Michael Heath (cartoonist)

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Michael John Heath (born 1935) is a prolific British strip cartoonist and illustrator.

His father, George Heath, was also a cartoonist (of comic strips). His work has appeared in numerous British publications including Punch, Lilliput, the Evening Standard, The Evening News, The Guardian, The Spectator, The Independent, The Sunday Times, The Mail on Sunday, and Private Eye; all his work is signed simply as "HEATH".

He has been cartoon editor of "The Spectator" magazine since 1991, and the cartoons which are published do not always adhere to the magazine's conservative politics. Heath's own political cartoons have also appeared in The Independent newspaper.

A biography for him can be seen at the British Cartoon Archive, University of Kent's website http://www.cartoons.ac.uk/artists/michaelheath/biography

Cartoon Series[edit]

Great Bores of Today[edit]

Great Bores of Today was a long-running series in Private Eye. Each has a single frame, in which some immediately recognizable species of modern cultural bore is seen in his or her natural environs, haranguing bystanders, reporters, the viewer, or imagined listeners. Underneath is a lengthy chunk of the logorrhea that the bore utters distinguished in particular by the bland inconsistency of the bore's opinions. (The text is contributed by other Private Eye regulars.) The series has been resurrected in Richard Ingram's monthly magazine, The Oldie, with illustrations again by Heath.

The Suits[edit]

A series that appeared in The Spectator, lampooning the interchangeability and solemnity of men in their suits (or the utter helplessness of the normally besuited when temporarily deprived of their suits).

The Regulars[edit]

"The Regulars" ran in Private Eye; the "regulars" are Jeffrey Bernard and the other regular customers of the Coach & Horses pub in Soho. The cartoons were used in the play Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell.

Style Victims[edit]

Published in the London Sunday Times, this series makes fun of the conscious, and unconscious, style or fashion victims. (One frame shows a pair of sour-faced judges in ceremonial clothes and wigs, one grimly asking the other "What is a style victim?")

Numero Uno[edit]

A series that ran in Private Eye, "Numero Uno" makes fun of baseball-capped youth, with Walkman earphones permanently implanted in ears.

The Outlaw[edit]

A short lived strip set in the year 2000, where Michael Common is "the last person to smoke in England". Published in The Spectator.

Partners[edit]

Partnership and baby-rearing in the England of the 90s. Published in The Independent.

Henry King[edit]

A disturbingly precocious baby, permanently wearing a baseball cap. Published in The Spectator.

Bibliography[edit]

Collections of Heath's cartoons[edit]

  • Private Eye Michael Heath. 1973.
  • Book of Bores. London: Private Eye & André Deutsch, 1976.
  • Michael Heath's Automata. London: A. P. Rushton, 1976.
  • The Punch cartoons of Heath. Harrap, 1976.
  • Is Love All? Michael Heath's Cartoons from the Guardian. London: Blond & Briggs, 1982.
  • Private Eye's Bores 3. London: Private Eye, 1983.
  • The Best of Heath. Newton Abbott: David & Charles, 1984.
  • Welcome to America. London: Heinemann, 1985.
  • Baby. London: Heinemann, 1988.
  • The Complete Heath. London: John Murray, 1991. Not the complete Heath by any means, but a collection of cartoons from the series "The Suits", "The Regulars", "Style Victims", "Numero Uno", and "Great Bores of Today", as well as political and other topical cartoons.
  • Heath's 90s. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1997. Reproduces "The Outlaw", "Partners", "Henry King", new installments of "Great Bores of Today", as well as many political cartoons.

Partial list of works illustrated by Heath[edit]

  • Back with Parren. By E. W. Hildick. London: Macmillan, 1968.
  • The Computer People. By Anne Denny Angus. London: Faber & Faber, 1970.
  • Robert Morley's Book of Bricks. By Robert Morley. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1978. (Illustrated by Heath and Geoffrey Dickinson.)
  • The Job of Acting: A guide to working in the theatre. By Clive Swift. London: Harrap, 1979.
  • Robert Morley's Book of Worries. By Robert Morley. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1979. (Illustrations by Heath and Geoffrey Dickinson.)
  • Loose Talk: Adventures on the streets of shame. By Tina Brown. London: Michael Joseph, 1979.
  • The Anti-Booklist. Ed. Brian Redhead and Kenneth McLeish. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1981.
  • Fanny Peculiar. By Keith Waterhouse. London: Michael Joseph, 1983.
  • Second Best Bed. By Fenton Bresler. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. 1983.
  • Merde! The real French you were never taught at school. By Genevieve. London: Angus & Robertson, 1984.
  • No Laughing Matter: A collection of political jokes. By Steven Lukes and Itzhak Galnoor. London: Routledge, 1985.
  • How's Your Glass? A quizzical look at drinks and drinking. By Kingsley Amis. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1985.
  • Waterhouse at Large. By Keith Waterhouse. London: Michael Joseph, 1985.
  • Merde encore! More of the real French you were never taught at school. By Genevieve. London: Angus, 1986.
  • Talking Horses. By Jeffrey Bernard. London: Fourth Estate, 1987.
  • Beyond Fear. By Dorothy Rowe. London: Fontana, 1987.
  • Winewise; or, How to be streetwise about wine. By Alice King. London: Methuen, 1987.
  • All Gourmets Great and Small. By Clive and Angela Russell-Taylor. Southampton: Ashford Press, 1988.
  • High Life. By Taki. London: Viking, 1989.
  • Generation Games. By Laurie Graham. London: Chatto & Windus, 1990.
  • A Parent's Survival Guide. By Laurie Graham. London: Chatto & Windus, 1991.
  • Countryblast. By Clive Aslet. London: John Murray, 1991.
  • British Teeth: An excruciating journey from the dentist's chair to the rotten heart of a nation. By William R. Leith. London: Faber & Faber, 2002.
  • The English at Table. By Digby Anderson. London: Social Affairs Unit, 2006.