Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Ronald Searle, 1920-2011.

When I was a kid there was nothing I wanted to do more in my life than be a cartoonist. One of the cartoonists I admired most was Ronald Searle, who died last Friday in France.

Searle did the opening credits of a movie I liked, "Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines" and occasionally my father would bring home a copy of the English magazine "Punch" where I could also see Searle's work.

Years later, when I was close to 30, Searle published a book "To the Kwai — and Back: War Drawings 1939-1945." And "The New York Times" wrote a story of a reunion Searle had with a Japanese captor--a captain who allowed him to sketch clandestinely while he was a POW.

Searle's obituary is worth reading.

I particularly liked this part:

Mr. Searle became a satirist, he once said, because “in the late ’30s, things in general and politics in particular were no longer neatly divided into things black and white.”

“On top of this,” he added, “there was the irresistible impulse to draw. I cannot remember wanting to be anything else other than an artist.”

I reckon most people in advertising can relate to that--or some other--irresistible impulse to create.


Tore Claesson said...

One of my absolute favourite artists. R.I.P.

dave trott said...

As you're on holiday with time to read, I thought you might enjoy this. I'm sure you won't have time when you're back in NY.

george tannenbaum said...

Thanks, Dave.

I'm 2/3 of the way through the article--not because I can't focus, but because I am in the middle of Simon Sebag Montefiore's amazing history "Jerusalem. Biography of a City."

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