The stern-faced man boomed!…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s lost plectrum is the one eventually found between the thumb and forefinger of the right hand on Michelangelo’s ‘David’. (David)

I wonder how those spacemen are doing, are they still poised with their rayguns out, hovering over that red-hot cratered planet, their bulbous rocket hanging there in orbit in the background?
Ah, that would be the cover of The Lion Annual 1956 – another volume from my small collection of cheap junk shop books.
‘What’s all this about spacemen?’ I hear you ask. Well, dear reader, here, have a look!

Let’s have a flick through these thick soft, but yellowing pages, and find a nice image for today’s post. How about this rather strange, but dramatic one from page 66?

Hm, yes, this scene is from a story by someone with the unlikely name of Ronald Knill – well, no, not unlikely at all, I’ll bet lots of people in the world have ‘Knill’ as their surname – and yes, I am being unreasonable in attempting to mock someone because of their odd name – me, being called Whatt, I had enough of that at school! Dear Ronnie, I do apologise!
Ronnie’s story (I’m sure it is really gripping and humorous!) is called The Downfall of Sammy the Sneak and consists of four pages of dense text and two drawings.

I won’t bother describing the ins-and-outs of this tale of rich kid’s posh school life, instead let’s just admire the drawing.
For me, the best thing in it is the dropped torch (US: flashlight). Look at it hanging there, halfway to the floor, right in the middle of the picture – so very eye-catching – a focus for the viewer! You can just imagine the noise it will make when it hits those floorboards, when it then bounces a couple of times, and rolls a bit and then goes out – can’t you?
Me, I’m hopeless at figure drawing, but this anonymous artist (artists never get credited in books like this) is really good at it – I like the way ‘Sammy the Sneak’ is balanced on his tiptoes in sudden astonishment. If I were to be critical though, I might mention the inclusion of the rear end of Sammy’s school scarf heading off out of the frame to the right, at first one isn’t sure what it is – a bit of a distraction – me, I think I’d have quickly erased it – otherwise, this is a fine piece of work!

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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2 Responses to The stern-faced man boomed!…

  1. David Manley says:

    ho ho…that scarf must have soaked up a lot of heavy duty hair lacquer eh?

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