Firebomb Fritz

A wartime British defensive propaganda character (mostly forgotten today) was ‘Firebomb Fritz’. Here in colour: …and here in black and white, both by Reginald Mount. (Original UK National Archives caption: “Fritz in Nazi bomber” by Reginald Mount, 1942 Catalogue ref: INF 3/1421. The cartoon depicts determined (but subservient) looking German air force men flying towards…

Goats in Clouds

Today’s image; one of the classics – both for the joke, and for the always great effort by the inimitable Gary Larson of The Far Side. ‘Rock stuffed clouds’ are one of aviation’s least good things, and goats are just a cherry on the top of an indigestible desert of a metaphor over extended. As…

Dare to Rare

Today we dive right into the pulp. Sticking strictly to the ‘Dare-Devil Aces’ magazine of the inter to World War Two period, we still have more than enough awesome to play with. Starting with the Japanese ATTACK on New York, being defended by the US Navy (fair enough) but also a handsome assist by the…

Moth Alight

A 1933 cartoon from Punch by Leslie Illingworth. The text reads: ‘Man with a particular grievance. “Oh, it’s only you, is it? I thought it was one of those confounded motor-cycles kicking up a row again.”‘ I should, at this point say that if you don’t find this funny, it’s not your fault – earlier…

Not quite the nick of time

Today’s cover is from a 1961 Punch, by the redoubtable transport cartoonist Russell Brockbank. Like ‘Back to the old Drawing Board’ we featured from the equally remarkable Peter Arno of the New Yorker, this is another, albeit simpler example of a great visual joke, though here wordless. Another layer that’s easy for a viewer today…

Unrepeatable Emett Offer

Today a 1952 cartoon from Rowland Emett. Little known nowadays, Frederick Rowland Emett OBE was an English cartoonist and constructor of whimsical kinetic sculpture, some of which survives in use today.  He was a British institution, his high point being the ‘Far Tottering and Oyster Creek Branch Railway’, a real railway built for the 1951…

Inside the Eagle

Inspired by a discussion on Twitter, here’s a selection of aircraft cutaway artwork, mainly from the British children’s magazine ‘Eagle’ most famous for the cartoon strip ‘Dan Dare’. [It was the era of the straight leading edge Avro Vulcan B1, and the carrier HMS Eagle.] Dare aside, the other highlight for most in the magazine…

Bam – Break

Today’s poster is one of an important genre, the war pilot instructional type. A German Messerschmitt Bf 109 pilot attacking a well advised American Republic P-47 Thunderbolt. Clear, blunt advice, including a pixie on a cloud. Memorable? They certainly hoped so. James Kightly, Vintage Aero Writer. Internet find.

Bay Window

Today’s artwork is an evidently quick drawing from his sketchbook by Australian official war artist Eric Thake aboard a Consolidated Catalina, depicting a crewman on lookout in the portside gun blister. I was looking for other Thake artworks*, but this one jumped out at me as an exceptional work as a sketch. In a National…

Back To The Old Drawing Board

It’s exactly the middle of the year, so today we have one of the items that inspired the idea for the blog.There’s several stories, so settle in… “Well, Back To The Old Drawing Board” by Peter Arno, first published in the March 1, 1941 issue of New Yorker magazine. It’s a remarkable cartoon, and seems…