Mr. Crindle's Rapid Career Upon Town
Mr. Crindle's Rapid Career Upon Town

Henry George Hine was a 19th-century English watercolour landscape painter who worked as a cartoonist for Punch magazine. He also drew a rare comic strip named 'Mr. Crindle's Rapid Career Upon Town' (1847), which was published in episodes. As obscure as the title is today it was still widely distributed and even semi-plagiarized by Gustave Doré.

Henry George Hine was born in 1811 in Brighton, Sussex, as the son of a local coachmaster. He was a complete autodidact in terms of drawing and painting and basically learned the craft in his own spare time. Most of his early works were sea and coast landscape paintings. After moving to London Hine became an apprentice under English painter and engraver Henry Meyer. Hine also spent two years in Rouen, France, before returning to London to set up his own wood engraving business. He married in 1840 and remained a Londoner for the rest of his life.

In 1841 Hine became one of the first cartoonists to publish in the newly found satirical magazine Punch. He remained a regular there until 1844, when John Leech became their home cartoonist. Hine's caricatures and cartoons appeared in magazines like Puck, The Great Gun, Joe Miller the Younger, the Illustrated London News and The Man in the Moon before he retired from cartooning and became a full-time landscape painter again.


Portraits of the Writers and Artists of Punch (1843)

It was in the latter magazine that Hine made a few text comics. The Man in the Moon appeared monthly and each time they printed a large sequential cartoon on its front page. These cartoons could be folded out for proper reading. The format also enabled the cartoonist to draw as much and as detailed as he wanted, since it would still be published in huge readable print. The first of these fold-outs was called 'Life and Death of Don Guzzles of Carrara' (1847) by an unknown artist. Next month a reprint of a comic strip by Cham appeared, translated as 'The Foreign Gentleman in London; or the English adventures of M. Vanille' (1847). In the third issue a comic strip by Hine made its debut: 'Mr. Crindle's Rapid Career Upon Town' (1847). The comic was a long story about a young man, Mr. Crindle, who gets rich and wants to spend his money in London. Naturally things do not go according to plan. The humorous text comic was written by journalist Albert Smith and published in nine episodes, spread over an equal amount of months. At the time the series was so popular that Punch collected all episodes and published them as one long continuous narrative.

Between 12 January and 15 June 1850 Charles Philipon of the French satirical magazine Journal Pour Rire asked two of his colleagues, E. Bourget and Gustave Doré, to draw a similar comic strip for his magazine. Their story, 'L'Homme Aux Cent Mille Écus' (1850) also revolved around the humorous mishaps of a naïve man who inherits a large sum of money, but loses it all over the course of the story. Doré's comic was furthermore published in episodes as well and sometimes downright copied certain images. Though the creators at least had the decency of mentioning their original inspiration in the title pages.

In 1863 Hine got involved with the Institute of Painters in Water-Colours, of which he became a full member one year later. Between 1888 and 1895 he was vice-president of the publication. Henry George Hine passed away in 1895.

The Christmas Pic-Nic at the Diggings
The Christmas Pic-Nic at the Diggings (1851)

Series and books by Henry George Hine in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:

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