We have a collection of over 6,000 original cartoon & comic artworks, and a library of over 8,000 books and comics.
Fashionable Contrasts, After Gillray.
Nicholas Garland OBE (b. 1935)
Daily Telegraph, 30th April 2009.
Pen, ink & watercolour.
This is a pastiche of Gillray’s famous cartoon, ‘Fashionable Contrasts, or the Duchess’s Little Shoe Yielding to the Magnitude of the Duke’s Foot’ (1792), about the Duke and Duchess of York, except that here the MPs expenses scandal is at its height and Members of Parliament are seen as shafting the taxpayer.
Dave Gibbson (b. 1949)
Coloured by John Higgins (b. 1949)
Colour ink on photocopied artwork.
A noted artist in his own right, Higgins specifically chose muted pastel shades to set Watchmen apart from typical superhero comics.
Rupert the Bear
Alfred Bestall (1892-1986)
Rupert Annual, 1971.
Black line acetate copy above watercolour on art board.
Rupert has appeared every day in the Daily Express since 1920. Bestall took over from Rupert’s creator Mary Tourtel in 1935 and remained with the strip for more than 30 years. The artwork was printed onto an acetate overlay and in light blue onto watercolor board which was painted by Doris Campbel, from 1945 until she retired in 1995.
Rupert has never utilised words balloons, instead, prose is printed in blocks beneath each panel.
Temperance enjoying a Frugal Meal by James Gillray (1756-1815)
28 July 1792 Hand-coloured etching and stipple
George III and Queen Charlotte were notorious for penny-pinching. Their table is laid with gold dishes, but the King eats a boiled egg and the Queen a green salad; they drink only water. Details such as the King’s patched breeches and the mat protecting the carpet add to the impression of miserliness, while a notice on the strong room door gives details of huge sums being received from investments at five percent interest.
Characters and Caricatura by William Hogarth (1697-1764)
This is an engraving produced as the subscription ticket for his 1743 series of prints, Marriage à-la-mode, and which was eventually issued as a print in its own right.
To rectify what he saw as an egregious mistake on the part of his critics, and being "perpetually plagued, from the mistakes made among the illiterate, by the similitude in the sound of the words character and caricatura", he designed the subscription ticket for Marriage à-la-mode to clearly illustrate their error. Untitled at the time of issue, it is now known as Characters and Caricaturas or just Characters Caricaturas.
Honoré Daumier (1808-1879) ‘1830 et 1833’ Louis Philippe
La Caricature, 1833
A lithograph by the great French artist and caricaturist published in 1833 in La Caricature, edited by Charles Philipon. The cartoon shows the ravages wrought by time on the French king Louis Philippe. The revolution of 1830 had overthrown his Bourbon cousin Charles X and installed him as a constitutional monarch. Louis Philippe was very sensitive to criticism and restrictions on the press were severe. Daumier had already been imprisoned in 1832 for his image of the king as Gargantua.
The British Character: Absence of the Gift of Conversation by Graham Laidler ‘Pont’ (1908-40)
Punch, 18 September 1935 Pen & ink
The Late Arrivals by H.M. Bateman (1887-1970)
The Tatler, 3 December 1922 Pen, ink & watercolour on board
Henry Mayo Bateman was born in Australia. The family returned to England when he was two. Educated in London, he left school at 16 to study art at Westminster and Goldsmith’s Institute. His first published cartoons were in Scraps, and Tatler. An admirer of the French cartoonist Caran d’Ache, he became a master of the cartoon story without words.
Mr. Deputy Dumpling and Family Enjoying a Summer’s Afternoon by Robert Dighton (1751–1814)
Pen and grey ink with watercolour, 1781
In the late 1700s the big City of London print-publishers sold humorous prints at one or two shillings (5p. or 10p.). They aimed at a wide audience rather than catering to the West End sophisticates who would pay up to ten shillings and sixpence for the sort of political print made by James Gillray. Dighton provided many such designs. Here he shows a prosperous, but far from elegant, family approaching one of the many pleasure gardens on the edge of London, Bagnigge Wells, near Clerkenwell.
Light expelling Darkness,,, (after Gillray) by Steve Bell (b.1951)
Produced for the exhibition James Gillray: The Art of Caricature at Tate Britain, 2001 Pen, Ink & Watercolour
A borrowing from Gillray’s 1795 cartoon which originally featured Tory Prime Minister William Pitt. In Steve Bell’s version Pitt is replaced by Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Dan Dare by Frank Hampson (1918-1985)
India ink and watercolour on paper
In 1949 Frank Hampson and Rev. Marcus Morris came up with the idea for a new children’s comic, The Eagle. Its most popular strip was Hampson’s creation Dan Dare, Pilot of the Future. It ran from 1950 to 1967 and was dramatised seven times a week on Radio Luxembourg (1951-1956). Dan Dare was characterized by its long, complex storylines, snappy dialogue, and the meticulous illustrations of Hampson.
Princess Tina (cover artwork) by Purita Campos
Acrylic paint on board
Purificación Campos Sánches was a Spanish artist who drew girls’ comics for the UK, Spain and the Netherlands from the late 1950s to the 1980s. She provided cover artwork for Princess Tina, which also featured her most famous strip, Patty’s World, widely reprinted across Europe as either Patty, Esther or Peggy.
In the Defence of the French Princess, or the Painting of Hector and Andromache, 1792 by Richard Newton (1777-1798)
This is the first print to suggest that Britain might be about to go to war with Revolutionary France. George III has dressed in armour made for Henry VIII and Queen Charlotte weeps. Prime Minister William Pitt, standing behind, announces that it is time to depart. War did not begin in earnest until early in 1793.
The Political Drama, no. 60: Effects of the new Bastardy Law, 1834 by Charles Jameson Grant (active 1830-52)
Between 1833 and 1835 Grant produced 131 weekly penny prints in a series entitled The Political Drama. This print refers to the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834, which made it difficult for unmarried mothers to claim support from the fathers of their children and made parish welfare available only in workhouses. The Act was so unpopular that it was overturned in 1844.
On the Road to Peace by Sir John Tenniel (1820-1914)
Punch, 16 February 1878 Pencil sketch
This sketch is for a Punch cartoon commenting on Russian’s defeat of the Ottoman empire in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-8. Tenniel shows the Russian bear and the corpse of Turkey being watched by the double-headed eagle of Austria-Hungary, the British Lion, the Prussian eagle, the French cockerel and the Italian eagle. Peace was eventually restored (by the main powers depicted) in the Treaty of Berlin in July 1878.
Frank Vosper as Henry VIII by Robert Stewart Sherriffs (1908‒1960)
November 1933 Brush, pen, ink and watercolour
Frank Vosper was one of the most highly regarded character actors of his day. He was also a successful playwright. His most famous role, however, was as Henry VIII in Clifford Bax’s The Rose without a Thorn, which went head to head with Charles Laughton’s stage and screen portrayals in 1933.
The Queen at the Queen Vic by Wally Fawkes ‘Trog’ (b.1924)
2001 Pen, ink & watercolour
On 28 November 2001 the Queen visited the set of EastEnders, where she was shown around by Barbara Windsor. The actress said afterwards: ‘I was a bit embarrassed when she said she wanted to go behind the bar because we hadn't swept up and there were old bottle tops and glasses and stale beer all over the floor.’
The British Character: The Attitude Towards Fresh Air by Graham Laidler ‘Pont’ (1908-40)
Punch, 6 May 1936, Pen & ink
Graham Laidler turned to cartooning when illness made other career paths difficult. Laidler trained as an architect, but switched to cartooning after contracting TB and undergoing a serious operation in his early twenties. Pont once observed that he did not ‘try to draw funny people…I try very hard to draw people exactly as they are’.
After R.S. by Posy Simmonds MBE (b.1945)
Pen, ink, watercolour crayon & wash
In this tribute by Posy Simmonds to Ronald Searle, the schoolboy figure is Nigel Molesworth as portrayed by Searle in the series of books written about the character by Geoffrey Willans.
Posy Simmonds was born in Cookham Dene, studied fine art and French at the Sorbonne in Paris and graphic design at the Central School of Art, London. Her first regular daily cartoon feature was ‘Bear’, which began in the Sun on the day Rupert Murdoch took it over.
Amy Winehouse by Nicola Jennings (b.1958)
Guardian, 27 April 2007 Pen, ink & watercolour
A caricature of the British singer and songwriter Amy Winehouse (1983-2011) shortly after winning the 2007 Brit Award for Best Female Artist. Her album Back to Black was the best-selling album in the UK in 2007. Nicola Jennings began drawing caricatures in the late 1980s. In 1991 she joined The Guardian, where she draws caricatures and editorial cartoons.
‘What a Lovely Rabbit’ by Bob Moran ‘BOB’
Daily Telegraph, 5 May 2019 Pen, ink & watercolour
Conservative Prime Minster Theresa May is shown misinterpreting the message from a member of her own party that it is time for her to go (note the sign on the gate which reads ‘Heartlands’).
V for Vendetta, 1989 by David Lloyd (b.1950)
India ink on paper Donated by Nik Pollard
V for Vendetta is one of the best-known graphic novels in the world, by writer Alan Moore and artist David Lloyd. Set in a near-future dystopia, the anarchist V fights against a fascist UK government, using methods as questionable as those employed by his enemies. Originally serialised in the UK magazine Warrior from 1982-85, it was published as a graphic novel by DC Comics’ Vertigo imprint in 1989.
A much-abridged version was released as a movie in 2006. The V mask -initially sold as a movie souvenir- is frequently seen covering the faces of protesters these days in the real world.