Ronald Searle and Walt
Ronald Searle with Walt Disney. Click for bigger version

World-renowned cartoonist and illustrator Ronald Searle passed away peacefully in his sleep on Friday, December 30th, 2011. He was 91. Here is the BBC News obit.

In addition to his print work, Searle worked on numerous animation projects throughout his career including Energetically Yours and Dick Deadeye, and has indirectly been responsible for the look of countless other works of animation, most notably Disney’s 101 Dalmatians.

Here’s a Channel 4 interview with Searle on the occasion of his 90th birthday in 2010:

Below is the 1957 industrial film Energetically Yours that Ronald Searle designed. There are lots of behind-the-scenes photos and artwork related to the film on the Ronald Searle Tribute blog:

This is an animation test of his St. Trinian’s characters animated by Uli Meyer:

A photo of Ronald Searle visiting with Disney director and animator Ward Kimball in 1957. Click on the image for a larger version:

Ronald Searle and Ward Kimball

Note: Gallery Nucleus will present a Ronald Searle Exhibition January 7th through 29th, 2012. The opening reception is this Saturday at 7 pm — 10 pm.

Searle, an influential figure in the cartooning world since the beginning of the post-war era, his drawings identifiable by their scratchy textures, controlled gestural line quality, and often exaggerated human forms. This exhibit features a collection of Searle’s published and preliminary works including caricatures, illustrated typography, completed cartoons, and signed lithographs.

For more information on this Los Angeles area event, click here.

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