Edward Rolland McLachlan (born 1940) Widely regarded as one of the greatest living English cartoonists, Ed McLachlan offers a comical but often cutting commentary on modern life. From his gormless, baggy-suited businessmen to his ungainly bucktoothed women, his undeniably British sense of humour makes him a master of the macabre with an eye for the ridiculous. In every cleverly observed image, he takes the mundane and delivers the hilariously absurd. Ed McLachlan was born in Humberstone, Leicestershire, on 22 April 1940, and was educated at Wyggeston Grammar School, Leicester. He studied at the Leicester College of Art (1956-59), returning to become a lecturer in graphics between 1967 and 1970. McLachlan began his career as a cartoonist as a regular contributor to Punch in 1961, after he sent them a scrapbook of his cartoons.
After going freelance in 1965, he began drawing a series of political cartoons entitled ‘McLachlan’s Views’ in 1966, which ran in the Sunday Mirror until 1970. In 1967, he also began contributing to Private Eye. Political cartoonist for the Evening Standard from 1970, his series ‘Insiders’, ran in the Daily Mirror from 1972 to 1974. Since then, his cartoons have appeared in many publications, including the Sunday Telegraph, the Mail on Sunday, The Oldie, The Spectator, New Statesman and Playboy.
McLachlan has also worked as a book illustrator, and in 1969 wrote and illustrated his own children’s book, Simon in the Land of Chalk Drawings. This grew into a series of four books and later a television series.
In 1980, McLachlan was named Illustrative Cartoonist of the Year by the Cartoonist Club of Great Britain and, in 1997, the Cartoon Art Trust voted him Gag Cartoonist of the Year. A writer and designer of numerous advertising films, he was named Advertising Cartoonist of the year in 1981. In December 2011, the Cartoon Art Trust recognised McLachlan’s talent and contributions with a Lifetime Achievement Award, while, in 2016, he received an Honorary Doctorate from the University Leicester.
In February 2018, Chris Beetles Gallery held the highly successful selling exhibition, 'On the Edge. The Cartoon World of Ed McLachlan'.
In December 2019, Chris Beetles Gallery another exhibition of Ed McLachlan's satirical cartoons, 'Ed McLachlan: Over the Top'.
In December 2021, Chris Beetles Gallery held its third solo exhibition of Ed McLachlan's work, 'Ed McLachlan: Unleashed!'.
In what has become an annual mark to the start of the festive season, in December 2022 Chris Beetles Gallery held the solo exhibition 'The Cartoon World of Ed McLachlan'.