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Bill Charmatz Cartoon Cookery

July 2, 2014

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I have spoken about the life and work of Bill Charmatz before on my blog. When I came across this stunning cook book, that is absolutely brimming with his illustrative work, I knew that you’d love it as much as I do.

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The book is laid out in terms of many different chapters dealing with different ways of choosing, cleaning and cooking food and Bill has an amusing slant on each and every one of them.

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His characters look so simple but have such wit and charm about them that you can’t fail to fall for their simplicity and style. Minimal colour too.

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Look at these simple, yet quirkily drawn, food ensembles. Don’t they somehow portray a zest or a zing for the food itself ?

Just look at that lemon and the pasta and meatballs, it’s positively vibrating, even though it’s just a collection of squiggles and blobs … pure genius !

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The perils of cooking outdoors, again the small dog under the chair made me smile.

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The section on ‘Game Cookery’ makes me wonder, just who it is that ends up being the food after all !

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I love the chicken wagon and the dancing prawns with their tridents, again who’d have thought of those things  ?

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The chef in the kitchen above, has a lovely balance of detail and space and line, shape and colour. It all works so well. A few more colourful pages for some variation.

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It’s a stunning book and that’s not even looking at the actual recipes !  I picked my copy up for a few pounds, so even though it’s out of print and dates back to 1956 ! It’s still a must for every designer mid-century bookshelf. Does anyone else have anything similar ? Do let me know if you do. I’ve a couple more to talk about soon. Two great videos about Bill 

and here

You can fine more of Bill’s wonderful work here on the website created by his daughter.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. July 2, 2014 3:01 pm

    We sing Charmatz’ praises fairly often too! 🙂

  2. Keryn permalink
    October 3, 2016 4:29 am

    I found a copy of this book on a roadside stall for $2. I bought it as it was printed the year I was born. I now love the illustrations and recipes in this beautiful book.

    • October 3, 2016 8:50 am

      Sometimes it can be those small finds which bring the most pleasure : ) Thanks for sharing that story Keryn

  3. September 22, 2020 7:41 pm

    I am the curator of the Map& Atlas Museum of La Jolla. we have recently acquired a signed original piece by Mr. Charmatz. It is a pictorial map title “America for the Foot-Loose: An indispensable Guide for Married Couples Contemplating Seperate (sic) Vacations”. 13 x 16, pen and ink, watercolor with acetate overlay. The seller believed it was done in the 50s (I think correct given the subject matter) and possibly for Esquire magazine (hard to tell). I am looking for any information you might have on this work as from my search I cannot find any pictorials done by Mr. Charmatz. Be glad to send images. Sincerely, Richard Cloward

    • September 22, 2020 9:04 pm

      I’m sorry Richard but I gleaned all the information in my post from the internet so I couldn’t profess to have any specialist knowledge on Mr Charmatz. If anyone else can help, please get in touch with Richard directly. Good luck with your search, Craig

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