Classic Cartoons

Martin Plimmer on Desert Islands
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The Independent Culture
CASTAWAY JOKES have been going since the time of Calypso, though it has taken years to agree on the ground rules. The convention that the island should fit more or less within the frame is a relatively recent one. Victorian islands were as big as Borneo.

Stan Terry (Punch, 1933) had the measure of the island, but chose to depict every ripple and pebble within a 20-mile radius. Today, this clutter is taken for granted, giving the artist more space for the idea, which in the Holte (Trevor Holder) cartoon is madly brilliant. Terry used a sea of ink to emphasise his castaway's isolation, but he couldn't look as lonely as Ursula.