No Briar without a Thorn, Now Available
di Mark Irwin
Several years ago I ran across a very small image of a very funny cartoon, absolutely hysterical, in fact, whether read as a cautionary icon for P.A.D. sufferers, as the “battle of the briars” that seems to take place anytime two competitive pipe smokers get together, or as an illustration of the trend towards ever larger pipes in the artisan pipe making industry. Unfortunately, I had no idea who the artist was, and no one else seemed to know either.
A few years passed and in an idle moment with a magnifying glass at hand, and after trying various other consonant-vowel combinations, I finally stumbled upon “Bateman.” From there it was just a few keystrokes and I knew the artist was none other than The Modern Master of 20th century British cartooning, H. M. Bateman (1887-1970), best remembered across the pond as the creator of “The Man Who...” drawings of social fauxpas and the story without words for Punch magazine. I probably resonated with it subconsciously because of Bateman’s influence on Harvey Kurtzman of Mad Magazine, one of the formative influences of my youth. Had I had a better education, I would no doubt have known this to begin with, but such is the sad state of my sorry life.
I was able to get in touch with his granddaughter, Lucy Willis, in January of 2011, who had just assumed control of the estate and was in the process of cataloguing her grandfather’s work. She said she knew the cartoon and would be touch when she located it. Fourteen months later she wrote to say she’d found it, and was I still interested in a print? “Yes! YES! YES!” was my reply.
Whether you use it to alleviate your P.A.D. or just add a dose of levity to your daily life, think about adding “No Briar Without A Thorn” to your man cave, study, shop, pipe den, or wherever you do your smoking. I opted for the larger print. Prints are shipped rolled in a tube on heavy artstock paper.
Available only at HM Bateman Designs Ltd, www.hmbateman.com:
A4 size 21cm x 30 cm (approx. 8 ¼ “ x 12”) for £12 or
A3 size 30 cm x 38cm (approx. 12” x 15 ½ “) for £20.00
Shipping & Handling: £6
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