A visit with a whimsical genius,
Ronald Searle was a modern cartoon master. He was widely recognized for his watercolors and satirical cartoons. Often depicting contemporary and historical culture, his works exhibit a unique and highly-stylized quality. Born on March 3, 1920 in Cambridge, United Kingdom, Searle spent his youth studying at the Cambridge College of Arts and Technology. As a young man he served in World War II, during which time, he was captured as a prisoner of war by Japanese forces. After his liberation in late 1945, Searle began producing literature and drawings detailing his harrowing experience of captivity and torture. The artist's work has had a tremendous impact on popular culture, and featured frequently in the pages of the New Yorker and the News Chronicle. His varied illustrated series and stand-alone political cartoons, have influenced many contemporary illustrators and cartoonists, including Matt Groening and Pat Oliphant. Throughout his life, he received numerous awards, including the 1959 and 1965 National Cartoonists Society's Advertising and Illustration Award, and the appointment of Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2004. Today, Searle's work can be found in the collection of the Wilhelm Busch Museum in Hanover, Germany. The artist died on December 30, 2011 in Draguignan, France.
Searle at his studio in the south of France he permitted (Shot, Drawn & Cut) to look through his sketchbooks including the one he filled on the set of the 1970 musical 'Scrooge' on which he was engaged to create the illustrated title sequence. I've cut together the photos I took of the sketches, the final artwork for the titles (sold at auction several years ago), the final title sequence for the film plus some behind-the-scenes footage of Searle talking about Dickens' most famous creation.