Michael ffolkes

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"Brilliant technique, but he has nothing to say..."

Michael Ffolkes (6 June 1925 – 18 October 1988) was a British illustrator and cartoonist most famous for his work on the Peter Simple column in The Daily Telegraph. He also worked for Punch and Playboy.

Born as Brian Davis in London, he studied art at Saint Martin's School of Art, and in 1942 sold his first drawing to Punch, signing it "brian". He went on to study painting at the Chelsea School of Art and later adopted "Michael Ffolkes" as his artistic name, becoming a professional cartoonist in 1949. In 1955, Ffolkes began to illustrate the "Way of the World" column in the Daily Telegraph. In 1961, he began illustrating Punch film reviews, and later its covers.[1]

Ffolkes contributed to such newspapers and magazines as Strand, Lilliput, the Daily Telegraph, The Spectator, the Sunday Telegraph, Playboy, Private Eye, the New Yorker, the Reader's Digest, Krokodil, and Esquire. He was a prolific illustrator of children's books, in particular those of Roald Dahl, and published his autobiography, ffundamental ffolkes, in 1985.[citation needed]

According to Ken Pyne, the cartoonist Martin Honeysett "achieved almost legendary status when he threw a huge wobbly cake baked for Private Eye's 21st birthday party over the head of the notoriously pompous cartoonist Michael Ffolkes. His name will live forever just for that."[2]


Ffolkes died in London on 18 October 1988 at age 63 from undisclosed causes.


  1. ^ "Brian Davis profile". British Cartoon Archive.
  2. ^ Pyne, Ken (12 February 2015). "Obituary of Martin Honeysett". Guardian. p. 37.

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