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Photo by Andrew Keech.

Who is J.J. McCullough?

Me! I draw all the cartoons and write all the words you see on this site.

The site’s been around since 2001, and features over 1,200 editorial cartoons about Canadian and American politics. Beginning in 2011, I also wrote essays to accompany the strips. I more-or-less stopped doing the comic-and-essay thing in 2014, and changed this site’s name to from “Filibuster Cartoonsaround the same time.

In 2011 Filibuster celebrated its 10th-year anniversary; checking out the decennial retrospective special might provide some good context on this site’s history. For those interested in learning how I make my cartoons there’s a special page about that, too.

My life and stuff I’ve done

I was born on July 17, 1984 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, where I remain to this day. If you would like to learn more about Canada, the land of butter tarts and different-rules football, check out J.J.’s Complete Guide to Canada.

My mother was an immigrant from Holland and my father was an immigrant from Toronto. I have a younger sister who lives in Dubai for some reason. I spent one year living in Japan and hated it.

I started this site in 2001 as a school project during my final year of high school. It was around this time that I decided my life’s goal was to be some kind of opinion-talking guy who also did drawings. My first paid gigs were for the Tri-City News and the (now-defunct) Western Standard, where I worked as staff cartoonist.

From 2011 to 2014 I was a columnist for The Huffington Post Canada, where I wrote a twice-weekly column about the state of Canadian opinions journalism known as Media Bites. I often appear as a panelist on CTV News and was a general pundit-contributor to the Sun News Network until it closed in 2015. I’ve appeared on most other mainstream Canadian television and radio networks at various times, and my cartoons have been featured on I used to work as a cartoonist for‘s cartoon sub-site, The Nib (full cartoon archive here) until that went under, too.

From 2011 to 2014 I was a member of the Library Board of the City of Coquitlam, and I am presently head of the B.C. wing of Citizens for a Canadian Republic.

Before any of that, however, I was a modestly high-profile figure in B.C. student politics and student journalism. My alma mater (BA, Political Science) was Simon Fraser University, where I served as head of student elections when my school controversially voted to abandon the Canadian Federation of Students, and was briefly opinions editor of the campus newspaper, The Peak. I was also editor-in-chief of the student newspaper of Douglas College, The Other Press for a year, despite never attending that school.

What I’m all about

I self-identify with a couple different ideological traditions. I’m basically conservative on most social and economic issues, but I’m also gay, so that softens things a bit. I care a lot about democracy and constitutional reform, and I’m a bit of a populist in the sense that I think “the people” are often wiser than the elites. In a Canadian context, I’m pretty critical of what tends to pass for “Canadian nationalism” these days, particularly corrosive anti-Americanism.

I like discussion and debate and argument a lot, and one of my goals with this site is to help facilitate some good chatter on the important issues of the day — if possible from a different perspective than the boring conventional wisdom spouted by the press, politicians, and partisans.

Contact and/or hire me

I am available for a variety of freelance work, including cartoons/illustration, editorial writing, and radio/television commentary.

If you want to get in touch, feel free to send me an email or tweet. Or, if it’s urgent, you can always give me a call at (778) 928-5547.

Some random facts about me:

  • “J.J.” stands for “John James.”
  • I was educated under the Montessori school system.
  • I’m a vegetarian and life-long teetotaller, meaning I’ve never drank alcohol before.
  • People often complain I walk too fast and talk too loud.

Special Thanks

Big thanks go out to the following guys, without whom the site would never be anything close to what it is today:

John, my good friend from the Maritimes, basically made this whole site from scratch, for which I am eternally grateful. Pretty much everything you see is a product of his vision. Any screw ups are all me, however. John’s a talented musician — check out his band, Wild/Kind.
Trevor is a Vancouverite like me, and the guy who runs the server that graciously hosts this site. He’s also in charge of the fine all-things-Canadian hub site Canadaka. Trevor is also the husband of my other good pal Angela, who draws the fine webcomic Wasted Talent, in which both of them feature prominently.
My Filipino-Canadian pal Earl has been my friend for many years, and helped me set up my Facebook page. He’s also a close advisor and confidant, and one of my main go-to guys for help and advice regarding this site.
Nathan is a longtime reader from Austin, Texas. He helps proofread this site, informing me of my many, many typos and making sure everything is grammatically correct. He only joined the site recently, which is why you may notice a lot more mistakes in the pre-2009 content.
David David went to university with me and used to live with some of my friends. As a skilled programmer, he’s helped me out with some of my more challenging WordPress struggles. Be sure to visit his neato personal site.
David Peter is a friend of my friends who is also my friend. He’s an amazing programmer who’s graciously helped me a lot over the years with weird troubleshooting problems. Most recently, he helped transition the site to its current, more bloggy format. His eccentric little website is here.


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