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 Toon Gods
The Hound gets all religious...
 
  Ronald Searle - Toon God  
 

   Saluting the 'scoundrel' who brought us those
   
magnificent St Trinian's girls...

   

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    St Trinian's and beyond »      Selected works »     On the web »
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     St Trinian's and beyond

     Ronald William Fordham Searle's seat in the cartoon firmament was installed
     in October 1941 when his first St Trinian's cartoon appeared in 'Lilliput Magazine'.
     An extension of the very-real school of St. Trinnean's near Kirkcudbright in
     Scotland, the St Trinian's cartoons were hugely successful and spawned a
     series of profitable feature films and in turn, worldwide recognition for the
     stockinged, shocking minxes.

     In the 1950's Searle was a cartoon express, producing a phenomenal amount
     of work for 'Punch', 'The Sunday Express', 'The Tribune', travel books and more
     alongside the St Trinian's girls, and a series of satirical works with Geoffrey
     Wiiliams starring their male equivalent Nigel Molesworth, aka 'The Curse of
     St. Custard's'.

     Whilst his spindling St Trinian's sketches continue to dominate the public
     perception of this genius illustrator, Searle's talent has also been poured in
     to a deeper artistic glass. He embarked on his own publishing venture to bring
     us the inspired and evocative 'Merry England, Etc' and 'The Rake's Progress'.
     He has also serviced the movie industry, producing the title sequences and 
     campaigns for 'Those Magnficent Men In Their Flying Machines' and 'Monte
     Carlo Or Bust' as well creating original concepts for the animated Gilbert &
     Sullivan adventure 'Dick Deadeye'. And then there are his moving war sketches
     and medal designs, drawing on his horrific war-time experiences in Malaya
     and Burma, and his scathing political cartoons for 'Le Monde'.

     Although he has explored more modern territories with his work, Searle's most
     familiar caricatures are grounded in an inter-war England of crusty, pearled dames
     and society 'rotters'. You can imagine him twiddling his mustache with glee as he
     sketches. And he does still sketch. Searle took leave of England in 1961 to escape
     from the pressures of his celebrity. Now, eighty years young, he continues his
     work from the idyll of his home in the south of France. How awfully grand...

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    Selected works
     St Trinian's books
     Hurrah For St Trinian's! (1948)
     The Terror Of St Trinian's (1952)
     The St. Trinian's Story (1959)
     The Curse Of St. Trinian's
     - The Best Of The Drawings (1993)

     Molesworth books
     Down With Skool (1953)
  
  How To Be Topp (19540
     Wizz For Atomms (1956)
     Back In The Jug Agane (1959)

     Other works and
     contributions...

     Forty Drawings (1946)
     Rake's Progress (1955)
     Merry England, etc (1956)
     USA For Beginners (1959)
     Searle In The Sixties (1964)
     From Frozen North To
     Filthy Lucre (1964)
     Searle's Cats (1967)
     The Great Fur Opera (1970)
     The Big Fat Cat Book (1982)
     Illustrated Winespeak (1983)
     To The Kwai - And Back (1986)
     Ronald Searle dans Le Monde (1998)
    
        A Searle trio: St Trinian's, Molesworth and a Catty friend..

  Nigel Molesworth shows us How To Be Topp
   


  St. Trinian's Films
  The Belles Of St. Trinian's (1954)
  Blue Murder At St. Trinian's (1957)
  The Pure Hell Of St. Trinian's (1961)
  The Great St. Trinian's Train
  Robbery (1967)
  Wildcats Of St. Trinian's (1980)

  Other films...
  The Happiest Days Of Your Life (1950)
  Those Magnificent Men...(1965)
  Monte Carlo Or Bust (1969)
  Dick Deadeye, or Duty Done (1975)

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      On the web


      The Guardian
        
http://www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article/...
      A rather splendid interview with Mr Searle here, conducted a couple of
      years ago now, but still a pertinent and informative read - no Searle toons,
      mind, just a jolly good article...


      Searle Bibliography

      http://www.bestweb.net/~foosie/searle.htm
      For Seale completists, Judy Harris has produced what she hopes is
      a definitive bibliography of titles by the great man. No pics or covers,
      just a list of titles of dates. Useful, though.


      Bud Plant
     
http://www.bpib.com/illustrat/searle.htm
      This commercial book site includes a rather fine Searle
      biography, with cover scans and cartoons too...


      Ronald Searle Artwork

      http://www.ronaldsearle.co.uk/
      Drummond Miles presents us with some Searle originals and
      lithographs for sale, as well as listing a complete bibliography...


      School of Design

      http://www.adh.bton.ac.uk/schoolofdesign...
      Now this top page is from the School Of Design's illustrator
      database, and features Searle's comic strip version of 'The Odyssey'
      from a 1955 edition of 'Punch', and more from 'The Great Fur Opera'...


      British Art Medal Society

      http://www.bams.org.uk/artists/searle.htm
      This 'British Art Medal Society' page details Searle's Kwai 50th
      anniversary medal design. It's a small page that includes his
      creative musings on the piece and what he was trying to
      encapsulate within it. Sadly, though, I can't get the images to
      load - is it just me?

      Molesworth   

     
http://www.simonbarne.com/oddsandends/molesworth.html
      A nifty little page here profiling Searle and Williams' Nigel
      Molesworth books - there are pics here too...


      The Parodies of Girls School Stories 

      http://users.netmatters.co.uk/ju90/ron.htm
      Hmm. Strange one this. It's part of something reffered to as 'The
      Parodies Of Girls School Stories' but wherever it's from it offers
      up a fine Ronald Searle biography - complete with info regarding
      the birth of the St Trinian's girls. And on that note:

      St. Trinian's

      http://www.uq.net.au/~zzdmcana/StTrinians/
      David McAnally's unofficial St Trinian's website take a long
      hard look at the movies with plenty of pics and information on
      each feature in the series (no cartoons, though). It loads quick
      too - Nice one...         


      Close Up

      http://www.shu.ac.uk/services/lc/closeup/foale.htm
      'Close Up - The Electronic Journal Of British Cinema' offers up a
      detailed examination of the St Trinian's films by Allan Foal MA, for
      those who still want to know more. A most thorough academic
      study. Again though, no pictures, just words...



                                                                       
 
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© Ronald Searle / F2000-2005