Roy Raymonde: Cartoonist noted for his work in 'Punch' and 'Playboy'
Monday 19 October 2009
Roy Raymonde was an award-winning cartoonist, advertising artist and illustrator whose work appeared regularly in Punch, Playboy, the Sunday Telegraph and other publications for more than half a century.
Born Roy Stuart Raymonde on 26 December 1929 in Grantham, Lincolnshire, he was the son of Barry Raymonde, an advertising agent and theatrical impresario, and Juliana Patricia Quinn. When his father died of pneumonia in 1938, his mother (then pregnant with his sister Patsy) took a variety of jobs across the country and eventually settled in Kingsbury, north London. Having by then attended a total of 16 schools, he enrolled, aged 15, at Harrow School of Art (1944–46). One of his tutors was the cartoonist Gerard Hoffnung, who not only influenced his early work but also became a personal friend.
After graduating he worked for two years in a commercial art studio. Then came national service in Malaya (1948–50) where he served with British Army intelligence, specialising in photo-reconnaissance work. On his return to London he joined Charles Gilbert's advertising agency in Fleet Street as an illustrator (1950–60). During this time he began freelancing as a cartoonist, selling his first cartoon to Tit-Bits. His first regular feature ("Lil") ran in Drapery & Fashion (later renamed Fashion Weekly) from the late 1950s until 1979.
In March 1954 he married the Guyanese journalist Patricia Eytle – sister of the BBC cricket commentator Ernest Eytle, the actor Tommy Eytle and the former Mayor of Lewisham Leslie Eytle – and they had two children, Paul (later himself a professional cartoonist, caricaturist and muralist) and Kate. He sold his first cartoon to Punch in 1960 and soon afterwards left the advertising agency to become a full-time freelance cartoonist, contributing regularly to the Daily Mirror, Daily Sketch, Star, Men Only, Reader's Digest, Mayfair and other publications. In 1963 he and his family moved to a village near Great Dunmow in Essex.
As well as Punch (for which he also drew covers, cinema and theatre illustrations and, from 1985 to 1988, illustrations for the Doc Brief feature) one of his most successful relationships was with the Sunday Telegraph (1969–72) for which he drew the series "Patsy & John", "The Bergs", "Them", "Boffins at Bay", "Raymonde's Blooming Wonders" and "Raymonde's Rancid Rhymes". He also began a long association with Playboy (US and German editions) in 1971 and drew covers and illustrations for the short-lived revival of Time & Tide magazine (1988–91).
Raymonde published two collections of his cartoons, The Constant Minx: From the Beginning (1961) and More Constant Minx (1961) – about women beguiling men from prehistoric times onwards – and among the books he illustrated were The Guide to Real Village Cricket (1983) and The Guide to Real Subversive Soldiering (1985) by his friend and neighbour Robert Holles (1926-99), the award-winning military writer, novelist, and TV and film scriptwriter.
In the late 1980s he was part of a group of British and French cartoonists who visited Japan and this marked the beginning of a long association with the Far East which led to lecture tours in Korea and Japan (1990, 1991, 1992) and an exhibition of his work in the Marunie Gallery, Kyoto. He was also awarded the Gold Prize at the Kyoto International Cartoon Exhibition in 1996.
An admirer of the drawings of Tomi Ungerer, Quentin Blake and Adolf Born, Raymonde worked in many media, including watercolour, gouache and ink – using pen and brush – and usually signed his work simply "Raymonde", with flourished tails on the Y and D and a large final E.
A member of the British Cartoonists' Association, he was also voted Feature Cartoonist of the Year by the Cartoonists' Club of Great Britain in 1966. Examples of his work are held in the collections of the Victoria & Albert Museum, the British Cartoon Archive at the University of Kent, the Simavi Foundation Cartoon Museum (Istanbul), the Ritsumeikan Peace Museum (Kyoto), Kyoto Seika University and elsewhere.
Of medium build and bearded until his sixties, he had grey eyes and formerly brown hair. A quietly spoken, gentle man with a clever wit, he could none the less be quite voluble at times and enjoyed a good debate. A voracious reader and lover of literature (especially poetry), he also collected 18th- and 19th-century prints and antiquarian books. Following a stroke in 2003 he was forced to retire and died after a fall at his home.
Roy Stuart Raymonde, cartoonist, illustrator and advertising artist: born Grantham 26 December 1929; married 1954 Patricia Eytle (one son, one daughter); died Essex 14 September 2009.
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