It was a mere speck on Condor’s screen…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s Sir Arthur Conan Doyle quotation is from the Sherlock Holmes story: The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton:
Holmes: “See here!”
He took a neat little leather case out of a drawer, and opening it he exhibited a number of shining instruments. “This is a first-class up-to-date burgling kit, with nickel-plated jemmy, diamond-tipped glass-cutter, adaptable keys, and every modern improvement which the march of civilisation demands. Here too is my dark lantern. Everything is in order. Have you a pair of silent shoes?”
“I have rubber-soled tennis shoes”
“Excellent! And a mask?”
“I can make a couple out of black silk.”

Oh, hang on a minute! Where the hell are we now? I thought that we were back in Victorian times, in Baker Street with Holmes and Watson smoking our pipes and getting ready for a clandestine midnight outing, but suddenly we are in the far distant future facing danger with a lantern-jawed chap in gaudy Technicolor.
No, not the future I’m afraid, but we are back in 1956 with my battered well-thumbed and defaced junk shop copy of Lion Annual:

See, Captain Condor and his plucky pal Pete are having a bit of trouble with their bulbous rocket – ‘Repairs must be put in hand at once…‘ the Captain says. Did British people really speak like that back in the 1950s? Apparently they did, well the posh ones anyway…
You can read and enjoy this fragment of plot if you wish, but I have actually shown it to you for its aesthetic appeal. It’s the sort of thing that those early British artists who kicked off Pop Art in 1940s and ’50s would like and would bring into their work – people like Eduardo Paolozzi, Pauline Boty, and Peter Blake – I love all that stuff!…
So then, let’s view page 51 of the Lion as a fine art print – nice old-style drawing, lovely vivid colour blathered on thick fluffy paper, almost like thin cardboard. One could cut this out and have it framed – in fact I might do that – no, that would ruin this fine old book wouldn’t it?…

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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10 Responses to It was a mere speck on Condor’s screen…

  1. memadtwo says:

    Great colors indeed. (K)

  2. I do love the vibrant colours! I saw on t’internets that someone had indeed got hold of many old comic books such as these, torn them up (they called it “dismantled”) and covered an old table with them. Nice piece, but ohhhh I cringed at the torn pages. I have in my possession a book called “The Chirpy Chicks” by Harold Earnshaw, which is over 100 years old. The man who wrote and illustrated it had to do it with his left hand, as he lost his right one in the war. Such old books have to be kept as they were originally intended, don’t you think?

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