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Author Topic: Cartoons in cigarette cards  (Read 5779 times)


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Cartoons in cigarette cards
« on: January 25, 2012, 07:06:22 PM »
Cartoons and humorous drawings have popped up on cigarette cards on a regular basis to lighten the mood, especially in the dark days of war.

One of the most popular cartoon series was ‘Raemaekers’ War Cartoons’ issued by Carreras in 1915. Louis Raemaekers was a Dutch painter and cartoonist for the Amsterdam Telegraaf who, although living in neutral Holland, took a vehemently anti-German stance and whose work was so disliked by the Germans that they put a price on his head.

Moving to the U.K., his work was taken up by the British War Propaganda Bureau and published in various forms including cigarette cards to keep up home morale and generally denigrate the Germans.

Bruce Bairnsfather was a British cartoonist who came to prominence during the first world war and who treated the hostilities with rather more levity than Raemaekers. Bairnsfather served with the Royal Warwickshire regiment in France until 1915 when he sustained shell shock and hearing damage during the second Battle of Ypres and was hospitalized.

Posted to the 34th Division headquarters back in the UK, he developed a cartoon character of an irascible old soldier with a walrus moustache and a balaclava who appeared regularly in the Bystander magazine.

Bairnsfather’s cartoons became wildly popular and as well as appearing in books they made their appearance in the cigarette card world in Hills’ ‘Fragments From France’ in 1916, which were issued in three printings – coloured, buff and black and white.


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Re: Cartoons in cigarette cards
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2012, 11:24:51 AM »
There are quite a few other cartoon sets including the famous 'Straight Line Caricatures' from Players and Carreras' 'Notable M.P.s' caricature set.

Robin Friday

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Re: Cartoons in cigarette cards
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2012, 12:24:40 PM »
I quite like some of the Ardath issues ,Figures of Speech , Eastern Proerbs etc ..lovely at work and colouring .


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Re: Cartoons in cigarette cards
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2012, 08:41:25 PM »
Also Churchmans Howlers and all of the Eastern Proverbs series not to mention i suppose Phil May sketches are classified as cartoons


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Re: Cartoons in cigarette cards
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2012, 09:56:17 PM »
Hill's Fragments from France set depicts in cartoon form a humorous view of life in WW1.

Robin Friday

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Re: Cartoons in cigarette cards
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2012, 09:45:40 AM »
I guess in a way the style of cartoon art is what drew me to collect some US gum card sets .
I became fed up with the (in my opinion) lack of exciting Boys Own adventure cards that cigarette cards offered here and in the US and was amazed at the selection of early US sets that offered me action art and colouring that just blew me away .

R156 - True Spy Stories
R124 - Sea Raiders
R126 -2nd World War
R74 - Indian Gum

The lsit goes on and on..

I think it stems from my childhood comic reading habits .


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