Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Bruce Bairnsfather Charity Auction and Book

Before Mauldin, there was Bairnsfather.

A week from today, September 29th, is the 50th anniversary of the death of Bruce Bairnsfather.

"Bairnsfather was the most famous cartoonist of The First World War. His cartoons of the soldiers and their life in the trenches made them and the Nation laugh. But because he showed the men and the battlefields as they really were - dirty, generally fed-up and surrounded by the destruction caused by shelling - the Establishment disapproved of his work and he was never formally recognised.

Tonie and Valmai Holt, dedicated admirers of Bairnsfather, are publishing a reprint of BEST OF FRAGMENTS FROM FRANCE, a collection of 150 of his cartoons. There is also an online auction of Bairnsfather originals, beginning at £50. Links to the book sale and the auction are here. The Holts are giving all royalties to the Help for Heroes charity. In their words:

"29 September 2009 is the 50th Anniversary of Bairnsfather's death and in homage to him and in support of the charity Help For Heroes Pen and Sword Books are publishing some 150 of Bairnsfather' cartoons in a reprint of our Best of Fragments From France and we (Tonie and Valmai Holt) are giving all of our Royalties to the Charity. Therefore as long as the book is in print and selling, Help for Heroes will benefit."

My thanks to Jan Olpinus of the ECC Cartoonbooks Club for letting me know about this event, and the good work of Tonie and Valmai Holt.

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