Treasure: Wee Willie Winkie visits Fleetway

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Peter Gray
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Re: Treasure: Wee Willie Winkie visits Fleetway

Post by Peter Gray »

I love the spot the mistakes one for fireworks night very funny..
also loads of great art to enjoy...
the bricks on the wall with faces were strange and creepy...

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philcom55
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Re: Treasure: Wee Willie Winkie visits Fleetway

Post by philcom55 »

suebutcher wrote:...I'm trying to get the complete run of "Alice In Wonderland" and "Looking Glass" illustrated by Mendoza, and work back from those to "The Borrowers".
I don't seem to have any examples of the first of those but going by these illustrations from 'Through the Looking Glass' I can see why you want to collect them.

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I do have quite a lot of installments of 'The Borrowers' which is also pretty amazing. If it's any help that series began in Treasure no.6 and lasted for well over a year, during which time all Mary Norton's first four novels were adapted in order.

In my opinion Philip Mendoza is another artist who tends to be criminally underappreciated today. More than anything else, the sheer range of styles he excelled at can be quite astonishing - from adult horror all the way to children's classics and funny animals!

- Phil R.

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suebutcher
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Re: Treasure: Wee Willie Winkie visits Fleetway

Post by suebutcher »

Peter Jackson's "Treasure" art was colourful and grimy, perfect for historical illustrations. Great pictures, though I doubt Vikings looked that theatrical!

My run of "Looking Glass" is complete, just a few missing from "Wonderland". (I was going to post that Mendoza mirror illustration, you beat me to it!)

Here is the cover picture from "Treasure" No 3. It looks like Frank Hampson in his Ladybird Books painted style.
Treasure3.jpg

matrix
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Re: Treasure: Wee Willie Winkie visits Fleetway

Post by matrix »

Great to see those puzzle pages again, I used to love doing those. Looking at the firework example I can't imagine that going to print with all the rules and regulations we have in place these days?

That 'Humpty Dumpty' is a nice piece for five pounds, all that work for a puzzle page, just shows the high standards used for these comics, it's good to see these younger reader comics becausce I think they tend to get overlooked?

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philcom55
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Re: Treasure: Wee Willie Winkie visits Fleetway

Post by philcom55 »

suebutcher wrote:Peter Jackson's "Treasure" art was colourful and grimy, perfect for historical illustrations. Great pictures, though I doubt Vikings looked that theatrical!
It'd be interesting to see him working in oils - I bet he could have given Frank Frazetta a run for his money!
suebutcher wrote:Here is the cover picture from "Treasure" No 3. It looks like Frank Hampson in his Ladybird Books painted style.
It's a shame the artist wasn't identified inside in this case. I agree that it has a look of Frank's Ladybird art but, on the whole, I don't think it's him. I really like the way in which they rotated cover artists for the first year or so, giving a showcase to other Ladybird regulars such as CF Tunnicliffe, Septimus Scott, Pat Nicolle, etc. By contrast I was much less impressed by Clive Uptton whose style struck me as relatively flat and uninvolving - in spite of its undoubted efficiency. Certainly he was never able to match the magical sense of atmosphere evoked by John Worsley's rainbow on the cover of Treasure no. 44.

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On the subject of Phil Mendoza's Alice, I particularly like the way in which he chose to humanize the very same scenes that Tenniel originally made famous (and which, as a child, had given me nightmares with their grotesque expressions and stiff technique).

With 'The Borrowers', of course, Mendoza was less constrained by the works of previous illustrators - as a result of which, for me at least, his versions of Arriety, Homily and Pod are pretty well definitive. Here is the first page of a long adaptation that served as Treasure's resident 'Tale for Bedtime' all the way from no.6 to no.70.

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To my mind his use of colour is just perfect for the subject matter (and I love the way in which this is accentuated by the 'Fruit Polo'-style lettering of the title). One can't help feeling that his illustrations could have formed the basis for a truly outstanding animated film - long before Studio Ghibli's Arriety.

- Phil Rushton

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philcom55
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Re: Treasure: Wee Willie Winkie visits Fleetway

Post by philcom55 »

Looking at those Mendoza illustrations has reminded me of an earlier comic strip version of Alice that appeared on the back page of AP's newly revamped Tiny Tots during 1958 - shortly before that venerable title was swallowed up by Playhour. I particularly like the way in which the uncredited artist (Pat Nicolle?) ends his adaptation by giving the weird and wonderful inhabitants of Wonderland one final curtain call as they make a stately procession before the mind's eye of Alice's sister:

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(Ironically, Phil Mendoza commenced his own short-lived run in Tiny Tots in the very next issue with 'Town Mouse and Country Mouse' - a series that he was to be associated with right up until his death in 1973.)

Of course, this wasn't by any means the only time that Lewis Carroll's most famous character starred in her own comic strip. One other example that springs immediately to mind being the memorable version that Jesus Blasco drew for Once Upon a Time in 1970.

- Phil Rushton

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Peter Gray
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Re: Treasure: Wee Willie Winkie visits Fleetway

Post by Peter Gray »

I love that ending...it was real after all!!! 8) :lol:
it just shows how great junior comics were...thanks for showing these gems...a great thread..

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suebutcher
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Re: Treasure: Wee Willie Winkie visits Fleetway

Post by suebutcher »

Alice looks too much like an adult, but the Wonderland characters are nice, particularly the Cat! By the way, where did that convention of yellow panel borders on nursery comic covers come from?

Blasco's nursery strips were fantastic! I'll post the Christmas 1967 "Edward And The Jumblies" from "Teddy Bear" when I have a moment. (Got a deadline, shouldn't be here! :wink: )

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philcom55
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Re: Treasure: Wee Willie Winkie visits Fleetway

Post by philcom55 »

Tote dat barge Sue! :wink:

I think the yellow border came in with Jack & Jill, which proved to be so popular that the same colour scheme was adopted by Playhour to differentiate this new style of nursery comic from old-fashioned predecessors such as Rainbow and Chick's Own. As can be seen from the revamped banner there was also a short-lived attempt to add Tiny Tots to the new group, though it's place was subsequently taken by another new title based on the popular Harold Hare character.

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It could be that Pat Nicolle was influenced by the Victorian tendency to make all children look like small adults - though he did, at least, do away with the disturbing convention of drawing them with giant heads à la Tenniel!

By contrast Jesus Blasco's version of Alice looked almost like a pre-school moppet - but then I've always been fascinated by the sheer variety of ways in which different illustrators have envisaged her over the years. Of course, if Blasco is remembered by modern comic collectors at all it's for boys' adventure strips like 'The Steel Claw' from Valiant and 2000AD's 'Bill Savage' (whose adventures still list Blasco as 'co-creator'), but as these scans from Once Upon a Time clearly show he was just as much at home with nursery subjects like 'Alice in Wonderland' (not to mention 'Gulliver's Travels' and 'The Water Babies').

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- Phil Rushton

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Peter Gray
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Re: Treasure: Wee Willie Winkie visits Fleetway

Post by Peter Gray »

A nice Alice..

Looking at Jack and Jill comic 1961 it has in the corner sunshine weekly...so that could be what the yellow stands for..

Looking in Jack and Jill 1961 everything is brilliantly drawn...
the puzzle page is also well done and love the centre colour pages the busy picture..The children who lived in a shoe..

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Peter Gray
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Re: Treasure: Wee Willie Winkie visits Fleetway

Post by Peter Gray »

I love this

http://www.lookandlearn.com/history-ima ... ool=phrase

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I really love this artist and nice humour...

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philcom55
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Re: Treasure: Wee Willie Winkie visits Fleetway

Post by philcom55 »

The wonderful Bert Felstead of course - another excellent artist who remains virtually unknown to those collectors who ignore nursery comics as a matter of course. Though I generally prefer his painted work on 'Fliptail the Otter' I agree that Teddy and Cuddly have a special charm of their own. Here's another page from my own collection of original art:

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- Phil Rushton

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suebutcher
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Re: Treasure: Wee Willie Winkie visits Fleetway

Post by suebutcher »

Here's "Edward And The Jumblies" from "Teddy Bear". This one's a bit less funny-animal and more fairy-tale than usual, but if I had another example of the strip I could demonstrate that Jesus Blasco was pretty good at mixed-up nursery comic critters, too.
jumblies1.jpg
jumblies2.jpg
Those background colours crashing together in his "Alice" are startling!

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philcom55
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Re: Treasure: Wee Willie Winkie visits Fleetway

Post by philcom55 »

That's excellent - I'm sure Edward Lear would have approved. The snow scene is particularly effective; a pity Fleetway couldn't afford to run it in colour. For an artist that most people associate with black & white strips like The Steel Claw I agree that Blasco's use of colour in Once Upon a Time could be quite startling at times.

I must admit I've never seen any copies of Teddy Bear - clearly another title I'll have to investigate. Thanks for bringing it to my attention Sue! :)

- Phil R.
Last edited by philcom55 on 11 Mar 2013, 13:32, edited 1 time in total.

wigwam
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Re: Treasure: Wee Willie Winkie visits Fleetway

Post by wigwam »

Hi Phil and Sue,

Please have a look at what I think is Blasco's first nursery-artwork for a British publisher: 'The Story of the Babes in the Wood', in Playhour (March/April, 1957):
http://bearalley.blogspot.nl/2011/04/ro ... trips.html.
He certainly knew how to illustrate a fairy-tale for young readers...

Best,

John Wigmans

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