Studdy’s War Studies (Studdy’s War Cartoons Compilation Film)
R: George Studdy. P: Gaumont Company. UK 1915
“Cartoonist George Studdy (1878-1948) was popular even before the creation of his iconic Bonzo dog character in the 1920s, as shown by his eponymous Studdy’s War Studies series in newsreels. He quickly went beyond the self-promotional ‘lightning sketch’ to create truly innovative animated editorial cartoons – such as the WWI-era ‘Frightfulness vs Fairplay’ here.”
“George E. Studdy was born in Devonport, England in 1878. He was the eldest son of the family and was expected to pursue a career in the military just like his father, who was a lieutenant. George Studdy enrolled in preparatory school in Bristol, but had an unfortunate pitchfork accident which badly injured his foot. Unable to start his career in the army, he became an engineer’s apprentice and joined a stockbroker, a job which he quit after three years. He then started evening classes at Heatherley’s Art School in London, specializing in animal anatomy. He shared an art studio with friends and became a freelance artist, contributing to magazines such as ‘Comic Cuts’, ‘Boys Own’, ‘The Big Budget Comic’ and ‘Tatler’. It was ‘The Sketch’ who eventually employed him for a weekly full-page drawing in 1912, the same year Studdy married his French sweetheart.”
“When war broke out, he was again refused entry into the army due to his childhood injury. In addition to his graphic work, he was commissioned by Gaumont to make a series of three short cartoon films entitled Studdy’s War Studies, which were released monthly from December 1914.
After the Armistice in 1918, George was busy drawing illustrations for many publications – such as various Children’s Annuals – as well as still supplying ‘The Sketch’ with weekly full-page illustrations. However, as the war had finished the magazine’s editor felt that the subject matter should be somewhat lighter. In time, he expressed interest in ‘The Studdy Dog’- which George had developed over the past few years – suggesting they gave it a six month trial in the magazine. The first appearance was on 2nd November 1921. It proved a winner, with the character of the dog developing over time, moving away from more recognized breeds into a cartoon version. The pup’s antics capturing the interest of the readers, but it was still only known as the Studdy Dog. The editor, Bruce Ingram, received many letters complaining that as the dog had become the Nation’s pet, it was about time that his name be revealed. So on the 8th November 1922, it was announced that the little dog was called ‘Bonzo’. It is interesting that it was Bruce Ingram who suggested the name, and not Studdy himself, who didn’t much care for it!”
George Studdy and Bonzo web site