We’re sorry to report the death of veteran and much-admired Hastings-based cartoonist Martin Honeysett, whose work has appeared in many publications, including Private Eye, Radio Times, Punch, The Oldie, The Spectator, The Sunday Telegraph, London’s Evening Standard and The Observer.
Described as “one of the funniest – and I mean finny – cartoonists ever,” in a tribute yesterday from fellow cartoonist Hunt Emerson, several creators and cartoon-related organisations have also acknowledged his amazing talent, including fellow Private Eye cartoonist Royston Robertson, who described Martin as “a truly great cartoonist and a lovely bloke” on Twitter; and Martin Rowson, praising him as “one of the truly great gag cartoonists“.
“A lovely man and a brilliant cartoonist,” commented the organisers of the Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival. “We will miss him.”
As well as his memorable cartoon work, drawn in a uniquely scratchy style, with an acerbic eye for barbed but strangely gentle wit, Martin, who saw cartooning as a form of journalism, also had several books published and has illustrated many others, both for children and adults, including Bert Feggs Nasty Book by Terry Jones and Michael Palin published in 1974, The Queen and I by Sue Townsend and a series of books by the poet Ivor Cutler.
“He was so good at drawing a kind of moth-eaten seediness,” recalls VIZ cartoonist Davey Jones. “Somehow suited Ivor Cutler perfectly.”
He won several awards at International Cartoon Festivals in Europe and Japan (he was a visiting professor at the Kyoto Seika University, Faculty of Art, Japan, from 2005 to 2007), and both his cartoons and paintings have appeared in a number of public exhibitions.
An interview with Martin Honeysett in 2008 after winning an international competition, beating off 1200 other entries.
• Official web site: www.martinhoneysett.com
• Martin Honeysett on Phosphor (licensed cartoon sales and artwork)