The magazine published by the London Caricaturist

Simon Ellinas: Caricaturist and Cartoonist Blog

Ha! (Humorous Arts) was a magazine I published in the mid-nineties. With the absence of Punch and the UK edition of Mad, it seemed like there was a gap in the market for a magazine that catered for these two tastes. It also seemed to be a good idea to offer reviews, articles and interviews from the entire world of humour.

It went well for five issues, eventually being distributed, on foot, around independent newsagents in London. Out of a print run of 1,000, we achieved a sales rate of 40%, which was quite an achievement on what was mostly word-of-mouth advertising.

We had several of the big boy publishers look at our product with the view to launching it nationally. It all got very promising twice, but in both cases their accountants said we couldn’t sell enough advertising. And philanthropic entrepreneurs such as Richard Branson and Alan Sugar weren’t keen.

However, we transferred to the web for a short while and managed several months of weekly updates until other things, like having to earn a living, got in the way. It’s not easy when sponsors are not beating a path to your door.

It was a time when the atmosphere of creativity seemed to presage a new era and our team of writers and cartoonists were enthusiastic to be a part of it. And some good stuff was produced.

The blog at is going to be a trip down memory lane for many of them, but fresh fields for the rest of you. And there will be new material and cartoons published here as well, so it will always be worthwhile bookmarking this blog for regular enjoyment.

Let the laughter commence! Ha!


New Caricatures by the London Caricaturist

I have drawn two of the presenters of K-Earth Radio in Los Angeles as part of an ongoing project which concerns their regular spoof interviews with ‘David Beckham‘! It’s Lisa Stanley‘s birthday soon, so we thought it might be a nice idea to send her a caricature and to include the Morning Show‘s main man, Gary Bryan at the same time!

These caricatures and cartoons are to be regular feature on the Beckham Diaries website once it goes live.

These are a good example of the sort of caricature you could expect if you ordered an Instant Email caricature in colour from me.

Lisa Stanley/K-Earth

Gary Bryan/K-Earth

Fantastic News For Caricaturists!

Police urged to drop photofits for caricatures(Link to original article)

Ian Sample, science correspondent
Monday November 26, 2007
The Guardian

Police forces should issue comical caricatures of the criminals they are hunting instead of standard photofits, according to a team of scientists who found that cartoon-like faces are better at jolting people’s memories.

A study at the University of Central Lancashire found that over-emphasising prominent features on people’s faces made them twice as easy to identify than before.

The researchers used computer software to alter the faces of 18 celebrities which had been created using three standard photofit techniques. The faces were then turned into caricatures by exaggerating certain features, such as the size of a person’s ears, forehead or nose, by as much as 50%.

Article continues
In tests, volunteers were asked to identify people from the standard photofit of their face and from their caricature.

On average, a photofit face was correctly identified 20% of the time, compared with 40% for the caricature, according to a report in this month’s Visual Cognition journal.

I’m off to my local police station to demand a job!

New Selection of Pics of Caricaturist in London!

I was alerted to the fact that my animated gif could be better quality by my good friend Roger Wilsher at contract publisher, Aspect Media. So I went through a load of pics of me, the London Caricaturist at parties and saved them for web BEFORE editing them in ImageReady. Now most of the photos are, if not actually crystal clear, a lot easier on the eye! And I’ve cropped them close so you can see the caricatures in more detail!

Do you think Annie Leibowitz , Henri Cartier-Bresson  and Mario Testino have anything to fear?

So here they are:

New Caricaturist in London Selection

The Caricaturist in London has a ploy!

You know, in my last blog, Ha! Humorous Arts, I discovered that the sure fire way of getting hits was simply to mention Liz Hurley, with the appropriate links. yes, that’s right Liz Hurley. you’d be surprised how many people are out there typing ‘Liz Hurley‘ into their search engines!

Liz Hurley

Sadly, Ha! Humorous Arts has hit technical difficulties and the boffins at WordPress are not able to help me. It seems that I am going to have to scrap the whole lot and start again.

Never mind. My next post will probably be about caricaturing, which would be more relevant to this blog!

Caricaturist in London at The Dorchester!

 Yesterday, 22nd November, I was delighted to be able to entertain members of The Savvy Club with caricatures at a lunchtime party in the Penthouse Suite at The Dorchester Hotel in London. Here’s a photo of the assembled group. That’s me, the tallest person in the back row looking like a lascivious frog!

The Savvy Club at The Dorchester

The Photo was taken by Blue Pig Photography who are great for photos at any event.

The caricatures went down well and it’s a joy being able to entertain in such sumptuous surroundings. One of the benefits of being a caricaturist in London!

Caricatures of Groups

I am often asked to draw caricatures of groups of people. This ranges from a small group of four like this:

John, Paul, George and Alex

to a huge group of up to SIXTY people! Like this (there are 44 in this one):

Army Group Caricature

This is a group of officers from the 2nd Princess of Wales Regiment.

And Group Caricatures are particularly satisfying (for both the caricaturist and the client) when they are in colour:

Goldman Sachs Ski Trip

This one was for investment bank, Goldman Sachs

One problem of embarking upon such a large project is usually that the client hasn’t allowed enough time to get it done for their deadline, being unaware of how long it takes to draw roughs of each individual face for their approval and then seeing a rough of the finished layout before going to finished artwork. But once schedules are worked out and a reasonable fee is agreed, most of these jobs go without a hitch.

One of the benefits of being a caricaturist in London is that many big businesses have their HQs here and often approach me about such large caricaturing projects. Also, it’s convenient, if I am getting the pictures framed, as I often do, so that I can personally deliver framed caricatures anywhere in London.

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