The Lion and the defaced war pages…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s weather will feature: lasting bitter blasts, coconut cream skies, white mountain tops, a deep orange towards dusk, and isolated random raindrops the size of duck eggs.

Yes, it’s that old junk shop book again – the Lion Annual 1956.
It has rather dynamic and colourful stuff on the front and back covers – do glance down to the foot of this page to see a photograph of them. (I have put it down there because when I put a link to this post on Twitter it automatically shows only the first photograph in the piece, which is usually the one of the book covers and not the one which the post is about – so this time I am trying to, er, subvert this.)
So, here is a very nice picture of pages 132 and 133.

Phew! Isn’t this great? Carnage combined with free-form artistic expression!…
I reckon the very first owner of this book, probably a little lad living here in Britain in 1956, let’s call him Billy, might have had a little minx of a sister, let’s call her Shirley, and she very much liked expressing herself using her blue ballpoint pen. She probably didn’t really think much of Billy’s book; it was full of adventures with boring boys, and silly adults, and had virtually no girls or lovely ponies in it at all… I think she might have particularly hated the patriotic stories set in wartime (the real thing was only about a decade earlier) with all those people running about in big boots, tin hats, and waving guns around with big knives stuck on the end, and with things exploding every five minutes.
‘Now then! Where’s my blue pen!’ she said – and she set to work decorating the pages to be more to her taste.
Alright, let’s get into art here. Imagine dear reader, this image blown up to about, oh let’s say fifteen feet by ten – a lovely and accurate print of it, with the blue of the pen and the paper colour, and the brown stains, reproduced perfectly. See it hanging there on a gallery wall, a white-painted one, not here in Dulltown, but perhaps in New York, Berlin, or Tokyo?
Note: I wonder what those repeating square things, with two, or sometimes three, ‘prongs’ sticking out of them are? Perhaps they are electric plugs – see, one of Shirley’s blue lines is connected to that plunger-detonator thing in the corner of page 133… Perhaps she wants to blow the whole story up?…

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 The Lion and the defaced war pages…

  1. Sharon Mann says:

    This takes to much brain power this morning to figure this out. It does look as though Shirley is trying to corral the drawings with the flying things. Now for my coffee to turn on the brain! Have a great day, Dave.

  2. Jheron Bash says:

    This free-form defacement does make you wonder what was going through little Shirley’s mind, doesn’t it? Clearly sabotage anyway. This Lion annual has definitely become a favourite part of your blog oeuvre, Dave. (Any excuse to say “oeuvre”).

    • Dave Whatt says:

      Hm… French eh?…
      Also, see my response to Sharon’s comment…

      • Jheron Bash says:

        Well of course in the real world of 1956 (I remember it well) I suspect it was the kid who owned the annual who did the defacing. Maybe an only child & maybe didn’t like war stories anyway. Not every kid did. The Billy & Shirley shtick is more fun though! (Shtick – that’s not French.)

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