Monday, August 31, 2009

The Best of Fragments from France by Capt.Bruce Bairnsfather

I was very happy to receive, last week, a copy of the 2009 edition of "The best of Fragments from France", compiled and edited by Tonie and Valmai Holt. As you can find out on the Bruce Bairnsfather tribute site BB4H4H there are a series of events to come on 29 September and 3 October, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of his death in 1959.

From the beginning I was very enthusiast for the project and spread the news among cartoonists and cartoon lovers. Thanks again to Liza Donnelly, Ludo Goderis, Bert Vanoystaeyen, Jacques Sandron, Jacri, Philippe Bossens ,Kurt Vangheluwe, Cost, Toon Beuckels, Patrick Heymans and Robert to provide us one or more BB tribute cartoons. The cartoons selected for the auction and those that are published in the book can be found on the BB site. Most cartoons that weren't selected for the book will of course be shown on the exhibition in Warneton.

I'll inform you on the events of 29 September and 3 October with an article on our blog later on.
There is a first review of the book on the site of publisher Pen and Sword Books:

Bruce Bairnsfather (BB) was the most famous cartoonist of the First World War and his soldier characters Old Bill, Bert and Alf, faced with sardonic good humour everything that the Germans, the mud and their officers could throw at them. However, Bruce (known by some as ‘The Man Who Won the War’) never received the acclaim that he deserved for the morale boost that his cartoons gave to the troops at the front and to the people back at home. The 50th Anniversary of Bairnsfather’s death on 29 September 2009 offered an opportunity to redress the balance, and acknowledging it in combination with raising funds for Help for Heroes (H4H) seemed to be most appropriate.
The cartoons reproduced in this collection were originally drawn for The Bystander, a popular weekly magazine, in which they appeared each Tuesday throughout most of the Great War. Their effect on the public was totally unexpected, and so dramatic that Bystander sales soared. The organisation, with unerring good judgement, decided it had a winner in Bairnsfather, and published the first 43 of his cartoons in an anthology. It was produced in February 1916, given the name Fragments from France and sold for 1s. On the front cover was a coloured print of The Better ‘Ole which soon became, and was to remain, the most loved of all Bairnsfather’s cartoons. The authors own the original. Sales quickly reached a quarter of a million and a second anthology was published, More Fragments from France. It was described on the title page as ‘Vol II’ and the price was still 1s. The cartoon on the
cover was What time do they feed the sea lions? In this volume The Bystander launched the first of a series of imaginative marketing exercises, similar to modern promotional methods.
The full extent of the proliferation of the cartoons on all manner of products, from playing cards to pottery, is described in our Bairnsfather biography. Soon Still More Fragments from France were clamoured for, and, with an
eye to the future, more the booklet was labelled No. 3 on the cover, Vol III on the title page.
The success of the Fragments magazines was such that edition followed edition in rapid succession and at least eleven editions were published. The covers retained the same cartoon but were reproduced in different colours, both of board and ink — green, blue, red, grey, fawn and mauve. In America Putnam’s issued Nos. I-IV as one volume and parts V and VI separately. Various hard and leather-bound collections were offered for sale by The Bystander, and the drawings were sold separately as prints and “Portfolios” for framing. They were also printed in colour as give-aways for Answers magazine.
Leafing through these pages, the reader will soon understand their tremendous popularity and success which have withstood the test of time.

Read more:

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Cartoon book swapping

Several readers and members of ECC Cartoonbooks Club already suggested to create a forum for people wanting to swap cartoon books. Personally I think this is a good idea, but in practice there are some restraints to create such a forum within our blog.
For that reason I created an ECC Cartoonbooks Club cartoon book swapping (and other) page on Facebook. It's kind of an experiment. I'm not very familiar with Facebook but I think we can give it a chance. It's up to you, the user who wants to swap books to use the medium!

How to join:

create a Facebook account if you don't have one and join te group.
Sending books to each is other is a nice thing and receiving a post package from the other side of the world (or nearer) is always a surprice.

I haven't had bad experiences with the senders of the book. Before you send the books, communicate of the nummer of books, the state, etc.
Sending books to some countries far away can be expensive. Watch the post prices!
Also watch out for customs who can charge extra costs. I think (used) book sendings are free of
custum taxes. Write 'books' on your envelope.

This is what you can expect in you mail box:

Friday, August 14, 2009

Paris cartoons: Ciel , mon Paris! Heaven, my Paris! by Serge Ernst

This week I visited Paris. As always, Paris is a great city. What I didn't notice between al the tourist stalls and the thousands of little Eiffel Towers was this nice cartoon book (1990) by Serge Ernst. This cartoon book should be available easily for tourists in Paris. You can't imagine a funnier souvenir of that city... that's my opinion.
Ernst is a comic strip artist, but he published many cartoon albums too. Later on I'll present to you his series 'Clin d'oeil', a series of 8 cartoon albums. But for now: Ciel, mon PARIS! A cartoon book with superb Paris cartoons, some of which a little erotic .

The Eiffel Tower

Centre Pompidou

Place Pigale (red light district...) and Notre Dame

compare with the cartoon above...

At the 'Place Vendôme' you'll find the world's most finest juwelry... but unfortunately not affordable to me.

Cartier Juwelry at the place Vendôme?

Competitor Chanel... (watch the lamppost
reflected in the glass and compare
with the cartoons above)

Of course I visited the famous 'Place du Tertre' where I admired different artists and caricaturists.

Serge Ernst drew it that funny way:

Learn more:
The Blog of Serge Ernst
Complete bibliography of Serge
Ernst on
Funny erotic cartooons on our blog

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Catch 'n' scratch... a cartoon book for... cats

Mark Doeffinger (USA) saw our discussions of the uses of cartoons in media other than newspapers and magazines.So he was so kind to send us his book for cats, which is essentially a cartoon book for cats with a fur to scratch. The pages following the cover include: a ball of yarn, a spider, a chair, a bird and a rug.

The material at the back of the book protrudes through a hole in the cartoon just as in the cover. Mark told me cats will actually play with the ribbon on the cover and scratch at the fur, especially if you soak the fur in Catnip (=A hairy aromatic perennial herb - Nepeta cataria - in the mint family, native to Eurasia and containing an aromatic oil to which cats are strongly attracted.). But the book is mainly a gag gift for cat owners.

Mark added this instructions: "I hope your cats enjoy it. When the cats are near, just throw the book on the floor. The cat's natural curiosity may get them to play with the book."

Last weekend we found 2 young kittens in our garden... and I couldn't wait to experiment with the book... (our older cat Kiara took part in the experiment too).

The results:
Let's say... they didn't play longtime with the book, but long enough for me to take some nice pictures. Actually they were more interested in a little ball and liked more playing soccer (but I didn't use Catnip).

It's a nice gift for cat owners and I enjoyed myself with the book and cats!
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