Sunday, 30 December 2007

41 - Willie Rushton, 1964

Cartoonists often get overtaken by the urge to explore a particular theme. If they do it enough, they can either get a book out of it, as Ronald Searle has done on numerous occasions, or if they do it over a lifetime then it becomes their own special topic like Thelwell and horses or Burnett and monks. Not on such a grand scale, Willie Rushton kept returning to the idea of illustrating various gay-related phrases in the pages of “Private Eye” in 1964. Most of these were collected in “William Rushton's Dirty Book” published by Private Eye in 1964. It was dedicated “To Richard Ingrams in the vain hope that he will stop being a Poove”.

On a purely personal note, Willie Rushton is one of my two favourite cartoonists. These aren’t some of his best ones. “Private Eye’s” “Rushton in the Eye” magazine published after his death is a fantastic introduction to some of his best work. Many years ago I put up a website about Rushton at

1 comment:

Stevyn Colgan said...

Thanks for your email Matthew and for visiting my blog. I've always thought that the man was a genius - possibly the polymathic Stephen Fry of his day ... though I suspect any apparent homophobia was nothing more than an aspect of the comedy that was around at the time. Even Monty Python stooped to 'queer' and 'poof' gags ... and that was with Graham Chapman aboard. Interesting blog you run - always great to see someone championing cartoonists. Good stuff!