Sunday, July 10, 2005

Political cartoonists/children's book illustrators

Chris Riddell is a political cartoonist as well as an illustrator of children's books. He won the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal for his book, Gulliver's Travels. He is also the illustrator of The Edge Chronicles series.

In this Guardian article he discusses the historical links between these two worlds. John Tenniel (Alice in Wonderland), Ernest Shepard (Pooh/Wind in the Willows), Theodore Geisel (Dr. Seuss) were equally well known for their political work.

Riddell writes thoughtfully and with insight.

I grew up with the illustrations of Tenniel and Shepard, and then went on to discover their political work. Both artists treat their audiences in much the same way, be they elderly colonels reading Punch in their clubs or toddlers in the nursery. Tenniel's Alice, for instance, inhabits the same world as his Gladstone, while Shepard's Nazi Goose could quite easily invade the Hundred Acre Wood. The great difference, of course, is that while newsprint and old periodicals fade, books can live on over the generations - that is their great attraction for any illustrator.

David Catrow and Berkeley Breathed are two cartoonists who are currently carrying on this tradition in the USA.
I have got to read The Edge Chronicles.

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