Parry launched himself across…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s financial forecast is for bulging wallets to feel reassuringly smooth and warm to the touch, and the people over there, standing in the rain at the bus stop, to appear as amusing pawns in this fascinating great game.

I can smell it from here. Why is it that most old junk shop books smell like that? They all seem to smell so similar, well, the cheaply produced ones, printed on thick fluffy paper do – the more expensive ones with glossy pages have a subtly different smell. Yes, I thought that I’d pull out my scruffy and badly defaced copy of Lion Annual 1956 today, and pick out another one of the interesting drawings that illustrate the stories. But first, here’s a photograph of the front and back covers – I don’t know if this is one painting, or two separate ones, but doesn’t it look great? I’d be really pleased if as a little lad in 1956 I found this in my Christmas stocking!

Of course the stories in here didn’t have much to do with real life, well not working class life anyway; this book was written and drawn by posh people, to be read by posh people’s children. The schools that the kids in the book went to, no that’s wrong, they didn’t go to school every day, they lived there, they were boarding schools, where the pupils wore smart suits and ties, and the teachers, the ‘masters’, wore black gowns and funny hats on their heads. There was plenty of adventure and patriotism, not to mention a bit of racism, between these covers – but hell, this was 1956 – people did like a bit of racism back then, it made them feel good…

This super illustration is from the story The TV Thrill Hunters by Trevor Hugh on page 154. It seems to follow the exploits of a couple of plucky young chaps (one of them must be Parry), cameramen, who are filming dodgy stuff going down in dangerous foreign parts for TV documentaries back home. The caption at the bottom of the page says: ‘Braving Unknown Jungle Perils to Solve a Million Year-Old Mystery!’  I’m on the edge of my seat already!
I can’t resist copying out the opening paragraph for you dear reader:
“That eez the story, Senor Masters. Eet has been whispered, from tribe to tribe, from the distant depths of ze unexplored Peruvian jungle. But in ze jungles of Peru lie terror and death.”

Hm… Let’s have a look at this drawing.
It’s great isn’t it? Me, I can draw a bit, but I could never do anything as good as this – I suppose the person who did this was at some point in their life actually taught how to draw. Are people taught to draw these days? I don’t know, what would be the point?
Anyway, here’s plucky Parry, hurling himself at the burning door – I wonder if he, or his pal flopped on the floor, set fire to it in an attempt at escape? Look, there’s burning straw on the ground in front of it… Aha! That’s why they are wearing masks!…
Now, having already said that I couldn’t do anything as good as this, I would like to point out, somewhat hesitantly though, that to me our Parry does look like he’s frozen in mid-air, and not really doing much in the way of hurling at all. I wonder why this is – everything in this drawing looks fine, but the chap is just hanging there as if on strings, or glued to the wall – I don’t care how much he exerts himself, he’s never going to get any closer to those flames – in fact the flames seem to be moving about a lot more than he is. I’ll bet there was great temptation of part of the artist to put some of those ‘movement lines’ (that they have in cartoons) in behind Parry to put some life into him… I reckon that ‘movement lines’ might be ‘cheating’ though – I don’t know…

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 art, drama, drawing, finance, history, humour, information, learning, painting, puzzle, story, style, sweating, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Parry launched himself across…

  1. Jheron Bash says:

    Looks like Parry has launched himself a bit early & might have to re-launch. Mind you, he’s had to jump over his pal who’s not being much use, is he? Maybe he’s overcome with burning straw fumes. Giving the door a good kick looks a better bet. (Better bet, eh?)

  2. Sharon Mann says:

    Now we need to see the rest of the story, does Parry survive? Inquiring minds want to know. 🙂

  3. We had a place up here where you could learn how to draw and paint and ALL sorts of stuff, but it keeps burning down! Its seems to always happen at the end of term as well…..

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