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Re: Treasure: Wee Willie Winkie visits Fleetway

Posted: 21 Mar 2013, 13:24
by philcom55
That's great Matrix! :) I've got other episodes from the same story but not that particular one.

On Jesus Blasco, he was fortunate enough to be helped out at one time or another by three brothers and a sister. At least two of them proved to be excellent artists in their own right so that during the 1950s Jesus, Alejandro and Adriano individually drew stories for the British market that would be difficult to tell apart if it weren't for their different signatures. Shortly after this, however, they seem to have started working together solely under Jesus' byline with Alejandro and Andriano providing meticulous finishes for their brother's layouts - thereby producing three times as many pages as any one artist could ever hope to. Here they can be seen working together in a photo taken from the Spanish website Deskartes Mil:

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http://deskartesmil.blogspot.co.uk/2010 ... asa-v.html

- Phil Rushton

Re: Treasure: Wee Willie Winkie visits Fleetway

Posted: 08 Apr 2013, 07:42
by matrix
Here is another 'Edward and the jumblies' strip if it helps, I think the artist is the same?

Re: Treasure: Wee Willie Winkie visits Fleetway

Posted: 09 Apr 2013, 14:18
by klakadak-ploobadoof
Intrigued by the discussion on this tread and the images shown here, particularly by Phil, I bought that large joblot of Treasure on eBay some time ago and am now slowly going through them discovering artists I wasn’t familiar with until now. I like Mendoza, especially his illustrations of Through the Looking Glass and Wind in the Willows.

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Another artist that I like a lot is Quinto. He did an excellent job illustrating Baron Munchhausen and Peter Pan. I may be wrong, but I think he also did quite a lot of Princess Marigold tales on the back cover, or was it not him? I found nothing about Quinto or his work on this Forum. Did he draw for British comics proper, or was his work limited to children’s magazines of the 60s? Here are some examples of his work from Treasure:

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Re: Treasure: Wee Willie Winkie visits Fleetway

Posted: 12 Apr 2013, 10:52
by philcom55
Apart from having a name that made him sound like a Sexton Blake villain Nadir Quinto was one of the first European artists to begin working for the British market starting with Robin Hood in 1956, as well as various full-colour fairy stories that appeared in the centre pages of Playhour. Here's an example from the 1960 Robin Hood Annual:

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From the beginning of the 1960s he seems to have dropped the 'boys' adventure' genre altogether in favour of Fleetway's beautifully produced nursery comics. As your own scans show he drew a great deal for Treasure during this period - including a run on 'Princess Marigold' (though he didn't originate that series). Here's a detail from a page of original art which shows Princess Marigoldland's Fire Brigade racing to the rescue along perilous mountain roads:

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I'm pretty sure this is Quinto's work, though the board doesn't give any indication of the artist's name, and it has to be said that his style can easily be confused with a number of other artists who specialized in this sort of subject: particularly Luis Bermejo and Jose Ortiz.

Beginning in 1969 he became one of the principal artists for Once Upon a Time - perhaps the best of all the nursery titles developed by Leonard Matthews. Unlike Treasure, which had mostly consisted of illustrated articles and text stories, this new magazine specialized in picture strips - all reproduced in glorious colour and employing the talents of the best artists in the business*. It's no small testament to Quinto's abilities that he was able to hold his own in such illustrious company:

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(*Phillip Mendoza's work also featured prominently in Once Upon a Time. If I get chance I'll to cover that as well in a subsequent post on this thread...)

- Phil Rushton

Re: Treasure: Wee Willie Winkie visits Fleetway

Posted: 13 Apr 2013, 08:31
by suebutcher
Thanks for the background on the Blascos, Phil. The rain hat Jumbly story has the "Jesus Blasco" signature, so it would be one from their studio.

Re: Treasure: Wee Willie Winkie visits Fleetway

Posted: 14 Apr 2013, 00:44
by klakadak-ploobadoof
philcom55 wrote: Phillip Mendoza's work also featured prominently in Once Upon a Time. If I get chance I'll to cover that as well in a subsequent post on this thread...)
I am looking forward to it. Can you tell me the years when Once Upon A Time was published and how many issues of the magazine came out?

Re: Treasure: Wee Willie Winkie visits Fleetway

Posted: 14 Apr 2013, 01:11
by Lew Stringer
Excellent illustrations. All a revelation to me as I never read nursery comics apart from a few Bimbo issues.

Do any of you remember Blue Moon? It was Tim Quinn's valiant attempt to revive the well-illustrated nursery comic. Published about 15 years ago I think. Featured Cinderella, Alladin, Jack & the Beanstalk etc. Traditional fairytale characters in new stories. Great artwork. I only had a couple of issues myself so I don't know how long it lasted.

Re: Treasure: Wee Willie Winkie visits Fleetway

Posted: 14 Apr 2013, 08:12
by blaing
According to the ComicsUK gallery, Once Upon a Time for ran at least 163 issues first appearing week ending 15/2/69 and ran until 22/4/1972 before merging into the Disneyland magazine (No. 62 dated 29/4/1972)

Re: Treasure: Wee Willie Winkie visits Fleetway

Posted: 14 Apr 2013, 14:26
by matrix
were the first and second series that started in february 73 related? How long did the second series run for? Has anyone any examples?

Re: Treasure: Wee Willie Winkie visits Fleetway

Posted: 15 Apr 2013, 01:45
by matrix
Back to 'Treasure' for a moment here's an ad for 'Treasure' no1 with the free gift.

Re: Treasure: Wee Willie Winkie visits Fleetway

Posted: 16 Apr 2013, 03:41
by matrix
Here's some work Mendoza did for 'Harold Hare' comic in 1963. Katie country mouse.

Re: Treasure: Wee Willie Winkie visits Fleetway

Posted: 17 Apr 2013, 10:04
by philcom55
As far as I can tell Blaing's dates sound right (though I must admit I've never heard of the second series of Once Upon a Time mentioned by Matrix).

When Phillip Mendoza was headhunted by Leonard Matthews in 1951 he was already in his fifties, having enjoyed a long and successful career in various aspects of commercial art. Along with the Stephen Francis (aka 'Hank Janson') he'd even found time to produce one of the most sought-after of all British comics - the legendary Mighty Atom.

Like Quinto, Mendoza's earliest assignments for AP appeared in their newly-launched picture libraries - including a number of obligatory Robin Hood shorts. With the creation of the glossy new nursery title Playhour in 1954, however, he quickly established himself as a superb visualizer of colourful picture stories aimed specifically at very young children. The first of these strips included 'The Seven Dwarfs' and 'Children of the Forest', but it was in the depiction of anthropomorphic animals such as Gulliver Guinea-Pig and Katie Countrymouse that he really excelled.

Like his human namesake, Gulliver Guinea-Pig was an intrepid explorer who travelled to increasingly fantastic destinations such as 'Fairy Tale Land', the World inside the TV Screen and (as below) a version of the Moon that was very different to the one on which Neil Armstrong eventually set foot just eight years later:

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(To be continued...)

- Phil Rushton

Re: Treasure: Wee Willie Winkie visits Fleetway

Posted: 17 Apr 2013, 10:48
by klakadak-ploobadoof
Beautiful, I look forward to seeing and reading more, Phil. I searhced the web for details about the run of Once Upon A Time and found a link to an expired eBay auction for a near complete set. The description said the total number came to 167 issues, the last one dated 27th April, 1972, so blaing‘s info is nearly accurate (thanks, Bruce!).

This thread is responsible for my most recent purchases – 2 Once Once Upon A Time annuals on eBay this morning and a joblot of 118 weeklies in a private deal. From what I‘ve seen here so far, I have a feeling I will get an urge to complete the set. Just when I was beginnig to think my collection has reached saturation point...

Re: Treasure: Wee Willie Winkie visits Fleetway

Posted: 17 Apr 2013, 18:50
by Peter Gray
What a delightful story...love the cheese being parachuted down to the mice on earth...

Re: Treasure: Wee Willie Winkie visits Fleetway

Posted: 19 Apr 2013, 20:41
by philcom55
On the whole I don't think you'll be disappointed with your copies of Once Upon A Time Irmantas - though Mendoza's late-period artwork might not be quite what you expected on the basis of his work on Gulliver Guinea Pig and in Treasure. Also, looking at my own copies, it occurs to me that the proportion of actual comic strips is a little lower than I suggested. Sorry if I misled you in that respect.

I've plenty more to say about Mendoza's artwork in Once Upon A Time but, meanwhile, here are some more examples of the lovely, sensitive nursery strips he produced for Fleetway during the early 1960s - this time featuring his other major children's character Katie Country Mouse (and not forgetting her somewhat posher cousin Matilda Town Mouse!).

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- Phil Rushton