Illustration - Winter 2012 - Issue 34

We have packed this issue full of bright and beautiful things to bring a glow to the last cold, dark days of winter. We start by revisiting the glamour of the posters that sold the image of Austin Reed, Simpson’s of Piccadilly, Dickins & Jones and Jaeger to war-weary shoppers of the early and mid-20th century. Oozing sophistication and confidence they called out to people to join the ranks of brave men and slim, elegant women shown parading the streets in their advertisements. And it seems that illustration was much better at selling this fantasy than photographs – perhaps because it created a world that was a step further away from reality than even the most glamorous photographs. Yet illustration is also the means of coping with the grimmest realities for Michel Kichka when he uses his caricatures and cartoons to take a humorous swipe at the deadliest of world events. Whether he is turning his pen to depict Syria’s President Assad or North Korea’s military ambitions, or whether he is lampooning Lady Gaga, he demonstrates how a humorous visual image can make serious political points as well as raising a smile. 
Korky Paul, on the other hand, has made his name taking the fantastic world of Valerie Thomas’s Winnie the Witch and giving it familiarity. However far his images stray towards the surreal world of cartoons, Winnie is rooted by familiar, every day things such as kettles and computers and this “normal” element of her life has helped people to relate to her across the world. It is this power of illustration to sell goods and dreams, raise laughter or tears and speak to people in different cultures that makes it a delight to collectors – as Simon Cooke tells us when he shows us his remarkable collection. The world moves on, but illustration still speaks to us. We hope you find the illustrations in this issue, old and new, relevant and interesting in 2013.

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