Booklet remembers the art of a great Birmingham newspaper cartoonist

The highly successful summer tribute exhibition to Birmingham Post cartoonist Bert Hackett staged at the Midlands Arts Centre may have ended but his cartoons can still be viewed.

Some 70 of his cartoons and sketches can be found in The Gemini Years – The career of cartoonist Bert Hackett (1933-2016), a booklet produced by former Post feature writer Ross Reyburn and London-based costume designer Rosie Hackett, Bert’s youngest daughter, shortly before the exhibition closed on September 4.

In a 40-year career with the Post, Bert, who died on April 8, produced some 11,000 cartoons mainly under the pseudonym Gemini before his retirement aged 75 in 2008.

“Bert’s name may be little known outside the Birmingham area but he deserves to be remembered as one of Britain’s great cartoonists,” said Ross.

“This booklet shows why he deserved a place on the national stage. No one bettered his damning portrayal of Enoch Powell delivering his infamous Rivers of Blood Speech in Birmingham in 1968 or his Falklands War cartoon showing an Argentinian soldier getting an unwelcome surprise in the dark in May 1982.

“His major cartoons have a prophetic resonance. His 2003 portrayal of a frenzied looking Tony Blair recklessly gambling everything on Iraq at a roulette table was totally vindicated when the Chilcot Report was finally published in July.

“In his later years, Bert’s sharply incisive brand of humour never deserted him as was shown by his 2005 portrayal of a dalek hailing the Selfridges building in the Bullring as “Mom-e- e” now being sold as a postcard in the Midlands Arts Centre shop along with The Gemini Years.