Ronald Searle Was The Best

Ever since I was a kid, believe it or not, curled up with Holiday magazine, I admired Ronald Searle’s cartoons and illustrations. When I got opportunities to work with him, I was, needless to say, ecstatic. We met once in Berlin at the Bristol-Kempinski Hotel, and it was a moment that lives in my memory. Every year he sent me a Christmas card, personally inscribed with his baroque calligraphic signature. They always reminded me that it was time to commission another drawing. He certainly didn’t need the work, but I, like my New York Times colleagues, needed the work from him.

He died on December 3o at 91. I wrote an obituary in the Times (here). Other obituaries are here and here. He was such a huge influence on so many artists and illustrators, and now he’s gone.

Someone asked what was my favorite Searle image. They all are special. But the one above on population growth is extremely so.

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