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 Toon Gods
The Hound gets all religious...
  Carl Giles - Toon God  

   Saluting the 'family' man who created
   a British institution...



    One of the family...    Selected works...     Giles on the web...


    One of the family

    For 50 years, day in day out, the Giles Family would join millions of British
    households for breakfast. Grandma, Mother, Father, The Twins and the rest
    of the extended household would grump, bump and grind through life with us
    all via the pages of 'The Daily Express' and 'Sunday Express'.

    Carl Ronald Giles had a deadeye for character poise and background detail.
    His cartoons were single-panel snapshots of working Britain. They featured
    blue collar workers, nurses, postal workers and bobbies on the beat, lampooning
    and lambasting the headlines of the day. Take that great British institution, the
    railway system. Giles loved to mock the inadequacies of the service, the engines,
    the politics. Likewise the Great British education system. Those Express cartoons
    are as British as beans on toast, or bacon and eggs. That said, the acerbic
    Mr Giles was actually a Scotsman. Perhaps that was what gave him the
    edge when lampooning the lives of the Englishmen down south...?

      Evenin' Mr Giles...    Grandma enters frame... 

    Born in 1916, Giles began his art career in animation, working his way up
    from teaboy. He joined Alexander Korda's London Films at Elstree Studios
    and became a principal animator on Hector Hoppin and Carl Gross'
    1936 film 'The Fox Hunt'. This 8min short was the duo's first colour
    cartoon for Korda.

    In 1938 Giles joined 'Reynolds News' for whom he drew editorial toons and a
    regular comic strip called 'Young Ernie'. He joined the ranks of 'The Daily
    Express' in 1943 as an editorial cartoonist, and he subsequently gave birth
    to the infamous and evergreen Giles Family, on 5th August 1945.

    Giles was a favourite of that other great British family, the Windsors of
    Buckingham Palace, who acquired a number of his works - though he never
    actually sold any of his creations, preferring to donate them to charitable
    organizations and friends, like the RNLI of which he was Life President.
    In 1959 he was awarded an OBE.

    Carl Giles died in 1995, aged 78, but his creations still live on in the annual
    Express cartoon collections which continue to make bestseller lists every
    Christmas. And the RNLI continue to issue charity Christmas cards each
    year which bear his toons. The late Mr Giles entered the new millennium in
    posthumous style when, in April 2000, he was voted 'Britain's Favourite
    Cartoonist of  the 20th Century'. And we can all raise our tea and toast
    to that, can't we?


    Selected works

    Giles books:
    Golden Jubilee Special Edition (2002)
    Giles VE Day Cartoons (1995)        
    Giles: Fifty Years At Work (1994)
    Giles: Fifty Years At The Express (1994)
    Nurse! (1975)
    Giles At War (1955)
    Children by Giles (1955)
    Cartoons from The Journalist (1948)

Books about Giles:

    Grandma (1999)
    by Robert Beaumont

    The Giles Family (1993)
    by Peter Tory

Annual collections:
The first Express collection was published
in 1945. Bi-annual editions followed in
1947 and 1949 before the publication
went annual, with new editions
every year until the present day...

The Giles Collections

Animated Giles:
The Fox Hunt (1936)
London Films/Denning Films /UA
8 minute short film


      On the web

      Giles Tribute Pages
      Steve Adams' 'Giles Tribute Pages' are great. He features lots of
      biographical info, pics and personal reminiscences, and offers up a
      series of image-intensive reference pages, detailing all those Express
      collections. There's a links page, a guide to other Giles books, an 
      expanding 'wants' page and more. Plus you can subrscribe
      to a regular Giles newsletter - Smart, eh?     

      Giles Cartoons - A Celebration
      'Giles Cartoons - A Celebration' is equally fine. Here's a Giles Annual
      Database, with all the foreword notes from the likes of Eric Morecambe
      and Joan Collins and cover images too. In addition, there's a very
      useful Giles biography page, a number of randomly generated
      Giles cartoons for you to peruse at your leisure, and more


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© Express Newspapers / F2000-2003