Raymond Briggs Dead: ‘The Snowman’ Creator Was 88

Raymond Briggs, the British illustrator, cartoonist, graphic novelist and author best known for “The Snowman,” has died. He was 88.

“The Snowman,” a book without words and illustrated with pencil crayons, was created by Briggs in 1978. It was adapted as an animated television film for U.K. broadcaster Channel 4 in 1982, which is played on U.K. television every Christmas. It was nominated for the Academy Award for best animated short film and won a BAFTA TV Award.

A statement from Briggs’ family said: “We know that Raymond’s books were loved by and touched millions of people around the world, who will be sad to hear this news. Drawings from fans — especially children’s drawings — inspired by his books were treasured by Raymond and pinned up on the wall of his studio.”

Briggs’ wife Jean died in 1973 and he subsequently had a partner Liz, who died in 2015.

“He lived a rich and full life, and said he felt lucky to have had both his wife Jean, and his partner of over 40 years Liz in his life.

“He shared his love of nature with Liz on South Downs walks and on family holidays to Scotland and Wales. He also shared his sense of fun and craziness with his family, and with his family of artist friends — at get-togethers, fancy dress parties and summer picnics in the garden,” the statement added.

“He played practical jokes and enjoyed them being played on him. All of us close to him knew his irreverent humor – this could be biting in his work when it came to those in power. He liked the Guardian editorial describing himself as an ‘iconoclastic national treasure,’ ” the statement concluded.

More to come.