Like most British schoolchildren of the 1950s and 60s I was brought up with comic magazines such as the Beano and every Christmas was spent with the annual cartoon collections by Giles of the Daily Express. However, I also enjoyed war cartoons from an early age - my father had been in the RAF in Burma during the war and brought back Jungle, Jungle, Little Chindit by Jon Musgrave-Wood (later Emmwood, political cartoonist of the Daily Mail) and collections of RAF cartoons featuring Pilot Officer Prune by 'Raff' (Bill Hooper).
My first professional involvement with cartoons was in 1984 when I was working as an editor in book publishing. After editing the biography of David Low, I commissioned biographies of Vicky (Victor Weisz) and Ronald Searle.
Soon afterwards I began compiling anthologies of cartoons, was invited to become the Secretary of the British Cartoonists' Association, organised three English Heritage commemorative blue plaques to cartoonists (Low, Vicky and H.M.Bateman) and wrote two biographical dictionaries of cartoonists and caricaturists. A number of other books on cartoon history followed and I have been writing two pages a month on the subject for History Today magazine for the past five years, have written obituaries on cartoonists for the Independent for the past 10 years and have contributed entries on cartoonists and caricaturists for the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography and other reference books. I have also lectured widely and curated exhibitions of cartoons.
In 1992 I began Park Art, selling cartoon books by direct mail and to specialist shops, galleries and museums, and the following year was co-founder of the cartoon book publishing company Park McDonald, of which I was also editor-in-chief (1993-96). I have also been a Research Associate for the British Cartoon Archive at the University of Kent, Research Consultant for the British Cartoon Forum and a consultant for the Cartoonist of the Year category for the British Press Awards.http://ecc-cartoonbooksclub.blogspot....