I first met Carl Giles (I throw the 'Carl' in there, to indicate our
familiarity, nay, intimacy. Frankly, until our introduction, I always
thought he was Giles Somebody or Other, didn't you?) at a 'Saints and
Sinners Dinner' at The Savoy, London. And, no, The Orpheans were not
playing. I'm too young for them, and Giles denies all knowledge. Actually,
its the only time I've met this silvery - haired artist and bon viveur. He
greeted me in that manly, almost rough way of his, and after I'd picked
myself up from the floor, he was kindness itself to a simple lad,
untutored in the gentry's smart ways. He hardly spilled any drink over me
at all, and even showed me how to remove white wine stains with red wine.
I've got another shirt now, anyway. . .
In the course of this fateful evening, in a moment of weakness, Giles
asked me to write this introduction. He regrets it now, of course, but its
far too late. Like the rest of you, I've admired the man's brilliance for
too long to let an opportunity like this go by. There's more going on in a
darkened corner of a Giles cartoon than most other artists achieve in a
lifetime. I'd compare him with Rembrandt, if I wasn't afraid I'd meet him
again . . .