Classic Cartoons

Martin Plimmer on Gilbert Bundy
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The Independent Culture
IT WAS less sad not knowing anything about him. Not long ago I used the American Gilbert Bundy, whose stylish character studies helped establish Esquire magazine before the war, as an example of the fact that gifted cartoon artists are often passed over by history books and erased from the collective memory. Now the cartoonist John Jensen has sent in a biography of Bundy, tracked down in an American publication.

Bundy's work was painstakingly researched, the result of numerous life studies, the final version being drawn from memory to add spontaneity. Briefly his skills brought enormous success, but when war broke out he went to the Pacific as a combat artist, where he experienced heavy action, including a direct hit on a train in which he was the sole survivor. He never managed to erase the memory. Though he returned to illustration, he took his own life in 1955.