Saturday, May 7, 2011

A brief history of "Portfoolio"

Cover drawing by Ed Franklin

Portfoolio was born in the summer of 1985 when McClelland & Stewart, which had published two previous collections of Canadian editorial cartoons in 1983 and 1984, decided not to renew the experience.

A publisher was found in Montreal (Croc Publishing) and Portfoolio 85: The Year in Canadian Caricature saw the light that fall.

Each year, the 40 or so major editorial cartoonists in Canada were asked to submit a selection of their favourite work.

The editor then chose about 500 from the more than 2000 drawings received and divided them by subject.

It was then up to the editor to make sense of all this and shape it in coherent chapters. A further selection was made to fit the drawings in the 160 available pages while maintaining visual quality and decent reproduction sizes.

A biographical section provided information on all the cartoonists involved as well as their photo and a sample of their work.

This section also allowed the publication of local cartoons that, because of the book's national scope, would have been otherwise absent.

Cover drawing by Aislin

Cover drawing by Duncan Macpherson

Croc also published the next 2 volumes of Portfoolio, but, due to the difficulty of breaking into the Canadian market, the duties were taken over by its distributor.


Cover drawing by Phil Mallette

Eden Press thus published Portfoolio 1988: The Year in Canadian Caricature, an unmitigated disaster that, due to a last minute decision to cut 24 pages from the book, destroyed the continuity and left the biographical section without samples of the cartoonists' work.

After this unfortunate episode, Portfoolio was published for the next eleven years by Macmillan of Canada.

Cover drawing by Cameron Cardow (Cam)

Cover drawing by Malcolm Mayes

Cover drawing by Dale Cummings

Cover drawing by Brian Gable 

Cover drawing by Geoff Olson

Cover drawing by Roy Peterson

Cover drawing by Serge Chapleau

Cover drawing by Bruce Mackinnon

Cover drawing by Anthony Jenkins

Cover drawing by Bruce Mackinnon

Cover drawing by Guy Badeaux (Bado)

The new century saw the book, in an ironic twist of fate, return for three years with McClelland & Stewart...
Cover drawing by Patrick Corrigan

Cover drawing by Bruce Mackinnon

Cover drawing by Roy Peterson

... before finding, thanks to Terry Mosher, a new home with McArthur & Company...

Cover drawing by Susan Dewar

Cover drawing by Michel Garneau (Garnotte)

Cover drawing by Terry Mosher (Aislin)

... who published (in glorious colour inside) the last three editions of the book.

Cover drawing by Thomas Boldt (Tab)

Portfoolio was edited for the first 22 issues by myself, Guy Badeaux, editorial cartoonist for Le Droit in Ottawa, and has, through the years, been graced by the texts of Charles Gordon, Ken Mac Queen, Jay Stone and Scott Feshchuk, most of whom journalists at The Ottawa Citizen.

The book, after a two year hiatus, is now edited by Warren Clements of The Globe & Mail.

Cover drawing by Gary Clement

Cover drawing by Theo Moudakis (Mou)

Cover drawing by Terry Mosher (Aislin)

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