Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Donald McGill's Postcard Art

Donald McGill was a gag writer and illustrator of comic-picture postcards in Britain in the mid-20th century. Each card had a slightly outrageous joke or double entendre.


George Orwell, author of Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm, wrote about McGill's art:
"A comic post card is simply an illustration to a joke, invariably a ‘low’ joke, and it stands or falls by its ability to raise a laugh. Beyond that it has only ‘ideological’ interest. McGill is a clever draughtsman with a real caricaturist's touch in the drawing of faces, but the special value of his post cards is that they are so completely typical. They represent, as it were, the norm of the comic post card. Without being in the least imitative, they are exactly what comic post cards have been any time these last forty years, and from them the meaning and purpose of the whole genre can be inferred."

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Read the rest of the essay "The Art of Donald McGill," available online in full.
It is also included in the essay collection All Art Is Propaganda: Critical Essays

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