Saturday, January 30, 2010

Le Rire, former French humor magazine

Le Rire, or "Laughter," was a successful humor magazine published from October 1894 through the 1950s. (and some time after) Founded in Paris during the Belle Époque by Felix Juven, Le Rire appeared as typical Parisians began to achieve more education, income and leisure time. Interest in the arts, culture and politics intensified during the Gay Nineties. Publications like this helped satisfy such curiosity. It was the most successful of all the "Journaux Humoristiques." (wikipedia)

You can consult all editions of Le Rire between 1894 and 1903 in PDF here.

This book I recently bought on the internet, is a collection of a series Le Rire magazines from March 1960 (number 102) till March 1964 (number 150). It contains some cartoons by the great Tetsu and other leading French cartoonists of that time.



One of that artists is Robert Lassalvy (1932-2001). Some light erotic cartoons of him are in the magazine. He often draws Brigitte Bardot-like woman.

- No, I don't hunt wild animals, but men.

Learn more :
Le Rire Wikipedia
Le Rire 1894-1903
Lassalvy official website
Other Lassalvy erotic cartoons
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Le Rire
Buy old Le Rire magazines at

Saturday, January 23, 2010

George van Raemdonck : his Character Heads and Cartoonal

A few weeks ago, I had a conversation with Ronald Vanoystaeyen, organizer of the George van Raemdonck Cartoonal at Boechout, Belgium. Ronald told me with passion the history of the cartoon contest and told me about the notable artist George van Raemdonck who lived in Boechout. His organisation (IHA) just issued the book 'Boechoutse Koppen' in which the story of van Raemdoncks life in Boechout is told. The artist enjoyed living in Boechout as witnessed by the beer mats he filled with caricatures of the regulars in the pub of Jos Verbruggen, on the corner of his street which was George's local, where he drank his pint(s) in the evening. The book shows 250 of his caricatures drawn in his beloved pub.

George van Raemdonck (1888 - 1966) is considered by many as the artist who introduced comics to The Netherlands. The Belgian-born artist had to flee to Holland because of war problems in 1914. In the same year, he started to draw political gags for magazine De Amsterdammer. The writer A.M. De Jong was impressed by the work of van Raemdonck and asked him to illustrate a children's book. In 1920, Van Raemdonck made the switch from De Amsterdammer to De Notenkraker and until 1936 he kept drawing political gags and covers for this magazine.
Meanwhile, in 1922 George van Raemdonck became one of the first Europeans to draw a daily comic strip. Between 1922 and 1937, the text-strip 'Bulletje en Boonestaak' appeared 4,428 times in the daily newspapers Het Volk and Voorwaarts. Besides this classic and wildly popular strip, Van Raemdonck also created some other lesser-known comics, like the text-strip 'Appelsnoet and Goudbaard' and 'Tijl Uilenspiegel'.
During his career, van Raemdonck published thousands of political gags, illustrated 81 books and created many paintings. He died January 28, 1966 at the age of 78.
(source: / IHA)

In January 1933 Hitler is sworn in as Chancellor.
From then on van Raemdonck starts a battle against fascism with his pencil.In 'De Notenkraker' (The Nutcracker) appear regular anti-fascist pieces.
- De Notenkraker - cover 1933

The George van Raemdonck Cartoonal is organized every 3 years. Last edition, the 11th was in 2008. The thema was TASTE and FLAVOUR (smaak in Dutch). Here are some pictures out of the catalogue:

catalogue cover

Pawel Kuczyncky - Poland

Stefaan Provijn - Belgium

Gie Campo - Belgium

Cizmazia Karol - Slovakia

Thanks to Ronald Vanoystaeyen.

Learn more:
International Humour in Art (
George van Raemdonck Kartoenale 2008 - awards

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Claude Serre: the official website

Discover or rediscover the work of one the most talented French cartoonist Claude Serre (1938-1998) by visiting the new website dedicated to him.

The official website of Serre is directed by the author's family and is very complete.
There is a list of his albums, collaborations, publications, a biography, some goodies and many cartoons on this website. The site is in French and I think a English version would be very appropriate.

If you want to buy cartoon books by Serre, it will not be difficult to find his books.

Did you know there is a Claude Serre Facebook page? Only 154 fans (on 16 January 2010)... so if you visited his website... become a fan too!
There is a Facebook group too: 123 members (16/1/2010)

Learn more:

Friday, January 8, 2010

Drawing cartoons

I think most cartoonists would agree with me that drawing cartoons is not such a thing you can learn out of a book. Years ago I bought 'Cartoons Tekenen' (1986) by Ross Thomson and Bill Hewison (original title, 1985,'How to draw and sell cartoons'). I'm not a cartoonist and I really am an awful drawer, but this book gives a good understanding about the art and techniques of cartooning.
Chapter 1 explains some drawing techniques and materials,(pen and ink, pencils, paint, underground, ...) chapter 2 tells about developping an own style (inspiration, caricature, anthropomorfism, sound and motion, ...) and chapter 3 describes cartoon classifications (such as satire, black humor, polical cartoons, international styles, etc.)

International styles: left Dallos, right Bosc cartoon:

In our public library I found 2 other books with the same goal: offering drawing techniques en inspiration to draw cartoons.
The first one is 'Stripteken Technieken' by Steve Whitaker ,1997 (original title: The Encyclopedia of Cartooning Techniques, Quarto Publishing, 1994):

The second one is 'Stripfiguren tekenen' by Jack Hamm ,1989 (original title: Cartooning the head and figure, 1982). In the book are very detailed drawing lists of hands, noses, hats, faces, cloths, feet, shoes, etc.

Drawing hands, as described in the tree books:

The Encyclopedia of Cartooning Techniques

How to draw and sell cartoons

Cartooning the head and figure

Drawing emotions:

in How to draw and sell cartoons

in Cartooning the head and figure

in Cartooning the head and figure

Caricature in:

The Encyclopedia of Cartooning Techniques
left: Tyson by Karl Meersman (Belgium),
right: Arnold Schwarzenegger - Terminator by Carl Flint (Sweden)

How to draw and sell cartoons
Khadaffi by Ewert Karlsson (Sweden) and
John Wayne in The sands of Iwo Jima, by Bob Sherriff

What is your favourite How-to-draw-cartoons-books?
Let me know.

Learn More:
How to draw and sell cartoons on Amazon (with preview)
Cartooning the head and figure on Amazon (with preview)
The Encyclopedia of Cartooning Techniques on Amazon
How to make money with simple cartoons (1949) (on Mike Lynch blog)

Friday, January 1, 2010

Addams and Evil. An introduction to the work of Charles Addams

When I was a little boy I enjoyed watching the weird, bizarre and funny TV series The Addams Family. What I didn't know at that time was that this series was based on the genius of the famous American cartoonist Charles 'Chas' Addams .
"Charles Samuel Addams ( January 7, 1912 – September 29, 1988) was an American cartoonist known for his particularly black humor and macabre characters. Some of the recurring characters, who became known as The Addams Family, became the basis for two live-action television series, two cartoon series, and three motion pictures." (Wikipedia) There is also the recent The Addams Family new musical and Addamses: The Addams Family blog!

Chas Addams is still very popular today and inspires many modern cartoonists. People adhering the goth subculture would certainly like his work.

Let me show you some of his books. Jean-Marie helped me gathering the book covers.
I'll start with an example of the only Addams book I have in my collection: Addams and Evil (New York, 1965):

These are covers of other Chas Addams books:

Learn more:

Tee & Charles Addams Foundation (recommended)
Chas Addams & The Addams Family on Wikipedia
The Addams Family musical - sights and sounds (recommended)
The Addams Family Blog
Charles Addams book gallery on Pbase
Chas Addams cartoons