Not only did Searle illustrate dozens of fine covers for the New Yorker but also contributed interior cartoons. The magazine ran several series by Searle including a delightful collection of historical what ifs entitled 'Crossed Paths'. (Later published in a book collection 'Marquis De Sade meets Goody Two Shoes')
'Daisy Ashford meets Concise Oxford'
In the introduction to 'Marquis de Sade meets Goody Two Shoes' Searle expands on the genesis of the project:
'The theme of this collection, that of crossing a few unlikely paths, first emerged a year or two back, while I was re-dipping into the murky life of Edgar Allan Poe and re-encountering, that same afternoon, some of the worst of E. Hemingway's macho prose. Suddenly I had this distressing vision of Hemingway blasting the brains out of Poe's quothing raven, so that nevermore would the gloomy bird go on about doom, fate and the shocking price of bird seed in New York. From then on it was only a short trot to other fanciful encounters. Donatien Alphonse Francois, Marquis de Sade, for example. His sheer bad luck in crossing the path of the unspeakable Goody Two-Shoes, who was capable of crushing the spirit of men more monstrous and certainly less readable than he, was startling, to say the least of it.
Is it not likely that one such numbing encounter - with or without skipping-rope - resulted in his incarceration and, finally, death in the lunatic asylum at Charenton? Such unlikely pairing opened up a world of nightmarish possibilities. Take old Omar Khayyám's brief encounter while he was lolling about with a loaf, a jug of wine and his girlfriend Thou, under a desert palm. If only he had enrolled in the Charles Atlas Biceps Course before T. E. Lawrence kicked sand in his face, the Rubáiyát might have been less soppy.
Crosssed paths, like crossed legs, can conceal an awful lot of surprises. Had impetuous Caesar, for example, listened more carefully, would he still have chopped de Gaulle into three parts?
Well, maybe . . . '
Searle even interpreted the magazine's famous mascot Eustace Tilley . . .
. . . and sometimes contributed 'The Back Page'
This 'Angel of Inspiration' is, I believe, a New Yorker commission
obituary for Searle