Don Craig’s face was bright with excitement…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s instruction is to go about your daily business as normal, but instead of speaking, sing all your conversations and interactions with people as if you were in an opera.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Today dear reader, yet again, I am inviting you to time-slip into the past – back to the Britain of 1956.
Our little lad Billy must have been really pleased to get a copy of the new year’s Lion Annual as a Christmas present. I wonder how long it was before his little sister Shirley got at it, and in a bored moment, augmented a selection of the pages with her blue crayon? Gosh! I’ll bet that caused a right ruckus!…

Yes, this is another of my cheap junk shop books. Here’s a picture of the front and back covers – isn’t the artwork lovely? Billy must have gasped in joy and amazement as he eagerly ripped off the cheery holly pattern wrapping paper and revealed this on Christmas morn…

But come on, let’s nip back to the featured drawing and see how Don Craig and his jolly good pal Mickey Burton are getting on with their underwater adventure. I wonder if they’ve noticed that at the bottom of the first page of their tale it says, in heavier type, ‘Savage Sharks Guarded a Pirate’s Loot!’, but then they’ll be relieved to see that it goes on to say, ‘and Diving Dare-Devils Defied Them!’ By the way, I just noticed that the pirate who lost his stash of loot seems to be called Josiah Pengilly – that’s a lot better name than either Don Craig or Mickey B isn’t it?…

I do find the style of drawing in this book quite interesting – of course back then people were actually taught to draw, so you should expect good quality illustration. Look at the sea with its splashes of white spume, and the rocky headland with scrubby vegetation to the right – really nicely done, I couldn’t do anything half as good as that.
But the figure drawings in the book, pretty good though they are, always look a bit stiff to me – look at Mickey diving in there, there’s no movement in him is there? He looks like he’s frozen in time with his hands and wrists just submerged. Come on Mickey, we are all waiting for the splash, perhaps it will never come… If I’d drawn this, I’d have been tempted to ‘cheat’ and put some of those ‘motion lines’ in behind his legs to make him a bit more animated…
And, while we are at it – look at poor Don stuck there – he has turned to stone, forever crouching, supporting the horizon with his back, trying to get his flipper fastened…

About Dave Whatt

Grumpy old surrealist artist, musician, postcard maker, bluesman, theatre set designer, and debonair man-about-town. My favourite tools are the plectrum and the pencil...
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6 Responses to Don Craig’s face was bright with excitement…

  1. Dana Doran says:

    Shirley most likely had a glimpse into the future – three young men, dipped in blue paint and you have Blue Man Group….opera anyone?

  2. Dana Doran says:

    my goodness, for some reason I forget that we have not had similar experiences – being in different parts of the western world. Well duh. I shall also share with you a quote that could forewarn you of my level of accurate knowledge….contextually, although I lived on an island for many years, it was an island in the U.S. and so being this might apply because I was not aware of the statement when Casey made it: “We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public knows is false.”
    – William Casey, CIA Director 1981.

    • Dave Whatt says:

      Ah, all is explained (I think) the blue people! I’d not come across them before – thank you!
      So, William Casey – how very reassuring…
      Perhaps I’ll give you a link to something British you might not have come across, or maybe you have?…

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