The top floor of the cartoon museum and the skylight

Inconspicuously hidden in the heart of London is the Cartoon Museum, an establishment devoted to the history and preservation of cartoons.

The front of the cartoon museum

35 Little Russell Street, London, WC1A 2HH.

Although cartoons and comics tend to be considered to be nerdy waste of time, the museum has done a very good job at displaying the actual value of this varied art form; providing a contemporary representation of its own time.

The carefully planned labyrinth of room dividers ensures utilisation of every internal inch of the building, and feature everything from Peppa Pig storyboards to imported works of fine art and social commentary.

This spring, the late Martin Honeysett’s works have been on display, along with letters documenting his adventures.

Especially interesting were the pictures from his trip to Japan, where he worked as a cartooning professor for two years.

the cover of A Taste of Honeysett featuring one of his drawings

A taste of Honeysett – paperback catalogue to accompany the exhibition with the same name.

Though Honeysett is often funny, he is also an excellent example of the previously mentioned social commentary.

Most of the funny works are clearly pointing a finger at what the artist finds to be problematic in society, and some are not even funny at all, but rather dark and even sad.

Possibly the most delightful thing about this visit was to walk around quietly amongst others, much like in a library, with the silence only being broken by the occasional giggle of visitors.

As the foreigner I am, I now had an opportunity to see and digest sharp British humour in my own time, and actually take the time to analyse and properly enjoy it.

Small nuances that would normally pass me by undetected when watching TV or listening to other people speaking now actually got to seep in and give me the snappy sensation I have heard so much about.

All in all, my visit ended up being short due to the small size of the museum, but it was weighed out by browsing the shop areas extensive range of cartoon related books.

I would recommend anyone who does not consider cartoons a form of respectable art to visit the museum to reconsider.

 

 

A Taste of Honeysett will be displayed at the Cartoon Museum until April 16, 2016. 


Featured image by Klara Eldstal Damlin.