The chap inside there must be crackers…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s carefully selected adjectives are: corybantic, lecherous, quotidian, theopneust, fiducial, bombycid, and fidgety.

Well, it’s got spaceships and planets on the front and the back covers, but a lot of the stories inside are set in posh boarding schools, with masters in gowns and strange headgear, and pupils in blazers and slacks, and everyone is wearing a clean shirt and a tie, oh, and they all have well-polished shoes too. Yes, look, we are back in 1956, and we are young lads enjoying the strange world of the Lion Annual.

Nice cover isn’t it? Lovely colours! A lot of the stuff inside is in black and white of course, although two or three of the tales are roughly printed in colour. The drawing is pretty good, but you’d expect that, people were actually taught to draw back in those days.
The first story in the book is by Barry Nelson and features someone called Sandy Dean (he sounds like an English country house), is called Guardian of the Secret Chimp – how’s that for a snappy title to draw you in?
The plot seems to involve some of the lads smuggling a chimp into school and hiding the cute (but unflaggingly mischievous) beast in their study. Yes, in their ‘study’ – I told you it was a posh school! We never had studies at our school… Mind you, I’m glad I was never forced to go a place like this – it must have been a male-only living hell of macho bullying and torture, sports, gymnastics, and er, bad food… Phew!… Glad I missed all that!…
From this exciting yarn I have selected a couple of panels showing a pupil known as ‘Bossy’ Bates trying to work out what is going on. I reckon this Bates looks not unlike our lovely Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. I’m sure Boris went to a school just like this… Need I say more?…

A pretty good bit of work isn’t it? I do appreciate competent figure drawing – I’m hopeless at it. Apart from the fine posing of the figure, look at those super facial expressions – those simple lines say so much. ‘Whoa! Was that a cricket bat that just missed my head? Ouch!…’
Isn’t it interesting that the illustrator changed the ‘camera position’ between the two panels? In the left hand one the pot is thrown from left to right, and in the right panel we have moved to the other side of Bossy (or Boris) so the stuff is now coming in from the right. Hm… rather clever – that’s quite a filmic device – is ‘filmic’ a word?… Of course it is…

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...
This entry was posted in academia, adjectives, archeology, art, books, colours, composition, drawing, history, humour, information, school, style, words and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The chap inside there must be crackers…

  1. Sharon Mann says:

    The clothes also show the signs of time…do boys wear suits these days? I love the art.

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