Searle had one of the longest, most productive and wide ranging career of any 20th century caricaturist, working in book and magazine illustration, travel reportage, war reporting, political caricature, theatre, film and medal design.
His methods range from simple exaggeration of facial features, costumes and fashion fads; clever juxtapositions and contrasts of body types; absurd, nonsense comedy; physical, burlesque comedy; dark humour; bawdy humour; and more complicated word-play, with the interplay of word and image or ironic literary allusions.
Born and based in Cambridge
Fiztwilliam Museum 13 October 2015 to 31 January 2016.
In 1957 Standard Oil commissioned Searle to design the short which saw him visit America for the first time. The film was produced through Transfilm with the actual animation created by Dave Hilberman (a founding member of UPA) at Playhouse Pictures with Bill Melendez supervising animation and Art Babbitt animating at Quartet Films in Los Angeles. Searle spent several months in the US where his time was split between the ad agency (McCann-Erickson) in New York and the production outfits in LA.
“In that 16 minutes nearly 25,000 drawings were shown. The cost was four months work, often night and day, by something like 150 people and an expenditure of 450, 000 dollars.”
Wine & Spirit Trade Review, 7 March 1958