Ronald Searle's original dark, weird and hilarious St Trinian's comics

Before St Trinians was a (ho-hum with some bright moments) big-screen movie, it was a series of Charles Addams-esque cartoons by Ronald Searle (who also illustrated the hilarious, dark and evergreen Molesworth books). Searle began the St Trinians books just before he was drafted to fight in WWII, whence he was promptly captured by the Japanese and interned in the notorious death/POW camp Changi (immortalized in my all-time favorite war-novel, James Clavell's King Rat).

St Trinian's: The Entire Appalling Business collects Searle's strips in a handsome hardcover package that is an absolute delight. Some of this material was apparently drawn in Changi, on paper stolen from the Japanese guards, using a smuggled fountain pen, and it all shines with the sweaty dark light of a (literally) tortured comic genius.

I haven't seen the 1950s films based on these strips, but I think I'll track them down now.