Artist Highlight: William James Affleck Shepherd

Have you ever had that moment when you decide to watch that indie film that not even the indie festivals screened? Have you ever picked up a completely random book at the library that you had never heard of before, but it pulled at you for no obvious reason so you decided to give it a go? Has that act ever given you that amazing feeling of discovery afterwards? Art and beauty are all around us but because we are usually attracted to –and blinded by- the limelight, we fail to find it. Still, sometimes we stumbled upon something special and oh, the glory. To find that piece of wonder and be awed, giddy with the high only a treasure hunter who just unearthed a chest full of jewels can feel. Well those moments are special and ought to be shared, which is why I am yapping here today in an attempt to talk to you about a gem I unearthed (don’t worry, I wasn’t the first one). His name is William James Affleck Shepherd, and his story is quite something. Continue reading “Artist Highlight: William James Affleck Shepherd”

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Conversations at the Cartoon Museum 1

In this new and exciting project, the Cartoon Museum will discuss highlights of our collections (comics&cartoons) with museum staff and guests. First up, an interview with curator of the Comics Gallery and head of the HLF Comic Creators Project, Steve Marchant on the amazing Jack Kirby!

 

Another Brick Bradford in the Wall

He was a ‘soldier of fortune’ who explored lost civilisations, ‘unravelled the secrets of the past and probed the mysteries of the future’. His stories ran from 1933-1987 in Newspapers across the United States. He was also popular globally with distribution in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Italy as well as in France under the nom d’plume of Luc Bradefer or ‘Luke Ironarm’. Columbia Pictures produced a 15-chapter serial featuring him in 1947. So why is the most obvious question: who is Brick Bradford? Continue reading “Another Brick Bradford in the Wall”

The Cloggies by Bill Tidy

William Edward Tidy was born in Tranmere, near Birkenhead on Merseyside, on 9 October 1933.   His father, also called Bill, was a charming but feckless man, a merchant navy quartermaster who was away from home for long periods and was not involved in bringing up his son.   His mother Catherine worked as a barmaid to support herself and her son, and often got retired women who lived locally to look after him while she worked.   One of these women, Nellie, may have helped to point Tidy towards his ultimate career: she was an avid fan of the Beano and Dandy.   At one stage he moved to live with his Uncle Bert and Aunt Polly in Liverpool.   Bert was a great storyteller, adding another string to Tidy’s artistic bow.   He returned to live with Catherine, by then a pub manager, and attended Anfield Junior School where Miss Edwards encouraged him to develop his innate drawing talent.   American comics and war films were another influence on him.   He never had any formal art training.

Continue reading “The Cloggies by Bill Tidy”

The Volunteers’ Corner Presents: Jenny Linn-Cole

In this new blog series, the Cartoon Museum would like to offer a space for our active volunteers to share a bit about themselves. Our volunteers help us run the museum on a day to day basis. They make sure that we present our best side to the public. They are friendly, knowledgable, and artistic and they are always ready to help our visitors navigate the museum. So let’s get to know them a little bit better, shall we? Today is the turn of Jenny Linn-Cole, one of our most veteran volunteers.

Continue reading “The Volunteers’ Corner Presents: Jenny Linn-Cole”

Garth

Comic page hero of the Daily Mirror and the creation of Stephen Philip Dowling, Garth was one of the longest running comic strips in the UK. Garth was a reincarnated Greek god who, with the help of a scientist, Professor Lumiere, travelled from present to past to future, in order to champion human freedom against the tyranny of science.

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Original art by Steve Dowling & John Alard for the story Islands of Kaa (1947), scripted by Harry Harrison.

Alternatively, he has been called a less flashy, more compassionate Superman. The strip is in the science fiction-adventure genre. Garth travelled through time and space, met numerous famous people from history and even had a romantic dalliance with Astra, the goddess of love.

Continue reading “Garth”

Dudley Watkins and Oor Wullie: A Brief Snapshot

Dudley Dexter Watkins was born on 27 February 1907 in Manchester, and raised in Nottingham as the eldest of three children. His father was a lithographic artist and encouraged the artistic talent of his son, who by the age of 11 had 4 paintings on display in an exhibition in Nottingham Castle. In 1919 Watkins attended evening classes at Nottingham School of Art. He later worked for Boots the Chemist, where one of his tasks was window-dressing.

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Dudley Watkins.

By 1924 Watkins was on a full-time arts scholarship at the School of Art.   He was spotted by a talent scout from D.C. Thomson, who offered him a job as staff artist.  Watkins took up the post in 1925 when he moved to Dundee, where D.C. Thomson was based. The first strip which can be identified as done by Watkins was PC99, which appeared in the Rover Midget Comic in February 1933. Other strips he produced included Percy Vere and His Trying Tricks and Wandering Willie, the Wily Explorer. Among his most famous strips were The Broons and Oor Wullie, which features in the Daily Funnies exhibtion at the Cartoon Museum (running until December 2017). Continue reading “Dudley Watkins and Oor Wullie: A Brief Snapshot”

The Volunteers’ Corner Presents: Stefan Alexander

In this new blog series, the Cartoon Museum would like to offer a space for our active volunteers to share a bit about themselves. Our volunteers help us run the museum on a day to day basis. They make sure that we present our best side to the public. They are friendly, knowledgable, and artistic and they are always ready to help our visitors navigate the museum. So let’s get to know them a little bit better, shall we? For our first installment we shall meet Stefan Alexander, comic artist and illustrator.

Continue reading “The Volunteers’ Corner Presents: Stefan Alexander”

Jeff Hawke: A Revolutionary Science Fiction Comic Strip

The Scottish cartoonist responsible for presenting adults with a revolutionary science fiction comic strip in the form of Jeff Hawke is Sydney Jordan. It was through this art form that he was able to inject fantasy into the mundane lives that most adults lead. Born and bred in Dundee, Scotland, Sydney Jordan grew up in a city where the publishing house D.C. Thomson released a plethora of comic books every week. Jordan’s fondest memories of his childhood are the times he spent reading those comic books and the joyful and spirited conversations he had with his father about them. Jordan familiarized himself more with comic book illustrations by working in a studio that was run by former employees at the Thomson publishing house. He claimed this experience allowed him to learn from experts in the field. A couple of years later, Jordan acquired an interest in space and planes, around the time of the Second World War, after joining the Miles Aeronautical Technical School for aviation designers. After struggling to find a job in aviation, Jordan took his passion and used it to work in the comic strip industry. He started out as the artist, Len Fullerton’s helping hand. Continue reading “Jeff Hawke: A Revolutionary Science Fiction Comic Strip”

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