Friday, January 23, 2015

I don't care what anyone says about Punch (the humorous magazine) & consigned it to the dentist's waiting room. I cut my laughing teeth on it - my father's copies kept from the 1950s (already early Quentin Blake & Larry) through the 70s and into the 80s (Hunter Davies, Alan Coren, George Melly ...). Christmas for many years was defined by the Punch Christmas Special - satisfyingly thicker and with a mock Christmas Gifts section. Admittedly Private Eye comes close but Punch had another - gentler - tone.

Why mention Punch? Well, because Martin Honeysett has died. His cartoons were fabulous - the scratchy, crinkly quality of his denture bereft pensioners. Nothing better than a two-page spread of his work. One in particular sticks in the memory: a limbless dog lying on the rug in the front of the fire. One old bag says to another: "He was getting too big for the flat so we had his legs amputated". Devastating & daring - so easy to misattribute the cruelty to the cartoonist rather than those he depicted. And what joy on finding he had illustrated that volume of Ivor Cutler stories - the fictional autobiographical sketches. Wonderful.




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