When i was a snotty kid long ago i remember around christmas they used to show a couple ofilms on the telly most years. They were "THOSE MAGNIFICENT MEN IN THEIR FLYING MACHINES." and "MONTE CARLO,OR BUST(Those brave young men in their jaunty jalopies!)",which were just silly fun-packed films and i still love' em. But the thing that caught me ,originally was the opening title sequences. One about these madcap planes and the same sort of thing about cars for the other. I saw the name RONALD SEARLE and it was a long time later until i found any of his work. I saw the original ST TRINIANS films, but didn't realise that they were from his cartoons.(i wont mention them f***kin' remakes!) But my introduction was a literary masterpeice called 'BACK IN THE JUG AGANE!"....These were the adventures of the gorilla of ST CUSTARDS, the inimitable NIGEL MOLESWORTH. I loved the whole series of books crammed with Searles scratchy dip pen drawings and even today still sit and read the wisdom of MOLESWORTH in his observations on life ,the universe, skool sossages and the skool dog!
I now have a good collection of Searles books as his work as a cartoon illustrator covers everything from the plain silly to travel reportage for magazines all over the world for every kind of major event, war zones , even the ADOLPH EICHMAN trial and heaven knows what. His work was ,clever ,funny ,nice to look at and very powerful.
He was a prisoner on the BURMA RAILWAY for most of the war, managing to amass a heap of sketches showing the conditions in the camps,which he managed to smuggle out when they were released and are well worth having a look at. There is a RONALD SEARLE BLOG called PERPETUA and is definitly worth having a look at.(ronald searle.com)
Ah well, he was my hero and in a world where there is few real legends,theres one less!