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editorial illustration by Justine Shirin
Pirate Race / 2018

An illustration created for the AOI London stories competition. A phenomenon, known as a “Pirate buses era” took place in the last century in London. London General Omnibus Company was competing with independent transport, notorious as Pirate buses. Although the whole picture is more of a a fiction or metaphor of the “pirate race” events, it has some real historical symbols. Like the plate number of the original Routemaster – the first operated bus line was route number 2. The heart of the composition is classic AEC Routemaster bus, the most recognisable model, which is operated in London for the longest period. To emphasize the difference between its clean body and the pirate ones, they are bombed with ads like old sailors with tattoos. These ads are funny and reminds of the real London ads, like the Dirty Dicks pub. Some of them are taken from the period of the events mentioned, like Fairy Soap and Big Bang Cannons. Some of them (Boris Lemon Squash) are fictional. Race till the stop!