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PosterCo Ltd

Punch Cartoon Art - Cover Art - Punch autumn number - Smilby (Francis Wilford Smith) (1962) - Framed Picture - 11" x 14"


Francis Wilford-Smith was a British cartoonist, graphic artist, and producer and archivist of blues music. As a cartoonist, he used the pseudonym Smilby, a contraction of his surname with his wife's maiden name.

He joined the Merchant Navy, serving during the Second World War on convoys to Africa and across the Atlantic. During this time he also worked as an undercover courier and agent for US Naval Intelligence, intercepting telephone conversations and collecting and delivering material to US consular staff in the Belgian Congo and Persian Gulf.

In 1946, he began specialising in illustration and wood engraving. He then became an art teacher, and for a time worked as an animator with Halas and Batchelor.

By 1951, his cartoons had begun appearing in Punch and other magazines, and he became a full-time cartoonist, later working for the Daily Telegraph, Playboy, and many others. From the early 1960s, he also worked widely in Europe and the USA, publishing cartoons in various periodicals including The New Yorker, Esquire, and the Saturday Evening Post.

Working as "Smilby", he also designed many advertising campaigns for Guinness, ICI, Boots and others, and was a freelance consultant to advertising agencies.

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