guide.
posted by tiamat at 1:49 PM on August 26, 2022 [6 favorites]

Best answer: I found a copy of Why is Snot Green on Scribd and that image is found within the first pages you can preview for free. The epub version is black and white but it’s the same art.

It can also be seen in the preview of the Kindle edition on Amazon (but not the paperback edition, which cuts off earlier for some reason).
posted by tiamat at 1:53 PM on August 26, 2022 [5 favorites]

Mike Phillips has a professional webpage with contacts information including twitter, in case you need to confirm it further.
posted by tiamat at 2:00 PM on August 26, 2022 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Awesome sleuthing, and thanks for the "collections" tip. I'll have to remember that in the future!
posted by Johnny Assay at 5:06 AM on August 27, 2022

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