"I wondered, 'what the hell have I done here?'"

That was the initial reaction from Herald editorial cartoonist Guy Body after a cartoon on free speech he created blew up online this week.

The cartoon went viral in the four days since it was first shared online, having been retweeted over 2000 times and liked over 6,400 times.

The topic of free speech has been at the forefront of New Zealanders' minds over the past month following a stack of freedom-of-speech issues.

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The cartoon is split into two scenes and depicts the world's view on free speech according to Body.

The first scene has a man spewing out explicit views with a sign saying "free speech" and above him, the caption reads: "You're entitled to this".

The second scene portrays the man as very small compared to a giant megaphone with the words "free megaphone" on its side beside the man.

The caption for the second scene read: "You're not entitled to this".

"The notion has been bobbing around in my head for a few weeks ... I thought either use it or lose it," Body said.

The cartoon ran in Monday's newspaper and Body uploaded it to Twitter the night before.

"I checked the Twitter feed before breakfast the next day after posting it and it was up to 10,000 [views].

"After breakfast, it was up to 45,000 and after that, it was about 95,000," he said.

The free speech fuse was ignited after alt-right Canadian speakers Stefan Molyneux and Lauren Southern were banned from speaking at multiple venues in Auckland.

Next, it was Massey University who came under fire for banning former National Party leader Don Brash from speaking there after security concerns were raised last week.

Brash later spoke at a debate at the University of Auckland over freedom of speech where he was heckled by protesters throughout.

Trophies cartoon. France wins the World Cup in Moscow, Djokovic wins Wimbledon, and Putin wins over Trump in Helsinki. Image / Rod Emmerson
Trophies cartoon. France wins the World Cup in Moscow, Djokovic wins Wimbledon, and Putin wins over Trump in Helsinki. Image / Rod Emmerson

Last month a different Herald editorial cartoonist had his work thrust into the limelight around the world.

Rod Emmerson created a cartoon that featured the Football World Cup, Wimbledon and the meeting between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin.

It had a Frenchman lifting the football world cup, Novak Djokovic lifting the Wimbledon trophy and Putin lifting a miniature Trump.

Emmerson's cartoon even featured on French television during a profile on the France 24 news channel.

Body's cartoon has been viewed over 550,000 times in the four days since its creation.

"A [friend] told me, if only I earned a dollar per click," he said.