Saturday, April 04, 2015

Mirror & Echo

The UK National Archives online database has some early Searle cartoons here. The drawings are credited as having been published in the 'Mirror & Echo' and 'Blick in die Welt'. They are particularly interesting for their relevance to Searle's wartime experience and the culture he returned to after surviving incarceration as a POW of the Japanese.

The 'General Collapse' series would most certainly have been based on Searle's wartime experience. His POW 'gag' sketchbooks contain many sketches poking at the officer class and the clueless privates.

'Not having the tourist mind' is a light-hearted, series of tableau on a theme that Searle explored on other occasions throughout his career- the hapless tourist - most notably the 'Mrs. Dyson' series for Punch magazine in the late 1950s.

'German soldier and French couple in farmyard.'
Without his signature I struggle to authenticate this as Searle although it does bear some similarities to the style he employed for illustrations made for the Radio Times in the late forties.

'Do you hate the people you draw '
An early self caricature reflecting on the savagery of his cartooning.

 'Family bugbear'
This appears to be another self-caricature and, I would say, a representation of Searle's first wife Kaye Webb. Out of context it seems to depict domestic tension of some kind but it's hard to say without the accompanying article. To continue the self referential symbolism are the slanted eyes of the male figure a racist remark? Is it the smoking? Are those unpaid bills on the table?

Two pictures follow of certain dubious racial stereotypes and again it's hard to decipher the 'oriental man' leaving the house without his trousers!

'Oriental man leaving house Artist'

'Oriental man using chopsticks'

 'Mord in der Stube'

Illustration for Joyce Carey's Bush River


ukjarry said...

#s 4 and 4 are definite caricatures of the writer JB Priestley, and a little searching turns up that he wrote an article "Not Having the Tourist Mind" (1927) so these must be for a reprint

- matthew davis

Matt Jones said...

Good detective work, thanks Matthew!