Saturday 30 October 2010
Les Gibbard (obituary, 23 October) was a friend, esteemed for his old fashioned niceness, good humour and lack of malice or sharp professional elbows, writes Edward Pearce.
He was admired as a cartoonist for the same qualities and for a literacy which made him allusive and able to score without self-indulgent excess. On my wallsare Mr Toad and the canary-coloured caravan wrecked by a motorised ERM, while John Major, sitting in the road, says dreamily "Poop-poop". When Blair was nearly ousted first time, he appeared in breeches and shirt, sword in hand, facing halberdiers with familiar political faces coming up a winding stair. I rang Les, "Did you see the Prisoner of Zenda film on Sunday?" "I did see the Prisoner of Zenda film, and I thought 'What a good idea!' 'Can I buy it?'
"Let go", despite, or perhaps because of, his unsmart, ambling virtues, he endured a long, bad, financially harassed time, despite hard work in his second trade. He was out because of a regressive fashion – "Back to Gillray", instant fury lavatorially expressed. He represented, as Nick Garland still does, deftly injurious wit without self-indulgent rage – and not a pile of excrement in sight.
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