Posts Tagged ‘Punch’

On this day in magazines: Punch and Thatcher in 1977

February 24, 2017
How Trog portrayed Thatcher for Punch in 1977 (February 23)

How Trog portrayed Thatcher for Punch in 1977 (February 23)

‘Trog’ – Willy Fawkes – was a prolific cartoonist and did several Margaret Thatcher caricatures for Punch. This 1977 cover illustrated an article entitled, ‘What to do about the baby shortage’. The Conservative Party leader would not became prime minister for another two years. Here, she is portrayed as pregnant in the pose made famous by Alfred Leete in the ‘Your Country Needs You’ image of Lord Kitchener.

Thatcher had been a member of parliament since 1959 and became Edward Heath’s education secretary in 1970, a post she held for four years until the Tories lost power. She replaced Heath to become leader of the opposition and in 1979 won the first of her three premierships, losing the party leadership to John Major in 1990. Next are two more Thatcher depictions by Trog, all also before she became PM.

Trog turns to Dickens for inspiration in this Thatcher caricature from 1971 for Punch magazine cover

Trog turns to Dickens for inspiration in this Thatcher caricature from 20 July 1971 for Punch

In 1971, Trog had turned to Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist for inspiration, a serial first published in Bentley’s Miscellany magazine in 1837, with a George Cruikshank engraving of the above scene. The Punch cartoon has Thatcher in the role of Mr Bumble, the workhouse beadle, taking umbrage at Oliver asking for more gruel. She was education secretary at this time and cut spending. In 1974, and caused a furore and was nicknamed ‘Thatcher the milk snatcher‘ for ending the practice of primary schoolchildren being given a small bottle of milk each day.

Thatcher as a hippy! Trog for Punch in 1975

Thatcher finds the grass is greener as a hippy! Trog for Punch in 1975

The idea of Thatcher as a spliff-smoking, guitar-strumming hippy is the sort of thing that would have to come from a cartoonist like Trog. The Punch cover is from October 8, 1975, a year after she had replaced Edward Heath as  leader of the Conservative Party.


To see almost 500 magazine covers and pages, look out for my book, A History of British Magazine Design, from the Victoria & Albert Museum, the world’s leading museum of art and design

 

 


On this day in magazines: Punch 1954

February 3, 2017
Illingworth's controversial Punch cartoon of Churchill from February, 1954

Illingworth’s controversial Punch cartoon of Churchill from February 3, 1954

From its inception in 1841, Punch magazine built on the great tradition of English satire.

Fleet Street's Punch Tavern, with the eponymous puppet above the doorway

Fleet Street’s Punch Tavern, with the eponymous puppet above the doorway

Its founders originally held meetings in the Edinburgh Castle Tavern on The Strand. However, when its offices moved from 13 Wellington Street in Covent Garden to 85 Fleet Street, the magazine’s editors also moved east, to the Crown and Sugar Loaf at 99 Fleet Street. So, when the architects Saville and Martin rebuilt the pub in 1894-95 with the Baker Brothers, as part of a public house boom, they changed its name to The Punch Tavern. Mr Punch’s sharp chin and nose can be seen above the door to this day, and the The Punch Tavern was listed in 1996.

By the 1920s, Punch magazine could boast that its advertising pages were booked months ahead. However, three decades later, Bradbury Agnew & Co, its publishers, could see that sales were in decline. Cartoonists had once been the scourge of politicians, but they had lost their bite in Punch and readers were being tempted away by new-fangled televisions. The response from Bradbury Agnew was to appoint a new editor, Malcolm Muggeridge, in 1953. He sacked the magazine’s lead cartoonist, EH Shepard, the Winnie the Pooh illustrator, who had held the position since 1945.

In 1954, Punch was still using a front cover that was little different from Dicky Doyle's design from a century earlier

In 1954, Punch was still using Dicky Doyle’s front cover design from a century earlier

Within a year of Muggeridge’s editorship, in the issue of 3 February 1954, Punch pulled off a controversial coup in Leslie Illingworth’s 1954 sketch of Winston Churchill for the weekly’s ‘Big Cut’ cartoon.

The portrayal of an ailing prime minister – rather than the man who had epitomised the British bulldog spirit – with the caption ‘Man Goeth Forth unto his Work and to his Labour until the Evening’ upset friends of Britain’s wartime leader and the man himself. Churchill has been quoted as saying: ‘Yes, there’s malice in it. Look at my hands – I have beautiful hands … Punch goes everywhere. I shall have to retire if this sort of thing goes on.’

Illingworth had held down two positions right at the top of the cartoon world through the war, working for both Punch and the Daily Mail. As the British Cartoon Archive says:

It was noted in 1942 that Illingworth’s busiest time began on Thursday mornings, after the Punch cartoon had been commissioned the previous day. This was “Illingworth’s toughest period of the week…when he has a Punch cartoon and two Mail cartoons to produce before Saturday”, and he would often work through the night and into the next day to produce the detailed drawings. His wartime cartoons were very successful, and after the war a cutting of one of his Daily Mail cartoons – from 14 January 1944 – was found in the ruins of Hitler’s chancellery.

As the Political Cartoon Society points out, Churchill was deeply offended, but it was Muggeridge’s strategy to ‘make a loud nasty noise of the kind nobody associated with Punch‘.  It quotes Muggeridge saying to a friend in late January 1954:

As he sprang from the train [Muggeridge] remarked with profound satisfaction that the issue of the magazine he had just sent to the press was ‘likely to get us all in a lot more hot water’

It also cites Churchill’s doctor, Lord Moran: ‘There was something un-English in this savage attack on his failing powers. The eyes were dull and lifeless.’

Writing in the Journal of European Studies, Mark Bryant sums up his view on Illingworth in an article entitled ‘Crusader, white rabbit or organ-grinder’s monkey? Leslie Illingworth and the British political cartoon in World War II’:

If anyone deserved an award for his work in peace-time or war it was Illingworth. Praised by Sir Alfred Munnings, former president of the Royal Academy, he has been called ‘the last of the great penmen in the line of English social satirists starting with Hogarth’ and ‘probably the most outstanding cartoonist that Punch ever had’. Nicholas Garland has also described him as ‘the last of a great line of black and white draughtsmen … There is no mystery about his work. It is just superb.’ (1 September 2001, pp 345-366, vol 31, issue 123)

Ronald Searle's cartoon of Churchill in Punch from 18 April, 1956

Ronald Searle’s cartoon of Churchill in Punch from 18 April, 1956

Even after that controversy, Muggeridge’s Punch did not leave Churchill alone. Ronald Searle set about the prime minister again in 1956. The photograph Searle depicted on the wall behind Churchill is of the PM at the Yalta conference with Stalin and Roosevelt in 1945.

The newspaper headline refers to ‘Stalin in disgrace’ and the titles of the books on top of the bookcase are ‘Roosevelt, the Truth’ and ‘Inside Roosevelt’, referring to criticism of the US president’s record that had emerged. Roosevelt’s death within months of the Yalta conference was met with shock in the US because his declining physical health had been kept secret from the public.

Muggeridge left his position after four years, probably because the Punch owners found him  too controversial.


To see almost 500 magazine covers and pages, look out for my book, A History of British Magazine Design, from the Victoria & Albert Museum, the world’s leading museum of art and design


Mother’s Friend and the engraver John Swain

November 1, 2016
Mother's Friend magazine with a John Swain cover engraving from November 1888

Mother’s Friend magazine with a John Swain cover engraving from November 1888

The Mother’s Friend ran for almost 50 years from 1848 and was one of several magazines launched for mothers in the mid-Victorian era. Note the prominent cover credit for the editor, Mrs GS Reaney, who was also a prolific book author for Hodder and Stoughton, with titles such as For my Children’s Sake: A Christmas story for mothers.

The particular issue, dated November 1888, has a cover engraving signed by John Swain, one of the most skilled craftsmen of his day.

John Swain's signature in 1888

John Swain’s signature in 1888

Swain (1829-98) was a wood engraver who worked for a considerable time on Punch, where he was a favourite engraver of John Leech. The artists’s caricatures where interpreted by the engravers, who carved a representation of the image into wood. On a weekly such as Punch, large images were made up of several blocks, which were clamped together for printing.

The John Swain engraving of sleeping children shows his skill

The John Swain engraving of sleeping children shows his skill

An engraver could specialise in certain subjects, such as sea, sky or people. Swain was popular with Leech for his ability to carve dainty feet and hands, a skill that can be seen in this cover.

As well as Mother’s Friend and Punch, Swain made engravings for Once a Week and the Illustrated London News, along with many books. As a young man, he formed a partnership with  John Rimbault, one of a family of celebrated engravers, and worked on The Engineer. He formed a company in 1857, which later became John Swain and Son at 58 Farringdon Street and later at Columbia House, 80-89 Shoe Lane.

 


To see almost 500 magazine covers and pages, look out for my book, A History of British Magazine Design, from the Victoria & Albert Museum, the world’s leading museum of art and design

 

 


 

Life at Punch in 1962

March 25, 2015
Punch magazine cover from 1879 (November 22). This cover shows the Dickie Bird cover that was used into the 1950s

Punch magazine cover from 1879 (November 22). This shows the Dickie Bird cover that was used into the 1950s

The weekly humour magazine Punch is long dead – despite an attempt to revive it in the 1990s – and only a cartoon archive selling reproductions exists today. Yet, in its day, Punch one of the world’s most influential magazines, not only in encouraging the development of other magazines (Judy, Owl and Lika Joka among them) but also bringing new word usages into the English language – ‘cartoon’, the ‘curate’s egg’ – developing the cartoon itself, and politically – angering Churchill, for example, in the way it portrayed him as an old man in the 1950s (probably losing editor Malcom Muggeridge his job in the process).

By this time, Punch was in decline in the face of competition from television for readers and advertising, and about to face Private Eye at the harder end of topical satire in print. Private Eye even ran a special issue having a go at what it saw as a Punch that had lost its edge (though criticising Punch had been a topic since at least 1916).

But it’s rare to be able to put a face to a famous name in the magazine world, so this British Pathe film from 1962 was a bit of a find.

Punch table in 1962 from British Pathe film

Punch table in 1962 from British Pathe film

It starts with Bernard Hollowood, the editor, and cartoonists in debate around the Punch table and art editor Bill Hewison carves his initials on the table. His letters are shown as well as others by contributors James Thurber, William Makepeace Thackeray and John Leach and a rare guest, Prince Philip. There is a description of the table on the Punch website.

Two Victorian illustrations are shown, ’19th century forecast of television’ and ‘air-to-air refuelling’, before the film moves on to summarise the editorial, production and publishing processes at Punch, with Russell Brockbank, contemporary illustrations, subscription orders and magazine binding.

Around the Punch table are: Peter Agnew, Kenneth Bird, J. B. Boothroyd, H. F. Ellis, W. Hewison, C. Hollis, B. Hollowood, D. Langdon, R. Mallett, Norman Mansbridge (who did Her, a brilliant spoof of 1950s women’s magazines), F. L. Marsh, R. G. G. Price, B. A. Young and P. Dickinson.

To see almost 500 magazine covers and pages, look out my book, A History of British Magazine Design, from the Victoria & Albert Museum, the world’s leading museum of art and design

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’ three of the most famous black-and-white artists of the day: 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 writing as well. There were no images in the original article but I have added some images and explanation. Read on …

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 a 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 which 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.”

NPG x45005; Sir Leslie Ward by Sir (John) Benjamin Stone

Leslie Ward, from a photograph at the National Portrait Gallery, which also holds 1,600 of Spy’s portraits

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!”

NPG D8190; Probably Alfred Bryan by Alfred Bryan

The National Portrait Gallery has this image, probably a self-portrait of Alfred Bryan, along with 32 Bryan portraits

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!”

 

Spot the difference – FT and Punch

September 5, 2011

Catching up on reading at the weekend and this FT Magazine looked so familiar:

FT Weekend Magazine with tennis champion Kim Clijsters on the cover

FT Weekend Magazine with tennis champion Kim Clijsters on the cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And then I remembered  this one:

From Punch 155 Dec 1954: 'Her' a magazine spoof with spot colour by Norman Mansbridge

From Punch 15 Dec 1954: ‘Her’ a magazine spoof with spot colour by Norman Mansbridge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Must be something about the eyes, the position on the page and that shade of red!

It was part of a 5-page skit on women’s magazines by Norman Mansbridge in Punch. Perhaps not an everyday name now, but he was a Punch cartoonist before and after the war, a navy war artist, and later cartoonist for the Daily Sketch. He retired from there to add another string to his bow – cartoon trips for Fleetway and IPC comics, some of which ran for 20 years – among them ‘Fuss Pot’, ‘Tough Nutt and Softly Centre’ and ‘Mummy’s Boy’.