Mr. Wiseman, by Henry Bateman, 1924

Just after his birth, Henry Mayo Bateman was brought to England. He studied at the Westminster School of Art and then at Goldsmiths College. In London, Bateman worked for three years in the studio of Dutch painter Charles van Havenmaet. He sold his first cartoon to Scraps at the age of sixteen. In 1904, he began contributing to the Tatler, and in 1915, to Punch. His cartoons were usually about social embarrassment. Bateman was influenced by Phil May and Tom Browne, but by 1911 developed his own personal style. He drew people how they felt to him, not what they look like, a style he called "going mad on paper".

comic art by Henry Mayo Bateman, 1918
Comic strip by Henry M. Bateman, 1918.

Famous works by Bateman include 'The Guardsman Who Dropped It on Parade' and 'The Boy Who Breathed on the Glass at the British Museum'. For the Shell oil company, Bateman designed the character of Mr. Wiseman, who was supposed to be the equivalent of the Michelin Man. Henry Mayo Bateman died in 1970, on the island of Malta.

H.M. Bateman was a strong influence on Benoît, Luc Cromheecke, Harvey KurtzmanRonald Searle and Richard Yeend.

comic art by Henry Mayo Bateman
'The Backfire'.

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