Illustration - Winter 2018 - Issue 58

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Design for Today: On new year’s day fire swept through a south London warehouse. In a few hours almost the entire stock of Joe Pearson’s publishing venture, Design for Today, was burnt to ashes, along with most of his irreplaceable collection of illustrated books. A day later, however, some of the artists he has encouraged and worked with over the past few years united on Instagram to auction works for a fund set up to enable him to reprint and keep his press going. We find out what the next chapter holds for him.

Karl Hagedorn: Despite shocking and disturbing his audience with his futuristic, angular designs, Karl Hagedorn enjoyed considerable success both as a fine artist and as an illustrator for posters, advertisements and even shippers’ tickets in the early 20th century. We look at a new exhibition highlighting his work and ask why he is not remembered with other poster designers of the period.

Douglas Percy Bliss: In the past few years Eric Ravilious and Edward Bawden have become household names and the subject of numerous exhibitions and books as a new generation has discovered and appreciated their contribution to 20th century art and illustration. However, there was a third member of their group whose work is still far less well-known. Douglas Percy Bliss first met Ravilious and Bawden at the Royal College and they forged a friendship that lasted all their lives.  We find out more about this talented but somewhat neglected illustrator.

David Langdon first started contributing cartoons to RAF publications during the war and went on to become a Punch stalwart and household favourite, producing books of cartoons almost every year as well as strips for comics and newspapers and illustrations for books and dust jackets. We look back at the wide variety of commissions he completed over his long and successful career.

Holocaust comics: It’s well known that horror and tragedy can sometimes find unique  and sympathetic expression in children’s books, art and even in humour. “Lighter” forms of entertainment can offer a vehicle for the darkest subjects. We find out about an exhibition that is focusing on the stories of children in the Holocaust, looking particularly at the way in which artists and writers have found ways to tell difficult stories in comic form.

Barnett Freedman: Barnett Freedman’s distinctive  and instantly recognisable lithographs adorn many books and dust jackets, but his work for the Folio Society’s edition of Walter de la Mare’s Ghost Stories is particularly remarkable. We take a close look at these unsettling, strange and appropriately eerie illustrations and ask why they are so compelling.

Notebook: Illustrator Angela Hennessey (aka Raspberry Thief) has always kept sketchbooks. Last year, however, she embarked on a concertina-folded pictorial journal of her year, full of the birds, insects and plants she encountered. She shows it to us.