Archive for the ‘cartoons’ Category

Leete, Kitchener and the pointing man

February 6, 2015

Alfred Leete’s Kitchener poster was the subject of great debate last year with James Taylor’s book suggesting it might never have existed, but The Amazing Story of the Kitchener Poster proved that thesis wrong by uncovering pictures of the poster on display during the Great War (a book I wrote with Martyn Thatcher).

We also discovered an image that Leete might have seen of a pointing man used in advertising. Now, I’ve unearthed two more pointing figures, one that Leete very possibly saw, and one that he undoubtedly did see.

The first is this one, a pointing man in an advert for The Power Within from Pearson’s magazine (June 1907). I don’t know if Leete was a contributor to Pearson’s at this time, but it was a big illustrated monthly and he would probably have had an eye on it – he certainly did covers for Herbert Jenkins’ Mrs Bindle series in the magazine in 1921. So this advert has to be considered a possible inspiration for Alfred Leete’s Kitchener image. Note the way the word ‘you’ is picked out just below the man’s hand.

A pointing man in an advert from Pearson's magazine (June 1907)

A pointing man in an advert from Pearson’s magazine (June 1907)

The second image that he probably did see is this one:

The pointing man from an advert in London Opinion magazine, 17 September  1910

The pointing man from an advert in London Opinion magazine, 17 September 1910

Why am I so sure Leete will have seen these? Because Leete was an established illustrator on the magazine by 1910, regularly doing covers as well as drawings inside. Also, there is the illustration below in that very same issue of London Opinion – note his signature to the bottom right. When the war came along, he was in the right place to dash off the ‘Your Country Needs You’ image for the magazine cover.

Drawing by Alfred Leete in the same issue of London Opinion

Drawing by Alfred Leete in the same issue of London Opinion

 

Charlie Hebdo: will you buy it?

January 13, 2015
Defiant pencil from the Charlie Hebdo homepage

Defiant pencil from the Charlie Hebdo homepage

Charlie Hebdo has raised its print run tomorrow to a massive 3 million copies – probably 60 times its normal run – with copies being distributed far beyond their normal scope. And it has a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed on the cover.

Will you buy a copy?

I will, because the past week has been a historic one in the history of journalism and magazines. However, without such a professional impetus, the answer is not straightforward. While I have bought copies of Charlie Hebdo in the past, it has always seemed to me that it is an extreme magazine with editorial values that I could not share. It has been censored by the likes of Apple iTunes. And last week it came up against an even more extreme entity, in the form of extremist Islamists.

Do you agree with the statement today from the cartoonist who drew tomorrow’s cover: ‘There is no “but” when it comes to freedom of speech’? Even though another staff member has pointed out that: ‘We are not obsessed by Mohammed more than the Pope or [former French president] Nicolas Sarkozy.’

Charlie Hebdo exists to bait its targets by word and image, and to push the boundaries of what is allowed in print. But most newspapers and magazines would not go there. This can become an unequal battle being waged by highly literate – and after the revenue comes in tomorrow, well-resourced – journalists. What form of response is there for many of their targets? Muslim groups have tried to stop the magazine’s attacks by using the law, but from what I have read, have failed. However, the magazine was banned when it attacked Charles de Gaulle after his death. This does raise the issue of whether all people are equal before the law.

If you hold up a sign saying ‘Je Suis Charlie’, what are you supporting? Free speech? The right of Charlie Hebdo to carry on baiting Muslimists and its other targets? The 17 victims of the gunmen last week? If you buy a copy tomorrow, what will you be supporting then?

Charlie Hebdo highlights US ‘moral fundamentalism’

January 12, 2015
the flag flown on US warships for the duration of the US 'war on terror'

This is no cartoon – it’s the flag flown on US warships for the duration of the US ‘war on terror’. Shame about the missing apostrophe

This image may look like a cartoon, but it is in fact the flag currently being flown on US warships. As Graham Bertram at Flags.net explains:

This historical naval jack has been re-introduced for the duration of the war against terrorism. It replaces the traditional US naval jack which is dark blue with 50 white stars, arranged as in the national flag.

The flag was adopted in 2002 on the anniversary of the terrorist attacks on New York. The secretary of the US navy ordered all warships to raise the Revolutionary War jack with its rattlesnake – a symbol of resistance to the British dating back to the late 1700s – and the motto ‘Don’t tread on me’ to mark the ‘war on terror’. September 2014 marked the 12th year the historic jack has been flown.

I was reminded of the image with all the Charlie Hebdo cartoons, many showing illustrations of ‘weaponised’ pens and pencils. And much of the commentary has been about war – or avoiding one – as so many people take sides after last week’s brutal killings. In all, 17 people lost their lives. Today, France has put 10,000 troops on to the streets to guard potential targets as well as an extra 5,000 police. Yesterday, 3.7m people across France took to the streets to show solidarity with the victims.

This week’s print run of Charlie Hebdo has been raised from its usual 50,000 or less by a factor of 20 – to a million. Truly an example of war-like mobilisation. French newspapers have chipped in with office space and computers and the cash comes from a €60m fund for digital publishing innovation set up by Google at the behest of the French government after demands from publishers that the US search engine company pay for displaying their news in its results.

There’s a certain irony here in a US company being dragged in to fund a French satirical graphic magazine because one of the biggest US companies has spent years censoring such titles to such an extent that the director of the Comics Art Museum in Brussels dubbed Apple ‘fundamentalists of globalised morality’. A blog at the gallery explains:

In the summer of 2013, Apple, one of the most modern companies in the western world, imposed a ban on the online sale of some 1,500 Franco-Belgian comic strip albums for reasons of ‘pornography’. Needless to say, the pornographic nature of these albums is entirely questionable and exists mainly in the eyes of the fundamentalists of globalised morality.

Roman graphic novel Murena by Jean Dufaux and Philippe Delaby

Roman graphic novel Murena by Jean Dufaux and Philippe Delaby

The publisher, Dargaud, was forced to censor its own artwork and produce an edition of Les épines by Jean Dufaux and Philippe Delaby for sale on Apple’s iTunes, alongside the usual edition for sale in Franco-Belgian bookshops.

J.C. de la Royère, the museum’s curator, said that as ‘a great defender of freedom of expression’, he was ‘more than happy to join the fray by exhibiting the complete version of Les épines by Jean Dufaux and Philippe Delaby’.

Such ‘bandes dessinées’ (drawn strips) have been popular since the 1960s in France and Belgium. I first came across them when I dodged into a bookshop on the Left Bank in Paris to avoid a riot in the street! My eyes were popping as I rifled through titles such as Metal Hurlant (Heavy Metal, editions of which have been published in English in the US for many years now). The strips portrayed sex and violence – beyond anything in underground magazines in Britain that I had seen – and it was in one of these that I first saw the work of Swiss illustrator HR Giger, who a few years later would burst on to the world stage with his designs for the creatures and spaceships in Ridley Scott’s Alien.

The irony has also not been lost on the web newspaper  The Daily Dot, which has commented on ‘The hypocrisy of Facebook and Apple supporting Charlie Hebdo.‘It points out:

Apple — the king of US technology giants — has a #JeSuisCharlie banner on its iTunes store. Not only does Apple regularly engage in censorship on its various platforms and stores — it used to be against the rules to even ridicule public figures on the iTunes store — it has actually specifically censored Charlie Hebdo in the past.

It seems that, although the US tech giants are flying the flag for Charlie Hebdo, in reality their attitude to censorship means: ‘Je ne suis pas Charlie’.

Back to the drawing board at Charlie Hebdo

January 8, 2015

If the gunmen thought they would shut Charlie Hebdo up, here is the response from the French satirical magazine’s lawyer:

The next edition of Charlie Hebdo will come out next week and a million copies will be printed.

Charlie Hebdo’s typical sale for an issue is about 45,000 copies. The Guardian assesses the magazine’s likely reaction under the headline ‘Fight intimidation with controversy‘.

The Telegraph has updated its slideshow of cartoonists’ reactions, led by this one from pocket cartoonist Matt:

Telegraph cartoonist Matt's reaction to the 12 murders at Paris magazine Charlie Hebdo

Telegraph cartoonist Matt’s reaction to the 12 murders at Paris magazine Charlie Hebdo

The Financial Times also put up a page of cartoons this morning. Magazine reactions have continued at their websites. At the New Yorker:

The attack on Charlie Hebdo is only the latest blow delivered by an ideology that has sought to achieve power through terror for decade

The Spectator magazine ran a photograph of the vigil at Trafalgar Square with a comment article sparked by the Financial Times that – like many of the paper’s own readers, and commentators around the world – took aim at an opinion piece by one of the paper’s writers:

I am just back from a ‘Je suis Charlie’ vigil in Trafalgar Square, and the solidarity was good to see. I fear it won’t last. I may be wrong. Perhaps tomorrow’s papers and news programmes will prove their commitment to freedom by republishing the Charlie Hebdo cartoons.

But I doubt they will even have the courage to admit that they are too scared to show them. Instead we will have insidious articles, which condemn freedom of speech as a provocation and make weasel excuses for murder without having the guts to admit it.

Tony Barber, Europe editor of the Financial Times was first out of the blocks:

‘Charlie Hebdo is a bastion of the French tradition of hard-hitting satire. It has a long record of mocking, baiting and needling Muslims.’

The writer forgot to add that Charlie Hebdo has a long record of mocking, baiting and needling everyone. It is a satirical magazine in a free country: that is what it does.

The websites were still quiet at Private Eye and Le Canard Enchainé, but perhaps taking time to think is a good thing.

Charlie Hebdo: cartoonists react

January 7, 2015
Je Suis Charlie - Charlie Hebdo's website after the murderous attack on its Paris office

Je Suis Charlie – Charlie Hebdo’s website after the murderous attack on its Paris office

After putting up a post on the murders at Charlie Hebdo this morning, I passed a Standard news-seller holding up copies of the London paper shouting ‘Paris killings. Read about it. In your Standard.’ It was like stepping back 30 years. This was real news, not the puffed-up, pre-prepared variety that is now the daily fare of most newspapers, from the Standard to the Guardian.

But it was dreadful news and I watched through the day as details of the killings emerged. Cartoonists reacted quickly to the murders of two policemen and 10 staff on the magazine. While there is little doubt that Charlie Hebdo set out to irritate and wind people up, it did this to all its targets – which led to it being banned for comments about de Gaulle for example – but that is no reason to pull a gun.

Three masked gunmen killed 12 people in the attack, including the editor, Stéphane ‘Charb’ Charbonnier, and three cartoonists, Jean Cabu, Bernard ‘Tignous’ Verlhac and Georges Wolinski, who was 80 years old. The attack took place during a morning editorial meeting and Bernard Maris, a contributor and economost was another victim. As well as drawing for Charlie, the victims contributed to Paris Match, Le Nouvel Observateur, Marianne, Fluide Glacial and Paris-Presse, amongst others. Wolinski had also been the editor-in-chief of the monthly Charlie Mensuel.

People gathered in both Place de la Republique in Paris and Trafalgar Square – London has been described as France’s second city – but, surprisingly, some satirical magazines have been slow to comment. 

The Telegraph ran a slideshow of cartoonists’ reactions, and at the paper’s website, Adams came up with this brilliant riposte to those who would silence the cartoonists:

Brilliant reaction to Charlie Hebdo killings by Adams at the Telegraph

Brilliant reaction to Charlie Hebdo killings by Adams at the Telegraph

 Dutch illustrator Ruben Oppenheimer also made his mark: 

Ruben Oppenheimer reminded us where the 'war on terror' began

Ruben Oppenheimer reminded us where the ‘war on terror’ began

 Yet, in France, Le Canard Enchainé, a rival satirical weekly founded in 1915, had made no comment by 8pm, just publishing its usual edition in the morning.

Le Canard Enchainé, a rival satirical weekly, had made no comment by 8pm, just publishing its usual edition in the morning

Le Canard Enchainé, a rival satirical weekly, had made no comment by 8pm, just publishing its usual edition in the morning

It was also quiet at Private Eye:

Private Eye ran no comment on the Charlie shootings

Private Eye ran no comment on the Charlie shootings

Private Eye‘s editor Ian Hislop did turn up on the Daily Mail website saying the victims of the Charlie Hebdo shooting had ‘paid a very high price for exercising their comic liberty’.

Private Eye editor Ian Hislop quoted in the Daily Mail

Private Eye editor Ian Hislop quoted in the Daily Mail

However, The Spectator ran two big stories during the day on its website.

The Spectator ran comment pieces of the Paris killings

The Spectator ran comment pieces of the Paris killings

There was a similar reaction at the US literary magazine, the New Yorker:

The New Yorker's reaction to the attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices

The New Yorker’s reaction to the attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices

The Daily Mash website put up a cover of ‘le journal irresponsable': 

The Daily Mash marks the Paris attack

The Daily Mash marks the Paris attack

 Magculture hinted at the range of victims of Charlie Hedbo’s vicious pens:

Magculture home page on Charlie Hebdo murders

Magculture home page on Charlie Hebdo murders

Charlie Hebdo itself ran a powerful, simple image on its website – ‘Je Suis Charlie’ (I am Charlie) that reminded me of the Time Out cover after the 7/7 London bombings. The page linked to a PDF of the words translated into other languages, including Arabic. People held up printouts of the home page image at protests around the world this afternoon.

Miss Fish and her Eve drawings for Tatler

December 30, 2014
One of Miss Fish's drawings of Eve, from the popular Tatler column

One of Miss Fish’s drawings of Eve, from the popular Tatler column

One of the pleasures in writing a book about the history of magazines is discovering great talents that were household names a century or more ago but have since faded from the public gaze. One of those is Anne Harriet Fish. Miss Fish illustrated Tatler’s ‘Letters of Eve’ during the First World War and was 0ne of the most popular features of the magazine. The column started in May 1914 and was written by Olivia Maitland-Davidson with Anne Harriet Fish providing the drawings.

The witty, gossipy column of a society girl, like the rest of the magazine, had to alter its approach when Tatler suffered a considerable drop in sales at the outbreak of the war.

The Tatler was edited at the time by Edward Huskinson, himself a former cartoonist. He kept the magazine’s ‘light’ approach but aimed the humour at men in the armed forces and their families at home. The problem affected most publications – as demonstrated by circulation figures from the Financial Times, which saw its sales half during 1914, from an average of 15,000 a day to 7,000. Tatler‘s owner, Shorter, also owned the Sketch and another society weekly, the Bystander.

The Bystander changed its cover masthead to depict soldiers guarding the coast and then a man in uniform back at home in Blighty, rather than just society types sitting around chatting and reading.

Tatler Eve illustrator Anne Harriet Fish photographed in about 1915

Tatler Eve illustrator Anne Harriet Fish – Annie Fish – photographed in about 1915

Annie Fish’s unusual style created a ‘great vogue’ that was copied by designers of hats, coats and handkerchiefs; a play based a scene on a Fish drawing; a New Bond Street galley held an exhibition of her work; and a dozen short films used the drawings, with titles such as Eve Resolves to do War Work. The Eve illustrations were published as books, as were Maitland-Davidson’s columns.

The British Library lists 16 books written or illustrated by Fish, including Gilbert Frankau’s One of Us … With pictures by Fish (1917); The New Eve. Drawings by Fish written and designed by Fowl. Reproduced from … ‘The Tatler’ (1917); Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám. Rendered into English verse by Edward Fitzgerald. With decorations by Fish (1922); Lipstick by Lady Vincent (1925); and All’s Well that Ends Swell. Auto suggestion for sensitive souls (1939).

Jazz Age dancers by AH Fish on the cover of Vanity fair, December 1927

Jazz Age dancers by AH Fish on the cover of Vanity fair, December 1927

Fish also worked for Vogue and did 30 covers portraying high society at play for Vanity Fair. These art deco style covers ran through the 1920s, depicting the bright young things, flappers and ballrooms full of elegantly dressed dancers in the Jazz Age.

In among the books above, Fish’s fame crossed the Atlantic, with a 1920 work of her drawings with text by American writers. It was published in New York with the title: High Society. The drawings by Fish. The prose precepts by Dorothy Parker, George S. Chappell, and Frank Crowninshiel. Condé Nast now owns both the Tatler and Vanity Fair.

One of the Condé Nast blogs by Shawn Waldron noted that the High Society book portrayed:

… a world populated by young-old matrons, astoundingly mature young girls, Victorian lady remnants, resplendent captains of industry, pussy-footing English butlers, amorous nursemaids, race touts, yearning young lovers, swanking soldiers, blank and vapid bores, bridge-playing parsons, and middle-class millionaires.

The blog also noted that the April 2010 issue of Vanity Fair carried a photograph of Hayley Bloomingdale, an American socialite, wearing a dress by designer Carolina Herrera portraying a print based on Fish’s drawings.

 

Cartoon perils of the phone

December 22, 2014
Black and white cartoon: Alfred Leete - the artist behind the 'Kitchener poster - shows this woman yelling into the earpiece of an Edwardian wall phone

Alfred Leete – the artist behind the ‘Kitchener poster – shows this woman yelling into the earpiece of an Edwardian wall phone

Thomas Maybank shows a drunk trying to call using a gong stick. He drew for Punch and did Oojah the elephant series in the Daily Sketch in the 1920s

Thomas Maybank shows a drunk trying to call using a gong stick. He drew for Punch and did Oojah the elephant series in the Daily Sketch in the 1920s

I bumped into a friend a while back who showed me her new mobile phone. Searching the web… email… using it as a torch, she had it mastered – but not receiving calls, where she had failed miserably!

Yet problems with new technology and gadgets are no new thing – who hasn’t done battle with a video recorder? These cartoons from Royal magazine demonstrate the sort of issues that my pal and I would have faced a century ago.

Alfred Leete, Thomas Maybank and Starr Wood were among the black-and-white artists who contributed to this article from 1913 in the Royal magazine.

And do doubt many recipients of new phones this Christmas will be facing similar problems once they’ve got the device charged up.

Starr Wood has been kept waiting on the line once too often!

Starr Wood has been kept waiting on the line once too often!

 

Ronald Searle explains printer’s jargon

December 22, 2014
Ronald Searle's cartoon glossary to printers' jargon

Ronald Searle’s cartoon glossary to printers’ jargon

Ronald Searle is known for his St Trinians cartoons, but his scratchy style – developed while he was a prisoner of war under the Japanese – brought him fame across the world. This ‘Layman’s guide to the Printer’s Anatomy’ is his take on the jargon of the pressman’s world done for the Inky Way in 1951.

The Inky Way was published by WPN, the company behind World’s Press News and Advertisers Review – the weekly trade paper that was bought up by Michael Heseltine’s Haymarket in 1968 and relaunched, with a focus on the advertising industry because journalists didn’t have any money, as Campaign.   

Searle has no room for ‘nut’ and ‘mutton’, or printer’s lice, but what is a ‘swelled rule’ when it’s out?

 

Scarf cartoon warning to Isadora Duncan

December 16, 2014
Tom Browne cartoon warning to Isadora Duncan

The fate of the cyclist in this Tom Browne cartoon should have been a warning to Isadora Duncan

Isadora Duncan was a popular dancer from California who lived in Europe in the 1920s. She met an untimely death at the age of 50 when travelling in a car as a passenger – her long scarf became entangled in one of the rear wheels and broke her neck.

That happened in 1927, so this three-frame Tom Browne cartoon from 1904 predates the accident by 23 years.

The cartoon was carried in Cassell’s Penny magazine with the three frames broken up by jokes. Cycling was still a relatively new sport – notice there is no sign of any brakes on the bike.

Like many publishers, Cassells produced fiction magazines alongside its books. As well as the Penny Magazine, it published Chums and the upmarket monthly Cassell’s Magazine.

The Penny Magazine lasted until the mid-1920s, when it was taken over by T.P. O’Connor, a prominent journalist and Irish nationalist politician who sat as a  British MP, to become T.P.’s and Cassell’s Weekly. O’Connor is one of two journalists marked by a bust in Fleet Street, the other being Edgar Wallace.

 

Furniss, Ward and Bryan – three great Victorian caricaturists

December 2, 2014
A cover of Tit-Bits magazine from 1899

A cover of Tit-Bits magazine from 1899 with a Pears soap display advertisement

‘How Caricaturists Catch Their Subjects’ was the title of an 1889 article in George Newnes’ groundbreaking weekly Tit-Bits (from all the most interesting books, periodicals and contributors in the world). The unnamed interviewer ‘caught up with’ Harry Furniss – a Punch contributor best known for his ‘I used your soap cartoon’ and trying to establish his own humorous magazine, Lika Joka; Leslie Ward – ‘Spy’ of Vanity Fair; and Alfred Bryan (who reveals that ‘A good cartoon costs about £20,’ … ‘with the engraving’).  The article is repeated here, both for its insight into this trio and as an example of the style of Victorian as well. There were no images in the original article but I have added some images and explanation.

A representative of Tit-Bits has recently been chatting with a trio of celebrated caricaturists, who are admittedly at the head of the respective branches of their art.

Harry Furniss cartoon from Punch that was later used by Pear's soap, one of the founders of modern advertising techniques, for its campaigns - included as  full-page in a Punch almanac

Harry Furniss cartoon from Punch that was later used by Pear’s soap, one of the founders of modern advertising techniques, for its campaigns – included as full-page in a Punch almanac

Mr Harry Furniss may be found in the immediate neighbourhood of Primrose Hill. He is thirty-five years of age, an amateur juggler, plays golf in the same club of with the Right Hon. A. J. Balfour, MP, is captain; is a splendid horseman – see the worthy artist “doing” Hampstead on horseback every morning before settling down to work – and, occasionally, when out, is persuaded to mimic MPs in voice and gesture, which later, as everybody knows is his forte with the pencil.

“Just in time. Have a cup? Oh! I always take a little Souchong at three.”

We took a cup and a chair, and “H.F.” took us into his confidence by saying “I started in knickerbockers. Yes; when at school I wrote a little journal and illustrated it myself, all in MS, and published it every fortnight. It exists no longer. At 19, I came to London town, and as you know my favourite ‘pitch’ now for many years has been the precincts of the House.

“I have a special privilege from the Lord Chamberlain to go there, and all the sketches you see are taken from life, for I would rather have my man for a minute than all the photographs in the world. I do a lot of my sketches in the lobby of the House, spending two or three evenings a week there. I just make a rough idea in my note-book, retaining all the little peculiarities of my subject, for mannerisms are the secret of caricaturing.

“Then I elaborate on the morrow, getting my model – here he is, he has been with me for 10 years, and has sat for every MP during that period – to pose so as to get the folds of the coat, trousers, etc. In the House of Lords we are not allowed to sketch, so I keep watch outside.

“I have spoken about mannerisms. The late Mr W. E. Forster had a habit of walking with his arm on his hip; hence he was so caricatured. Mr Joseph Arch always wipes his hand down his coat before shaking hands, whilst Mr Gladstone – who, in common with the late Earl of Beaconsfield, is simply invaluable to the caricaturist, has many little peculiarities.

“You see, a caricature turns on the smallest point. A cartoon of Lord Hardwicke would surely find him in a hat. He gained a wonderful reputation through his hat. He discovered a way of cleaning it which to this day has never been found out.

“Well, out of all those in the House, I most respectfully select Mr Gladstone, as being the best ‘all round’ man. Why, sir, I have sat for hours watching the great statesman, seen his flower fade and his tie work round to the back of his neck, and I firmly believe that Mr Gladstone will be known in the future by his caricatures, for I have never yet seen a good picture of him published.

“Mr John Morley is the most difficult to catch. He looks young one moment and old the next’, and Sir Richard Temple is the easiest. Anybody with marked features is readily caught. I am of opinion that the members rather like it, but to judge from the appealing letters I have from some of their wives, begging me not to make their husbands look too ridiculous, I fear they do not always care about it.

“When a new Parliament meets, of course I am anxious to get the latest members. It is very funny, sometimes, to see how a member will come up to me and say, ‘Can I do anything to help you?’ Mind you, this is often the very man I want; so I get him to hold a supposed subject in conversation for a few moments, and give him a wink when I have done. I have really got him, and to the best of advantage, for all his little peculiarities are bound to come out under such circumstances.

“There is an excellent caricaturist in the House – Mr Frank Lockwood, QC, MP. He sold me once. Last session there was a new member of the House whom I particularly wanted to catch. In my innocence I asked Mr Lockwood to bring my subject along to the lobby – talking to him. Away went the QC; I saw not the evil look in his eyes. I waited for half an hour, but he never returned. I went in search. The new MP had gone; so had Lockwood, with a caricature in his coat pocket!”

And just as we are speaking, a merry peal of laughter reminds Mr Furniss that his own children always sit for the little ones in his pictures, and pretty little models they are, too. Round the walls of his studio are some fine specimens of the style of art of long ago; valuable first editions of books fill his library; four curious-looking Japanese heads, which Mr Furniss calls his “four-fathers,” repose in a corner; and in his billiard-room are original drawings of over two hundred members of the house, for, says the artist, “I can’t keep away from my friends even when having a game of billiards, so I give them a place round the walls where they can look on.”

The “Spy” of Vanity Fair is Mr Leslie Ward, a dark-complexioned gentleman, with a black, military-looking moustache, 38 years of age, and who lives in a secluded little studio out Chelsea way. He will tell you that his father was the well-known RA [Royal Academy member], and that he gave instructions when his boy was sent to Eton that he should never be allowed to finger a pencil, knowing the uphill work of an artist’s life; how in spite of his thoughtful parents wishes, Spy can bring forth a weighty volume showing his very earliest efforts in the shape of caricatures of everybody between the headmaster and the hall-porter.

Then he became a student in the Royal Academy, until, on one lucky Monday in 1873, Millais caught sight of a sketch of Professor Owen which evinced such talent that the great artist gained for him an introduction to the position he now fills.

“I must have done something like 500 caricatures for that one paper since then,” said Mr Ward, at the time taking pencil and paper and preparing to “skit off” the writer. “I work mostly in the mornings, and I may make dozens of sketches before I feel that I have got him. I abominate photos. I like to catch my man out, my favourite method being stalking my subject for a mile or two, and getting his peculiarities that way, or else to be in a room with him, while he is totally ignorant of my presence.

“To be properly caricatured one must be natural. When I took [Henry] Searle, the champion sculler (Vanity Fair, September 1889], I walked with him for six miles; observe the champion taking his constitutional. For Mr Augustus Harris [Drury Lane theatre manager who was renowned for his pantomimes], I went to his house to dinner, and afterwards spent the evening with him at the theatre [Vanity Fair, 28 September 1889.].

“But let me tell you one or two little experiences of the difficulties which beset the caricaturist. I once took the late [Gerald Wellesley] Dean of Windsor [Castle] [Vanity Fair, 8 April 1876]. He was a very early riser, and would get up every morning at seven o’clock and walk round about the Round Tower. I went down to Windsor, and for two or here mornings was up with the dean, and, much to his discomfiture, followed in his footsteps.

“Now, he wore a most hideous slouched hat on these early morning trips, and in this identical chapeau I drew him. When once he saw how he looked in it, for he had a copy of the caricature sent to him, he never wore it again, and his wife told a friend how thankful she was, for she had been trying to get him to give it up for years. He did when he saw my picture!

Dr [Charles] Goodford, the late Provost of Eton, always carried a very big umbrella on his shoulder, military fashion [Vanity Fair, 22 January 1876]. He had a peculiar way, too, of standing with his legs wide apart. So I drew him. When he saw the caricature he said, ‘Well. I’m sure I never stand like that.’

“’You do!’ his wife assured him; ‘it is exactly like you.’

“’Nonsense’; I’ll never believe it,’ replied the Provost.

“But one day he was walking along the streets of Windsor with his wife, when he suddenly halted to look in a shop window. Behind was a large mirror. He saw himself in the glass, and, turning to his wide, exclaimed: ‘My dear, you are perfectly right!’

“I spent a day at Chislehurst for the purpose of making a drawing of the Prince Imperial [Louis Napoléon, Vanity Fair, 14 July 1877]. Cetewayo, the Zulu king, was holding a sort of “at home” when I caught him [Vanity Fair, 26 August 1882]. He was quite unaware of the fact that, when he shook hands with me, I had transformed his face into my head.

“The story as to how I caught Cardinal Newman [Vanity Fair, 20 January 1877] might interest you. It was necessary for me to go down to the Oratory at Birmingham to see the Cardinal, and I arranged with an old schoolfellow who lived just outside the city of screws, to spend a week with him, and call on my respected subject whilst there. Strange to say, when I got to Euston, the very first man I saw on the platform was the Cardinal himself, who was going down by train. I followed him about, and, though he may never know it, I say at the same table as he did in the refreshment room to which he had gone before starting.

“I went on to my friend’s at Birmingham, and still wanting one or two details, I called at the Oratory one day and inquired what time the reverend father would be going out, as I should like to catch a sight of one I so greatly admired. They told me he had a cold that day, but he might possibly be going out on the morrow. The next day, which was my last, found me waiting, but as nobody came out, I determined to call again. I did.

“’I think the Cardinal will see you,’ said the attendant. ‘I will go up and ask him.’ And do you know, sir, I felt so terribly nervous at the thought of deceiving him, and so fearful that my excuses for calling would not warrant my disturbing the one I wanted to see, that I do not know to this day what message was brought back by the attendant. As soon as he left me I opened the door and quietly bolted!”

Dan Leno caricatured by Alfred Bryan for the actor's autobiography, 'Dan Leno, Hys Books'

Dan Leno caricatured by Alfred Bryan for the actor’s autobiography, ‘Dan Leno, Hys Books’

Another well known caricaturist is “A.B.,” which stands for Mr Alfred Bryan, and amongst all his brother cartoonists “A.B.” is held up as the kindest-hearted man in the profession. He is thirty-six years of age, with hair just turning grey and a fair moustache. He “pencils” in the precincts of Chancery Lane, and you may see his initials attached to the principal cartoon in ‘Moonshine.’ They also appear in the [weekly theatrical review] Entr’acte, Judy [a rival to Punch], and Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News. He always does the Christmas cartoon for the World.

“A good cartoon costs about £20,” said “A.B.”; “that is, with the engraving as well. I never back a sketch at the theatre, but I keep my eye on the relative angles of the head, and perhaps when I get home jot down one or two ideas to fill in next morning. I take a mental photography, and I don’t like the person is wanted to know I am in the track. Mr Irving, Mr Toole, and Mr Willard are splendid subjects. I have managed to represent Mr Bradlaugh by two strokes and a dot, and tried to tell people who certain folk were intended for merely by showing their collars and their boots. Perhaps a little anecdote will tell you how quickly you can catch your man when in good time.

“Once I was sent down to Bristol to make a sketch of a popular preacher who was going to lecture there. I went down on behalf of a well-known weekly paper. I sent in my card to the wanted one, and he immediately gave me admission.

“’I cannot let you see me,’ he said ‘for purposes of making a sketch. Here you have come all this distance when a post-card would have brought back my answer. No; certainly not. Good-day.’

“But,” said “A.B.,” ”I had him – he was in next week!”

 


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