Tiny and Jock – kidnapped by bandits!…

But first…
Dulltown, UK/Europe: Today’s confused film stars are: Honthony Apkins and Hom Tardy.

Sixty-three years is a long time.
Actually this book does look as if it’s sixty-three years old – the edges of the thick, almost cardboardy (I’ve just made that word up, oh, no I haven’t, I just Googled it – it does exist!) pages, have gone fluffy and curled at their corners; the glossy brightly printed cover with the spaceships and spacemen faffing about on it is cracked, and it’s edges have worn away and have rounded off, and the dirty red fabric spine is a bit split and thready. But the book does look pretty good – even allowing for the fact that some child, well over half a century ago, has defaced quite a few of the pages with a blue ballpoint pen. Yes, it’s my junk shop bargain, the Lion Annual 1956. Shall we look at a photo of the front and back covers dear reader?

Aren’t they great?
So, shall we have a peep inside, and choose a nicely drawn illustration to include in today’s post?

Bloody hell! There’s a lot going on here!
What a brilliant drawing!
Just imagine the editor talking to the anonymous graphic artist, or ‘illustrator’ as they were called back then:
‘Sorry sir… What do you mean “Hm…”?’
‘Well Jimmy, it’s a bit drab and lifeless, isn’t it? Couldn’t you liven it up a bit?’
‘What?… No, that’s it!… Liven it up?… Good God man, what more do you want? We could have the bloody horses bursting into flames if you like!’
‘Hm, well, I suppose it’s alright – oh yes, it’ll do then…’
‘Can I put my name on it, maybe my initials, just small and unobtrusive in the corner, this time?’
‘No, no, only the writers have their names on the page, you should know that by now Jimmy…’

As I said earlier, what a brilliant drawing!
Just look at that bloody fracas going on on the speeding bouncing wagon – wrestling and scrapping to left and right – hats flying off startled heads. You can tell which are the bad guys, can’t you? They are the slightly dark-skinned unshaven ones. I expect, from looking at the title of the story that these are the chaps banding together to introduce fair elections, and to form some sort of even-handed democratic socialist government, and intend to chuck out these money-grubbing European capitalists who have invaded and ravaged their country. Gosh, aren’t those horses brilliant? I like the way the nearest one has his eye on us, and the way the other one is bending its neck back to try to get into shot. Even those leering spiky fronds top right are trying to add to the tension!…

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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