alisa alering

Writer of fantasy and other fictions

Coolest

3 Comments

I got the coolest birthday card ever from my father-in-law. Every time I look at, I crack up.

Searle001

The drawing is ‘Family Portrait’ by Ronald Searle. Searle is fantastic. Searle is the artist for the Molesworth books and St. Trinian’s.

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Author: Alisa Alering

I write stories. I read stories.

3 thoughts on “Coolest

  1. Happy Birthday! That sentiment (quite sincere in this case) and Ronald Searle are certainly not apt to ignite the fires of controversy or stimulate pithy discourse. Yet, is there something about Searle we don’t know?

    It turns out that Searle was captured by the Japanese when Singapore fell in 1942 and spent the rest of the war as a POW, in a prison and working on the railroad made famous by a bridge over the Kwai.

    As a prisoner, he made drawings and hid them under the mattresses of prisoners dying of cholera. Hardly the fluffy & frivolous sort of chap his drawings bring to mind. His dad was a railway porter in Cambridge, and his formal education was limited; he left school when he was 15. These days, he is a Commander of the Order of the British Empire. He’ll be 90 next March.

    Thanks for the nudge, Alisa. I’m glad to learn that about Searle. I like his stuff.

  2. I am going to be argumentative. I won’t agree that his drawings are fluffy and frivolous. Comic, sure. But there is some real seeing, and that means real ugliness. That’s what makes them so very good.

    But have you read The Compleat Molesworth?

    • Argumentative is good. But so can frothy and frivolous be good.

      Everything is relative, of course. Compared to Goya’s work (especially the black paintings), Searle is frothy & frivolous; but he makes some of Dufy’s work look comparatively frothy & frivolous.

      My exposure to him has been limited to The New Yorker, as far as I can recall. No books, I’m certain.

      I will say this, that it is easy to see that he brings to his cartoon style the eye and hand of an accomplished artist.

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