A Celebration of Giles - Annual Details
     
Title Forty Seventh Series
Original Price 3.95
Date Cartoons Start //Date Cartoons End //

Introduction by - Joanna Lumley

We have been giving the Giles annual to my father at Christmas for the past thirty five years. He invariably receives it with the same amazed cry: 'Giles! How splendid'. He knows it's as much for all the family as it is for him.

What I love best about Giles' work is the way he marries the stupendously drawn backdrops with the cartoon characters which occupy centre stage. With the long-perfected skill of the animator, he shows that two quite separate styles of drawing thrive one on top of the other.

From Giles' backdrops I have developed a passion for his England in summertime: hot empty suburban streets shadowed by wonderfully drawn trees; sodden cricket pitches, fly-ridden picnics and seedy boarding houses. Giles draws winters like no-one else, thick snow settling on ledges and railways, dark skies over rain-lashed harbours and empty railway stations, Whitehall in a blizzard. Hordes of people have come to life through Giles' pen, each one a complete individual drawn with acute observation. Distant figures are treated in extravagant detail, and all his pictures reward closer scrutiny.

The Giles family is now legendary: Mother bogged down with the housework, Vera's dripping nose, Dad's laconic asides, anarchic children, baleful dogs filching food and the immortal Grandma, mouth snapped shut like a turtle, coal-sack body clutching padlocked handbag. She and the skull-headed Chalkie are my favourites (as children we used to practice doing Chalkie's cadaverous leer), but I have a special affection for George Junior, the anxious ping-pong ball of a baby to whom all manner of dreadful things happen.

Salutations, great Giles! and thank you for another year of your incomparable wit and artistic genius.

 


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