Raymond Briggs Passed Away At The Age Of 88

Raymond Briggs, the author of the children’s picture book The Snowman, died on August 9, 2022, at the age of 88. Briggs’ publisher, Penguin Random House, originally revealed the news on August 10. While he is best known for his 1978 book The Snowman, he has been a cartoonist, illustrator, and graphic novelist since the early 1950s. Briggs was also the creator of renowned picture books like Fungus the Bogeyman and Father Christmas.

Briggs’ literary agent, Hilary Delamere, conveyed the terrible news:

“Raymond enjoyed playing the professional snob, but we will remember him for his tales of love and grief. I know how his writings and animations impacted people’s hearts because of the numerous letters he got. He maintained his interest and feeling of amazement till the very end.”

Raymond Briggs’ life and career as an illustrator.

Raymond Briggs was born in 1934 in London, England. He received his education at the Wimbledon School of Art and the Slade School of Art in London. Briggs worked in advertising in the early stages of his career. He did, however, go on to become a children’s book artist and illustration instructor at the Brighton College of Art.

Raymond Briggs

Briggs first gained widespread prominence in 1966 with the publication of The Mother Goose Treasury, a collection of nursery rhymes. He also received The Library Association of the United Kingdom’s Kate Greenaway Medal twice, first in 1966 and again in 1973. Raymond Briggs has drawn books by renowned writers such as Allan Ahlberg. The artist has also illustrated his own picture books, two of which are his most popular children’s books, Father Christmas (1973) and The Snowman (1979). (1978).

Briggs told The Guardian about his reluctance to give film rights to producer John Coates for The Snowman:

“He’d bring it up every five minutes, and I’d say no because I knew he’d commercialize it. That he did. At the same time, done extremely well.”

Briggs discussed his unhappiness with The Snowman book and movie melding in the popular mind in the same interview with The Guardian. He mentioned:

“It irritates me that people believe the book’s success is due to the picture. For God’s sake, it’s the other way around! Not that it matters.”

The majority of his writings have also been translated into other languages and transformed into popular television cartoons, plays, and films. Briggs has also contributed to the graphic strip Ethel & Ernest (1998), which is a biography of his parent’s life. The plot centers on the couple’s meeting and a 41-year relationship. Fungus the Bogeyman (1977), Unlucky Wally (1987), and The Bear are among Raymond Briggs’ other well-known works (1994).

Raymond Briggs

For his mature audience, Raymond Briggs published When the Wind Blows (1982), which is said to be a parody of nuclear war. The Tin Pot Foreign General and The Old Iron Woman are successful adaptations of the novel (1984). Briggs’ last picture book, Time For Lights Out, was published in 2019, and it too digs into the physical indignities that come with aging. Raymond Briggs spoke about the process of completing the book:

“I’d want to complete some of the scribbled sketches. You start sketching it, then leave it, but you never complete it. When you’re elderly, everything takes a long time. I just spent 30 minutes getting dressed. Ludicrous!”

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