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H M Bateman 1887 - 1970
20th century cartoonist and caricaturist
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His third major influence on the history of the cartoon came in 1921 and continued for many years. It is, perhaps, the most famous of all his contributions and profoundly changed the landscape of humorous art: he started on his great series of “Man Who” cartoons. Looking back through his work it is apparent that he had been playing with this idea for many years, but the publication of The Guardsman Who Dropped It by the Tatler as a full colour centre -spread caused a sensation and engendered a series of cartoons that lasted for the rest of Bateman’s career.

The Guardsman Who Dropped It

The majority of the Man Who cartoons describe some terrible social misdemeanour, some solecism or offence against accepted custom and behaviour. They contain those repeated descriptions of anger, consternation and disgust that became the hallmarks of the Bateman cartoon: eyeballs popping out of sockets, contorted bodies, figures prone or airborne. The protagonist is shown recoiling in horror from his actions and the attention focused on him, or else blithely carrying on, innocent of the outrage he has perpetrated and the world’s indignant roar. And the cartoons single out for scrutiny not only the individual who has caused such offence but, perhaps more interestingly, the society that condemns him.

An Irate Parent
The Cyclist by HM Bateman

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All images © H M Bateman Designs Ltd