Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Kenneth Mahood and Ronald Searle: Letter Drop

Kenneth Mahood, who passed away on December 30 at the age of 90, published a great many cartoons in his lifetime and I've been looking at a small number of them in remembrance. His cover for the Punch issue of October 28, 1964 struck me as a somewhat familiar gag set in a library. Specifically, it reminded me of a cartoon by Ronald Searle, who himself passed away on December 30, 2011 at the age of 91. Searle's gag appeared in 1968 in the collection The Square Egg. But where was Searle's drawing first published? The Square Egg collects work from 1961 to 1968, so it's by no means ironclad whose gag made it into print first. Not that it really matters. One cartoonist may or may not have seen the other's work, if he had he may or may not have remembered seeing it, and the two may or may not have come up with these gags independently. It's possible...

Kenneth Mahood
Punch, October 28, 1964

Ronald Searle
from The Square Egg (1968)


Note:  Nevertheless, if you do know where and when the Searle drawing was first published, it would be useful thing to convey such information to the devotees of this blog.

The Searle dropped letter gag has previously appeared on this blog here.


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