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Friday, 14 June, 2002, 23:00 GMT 00:00 UK
Simmonds's satirical touch
Posy Simmonds
Posy Simmonds was twice Cartoonist of the Year
Illustrator and cartoonist Posy Simmonds has been made an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours for services to the newspaper industry.

For millions of readers of the Guardian newspaper, mornings have just not been the same since Posy Simmonds stopped doing her cartoon strip.

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Simmonds delighted readers and won acclaim with her low-key but wickedly satirical strips.

She has worked on other newspapers but it was undoubtedly her Guardian work that won the artist fame.


Simmond's work is by far the most incisive and ambitious of her career

The Observer on Simmonds'ss book Gemma Bovery
The stars of Simmonds'ss strip were middle-class couple George and Wendy Weber, who came with an assortment of middle-class friends, fashions, passions and guilts.

Her skill as a cartoonist lies in her ability to produce spot-on social commentaries, which none the less appear deceptively simple.

Posy Simmonds was born Rosemary Elizabeth Simmonds in Berkshire, England.

Her art studies were carried out at the Sorbonne in Paris and later at the Central School in London.

Social commentator

In 1969, she began her first daily cartoon feature Bear in the Sun, and she also contributed to The Times and Cosmopolitan magazine.

But it was her move to the Guardian in 1972 that fully established her as an artist and social commentator.


Every line of every drawing... is distinctively stamped with Posy's personality

The Spectator
Readers revelled in Simmonds'ss observations on the good-hearted, left-wing Webers for 10 years.

She went on to publish several collections of her cartoons.

But after a decade she said she felt she had begun to parody herself and "wanted to try something new".

During this time, Simmonds had also produced popular graphic novels, such as True Love in 1981.

But in 1987, it was to children's fiction that she turned, producing the story of Fred to wide acclaim.

Light satire

The film version of Fred was nominated for an Oscar.

As with her newspaper illustrations, Simmonds'ss success as a writer lies in her witty, light satire - even when writing for children.

As a result, her children's books were equally successful - in particular, Flying Babies is considered as enjoyable for adults as it is for a young audience.

In 1999, Simmonds returned to adult fiction with Gemma Bovery - her hit reworking of Flaubert's Madame Bovary.

Industry plaudits

The Observer described the book as: "Masterful. Simmonds'ss work is by far the most incisive and ambitious of her career."

The Spectator added: "Every line of every drawing... is distinctively stamped with Posy's personality, her unfailing sharpness of observation and gift for the drolly eloquent detail.

"More remarkable still, a similar compliment can be paid her dialogue."

In 1980 and 1981, Simmonds was named Cartoonist of the Year.

In 1998, she was overall winner of the National Art Library Illustrations award.



Arise, Sir Mick

Other stars honoured

TALKING POINT
See also:

08 May 02 | UK Politics
30 Nov 00 | Entertainment
30 Nov 00 | Entertainment
06 Dec 01 | Entertainment
09 Sep 99 | UK
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