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date: 22 August 2019

Bell, Steve(n)locked

(b London, Feb 26, 1951).
  • S. J. Turner

Extract

(b London, Feb 26, 1951).

English draughtsman. He studied at Teesside College of Art, Middlesbrough, and Leeds University, graduating in fine art in 1974. He became a freelance cartoonist in 1977, after a brief spell teaching in Birmingham, where his earliest strip ‘Maxwell the Mutant’ appeared in the alternative paper Broadside. His first paid work featured in the comic Whoopee!, and he went on to draw for many other publications, including New Society, Social Work Today, Leveller (‘Lord God Almighty’ strip) and the New Musical Express. The strip ‘Maggie’s Farm’ first appeared in London’s Time Out (1979–81) and was continued in City Limits (1982–6). Bell also contributed large colour cartoons for the New Statesman & Society. However, his work appeared most consistently in The Guardian (from 1981), to which he contributed editorial cartoons and the topical ‘If …’ strip. The latter features numerous animal characters, such as a family of penguins, a monkey and a cat called Socks. The British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was frequently depicted as the Iron Lady or slant-eyed psychopath, while her successor, John Major, was habitually drawn wearing aertex Y-front underpants on the outside of his trousers, a metaphor for his inadequacy. Bell, considered one of the foremost English cartoon satirists, chronicled the dramatic political events of the 1980s and 1990s. He has also made animation shorts for television. He was influenced by the underground comic artist Robert Crumb (...

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