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Pont: An account of the life and work of Graham Laidler (1908-1940), The great Punch artist
Pont: An account of the life and work of Graham Laidler (1908-1940), The great Punch artist
Hollowood, Bernard
(Gavin) Graham Laidler (1908-1940) was a British cartoonist, noted for his work in Punch magazine in the 1930s. Laidler was born on 4 July 1908 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England at 6 Osborne Avenue, Jesmond. His father, George Laidler, owner of a painting and decorating business, died when Laidler was 13 and his mother, Kathleen, eventually the family moved south, finally settling in Jordans in Buckinghamshire. Laidler had always hoped to become a cartoonist but, to ensure an income that would adequately support himself and his widowed mother, he enrolled at the London School of Architecture in 1926. After being diagnosed with tuberculosis in 1932, he was unable to continue with an office-based career and started to concentrate on his cartoons. From 1930-1936 he published a weekly strip The Twiffs, in the magazine Woman's Pictorial. In August 1932 he had his first acceptance from Punch; by 1937 he was so popular that the editor, EV Knox, is understood to have made an almost unprecedented 'gentlemen's' agreement' with him to take all his drawings if Laidler would undertake to draw only for Punch - possibly a bid to make sure he was not poached by Graham Greene's new magazine Night and Day. Under the name 'Pont' (derived from a nickname - Pontifex Maximus - he acquired during a visit to Rome), Laidler became one of the most original talents in the history of Punch and his work continues to inspire cartoonists to this day. He is perhaps most famous for his series on the 'British Character'. This was published as a book in 1938.
Second hand Hardback

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