A Celebration of Giles - Annual Details
Title Thirteenth Series
Original Price 4/6
Date Cartoons Start 18/09/1958Date Cartoons End 27/09/1959
Number of Cartoons 121
Published by Daily Express PublicationsISBN N / A

Introduction by - Margot Fonteyn de Arias

Very few men can see clearly all the imperfections of face and form in the world around yet still retain an indulgent affection for humanity.

Such a person is Carl Giles. He must be a very compassionate man.

Anyone else with his needle-sharp eyes would find it hard not to be biting in their humour, but he mocks us only very gently. Even his most horrible characters are to some extent endearing.

We laugh at them but also more often with them and sympathise with their plight. We can feel for all of them even when they are absolutely humourless and stupid.

It always seems to me that my favourites are his children —those little no-necked monsters that reveal all the characteristics of the adults they will become, although it is noticeable that their faces are never completely stupid.

They always show at least a natural intuition and vitality and there seems to be much more going on inside their busy little heads than in some of the self-satisfied grown-ups, spoiled perhaps by the influences of civilisation.

The babies are really the most remarkable of all. One can hardly believe that those squat, featureless objects bear any resemblance to a human infant—and, in fact, I remember that a mother once angrily contested the point.

Giles fans rushed their babies' photographs to the Daily Express, which printed them in a row beside the corresponding Giles' drawing. The result was a triumphant vindication of his art.

Human babies do in fact look just like that, and I am sure that when we were all plaguing our parents we looked no different ourselves.

Great cartoonists fulfill a role similar to that of the ancient court jester, wrapping the truth in a clothing of humour to make it palatable. No one could criticize the monarch outright, but his jester could make a witticism that was both informative and acceptable.

Giles does much the same thing.

Although we love the situations and captions of his cartoons they are not really so important as his superb revelation of our absurdity.

Let us all thank him for helping us to laugh at ourselves; it is the hardest lesson to learn and far the most valuable. Giles is a great artist, and it is a joy to have this collection of his work to pore over again and again and to cherish his excellent jests.

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