molesworth ronald searleThe cartoonist Ronald Searle has died at the age of 91, his family confirmed to the BBC earlier today.

Best known for creating the schoolgirl horrors of St Trinian’s, whose doors re-opened in 2007 with two new films to complement those of the 50s and 60s, his distinctive artwork has served as an inspiration for many artists and has appeared in numerous magazines, though he did also collaborate with filmmakers over the years.

Two weeks ago I re-watched the 1970s musical telling of Scrooge with Albert Finney and Alec Guinness and, as it does each year, it evoked the festive spirit in a way that only a Box of Delights and Gonzo in a top hat can match.

The title sequence for the film is brilliantly dark, arch and beautiful in its own right. This was perhaps my first knowledge of Ronald Searle’s work and while St Trinian’s Belles will be ringing in tribute today I’ll be thinking of his work with Dickens’ classic.

Here are a few of the images, but click here to see more.

If you’re in London you can check out The Cartoon Museum on Little Russell Street, and in particular their book Ronald Searle – Graphic Master which has pieces written for the book by the people he influenced, Mike Leigh, Posy Simmonds and Gerald Scarfe among them.

I’ve collected a few of his artworks here, primarily as I just happened to really like them and, thankfully, there’s a lot out there – Drawn’s Ronald Searle tag page is a great place to start. Also the wonderful Caustic Cover Critic has these beauties on offer, click here to see them all.

Finally here is an interview with Searle on the Channel 4 news which is a real treat,

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