Raymond Briggs: The Blossoming Art of a Beloved Cartoonist

Raymond Briggs: The Blossoming Art of a Beloved Cartoonist

Raymond Briggs is a name that has left an indelible mark on the world of cartoons and children’s books. Born in 1934 and passing away in 2022, Briggs created unforgettable works throughout his 60-year career. His most famous works include ‘The Snowman’ (1978), ‘Father Christmas’ (1973), ‘Fungus the Bogeyman’ (1977), and the autobiographical graphic novel ‘Ethel and Ernest’ (1998).

The “Bloomin’ Brilliant: The Life and Work of Raymond Briggs” exhibition at the Ditchling Museum brings together personal belongings and over 100 original artworks of Briggs. The exhibition is hosted by the Quentin Blake Centre for Illustration and is currently on tour as “Raymond Briggs: A Retrospective.”

Briggs’ art encompasses a variety of themes—ordinary and magical, monsters and flying snowmen, tiny humans, and a hard-working Santa Claus. The exhibition also displays personal items from Briggs’ Sussex home, including the writing and drawing desk he used for over 40 years.

Raymond Briggs, while creating books for children and adults, opposed the idea of making books targeted at specific audiences. To him, books are not missiles; they are not directed at anyone in particular. Some of his works appeal more to adult readers and have helped graphic novels find their place in different literary genres through adaptations into film and TV.

Briggs’ works are acknowledged as some of the first to reject the bad reputation of comic books in children’s literature and to start using this form for children’s books. Popular works like ‘Father Christmas’ and ‘The Snowman’ have significantly contributed to the acceptance of comic books in children’s literature.

This exhibition showcases why Raymond Briggs’ art and storytelling are so special. His works are loved and respected not just in England but around the world. If you want to get to know Briggs’ art up close, don’t miss this exhibition.

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