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Comic Strip / Carl Giles

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Ronald "Carl" Giles, best known by his last name only, was a British cartoonist best known for his long running eponymous strip in the Daily Express. He started working in 1937 for the Reynolds News, but moved to the Daily Express in 1943 and remained there until 1991.

The format of Giles, the strip, was a single panel, illustrated with astonishing amounts of detail. In addition to the main joke, there were often numerous sight gags in the elaborate backgrounds. The strips were usually topical, relating to current news stories. The cartoonist's most famous creation was the Giles Family, a large family presided over by a tyrannical matriarch known simply as Grandma.


The strip Giles includes examples of:

  • Celebrity Endorsement: Every annual collection started with an introduction by some famous (and sometimes important) guest celebrity.
  • Dinner Order Flub: When the family is in France, every attempt by would-be intellectual Henry to order steak and chips in French ends up with the family being served frogs legs.
  • Eviler Than Thou: A memorable Wartime Cartoon features Adolf Hitler complaining about Imperial Japan's war crimes thusly:
    "These damn Japs are showing us all up! We shall have to think up some new ones."
  • Evil Matriarch: Maybe not evil, but Grandma was all powerful and certainly very scary.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Giles loved tormenting his editors by sneaking "French packets" into his detailed panels.
  • Laughably Evil: His goofy cartoon caricatures of various Axis leaders, save Heinrich Himmler, whom Giles considered the worst of the bunch and strove to portray as the nasty little freak he was. Fittingly, Giles was there to witness Himmler's suicide after being captured by the Allies.
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  • Print Long-Runners: The first Giles cartoons were about the Second World War. Among his last was one about the First Gulf War.
  • Seppuku: Another memorable Wartime Cartoon shows a pair of Japanese men, one carrying a sword (which appears to be a scimitar rather than a samurai sword, which is strange given how meticulously accurate his illustrations usually were) fleeing an allied air raid and complaining: "Don't give you much time to commit suicide these days, do they?"
  • Stern Teacher: Chalkie is somewhere between this and Evil Teacher.
  • Those Wacky Nazis: Although the tone changed once the Allies began to liberate the concentration camps, Neo-Nazis and other British fascists were usually treated with contempt after the war.
  • Wartime Cartoon: Early Giles cartoons were usually about the Second World War.


Example of: