Classic Cartoons: Martin Plimmer on Anton

SIBLING COMPETITION being such a powerful drop-kick, it's not surprising that the incidence of two children from one family achieving artistic success (or three in the case of Charles, Thomas Heath and William Heath Robinson), is comparatively common. What appears freakish to anyone who has ever fought to the death over a last custard cream, is sibling collaboration.

Yet Antonia Yeoman and her younger brother Harold Underwood Thompson did just that in 1937, defying logic to produce Punch cartoons together under the pen-name Anton. Twelve years later, when Harold stepped out of the picture to become a company director, Antonia carried on single- handedly.

She had a lively wit, expressed in formally styled settings by comically stiff characters. We don't know if she ate up her pudding as a girl, but in later life she was the only female member of Punch's Toby Club and the first woman elected to the Chelsea Arts Club.

Comments