Images in Practice

Audit of Activities -



"humor" "that quality of action, speech or writing which excites amusement..A state of mind having no apparwent ground or reason; mere fancy whim, caprice, freak, avagry.. The faculty of perceiving what is ludicrous, or of expressing it...."OED

comic - "burlesue, funny..."OED - from komos - merrymaking




W.C.Fields - a joke processed in Schulz (beneath)

"The typical order of processing was

first the incorrect interpretation of the ambiguous element was detected - "clubs" - meaning "social groups"

second the element of incongruity was processed ("only when kindness fails")

and third, the hidden meaning of the ambiguous element was perceived - clubs/big sticks.





E.G.Lutz, Practical Graphic Figures, The Technical Side of Drawing for Cartoons and Fashions, Batsford, London, 1925. I. Graphic Figure Pictures and the Various Manners of rendering in Making Them. II. Figure Drawing Without the Use of Models. III Figure Drawing Without the Use of Models (Continued) with special attention to the Female Fashion Figure. IV. Drawing Heads and Faces. V. Parts of the Head and Face. VI. Physiognomy and Drawing. VII. Expressions. VIII Character Drawing, Caricature, and Extreme Caricature. IX The Funny People of the Comic Artist's World. X. Comic Pictures of Everyday Life. XI. Political, Topical and Timely Cartoons.

p.184 . "Besides giving hints for drawing, stress has been put, in certain parts of the book, upon the helpfulness of observation with a storing in the mind of the facts of the visual world. This involves thinking and brought out that it isn't all just drawing in pictorial art processes It is not a mere regarding of the subject by the eye and the mechanical copying of what it visions. And in picturing from memory there must be, with the actual employment by the hands of pencil, crayon or brush, thought and a clear visualisation of that which the thought and hand are trying to create."

R.Taylor, Introduction to Cartooning, Watson-Guptill, New York, 1947. Talent and Training, The Basis of Drawing, Figures, Heads, Hands and Figure Details, Action and Expression, Composition, Humor, Style, Techniques, Marketing, Perspective, Historical Background, Tips and Books, Conclusion. R.Taylor was a regular cartoonist in the United States, particularly associated with The New Yorker and esquire.

"My book is not intended to be a 'course in cartooning' and does not contain a set of lessons. Instead, it attempts to outline a plan of study - something to be kept at the elbow to steer by."

L.A.Doust, A Manual on Caricature and Cartoon Drawing, Warne, London, 1936, [1942]. What is a caricature ?, Movements in Features, Age, Shapes of Head, Shapes of Features, Accessories, Character, Enlargements, "Ultra-Comics", Strip Cartoons, Cartoons, Modern Outlook of Caricature, The Uses of Crayon and Half Tone

John Adkins Richardson, The Complete Book of Cartooning, Prentice-Hall. New Jersey, 1977. Drawing, Talent, this book and others; Caricature and Characterisation. Whole Figures and Half Animals; Tools and Techniques; Single Panel and Limited Sequence Cartoons; The Graphic Story (nee 'Comic Strip"); Graphic Stories in Book Form; Getting Published; Glossary; Bibliography (Comics, Fanzines, Graphic Production, Drawing Books; Markets; Professional Journals; Organisations that publish; Animated Cartoons for Motion Pictures).

Louis Valentine, How To Be a Lightning Cartoonist, W.Foulsham, London, undated, c1952. PART ONE Materials;Equipment for Cabaret, Paper, Other Surfaces; Chalks; Beginning; First Performance; Musical Accomplishment;Lighting Dress. PART TWO Caricature; Sketching Members of the Audience; Actual Caricatures; Faces from the Alphabet; Faces from Numbers; Going over what we have learnt so far. PART THREE Landscape; Illustrating Songs; Sketching ~Children; Entertaining Children. PART FOUR Serious Presentation for the Lightning Cartoonist; Patter; Engagements; Music Hall; General Hints.

David Low, Ye Madde Designer, London The Studio, 1935, and a series of chapters about various aspects of 'personal caricature' with a history of art from Hogarth to Max Beerbohm. Recommended for its pictorial sequences drawn by Low exploring the range of possible distortion of face and accessory.

"When I am a cartoonist expressing ideas I am often moved by anger or by pity; but when I am a caricaturist I am a student with a specimen. My interest is purely artistic."p13.

FOUGASSE, The Good-Tempered Pencil, Max Reinhardt, London 1956. Introductory; Humour (Bad); Humour (Good); Humour (Still Better); Humour (Practical); Pictorial Humour (Yesterday's); Pictorial Humour Today's); Pictorial Humour (Tomorrow's); The Pictorial Humourist. ` Kenneth Bird then concludes with a valuable critique of a batch of drawings by other artists asking, "what are the main factors to look for...?"

"There are two things that no humourist in his senses would willingly attempt; one is to define humour in general, and the other is to explain the point of individual bits of it.And so, having started the book with the first, I may as well end it with the second...."

psychology of laughter

Norman L.Holland, LAUGHING, A Psychology of Humor, Cornell Univ.Press, Ithaca and London 1982. PART 1 Why do We laugh ? The Comic; Stimuli, Conditions;Psychology; Phsysiology; Catharsis. PART 2 Theorists Theorising; Laughers Laughing; Identity; Why Ellen Laughed; Why the Restof Us Laughed. Bibliography of Theories of Humour.

George Meredith, An Essay on Comedy (The Idea of Comedy and the Uses of the Comic) a paper originally read to the London Institution in 1877 and available in several recent editions. See also Meredith's redrafting of the essay as presented as the preface to The Egoist (1879).

"You see Folly perpetually sliding into new shapes in a society possessed of wealth and leisure, with many whims, many strange ailments and strange doctors...." Sypher pp.32-3

Henri Bergson, Laughter, published in 1900 and read as a lecture Le Rire: de quoi rit-on ? pourquoi rit-on ? in 1884. The essay begins

"What does laughter mean ? What is the basic element of the laughable ? What common ground can we find between the grimace of the merry-andrew, a play upon words, an equivocal situation in a burlesque and as scene of high comedy ?"

Bergson and Meredith as found in Wylie Sypher's edition, Doubleday Anchor, 1956 with Sypher's Essay, The Meaning of Comedy (Our New Sense of the Comic; The Ancient Rites of Comedy; The Guises of the Comic hero; The Social Meanings of Comedy.

V.K.K.Menon, A Theory of Laughter with special relation to Comedy and Tragedy, George Allen and Unwin, London 1931.

T.R.Schultz, "Order and processing in humour appreciation", Canadian Journal of Psychology, 1974 pp.409 -420. Quoted in Michael W.Eysenck, The Blackwell Dictionary of Cognitive Psychology, Blackwell, Oxford, 1990.

T.Chapman and H.C.Foot (eds.), Humour and Laughter: Theory Research and Applications, Wiley, London, 1976.

The Visual Telling of Stories lecture on Humour

The Visual Telling of Stories chronology of humourous illustration.

Sigmund Freud, Jokes and their Relation to the Unconscious, published first in 1905.

Stephen Potter, Sense of Humour, Max Reinhardt, London , 1954.

Ernst Kris, Psychoanalytic Explorations in Art, Schoken Books, New York 1964 [1952]Part Three, THE COMIC, The Psychology of Caricature,;The Principles of Caricature (with E.H.Gombrich); Ego Development and the Comic; Laughter as an Expressive Process (Contributions to the Psychoanalysis of Expressive behaviour).

E.H.Gombrich, Meditations on a Hobby Horse, Phaidon London 1963, "The Cartoonist's Armoury", Figures of Speech, Condensation and Comparison, Portrait Caricature, The Political Bestiary, Natural Metaphors, The Power of Contrast.



FOUGASSE (Kenneth Bird), The Good-Tempered Pencil, Max Reinhardt, London 1956. Introductory; Humour (Bad); Humour (Good); Humour (Still Better); Humour (Practical); Pictorial Humour (Yesterday's); Pictorial Humour Today's); Pictorial Humour (Tomorrow's); The Pictorial Humourist. ` Kenneth Bird then concludes with a valuable critique of a batch of drawings by other artists asking, "what are the main factors to look for...?"

"There are two things that no humourist in his senses would willingly attempt; one is to define humour in general, and the other is to explain the point of individual bits of it.And so, having started the book with the first, I may as well end it with

Frances Klingender, Hogarth and English Caricature, Transatlantic, London 1946 [1944]. Introduction. Sources - Medieval satire. The heritage of Bosch and Breughel. Baroque Art. The Aesthetic range of the Hogarth Tradition The Moral basis of Hogarth's Art.

Lee Siegel, Laughing Matters, Comic Tradition in India, the University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1987.

Siegel's contents list.

Vincent Carretta, George III and the Satirists from Hogarth to Byron, University of Georgia Press, Athens and London 1990.

Diana Donald, The Age of Caricature. Satirical Prints in the Reign of George III, Yale University Press, for Paul Mellon Centre, New Haven, 1996.. Introduction, the Laughing Audience. 1. "The Miserable Tribe of Party Etchers" 2. Wit and Emblem: The Language of Political Prints 3. "Struggles for Happiness": The Fashionable World. 4. The Crowd in Caricature: "A Picture of England" ? 5. "John Bull bother'd: The French Revolution and the Propaganda War of the 1790's. Epilogue, Peterloo and the End of the Georgian Tradition in Satire.



David Low, Autobiography, Michael Jospeh London 1956.

James Thorpe, Happy Days, Recollections of an Unrepentant Victorian, Gerald Howe, London 1933. The author studied at Heatherley's Art School from 1897, attended the Langham Sketching Club, establishing a freelance career, theatrical and political illustrations, experiences in the First World War, visit to America, working for PUNCH. Observations on the Art Director, the range of publications then.

"One of the penalties of doing humorous drawings, or even illsurations with humorous lines beneath them, is that one is constantly receiving suggestions for subjects and methods of treatment."







high art

low art

Kirk Varnedoe, Adam Kopnik, HIGH & LOW Modern Art and Popular Culture, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1991 see sections on CARICATURE (Leonardo, Klee, Daumier, Picasso, Magritte Brancusi, Dubuffet) and COMICS ( Toppfer, Grandville Tenniel, Luks, Winsor McCay Bud Fischer, Feininger, George Heriman - Jasper Johns, Saul Steinberg, Warhol, Lichtenstein Oldenberg, Guston, Crum).

Ralph Shikes and Steven Heller, The Art of Satire, Painters as Caricaturists and cartoonists from Delacroix to Picasso, Pratt Graphics Centre, Horizon Press, 1984. Delacroix, Puvis, Pissarro, Monet, Manet, Gauguin, Forain, Luce, Anquetin, Signac, Lautrec, Valloton, Kupka, Villon, van Dongen, Marcoussis, Picasso, Gris, Landseer, Rossetti. Millais, Burne-Jones, Tissot, Crane, Sickert, Feiniger, Pascin, Grosz, Sloan, Bellows, Stuart Davis, Reginald Marsh, Shahn, Ad Reinhardt.


Lewis P.Curtis Jr., Apes and Angels. The Irishman in Victorian Caricature, David & Charles, Newton Abbott, 1971. I Physiognomy: Ancient and Modern. II. The Ethnology of Irish Celts. III. Victorian Comic Art. IV. Siminaising the Irish Celt. V. Irish-American Apes. VI. Irish Angels. VII Fenian Physiognomies. VIII The Cartoonists' Context.

Diane Atkinson, funny girls: Cartooning for Equality, Penguin, London, 1997. I. Politics and Power. 2. Work. III. Sharing the Caring. Excellent bibliography of the visual aspects of women's issues, and mentions Posy Simmonds, Jacky Fleming, Paula Youens and Christine Roche as responding to sexist stereotypes.




Mary Cowling, The artist as anthropologist, The representation of type and character in Victorian Art, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1989. 1. Physiognomy: the literal view. 2. The rules of Physiognomy and their application to the Victorian Age. 3. Physiognomy and the Artist. 4. Physiognomy, art and the social classes. 5. The artist as anthropologist. 6. The Derby Day and Railway Station (W.P.Frith) specimens from the crowd.

Judith Wechsler, A Human Comedy, Physiognomy and Caricature in 19th century Paris, Thames and Hudson, London 1982. I. Parisian Panorama: codes and classifications. II. Deburau and the Theatre des Funambules: The literary marionettes. III. Caricatures: newspapers and politics. IV. Henri Monnier: Jospeh Prudhomme. V. Honore Daumier: strategy and style.








many of the aspects of literary comic have implications for the Visual.




Matthew Hodgart, Satire, World University Library, Weidenfeld and Nicholson, London 1969. Origins and Principles;The topics of satire : politics; The topics of satire:women; Techniques of satire; Forms of Satire; Satire in Drama; Satire in the Novel.

a list of literary terms re COMIC


Nonsense verse and prose


Noel Malcolm, The Origins of English Nonsense, Harper Collins London 1997, contents...

I The origins and development of English seventeenth century nonsense poetry. II Fustian, bombast and satire - the stylistic pre-conditions of English seventeenth century nonsense poetry. III. A short history of nonesense poetry in medieval and Renaissance Europe. IV The sources and resources of nonsense: literary conventions, parodic forms and related genres. POEMS by John Hoskyns, Henry Peacham, John Sanford, John Taylor , Martin Parker, etc


"Comedy is an imitation of the common areas of life which he representeth in the most ridiculous and scornful sort that may be, so that it is impossible that any beholder can be content to be such a one..." Sir Philip Sidney, Apologie for Poetry (1595).


"Caricature is a play with the magic power of the image, and for such a play to be licit or institutionalised the belief in the real efficacy of the spell must be firmly under control.Wherever it is not considered a joke, but rather a dangerous practice to distort a man's features, even on paper, caricature as an art cannot develop. " Kris above, p. 201.