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Saturday, July 13, 2013

J. I. Dopson

Even with access to payment records it isn't always an easy thing trying to figure out who wrote or drew what. There is the problem of agencies, for instance. Most artists used an agent, so you still need to recognise an artists' style if you are to correctly credit a piece of artwork. Authors, for the most part, didn't use agents... but we are then faced with the annoyance of initials and trying to figure out what those initials stand for.

One of the contributors to Boys' World falls into the latter category of mystery. The only J. I. Dopson I can find that might conceivably have written for the paper is Joan Irene Dopson. As far as I can gather, she was born on 18 June 1935 as Joan I. Parrish, who married Clive L. Dopson in Lewisham, Kent, in 3Q 1952. She subsequently married Robert C. Stantiall in Brentwood, Essex, in 2Q 1975 and it is as Joan Irene Stantiall that her death is registered in Lincoln, Lincolnshire, in August 1997.

A minor glitch to this is that the only Joan I. Parrish birth is  registered in Hemsworth, Yorkshire, in 3Q 1928. She is almost certainly the Joan I Parrish who married Albert H. S. Morley in Yorkshire in 4Q 1947 and... well, I'm not sure what happens after that. The husband might be the Harry Albert S. Morley, born in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs., in 1924, who died in Doncaster in December 1988. I'm not sure.

But, that red herring aside, is J. I. Dopson really Joan Irene Dopson and was she really the author of a series of brief 'Mini-Mystery' stories for Boys' World. And are her four contributions her only writing for comics... or was she perhaps a regular writer elsewhere. There's no sign of her being a novelist.

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