Sunday, August 5, 2012

British Cartoonists Album: Part 4

Gag Me With a Book!
 I thought this would be the last of my explorations into the 1962 British Cartoonists Album, but it looks like there will be one more. The Album contains so many gag cartoons that even a brief sampling pushed the political cartoons into their own chapter.

There's not much to say about gag cartoons. You either think they're funny or you don't, you like the cartoonist's style or you don't. It doesn't help that many of the Album's cartoonists have Google-proof names: Fox, Taylor, Larry. I finally just pulled a random selection of pages. So here we go...

I like Baker's gag on the upper right. I found a Kenneth Baker cartooning for The Daily Sketch, but he did political cartoons in a more elaborate drawing style. Of Nardi I found nothing, unless you count a bunch of porno links (??).

Why can't cartoonists have names like Morgengesternstein? I could find no clue as to who Phil Hanson or Carr were. The latter's signature looks more like Carro, but they say it's Carr. that should be an easy name to find, right? Nope. There's a contemporary strip artist with that name, and someone who worked for Punch in 1876. I suspect that isn't this guy. As for the face of Rupert Murdoch I didn't even try. The second gag (the first Finbow) may be dumb but it cracks me up. Do you suppose the "black paint" label on the can was added by an unimaginative editor? It's hardly necessary.

Here's somebody I know about. Ian Gammidge was a very busy fellow. Not only did he write a ton of daily strips, he also had time to draw gag cartoons. If these are any indication, he had a great sense of humor.

The top cartoon is by Ray (I think; might be Roy). On the bottom is yet another cartoon about school beatings. There were four of these in the collection. Must have been a hot subject.


Two by Alby, including another "six of the best" gag. The British Cartoon Archive knows he existed but has no information. Atchison's scribbly line really sells the joke in the last cartoon.

Three funny cartoons by Alexander. He's another of the guys whose style reminds me of Larry and Bill Tidy.

 Ayris and Acken. There were a lot of Daily Sketch cartoons in the Album. I got a laugh out of the psychiatrist gag, but I swear I've seen the same joke in an American cartoon. Not an accusation: with thousands of cartoons every year, it'd be strange if there weren't duplicates. I don't know anything about Acken, but I found another one of his cartoons--and a treaure trove of British cartoons from the Weekend Book of Jokes--on Rod McKie's blog.

To wrap things up, here are two quite funny cartoons with really nice drawing by Chic Jacob. Finally, someone with a bio! Cyril Alfred Jacob...began cartooning in 1950, worked on the Daily Express and the Observer. Won Cartoonist of the Year in 1966. He did a strip with Les Lilley, another wide-ranging British strip writer. The two also freelanced TV and radio scripts. According to the British Cartoon Archive his cartoons appeared in Punch, Picturegoer, Star, Daily Sketch, Daily Mirror, Sunday Dispatch, Accountancy Age, Law Society's Gazette, Spectator, New Statesman, Oldie, Insider and Private Eye. Wish all these guys had such thorough biographies.

Tomorrow, the last part of this series: back to the past with British political cartoonists.

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