Sunday, March 30, 2008

Ronald Searle's 'Slightly Foxed – But Still Desirable'

After a lifetime of avidly scanning the frequently poisonously-tinted pages of innumerable books catalogues, Ronald Searle has become expert in the art of decoding those esoteric, poetic and usually approximate, descriptions of literary come-ones. The unvarnished truth is here exposed at last, both in the shockingly explicit

drawings and in the devastatingly frank glossary whose revelations will startle even the most battle-scarred bibliophiles. The result is one of the funniest, most entertaining book to have emerged from the brilliantly perspective pen of the master. No book collector, and certainly no bookseller, can afford to be without it – even the wicked ones.

Learn more:
Ronald Searle biographie
Ronald Searle tribute blog
Cartoonbook file

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Charcuterie and Art: Rêves de Cochons - Hog's Dreams by Pierre Ballouhey

I own some cartoon books about cats, some other about dogs, and even one on rabbits. That even pigs or ‘hogs’ can play a leading role and be as funny as cats or dogs in cartoons is proved by Pierre Ballouhey. After seeing the cartoons of ‘Rêves de cochons’ by Pierre Ballouhey (France) , you’ll think twice when eating a piece of sausage or pâté. Here are some ‘slices’ of how Pierre Ballouhey draws his pigs:
"The first circle, another circle, an oval and two points for the groin, two beads for the eyes, the corkscrew, some hatching rapid filth, a bed of mud sticking the animal to the ground. Here it is.It calls me. I give it a name, question it. It's my pig. I need to invent a story, a ‘slice’ of life for it who lives eventually into slices. The pig is an obsession. Post-its near the phone, shopping lists, the corners of drawing boards are full of pigs. The drawings of pigs fill a notebook. Other ideas come, I am surrounded by pigs, but I care, I’ll show them. It's "Hog’s Dream" .
The book costs 16 eur and you can order it here or buy it in the ECC during the exhibition.

Read more:
Hog’s Dreams
Rêves de cochons exhibition at the ECC (March-June 2008)
Pierre Ballouhey website with some hog cartoons
Cartoonbook File

Happy Easter - Joyeux Pâques

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Cartoons: The Real Stuff till March 26, 2008

I love cartoons and a good cartoon book is a relatively cheap medium to enjoy cartoons. Of course there's the real stuff: instead of buying books, you can buy an authentic cartoon. Fortunately some people do, otherwise all those magnificent cartoonists wouldn't earn a penny.

Nearly 500 drawings of "le crème de la crème" of french cartoonists will be auctioned on March 26 (Millon & Associés).
Some names: Blachon, Serre, Bosc, Bridenne, Siné, Trez, Gourmelin...
For those who want to buy original artwork, the auction is a great opportunity. You can make an offer online. Don't forget to read the "conditions de vente" (terms of sale)! There will be a charge of at least 25%.
Expected prices varie from 100 euro to more than 3000 euro .

The auction is on

Jean-Marie, thanks for letting us know!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Independence cartoons

When I type "independence kosovo" in my Google search engine, I get 775.000 hits. "independence kosovo cartoon" gives me 347.000 results... Fortunately, I have the KOSAVA 2006 catalog of the first World Cartoon Festival in Prishtina. Just one 'hit' in my cartoon book collection, but the cartoons about independence and freedom are quite surprising.
I ask myself in what way the cartoons and the cartoon festival in 2006 contributed to the declaration of indepence a few weeks ago? Nevertheless, it's a nice catalog with cartoons to reflect upon.

Read more:
The 2006 award winning cartoons
Cartoonbook file

Saturday, March 8, 2008

The cartoon world of William Heath Robinson (1872-1944)

WH Robinson was born in 1872, his father and his two brothers were also artists.
"If my drawings ever had success," said WH Robinson, "it will be not only by the great machinery and insane situations, but also by the style in which they are drawn!" He himself didn’t see the humor of the case, but he was part of it.
Heath Robinson's ideas on topics such as war, sports, household, traffic, etc. still apply nowadays. One thing, however, is required to understand the humor of his drawings : you should take the time for it. This willingness asked the artist also from his family when he called them in his studio to see if a new drawing "worked" fine.
The books below contain a magnificent collection of drawings of the artist, whose name already became a ‘household word’ during his life as a result of his fanciful and intricate drawings of impractical creations.
If a machine or system is “Heath Robinson”, it is very complicated in a way that is funny, but not practical or effective.

When the French cartoonist Albert Robida (born 24 years before Robinson) foretold the chemical, biological and air weapons of a next war, some 30 years before the 1st World War launching, it was just a strange kind of science fiction. When Robinson lets the British make fun of this war’s realities, it is a harder task. However, he succeeds to entertain and enjoy his readers, thanks to the absurdly ingenious devices he used to invent and thanks to his peculiar harmless humour: because, in the flood of the caricatural graphic propaganda of those times, he is one of the very few to have kept an easy-going humour, in spite of the tragic events. This cartoon collection is a perfect example of the famous and inimitable ‘British humour’.

Here are the wonders of many unlikely technologies or, how to use a lot of complicated devices (all absurdly ingenious) for a simple (although sometime useful?!?) result. They are the funny dawn of our actual ‘modern’ achievements.
In the UK, W. Heath Robinson is best known for creating bizarre cartoons contraptions which caused his name to enter the language to describe such funny and odd devices. He was named: ‘the gadget’s king”.
9 other cartoon books by W. Heath Robinson were issued by the same publisher, from 1975 to 1989.

Hereunder a Dutch “Wonderlijke bedenksels” and a German “Die verrüekt perfekte Welt des Heath Robinson” WHR book I bought on e-Bay.

Read more:
Heath Robinson in Wikipedia
The William Heath Robinson Trust
Heath robinson (codebreaking machine)
Contraptions - book review on Li-An's Blog (French)
Some original works and prices
Heath Robinson cartoon search
[4 Heath Robinson Cartoonbook files]

Sunday, March 2, 2008

The Guillermo Mordillo Books - part 2


It took a bit of time, but the Mordillo Cartoonbook files now are available.
Every file provides information about the book such as title, publication year, ISBN, number of pages, number of cartoons, dimensions, weight, ...
The information can be helpful to find a book on the web, buy it, and add it to your cartoonbook collection. Happy bidding!

Read more:
The Guillermo Mordillo Books Part 1
Mordillo book covers
Mordillo cartoonbook files (detailed info on most Mordillo books)
Mordillo publications (official Mordillo website)
Other cartoon books you should know