Jane’s Journal, The Diary of a Bright Young Thing (1932-1959)

Jane’s Journal, the Diary of a Bright Young Thing, was launched in the Daily Mirror in 1932.   Drawn by Norman Pett, it was his response to a challenge to create a comic strip that would be as popular with adults as the famous Pip, Squeak & Wilfred (started in the Mirror in 1919) was with children.

Norman Pett.

William Norman Pett was born in 1891.   After being invalided out of the armed forces during the Great War, he took a correspondence course in drawing from Percy Bradshaw’s Press Art School, which also taught many other cartoonists.   Later, he taught art at the Mosley Road Junior Art School and at Birmingham Central School of Art.   In the 1920s Pett worked as a Punch cartoonist as well as producing cartoons for other publications.   Pett initially used his wife Mary as a life model for Jane.   When Mary developed other interests, Pett then used another artists’ model that he met at the Central School of Art, Christabel Leighton-Porter, as his new life model. Continue reading “Jane’s Journal, The Diary of a Bright Young Thing (1932-1959)”


Doonesbury by Garry Trudeau

Garretson Beekham Trudeau was born in New York City in 1948.  At school he specialised in painting, but later developed an interest in the graphic arts and spent much of his time at Yale University (1966-70) drawing cartoons for Yale’s humorous magazine, The Yale Record, and the student newspaper The Yale Daily NewsGarry_Trudeau_Net_Worth  He became a postgraduate student at the Yale School of Art, gaining a master’s degree in graphic design in 1973.   His cartoon strip Bull Tales, produced while he was still an undergraduate, developed into the Doonesbury strip in 1970.   Within 10 years of its first appearance, Doonesbury was syndicated in 900 American newspapers.   Trudeau was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartoons in 1975, the first to receive this accolade.   He sees himself as a typical baby boomer with a liberal East Coast outlook. Continue reading “Doonesbury by Garry Trudeau”

Discovering Rupert Bear at the Cartoon Museum

Rupert Bear was first imagined and drawn by Mary Tourtel, although on his first appearance – in the Daily Express on 8 November 1920 – he was just called “the little lost bear”. She drew Rupert for 15 years, then handed him over to Alfred Edmeades Bestall, the best-known Rupert illustrator, in 1935.   Bestall in turn drew Rupert for 30 years, giving up the regular role in 1965 – though he did continue to produce some special drawings for another 20 years. Continue reading “Discovering Rupert Bear at the Cartoon Museum”

Jeff Hawke: A Revolutionary Science Fiction Comic Strip

The Scottish cartoonist responsible for presenting adults with a revolutionary science fiction comic strip in the form of Jeff Hawke is Sydney Jordan. It was through this art form that he was able to inject fantasy into the mundane lives that most adults lead. Born and bred in Dundee, Scotland, Sydney Jordan grew up in a city where the publishing house D.C. Thomson released a plethora of comic books every week. Jordan’s fondest memories of his childhood are the times he spent reading those comic books and the joyful and spirited conversations he had with his father about them. Jordan familiarized himself more with comic book illustrations by working in a studio that was run by former employees at the Thomson publishing house. He claimed this experience allowed him to learn from experts in the field. A couple of years later, Jordan acquired an interest in space and planes, around the time of the Second World War, after joining the Miles Aeronautical Technical School for aviation designers. After struggling to find a job in aviation, Jordan took his passion and used it to work in the comic strip industry. He started out as the artist, Len Fullerton’s helping hand. Continue reading “Jeff Hawke: A Revolutionary Science Fiction Comic Strip”

Pop: The First British Daily Strip for Adults!

It was the 21st of May, 1921, when the pages of the Daily Sketch were brightened by the first daily strip aimed at a mature audience. Originally the title was meant to be Reggie Breaks it Gently, which was a characterization of a man who was soon to be married, but that changed rather quickly when it became evident that the real star of the strip was Pop, the head of the family.  The strip itself ended up having his name. Continue reading “Pop: The First British Daily Strip for Adults!”

The Daily Funnies: An Exhibition of Strip Cartoon

Daily Funnies or the Art of the Strip Cartoon is the title of the current exhibition at the Cartoon Museum. Cartoon strips occupy a special place in the world of cartoon and comic art. Appearing as they do every day or every week in newspapers and magazines, they reach a public who might not consider themselves cartoon fans. Readers become so attached to their favourite strip that when it ends they feel as though they have lost and old friend. Some strips outlive their creators: Fred Basset, Dick Tracy and Oor Wullie are just a few examples. Others, such as Peanuts, are so closely bound to their original artists that no one else can replace them. There is a rhythm or pulse to the art of the comic strip, like a limerick or a haiku or a joke well told. To be able to tell a small story or raise a smile in the space of a few panels is a skill few people master. Continue reading “The Daily Funnies: An Exhibition of Strip Cartoon”

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