British Cartoon Archive


Haro Hodson was born in Glasgow on 9 February 1923, the second son of Canon R.V. Hodson, a hunting parson who was rector of Minchinhampton, Gloucestershire. He went to the King's School, Bruton, leaving in 1939, aged sixteen, to study at Stroud School of Art. During the Second World War he served in the army and was later attached to GHQ New Delhi as an official war artist. His first published drawing appeared in Lilliput in 1941.

After the war Hodson read English at Wadham College, Oxford, and in 1947 spent a year at the Bath Academy of Art, Corsham. During this period his poems were published in the Observer and Adelphi, and were broadcast on BBC radio. In 1948 He joined the staff of the Observer as an illustrator, and in 1962 he became a freelance contributor to the Daily Mail - and later also to the Mail on Sunday. Hodson left the Observer in 1964, but his drawings have also appeared in Punch, Tatler, Time & Tide, Harpers & Queen, New York Herald-Tribune, and the Daily Telegraph (since 1997).

Hodson has designed posters for West End theatre productions and for the Royal College of Nursing, drawn illustrations for Berry Brothers, and designed Christmas cards for Gallery 5. He has also produced book and theatre reviews for the Observer, Daily Mail and Glasgow Herald, and - from 1978 to 1985 - was occasional TV critic on the Daily Mail.

Hodson was a friend - and great admirer - of Max Beerbohm, and cites other influences as being William Blake and Phil May. At the start of his career he worked with pen and indian ink but now uses a variety of Pentels for speed. He draws with a flamboyant, minimal line and owns pug dogs which often feature in his cartoons.

  • Mark Bryant Dictionary of Twentieth-Century British Cartoonists and Caricaturists (Ashgate, Aldershot, 2000), pp.112-3.



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