After Searle

January 3, 2012 in Comment

Bloghorn: Ronald Searle in Le Monde

Many cartoonists could get sentimental about the work of the late Ronald Searle who has died, aged 91.

Bloghorn - A present from Searle

The long list of the self-described graphic satirist’s achievements are well documented here, here and here. Bloghorn also recommends a visit to the long-running Perpetua blog, especially for anyone not familar with the full range of the man’s work.

Some of the great outpouring of affection for the artist since news of his death can be read here and some we have also clipped some reactions for this post.

Bloghorn: what is a cartoonist?

Many professionals have responded to the news, as below, and often with reflections on Searle’s experences in the prison camps of the Second World War. Much of his work from his time in the army is held at the Imperial War Museum archive in London.

Bloghorn: Searle WW2

There are many terrific tributes and retrospectives, some provided by last year’s Cartoon Museum exhibition, for which Searle was persuaded to give a rare television interview. We also recommend a listen to to BBC Radio’s Desert island Discs programme talking to the artist in 2005.

Speaking on behalf of the Professional Cartoonist’s Organisation, Andy Davey, the chairman, said:

He was one of the greats. Influenced everybody. It’s hard to know where to start — he worked in every area — from The New Yorker to Le Monde, children’s illustration to reportage, advertising to books and excelled in all, leaving his elegant, easily identifiable mark. 

And on behalf of its sister organisation, the British Cartoonist’ Association, Martin Rowson said:

Immensely sad news about the death of Ronald Searle, tinged with a kind of insane gratitude that we had him for so long, particularly as he probably thought he was going to die when he was 19 or 20, as a prisoner of the Japanese. But if he had, the whole of post-war British cartooning would have been immeasurably poorer, not just because of his work, but because of his influence.

John Jensen, chairman of the BCA, added;

I feel I have lost a lifelong companion and mentor. Ancient cartoonists like myself remember Searle’s first post-war cartoons making an appearance in Lilliput back in 1946, and then spreading everywhere. Right from the off it was clear that this was the new boy on the block. A very big block.

We’ll finish with a present given by Ronald Searle as reported by a grateful recepient on Twitter:

Bloghorn - Ronald_Searle_a_gift

And yes, of course, she kept the original.

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