Sunday, December 13, 2015

Ronald Searle's America *UPDATE*

My book on Searle's American era work is printed and looks fantastic.  It would never have happened without the team at Fantagraphics; head honcho Gary Groth believing in the project; Kristy Valenti wrangling my text and designer Keeli McCarthy who made my unwieldy 500 image rough layout look like a real book! You can pre-order it at Fantagraphics' site here and it ships January 11th

'Just got my copy of Matt Jones' Ronald Searle tribute book and I'll agree with everyone else who has seen it. It's really fantastic. It's huge, too! A great coffee table book with sketches and finals for those who love to study him. It's a collection of his impressions of America, most done for British magazines. Wouldn't be surprised if it leads to a Searle resurgence, and maybe another book, because the previous 'Art of...' book from the 80s is not very impressive. Buy it!' - Kevin O'Brien, Pixar

 'One of my favorite collections of Searle...ever! Congrats, Matt Jones, and Fantagraphics ( and the esteemed Ronald Searle) on an absolutely stellar book!' - John Musker, director Disney's 'Moana'

' The book is really fantastic . . . And it’s so huge: I have to extend the height of my shelves to fit the book in … I know what I will read and study the next days and I am sure that it will help me with my own archive work.' - Elisabeth Reich, Ronald Searle Archive, Hanover

'This Ronald Searle book is astounding. Each page is a breathtaking art lesson & joy. Bravo!' 
- Mo Willems, childrens' book illustrator & author

'It’s Christmas early!!! 'Ronald Searle's America' is AMAZING.' 
 - Pete Docter, director of Pixar's 'Inside Out'

'Ronald Searle's America should become THE reference book for any Searle fan and/or illustrator.' 
 - Uli Meyer, animation artist and Searle collector
'Got ours and it is fabulous!!!'  - Susan Goldberg, ex Disney artist

'Just got my advance copy of your book and am stunned by its beauty and content.  What an amazing publication. All that hard work and persistence sure resulted in something extraordinary.' 
- Howard Green, Disney Publishing

'I honestly can't get enough of this. Ronald Searle's America is an amazing collection of the artist's work from his time in the States. If you're a fan of him or of drawing at all, you should check it out. Thanks Matt Jones for putting together this treat!' - Avner Geller, character designer, Dreamworks Animation

'Just received Ronald Searle's America. It's a beautiful book. I'll be buried in it for months to come. Thank you!' -Oliver Maltman, writer & actor 

'RONALD SEARLE'S AMERICA IS FINALLY HERE! Matt Jones’ new book on the seminal cartoonist exceeds expectations. Enormous and overflowing with masterful works by the great Searle, this book is gorgeous. Smartly curated, it's also a wonderful time-capsule: America through the astute, inventive and hilarious illustrations of a rarely-gifted observer. Searle, from the UK, is in peak form as he takes us on a tour of our United States.
Permit me a really envious aside: I'm astonished that this magnificent tome represents only a sliver of Searle’s unparalleled career, as any artist would be delirious with joy if by the end of their life they had produced the contents of this book alone. (...and a really true aside: All the flowery words are not only deserved, they're guaranteed!) Matt Jones has lovingly (and obsessively) created a worthy monument to the remarkably influential father of three generations of cartoonists. And counting.'

Nick Galifianakis , cartoonist  Washington Post

'This book is incredible. I bought it on pre-order because the deal was great - but this book is well worth the 85 dollars listing price. It is GORGEOUS. Both the quality of the printing and the size/weight of the pages is great. But of course MOST importantly - this book is chock-full of beautiful illustrations. Ronald Searle was a wonderfully prolific and hugely inspirational artist, and this book showcases his work beautifully. I suspect I'll be taking this one off the shelf quite often.' 
- Amazon reader review

'Searle book is fabulous.  Great job!!!!!!'
-Ralph Eggleston, Pixar Production Designer

'The book is so damn good!!Thank you for putting it together.'
-Jesse Aclin, Feature Animation character designer

Saturday, November 21, 2015


Searle functioned in various capacities for Punch magazine throughout the 50s. I've posted his theatre caricatures, Searle's Eye View, political page and cover art. He also made cartoon spot illustrations for humorous stories and more realistic illustrations for reports.

Punch January 28, 1959

'Tails Optional' by Eric Keown May 20, 1959

'Tails Optional' by Eric Keown May 20, 1959

Oct 16, 1957
A sensational drawing marking a visit to the U.S. by Queen Elizabeth II
(original exhibited at the London Cartoon Museum 2010)

November 5, 1951

May 2, 1956

 May 23, 1956

These are several illustrations that accompanied a story by Tom Girtin entitled 'Angels Unaware' in the May 16th, 1956 issue of Punch.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Searle in Cambridge

 I realized the Searle exhibition at the Fitzwilliam had published a catalogue and swiftly put in an order which arrived this week. It's a slim but important volume with revealing text from those involved with curating the show and its complimentary exhibition at the Anglia Ruskin art school, Searle's alma mater. There are words from Ronald's Literary Agent Rachel Calder delightfully describing visits to the Searles. Also Professor of illustration at Anglia Ruskin Martin Salisbury  and Jane Munro Keeper Paintings, Drawings and Prints at the Fitzwilliam, and an introduction by Quentin Blake.
The catalogue contains several photographs from Searle's personal collection revealing his day to day concerns and disciplined work ethic. You can order from the museum online store here

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Lord Mayor's Show

Twitter turned up a great find: Searle's design for a Sadler's Wells float as part of the 1967 Lord Mayor's Show. Twitter user @dominic_reid posted the design (click to enlarge) and the video below where we can see the finished design in colour.

Of course Searle depicted valkyries on several occasions

'Sleeping Valkyrie'

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Obsessed with Drawing

Opening next week in Cambridge, England -TWO exhibitions on Ronald Searle. One at the Fitzwilliam Museum and the other at Anglia Ruskin art school, Searle's alma mater. Press release here

The catalogue is available from the museum's website here

Ephemera from Ronald's studio will be on display at the second exhibition at his old art school Anglia Ruskin . . .

Suzanne Morris on Twitter

The following pics are from the Instagram account of illustrator David Hughes

Photo gallery here