Leslie, John, 1945-2010Alternative names
Leslie David Gibbard was born on 26 October 1945 in Kaiapoi, New Zealand.
Gibbard started out on his career path in 1962 drawing cartoons, illustrations and caricatures for such newspapers as the Auckland Star, New Zealand Weekly News, Sunday News, Melbourne Herald and New Zealand Herald. It was at the New Zealand Herald that Gibbard was coached and greatly influenced by the political cartoonist Sir Gordon Minhinnick.
Gibbard arrived in London on 1 June 1967 and got his first job as arts caricaturist and pocket cartoonist for the Sunday Telegraph (1967-1970). Soon he became the successor of Bill Papas, the political cartoonist of the Guardian (1969-1994). Gibbard is the Guardian's longest serving political cartoonist and the youngest to have started his career there at the age of 23.
Gibbard contributed to a variety of other newspapers and magazines including the Daily Mirror, Daily Sketch, Daily Telegraph, Sunday Mirror, Evening Standard and Time Out. He also worked as an animator for Richard Williams (1973-1975) and Ken Harris of Warner Brothers. Gibbard was involved in the animation of 'Beatrix Potter', 'Wind in the Willows', 'Famous Fred' and other such series for television. Gibbard produced his own animated political cartoon series for Granada TV's 'Reports Politics' entitled 'Newshound' (1976-1977). He has drawn weekly political cartoons for BBC's 'On The Record' (1988-1995), 'Newsnight' and Channel 4's 'A Week in Politics' (1982-1986).
He was voted the BISFA Slide/Strip Artist of the Year 1980 and National Canine Defence League Dog Cartoonist of the Year in 1989. A collection of Gibbard's best works entitled 'Gibbard's Double Decade Omnibus' was published in 1991 by Bellew Publishing, London.
From the guide to the Illustrations by Les Gibbard, 1969-2005, (Guardian News & Media Archive)